Kukla's Korner

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NHL 12 Update: Presentation, HUT, EASHL and Achievements


Alright, well this is a pretty massive update, so let’s get right into the thick of things. Starting with the minor stuff, the new EA Producer Blog on Presentation, posted up Wednesday by EA’s Presentation Producer for NHL 12, Ben Ross.

All of the following quoted excerpts in the following section are from that EA Presentation Blog, unless otherwise noted.

My name is Ben Ross and I am the Presentation Producer for NHL 12. If you’ve been following the NHL 12 campaign so far, you would’ve seen quick clips and videos featuring some of the new intros and presentation elements that the team has worked hard on this year. Those are definitely some of the most visually exciting elements, but I wanted to take a few moments to discuss the visual direction for this year’s game, as well as touch on a few other key features that have been put in to enhance the presentation/broadcast quality. 
The intros we’ve created add authenticity and a unique flavor to the start of each game, but our main focus this year was to actually add elements that would be more of a robust and responsive experience.  We wanted the “virtual broadcast booth” to spend time focusing on the events that unfold in the game you are playing as opposed to preset sequences. When we discovered that we would have the ability to save a much larger amount of replays this year, the ideas started to flow and it eventually led to the question – “Can we save replays of ALL of the events in the game?” In short, the answer was “Yes” and if that leaves you intrigued, please read on to find out about how we utilized this in NHL 12.

So to sum that intro up, sounds like they aiming for more of a realistic style of presentation, with the key to that being the proper use of replays… which is exactly what they are going to do, if you read onward….

This next section of the blog, EA’s referred to “Presentation Flow”.

One of the first changes you’ll notice is the Presentation Flow and that the player’s being focused on and selection of replays being featured is much better. A lot of work went into ensuring that if a user is thinking, “Wow, what a save!” that the replay of that scoring chance will be the one shown during the next stoppage and not just a random play that didn’t have a big impact in that sequence of gameplay. 

When I got the opportunity to take on the Presentation Producer role, one of the first things I wanted to do was to ensure that the presentation flow was much more like a real world broadcast. In the past, there were times where we would use a wipe/transition to just skip a moment in time or try to fix a flaw in continuity. Relating to real world broadcasts, this was sometimes confusing to the player because in the real world, we often see wipes/transitions to go back in time to a replay and/or to leave that replay and return to ‘current’ time but definitely not just to cut from one shot to another.

As an example of what I am talking about, consider a goal sequence from NHL 11:
- User scores a goal then utilizes the User Controlled Celebrations and dives on their belly out at center ice.
- The camera then cuts to that same player now celebrating with their team behind the net.
- The sequence then wipes to a replay of the goal
- There is a cut back out of the replay without a wipe/transition
- The player is then congratulated by his team at the bench
- Camera cut to players lining up for the next faceoff. 

In the above scenario, there isn’t enough of a sense of where we are in time (replay/current time) or continuity of where the players are supposed to be from one shot to the next.

For NHL 12, we believe we have done a much better job with this and the result is a more seamless experience and is much truer to what you would see when watching the broadcast of an NHL game on television:
- User scores a goal and does their custom User Controlled Celebration
- Broadcast cut to the crowd celebrating or possibly the Goalie recovering from the goal and grabbing his water bottle.
- Cut back to goal scorer on ice showing an overlay of the goal info
- Transition into replay
- Replay from multiple angles with an overlay indicating that it is a replay.
- Transition/wipe back out to real time
- Next Faceoff

Which is essentially EA’s fancy way of saying “yeah, we’ve had the replay system screwed up for years, but we finally fixed it”.  Hopefully this means they also fixed the reoccurring and annoying glitch where you scored a goal, and would then be congratulated by teammates who weren’t even on the ice at the time, which was especially common in Be a Pro mode.

Next up, which I personally find particularly interesting is what EA is referring to as “Play Focus Features”.

One of the features that evolved from the ability to save all of the highlights within a game was the ability to showcase standout players from that game.
A system was developed to mimic how a real world broadcast team would work, looking at the current ‘story’ of the game and then at the player’s that have been the most influential in the outcome of that ‘story’ to that point.
I captured a couple of screenshots above to give a visual reference of a new ‘bar-wipe’ transition that was added this year that we utilized in the broadcast flow for these replay packages.

