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NHL 13 News Post


With NHL 13, we want to change the way you play hockey video games by providing an experience that captures the speed, creativity and strategy of NHL hockey. We’re doing that through two major gameplay innovations – True Performance Skating and EA SPORTS Hockey I.Q. We’ve spent more time working on our A.I. this year, than over the past three years combined and the result, EA SPORTS Hockey I.Q. – an innovative new A.I. system governing the behaviors of players, goalies, and team systems – is something that our development team is truly proud of. We can’t wait for you to experience it.

So what should you expect from EA SPORTS Hockey I.Q.? Gamers only tend to notice A.I. in a sports videogame when it produces a frustrating moment – maybe you’re playing Online Team Play and your A.I. teammate isn’t in the right position when you’re looking to make a pass or they dump the puck in repeatedly when you want them to carry the puck across the blue line and make a play. When your A.I. teammate is doing what it should, you hardly hear someone say “man, that A.I. is really smart”, it’s just business as usual. In our opinion, intelligent A.I. means that A.I. players are in the right position, making decisions that their human counterparts would make and limiting those frustrating moments for you and your human teammates. So why did these moments of frustration occur in NHL 12 and why do we believe EA SPORTS Hockey I.Q. will minimize them? Let’s talk about how EA SPORTS Hockey I.Q. affects players.

Players

In previous NHL games, players were only aware of skaters in their immediate proximity and were restricted to reacting based on their actions. With EA SPORTS Hockey I.Q., all players are now fully aware of every other player on the ice, resulting in quicker, smarter and more true-to-life decision-making. Think about that for a second. Imagine if Gretzky were only aware of just a few players on the ice, would he still have been an offensive dynamo? No way. Would Datsyuk be the great two-player we know him to be? Not a shot. EA SPORTS Hockey I.Q. allows players to play within a system and fulfill their role accordingly. All this is now possible because EA SPORTS Hockey I.Q. delivers the deepest and most customizable set of real-world hockey systems and strategies ever for the franchise. Essentially, it’s like the players in NHL 13 are now coached by a Jack Adams Trophy winner rather than a minor league coach.

Team Strategies

What types of strategies and team systems have been added to NHL 13?
  • Offensive Zone Forechecks – 1-2-2 Passive, 1-2-2 Aggressive, Weakside Lock and 2-3
  • Neutral Zone Forechecks – 1-3-1, 1-4, 1-2-2 Red, 1-2-2 Blue
A forecheck bias has been added so that you can increase the tendency to set up in either an offensive zone or neutral zone forecheck. For example, if set to a 1-3-1 and a bias to full neutral zone, your team will set up in the 1-3-1 every time down the ice.

New Team and Line Bias’ have been added:

What this means is that you can adjust your AI’s strategy through overall team tendencies or broken down by line.

By Team: Powerplay Carry vs. Powerplay Dump – Are you going to grind them down or keep the puck and work it into the zone like the Detroit Red Wings?

By Forward Line:
  • Carry vs. Dump – AI more likely to carry the puck in or dump and chase.
  • Cycle vs. Shoot – If your team will look for any shot, or worry about possession and high percentage chances
  • Efficiency vs. Energy – Will your team conserve energy or hustle more with high intensity?
  • Don’t Block vs. Block – Will your AI teammates allow the goalie to see the shot or attempt to block?
By Defensive Pair:
  • Hold Line vs. Pinch – Will your defensive AI hold the blueline or take risks to pinch?
  • Cycle vs. Shoot – Tendency for your defensive AI to put the puck in to cycle or put shots on net?
EA SPORTS Hockey IQ Top 5 Fast Facts:

1. Authenticity has always been paramount for the NHL franchise. To create the team systems for EA SPORTS Hockey IQ, we had pro coaches come in and sit with the development team to make sure we captured every detail of the systems we were recreating.

2. The AI will recognize if they have given up an odd man rush a few too many times and be able to respond to that even if they were able to recover in each of those scenarios. They understand specific details such as being beaten with long stretch passes, vacating the far side and being beaten with reverses and will be able to adjust accordingly.

3. AI will not only analyze how their opponents are playing but will also adjust throughout a game based on their own success or the type of game being played. If the AI goes up by a few goals early, they may sit back. If they go down by a few goals, you will see them get much more aggressive and push for more turnovers.

4. All NHL teams will be set to default strategies that match how they play in real life. Due to this, you will get different looks right out of the gate throughout a season depending on who you are playing. If you play Tampa Bay, they may sit back more when the game is tied early on where as a team like the Kings may come in flying with an aggressive forecheck.

5. All of the team strategies are able to be updated through roster updates. We can make changes to the strategies if teams happen to change throughout the year and/or if a team happens to get a new coach and change their style of play, it can be reflected in game.

