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NHL 18 Beta Available Now - Post Your Impressions Here

NHL 18

NHL 18 Beta Available Now - Post Your Impressions Here

For those of you that registered for the NHL 18 beta, it is available now. Make sure to check your inbox throughout the day, as EA has been sending codes out for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 users. You can also check here for codes from the community. If you have any you’d like to share, please post them there. Good luck!

The NHL 18 beta weighs in at just over 17GB, complete with the 3 modes seen below. The beta is scheduled to run up to and include August 1. Play a few games and post your impressions.

EA SPORTS HOCKEY LEAGUE

Lace up your skates and jump into 3-on-3 and experience the speed, skill and creativity of the today’s NHL. Bringing authentic NHL 3-on-3 overtime to EA SPORTS Hockey League, you can now choose to play 3-on-3 full matches, opening up more ice for you and your teammates to get creative, pull off big plays, and showcase brand new skill moves. With more space to attack – and to make mistakes – 3-on-3 EASHL is higher stakes with more competition and skills.

Whether you’re playing in the new 3-on-3 format or the traditional 6-on-6 matches, you’ll earn experience to unlock items for your skater and/or club to customize your player, team or home rink.

NHL THREES

Jump in and experience EA SPORTS™ NHL THREES, an all-new 3-on-3 hockey experience with bigger hits, faster action, bigger plays, beautiful dangles and more goals. Inspired by fun, pick-up-and-play arcade sports games, NHL THREES is all action with no offsides, no icing and every penalty sends you straight to center-ice for a penalty shot and the chance to earn a crucial goal.

You’ll have to wait until NHL 18 launches to play the THREES Campaign, but you won’t want to miss playing NHL THREES versus any way you want to in the NHL 18 Beta, online or offline, co-op or competitive.

ONLINE VERSUS

Play NHL 18 online and feel the the speed, creativity and action of today’s young NHL superstars with new Creative Attack controls and an all-new Defensive Skill Stick. New Creative Teammate A.I. now leverages all the same creative deking and passing plays that you do, creating smarter plays up and down the ice. The A.I. will also use the new Defensive Skill Stick, making them more effective teammates in your own zone.

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  1. Just played two matches of Threes in solo versus the CPU mode. I think it is fantastic. Very well done mode, with lots of speed and big hits.
    Nope, not sim at all. But it is themes fun I've had with an arcade sports title since the original NBA Jam. They really nailed the mode.
    Same game. Oh well, for me this is an easy pass until it is on sale for the first time since nhl93. Spent five minutes on beta got bored deleted it. Back to the show diamond dynasty, so much more effort put into it than any EA game ever. Was hoping they had something going with the skill sticks and all. Guess not. Also they locked vegas on the beta which means arding a team is a selling point to make up for the lack of change.
    Played one game of verses and 2 eshl 6 on 6 games. No interest in threes at all.
    Verses, the def skill stick is nice kiddies will hate it. Game speed needs to tick up like maybe half a notch. Controls seemed sluggish no difference in puck pick ups. AI same old same old. Still not enough player differentiation for me.
    Eshl def skill stick nice rest is exactly the same.
    Game did seem boring and same as 17. Not worth a buy just for def skill stick. I dont care about dekes i dont have the stick skills for those anyway.
    Overall not happy with the game will probably not play beta again and skip this year. Prolly won't buy NHL again till a change in leadership over there. As usual i will give it another go with ea access but i dont have high hopes.
    Sent from my VS985 4G using Tapatalk
    Couple more things board passes are also a nice addition but changing controls for the puck slap sucks!
    Sent from my VS985 4G using Tapatalk
    JayBillups36
    Is it still all the same cheesy goals? Same goals for 5 years is sooooo lame

    How is this an impression?
    The game feels different to me...in a good way. In the one ONLINE versus game I have played so far I won 4-1 as Carolina over the Flyers.
    My Goals were scored in the following manner.
    - Slapper from the point with a huge screen over the goalie
    - Backhand where i rushed the net from the side with speed
    - a rebound goal where the goalie made a stop from the point, the slot and then the crease before a player snapped it
    - last goal was a clear 2 on 1 where the D-man over played the shooter and the pass went across for the one-timer
    I saw some variety so far in the first game. The puck was very hard to keep on your stick when close to defenders...this is good. Some hard dump-ins worked really well for me.
    1st game but so far I feel it is an improvement. I liked last years game so I'd say if you didn't like NHL 17 you are likely not going to like 18.
    Need more games to see if cheesy goals are still out there...that said my opponent was trying a lot of cheese type of goal attempts but couldn't execute very well. Need more online play to see.
    As I thought:
    Graphics. No change.
    Game. No change.
    Threes Mode. Huge Blast !!
    It is fun like NHL Hitz 18.
    So far it looks like the ratings are from last years roster no big deal it is a beta. Graphics were a downer. I see nothing new. The stick control I can say is also no big deal. But the 3s is a blast. That alone is worth finding a Beta code... I have mine out. Sorry.
    Sent from my LG-H901 using Operation Sports mobile app
    I played one game of Online Versus and 2 games of 3's. Not sure yet if defensive AI is improved; I'll need to play a few more games. I didn't have any cheesy goals either way in a 4-3 loss.
    3's is sort of fun, but not my cup of tea. Moneypuck is definitely something I'm not a fan. On the other hand, I can see how 3's could be addicting. I may change my opinion on this in time.
    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G935A using Operation Sports mobile app
    Played an EASHL game & some 3's offline. I really like the feel of the game plus I haven't had any of those fanning on shot's which were an issue off & online last year. Graphics while not a major upgrade look more sharp to me. Previous game had a softer look to it. I'm on the PS4 Pro so not sure if that has any effect on it. I do like putting your stick in lanes but still getting used to doing it. I do like how you can play 3's the way you want with arcade settings or just traditional periods & goals. Nets come off as well which never happened last game. I'm a big hockey fan & will be getting this for sure like I do every year. :)
    onac22
    Same game. Oh well, for me this is an easy pass until it is on sale for the first time since nhl93. Spent five minutes on beta got bored deleted it. Back to the show diamond dynasty, so much more effort put into it than any EA game ever. Was hoping they had something going with the skill sticks and all. Guess not. Also they locked vegas on the beta which means arding a team is a selling point to make up for the lack of change.

    Seems like a huge waste of a beta code... I don't know how you can come away with a legit impression in that amount of time. Yes, I know you're being hyperbolic, but still.
    I played a few online versus games so far and the first thing I noticed when I went to edit my lines for the first game was the lowered player ratings. It was about time! After going through almost all teams, 90's players are pretty rare and 85+ ratings are reserved only for stars players now. There are way more players in the 70's too, which is a great thing. Bigger player separation was long overdue, hope it will translate well in the game and we will be able to actually see a real difference between them in gameplay.
    There are some new cutscenes and there is now a lobby before online versus games to select your team, change lines or strategies, invite friends to play with you or against you. Seems like a good addition. Only problem is that we don't seem to be able to see opponent's connection status anymore before starting the game.
    As for the actual gameplay, it's a similar game to NHL 17, no doubt about it, but there are a few details that made the game play a bit differently. And for me, the details are really important, so I wasn't disappointed like some others.
    First of all, I loved the new defensive skill stick. We can sweep the stick left and right, covering passing lanes or extend it while skating, it's great. With that, stick check really works, there are stick on stick collisions and the poke check is way more consistent now. If we hit the puck with our stick or our skate, it seems to come loose consistently, which is pretty important. The defensive game seems to be working well on the default online setting, so really good thing. Only hope the gameplay won't be altered too much now, after getting a few complaints that poke checking or defensive skill stick is overpowered... It's not, it's simply working well.
    To me, the game feels smoother in general. Puck pickups, pass interceptions/deflections and hits also seemed a little bit different and tighter, but will have to play more to be sure. Didn't get mad about the AI so far either, so it's a good thing, positioning seems at least a bit better offensively, but it's way too early to say whether the promised improvements to AI positioning offensively and defensively are actually working or not.
    As for NHL Threes, for me it's totally pointless, and I hate arcade games, so I won't even touch it.
    So far, like I said, I'm having fun and I like NHL 18 for the new little details gameplay wise compared to 17, but there are not huge improvements either. The defensive skill stick is definitely the best addition for me, along with the bigger player separation in ratings.
    Well...shocker at all the complaints. The 3 on 3 is great...fun stuff. Have probably played 12 games so far and not tired of it yet. If that's what I'm paying $60 for than so be it but it's a day one purchase for me.
    People will bash like mad she ea releases something. Well, when anyone releases something really. That's the way of the internet. Do I think it's great? No but I'm at least having fun
    Sent from my SM-G935W8 using Tapatalk
    Online lobbies are a huge improvement. You select your team and edit your lines/strategies before you search for a game. Love that you can now do online co-op on different consoles.
    Played one game so far online, but the defensive skill stick is very good and extremely effective. Have not noticed any improvement to puck pick ups in close with an opposing player. Passing seems to have a very minor delay that needs to be fixed. Players also seem to have more mobility. The creative dekes controls are confusing at the moment. Still don't know how to puck chop properly. The R3 control scheme for chops/dekes needs to be changed, IMO. They seemed to have added a lot of new skating animations including one where a player will move laterally to pick up a won face off instead of letting the puck glide past them.
    Threes seems like fun, but I liked the version they released a few years ago better where they had power ups.
    Other minor issues are face-off lag at centre ice (PS4) and rosters are not up to date. So far, I like the way the game plays, but won't know for sure until I play more.
    Couple impressions from one online vs game:
    -So the puck feels looser in online versus, which is nice. But at some points it took some weird bounces and went into what I can only describe as tennis ball mode where it bounced around like crazy for a bit.
    -Don't use classic camera as the away team in Pittsburgh, looks like the cup banners maybe are blocking part of the view when the puck is in the offensive zone. Had to change to the dynamic high camera.
    -The idea of not seeing the other team selected for online versus is horrible. I used to just back out if someone selected Allstar teams, but now you have no choice until you get in game. I would usually just randomize my team choice pregame a couple times and pick a closely matched team, but now you have no idea what you're up against.
    -Defensive skill stick is great and has been needed for a while, but it still doesn't feel quite as smooth to me as the one in 2k from years past.
    -Changing the chop puck control is gonna take some getting used to.
    -There was actually a few minutes where it was hard for either team to get through the neutral zone. Could just be due to lack of skill on both me and my opponents part though haha.
    All in all, it's nhl. We all know what we're gonna get at this point. It'll be better than 17 in at least a few areas and I'll end up playing it a ton like I do every year going back to 93 cause I love hockey, but it could be so much better at this point.
    Sent from my SM-G925V using Tapatalk
    Threes is a blast, so much fun. EA nailed the arcade stuff perfectly. I could see that as a fleshed out standalone product, easily. TheY should just go full arcade in my opinion. Stoked on it.
    The sim stuff in the regular 5 on 5 plays almost identical to 17 and is lost somewhere between arcade and sim (like the many last years). The defensive skill stick is a great add on this year, but otherwise it sounds and feels like the exact same game as 17.
    The arcade threes stuff is so good that it makes me think they should just be going what they are good at and let someone else make a sim game.
    Inflict
    Online lobbies are a huge improvement. You select your team and edit your lines/strategies before you search for a game. Love that you can now do online co-op on different consoles.

