Before reading this article I want to thank @S7HDesign on twitter for allowing me to use his NHL18 Concpets.
Following another disappointing year for the EA NHL Series, it’s about the time to discuss what we want. What the games lacking and what the game could add. At the release date of NHL17 the game semmed amazing. After NHL16 playing the 17 Beta the game felt amazing. It was impossible to put the Beta down. I remember having to buy 2 EA Access accounts because I used my hours up so quickly. But as the months went buy the game slowly declined. Here’s what the NHL community wants out of NHL18.
Better In Game Atmosphere
Throughout the years the in game atmosphere has improved. More faces in the crowd and stadiums headed into more authentic look, as if it is the real thing. But I do not feel like we are quite there yet. We have a long way to go. I think it all starts with the boys in the booth. Eddie and Doc need to have much more enthusiasm throughout the game. Arenas need to add custom chants for their home team. “Let’s Go RedWings!” On high scoring chances. When a 2 on 1 chance presents itself or a breakaway there is absolutely no difference in the crowds cheering. There needs to be a dramatic increase in enthusiasm when a scoring opportunity presents itself, and when goalies make outstanding saves. This will add a much more realistic feature and players will enjoy the excitement from their home crowd.
More Play Likenesses
NHL17 did a much better job of scanning in players and making them look real. But there are some players who don’t even have a scan. For veterans and players 5-6 years into the league and have yet to have a face scan done is outrageous. We need to get all players scanned and updated for the release of the game. Rookies who will be up in the NHL for the first time, understandable. We do not expect rookies to be scanned. But we expect players who’ve been in the league to have an almost identical face.
I’ve heard many complaints about this, and I’ve heard and have used one solution. The Madden system. Madden allows players to alter ratings and move players on rosters. Leaving Madden teams with one less update to push out every month. If NHL does not move into this direction, we expect a roster Update every month, ON TIME.
The Invisible Wall
Some may know what I am talking about, other may not. When the puck lies on the goal line and it is impossible to hit it in. Everyone has been out in the situation where the puck is sitting behind the goalie and no matter how many times you poke shoot or chop at that puck, it will not move. This is an issue that needs to be addressed. The “Invisible Wall” needs to be removed so players can poke the puck in just like in real hockey.
Career mode need to go back to Living the Life mode. A popular game mode in NHL14. Players want more control of their player and want to make more of their own decisions making the mode much more realistic.
The newest mode in NHL17 and a good one in my opinion. Competetive Seasons has a lot of potential. For highly skilled players like myself, looking to earn rewards for there outstanding play this is the ideal mode. Although many issues have risen within the mode. Starting with looping out the game. There is a way to stop it. Don’t skip replays. But in reality this issue has been around for 3/4 months already and EA has yet come out with a way to prevent this. It must be fixed for NHL18. I don’t expect it to get done in 17 but I expect it ready to go for 18. Another issue was Booters. Competetive Seasons is a mode where the prizes earned are crazy. But there is no such thing as integrity in the mode or earning the prizes the proper way. For those of you who have been amongst the top 500 you know what I mean. You may be 2 minutes into the game where you are taken out and given a loss. Scaling the leaderboards players go 21-0 without playing more than 5 minutes of a game. The Booters need to be dealt with in order to save the mode.
The most played mode in NHL17 needs more. The addition of Draft Champions made it seems all the more worth it but it was not. The reward system for Draft Champions was flawed. Winning games and receiving collectibles for players you don’t want or need was not worth it. I recommend heading into a MLB The Show direction. I like Battle Royale. Rewards are earned through win. Streaks. If you go 12-0 you are rewarded with diamond level players. I think NHL needs to head in that direction.
To start, we have some of the best designers in the NHL community. Their concepts are outstanding. Let them present their ideas to the Dev team. On the Basis of card design. I think we should move into an action shot card. No more headshots. Action shots make the cards much more authentic to the ones we collected growing up as kids. I also believe we need a new system of rating cards. I like madden. Elite, Gold, Silver. I think NHL should pick that up. The base card doesn’t seem to have any value as the year goes on. I’d like something new.
Collections and Sets
For the first time this year we added a Sets menu to NHL17. I was not a huge fan. Collections were made pointless and Hut Heroes made their debut. I think that Hut Heroes need to be removed from the game. Yes it is cool to use some players that have never been in the game before. But I think the collection system was much better. I’d rather complete a team and receive a 50k coin bonus instead of forfeiting my cards and collectibles for an OP 94 overall player. It made the game very unfair to players unable to complete the set. Personally I did not have an issue dealing with people who had all Heroes because I am a good player of the game. But when I had the Heroes, the messages I’ve received said it all. They are too OP. We need to go back to NHL14 when collections were worth doing.
