Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Doug Miller on 08/20/11 at 12:18 AM ET
Earlier this afternoon, some NHL 12 fans on the internet found a new Legends video, posted exclusively on the EB Games (now GameStop) webpage for NHL 12. However, the video was kind of “hidden”, thankfully over the time it took for me to write this update, there has been a new link to this new video released by EA Sports in an exclusive with GameStop’s official site, which makes it much easier to find, and is of much better quality that the original one that was found.
Read on, as I’ll provide a link to this new video ( UPDATE - Days later, I finally have the video included in this post ), which reveals several bits of juicy new info on the Legends, including what their team uniforms look like, some info about unlocking them, and best of all, what their overall ratings will be! Also included in this update is some additional news about the Jets’ new sweaters potentially not being in the game upon release, and some new quick-clips about HUT and the EASHL.
Alright, now that I’ve deleted the detailed instructions on how to find the new “hidden” video, since EA Sports has now released a link to it via their NHL 12 Twitter page. The newest Legends video can be found on GameStop’s website at this link. Just scroll down the page a bit and you’ll see it… the thumbnail for the screenshot shows the words “Be a Legend”. Once someone posts it up online so that I can embed, I’ll update this post for the sake of simplicity.
UPDATE: Well it took a few days longer than I had expected, but I finally have a version off the video I can embed into this post… enjoy!
Video via GameStopCanada’s YouTube Channel
Anyway, there are a few tidbits of very interesting new info in this video, which is narrated by NHL 12 Line Producer - Sean Ramjagsingh (aka Rammer). Which includes a teaser of what the “Legends Team” uniforms look like, how to potentially unlock a few of the Legends via your Be a Pro career, and then, last but not least, EA finally showed us what all of the Legend HUT cards look like, which reveals what every single Legends overall rating will be in the game. As well as a hint as to what some of their stats will be in some areas, at least for the majority of players whose cards could be seen clearly.
Now I’m going to go over all this new info and break it down for you, as per usual.
First we get a little preview of the “Legends Team” uniforms, which as was expected, look very similar to an All-Star team’s uniforms, although we only get to see them from behind. Also, in the shot of the bench, we see that Steven Stamkos is to be one of the many current NHL stars to be included on this team as well.
Rammer then goes on to talk about some of the various “Legend Tasks” which you have to complete in your own Be a Pro career as part of unlocking these Legends for use in the new Be a Legend Mode, and other modes as well, like Be a GM. Although I think that it should be noted these are just some examples. I don’t think unlocking a Legend will be as simple as just completing one of these Legend Tasks, and I think you will likely have to complete several, if not all of these Legend Tasks to unlock said Legend. Anyway, here are the examples mentioned in the video.
Wayne Gretzky: Score 50 goals in 39 games.
Mario Lemieux: Score your first goal, on your first shot, on your first shift. (Presumably in your rookie NHL season, as opposed to the CHL or preseason)
Gordie Howe: Earn a “Gordie Howe Hat Trick” by scoring a goal, adding an assist, and getting into a fight, all in the same game.
Also, just a little side note here, although Rammer didn’t talk about it in this video, I’ve had the feeling that a part of unlocking Steve Yzerman, one of his “Legend Tasks” will be something along the lines of “Score the game-winning goal in overtime of Game 7 of a playoff series”. Which is something I have been speculating about ever since the announcement of Yzerman’s inclusion in the game, considering the inclusion of these Legend Tasks. Anyway, back to to the breakdown!
Rammer then talks about how there will be a total of 26 different “Legendary Milestones”, which are the same thing as the Legend Tasks. Which when you unlock, you will then also be given access to a clip of Wayne Gretzky talking about said Legendary Milestone, as either something he did, or his thoughts about when one of the various other Legends accomplished these historic career moments. Which is something that was already known, but the total amount of tasks and videos - 26 - is new information.