    Is your lineup saved like in FIFA?
    Am I the only one who thinks that it's pretty dubious that EA only gave us the option to play either online where the AI (and all the 'awesome' changes they tell us) doesn't really matter that much or the 3 vs 3 mode which is completely different from the standard gameplay?
    I directly downloaded the beta and was so disappointed when I saw this. I never play online because I'm fed up by all those kids who are not playing real hockey and just try to cheese all the time. The best was indeed the 3 vs 3 mode which says a lot about what's to come for guys who really would like to see a solid offline hockey game.
    I'm on one side pretty much scared about the final product but on the other hand it's nothing new on this point. Really thinking about passing this iteration, also because they STILL haven't said anything about roster sharing as well. It's just sad.
    Played this last night and where do I begin....
    It's NHL 17 with sharper textures(I'm playing on PS4 Pro with 4K OLED), new dekes(which are not easy to pull off which is good), some updated goal horns, arcade play 3 on 3 mode(with the NHL2K PA announcer I believe?), and defensive skill stick that is not 100% responsive and is clunky. Commentary is exactly the same, which I seriously can't believe....I mean at least from NHL 16 to NHL 17 in the beta I heard new lines. I've heard the exact same lines over and over.
    They added some new cutscenes when you start a face-off and weird goal replays that are placed on the ice...I had a breakaway and did the same move to lead to a goal that works with Patrick Kane, forehand backhand, top shelf...goalie bites every time. Didn't see anything new with the goalies. It's going to take time to learn all of these new controls. I don't know how to puck chop yet as that was changed.
    I try to play realistic hockey, but some of these online guys know how to cheese in this game. Online versus is frustrating when you're playing these kind of guys. They puck protect all over the damn ice, gliding, its frustrating, then you try to poke check, then you trip them lol.
    I absolutely love hockey, but EA can not sell this game for $59.99. It is not worth it. It has some updates but truthfully, if this were FIFA or a bigger franchise, this "update" would be all over the news for stealing people's money. It has small improvements, but it is still pretty much the same game with minor fixes.
    This is a beta, so I'm hoping a lot of what will be in the final build simply is not there right now(e.g. new commentary) but I lean toward this pretty much being it.
    Just remembered, they touted this new and improved A.I. was this not included in the beta? I honestly did not notice ANY difference?

    • Only played a handful of games so far and I'm still getting used to it. The game is a lot smoother game play wise. It flows so well it will throw you off a little.
    • Visually the game pops a bit more.
    • The new defensive stick skill is going to take me a bit to get use to it, but it was easy to activate.
    • The poke check felt more responsive and penalties felt more deserved.
    • Goalies were more aggressive.
    • Ratings definitely are more stretched, which was nice to see, even if it meant Vancouver had some guys take big hits.
    • 3on3 was fun in arcade mode, but not really my thing.
    • AI positioning was better on offense, but they still seem to get beat too easily on D.
    csamuelsvt
    How so do you think? Please explain.

    In VS or in EASHL with a couple of CPU positions, the AI is much better at positioning than what I see just about every game in 17. They play their position better, attack the puck better, and make passes better without you having to call for the puck. JMO
    seasprite
    In VS or in EASHL with a couple of CPU positions, the AI is much better at positioning than what I see just about every game in 17. They play their position better, attack the puck better, and make passes better without you having to call for the puck. JMO

    Yeah I can''t comment on EASHL, but as an offline player only, I played that 3's mode and online versus to get a feel for the NHL teams, and I truthfully did not notice all of this "amazing A.I." that they touted.
    I guess I expected a lot more than what I saw from the games I played thats all since it's a "big feature" and from searching and reading on the reddit boards and EA boards, people are saying the same thing.
    seasprite
    In VS or in EASHL with a couple of CPU positions, the AI is much better at positioning than what I see just about every game in 17. They play their position better, attack the puck better, and make passes better without you having to call for the puck. JMO

    That's promising. Did they improve the "Lines" for 3-on-3 to where the AI actually uses two forwards and a defender, instead of the previous nonsense where someone like Berglund got benched and instead the AI would send out Brodziak along with known scorers Gunarrson and Bortuzzo.
    I saw some promising AI play in the one 3v3 EASHL game I played -- both teams had AI defensemen:

    • AI D-man skated back to collect a puck behind/near the goal and did not self pin
    • Not only that, I was able to get him to reverse the puck along the boards several times without him doing anything stupid
    • AI made a long bank pass to me on the breakout that I did not call for
    • Since it was 3v3, the F/D positioning was more fluid, and the AI generally did what I'd expect in terms of joining the rush if I was last man back or covering the point
    • My human teammate had no interest in cycling, but the few times we did, the AI would go low if I went high. Even had the AI D-man score one of the goals from right in front of the net after a brief cycle brought me to the blueline.

    Harder to judge defensive zone coverage since 3v3 is naturally a little more scrambly and the other user was a chaser. I had to give up on forechecking because he would always do it, even if I was already committed. Somebody tell that guy you can't get away with that in 3v3!
    actionhank
    That's promising. Did they improve the "Lines" for 3-on-3 to where the AI actually uses two forwards and a defender, instead of the previous nonsense where someone like Berglund got benched and instead the AI would send out Brodziak along with known scorers Gunarrson and Bortuzzo.

    Yes, it's setup as 2F/1D and as I said above, an AI D-man recognizes his role but will still play more offensively if he's not the last man back.
    TheBuddyHobbs
    Seems like a huge waste of a beta code... I don't know how you can come away with a legit impression in that amount of time. Yes, I know you're being hyperbolic, but still.

    As I said have been playing NHL and enjoying it since 93. What turned me off from this game was the AI shooting gallery it sets up. It hyper passes and gathers every rebound before your ai can even face the puck. It cycles the puck and does this until it scores. Most people call it ice tilt. I call it confusion of user AI in d zone. This is still in the game. Great, the game has a d skill stick oohh ahhh, it does no good if AI cant help cut of the rest of the ice and help read where the play is heading to aid the user before he switches players.
    Played an online match up and can't say it's much different than 17. I did see a lot more loose pucks and pucks deflecting off stick blades which was nice but I'm sure that will get nerfed with a tuner. Still bad CPU AI as just 1 minute in with my opponent breaking through the neutral zone my lone defender decides to head off for a line change giving up an easy breakaway. Cheese money goals can still be scored. Will play some more. Didn't care for 3s
    So those that are talking about the ratings spread are you actually noticing a difference on the ice ? Cause i really did not. To me they may have changed the overalls but not seeing it on the ice.
    Sent from my VS985 4G using Tapatalk
    Three words: stale, stale stale... 
    The NHL platform needs a major (and I mean major) re-engineering of everything to do with this game - from aesthetics, through to camera angles to gameplay. 
    Frankly  I can't believe EA are going to market this as a new game. They might as well call it NHL 17.2 (1 for the dekes and 1 for the defense skill stick). 
    Take 2 (2K)'s decision to stop making NHL 2k was the worst thing that happened to videogame hockey. EA have been re-packaging the same game year after year with little change . I remember when NHL was miles ahead of FIFA in terms of visuals and gameplay. Anyone can see the huge leaps that titles like FIFA (who have a solid competitor in Konami) have made in comparison to NHL .  The two are not even comparable anymore. That' what competition does. 
    Did I mention stale?!?!
    It's NHL 17 again with 3-on-3 modes and a defensive "skill" stick (which was basically in the game already). Just dreadful, the entire game and/or team needs a complete re-haul.
    EA just needs to stick with a full arcade hockey game. This game is embarrassing and they amaze me each year with how little changes are made. Hockey is so far behind any other sport right now for video games.
    I still believe EA can do a few little non AI things to the current build that might make the offline AI and playing experience better in the end:
    1) Board play must improve as it's a major part of Hockey. I don't know how simple this would be but when a player initiates the board pin that animation should lock in and you should be switched to the nearest player to swoop in for the puck, likewise an AI player should swoop in as well.
    2) line matching. Another imperative aspect of Hockey. It's absurd that top line starts against top line. Worse late in the game down a goal the CPU has it's 4th line still rolling out. I want the CPU making sure McDonagh is out when Crosby is out. I also want to see the CPU use it's time out so their 4th line isn't out in the ice with their extra skater down by 1 with a minute to go. Speaking off ....CPU pull your goalie before the 20 second mark.
    3) ratings gap and make it matter. You should know when a top player is on the ice as opposed to the 4th line and I honestly never feel that. Make a grinder a grinder make a star a star.
    4) Fix the net tie ups. At no point should a hockey player not be moving but not only does your CPU AI winger stop moving and camp in front of the net my AI defender skates away and leaves him all alone. AI defenders should tie up that non moving player.
    5) Presentation improvements. 5 man celebration, get tossed from face off circle, after whistle scrums in front of the net or along the boards....all these would help the immersion. I would also like to see intensity ratchet up in the playoffs but that's tricky. Honestly if you played an intense playoff game and had a blast how stoked would you be to play a regular season game? Maybe amp up the hitting and those scrums I mentioned.
    Those 5 things and a simple overdue roster share would please many hardcore Hockey sim guys without overhauling the entire game.
    Was pretty disappointed when I played a few games of online versus and was giving up the same 2 or 3 goals that have been present in this series for years - especially the high slot wristers. It's not that they aren't high-percentage shots (they are, especially for snipers) or that they can't be stopped by the user (they can) it's that the AI will do absolutely nothing to try to get in their way. I must take control of a D-Man or I will get scored on off the rush.
    Threes is fun and good for learning the new moves, but won't carry the product on its own.
    Will probably play some EASHL tonight.
    bcruise
    Was pretty disappointed when I played a few games of online versus and was giving up the same 2 or 3 goals that have been present in this series for years - especially the high slot wristers. It's not that they aren't high-percentage shots (they are, especially for snipers) or that they can't be stopped by the user (they can) it's that the AI will do absolutely nothing to try to get in their way. I must take control of a D-Man or I will get scored on off the rush.
    Threes is fun and good for learning the new moves, but won't carry the product on its own.
    Will probably play some EASHL tonight.

