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EA Reveals New Info on “Be a Pro” for NHL 12

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EA dropped a bit of a bombshell in people laps when they released a new video for “Be a Pro” for NHL 12 on Wednesday. There wasn’t a bunch of new information revealed, but one very significant piece of news did come from this, as they announced that there will now be a staggering 18 levels of player development. As opposed to the usual six levels (Amateur, Rookie, Professional, Veteran, Superstar, and Legend) that players have become accustomed to since the feature was first introduced in NHL ‘09.

At this point, it has been assumed by the community, that these same levels will also be used for your online BAP, just as they have been mirrored in previous years, all be it with different requirements needed to level up your pro online in the EASHL as opposed to offline. But nothing has been officially confirmed by EA regarding “online communities” as they have remained rather mum on details for the upcoming changes to the EASHL. And as it stands now, information about this has been given an ominous “TBD” date in terms of release info on EA’s official “white board” of NHL 12 features.

Although, last week EA at least shredded the shroud of mystery about when new information about NHL 12 would be released, as they appear to be following a regular pattern of announcements planned for every Wednesday and Friday of each week. And following this same pattern, we can expect to finally have the egg of “online info” cracked sometime in the first few two weeks of August, at least, presumably. Considering the demo for NHL 12 is expected to be released sometime in mid to late August, as per usual.

But I find this will be the likely scenario, as they have still yet to shed any light on the much speculated about and very mysterious “big announcement” planned to be released “much later” and presumably closer to launch of the game in early September (the 9th in Europe and the 13th in North America).

While my mind began to wonder about exactly what EA was planning with all these new “levels” of player development… I knew we’d likely get some answers today, when the developer/producer blog would be released for “Be a Pro”. However, EA seems to have already broken their announced “Wed/Fri” plans for announcements. As the new blog was released early, late Thursday afternoon via an exclusive with operationsports.com

And with this blog, they cleared up all of the speculation about these 18 new levels, revealing that they will be the same six ranks we are familiar with, but now each of those six will have three individual “sub-levels” within them, which makes up for our total 18.

Gurn Sumal - EA NHL 12 Producer Blog

“In addition to the all-new upgrades in Be a Pro, we’ve also updated the Performance Tracker. The Performance Tracker has six rankings, but now each ranking has three levels so your amateur ranking, for example, will now have Amateur 1, Amateur 2 and Amateur 3. With a total of 18 stages in your Be a Pro development, it will lessen the gaps between level-ups.”

Also new to BAP, likely because of the large demand for it by the player community is “Profile Migration”. It isn’t quite the full blow, all out ‘profile migration’ that many people wanted, in which you would keep your player “level” from year to year, and thus would not have to go through the hassle of re-earning your “Legend” status each year… but it’s still better than nothing…

Gurn Sumal - EA NHL 12 Producer Blog

“New this year in Be a Pro mode will be Profile Migration. In NHL 12 you will now be able to bring over some of your stats including goals, assists, games played, etc. from your NHL 11 Be a Pro character’s profile so you can compare what you did from last year to this year. You will also get free boosts based on your Be a Pro stats from last year:
•        More than 100 games played – Strength Boost +1
•        More than 100 goals – Slapshot Power +1
•        More than 100 assists – Passing +1
•        More than 100 points – Offensive Awareness +1

In addition to this, we will also take into account what rank you were last year and start you off at a higher rank than a person who had never played Be a Pro in NHL 11.
•        NHL 11 Rookie/Amateur = NHL 12 Amateur 1
•        NHL 11 Pro/ Veteran= NHL 12 Amateur 2
•        NHL 11 Superstar/Legend = NHL 12 Amateur 3”

So, as you can see, it’s still something significant. And for stats whores (such as myself) it’s a pretty cool feature, although note that they said “some” of your stats. As to what will be applicable, it’s again just left for speculation until further notice. And yet again, EA leaves Goalies completely in the dark, but taking into account the skater stats EA mentioned, we can assume Goalies will carry over (and get bonus from) games played, wins, SV%, GAA, and possibly even shutouts.

