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NHL 12 Producer Blog: Revamped Be a Pro Mode

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


I hope you enjoyed this blog and be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more info in the near future.


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Member Comments
# 1 N1ghthors3 @ 07/21/11 03:53 PM
Was hoping for a bit more information, but pretty cool nonetheless. Extremely glad it is not mandatory to do all 4 years in the CHL. Cool feature with the profile carry over, but I think it'd actually be cooler if you could transport your BAP character from 11 to 12 and continue their career from whatever year you left off at. Not too sure if that's really what there getting at or if it just uploads your stats & may unlock certain boosts.
 
# 2 GrandMaster B @ 07/21/11 03:54 PM
Glad we don't have to play all 4 years in the CHL
 
# 3 plaidchuck @ 07/21/11 04:13 PM
Sounds good, hopefully there will be more "intrigue" during the actual seasons (trades, salary, etc).
 
# 4 BaylorBearBryant @ 07/21/11 05:02 PM
Sounds good as always. Love what the devs do with the NHL series. Much happier with them right now than I am with the guys at NCAA Football.
 
# 5 davel @ 07/21/11 05:38 PM
will you get to sign a contract with montary value ?
 
# 6 Merfner @ 07/21/11 06:11 PM
Looks so f'in amazing.
 
# 7 Tatguy80 @ 07/21/11 07:48 PM
If the AI is improved over last years, I will be spending alot of time with my pro.
 
# 8 mikko1995 @ 07/22/11 12:54 AM
My question is do you start in CHL for the 2011-12 season or be elgible for the 2011 Draft? Would be cool if we got to start from the 2007-08 CHL season and play against guys like Tavares, Stamkos, Doughty, Schenn's etc.
 
# 9 FBeaule04 @ 07/22/11 08:26 AM
It's really looking good on paper. The fact that last year BaP was ruined by the AI is making more cautious about having a strong reaction.

Like Tatguy80 said, if the AI is playing better, I will have a strong % of my time playing with my pro. Especially knowing I can start at 16 years old with the Quebec Remparts.

It's looking pretty good...hope that the AI will follow.
 
# 10 N1ghthors3 @ 07/22/11 08:30 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by BaylorBearBryant
Sounds good as always. Love what the devs do with the NHL series. Much happier with them right now than I am with the guys at NCAA Football.
Couldn't agree more. Always loved NCAA Football games, but this years disaster has turned me off for any future games. Can't wait for NHL 12 now.
 
# 11 SGMRock @ 07/22/11 10:03 AM
NCAA and Madden have always been my hold over games to keep me busy until NHL came out :P

Why are you guys saying NCAA was a disaster this year? Because of all the bugs? I will say the game is not bad but it has a ton of bugs, more than I remember from previous games. I think the QA guys were busy having long lunches or smoking some weed out back while on breaks. They sure missed a lot of stuff that players found in the first week.....
 
# 12 N1ghthors3 @ 07/22/11 10:12 AM
Yeah it's strictly the bugs. The gameplay & features are great, but how can you enjoy it with all the freezing & glitches happening? lol. NHL is my #1 game, but NCAA is a nice change of pace during the summer (like you said, a holdover) when the EASHL & other leagues slow down.
 
# 13 Qb @ 07/22/11 10:14 AM
Good to hear they are fleshing out BAP mode with the CHL playing a larger part (and customizable). The sim to next shift aspect will really help the mode. I asked them last year about ice time concerns (too much) and Gurn stated it all revolved around not being able to sim ahead in a game with sim engine. The new one and Action Tracker could make this a much more interesting experience... less down time and no more 30 minutes of ice time as a rookie.

I wonder if this stuff will also carry over to our online characters for EASHL/OTP:

Quote:
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:
Smaller "gaps between level-ups" could help online, as the jump from pro to legend is always a tough time for our team since we don't rack up games at a fast pace. Getting more points along the way might make it more tolerable when playing the guys who somehow play 150 games in the first week or two.
 
# 14 toadiev @ 07/22/11 10:50 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikko1995
My question is do you start in CHL for the 2011-12 season or be elgible for the 2011 Draft? Would be cool if we got to start from the 2007-08 CHL season and play against guys like Tavares, Stamkos, Doughty, Schenn's etc.
Just start at the NHL level maybe if you want it to be current season.

The truth is I really want to play a CHL career with current players and move up that way. Tired of everyone hoping they back date it that is pointless.

The ability to play a real career in the CHL is awesome and I can't wait.

Biggest complaint about the CHL part is the fact they included the 15 year old exceptional exemption rule. 1) will it only apply to the OHL, the only league to have such an stupid rule. 2) Really for a rule that has been used once why include it at all. CHL players start at 16, 15 year olds play Midget, not even JR A. However that being said it will be easy for me to get past that because I can just adjust my player to 16. Hope they don't flood the leagues with 15 year olds in the next seasons.