    That's been one of my biggest frustrations all along. The AI just can't play their position at all. They constantly move out of place leaving wide open players, and myself having to scramble to switch to the right player to cover them.
    A little disclaimer: I haven't played an NHL game since NHL 2013 on the 360, so this is me coming into this game with fresh eyes. In addition, I only played the 3v3 mode in the demo/beta, as I didn't want to mess with playing online. I'm also a VERY casual hockey fan. I don't have a team I root for because the closest team to where I live is 350 miles away. I just like the sport and think it's fun and exciting.
    Anyway...
    First off, I thought the graphics were pretty nice. Nothing spectacular, but nice enough for a sports game. I don't expect my sports games to look like Horizon Zero Dawn.
    I had no problem scoring with the same moves I used 5 years ago, which is nice I guess. I was on a middle of the road difficulty and I was on 3v3, so that probably had something to do with it. The dekes felt smooth and I liked the defensive skill stick.
    The 3v3 mode is a lot of fun, but I doubt I be playing it much if I actually get the game. It's also very possible I got my fill of it in the 10 or so games I played of it in the demo/beta. It definitely won't be buying the game JUST for that. I like sim versions of sports games more than arcade action.
    I'll play a little more tonight to see how I like it on consecutive days.
    Overall it was fun. I liked it better than the last NHL game I played 5 years ago on the 360, so that's good. I'll probably wait until after release to pick it up to check out some reviews to see how it stacks up.
    I haven't played enough to fully comment, especially on AI, definitely seeing changes to the way the pucks bounce off sticks.
    Very much liking the cross-crease passes not auto being picked off. The puck is getting deflected, seemingly real-time and no canned like before, all over. Could be on net, could go into the corner.
    Refreshing.
    Sent from my LG-US996 using Tapatalk
    I have to agree with the general sentiment in this thread that there just haven't been enough improvements to the 1 vs. 1 and 1 vs. CPU gameplay to make those modes feel any better than they did in NHL 17.
    The boards are still being left wide open during defensive zone breakouts and offensive zone entries, because all of your AI defenders will just go and stand in their preprogrammed positions on the ice while "forechecking" (I use air quotes there, because you can't rightfully use that term to describe the CPU's bizarre behavior during breakouts/entries) instead of dynamically picking up the nearest offensive threat to cover.
    Once the other team enters the offensive zone, you'll quickly realize that your AI defenders still have no understanding of how to maintain a gap and use the boards to shutdown a skater's potential escape paths, as human-controlled puck carriers are still able to consistently skate past the AI pylons and gain a free rush to the net at will.
    If you manually take control of the defender who's guarding the puck carrier, then you'll quickly realize that your off-puck AI defenders still have no understanding of how to prevent the backdoor one-timer pass from being left wide open in the slot/crease. So you end up having to play every game using the "Collapsing" and "Protect Net" defensive settings, because the AI can't be trusted to guard a simple backdoor one-timer without packing all five defenders into the slot/crease like they were clowns in the backseat of a circus car. And since blocked shot injuries in EA NHL games remain rarer than John Scott goals were in real life, there is still no physical toll to be paid whenever defenders crowd the "one-timer zone" and just sit back blocking shot after shot from the point like these frozen pucks were padded Nerf balls.
    In the few instances where a point shot miraculously makes it through the maze of bodies and ends up reaching the goalie, it's still way too difficult to punish impatient players who recklessly pass the puck back out into play after their goalie has controlled the initial save and gone prone, because all of your offensive teammates are programmed to stop skating once the goalie settles down in the cover-up position, instead of crowding around the puck and being ready to slam home what should be an easy putback goal. You will never see a goalie pass the puck back out through traffic after making a save at any level of professional, amateur, or recreational hockey, but it has been an accepted practice in EA NHL games as far back as the SEGA Genesis, for some annoying reason.
    Those have been my biggest gameplay issues with the 1 vs. 1 and 1 vs. CPU modes since I made my return to the series back in NHL 08, and all of those problems still exist, ten years and one console generation later.
    The only positive things I have to say about the 1 vs. 1 and 1 vs. CPU modes in this beta, are that we finally have a prematch lobby where we can invite our friends to play cooperatively, and we finally have a way to permanently save our preferred lines and team strategies before heading into a versus match.
    My stance on the EA NHL series remains the same as it has since NHL 08: this end-to-end-to-end-to-end style of hockey is something that I can only tolerate when all of the AI skaters have been replaced by human skaters. At least NHL 18's Threes and 3 vs. 3 EASHL modes do make it easier than ever to keep the fun-killing AI off the ice. But even then, 3 vs. 3 EASHL still makes the mistake of bringing CPU players back onto the ice during penalties, putting the offense into 4 vs. 3 situations instead of bending the real-life overtime rules, and going with the better gameplay experience that 3 vs. 2 would undoubtedly provide without any CPUs present.
    Josam27o7
    Could someone please tell me what happened to being able to chop the puck w/o possessing it? RB + RS direction. I no longer see it listed in the controls.

    Will probably be a new feature in NHL19!!!
    Lol, just kidding. I guess it's on R3 now, what is really stupidly difficult to use.
    Totally disappointed with the beta, and i even wasn't expecting much, but seeing the same stupid defensive AI behavior year after year is an insult to the fans of simulation games.
    As other already said it's depressing to see the lack of quality of the NHL series compared to Fifa, The Show, PES and NBA2K. All those other sport games are miles ahead of NHL. That's what's left for us hockey fans: the worst sport game in the market.
    I enjoyed what I played but only because finally, I can coop online against A.I. Yet, still the god damn replays are broken. I'd love to post this on the Beta forums but of course they don't work.
    I'll check it out on sale.
    Likes:
    + Can FINALLY invite a friend and play vs against other people without being on the same console
    + Bouncing and missing pucks. So far I've seen quite a few instances where the old magnet magical puck to the stick doesn't happen all the time like it used to.
    + One-time windups. Much smoother.
    + Keeping the puck onside against the blue line in the offensive zone. Not automatically magnetized offside without controller input in that direction.
    Dislikes:
    - Tripping penalty nowhere near the player nor making contact.
    - Adding scratched players to lines only to not show up in game.
    - Some of the same guaranteed scoring shots are still there.
    I'm hoping the top 2 dislikes are beta related and fleshed out. That said, some of what I like has actually been addressed before only to revert back. This time last year I praised the hell out of the 17' beta only for EA to negate any positive by reverting back to the same bs for some reason.
    We'll see. It's not a perfect game by any means but I'm enjoying some of the subtleties that for now are making the hockey game more enjoyable.
    Sent from my LG-US996 using Tapatalk
    Love:
    Datsyuk move. So smooth.
    Between the legs control. Being able to shoot, pass, or bring it back out of your legs are smooth.
    Gameplay is a lot more smooth.
    Threes. All of it. I thought I would hate it, and playing just vs the AI isnt much fun, but against a friend is amazing. The money puck is an awesome idea, the commentator is fresh, its just all around awesome.
    Like:
    Variety of dekes. Harder ones are hard to string together.
    Skill stick. Being able to hold it out, if somebody tries to pass you can quickly lay it on the ice to block it no matter the position.
    Goalies don't bite on every move, only if you pull off the right one in the right place.
    Hate:
    You cant shoot off a leg-kick anymore.
    You cant hip check anymore.
    Periods in Threes when playing "First to __"
    Goalies still have those unrealistic animations from 10 years ago. Scrap them and only use mo-capped stuff so we dont have to watch goalies do that splits to a** save almost every low shot
    Josam27o7
    Anyone play against the AI in a 5v5 match? Any improvements?

    I don't think that's possible unless I'm missing a way to. Best you can do to see what would happen is player lock someone in online versus and and watch the other player skate circles around your 4 teammates.
    I see the arcadey threes growing old on people real quick. There is simply not enough to it. The NHL series should focus on making the best possible realistic NHL game possible. If they want to make an arcade style game then revisit the old Mutant League Hockey games of the past and release a separate game altogether. I would buy both that game was a blast back in the day.
    Just picked up a PS4 Pro last night. I have a 4K TV (without HDR, was an early adopter) and I immediately noticed how much more clear NHL 18's Beta looked.
    The jerseys looked crisp, edges were sharper and the colors looked better.
    Yes the rink is smaller. You can choose an EA rink or MSG, and even the MSG rink has shrunken down ice dimensions.....at least this is the case in threes arcade mode. Not sure about the other mode
    bcruise
    I don't think that's possible unless I'm missing a way to. Best you can do to see what would happen is player lock someone in online versus and and watch the other player skate circles around your 4 teammates.

    Isn't it possible by playing in online versus and having a friend to be coop on your team? It's the middle section of the online versus option in the beta. It says, "play the CPU."
    I see the same nonsense exists in online versus as in 17. End of 2 periods I'm outshooting my opponent 17-2 but he's winning 2-0. 3rd period starts he steps over line and shoots "Goal" 3-0 on 3 shots. Game ended 4-0 loss even though I out shot him 29-6. What a joke.....oh and your AI team mates still skate in front of you and break up as many plays as the opposing defense.
    EASHL still aweful because if you are lucky enough to get into a 6-6 game after 2 goals guys start quitting.
    The above is why I prefer offline
    jake19ny
    I see the same nonsense exists in online versus as in 17. End of 2 periods I'm outshooting my opponent 17-2 but he's winning 2-0. 3rd period starts he steps over line and shoots "Goal" 3-0 on 3 shots. Game ended 4-0 loss even though I out shot him 29-6. What a joke.....oh and your AI team mates still skate in front of you and break up as many plays as the opposing defense.
    EASHL still aweful because if you are lucky enough to get into a 6-6 game after 2 goals guys start quitting.
    The above is why I prefer offline

    Umm Jake? As we know in soccer, possession and shots does not mean quality or clinical. Your opponent is simply more clinical/getting higher quality. Just shooting low percentage shots inflates your shot totals. You sound like one of those ranger fans who is always screaming at your team on the power play to "shoot the puck," LMAO when you are actually pressuring your team to shoot low percentage shots.
    One positive, I am really liking how the CPU controlled D men step up when being rushed at by an attacker passing the blue line. Huge difference.
    Josam27o7
    Umm Jake? As we know in soccer, possession and shots does not mean quality or clinical. Your opponent is simply more clinical/getting higher quality. Just shooting low percentage shots inflates your shot totals. You sound like one of those ranger fans who is always screaming at your team on the power play to "shoot the puck," LMAO when you are actually pressuring your team to shoot low percentage shots. There is nothing quality or clinical about it.
    One positive, I am really liking how the CPU controlled D men step up when being rushed at by an attacker passing the blue line. Huge difference.

    Thanks for the explanation and I'm well aware of shot quality. Most of us around here know exactly what I'm talking about so I didn't go into detail but perhaps I should have. His 3 goals on 3 shots were step in shoot and in. No pretty plays...no nice set up....no dekes....skate directly at my defender and wrist a puck in. I dominated in time of possession, shots, and yes quality scoring chances. This is not a new issue for this series on line and it frustrates the hell out of everybody.
    Some people like to play real hockey playing this game to mimic an NHL game, and then some people like to play EA hockey in this game.
    Anyone who has been playing this game for years, knows exactly what I'm talking about.
    When you need a goal desperately, it is very easy to get one by doing the same old moves that have been working for years. It's ridiculous how the online players just cheese their way down the ice, gliding, weaving in an out like fools whereby you as the defender more likely than not will trip them resulting in a penalty, or they wind back and shoot the other side of the goalie every single time or back door because you're trying desperately to stop them resulting in you pulling the defender out of position.
    The game is sooooo frustrating. Offline helps people like me...to an extent. There are SO many legacy issues that have not been addressed and its even more frustrating when you look at what the Madden team just dropped today in their blog about legacy issues or what 2K dropped with their new improvements.
    jake19ny
    Thanks for the explanation and I'm well aware of shot quality. Most of us around here know exactly what I'm talking about so I didn't go into detail but perhaps I should have. His 3 goals on 3 shots were step in shoot and in. No pretty plays...no nice set up....no dekes....skate directly at my defender and wrist a puck in. I dominated in time of possession, shots, and yes quality scoring chances. This is not a new issue for this series on line and it frustrates the hell out of everybody.