Next up, Rammer goes into more detail about the inclusion of Legends in HUT, and for the first time, we get a look at every single Legend’s overall rating, and potential growth in HUT. As to save you the time of having to freeze frame this screenshot yourself, I’ve provided the a list of each Legends base overall rating, followed with their potential growth rating, after applying training cards. Although, as those of you that have played HUT before should know know, if you really stack a player with the best possible rare training cards, you can go above the listed “potential” rating. The following list goes from left to right in the screenshot in question from this latest video:
Patrick Roy: 93 - 95
Mario Lemieux: 90 - 92
Borje Salming: 85 - 87
Jeremy Roenick: 88 - 90
Wayne Gretzky: 88 - 90
Gordie Howe: 88 - 90
Chris Chelios: 86 - 88
Ray Bourque: 86 - 88
Steve Yzerman: 87 - 89
As this rather small gap in base rating to overall potential suggests, with everyone only have a 2 point gap (with the exception of Yzerman’s 3 point gap), this likely means that Legends in HUT will probably only have room for one single training card… so choose wisely. Although I have the feeling most of us will do the obvious, and use a +X to All, if possible. Which last year in HUT, ranged from 2 - 5. However, the “+5 to All” was an extremely rare card though, as I remember seeing maybe 2-3 of them ever, in my time spent playing HUT last year in NHL 11… and they fetched a very high price on the HUT trade market, which is the only place I ever saw one of these rare gems.
The most important news here though, is that these base overall ratings, should be the same for all of the Legends across all the game modes. As was the case last year in HUT, a player’s base overall rating was the same as their overall rating in every other game mode upon release. Although a handful of players did get a boost here and there with roster updates over the season… the most notable example would be Sidney Crosby’s original overall rating of 93, which later got updated all the way to a 96, making him the highest rated forward in the game, passing Ovechkin’s 94 overall, which I think remained the same all year, even if other stats might have been slightly tweaked.
I suppose I am quite disappointed by this news, as I assumed the Legends would have higher overall ratings than this, as to really separate them from the rest of the pack. In all fairness though, these overall ratings are still pretty high, and do make them comparable to (or better than - in a few cases) the top-rated NHL players in NHL 11, taking position into account as well. It’s also on par with the average overall rating of players who have earned their “Legend” card in the EASHL, again, taking position and player-type into account. So upon further thought, I’m not really that upset by this, as it fits, and does make sense. Plus if you examine a few of these Legends HUT cards closer, you can get a good idea of what some of there stats might be in several areas.
First, just a reminder of the following, starts in HUT are simplified into basic “groups”, which are Skating (SKT), Shooting (SHT), Hands (HND), Checking (CHK), and Defense (DEF). What follows, is a quick break down of the types of stats included in these groups.
Skating - Acceleration, Speed, Balance, Agility
Shooting - Wrist and Slap Shot Power and Accuracy
Hands - Deking, Puck Control, Passing, Faceoffs, Hand-Eye
Checking - Aggressiveness, Body Checking, Strength
Defense - Defensive Awareness, Shot Blocking, Stick Checking (which might actually be part of HND and not DEF, I was never really all that sure, as I didn’t spent a ton of time in HUT last year)
Again, that is just a rough idea, as was the case last year in NHL 11, several stat categories were modifiers with a number of other things. For example, Strength also modified your general shot power, body checking power, the damage you did with punches in fights, your ability to tie up players on faceoffs, as well as affected your ability to be able to unpin yourself from the boards when someone had you pressed against them. I have the feeling that strength will also be a factor in the new “Full Balance Control” and “Net-Front Battles” systems in place in NHL 12, as it is likely even more stats will modify an even greater number of other things than they did last year.
With all that said… let’s take a closer look at these Legends’ HUT cards, whose stat group ratings can clearly be seen, as this will give us a better idea of what kind of talent they might actually have in NHL 12. As these groups are generally rated on an average of all the specific stats they take into account for that group.