In the above example, Tim Thomas was standing on his head keeping hold of the Bruins 1-0 lead late in the third period against the Vancouver Canucks. Thomas had a ton of shots throughout the game and was winning the goalie battle at that point. During a stoppage in play, the camera cuts to Thomas skating back to his crease and the commentary team talks about some of the miraculous saves Thomas has made to keep the lead for the Bruins. The focus then goes on to show replays of some of the best saves Thomas has made so far that game.
Both Players and Goalies can be featured for multiple scenarios and users will see the replay packages show up in all areas of NHL 12. You may see a Player Focus Feature in ‘Play Now’ showcasing one of the NHL’s top talents or you may even have the chance yourself to be featured when you play as your virtual self in the EA Sports Hockey League or within your Be A Pro career.  We look forward to seeing videos that users will post showcasing the highlight reels of some of their best games.

As I previous said, I find this particular element of the new presentation system to be a very cool thing indeed. Having played countless games in the EASHL as a Goaltender, we often got little to no love when holding our team in the game… with perhaps the exception of mention as such by the commentary track. It will be very nice to have these visual highlights for both players and goalies that are having a major impact on the game… even though most jerks online skip all the replays anyway… but that’s why we finally have the “Action Tracker” this year, which Ben Ross went on to touch up on more in his next bit of the blog.

The Action Tracker is the main hub for all of the events that have taken place in the game. At any time, a user can go to the Pause Menu and have instant access to the amazing saves, spectacular goals and bone crunching hits that took place throughout the game.

The main purpose of the Action Tracker was to provide a great User Interface where users can navigate through all of the game’s events and instantly see the replay of that event with one button press.

The great secondary element is how the Action Tracker can be used for strategy and/or to change your gameplan within a current game or going into a next season game. With the info provided, the User can analyze where they are producing or giving up the most scoring chances, monitor their success rate in the faceoff circle in the offensive and defensive end, notice areas where their goalie or opponents goalie is particularly strong or weak then make adjustments in their defensive game plan and/or look to increase certain attributes for specific players in modes like Be A Pro and Hockey Ultimate Team.
As you can see in the shots below, the user can scroll to any event at any time and toggle whatever sorting method they choose, selecting anything from ‘All Events’’ to something more specific such as ‘Goals from the 1st Period’.  At anytime, the User can change the camera angle of the highlight running in the left side monitor or even take the selected highlight into our traditional replay viewer to see the replay with more precise control, save it to watch later or send to EA SPORTS World for others to see.

These “secondary elements” of the Action Tracker have yet to really have been talked about that much, at least not in this clear of a manner. Sounds very exciting and useful for those of us that actually care about the high-level of strategy that is required to play good hockey, as opposed to most players in Online Team Play and Drop-In Games, who operate under the basic Mite-level strategy of “cherry pick at the blue line, wait for pass, cross blue line, and shoot”.  Also, this is particularly useful for goalies, as with the inclusion of the “net tracker” (not mentioned in this blog, but talked about in previous ones) which will show us what areas of our game we need to improve on. I also foresee myself frustrating many fellow Club teammates after games, as I’ll still be busy in the action tracker breaking down shot charts and saving highlights, so I can compile a nice little highlight reel to put up online for the world to see… hehe.

Anyway, that about does it for the “Presentation” stuff… so let’s move on to the “Online Innovations” blog posted yesterday, which gets into some exciting details about HUT as well as finally, after much anticipation… new details about the EASHL!

Again, unless otherwise noted, all of the following quoted excerpts come from EA’s Online Innovations Producer Blog posted up on Operation Sports.

Hey everyone, we have a lot cooking in the NHL 12 Online Innovations Blog and we’re really excited about it, so let’s get to it! Producers Andy Agostini (Hockey Ultimate Team) and Nate Ng (EA Sports Hockey League) will be breaking down what’s new and improved in the HUT and EASHL modes. Enjoy!

That blog covers HUT first, so let’s get to news about what the new improvements are for EA’s “excuse to not include an Online Be a GM mode” (as I lovingly like to refer to HUT as) Hockey Ultimate Team.

EA’s Ultimate Hockey League 24/7

Our biggest addition to Hockey Ultimate Team in NHL 12 is EA Ultimate Hockey League 24/7! This is going to make playing Hockey Ultimate Team a unique experience and make it so you always want your best on the ice.

All the teams in the EAUHL are stored on EA Servers. These teams are a user’s current Hockey Ultimate Team. Now last year at no point was someone allowed to play against another user’s Ultimate Team without playing them online.