Source - EA Sports NHL 13 Blog

Game: NHL 13Reader Score: 8/10 - Vote Now
Platform: PS3 / Xbox 360Votes for game: 23 - View All
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Member Comments
# 1 FBeaule04 @ 07/04/12 08:30 PM
This is really positive if it translate to the game the way it is presented here. Seems like the knowledge of different situations/roles from lines and defensive pairing as been understood by guys at EA. Players play differently according to their talent but also their role on a team, so I'm happy that you guys say you put it in the game. I'll be really happy if I can for once play with teammates instead of fighting to make them play the way there suppose to.

Ok, that was the nice part, now here comes the no so nice part about that text.

Quoting EA : "In our opinion, intelligent A.I. means that A.I. players are in the right position, making decisions that their human counterparts would make and limiting those frustrating moments for you and your human teammates."

So, you basically saying that you we're fully aware that you guys programmed a stupid AI for 3 years and that our frustrations we're just plain normal. You put more work in your AI than the last 3 years combined, it's your word, not mine.

Just one question : "Would you please be kind enough to explain to me, knowing that your AI was frustating and dumb, what in the hell was your priority in NHL 10, NHL 11 and NHL 12?"

Because, between you and me, acknowledging that your AI was crap, you are saying to us that if it wasn't for 6 vs. 6 play, that game was meant to be frustrating and tough to enjoy. Also, you say that : "In previous NHL games, players were only aware of skaters in their immediate proximity and were restricted to reacting based on their actions." Are you saying Sean Ram was lying to us all summer long last year? Because that's exactly what he told us about NHL 12. The player will not only react to action going on the ice but where the puck should be. Oh, maybe he was speaking about NHL 13, my bad then.

You guys have myself scratching my head now, while I praised you to be honest and tell it like most people saw it, but in the other way, thank you for the 180$ plus taxes I've spent in those 3 years while trying not to dismantle my controller and slashing someone's throat with the DVD in another frustating moment.

Oh, while I'm started, you better come up with something that will make my jaw drop with your AI because after being told I was cheated by the development team for 3 years, I won't accept something like unfinished business. I'm keeping that text up here somewhere and I hope you guys deliver. I think, from what I'm reading here and there, that if you lay another egg with NHL 13 after entertained us with such great things, you'll lose some of you hardcore fans.
 
# 2 savoie2006 @ 07/04/12 09:29 PM
My guess would be it took longer than just one development cycle to get it where they wanted it. Same goes for skating.
 
# 3 MizzouRah @ 07/04/12 09:52 PM
Quote:
4. All NHL teams will be set to default strategies that match how they play in real life. Due to this, you will get different looks right out of the gate throughout a season depending on who you are playing. If you play Tampa Bay, they may sit back more when the game is tied early on where as a team like the Kings may come in flying with an aggressive forecheck.
If this works, we will finally be able to have a different experience each time we play a team, which is LONG overdue in this series. It's what has totally turned me off the past few years.

I want to play a game and say, wow.. that was definitely the Kings we just played.
 
# 4 voodoo_magic @ 07/04/12 10:03 PM
I really like the sound of it.
However, I'm cautious in my expectations of how good it really will be.
 
# 5 Segagendude @ 07/04/12 10:50 PM
Lol I can see the newbie posts now--" Detroit won't let me out of the neutral zone!! I need help!!"
 
# 6 Vikes1 @ 07/05/12 02:14 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by voodoo_magic
I really like the sound of it.
However, I'm cautious in my expectations of how good it really will be.
My thoughts as well, Voodoo.

It all sounds wonderful...but I'm also being a bit cautious about it all working as they [EAC] are advertising. This sounds like quite a leap in AI behavior from '12' to '13', imo. And of course I'm sure pulling for EA Canada to pull it off.

But then again, just as long as I can't go end to end with ease vs every team...that alone will please the heck outta me.
 
# 7 FBeaule04 @ 07/05/12 09:11 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Segagendude
Lol I can see the newbie posts now--" Detroit won't let me out of the neutral zone!! I need help!!"
If EA is serious about their Hockey IQ saying the AI should be able to do what a human can do on the ice, then the answer to the newbie saying it's too tough to get out of the Kings Forecheck or Red Wings forecheck should be : Learn.

We don't talk about glitching and exploiting the coding in that case. It's not : "Get better and defend a glitch shot.", it's simply learn a way to break a defensive scheme.

No one fell sorry for the Wings in 96 when the Devils trapt silence their offense. The Caps we're winning this spring with a system and it took a better one to beat them.

To me, it's just plain normal. Even if you go online and face a good but legit team, you won't get out of the zone if you don't learn neither you'll do a remake of dirty dancing in the offensive zone. This game should be difficult not because it's glitchy or the AI is superhuman, but simply because the AI do what it's suppose to do.