Starting with The Great One first of course…
Wayne Gretzky - Center - Playmaker
SKT - 88
SHT - 96
HND - 99
CHK - 71
DEF - 84
Gordie Howe - Right Wing - Power Forward
SKT - 86
SHT - 86
HND - 90
CHK - 93
DEF - 83
Steve Yzerman - Center - Playmaker
SKT - 85
SHT - 87
HND - 92
CHK - 85
DEF - 87
Jeremy Roenick - Center - Two Way Forward
SKT - 88
SHT - 86
HND - 90
CHK - 88
DEF - 87
Chris Chelios - Right D - Offensive Defenseman
SKT - 88
SHT - 85
HND - 87
CHK - 86
DEF - 86
Borje Salming - Left D - Offensive Defenseman
SKT - 88
SHT - 83
HND - 87
CHK - 82
DEF - 83
Sadly, the other few renaming Legends exact stats in these groups cannot be made out due to the way they are laid-out in the screen shot… however, I can still see the edge of some numbers, so I can still give you a rough idea for the rest of them, which are as follows.
Mario Lemieux - Center - Playmaker
SKT - 80s
SHT - 90s
HND - 90s
CHK - 80s
DEF - 80s
Ray Bourque - Left D - Offensive Defenseman
SKT - 80s
SHT - 80s
HND - 90s
CHK - 80s
DEF - 84
Patrick Roy - Butterfly Goaltender
Granted goalies have different stat groups than forwards, however, I can still clearly see that all of Roy’s groups are in the 90s, which should come as no surprise to anyone.
So, upon further examination, and taking a few of the following things into account, I don’t think these Legends are that underrated at all, considering that EA is pretty infamous in recent times for underrating plenty of good players… no better example than Pavel Datsyuk’s stick checking rating of 83 in NHL 11. Also, I don’t think HUT lists stats such as Offensive Awareness, Discipline, Endurance, Poise, or Durability (which will be a factor now that players can get injured in HUT). I’m not saying these starts aren’t in HUT, I just don’t know if you can do anything to effect them, as they might simply come from a players original stats in these categories listed in other areas of the game, and they all might even improve slightly as you increase that player’s overall rating. Also, the new “Signature Traits” system should be taken into account for these Legends as well, which along with the new “Anticipation AI” will probably make them play with a noticeable difference, even compared to star players with similar overall ratings.
As I said earlier, I think that based on these ratings, they are right up there with the rest of the top-rated players currently in the game, if not better in certain areas. Granted we don’t yet know what any other players ratings will be in NHL 12 this year, and those will likely change slightly with roster updates anyways. Although something tells me, that Gretzky will likely have the first ever 99 rating in stat by default this year… likely in passing. Also, remember that these Legends will be able to grow just like any other player in other modes that allow for player growth, although it remains to be see what kind of “potential” grades they will have in Be a GM, but guessing from the small gap we see in HUT, I think that a C or C- rating across the board is likely. Although that depends on how EA chooses to handle their careers in Be a GM. They could start as young starts with low ratings but high potential growth. Plus, when playing with them in Be a Legend, you will be the one who determines how much XP they earn per game, as I’m sure many of you will be putting your favorite Legend(s) through their paces this upcoming year. Personally I’m really looking forward to seeing how many “Gordie Howe Hat Tricks” I can rack up with Mr. Hockey in his career… but something tells me it’s going to be a lot more than just 2.
Anyway, moving on to other NHL 12 news.
A KK reader found and reported the following story late yesterday, which indicates that the Winnipeg Jets uniforms most likely won’t ship with the game, and will instead be available in the first roster update. As the Jets have yet to unveil them to the public due to fear of counterfeiting, apparently. Anyway, here is the article from which said report came from.
As you’ll notice from the recent update to that story late last night though, which now includes a screenshot from NHL 12, the MTS Centre will be accurate, and include the Jet’s main logo at center ice, but the team is shown wearing the same basic black and white NHL sweaters that they gave out to draft picks this summer at the 2011 NHL Draft. As seen below.
Screenshot via Saving Content.com
However, there is one little thing about that article that I would like to point out… as at one point, it states the following:
Traditionally, the first roster update happens within a week or so of the first night of the NHL regular season, so expect to see the jerseys available in early October.