That is all going to change. Last year when a user wanted to play a game of Hockey Ultimate Team without playing against someone online, they only had a choice of the teams in NHL 12’s 10 different leagues. Well now you have access to literally thousands of other teams. When a person selects to play an EAUHL single player match, we will automatically download four teams from the server. Three of the teams are around your team’s skill level, and one of them is a Top 100 team.

The three teams that are downloaded as potential opponents are one that is a level below your team, one that is the same as your team, and one that is better than your team. Playing one of these teams gives you EA Pucks just like any single-player match. So you will always have new and varied opponents to play every time you play Hockey Ultimate Team. As for the Top 100 team, we download one of those teams so there is one team that is a big challenge and the best that the EAUHL has to offer.

As for keeping your best lineup available at all times, you will want to do that because if your team is downloaded as one of the three teams for another user, and they are chosen to be their opponent, you will get a reward of some EA Pucks. If your team should win the game, then they will receive extra EA Pucks for winning. This will make it so your team is playing in the EAUHL 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and always able to earn you coins. Now there is a maximum amount of coins you can get this way, so you will want to be checking in to get those EA Pucks from the server so your team can continue earning you more EA Pucks while you aren’t playing. One last thing: If your team gets downloaded, they will not lose contracts or career, thus making it like free EA Pucks as long as your team is chosen.

If your team is a Top 100 team and they are downloaded as such, then your team will not earn EA Pucks as we wanted to keep it fair for people as the rich would get richer in terms of EA Pucks, but it will make your team famous to other players and the recognition of being seen as a Top 100 team.

This is a very exciting feature as it’s always fun to turn on the game and see if you got any EA Pucks. I know I play right now only against the EAUHL 24/7 teams as they are always different and it’s fun to say to somebody here at the office I just beat their team. I cannot wait to see the teams our users create and play against with the EAUHL 24/7 feature.

Okay, well let’s take a moment to digest those paragraphs before I move onto the next new HUT feature. I really like this new alternative to the online match-up system from last year, when it was usually a pretty big challenge to find a fair and evenly balanced online match-up. Although online matches will still be in place, I have the feeling this will likely become the more popular alternative, because you’ll have a wide variety of evenly balanced matches. Plus this will earn everyone a nice little bonus of “free” pucks, as your downloaded team won’t cost you any contract or career games when someone else is playing them offline.

I find it admirable that EA is at least attempting to keep “the rich from getting richer” but any of us that have spent significant time playing HUT, know that this is inevitable, and the vast majority of top teams are usually put together because people out there with “real money” spend it on an absurd amount of card packs to build ridiculous teams. EA, if you really want to fix this issue… then stop allowing people to buy packs with real money and just make them “EA Pucks Only”. However, it will be a cold day in hell when that happens, because EA likes to make money far more than they care about “completive balance”. Not really trying to bash them… but the truth hurts. Anyway, on to the next new HUT feature…

Multiple Lineups

The Hockey Ultimate Team community has been asking for the ability to have multiple lineups since HUT was created, and we’ve added it this year based on community feedback. This will allow users to set multiple lineups to play in a tournament with specific requirements and still be able to play in regular EAUHL games. We have added the ability to have up to 15 different lineups for tournaments and the EAUHL. This directly leads into another new feature.

Play a Friend

You can now play against your friends with the ‘Play A Friend’ feature in HUT to see who is better at building a great lineup. These games won’t count against your player’s contracts or career and there is no salary cap in these games. So go crazy with your lineups and see who can put the best team on the ice. My favorite part of this feature is that you will get a friend’s leaderboard and will be able to see a running tally of all the scores of the games you have completed with a friend. This allows you to see how many wins and losses you have against your friends.

Two very nice (and badly needed) features indeed. Although something tells me that now having a maximum of 15 lineups will only make HUT’s sub-par user-interface even more frustrating, it’s still a nice option to have for those of us that like to play tournaments, which usually have a rather extensive list of “regulations” such as “average player age of 24” for random example, and I’m sure these will only be expanded even more in NHL 12, now that you can have such a large variety of multiple lineups. I’m at least hoping EA will improve the UI to highlight players on your roster that are ineligible for a particular tournament you might want to play in, and tell you why said highlighted player is ineligible, and then give you the option to select that player and “replace with eligible player from collection” as that would make roster management a hell of a lot easier, as that remains one of the biggest problems in HUT, aside from pure balance issues, which they are at least attempting to fix with the 24/7 feature. Anyway, it seems like a pretty simple thing for them to include… but I really wouldn’t be all that shocked if it wasn’t there.