I again stress that all this information pertains to offline BAP, but much as with previous years, we can assume that most of the major features will somehow be integrated into your online career in the EASHL. Which means that with these new “sub-levels” you can expect to unlock your next chunk of EXP to use to upgrade your ratings, on a much more frequent basis. It’s also assumed, at this point that the new “task” system in BAP will also be somehow included into online play, and likely be both position specific (as to not continue to shaft d-men in the “stats” grade if they don’t have a point) and may even somehow tie into the new “signature traits” system announced last week.

And I do find it a bit of a surprise that EA didn’t mention anything about how that new “traits” system will apply to your own created skater/goalie. Are we still going to have the same old “player types” to choose from as a basis for player builds?  Or are we going to just have a few “basic” player types that we can then assign signature traits to? Presumably for a specific stat bonus across applicable categories of said “trait”. And as was mentioned last week in the “signature traits” announcement, players can have more than one of these traits, which leads to me assume that for online BAP, you will “unlock” a new “slot” to apply a signature trait to as you level up your player rank. With perhaps a total limit of three traits for the new “Legend 3” rank.

Of course, this is all just calculated speculation on my part. We really have no clue how player development will work online in the EASHL. But unless EA makes an announcement that online player development will be “radically different” than offline, we will likely see a system similar to what I have just been talking about.

Of course once something solid hits the wire on this I’ll be all over it, until then, we wait.


And in case you missed it:

The new “Be a Pro” video released by EA on Wednesday


And for the full “Be a Pro” blog released late yesterday at Operation Sports:Click Here

 

Filed in: Fantasy Hockey and Gaming, Doug Miller, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: ea+sports+nhl+12

Comments

Avatar

yeah more bs to deal w/ online hopefully this kinda ranking up system will be based off a better more team player oriented grading scale instead of the guy who got out of position all game so he can hit then never passed the puck took upwards to 15 shots scored a goal and got a luck assist off somebody burring a rebound and got all As meanwhile i passed the puck played good and get A for position a C to B in team play and then D to B in stats in that same game depending on if i even got a chance to do anything offensively due to the aforementioned jackass

Posted by mike from Wyandotte on 07/22/11 at 05:27 PM ET

Doug Miller's avatar

Yes, the issues you mentioned have indeed been one of the many “sticking points”  as to why so many players have issues with Online Team Play and Drop-In games in the EASHL.

Because of the way the current grading system works, Defensemen are one of the the most “broken” positions (besides Goalie). Because they are graded and expected to preform like forwards, which just encourages all kinds of stupidity when playing with random players.

I’m hoping (and beginning to think, given recent announcements) that this will be overhauled completely for online play in NHL 12. And that the grading system will be more position specific, and hopefully, even specific to the type of player you have at that position. It all just comes down to how EA plans to incorporate those “player tasks” into the grading system, hopefully also taking the other things I just mentioned into account as well.

Posted by Doug Miller from Wyandotte, MI on 07/22/11 at 05:45 PM ET

Primis's avatar

I play online as a two-way defenseman that occasionally jumps in as a two-way forward.  Yes, it’s nearly impossible to get your Legend card because you can’t achieve those average ratings even if you’re an awesome d-man.  I don’t play with a EASHL team, I play solely Drop-In or matched OTP.

That said, I find playing as a d-man to be highly-rewarding because so few can or do play it well or correctly.  The highest compliment to me is when guys stop coming up my side of the ice because they’re frustrated.

I’d like them to address d-man for sure, yes.  But even moreso I’d like them to make the highest cards nearly impossible to get to.  I’m sick of seeing players that don’t actually know how to play with their Superstar and Legend cards…  most of those are achievable through sheer volume of games played as a forward, brute-forcing your way.  It shouldn’t be that way.  They should have to be actually earned.

Posted by Primis on 07/22/11 at 08:09 PM ET

Doug Miller's avatar

That said, I find playing as a d-man to be highly-rewarding because so few can or do play it well or correctly.