I guess EA always receive a tons of complain anyway, so that won't be a big change. :-)
 
# 8 fsufan4423 @ 07/05/12 10:51 AM
Lend some of that AI knowledge to the Football side.
 
# 9 06woz @ 07/05/12 11:51 AM
Sounds awesome in theory, can't wait to get my hands on it.
 
# 10 Vikes1 @ 07/05/12 02:57 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by FBeaule04
If EA is serious about their Hockey IQ saying the AI should be able to do what a human can do on the ice, then the answer to the newbie saying it's too tough to get out of the Kings Forecheck or Red Wings forecheck should be : Learn.
Agree FB.

In all honesty, I'm a hardcore fan...with casual skills. So if things pan out with the Hockey IQ as we hope...I'm very sure I'll struggle maybe bigtime. And for me, if it's nearly to the point of having to almost relearn the game...wow! That will make '13' an absolute blast!

I do have a few concerns that the more casual crowd may complain possibly loudly, if the gameplay leans too far in the sim direction. But then again...I kinda have my doubts that EAC would go so far as to have a learning curve too great for even the most casual among us.

In the end, all I'm really hoping for outta NHL '13' is...that there's a place for all of us.
 
# 11 JezFranco @ 07/06/12 04:53 AM
I just really hope they don't mess up some "small" details, that in the end could be game breaking.
Reading up on some of the solutions for the game freezes of '12 posted by EA staff, it seems that those problems are caused by data being processed and saved during a match.


With the new Hockey I.Q. it seems that your old PS3 or 360 are going to do a lot of work in the background, and I'm slightly concerned it could be causing lag and/or freezes.


But I gotta say, while still being cautious... it all sounds pretty f-ing awesome!
 
# 12 gamerk2 @ 07/08/12 02:37 AM
I like these ideas, but as someone who mainly plays in the EASHL, I'm getting very worried that we still won't be able to set up our team the way we want it...
 
# 13 savoie2006 @ 07/08/12 09:06 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by gamerk2
I like these ideas, but as someone who mainly plays in the EASHL, I'm getting very worried that we still won't be able to set up our team the way we want it...
What would it matter strategy wise if your human teammates don't follow the set strategy? If they do, I don't see why you couldn't, unless you're talking something entirely different.
 
# 14 BlueNGold @ 07/09/12 03:28 AM
No matter what your feelings are on how this series has played the past few years, there's no denying this is a big step in the right direction. A deeper, smarter and more realistic game is something I'd like to think we can all appreciate.
 
# 15 canucksss @ 07/09/12 02:46 PM
it feels great to have EA acknowledge (not in full extent) that what we are trying to say is TRUE..that their effort for the past 3 years in regards to AI is far below what was expected. FB, i feel your pain...for 4 years i bought EA (my last purchase of EA NHL was in 2002, then have 2k3-2k7). knowing i wasted my 3 games (costing to about $180) im kinda disappointed.

but with these promises of EA i am HOPING, like everyone else, that these will translate to the actual game.
 
# 16 Eddie1967 @ 07/09/12 08:10 PM
A very interesting read indeed. Will this be the first EA hockey game purchase for me in quite some time? I hope so.
 
# 17 desi08 @ 07/10/12 04:27 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vikes1
Agree FB.

I do have a few concerns that the more casual crowd may complain possibly loudly, if the gameplay leans too far in the sim direction. But then again...I kinda have my doubts that EAC would go so far as to have a learning curve too great for even the most casual among us.
This is the part that worries me. NHL11 was great the first month or so. goalies were tough, hitting meant something. Then people complained and the goal fest started and hasn't stopped.

So sick of playing EASHL games that are 8-7. I want to have a challenge.
 
# 18 FBeaule04 @ 07/11/12 09:44 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by desi08
This is the part that worries me. NHL11 was great the first month or so. goalies were tough, hitting meant something. Then people complained and the goal fest started and hasn't stopped.

So sick of playing EASHL games that are 8-7. I want to have a challenge.
I remember in NHL 11 when we we're playing and having a ton of fun because it was tough to score and we had 2-1 games online.

It took only a day or two before the glichtfest fans shout out loud how much the game was unplayable, etc. EA got the goalies tone down with a tuner and that was it, 7-6 and 6-5 scores we're back, with huge amount of money goal and cheap tactics.

I'm asking for 2 years now that EA should have two ways of thinking when doing the game. The part offline which should be close to reality, and the one online, we're pond hockey is what the glitchers ask for.
 
# 19 canucksss @ 07/11/12 01:49 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by FBeaule04

I'm asking for 2 years now that EA should have two ways of thinking when doing the game. The part offline which should be close to reality, and the one online, we're pond hockey is what the glitchers ask for.
BRILLIANT!!!!!!

But EA caters to minors who wants goals goals goals goals more of MLB scoring instead of NHL type of scoring. im very sure the glitchers will call it travesty if they can only play in pond hockey and not "real life" ice.
 
# 20 Eddie1967 @ 07/11/12 06:11 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by RealmK
The call of the dark side is strong.
LOL, yes it is RealmK, I may have to answer that call.
 

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