As for playing a friend, this was also badly needed, as most of us simply don’t have the money/time/patience to play HUT at anything beyond a casual level. I like that it won’t count against contracts/career and that there will be no salary cap in place, but you will indeed have a “friends leaderboard” for the sake of bragging rights. Anyway, moving on to yet even more new HUT features…

Stars of the Week

The Stars of the Week feature, a feature that I really like in FIFA’s Ultimate Team, is coming to Hockey Ultimate Team. Using real life stars of the week, we will create special versions of these players to be inserted into card packs. These new versions of these players will have better ratings to mimic their great performance in real-world games. We will not only be doing this with the NHL but also with players around the hockey world to create special versions of players who have been playing at the top of their game in their respective leagues.

Nice little addition… however I’m assuming these “star” players will either have very short career contracts, or just simply disappear after said week. Still nice though, since none of the online roster updates last year ever carried over into HUT, and as such, players like Tim Thomas remained forever underrated in HUT. I’m looking forward to this one, even though I have the feeling that they will be super-rare and probably also have over-inflated salaries, for the sake of balance.

Healing Cards/Injuries

New to NHL 12 is injuries! Now your players can be injured and there will be two ways to heal them. You’ll have to rest your injured player by putting them on your scratched roster or use healing cards that can help your player return to action faster by using the healing card that matches your player’s injury. Collecting the four different types of healing cards available will ensure that your player will be back in the lineup for those all-important playoff games.

I’m sure this will get mixed reactions… as I know I have mixed feelings about it myself. On one hand, I like it, because it’s realistic. On the other hand, I’m presuming that these healing cards will be considered “consumables”.  Last year, you were limited as to the number of consumables you could have on hand at any one time (30 - I think). You could store extra ones, if you needed to, on your trading block, but even that too has its limits. Considering that “consumables” previously only consisted of contract cards and player training cards, I still found the card limit to be pretty frustrating at times, as it’s nice to be able to stock-pile these cards for a later time when you actually need to use them. So EA either better significantly increase this limit, or just get rid of it entirely, now that they are throwing healing cards onto this list as well… not to mention what is perhaps the biggest (and potentially best) new feature to be included in HUT this upcoming year, which is…

Change Position Cards

Chemistry is important in Hockey Ultimate Team, and we wanted to give the user a way to move a player to another position to help him create good team chemistry. Getting the right Change Position Card can help give a huge chemistry boost.

There are many different position change cards. For example, ‘RW shift to LW’ or ‘C shift to RW’ so that people won’t be able to change players back and forth on a whim. When you get one of these cards, you’ll have to make a strategic choice to help better your team. Once the player has had his position changed they will remain that way until you use another card to change him back or to another position. This will also create more variety in the HUT auction house because players that have a different position could be more valuable to users looking to complete a line that will have great chemistry.

I’m glad someone at EA was smart enough to think to include this, because in retrospect it was badly needed, since players only would have one position listed, and I felt many of them should have at least been eligible for two, much like most fantasy hockey leagues have them listed, as a number of forwards play both Center and Wing. My only issue with this is again, they will be “consumables” so they better do something about the previous limit, considering they have now doubled the number of types of cards included, although I’m going to presume that healing and position shift cards will be much rarer than contract and training cards. Also, for the love of defensemen, they better include LD to RD and vice versa. In any case, this is a huge improvement for HUT, as both line and team chemistry are extremely important (even more so now with the 24/7 feature) and this should vastly improve on many of HUT’s previous frustrations.

One final last tidbit on HUT before I move on to the juicy EASHL news. EA’s new quick-clip for the week was to show off HUT’s new “24/7” feature they talked about in the producer blog:

Now, on to the fun stuff… the long awaited news about the new features and improvements to the EASHL!

Note: Even though I’ll be covering it all here with my own personal comments, I highly recommend you actually check out the EA Producer Blog on Operation Sports for the included screenshots, which help make a bit more sense of all the new stuff.

First off, something that many fans have been asking for is finally here. You are now able to save different position presets. Your center, right wing, left wing, defenseman, and goalie now all have separate slots. Is your team short a defenseman tonight? Not a problem. Just load up your defensive build and you’re good to go. Gone are the days of forcing your teammates to wait for you while you reapply your attribute points and boost slots. Don’t you worry fans of Ranked OTP, you too have access to the five different position presets.