I feel pretty much the same way about playing Goalie. Even though half the time I’m fighting against the game (because I refuse to play above my real life height of 5’11”) , and dealing with the fact that human Goalies don’t even get all the save animations that the CPU goalies do (some of which would be insanely useful). Although thankfully, some (hopefully most) of these issues will be addressed in the changes made in NHL 12, which should make my job a hell of a lot easier than it is now.

D-Men are going to be getting a huge improvement simply with the new “net front battles” system… allowing the D to tie up sticks and shove players out of the slot.

As for the cards. I would like to see EA at least change things up a bit, and perhaps split up forward/defense/goalie into three totally separate player leveling systems all together. That way, as a d-man or goalie, your requirements for earning your Legend card are completely different than that of a forward. And a forward legend card wouldn’t still be usable as a goalie (like it currently works).  Probably won’t happen, but we’ll wait and see.

I’m sick of seeing players that don’t actually know how to play with their Superstar and Legend cards

Well, that’s going to happen if you’re only playing OTP and Drop-In. Club is where it’s at, and about the only place your going to find competent players (for the most part) in the EASHL. But that’s assuming you can find the right people, with the right chemistry… which isn’t as easy as it sounds.

Although with that said, I do play Goalie, and Mike (the above poster) is usually found on my right side on the back in, and is an exceptional two-way defenseman, which a lot of offensive prowess when needed, as he used to play forward - and still uses a forward build on D.

We don’t exactly have a set club though at the moment, as I’ve gone off to do more work here at KK, and he has recently started up some college classes. Although we do still play for fun on occasion. Things will probably get re-formed with a real club when NHL 12 drops. So that’s two D and a G. Forwards are a dime a dozen, so filling out the rest of the roster would be rather simple, considering we know, and occasionally play with a few of the top 100 forwards in the league. Contrary to popular belief, they aren’t all “goal-traders” and most of them are pretty damn good.

However, when playing 6s in Club the in EASHL, your legend card is the least of your worries… as EA still has to address the major issue of “juicing” which is the biggest downfall of high-level EASHL Club play. But I’ll hold off on that for now, as it’s something I intend to address at a later time in the blog.

Posted by Doug Miller from Wyandotte, MI on 07/22/11 at 09:06 PM ET

yzer19man's avatar

Great post Doug…thanks for the insight…I play LD and LW from time to time…just got started playing VHL…lots of fun

Posted by yzer19man from Chicago, IL on 07/24/11 at 11:58 PM ET

Doug Miller's avatar

Thank you and you’re more than welcome, as I’m glad I was able to provide some insight, as that is sorta my job around here. wink

I figured I’d hear from a VHL player sooner or later. As for those of you scratching your heads, VHL stands for Virtual Hockey League, and is the most popular of the player-run leagues, independent of the EASHL. That league has gained a lot of popularity lately (as have many other play-run leagues) due to many player’s frustrations over EA’s many short comings within their own official league.

The exciting and interesting thing about the VHL (and many other player-run leagues) is that they operate much like in NHL, in the sense that they have a draft, as well as a full 30 team league that plays a regular schedule, including playoffs, and in addition, also have a full 30 team “minor league” system that operates very much in the same “farm team” manner as the NHL, with players occasionally being sent down and called up.

Granted I’ve never played in the VHL (or any other player-run league for that matter), I have heard mixed things from people that have. One issue people have is that you are required to list two positions that you can play, which some people, such as myself, have little to no interest in, because I prefer to only play Goalie (and trust me, you don’t want me anywhere else). The other being that I’ve heard that there is too much player variety (in terms of skill level) in the VHL, and thus it isn’t very balanced.

Even with all that said, assuming EA doesn’t improve the EASHL (which I’m betting they will - since they know it has it’s problems) I had planned on playing in a player-run league next year in NHL 12, and still might consider it, assuming I can find a GM who will let me stick to what I do best, stopping pucks.

That is of course assuming my head hasn’t exploded by then from trying to cover virtually every minor-league known to hockey in this blog.

Posted by Doug Miller from Wyandotte, MI on 07/25/11 at 12:48 AM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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