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NHL 12 Community Day >> Goalies

*Please note that what I played was not the final product of NHL 12 and was still being tuned and tweaked.


Hey guys Jason, better known as TNA Equalizer, here with my perspective on what I saw for NHL 12 goalies at this year’s community event. Now just to give you guys some foresight on my take on goalies is that I’m one of those people that strongly believe goalies have to always be a bit of the bigger focus when the next NHL game comes out. I entered the event with skepticism stemming from some issues I would consistently see when playing NHL 11 and seeing frustrating AI goalie occurrences. Let me say now that I was pleasantly caught off-guard with some of the new improvements to goalies for NHL 12.

Now one of the issues I’ve had with this generation of the EA NHL franchise is that despite attributes being varied among the goalies in game it just felt like it was the same goalie personality wise. There was no sense of style between goalies. One of the things that stuck with me from my time in NHL 12 is that from game to game as the goalies changed there was varying styles depending on the goalie. Take for example the Phoenix Coyotes goalie Ilya Bryzgalov seemed more prone to stay on his feet with solid side to side movement when working against the opposing offense and drop to the butterfly when need be. Now don’t get me wrong, he would exercise use of desperation saves, but it just didn’t seem like the same amount as San Jose Sharks goalie Antti Niemi. When going up against the Sharks and Niemi it would seem Niemi was frequently in positions where he would have to use agility and desperation saves (it actually worked rather well) more often so than say Ilya Bryzgalov. Game to game I had more of a sense that I had to work for goals because the AI netminders were given personality between them so there was far less of that different name, same goalie feel past games had in the series. This is what I had been hoping for, for quite some time.

I’m sure you’re curious on how the guys on the NHL development team managed to finally give the AI goalies a sense of individualism. Well goalies will now feature traits as well as their attributes to help give a layer of difference. It really worked well from my time with NHL 12 and I think it’s exactly what this franchise needs moving forward for goalies. A great puck playing goalie is going to stand out from a guy that struggles handling the puck. Just as it should be Tim Thomas does not exactly play the same as say Roberto Luongo. This separation in style between goalies definitely gives NHL 12 a sense of freshness in the gameplay department when going against the AI goalies.

When it came to the heart and soul of goaltenders success, animations, it was very easy to spot noticeable improvements in terms of their use of animations and transitions between them. Animations looked a bit more fluid for the most part. When it came to rebounds AI goalies looked much more confident in how to play rebound inducing shots. The AI goalies were far less dependent on use of the twist and swing arms animation that seemed to happen just way too much per game in NHL 11. I purposely kept trying to trigger it and I only managed to see the goalie twist animation once in roughly 8 hours of testing out NHL 12 which was very welcomed to see. However that said I notice goalies still had some lingering issues with covering up loose pucks that should be easy to cover. I’m optimistic the NHL development team will remedy the situation as they were very receptive to our feedback, concerns, and thoughts throughout the day.

I’m well aware there’s a percentage of that fan base out there curious about goalie controls. While I’m admittedly a guy that sticks to playing the skaters I did manage to give human goalie a spin (albeit not as much as I wanted to) in NHL12. Other than playing one full season of Be A Pro goalie back in NHL 09 I’m not cut out for goaltending. That said in messing around with goalie on my own I really didn’t see any new controls for user goalies, but then again I hardly play goalie so I may have missed something. That said the developers did mention they were looking at trying give human goalies a way to sweep the puck away from them instead of leaving it automated if they could do it properly in terms of controls. I’m all for more control in the users hands no matter the position. We were told by the developers goalies will now be able to pull off desperation saves from any position which I would have to believe includes incidents of non-call goalie contact. There is a high chance that I may have missed something as I know Ghuysmans over at the IGN forums was big into Be A Pro goalie and probably would have caught anything I missed. I’m sure I missed something as I really just didn’t mess around with this enough and was more focused on AI improvements for goalies.

I know a major concern for a lot of people is the big feature that goalies are now live and susceptible to being hit and ran into for exploiting goals. This was something I wanted to keep a close eye on while playing NHL12 and from what I saw goalies weren’t helpless. In fact there were times the goalies stood tall in the face of net agitators like Tomas Holmstrom and company. The NHL developers had told us that goalies would be able to shove back and did witness every so often instances where the goalie would come on the winning end while his net pest would be the only one laying on the ice. It looked realistic and worked much better than I had anticipated heading in.

There was something that caught my eye while going up against AI goalies throughout the day. Something was different when it came to shots beating them. That’s when I realized the AI goalies finally are able to fall victim to well place medium to long range shots going five hole at a reasonable rate. Something you just barely ever saw unless it was right on the crease in prior NHL games or a deflection.

There are those of you curious out there about the goalie fight experience. The first question I had was regarding OTP and the concern that it would turn into a case of opening faceoff and insta-goalie fight. Rest assured the NHL team had thought this situation over and it appears that goalie fights will not be allowed in OTP. There will not be computer versus computer goalie fights as well. Now if you manage to get a goalie fight going in club, you’re right wing will serve the 5 minute penalty for your goalie. This was one feature I was skeptical about seeing and I’m happy to say the development team is going in the right direction in implementing it.

Having entered community day with concerns about goalies in NHL 11 to see what I saw I left the event with a much more positive feeling about goalies heading into NHL 12. Were the goalies perfect? No, but they felt much more human and felt far more fluid. Rest assured any areas of concern I saw I let the developers know and as I said they were extremely receptive to everyone’s feedback. I saw a noticeable upgrade in the goalies being more aware of their situation and how to handle the play and easily would say NHL 12’s goalies are improved. Community day left me excited to see the finished product for goalies.