As was originally reported by a reader of my last NHL 12 Update, who choose to remain anonymous, this is indeed true, and pretty exciting news for those of you that like to play a number of different positions, and often prefer to alternate offense and defense.

We have updated the Online Performance Tracker this year as well. The Edit Attributes screen, and EASHL Hub offer a lot better support in tracking stats for each of your positions. The leveling system has been reworked this year to create a steadier progression through the levels. The main six card levels are still there: Amateur, Rookie, Pro, Veteran, Superstar and Legend; the difference this year is that there are three ranks in between each level, which gives users more opportunity to increase stats before the next plateau. Think of it as a checkpoint as you climb the mountain to your Legend card (i.e. Amateur 1, Amateur 2, Amateur 3, Rookie 1 etc. all the way up to Legend 3). All skater positions will share the same progression level to level. However, this year, your goalie progression will be separate. Playing an odd mix of games as defense and forward will not hurt your skater card progression. Your skater card progression will no longer have an effect on your goalie card progression. To progress further with your goalie, you will have to play all the games.

I pretty much talked about all this stuff in my original NHL 12 update several weeks ago when EA released the new info on “Be a Pro”, and much as I had expected, the same system will indeed carry over to EASHL play. However, that part in bold (which I took the liberty of bolding myself) was something that I had personally speculated about at the time, as it was something I was really hoping EA would do. I couldn’t be happier… even though I was fully planning on earning my Legend card in NHL 12 only playing as Goalie anyway, but it’s great to hear that all EASHL Goaltenders will have to do this as well. Which is the way it should be since Goalie is a completely different system from that of forwards, be them offense or defense. They have their own two special camera angles, a completely different control scheme, and thus require a completely different skill set to play as. My thanks to EA, as I very much felt this was how things should have always been all along… but that is not the end of the good news about new things coming to the EASHL… as I shall continue on.

We have also added a Performance Points screens at the end of Versus and EASHL games, which shows the breakdown of Rank Points earned or lost that game, as well as the progress or perhaps drop of Skill Level during that game. The performance points are dependent on what the players do during gameplay, so if your dominating in a game and lose, you will lose less Rank Points as a result.

This is perhaps the best news to come out of anything yet announced (aside from my personal feelings about the Goalie progression). As I’m sure many of us have been very frustrated by getting shafted, when our team played like crap, but we still had a good individual performance. My only concern about this is the mention of the “loss” of rank points… as it makes me wonder if players will actually be able to lose an entire rank because of this. I’m not even quite sure what to speculate about this… as in the past, once you earned your next rank up, you were never able to actually lose it, even if your grade average dropped below the requirements of said rank. At the same time though, if EA were to implement such a feature… it would very likely fix the major problem of the “juicing glitch” which has plagued high-level EASHL play from day one. However, the result of that is that it would make it extremely hard for even the best players to maintain the highest level of the new “Legend 3” rank… but hey, if it fixes one of the league’s biggest “cheating” issues, then I couldn’t really complain if this happens to turn out to be the case. Anyway, onward to the next new bit of EASHL announcements…

At the end of each EASHL game, we’ve added a new Pro Progression screen. This screen is similar to the Performance Points screen at the end of the game, but the difference is that this one shows the user’s progression with their pro. The screen shows the start and end values of your current level, and where you sit currently within your goals. At every level up, this screen will show you that you have earned XP that can be added to your pro.

Nothing major, but that does save us all the time of having to go all the way back out to the “Performance Tracker” to check on our current rank progression, so it’s a nice little feature in that sense.

Each monthly season, the top 100 users from each position will be tracked in the new EASHL Top Monthly All-Stars Leaderboard. The top 5 percent of each position will receive an “EASHL All Star” award at the end of the month. The top user from each position will be displayed in the League History screen for all users to see. All-Stars are ranked on the leaderboard based on their Fantasy points. The Fantasy points are based on a list of stats that are accumulated throughout the month.

This is also a very welcome new additional to the EASHL, as not only will the top teams be highlighted at the end of each monthly season, but they will now be showing some love to the top players at each position as well. Should any of you happen to notice a strange extended-absence from my blog posting here at KK… this will undoubtedly be the likely culprit of such a downfall. As I tend to be a bit of a stats whore. Not in the sense that I have to be the best of the best… but I just plain love hockey stats in general. Assuming I can keep my head on straight though, this will just give me even more news to report on at the end of every monthly EASHL season. Which I’m quite excited about.