    I have been playing the beta a lot and am not having a big problem w/ this. Maybe you need to step up better and place your stick better. I am seeing lots of varied goals scored against me. I know what you said is a legacy issue, but I think it can be counteracted.
    And btw, just bc you get a high quality scoring chance, it doesn't mean you are clinical. I am scoring most games, so not really seeing a big problem.
    Game is a train wreck still, Skate right shoot left still works, one timers from the point still work, slapshots still over powers and MOST of all HOW HARD IS IT TO GET PLAYERS TO TURN THE RIGHT WAY WHEN BEHIND THE NET!!!! this **** has been going on for close to 5 years now and you cant sit here and tell me someone from EA hasn't realized that players still do not turn the proper way
    Money99
    Dumb question, but in 3-on-3, is the rink smaller?

    It is a standard NHL rink in OTP/EASHL 3v3, along with NHL rules and the regular online competitive game style. Could be fun with a couple good teammates, but it will be interesting, and possibly frustrating, to see how it plays out with clubs.
    Josam27o7
    I have been playing the beta a lot and am not having a big problem w/ this. Maybe you need to step up better and place your stick better. I am seeing lots of varied goals scored against me. I know what you said is a legacy issue, but I think it can be counteracted.
    And btw, just bc you get a high quality scoring chance, it doesn't mean you are clinical. I am scoring most games, so not really seeing a big problem.

    Dude... Everyone has his own opinion and I totally understand what Jake is trying to say. I can even support every point he made. Way too many cheesers/kiddos out there. Not fun at all.
    Because of the same reasons Jake posted, I also just hate playing NHL online. The beta brings absolutely nothing to the table for me - there is no 5vs5 offline where you could take a look whether they actually improved the AI that much they said or not.
    This could be the first pass for me. I was unhappy for years now, but I hope I'll finally be strong enough to pay EA back for their lazy "work". It's so hard because hockey is my favorite sport by far. But I think I can do it. Many others should do so, too.
    Honni
    Dude... Everyone has his own opinion and I totally understand what Jake is trying to say. I can even support every point he made. Way too many cheesers/kiddos out there. Not fun at all.
    Because of the same reasons Jake posted, I also just hate playing NHL online. The beta brings absolutely nothing to the table for me - there is no 5vs5 offline where you could take a look whether they actually improved the AI that much they said or not.
    This could be the first pass for me. I was unhappy for years now, but I hope I'll finally be strong enough to pay EA back for their lazy "work". It's so hard because hockey is my favorite sport by far. But I think I can do it. Many others should do so, too.

    That's been my frustration with the game. I can't really enjoy online. Not only are the sliders locked a certain way, but the emphasis on winning at any cost seems to outweigh playing for fun for a lot of people. So you get people that do whatever cheesy thing they can to win. Goals that are known to work at a high percentage, goofy things that take advantage of game programming on defense to cause turnovers...it's just never been fun the times I've tried it.
    That's why I play offline, but sadly offline doesn't get the love it once did because Online play is where the money's at.
    This year is looking more and more like a pass. I'll hold out hope for some gameplay videos, but I imagine it will be the same thing that happened last year. I watched videos and thought "Man, that doesn't look any different..." and I'll disappointedly close the video.
    actionhank
    That's been my frustration with the game. I can't really enjoy online. Not only are the sliders locked a certain way, but the emphasis on winning at any cost seems to outweigh playing for fun for a lot of people. So you get people that do whatever cheesy thing they can to win. Goals that are known to work at a high percentage, goofy things that take advantage of game programming on defense to cause turnovers...it's just never been fun the times I've tried it.
    That's why I play offline, but sadly offline doesn't get the love it once did because Online play is where the money's at.
    This year is looking more and more like a pass. I'll hold out hope for some gameplay videos, but I imagine it will be the same thing that happened last year. I watched videos and thought "Man, that doesn't look any different..." and I'll disappointedly close the video.

    That's the sad truth. Plus they simply do not communicate with their hardcore fans.
    Many offline players demanded a roster sharing features for YEARS now and EA simply doesn't care. They're not even reading and replying to their own EA Sports NHL forum. A lot of this series is just broken and/or shallow.
    I mean with the 3vs3 mode. In my opinion the Indie title Old Time Hockey has created a better and more fun arcade gamestyle than EA. This mode was just an totally unasked feature from the start, especially when they haven't fixed the base of the game itself.
    sadly, us "hardcore" fans only make up probably 3% of sales lol... EA just brush us aside, i bought last year and played for 2 weeks and this year will most likely be a pass aswell
    gp005
    sadly, us "hardcore" fans only make up probably 3% of sales lol... EA just brush us aside, i bought last year and played for 2 weeks and this year will most likely be a pass aswell

    Yeah, sadly.
    It was the same for me this year. I'm just tired of the series and the non existent or 'not enough'-improvements. Most of the game is just so shallow... Look at how boring Be A GM aka Franchise mode is compared to Madden. It's just sad. Plain and simple. Take a look at the Madden board here and you'll see that many gamers are upset about the fact that Franchise Mode of Madden doesn't get new features for 18. For NHL, we aren't even near the current depth of the Madden game.
    Gameplay wise, the AI seemed slightly better in the beta. But does this is not enough to get paid the full game price, EA. Not after the recent track record of the last years.
    Been playing a couple of days thanks to user Smiley79 for hooking me up with a beta code.
    Not going to lie I've been having some fun.
    The NHL 3's is FANTASTIC. Reminded me of coin-op arcade fun that NBA Jam & NFL blitz used to give us. Really like the way they did the scoring system for this mode. The "money puck" adds a unique variable that can really tilt how that game will go. Online Versus in this mode can get borderline chaotically fun at times with all the action that happens. I didn't think i would enjoy a mode like this but i have. The one thing lacking was need to give the option to have more players to use on your "3's" roster.
    I've done 3 Online Versus games. The games certainly seems a lot slower since i just came off playing a few games of 3's. Players feel like the have a tad more weight to them. Like forwards/centers are a bit more nimble than D guys than in NHL 17. Another thing is I still don't see though is a large enough gap between like 1st liner guys & 4th line guys. For example i use the Predators & Cody McLeod/Filip Forsberg felt way to close to the same player. Which shouldn't be the case since Cody Mcleod plays a heavy more physical style of play while scratching for time on the 4th line while Flip Forsberg is a 30 goal finesse/flashy type scorer that is one of staples of the franchise. This issue has been the case for while in the NHL EA series.
    I've noticed it seems the puck was alive a not stuck to a preset flight path. There were times in the zones where it was almost comical to watch the puck never settle. Due to this the poke checking gets a little excessive. It's effectiveness needs to be toned down a bit.
    I have enjoyed the 3 games played so far due to my opponents were sim style players that seemed to know how to play hockey & not use cheeser style tactics to win. There was one game that we had some good possessions in each others zones. Both of us had to take control of the D since the AI seems to take themselves out of good defensive positing but it lead to some great offense vs defense style chess matches. All of the goals earned in a 2-1 game were great examples of cycling the puck to get good chances & which were rewarded with goals.
    On thing I noticed on the presentation front. I LOVE the in between action camera angles! The ones where they are down by the glass looks incredibly realistic. Stuff like that really helps add to the immersion.
    Even though I've enjoyed the beta I'll probably still wait for it to go on sale before I make the plunge.
    Honni
    Dude... Everyone has his own opinion and I totally understand what Jake is trying to say. I can even support every point he made. Way too many cheesers/kiddos out there. Not fun at all.
    Because of the same reasons Jake posted, I also just hate playing NHL online. The beta brings absolutely nothing to the table for me - there is no 5vs5 offline where you could take a look whether they actually improved the AI that much they said or not.
    This could be the first pass for me. I was unhappy for years now, but I hope I'll finally be strong enough to pay EA back for their lazy "work". It's so hard because hockey is my favorite sport by far. But I think I can do it. Many others should do so, too.

    actionhank
    That's been my frustration with the game. I can't really enjoy online. Not only are the sliders locked a certain way, but the emphasis on winning at any cost seems to outweigh playing for fun for a lot of people. So you get people that do whatever cheesy thing they can to win. Goals that are known to work at a high percentage, goofy things that take advantage of game programming on defense to cause turnovers...it's just never been fun the times I've tried it.
    That's why I play offline, but sadly offline doesn't get the love it once did because Online play is where the money's at.
    This year is looking more and more like a pass. I'll hold out hope for some gameplay videos, but I imagine it will be the same thing that happened last year. I watched videos and thought "Man, that doesn't look any different..." and I'll disappointedly close the video.

    I also prefer offline, but online is still fun. I played a 4 OT match yesterday LMAO. It was epic. And when cheese is attempted I just try to defend it, and I have been successful defending. And you guys complaining about cheese, it's a freakin video game, I've never come across a sports game that doesn't have imbalances. The PES 18 beta is available now, and honestly I've been playing the NHL 18 beta over the PES 18 beta bc NHL 18 just has so much more depth to its gameplay.
    Just bc I say something w/ passion to make a point doesn't mean I am against people having opinions. Geeze, why are people so sensitive. Bombastic styles are often the most interesting in the history of literature.
    At the end of the day the series has gone stale. Instead of trying to improve the actual gameplay in an attempt to capture the best possible Hockey experience they settled on mediocrity and gimmicks. There is nothing wrong with enjoying the game and I can even enjoy the offline enough to do a season and dabble with some online play. However when year after year the exact same legitimate complaints never get addressed but we get mascots people get rightfully angry. For a long time now budget was thrown around as a possible excuse but then they go ahead and implement this 3s stuff.
    I'm sorry when your current commentary is stale, repetitive, and all to often completely inaccurate to what's actually going on....You shouldn't create 3s arcade game.
    When your AI teammates still skate in your way, abandon positions, or make idiotic timed line changes....You shouldn't create 3s arcade game.
    When your goalie animations are the same for 4+ releases and your skaters don't know how to turn in the right direction....You shouldn't create 3s arcade game.
    When the fan base by and large asks for a simple roster share around in every other sports game for years, 5 man celebration, line matching, proper time out usage, and well timed goalie pulls....for years....you shouldn't create 3s arcade game.
    When the fan base has asked for a simple goalie mask editor for years you give us mascot creator....you shouldn't create 3s arcade game.
    This is not hating on the game. I will buy it and enjoy a season but the frustration comes from the glimpse of greatness we see sometimes and the lack of desire by this company to embrace it and tackle the sport in any type of serious manner. Rant over.
    jake19ny
    At the end of the day the series has gone stale. Instead of trying to improve the actual gameplay in an attempt to capture the best possible Hockey experience they settled on mediocrity and gimmicks. There is nothing wrong with enjoying the game and I can even enjoy the offline enough to do a season and dabble with some online play. However when year after year the exact same legitimate complaints never get addressed but we get mascots people get rightfully angry. For a long time now budget was thrown around as a possible excuse but then they go ahead and implement this 3s stuff.
    I'm sorry when your current commentary is stale, repetitive, and all to often completely inaccurate to what's actually going on....You shouldn't create 3s arcade game.
    When your AI teammates still skate in your way, abandon positions, or make idiotic timed line changes....You shouldn't create 3s arcade game.
    When your goalie animations are the same for 4+ releases and your skaters don't know how to turn in the right direction....You shouldn't create 3s arcade game.
    When the fan base by and large asks for a simple roster share around in every other sports game for years, 5 man celebration, line matching, proper time out usage, and well timed goalie pulls....for years....you shouldn't create 3s arcade game.
    When the fan base has asked for a simple goalie mask editor for years you give us mascot creator....you shouldn't create 3s arcade game.
    This is not hating on the game. I will buy it and enjoy a season but the frustration comes from the glimpse of greatness we see sometimes and the lack of desire by this company to embrace it and tackle the sport in any type of serious manner. Rant over.