This idea comes out of madden. The NHL TOTW is pointless right now. The only possible way to receive the card are buying packs. There is a “Challenge TOTW” game you can play. But no reward. I think if you beat the TOTW 2 times a week you should receive a collectible. Those collectible can be used to trade in 10 or 15 collectibles for a TOTW player. It’s something that keeps the game interesting and allows players who dont spend money to earn cool rewards.
The NHL17 Leaderboards are flawed. The only way you get to the top is by playing 1000+ games. The Leaderboards needs to have more taken into account. The NHL team needs to put players who win games in the toughest divisions and have a high W/L on top of the boards. Good players are not seeing their name up there because they don’t have time to drop 1000+ games a year.
Simplify The HUT Navigation Menu
I’m not fully aware if this was an issue for all of you but I feel like when navigating the menus to get where you wanted you had to jump through a lot of hoops. To many times I feel you had to hit A when it could have been a simple one click and you were where you wanted. More so in the market. It needs to be simplified. No need to jump through rings on fire.
I know EA wants to make their fans feel appreciated and looked after but I feel they made it too easy to get good players in the game this year. I was not a fan of the Christmas reward and the following ones. I do not think cards should be handed out like so. Maybe once a year is ok. But the NHL Awards and the Senko card seems too much to me. Let people work for their stuff instead of reward them when they cry.
Custom Hut Arenas and Jerseys
Nothing I’ve heard to much about. But I think it would be interesting. Allowing players to use a system very much like Call of Duty has used for their emblem system. I think something like The Show would be perfect. A logo vault allowing people to post their creations and people to use them. And allowing people to make their own. It would add more of a My Ultimate Team feeling. Instead of regular NHL logos.
Youtubers and Streamers
I am not partnered with EA but the youtubers and streamers have been a major topic of conversation in the NHL community. I think that people need to stop silencing partnered players and complain when they receive cards. They worked hard for what they earned. Every single person who plays NHL17 has the ability to live stream gameplay. So it is fair they get the cards. They put the time in. Let them do what they want with the cards when they want. Over 70% of the time they give the cards away to their “fans” who only seems to show up when they can win something.
A lot of the NHL17 Content is fine. The major issues are with gameplay. We were told seamless puck pick ups. We have not seen seamless. Players of high caliberaremissing passes that could potentially lead to scoring chances. Another issue with HUT gameplay is slap shots on the boards. Penalty killing is a major part of this game. When you are on the boards and need to dump taking a slap shot around is a good way to get it out. But. A lot of times you will swing and miss the puck while on the boards leading to a turnover and a possible scoring chance. One of the big issues are inconsistent goaltenders. There are many goalies who are absolutely outstanding. One of them. Kolzig. An absolute monster. But at times goalies let in some of the weakest shots ever. Back handed wrist shots from the point have as good a Chance of going in as breakaway shots. It’s ridiculous the games I have lost as well as games I won by the shots taken to win it. It has to be the most frustrating thing in the world and players of the game know it the best.
AM I DONE YET. 😅
A mode that I wasn’t thrilled with, but happy about in NHL17. A lot of people are pushing for custom player builds. Everyone wants to be unique in their own way. GET RID OF PRE BUILT CLASSES. We want to be better than other people. We want to stand out. Stop making the game for “EVERYONE.” We want the competetive aspect of the game. Let the good succeed and weak die. Adding the leveling up of Club and unlocking arena upgrades was not enough. Again go back to NHL14. We all want to be Legend 3. No more Hitting Sniper. We want LEGEND 3’s. Give us something to work for. I will say. Working for Goal Cellys was fun. But let us work for our builds. If not. Allow certain equipment to enhance your players stats. For example. Allow a Bauer skate to add a +3 to your players speed and agility. Meanwhile a Reebok Stick adds +4 to Slap shot accuracy and power. Make people feel different, and let people play to be the best. No more limitations.
NHL 17 had a good mix of Dekes but we have seen them in the previous years. There is one favorite I think we need to bring back. 1 handed dekes. Everyone loved putting the puck to the side on a breakaway and slidingit past the tendy. It’s a unique deke that would add another fun element to the game. Some of the Dekes in the game are ineffective. Spinning is broken. I couldn’t tell you how many times I should have perfectly dodged a hit, when a little contact knocks the puck off my stick. For players like myself who like to get fancy we want a more smooth transition from deke to deke. No more choppy moves.
3 On 3 Mode
Started from the 3 On 3 NHL Arcade game, a fav favorite, has led many people to add a MyPark type mode to NHL. A very similar set up to MyPark have multiple arenas set up and run a server of players. Let people squad up or hop in games. Would make the game a lot of fun and would be a relaxed mode when you need a break from HUT or EASHL.
There is so much more I could add. But the list is pretty long. Thank you for reading. Looking forward to NHL18!