Next up… is another new announcement that I’m personally quite happy about, regarding Clubs in the EASHL…

New to EASHL in NHL 12, we have implemented a club cool-down period to help combat cheating by “Club Hopping”. When leaving a club, you will have to wait a specific amount of time before you are able to join or create a club. The reason we are implementing a club cool-down period is to try to cut down on win trading via club hopping. Implementing the club cool-down is to discourage people from jumping Club to Club. I know this may affect some users who are legitimately trying to go from Club to Club, but this is something we will monitor when the game goes live. The screenshot says a three hour cool-down, but this number will change by the time we launch.

I should also note in this screen shot they are mentioning, it happens to read that “You are about to leave this Club. As you are the last member, this Club will be disbanded when you leave. You must wait 3 hour(s) before you can join or create a new Club. Are you sure you wish to leave?” Now this could imply a few things, one being that this new “Club cool-down” feature might only apply if you are the last member of a club to leave… however it sounds more likely from what EA has said, that this will apply to any member leaving a Club. Also note that they clearly stated that this 3 hour number will indeed change by the time of launch, and I see it more realistically being around 1 hour or so.

Some of you might be upset by this, as I do know many people who like to “Club-hop”, simply to play with different friends of theirs who don’t happen to be in the same Club, and has nothing to do with cheating in the least bit. I also know much of the community was hoping that EA might do the exact opposite of this and allow people to be in more than one Club at a time.

Personally though, I’m rather happy about this news. As last year I had to deal with the GM of the Club that I played for, constantly disbanding our club after only a handful of losses, as he wanted a “better looking record”... despite that this would happen even when we were something like 22-8-1 in the Elite League, the highest level of EASHL Club play. As I previously said, I am kind of a stats whore, and I rather enjoyed the “Club Records” as well as the “Club Accomplishments”... which were always forever lost when we formed a new club. I eventually go so frustrated with this fact that I simply told all of my online teammates that “Once NHL 12 comes out, I’m making my own Club from day one, and never leaving it, because I’m sick of this constant remaking of new clubs crap”.

Now, for the final piece of news released by EA regarding the new EASHL…

Last but not least, this year we’ve added a new Club Scouting feature to EASHL. This is an in-game pause menu option that allows you to view the stats of all human-controlled users. This screen is available in all Ranked OTP sessions as well as EASHL sessions. This screen shows users’ stats and overall rating. If this screen is brought up in a Ranked OTP session, it will also show you if the player is a free agent or if they belong to a specific club. I know some users right now are saying, “Why are we encouraging more pausing? We just want to play the game!” This new Club Scouting screen will not cause any more pauses than a normal user would make. All of the player ratings were previously available in the pause menu. If a user had any intention of pausing to see player stats, they would have paused anyway. The new Club Scouting screen is to help users identify other human users with greater ease.

As, I’ll point out, like EA just mentioned… this won’t cause any more pausing in online play than there already is… as for the most part, this is usually the reason there is so much pausing in the first place, to scout the opposing team’s players. However, since this will now only include human-controlled players, it should make this process go by much easier, more quickly, and be far more informative than it ever was before. I just wonder if this new “Club-Scouting” feature will be implemented into Club play to include the current rank and club-record of the opposing club you are playing, as it would save much time for those of you who seemed to be obsessed with knowing this info, and generally end up looking it up online before you even start a match with another Club. Personally, I’ve never really cared, it’s just a game (even if I do take it seriously). Plus, as a goalie, I’d usually rather not know how good or bad the Club I’m playing might happen to be, as I’d much rather “just play” and not even have to think about it. The only thing I usually bother to ever look at during these pauses, is info on the other human goalie I’m up against… which will be even more of a factor in NHL 12… since us Goalies finally get to fight back again… hehe.

Alright, now to wrap up this rather massive update with some pretty interesting “leaked” information…

Earlier in the week, the official list of achievements for NHL 12 was leaked out by some of my good old friends over at xbox360achievements.org. I’m not going to bother to post the entire list, but just touch on a few rather interesting ones, although I will provide a link to the full list at the bottom…

Magnificent Mario: Score goals 5 different ways in a NHL Be A Pro game with a created Pro on Pro difficulty or higher.

One Great Career: Earn 2,858 NHL career points in Be A Pro with a created Pro on Pro difficulty or higher.

The Great One: Score 93 goals in a single NHL Be A Pro season with a created Pro on Pro difficulty or higher.