I like how EA has made the job of getting to the NHL a challenging journey. I may even tank my first training camp to return to the WHL. It will feel like an accomplishment to get there and if the sim ahead works like the show it won't drag on too long for those who want to move into the NHL portion. I could play 4 seasons of the show in a reasonable period of time (I don't simulate games).

For the guys about the new NCAA game, I don't get it what are the problems. I have been playing it for a week and I love the game so much fun.
 
# 15 jyoung @ 07/22/11 11:09 AM
I hate how every year since NHL 10 you have to grind through a season or two of this mode just to unlock boosts to be competitive in the online portion of the game.
 
# 16 plaidchuck @ 07/22/11 12:28 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by wEEman33
I hate how every year since NHL 10 you have to grind through a season or two of this mode just to unlock boosts to be competitive in the online portion of the game.
Agreed, beats paying for it though. And if the BAP is much improved it will be actually worth playing... (or you could have your grind rookie 9 goals a game BAP and a serious BAP)

The only thing that worries me is not hearing anything on improving human goalie controls. They've been a nightmare for two years and got even worse for NHL 11.
 
# 17 code_m @ 07/22/11 11:45 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by plaidchuck
Agreed, beats paying for it though. And if the BAP is much improved it will be actually worth playing... (or you could have your grind rookie 9 goals a game BAP and a serious BAP)

The only thing that worries me is not hearing anything on improving human goalie controls. They've been a nightmare for two years and got even worse for NHL 11.
Agreed. I am scared to even think about buying this game. I like all the new features, but they have so many basic bugs they need to fix, I would not mind seeing ZERO new features.

Namely the camera system(s). Single player team play cameras are OK, but they still could use much improvement. As for Be a Pro cameras (what I mainly play) they simply suck. I mean I rarely play as a defender cause you cannot see your own character 80% of the time. Forwards aren't much better as I tend to play on the boards a lot, and too often I find the camera looking more at the stands the what is going on. Goalies probably have it the worst: Only two options, High or Low, and on my PS3 your stuck with Low at the start of every game and must change it in the start menu if you wish to use the high camera. With the Low camera you find you can't see the puck once near the goal line, and post to post play is near impossible (STILL). With the high camera you find it angles down too much with play near the net and have trouble covering the puck.

Also, new desperation saves??? This hasn't worked for human goalies since... uh? ever?

I'd just like to be able to cover it when I ask to. And as for rebounded pucks, why do I go the improper direction on a diving cover like 95% of the time?

Not being totally inept when playing outside of the crease would be a godsend. I mean I don't know a goalie out there that doesn't one-time rolling pucks to take off the pressure. Oh and back to cameras, you can't see jack-didley-squat when playing a puck behind the net... PLEASE change that.

Another bug I've seen on repeat accounts: Your doing great, your up 2-0 and the game has about 13 minutes left... the other team begins crashing the net exessively... you give up a small rebound (6 inches) and your about to cover it up when... VIOLA ! GOAL!!! ... review it, good chance the attacker's stick went THROUGH your leg to get the shot off. Ouch my physics!
 
# 18 actionhank @ 07/24/11 03:18 PM
I'm still hoping for some up and coming mention of game face, or at least a better face editor.
It will be a mild letdown if i'm stuck playing Be a Pro which actually looks more interesting this year, i haven't played it since 09, with the usual assortment of odd looking faces.
 
# 19 kerosene31 @ 07/25/11 08:49 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by wEEman33
I hate how every year since NHL 10 you have to grind through a season or two of this mode just to unlock boosts to be competitive in the online portion of the game.
Yep, and what's worse is the people online who will play on the easiest difficulty level (where the AI doesn't even try to stop you) and just powers through and gets all the boosts to use online.

What's the fun in that?
 
# 20 FBeaule04 @ 07/25/11 10:54 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by RealmK
Aren't most of the unlocks level specific? I seem to recall that being the case. At anyrate people bitch for realism, they adjust BAP so that you need to earn your way into the NHL and get proper ice time, and they're still bitching. I know the game has it's issues and AI has needed lots of love for awhile now but seriously guys, play the demo first.
Problem Realm is that for some boost to get unlock, you have to win a cup or 2, you have to score 200 goals, etc, etc, etc.

There's no difference if you do it on Rookie casual or SS Hardcore. That's a problem since I can score 20 goals in a game on Rookie, but on SS, I'll get my *** handed to me.

With the "earn your ice time" it's going to be even worse. If you play a normal game, it's going to take more time to unlock boost since it's normal for a rookie to have his struggle. People will put it on rookie - casual, get tons of stats and unlock everything easily. That's not if they do it by cheating online with friends.

I would be so happy that EA solves this problem by giving few generic type of players with set attributes for online mode without boost and anything. Playing field level and no more whinning about one cheating and so.

Like that, EA could let the boost go for offline, concentrate on how to give XP points for overall link to the level you play (it's not normal for a human goalie that stops 32 of 35 shots on SS to receive no XP points because he was ordinary while another human goalie making 8 of 8 saves would get tons of XP points on rookie for the blank and 1.000 save %).

I know, I'm living in my own world, and it's never going to happen!
 

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