    Very well said!!!
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports
    Honni
    Yeah, sadly.
    It was the same for me this year. I'm just tired of the series and the non existent or 'not enough'-improvements. Most of the game is just so shallow... Look at how boring Be A GM aka Franchise mode is compared to Madden. It's just sad. Plain and simple. Take a look at the Madden board here and you'll see that many gamers are upset about the fact that Franchise Mode of Madden doesn't get new features for 18. For NHL, we aren't even near the current depth of the Madden game.
    Gameplay wise, the AI seemed slightly better in the beta. But does this is not enough to get paid the full game price, EA. Not after the recent track record of the last years.

    You're comparing NHL to Madden, well, I mean it's quite odd. Because Madden doesn't feel nearly as good as NHL does in terms of left-stick controlling the players. Madden still feels floaty and you never truly feel in control of your player, it has a disconnected feel. That's a pretty major-level of incompetence by the madden devs (they still haven't returned to the Madden heights of the PS2 era) So I wouldn't just point the finger at the NHL devs.
    jake19ny
    At the end of the day the series has gone stale. Instead of trying to improve the actual gameplay in an attempt to capture the best possible Hockey experience they settled on mediocrity and gimmicks. There is nothing wrong with enjoying the game and I can even enjoy the offline enough to do a season and dabble with some online play. However when year after year the exact same legitimate complaints never get addressed but we get mascots people get rightfully angry. For a long time now budget was thrown around as a possible excuse but then they go ahead and implement this 3s stuff.
    I'm sorry when your current commentary is stale, repetitive, and all to often completely inaccurate to what's actually going on....You shouldn't create 3s arcade game.
    When your AI teammates still skate in your way, abandon positions, or make idiotic timed line changes....You shouldn't create 3s arcade game.
    When your goalie animations are the same for 4+ releases and your skaters don't know how to turn in the right direction....You shouldn't create 3s arcade game.
    When the fan base by and large asks for a simple roster share around in every other sports game for years, 5 man celebration, line matching, proper time out usage, and well timed goalie pulls....for years....you shouldn't create 3s arcade game.
    When the fan base has asked for a simple goalie mask editor for years you give us mascot creator....you shouldn't create 3s arcade game.
    This is not hating on the game. I will buy it and enjoy a season but the frustration comes from the glimpse of greatness we see sometimes and the lack of desire by this company to embrace it and tackle the sport in any type of serious manner. Rant over.

    But the series went stale long ago. It went stale starting w/ NHL 11. From NHL 08 - NHL 10 the series felt like it was improving each year. And NHL 08-10 were at the top of sports gaming. But NHL 11 and NHL 12 were really bad games and the series fell behind other sports games from NHL 11- NHL 16. And that's when I left the series to spend time w/ other games. To me, it's only recently NHL 17 and NHL 18 that the NHL series can say its gameplay now has that feeling of being comparable to the other sports games. Given this, I'm back in.
    It's all too easy to look at the other sports games as being great, but actually when you spend time w/ Fifa, PES, Madden you notice huge problems, too.
    Josam27o7
    You're comparing NHL to Madden, well, I mean it's quite odd. Because Madden doesn't feel nearly as good as NHL does in terms of left-stick controlling the players. Madden still feels floaty and you never truly feel in control of your player, it has a disconnected feel. That's a pretty major-level of incompetence by the madden devs (they still haven't returned to the Madden heights of the PS2 era) So I wouldn't just point the finger at the NHL devs.

    Don't think so. Skating is somewhat clunky in NHL 17 (and most likely 18, too) as well. They had better skating in older titles (was it 13?)
    I know you can not directly compare those two games, but the overall feeling is just like the Madden developers (while there are problems as well), just give you more for your money: e.g. roster sharing, MUT offline games/seasons so this mode makes fun offline, too, a deeper franchise mode etc. pp.
    While the Madden dev team is def. bigger, I seriosuly don't get why they don't work together in the way that the NHL devs take a look at the roster sharing implementation, ways to improve franchise mode and so on. I mean come on, it's the same company.
    Those are all points that bother me for nearly a decade. I'm just tired and therefore I'm 'sensitive' or maybe even angry from time to time.
    This is my favorite sport and NHL should be one of my favorite games. But sadly, it isn't. And it's not even close.
    Josam27o7
    You're comparing NHL to Madden, well, I mean it's quite odd. Because Madden doesn't feel nearly as good as NHL does in terms of left-stick controlling the players. Madden still feels floaty and you never truly feel in control of your player, it has a disconnected feel. That's a pretty major-level of incompetence by the madden devs (they still haven't returned to the Madden heights of the PS2 era) So I wouldn't just point the finger at the NHL devs.

    Outside of roster share I'm not comparing NHL to any other sports game. I'm comparing it to hockey......and that's where the frustration lies.....period. I'm not saying their are not things to enjoy but of all the other sport ganes out there this game hands down fails the greatest at capturing the essence, fluidity, and overall concept of the sport....so maybe that's my only other comparison to sports games.
    jake19ny
    Outside of roster share I'm not comparing NHL to any other sports game. I'm comparing it to hockey......and that's where the frustration lies.....period. I'm not saying their are not things to enjoy but of all the other sport ganes out there this game hands down fails the greatest at capturing the essence, fluidity, and overall concept of the sport....so maybe that's my only other comparison to sports games.

    Jake, you think it's gone stale. When was NHL not stale? 15? 16? (Those were pretty bad games)
    I look at the NHL the same way I do NBA and NCAAB titles. The games are too fluid to simulate to a T.
    To me the key to these games is making sure the philosophies and strategies of the game are well reflected and improved each year.
    Board play could certainly be better, but we'll never see the level of play we see in real life along the boards because it is to difficult to transfer into a video game at a highly engaging level.
    Madwolf
    I look at the NHL the same way I do NBA and NCAAB titles. The games are too fluid to simulate to a T.
    To me the key to these games is making sure the philosophies and strategies of the game are well reflected and improved each year.
    Board play could certainly be better, but we'll never see the level of play we see in real life along the boards because it is to difficult to transfer into a video game at a highly engaging level.
    Especially because what transpires in an NHL game does so over 60 minutes, not 15.
    I'm happy with how the beta has played. But I said the same about '17. Between beta, release and the first patch, that game was honestly the biggest roller coaster ride I've ever experienced in a game. It changed so much between builds it was asinine....so we'll see what happens at release.
    Sent from my LG-US996 using Tapatalk
    Madwolf
    I look at the NHL the same way I do NBA and NCAAB titles. The games are too fluid to simulate to a T.
    To me the key to these games is making sure the philosophies and strategies of the game are well reflected and improved each year.
    Board play could certainly be better, but we'll never see the level of play we see in real life along the boards because it is to difficult to transfer into a video game at a highly engaging level.

    Board play is also terribly boring to the average or new hockey fan. That in and of itself would be a main reason they don't spend too much time on it. People like action. I mean just go to an MMA and those times where the fighters are on the ground doing amazing work, how many people boo because they don't understand what is going on. Or baseball, how many people don't actually understand the intricacies of the batter/pitcher match up? Unfortunately for us sports people we make up such a small percentage of gamers that we may never see stuff like that reach its full potential. :(
    Gerg04
    Especially because what transpires in an NHL game does so over 60 minutes, not 15.
    I'm happy with how the beta has played. But I said the same about '17. Between beta, release and the first patch, that game was honestly the biggest roller coaster ride I've ever experienced in a game. It changed so much between builds it was asinine....so we'll see what happens at release.
    Sent from my LG-US996 using Tapatalk