One Great Season: Earn 216 NHL career points in a single Be A Pro season with a created Pro on at least Pro difficulty.

High Flying: Score a goal after completing a jump-deke in a Ranked Online Shootout match.

From the Office: Have 7 assists in a single NHL Be A Pro game with a created Pro on Pro difficulty or higher.

Hats Off To You: Be the player that scores 3 goals consecutively in an EA SPORTS™ Hockey League match.

Mr. Hockey: Complete a Gordie Howe Hat Trick (Goal/Assist/Fight) in a Be A Pro NHL game with a created Pro.

There are of course many others, as you can check out the full list for yourself.

A couple of things should be noted here. This more or less confirms a few things that had been previously speculated. The first being that it is likely that NHL 12 will finally include an NHL record book, with all of the current NHL records, for both single season, as well as career, and perhaps even single game records… much like Madden has had this included into their series for a long time now, and when you have a player on your team break a record, you’ll be notified of it in game, much like in Madden. This would also apply to your Be a Pro career as well.

The second thing that should be noted, as this also pretty much at least confirms the inclusion of Gretzky, Lemieux, Orr, and Howe as a part of the “Legendary” team roster, which still remains officially unannounced and unknown.

On a final note about this, as I said “my old friends at”... because I used to be very much a big part of the community at this achievement site… and thus know how they operate for the most part. The fact that this list has been leaked out, and includes pictures, several of which still remain “grayed-out” means that the game has indeed been finalized at this point… and someone has managed to get their hands on it… which makes me think that it won’t be too much longer before all the doors are blown off about whatever few “secrets” EA might still be trying to keep. As well as the fact that I should have access to the game sometime soon… and since EA never bothered to return my email… and as such, I’m not under any type of non-disclosure agreement, and thus, am legally free to talk about whatever I want… which should hopefully very soon, include some “hands-on” impressions of NHL 12.


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


Itrusteddrrahmani's avatar

Thanks man, great update. Can’t wait!

Posted by Itrusteddrrahmani from Nyc by way of A2 on 08/06/11 at 05:49 PM ET

Primis's avatar

So let me summarize:

“We know HUT is broken as hell, but we’re going to address every single other issue involving it except the big one that makes it so broken”.

Talk about slapping lipstick on a pig…

Posted by Primis on 08/06/11 at 08:08 PM ET

Ducksworth's avatar

Nice update Doug cool smile

Im really looking forward to this

Posted by Ducksworth from Brownstown, MI on 08/06/11 at 09:47 PM ET

Tuba Guy's avatar

I would really like to see them make an evolutionary change rather than fall into the madden trap of small additions each year. It’s time for an engine overhaul. Most of the gameplay additions were in the 2k series nearly a decade ago. They should also look to add more strategy options. 2k literally had 5-10 settings for defensive strategy and offensive strategy. Let me customize more of my attack, forechecking and back check beyond one simple setting.  I also don’t understand why online NHL leagues aren’t more prevalent. 2k did a masterful job back when they had the espn license and allowed a web interface for league message boards and player trading.

Posted by Tuba Guy from Royal Oak, MI on 08/06/11 at 11:37 PM ET

Primis's avatar

I also don’t understand why online NHL leagues aren’t more prevalent. 2k did a masterful job back when they had the espn license and allowed a web interface for league message boards and player trading.

Posted by Tuba Guy from Royal Oak, MI on 08/06/11 at 09:37 PM ET

Because everyone’s already busy playing EASHL?

I don’t get the constant banging of the “

2k did this, 2k had that

” drum.  2k’s best game was also also 5 or 6 years ago.  Since then they hadn’t been competing very well at all, to be honest.  I’m all for pushing EA to further their NHL development but… c’mon, cut them some slack, 2k’s AI was abysmal and they were prone to more Money/Go-To Moves than even the NHL games have been, even if their feel was better once every 2 or 3 years…

As for EASHL… they really need to find a bigger penalty for quitting mid-game.  Not being able to log back in and join another game in progress until the one you left previously is over would be a nice addition, and I have yet to see anything like that mentioned.

They also need to implement a feature where a paused player, if they don’t unpause before the clock expires and game rejoins, the AI will take over their player temporarily until the next stoppage of play, when they can then unpause and rejoin.  Just simple common sense, and 37894435034 times better than a “dead’ player sitting there unmoving during play.  Again correct if I’m wrong, but I haven’t seen that specific thing addressed anywhere either.

