Hey I’m Gurn Sumal, the NHL 12 game modes producer, and I’ll be giving you the goods on our completely revamped Be a Pro mode where we want to see if you can "Be The Next Great Legend." If you’re familiar with Be a Pro mode, you’ll know that the mode was introduced in NHL 09. NHL 12 features the most significant changes to the mode since it was introduced, and if you’ve read my Be a GM blog, you’ll see how the all-new sim engine now allows users to intervene a sim at any point in time during the course of a game. This spawned what we like to call "Earn every shift" and makes Be a Pro mode a much more satisfying and realistic experience.
"Earn every shift" means that the better you play, the more the coach will put you on the ice. No more calling your own number creating unrealistic ice time! A third liner will now play his 10-15 minutes, and a first liner will play his 17-20-plus minutes. When your Be a Pro is on the bench, you’ll notice that you have three options to get you back on the ice for your next shift. New this year, the first option is Sim to Next Shift. This is a quick sim, giving you the fastest possible path to getting back on the ice. In a nutshell, this is basically fast forwarding to your next shift. The second option is Text Sim, and it takes the user into the all-new EA Sports Action Tracker. The Action Tracker allows the user to follow the action as it happens, displaying everything from shots, goals, hits, penalties and even faceoffs. The third option, which is actually the most authentic, is watching the game from the bench until your number is called.
So how do you earn more ice time? This year we’ve added Coach Tasks. During the game, the coach will give you an assignment or task to complete. There are two different types of tasks: pregame and situational. Pregame tasks are tasks that are assigned to you prior to the game. An example of a pregame task would be "let’s get an early goal to quiet the crowd," if you were playing on the road. A situational task is a task that arises during the course of a game; maybe your goalie is being screened a lot, so the coach will ask you to clear the front of the net so he can see the shots coming. This is an example of a situational task for a defenseman.
Last year we added the CHL into the game, and in Be a Pro we allowed you to play the Memorial Cup and then enter the NHL Entry Draft. This year we took it one step further by allowing you to play multiple seasons in the CHL. By starting in the CHL, you can now start as a 15 year old (OHL exceptional player status) and play multiple seasons (however you can choose how many years you play) in the CHL prior to being drafted. Once you get drafted, you get your shot at making the NHL team in the preseason, and if you don’t make the NHL team you will get sent back down to your junior team for some more seasoning. If you don’t want to play as yourself in the CHL, we now let you play as any CHL player and live out his career.
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.
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