    Exactly, and how many people want to dedicate 60 minutes to a game?
    speels
    Exactly, and how many people want to dedicate 60 minutes to a game?
    Well, I just meant in terms of we'll never get true board play. You're right, most people don't enjoy such a nuance. The condensed nature of a hockey video game just doesn't allow proper board play. Plus, EA would never get it right lol.
    I'm in the sim-camp. I want the closest thing to a real hockey game that we can get. There's just certain aspects that we'll never see because of the scale of the game in terms of time.
    Sent from my LG-US996 using Tapatalk
    I enjoyed 17 a lot, and that said, AI was the biggest flaw to me.
    From experimenting so far, the AI behavior is a lot better in 18, but it's also well behind where I would like it to be. The best explanation I can give is by comparing it to another flowing game like FIFA. FIFA has a ton of AI issues as well, but for a "flow" sport I think the AI does an adequate job of understanding space, the rules of the game engine's physics/momentum, using its tools in a non-clumsy/random manner, and performing some relatively dynamic actions on the pitch in general. NHL seems very rudimentary still, and not all that capable of executing anything more complex than exploiting space with a shot or a pass. It needs to get more dynamic with how it uses the skating engine in order to become more threatening. Right now you can establish a good gap, divide up the ice and not chase, and pretty quickly force the AI to shoot into a forwards skates from the point or direct them into a board play down low where the puck is easy to take away.
    Also, I don't know what it is about the animations this gen, but everything seems so upright, stiff, and ill-blended. It only seems to exacerbate the already jarring visual package of these animations pairing with the skating engine. It was bad last gen, but it's much worse this gen.
    It feels like the game is missing so many small transition and blending animations. For instance, when a player retrieves a puck behind the net the ai often takes a direct line to it, but beyond that they pick up the puck from the boards facing forwards towards the boards, stick first, stiff as hell. It's just weird. If a player has to retrieve a puck from the boards behind the net, and take a direct line to it (as opposed to a curved path), I want to see them initiate a little stop up and pivot, or a small transition to a forward facing position while slowing up so their body isn't several feet from the boards holding the puck at a distance. As it is, they either pass through their legs, make a weird looking 90 degree pass around the boards, or stiffly turn from several feet away from the boards and try to skate the puck out.
    Maybe that's one of the animation and blending issues—players seem to keep the puck too far away from their body because they track it with their bodies and not with more sophisticated body position relative to stick position, and so players just kind of skate to the puck in the most direct line and pick it up in front of them. I'd like to see players skate to and establish a proper body position/posture relative to other skaters or other contexts while picking the puck up.
    I think we need more contextual automatic animations that can be branched out of.
    bad_philanthropy
    I enjoyed 17 a lot, and that said, AI was the biggest flaw to me.
    From experimenting so far, the AI behavior is a lot better in 18, but it's also well behind where I would like it to be. The best explanation I can give is by comparing it to another flowing game like FIFA. FIFA has a ton of AI issues as well, but for a "flow" sport I think the AI does an adequate job of understanding space, the rules of the game engine's physics/momentum, using its tools in a non-clumsy/random manner, and performing some relatively dynamic actions on the pitch in general. NHL seems very rudimentary still, and not all that capable of executing anything more complex than exploiting space with a shot or a pass. It needs to get more dynamic with how it uses the skating engine in order to become more threatening. Right now you can establish a good gap, divide up the ice and not chase, and pretty quickly force the AI to shoot into a forwards skates from the point or direct them into a board play down low where the puck is easy to take away.
    Also, I don't know what it is about the animations this gen, but everything seems so upright, stiff, and ill-blended. It only seems to exacerbate the already jarring visual package of these animations pairing with the skating engine. It was bad last gen, but it's much worse this gen.
    It feels like the game is missing so many small transition and blending animations. For instance, when a player retrieves a puck behind the net the ai often takes a direct line to it, but beyond that they pick up the puck from the boards facing forwards towards the boards, stick first, stiff as hell. It's just weird. If a player has to retrieve a puck from the boards behind the net, and take a direct line to it (as opposed to a curved path), I want to see them initiate a little stop up and pivot, or a small transition to a forward facing position while slowing up so their body isn't several feet from the boards holding the puck at a distance. As it is, they either pass through their legs, make a weird looking 90 degree pass around the boards, or stiffly turn from several feet away from the boards and try to skate the puck out.
    Maybe that's one of the animation and blending issues—players seem to keep the puck too far away from their body because they track it with their bodies and not with more sophisticated body position relative to stick position, and so players just kind of skate to the puck in the most direct line and pick it up in front of them. I'd like to see players skate to and establish a proper body position/posture relative to other skaters or other contexts while picking the puck up.
    I think we need more contextual automatic animations that can be branched out of.

    Agreed and I love the comparison to FIFA. Like Hockey it's a game of constant motion and FIFA does a great job. I always felt you had to work really hard to get that good scoring chance and a goal felt really rewarding. Very rarely do you get that rewarding feeling from a goal in the NHL series. Many feel cheap, forced, or accidental. Also in FIFA your AI teammates seem to actual know what they are supposed to be doing and what their roll is.....another thing you never feel in the NHL series.
    bad_philanthropy
    I enjoyed 17 a lot, and that said, AI was the biggest flaw to me.
    From experimenting so far, the AI behavior is a lot better in 18, but it's also well behind where I would like it to be. The best explanation I can give is by comparing it to another flowing game like FIFA. FIFA has a ton of AI issues as well, but for a "flow" sport I think the AI does an adequate job of understanding space, the rules of the game engine's physics/momentum, using its tools in a non-clumsy/random manner, and performing some relatively dynamic actions on the pitch in general. NHL seems very rudimentary still, and not all that capable of executing anything more complex than exploiting space with a shot or a pass. It needs to get more dynamic with how it uses the skating engine in order to become more threatening. Right now you can establish a good gap, divide up the ice and not chase, and pretty quickly force the AI to shoot into a forwards skates from the point or direct them into a board play down low where the puck is easy to take away.
    Also, I don't know what it is about the animations this gen, but everything seems so upright, stiff, and ill-blended. It only seems to exacerbate the already jarring visual package of these animations pairing with the skating engine. It was bad last gen, but it's much worse this gen.
    It feels like the game is missing so many small transition and blending animations. For instance, when a player retrieves a puck behind the net the ai often takes a direct line to it, but beyond that they pick up the puck from the boards facing forwards towards the boards, stick first, stiff as hell. It's just weird. If a player has to retrieve a puck from the boards behind the net, and take a direct line to it (as opposed to a curved path), I want to see them initiate a little stop up and pivot, or a small transition to a forward facing position while slowing up so their body isn't several feet from the boards holding the puck at a distance. As it is, they either pass through their legs, make a weird looking 90 degree pass around the boards, or stiffly turn from several feet away from the boards and try to skate the puck out.
    Maybe that's one of the animation and blending issues—players seem to keep the puck too far away from their body because they track it with their bodies and not with more sophisticated body position relative to stick position, and so players just kind of skate to the puck in the most direct line and pick it up in front of them. I'd like to see players skate to and establish a proper body position/posture relative to other skaters or other contexts while picking the puck up.
    I think we need more contextual automatic animations that can be branched out of.

    How have you been experimenting?
    jake19ny
    Agreed and I love the comparison to FIFA. Like Hockey it's a game of constant motion and FIFA does a great job. I always felt you had to work really hard to get that good scoring chance and a goal felt really rewarding. Very rarely do you get that rewarding feeling from a goal in the NHL series. Many feel cheap, forced, or accidental. Also in FIFA your AI teammates seem to actual know what they are supposed to be doing and what their roll is.....another thing you never feel in the NHL series.

    Wow. You look at FIFA way too highly. The core problem w/ fifa that ruins it is how poorly its movement physics represent the sport. It gives everything an unrealistic feeling. This is the area nhl is better than fifa, nhl's movement physics are a closer representation of the sport.
    bad_philanthropy
    Same method used by this guy.

    Thanks, bro. Yeh I saw this too, I watched his video and thoughts. I thought maybe you figured how to do a player lock in a 5v5 match to see the cpu.
    Josam27o7
    Thanks, bro. Yeh I saw this too, I watched his video and thoughts. I thought maybe you figured how to do a player lock in a 5v5 match to see the cpu.

    I wish! Would have been nice. It's interesting how, when you put it on hardcore sim, the AI is basically at war with itself trying to constantly pull off tricks the settings won't let it do based on attributes, speed, and general difficulty.
    Josam27o7
    Wow. You look at FIFA way too highly. The core problem w/ fifa that ruins it is how poorly its movement physics represent the sport. It gives everything an unrealistic feeling. This is the area nhl is better than fifa, nhl's movement physics are a closer representation of the sport.

    Don't get me wrong I'm not holding FIFA up as a great game and I'm a casual Soccer game player at best so my opinion would not be worth a whole lot. I'm merely saying in regards to AI of the CPU and your CPU teammates that FIFA is, in my opinion far superior to NHL. Both games have big time movement physics issues and I think sometimes we also expect a little to much in that area from a video game. All in all I think we all just want the best representation possible of the sport we love. I think NHL 14 may have been the last release that felt like a decent step forward since then it's been wash, rinse, repeat. I also think everyone expected a bigger step up on next gen then we were given. I've been playing this series since it's very first release on SEGA genesis and I can count only 5 releases that seemed like an advancement in the sport.
    1) Origibal release (SEGA Genesis)
    2) NHL 94 (SEGA Genesis)
    3) NHL 2004 (PC)
    4) NHL 2009 (PC)
    5) NHL 2014 (PS3)
    Anyone who was lucky enough to enjoy those PC versions knows that in addition to those great releases was an even better modding community.
    jake19ny
    Don't get me wrong I'm not holding FIFA up as a great game and I'm a casual Soccer game player at best so my opinion would not be worth a whole lot. I'm merely saying in regards to AI of the CPU and your CPU teammates that FIFA is, in my opinion far superior to NHL. Both games have big time movement physics issues and I think sometimes we also expect a little to much in that area from a video game. All in all I think we all just want the best representation possible of the sport we love. I think NHL 14 may have been the last release that felt like a decent step forward since then it's been wash, rinse, repeat. I also think everyone expected a bigger step up on next gen then we were given. I've been playing this series since it's very first release on SEGA genesis and I can count only 5 releases that seemed like an advancement in the sport.
    1) Origibal release (SEGA Genesis)
    2) NHL 94 (SEGA Genesis)
    3) NHL 2004 (PC)
    4) NHL 2009 (PC)
    5) NHL 2014 (PS3)
    Anyone who was lucky enough to enjoy those PC versions knows that in addition to those great releases was an even better modding community.

    Jake, could you explain exactly why NHL 09 was better than NHL 10?
    bad_philanthropy
    I wish! Would have been nice. It's interesting how, when you put it on hardcore sim, the AI is basically at war with itself trying to constantly pull off tricks the settings won't let it do based on attributes, speed, and general difficulty.

    Probably bc for 3s EA has heightened AI tendency for tricks. I'm not worried about this for the full release 5v5s.
    Played more 3s vs the CPU. And I am pleasantly surprised by the AIs behavior. It's definitely the best the AI has ever been in the series. Bodes well for the 5v5 main game.
    Josam27o7
    Probably bc for 3s EA has heightened AI tendency for tricks. I'm not worried about this for the full release 5v5s.
    Played more 3s vs the CPU. And I am pleasantly surprised by the AIs behavior. It's definitely the best the AI has ever been in the series. Bodes well for the 5v5 main game.

    Agreed. It's far from as dynamic as I'd like it to be, but it's a huge upgrade. Hopefully they can keep improving it in title updates and tuners throughout the release cycle. I'd still like to see a bit less urgency from the cpu at times. Too often still it will make a quick pass or move the puck when the correct play is to evade (either with a smaller skating movement or a simple stop), and either use the quickly created space to skate the puck or play it to someone else through a better quality outlet.
    Josam27o7
    Jake, could you explain exactly why NHL 09 was better than NHL 10?

    As far as milestones in the series NHL 09, on the PC was the best release since 2004. In addition the modding community made it the first game in the series to have all real arenas, authentic goal horns, arena music, every player every accurate cyberface and authentic coaches. Tools were available such as NHLview and Total Control Editor. NHL10 was not an aweful release but it was the first release not to come out on PC (none since). 2010 could be added to my my list but it would be based only its appearance on the PS3. It's personal opinion and not fact anyway but if I included it that's only 6 releases in 26 years of the series that would be considered an innovative or vastly improved release. Not a great run.
    Manual shooting (aim) is broken!
    If your forward is in OFF Zone you CANT shoot the puck left or right the boards...its automaticly going to the net EVERYTIME!!!
    I play with manual pass and manual shoot aim...
    fix this please! I've forgotten it, its STILL broken like in NHL17.
    GetThePuckOut
    Manual shooting (aim) is broken!
    If your forward is in OFF Zone you CANT shoot the puck left or right the boards...its automaticly going to the net EVERYTIME!!!
    I play with manual pass and manual shoot aim...
    fix this please! I've forgotten it, its STILL broken like in NHL17.
    ">
    Huge grip of mine. The game thinks every pass you make should be forward and every shot to the net. It needs to be fixed.
    Along with touch passes. I need to be able to pass softly when I want.
    Sent from my LG-US996 using Tapatalk
    bad_philanthropy
    Agreed. It's far from as dynamic as I'd like it to be, but it's a huge upgrade. Hopefully they can keep improving it in title updates and tuners throughout the release cycle. I'd still like to see a bit less urgency from the cpu at times. Too often still it will make a quick pass or move the puck when the correct play is to evade (either with a smaller skating movement or a simple stop), and either use the quickly created space to skate the puck or play it to someone else through a better quality outlet.