But hey, who needs playability issues addressed when we get new player stat screens on in-game pause!

Posted by Primis on 08/07/11 at 12:12 AM ET

Itrusteddrrahmani's avatar

Just simple common sense, and 37894435034 times better than a “dead’ player sitting there unmoving during play.  Again correct if I’m wrong, but I haven’t seen that specific thing addressed anywhere either.

Ncaa football used to have a feature (dunno if it still does) where if the person you were playing against quit, you could choose to finish the game but against the computer.  You would still get the win, but you would continue to boost your in-game stats etc…I like your idea though, seems to make sense.

Posted by Itrusteddrrahmani from Nyc by way of A2 on 08/07/11 at 01:00 AM ET

Doug Miller's avatar

Okay, a few things to address here… (and I apologize if I sound crabby, it’s just been one of those mornings, with little sleep)

“We know HUT is broken as hell, but we’re going to address every single other issue involving it except the big one that makes it so broken”.

Posted by Primis on 08/06/11 at 06:08 PM ET

If I remember what you said about HUT it last week’s update… you claimed it was broken because of finite player contracts and the “endless grind to nothing”... well, news flash, taking out the contracts would REALLY make HUT broken. As for it being an endless grind to nothing… that is kind of the point, it’s constant roster and team management, in an effort to earn trophies, win tournaments, and make (and win) league playoffs… not all that unlike Be a GM… which is the same thing, except with a better UI and no-off-season. Plenty of people out there even prefer HUT to Be a GM.

I personally thought EA made plenty of significant changes to improve HUT, which was something of an experiment last year, and will only get better as they go forward with it, and I have far more interest in spending more time messing around with it this year than I ever did last year.

_ End Rant

I also don’t understand why online NHL leagues aren’t more prevalent.

Posted by Tuba Guy from Royal Oak, MI on 08/06/11 at 09:37 PM ET

Probably has a lot to do with the fact that EA has done a very poor job with their online versus leagues… and they are still a joke… with what looks like no update coming this year… I wouldn’t be surprised if they were just taken out of NHL 12 entirely in preparation for what will likely finally be an Online Be a GM mode in NHL 13 (hopefully)


I would really like to see them make an evolutionary change rather than fall into the madden trap of small additions each year. It’s time for an engine overhaul

Posted by Tuba Guy from Royal Oak, MI on 08/06/11 at 09:37 PM ET

Have you not been paying any attention to any of the NHL 12 news? As I pointed out last week, NHL 12 represents the second-year of a three-year plan for a complete overhaul of the physics engine… which is coming along very well I think…. the difference between NHL 10 and NHL 11 was more significant that I think most people even realize… and there will be an ever bigger gap when trying to compare 11 to 12. The game has been evolving, in better and better ways each year… anyone who can’t see that, is either just blind… or hasn’t been playing the game for longer than 10 minutes….


As for EASHL… they really need to find a bigger penalty for quitting mid-game

Posted by Primis on 08/06/11 at 10:12 PM ET

That much I do agree with… although as I pointed out to you a long time ago in my first NHL 12 update… perhaps if you would stop playing nothing but OTP and Drop-In games, you wouldn’t nearly have as many issues to complain about… because that’s generally where most of the crap that people who complain about the EASHL drawn their conclusions from… which is kind of like trying to say that pre-season games matter for the success of of an NHL franchise’s season.

Personally, I don’t even think that OTP and Drop-In should even be consider “ranked” EASHL games for your pro’s career. That’s how much of a joke they are in the EASHL-player community… Club play has always been the main focus of the EASHL, and should forever remain that way…

Posted by Doug Miller from Wyandotte, MI on 08/07/11 at 01:20 PM ET

Tuba Guy's avatar


My mentioning on 2k’s game was to point out that EA’s “innovations” were incorporated into hockey games on previous generation’s consoles. I was a 2k guy until EA’s control scheme change and didn’t look back. What frustrates me to no end is EA holding changes back so they always have something to add next year.  If 2k released a more comparative game along the same caliber that they used to than it would force EA to create their best attempt each year.

Posted by Tuba Guy from Royal Oak, MI on 08/08/11 at 12:43 AM ET

Tuba Guy's avatar

Online games shouldn’t end when people quit. The computer should take over. This happens on be a pro and should happen on normal gsmes.

Posted by Tuba Guy from Royal Oak, MI on 08/08/11 at 12:45 AM ET

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