EA has released new information regarding changes and updates to Hockey Ultimate Team (or HUT, for those who prefer acronyms) in NHL 20, with a new blog post outlining what people can expect from the mode when the game officially drops on September 13.
Fans of FIFA (and Madden) should be able to easily recognize the basic concept of Squad Battles, which will be introduced to HUT for the first time in NHL 20. This single-player competition will give people the opportunity to play four new opponents every day, and these will all be real (Ultimate) teams from across the NHL community. You’ll be able to refresh these opponents every 24 hours on weekdays (and every 12 hours on weekends), for a total of 37 possible games in any given week.
The goal is to accumulate the most number of Battle Points possible in any given week, which will be earned based on a number of factors, including the result of your game, the difficulty level, the overall of your opponent, and even the number of goals and shots you have in a game. Your point total will place you on a Weekly Seasonal leaderboard and, naturally, the higher you finish on that leaderboard the better your reward will be at the end of the week.
When it comes to Monthly Rewards in NHL 20, anyone who obsessively set an alarm to login every 12 hours in order to get their daily collectible should probably be relieved with the changes this year. These daily collectibles will instead now be available every 24 hours, while a second daily collectible can still be obtained every day by completing your daily objectives. These daily collectibles can then be exchanged in sets at the end of the month just as they were last year, but rather than the top reward being a legend player, it will now be an Icon collectible that can be exchanged through sets for a Master Icon player. These Icons, which are basically just a new name for Legends, and the Icon collectibles, can also be obtained through packs or by exchanging a certain number of gold players in the case of the collectibles.
Aside from that, there are several other minor changes of which returning players should be aware. Event objectives have been discontinued in favor of weekly objectives and progression objectives have been eliminated altogether. Milestones will reward you with a variety of Master Icons on loan for a number of games to experiment and see how you play with them, and completing full sets of milestones will get you an Icon collectible that can be used in Master Icon sets. Single-player challenges, a returning staple of HUT, will now be organized according to difficulty rather than theme.
For those who have pre-ordered the Deluxe or Ultimate editions of NHL 20, you’ll have the opportunity to select one Hometown Hero from any of the 31 NHL teams. These cards will increase by +1 overall every month until they hit 90 OVR in April of 2020. There will also be Diamond Player Choice packs that allow you to select 10 players over five rounds, all of which will be 80 OVR or better cards.
While some team and player synergies have returned from last year, there are also a lot of new ones at your disposal in NHL 20, all of which can give a bit of a boost to your lineup in various attributes.
The team at EA has divulged some of their main priorities with HUT once the game is released, including connecting real world results from the NHL into the mode and increasing support for fans of junior and international hockey leagues. They’ve also already outlined details of the first NHL 20 event, Classic NHL, which is set to begin on September 13. This will have you build rosters using both ’90s hockey stars from earlier 16-bit games (like Jeremy Roenick) and the top talent from today to determine if you’re more of an old-school or new-school NHL gamer.