    I'm really hoping we'll see some actual gameplay videos.
    I want to see how the AI handles defensive coverage, and if as soon as the puck is turned over, everyone still just backs away from the puck carrier. It's my biggest frustration on the PP. As soon as the AI gets the puck, everyone just runs away from them. There's no forechecking, there's no rushing to break up the puck carrier's ability to skate with it or try and block a clearing attempt...the AI just all back away giving them a clear lane, and leaving me mashing the change player button to try and get someone to skate at the guy.
    Not sure what the problem is with manual shooting forcing the puck on net. If you want to ring the puck around the boards you can simply pass along them or use the saucer pass to do so.
    As far as aiming goes, you're highly inaccirate when you're skating or moving at a high speed. Even if you aim the puck left or right, high or low, it may still hit the goalie in the chest. This is too simulate the lack of pinpoint accuracy of most shots in real life.
    I don't really see a problem there as much as I see a lack of understanding.
    actionhank
    I'm really hoping we'll see some actual gameplay videos.
    I want to see how the AI handles defensive coverage, and if as soon as the puck is turned over, everyone still just backs away from the puck carrier. It's my biggest frustration on the PP. As soon as the AI gets the puck, everyone just runs away from them. There's no forechecking, there's no rushing to break up the puck carrier's ability to skate with it or try and block a clearing attempt...the AI just all back away giving them a clear lane, and leaving me mashing the change player button to try and get someone to skate at the guy.

    Yes, this is a tactical adherence problem. PES has the same problem. Hopefully NHL fixes it bc there needs to be common sense judgements in the AI behavior that can supersede tactics.
    NHL impresses me w/ how rewarding defending can feel. In PES, fifa, madden defending doesn't feel rewarding at all. I look forward to defending in NHL ... I despise defending in fifa, madden, pes.
    GetThePuckOut
    Manual shooting (aim) is broken!
    If your forward is in OFF Zone you CANT shoot the puck left or right the boards...its automaticly going to the net EVERYTIME!!!
    I play with manual pass and manual shoot aim...
    fix this please! I've forgotten it, its STILL broken like in NHL17.

    Hold R1 while "shooting" inside the offensive zone and you'll rim the puck around the boards. Worked last year and it works in the beta.
    bcruise
    Hold R1 while "shooting" inside the offensive zone and you'll rim the puck around the boards. Worked last year and it works in the beta.

    Yeah, it's always been like this. R1 in offensive zone for rims, and simple LS outside the zone.
    bcruise
    Hold R1 while "shooting" inside the offensive zone and you'll rim the puck around the boards. Worked last year and it works in the beta.

    thanx guys i know this but i mean as simple as it can be with manual shoot aiming...if i want to shoot a wrist shot to (say my rw near the net) i cant cause the puck goes directly to the net....
    AND WHERE THE HELL IS THE 5 MAN HUGH and celebrate together when a goal is scored,
    WHERE IS more intense celebration when a crucial goal is scored (like a game winner, or game-tying goal)
    EA seriously, what you think about that, its a TEAM SPORT!
    thanx anyway
    :cheers:
    GetThePuckOut
    thanx guys i know this but i mean as simple as it can be with manual shoot aiming...if i want to shoot a wrist shot to (say my rw near the net) i cant cause the puck goes directly to the net....
    AND WHERE THE HELL IS THE 5 MAN HUGH and celebrate together when a goal is scored,
    WHERE IS more intense celebration when a crucial goal is scored (like a game winner, or game-tying goal)
    EA seriously, what you think about that, its a TEAM SPORT!
    thanx anyway
    :cheers:

    Yup....the whole second half of your post goes to prove this development team honestly does not understand the sport. Forget about the AI stuff we all want and should have.......just imagine how different the game would feel if simple cutscenes were added that truly represented an overtime goal, a late game winning or tying goal, goal that wins the game and puts you in the playoffs, or more importantly a BIG playoff goal. The fact that the 5th goal of a game on October 10th feels, looks, and plays out exactly the same as a game 7 overtime game winning goal is a joke and massive over sight. Again it's not an AI thing.....I would love better AI but until then sex me up with cut scenes that fit the moment to fool me into thinking it was awesome. It will work.
    jake19ny
    Yup....the whole second half of your post goes to prove this development team honestly does not understand the sport. Forget about the AI stuff we all want and should have.......just imagine how different the game would feel if simple cutscenes were added that truly represented an overtime goal, a late game winning or tying goal, goal that wins the game and puts you in the playoffs, or more importantly a BIG playoff goal. The fact that the 5th goal of a game on October 10th feels, looks, and plays out exactly the same as a game 7 overtime game winning goal is a joke and massive over sight. Again it's not an AI thing.....I would love better AI but until then sex me up with cut scenes that fit the moment to fool me into thinking it was awesome. It will work.

    It's simple right?? You'd THINK they'd be able to think this logically and incorporate this into the game.
    Hell, they even HAVE the 5 man cutscenes in the game already from last year. Milestone goals, your 500th goal, or 1st in the NHL. They even have it when you win the game in Threes mode. They all come celebrate together.
    Just give me that cutscene when you score first and then build upon it like you're saying for bigger goals at the end of games, playoffs, etc.
    It's CLEAR AS DAY they can't do real time 5 man celebrations since it has been like this since NHL 14. What frustrates me even MORE is the fact that EA preaches they share the technology between all of the sports titles. FIFA used to have the same issue with only 2 man celebrations. They fixed it and have full TEAM celebrations greater than 5. Why can't the NHL team?
    Josam27o7
    Yes, this is a tactical adherence problem. PES has the same problem. Hopefully NHL fixes it bc there needs to be common sense judgements in the AI behavior that can supersede tactics.

    I think AI could honestly be the biggest thing for me. Sure faces are disappointing, and the Be a GM mode is stale, but I can deal with those since the on-ice gameplay is my biggest focus.
    But for the past few years I've just become so frustrated by the same issues every year. I remember playing NHL17 when I first got it, and was in Game 7 of the cup finals against Tampa Bay. The Blues are up 3-2 in the last 5 minutes of the 3rd, and the puck is in our zone. The forwards on both sides were changing up, and Drouin was taking the puck into the zone himself. He stops at the boards, so I move to cover him with Parayko from the right side. As soon as I start skating towards him, Shattenkirk leaves the net front and follows me towards Drouin. At this point, Jagr (they traded for him) is now parked in the slot just waiting...no one there, no coverage. Lehtera has jumped on the ice (line changes are another hugely frustrating thing) and starts skating into the defensive zone...when he just stops right below the blue line and stares at Jagr's backside (who could blame him?). So there I am, frantically trying to switch from Parayko who immediately pins Drouin to the boards when I change players, Shattenkirk who is just standing behind Parayko poke checking Parayko's skates because he's too far back...and finally I get Lehtera...just as Drouin kicks a puck between Parayko's legs, Shattenkirk's stick and legs, and right to Jagr who easily fires it home, as Lehtera doesn't get within 10 feet of him by the time I take control.
    Fast forward to OT, and I'm short a man from a delay of game penalty in the end of the 3rd. The Blues win their first cup ever when Brodziak clears the puck off the glass, and Hedman skates down to retrieve it, picks up the puck about 15 feet in front of Bishop, skates the puck through Bishop's pads because he doesn't know how to turn around the net, and then triggers the "pass" action with his stick impaling Bishop's legs and arm, causing the goal to register and the Blues to win their first Stanley Cup.
    The above was possibly the most deflating way to end a season. The other goals in the game weren't too bad (a few goofy deflections, but hey...) but the AI on both sides just absolutely ruined what should have been a really fun moment.
    I played 2 3 on 3 games and am already frustrated. The AI is terrible. Teammates do nothing but stand around facing you waiting for a pass (and the CPU is going to knock them over the moment they get it). The CPU can skate and turn on a dime with unbelievable agility, while your teammates do nothing. I didn't see one of my teammates try a defensive move. They just stand next to the other player.
    The only reason I buy this game is if my friends get it so we can play online. There's just no enjoyment for me playing offline.
    Fifa still has issues, but NHL feels like they've put nothing into the AI or offline play.
    I think this will be only the 3rd time I skip the series in its entire history. That's really disappointing, but this just isn't fun. NHL 17 offline was nothing but frustration and this feels no different. Maybe the days of the offline player are just at an end. :jpshakehe
    kerosene31
    I played 2 3 on 3 games and am already frustrated. The AI is terrible. Teammates do nothing but stand around facing you waiting for a pass (and the CPU is going to knock them over the moment they get it). The CPU can skate and turn on a dime with unbelievable agility, while your teammates do nothing. I didn't see one of my teammates try a defensive move. They just stand next to the other player.
    The only reason I buy this game is if my friends get it so we can play online. There's just no enjoyment for me playing offline.
    Fifa still has issues, but NHL feels like they've put nothing into the AI or offline play.
    I think this will be only the 3rd time I skip the series in its entire history. That's really disappointing, but this just isn't fun. NHL 17 offline was nothing but frustration and this feels no different. Maybe the days of the offline player are just at an end. :jpshakehe

    I'm actually having more fun playing offline than online. Relative to other sports games the AI isn't that bad. I have lots of experience w/ PES and Fifa. Futhermore, offline you can use sliders. The online presets are way to arcadey.
    Josam27o7
    I'm actually having more fun playing offline than online. Relative to other sports games the AI isn't that bad. I have lots of experience w/ PES and Fifa. Futhermore, offline you can use sliders. The online presets are way to arcadey.