If you have any questions regarding goalies in NHL 12 I’ll be more than happy to answer them (as long as they fall under something I can talk about) on the forums here or on twitter @TheNHLequalizer.

Also check out IrishSniper87's post about his take on goalies at community day over on HFBoards...

http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=912489

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 06/03/2011 15:03:20






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Great write up, Im very pleased with the different styles and I cant wait to see how they play out during the game for myself!!

Cant wait to hear more from you and the other Community Day guys.




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So a hard slapper or wrist shot is actually an option for the 5-hole? Or was it being tipped in?

P.S. Great post. Enjoyed reading all of it. looking forward to more news.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 06/02/2011 13:11:47


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MESSERSMITH5 wrote:So a hard slapper or wrist shot is actually an option for the 5-hole?


The AI goalies seemed susceptible to it without deflection finally. I believe a while back Joborule started a thread about the idea of making it a more viable option. Can't find the thread, but I believe the developers listened to the community here on the topic.

Edit: I'm definitely looking forward to sharing more with the community as I get the okay to do so.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 06/02/2011 13:16:56






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Great write-up!

One thing that has me worried is crashing the net with goalies being live. I have this feeling that it will be like 3 on 3 arcade where I can just skate right into the goalie and knock him over. I know goalie interference will be called but it would still be annoying to deal with the inevitable douche in OTP that just keeps running the goalie.

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ksk929 wrote:Great write-up!

One thing that has me worried is crashing the net with goalies being live. I have this feeling that it will be like 3 on 3 arcade where I can just skate right into the goalie and knock him over. I know goalie interference will be called but it would still be annoying to deal with the inevitable douche in OTP that just keeps running the goalie.

Thanks


Thanks.

I'm with you in this boat in terms of skepticism when I first saw the trailer prior to community day. It was called consistently when I tested it, but with OTP you never know what to expect. I would have to believe someone constantly going to the box for running the goalie would grow tired of not playing after a while or so I would hope.





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solid write up TNA I listen much more to guys from the community, like your seflt because you see the game they way we all see the game and its great they took feedback and I can tell they addressed some of the goalie isssues


I gotta ask did you try the back-hand -forhand deke and if you did, did it work? or any other 90% plus goals?

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TNA Equalizer wrote:
ksk929 wrote:Great write-up!

One thing that has me worried is crashing the net with goalies being live. I have this feeling that it will be like 3 on 3 arcade where I can just skate right into the goalie and knock him over. I know goalie interference will be called but it would still be annoying to deal with the inevitable douche in OTP that just keeps running the goalie.

Thanks


Thanks.

I'm with you in this boat in terms of skepticism when I first saw the trailer prior to community day. It was called consistently when I tested it, but with OTP you never know what to expect. I would have to believe someone constantly going to the box for running the goalie would grow tired of not playing after a while or so I would hope.


Not really. I've seen people stay at center ice in the hip check animation and have someone just skate into them. One guy stayed in the box for literally 60 minutes.




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TNA Equalizer wrote:
ksk929 wrote:Great write-up!

One thing that has me worried is crashing the net with goalies being live. I have this feeling that it will be like 3 on 3 arcade where I can just skate right into the goalie and knock him over. I know goalie interference will be called but it would still be annoying to deal with the inevitable douche in OTP that just keeps running the goalie.

Thanks


Thanks.

I'm with you in this boat in terms of skepticism when I first saw the trailer prior to community day. It was called consistently when I tested it, but with OTP you never know what to expect. I would have to believe someone constantly going to the box for running the goalie would grow tired of not playing after a while or so I would hope.

Very true, we'll see once it comes out I guess. Overall I think it will do more good than harm.



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Great post, Glad to hear that the goalies have improved immensely the only thing I'm worried about are the glitch shots. Have you noticed anything that works all the time?

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Awesome right TNA. Thanks for sharing some info.

One question: on breakaways, can we FINALLY just shoot instead of deking? We see it countless times in the NHL when a player on a breakaway will shot 5-hole or wrist one up high, but so far in EA's series, those goals are few and far between.




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TNA Equalizer wrote:
MESSERSMITH5 wrote:So a hard slapper or wrist shot is actually an option for the 5-hole?


The AI goalies seemed susceptible to it without deflection finally. I believe a while back Joborule started a thread about the idea of making it a more viable option. Can't find the thread, but I believe the developers listened to the community here on the topic.

Edit: I'm definitely looking forward to sharing more with the community as I get the okay to do so.


http://forum.ea.com/eaforum/posts/list/4366362.page

also, great write up, really looking more forward to nhl 12 now

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Great write up Jason, definitely agree with what you said, I was also pleased with the goalies when we played.

Also noticed goalies playing different styles which was a welcomed addition as it didn't feel like the same goalie every time.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 06/02/2011 13:25:17


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SCARFACE9O9 wrote:Great write up Jason, definitely agree with what you said, I was also pleased with the goalies when we played.



Im curious if the always goals have been addressed? I know you had the thread about always goals how did thye take that when you brought that stuff up?

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That is a great post, nice detail you went into!

It sounds like EA really delved into focusing on making goalies more realistic this year [which was needed] I can't wait to hear more on this and other info when E3 begins [4 days, im not counting ]

TNA, are you going to do a write-up for your whole experience at the event, or do another write-up on another area you focused on? ( I know IrishSniper87 from HFboards will be posting his recap tonight)


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