I don’t know about “traditionally” because I forget when the first roster updates were released for games before NHL 11, but having looked back at my NHL 11 official roster updates list in-game, the first roster update for last year was released on 9/7/10, which is the same day the game was released. There of course was also the “traditional” one that they are speaking about, which was within the first week of the start of the season, as this is done in order to get the correct line-ups in place for each team. My personal guess though, is that we will likely see that roster update with the Jets uniforms shorty after whenever it is that Winnipeg decides to unveil them to the public. Although, knowing how EA’s NHL-series has worked for the past several years, I find it likely that they have already been coded into the game, as EA is usually given early access to many team’s new alternate jerseys, so that they can be put into the game code before it ships out. They just end up “locked” and aren’t able to be used until after all the NHL teams have officially unveiled them in the real world, as was the case last year.
However, if Winnipeg is smart about it, they should release them to the public before NHL 12 is released, since they are likely “locked” in the game, but hackers can always crack the coding of the game to get access to this kind of stuff, meaning that if the Jets don’t release them before then, they would likely leak out to the public via the hackers anyway. So with that said, I think we will indeed see them with the first roster update, on the same day the game is released in North America, September 13th. At least I hope that’s the case, for the sake of you Winnipeg fans… so that you don’t have to wait an entire month to start your new Jets dynasty. As when it comes to modes like Be a Pro and Be a GM, you can’t apply a new roster update after you have already started a save file in said game mode Although, in the case of “locked” uniforms such as this, it wouldn’t matter, as they will be unlocked across all game modes once EA releases the code to unlock them, or as it sounds like in this case, simple unlocks them with a roster update. So Jets fans, you’ll probably be okay in starting your GM mode when the game comes out… even if the uniforms aren’t already in there by then, they soon will be, and one would hope that the Jets would have access to their retro uniforms anyway, for the meantime, should such a gap in uniform release end up happening, as that story predicts. It could go either way in my mind though, so who knows.
Anyway, my thanks to the KK reader that submitted that story, as it is much appreciated.
Moving on to the last few bits of this update, being Friday, there should be a new NHL 12 quick clip posted up… but, there isn’t. Thankfully, I was able to find this older exclusive one with GameStop Canada which talks about the new multiple lineups featured in HUT this year.
Quick-Clip via GameStopCanada YouTube account
Also, here is the one from that one week when I was unable to find a version of which to embed at the time, which is also an exclusive with GameStop Canada… this quick-clip goes over the new multiple builds feature in the EASHL.
Quick-Clip via GameStopCanada YouTube account
Those videos also just reminded me about something I totally forgot about, as I was going to post it up along with yesterday’s Lemieux and Howe announcement, but totally ended up forgetting about it until just now.
Special thanks to fellow hockey blogger, and up and coming hockey player for the Ohio AAA Blue Jackets U16 team - 15 year old, Hyo Jun Baek, He posted the following clip on his hockey blog last Saturday, which I had never seen before, but I found it quite fitting for the then upcoming news about Mr. Hockey in NHL 12, so I held onto it for later use.
Thanks again to Hyo Jun Baek for re-posting this classic “This is SportsCenter” Clip
Which also reminds me… as the question still floats around out there… will Gordie Howe be able to shoot both left and right handed in NHL 12, as he dis in real life? Well, from all the footage I watched in today’s new Legends video, I’ve noticed him only shooting right handed in the game so far, but here’s to hoping that NHL 12 gamers will have the option to change this around if they prefer to do so.
In closing, sorry this post went up so late, I spent most of the afternoon and evening working on it, also waiting and hoping that an embeddable version of the new Legends video would be posted up by the time I was finally finished… yet… there still remains no such video posted up anywhere. I’ll update later, as I’m sure one is bound to surface eventually, and I’m actually really surprised that one hasn’t yet… considering all of the interesting new information contained in said video.
Filed in: Fantasy Hockey and Gaming, Doug Miller, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: borje+salming, chris+chelios, ea+sports+nhl+12, gordie+howe, jeremy+roenick, mario+lemieux, patrick+roy, ray+bourque, steve+yzerman, wayne+gretzky, winnipeg+jets
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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.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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