    Not sure how you can make this evaluation yet since offline regular season type game was not available in the beta which is a huge red flag to begin with. Hope your right and I'm wrong:,,,,
    My biggest gripe is that the CPU isn't bound by the same skating engine I am.
    If I skate down the wing full speed, then turn, I make a big circle. That's fine, that's realistic. My problem is that the CPU does not have to follow the same physics rules.
    Remember the first year they really improved the skating? Maybe 4-5 years ago? The AI was always getting beat when they had slow players. They weren't smart enough to back up soon enough, so you skated right past them.
    So slowly they toned down the limits on the CPU. Now, on a 3 on 3 game where there should be tons of space (I'm using fast skaters), there's no space. In the real NHL 5 on 5 game, there's rarely space, but 3 on 3 there is tons of it. In this game you can't create space with smart plays.
    Can this be fixed with sliders? Well yes and no. The problem is that if you can adjust this, it will just make the AI easy to beat. Maybe you can turn down their massive agility boosts, but by doing so you just expose the core problem - the CPU can't play smart positionally.
    Throw in the puck magnet the CPU seems to get and the frustration level rises (I got stick lifted when the CPU player was a whole stride directly behind me).
    I mean I'm playing on all star default. If I make things any easier I'm going to win most every game. I mean, if I play on pro this stuff is toned way down, but I won't get a competitive game on pro.
    Just think back to what 3 on 3 looks like in a real game. There's tons of space and almost no physical contact except maybe in front of the net. In this game, the CPU is draped all over you at every spot on the ice (the teammate AI contributes too).
    kerosene31
    My biggest gripe is that the CPU isn't bound by the same skating engine I am.
    If I skate down the wing full speed, then turn, I make a big circle. That's fine, that's realistic. My problem is that the CPU does not have to follow the same physics rules.
    Remember the first year they really improved the skating? Maybe 4-5 years ago? The AI was always getting beat when they had slow players. They weren't smart enough to back up soon enough, so you skated right past them.
    So slowly they toned down the limits on the CPU. Now, on a 3 on 3 game where there should be tons of space (I'm using fast skaters), there's no space. In the real NHL 5 on 5 game, there's rarely space, but 3 on 3 there is tons of it. In this game you can't create space with smart plays.
    Can this be fixed with sliders? Well yes and no. The problem is that if you can adjust this, it will just make the AI easy to beat. Maybe you can turn down their massive agility boosts, but by doing so you just expose the core problem - the CPU can't play smart positionally.
    Throw in the puck magnet the CPU seems to get and the frustration level rises (I got stick lifted when the CPU player was a whole stride directly behind me).
    I mean I'm playing on all star default. If I make things any easier I'm going to win most every game. I mean, if I play on pro this stuff is toned way down, but I won't get a competitive game on pro.
    Just think back to what 3 on 3 looks like in a real game. There's tons of space and almost no physical contact except maybe in front of the net. In this game, the CPU is draped all over you at every spot on the ice (the teammate AI contributes too).

    I've been saying this for years.
    The AI is terrible and EA doesn't appear to know how to program proper AI, so they take the easy way out by giving the CPU boosts/cheats.
    It's been one of my biggest pet peeves.
    I've hated controlling a slick skater, who feels slightly sluggish, while the CPU darts and dances with a scrub.
    Sent from my LG-K210 using Operation Sports mobile app
    Money99
    I've been saying this for years.
    The AI is terrible and EA doesn't appear to know how to program proper AI, so they take the easy way out by giving the CPU boosts/cheats.
    It's been one of my biggest pet peeves.
    I've hated controlling a slick skater, who feels slightly sluggish, while the CPU darts and dances with a scrub.
    Sent from my LG-K210 using Operation Sports mobile app

    I've always thought the frustration came from the positioning as you've both mentioned. In real hockey, players are rarely standing still, because getting caught flat footed is what happens to players that do. But in game there's a lot of stand, adjust, stand, adjust. I get that it's probably very hard to program, but there are some times where the AI just doesn't react quickly enough to anything. A lot of times I see the defenders leaving a massive gap between themselves and forwards, but then they stop and stand still waiting for the play to catch up. But they don't start moving again until the player with the puck gets to a certain range away when they suddenly start playing catch-up. This would be find for a player gliding slowly with the puck, but when they react the McDavid going full blast down the center the same way they do a guy with cement for feet, it leads to the defense being out of position a lot.
    Then, even if they do react, it's usually a reaction that makes no sense. This video is poorly recorded but in it, Jack Johnson is covering the middle while his D-partner missed a puck that I dumped up the boards. Fabbri gets behind his partner after his partner misses the puck on the boards. So far, so good. That happens in the real NHL, pucks bounce etc. But, the issue is how Johnson reacts to the play. The backwards crossunders that would have made sense if used to back into the neutral zone when Fabbri first got pressure on his defender would make sense, but once he's facing sideways and looking at Fabbri, it takes him away from the play.
    After that, Fabbri is skating for the puck that's at center ice, and Johnson is caught at his own blue line having just turned to face up ice. For some inexplicable reason, as Fabbri races for the puck that's in the Jackets' zone, Johnson crosses the center ice line and skates straight towards his bench. Not only is he skating towards a destination behind the puck and player, but he slows down. It's not for a line change, it's just some weird turn. His defensive partner has been sprinting to catch up to Fabbri and the puck, and if the AI knew where to be, Johnson could have easily skated straight for the net and likely had a shot at meeting Fabbri and breaking up the play. Instead Dubinsky, Johnson and the other defender all meet up behind Fabbri at essentially the same time and then all stop skating as the puck gets tucked into the net.
    It's just little things with the AI that just don't make sense. This video is another example. The Blues should at least have a shot at a 2 on 1, maybe a 3 on 1. Tarasenko is curling around just out of shot. But, he bumps into a Wild player and just slows down, and then as Ott crosses the blue line with the puck, Steen slows down and just glides. Instead of pressuring the middle and trying to get around the last defender, he just stops and lets the other 3 Wild players pass him. Neither Tarasenko nor Steen make any attempt to get a good passing lane and shooting position. They just all stop skating on the play.
    jake19ny
    Not sure how you can make this evaluation yet since offline regular season type game was not available in the beta which is a huge red flag to begin with. Hope your right and I'm wrong:,,,,

    You play the PES beta? They didn't include AI gameplay, too. But PES will have a demo. Highly doubt NHL will have a demo. NHL not having a demo is the real disgrace.
    Josam27o7
    You play the PES beta? They didn't include AI gameplay, too. But PES will have a demo. Highly doubt NHL will have a demo. NHL not having a demo is the real disgrace.

    Has it been this way since NHL 15? I don't remember the last time they released a real demo, instead of this "Play our multiplayer mode!" thing they've been doing the past few years. As someone with absolutely 0 interest in playing online, it just decreases my desire to get the final game that much more.
    Money99
    I've been saying this for years.
    The AI is terrible and EA doesn't appear to know how to program proper AI, so they take the easy way out by giving the CPU boosts/cheats.
    It's been one of my biggest pet peeves.
    I've hated controlling a slick skater, who feels slightly sluggish, while the CPU darts and dances with a scrub.
    Sent from my LG-K210 using Operation Sports mobile app

    Agree. One of my issues with this demo too. But the skating on my side is smooth.
    Played an online versus game early this week to test the game out. Late in a 1-1 game I had quite possibly the worst AI experience I've seen. My opponent passed one down the left wing (when looking at the screen) sending him in the offensive zone on what should have been a 1 on 2. My CPU defensemen decides to do a complete fly by before I can even switch to him. By fly by, I mean he just started skating to center ice and didn't have any ambition to do anything to the defender. By the time the switch actually worked, my defensemen was at the bottom of the center ice circle.
    Needless to say the guy scored on a breakaway because by the time I switched to my other defensemen he was a step behind and couldn't make up for the AI blunder. I just don't get how this happens. Not for a game that has plenty of memory and room to improve the AI. If the AI was actually good, I'd give a pass and say whatever. That's not the case, and they have zero room for errors like that.
    I haven't touched the game since. It felt exactly like NHL 17 anyway, in which I still have 3 out of my 10 hours left on my EA Access. Actually now that I think of it, the game is free now anyway. Anyway, I was 99% sure I wasn't going to buy the game, so this pretty much pushes it to 100%. I'll just use the EA Access to play in case I want to get some hockey in.
    I played a games of 3's and think it's pretty cool. My favorite mode has always been Be A Pro but it's usually the same year after year so I doubt I buy it.. I usually go every three years. Maybe 2019.
    bwiggy33
    Played an online versus game early this week to test the game out. Late in a 1-1 game I had quite possibly the worst AI experience I've seen. My opponent passed one down the left wing (when looking at the screen) sending him in the offensive zone on what should have been a 1 on 2. My CPU defensemen decides to do a complete fly by before I can even switch to him. By fly by, I mean he just started skating to center ice and didn't have any ambition to do anything to the defender. By the time the switch actually worked, my defensemen was at the bottom of the center ice circle.
    Needless to say the guy scored on a breakaway because by the time I switched to my other defensemen he was a step behind and couldn't make up for the AI blunder. I just don't get how this happens. Not for a game that has plenty of memory and room to improve the AI. If the AI was actually good, I'd give a pass and say whatever. That's not the case, and they have zero room for errors like that.
    I haven't touched the game since. It felt exactly like NHL 17 anyway, in which I still have 3 out of my 10 hours left on my EA Access. Actually now that I think of it, the game is free now anyway. Anyway, I was 99% sure I wasn't going to buy the game, so this pretty much pushes it to 100%. I'll just use the EA Access to play in case I want to get some hockey in.

    Which games are suitable for you? Madden? PES?
    Madwolf
    Not sure what the problem is with manual shooting forcing the puck on net. If you want to ring the puck around the boards you can simply pass along them or use the saucer pass to do so.
    As far as aiming goes, you're highly inaccirate when you're skating or moving at a high speed. Even if you aim the puck left or right, high or low, it may still hit the goalie in the chest. This is too simulate the lack of pinpoint accuracy of most shots in real life.
    I don't really see a problem there as much as I see a lack of understanding.

    Yeah, I never use the RS to shoot the puck around the board, I use the bumpers and aim it around them, and it works pretty darn well.
    What is pissing me off about online vs - it's a battle of the defensive skill stick.
    I like what they've done with it. But it almost comes down to who is better using it. What with the AI being abysmal...
    Sent from my LG-US996 using Tapatalk
    Josam27o7
    Which games are suitable for you? Madden? PES?

    The Show mainly which is fantastic in most cases. Then I also play FIFA and PES, which have their issues too but not to the extreme of NHL. PES was bad without the tactic switch because defenders would just automatically sprint back to the defensive half of the field. This was fixable with tactics though. Fifa's issues can somewhat be countered with sliders. With NHL, you cannot fix any of their AI issues. They are engrained into the brains of the players and you can't fix that. There's a ton of sliders and even some strategies to set, but those don't help in regards to the idiocy of what I saw in the demo. Slider changes and strategy adjustments have never helped in this series to avoid guys standing around, and other dumb things that can be seen. Their is just no effort spent on this game. If there was they would see that these things have happened for a very long time. There will never be a video game that's flawless, but the ones that avoid huge gaffes in critical situations, are the games that I will play.
    The biggest thing is I understand hockey. Where players are supposed to be positioned, what plays they make in specific situations, how goalies should play, etc.. Hockey is my life. I've played it, watched it, and studied it since the age of 2. 2 months old if you want to count the first high school game I went to. I'm not like that with soccer so some of the issues some people see, I may not notice until I look at the forums. I started to enjoy soccer in 2008, but don't have the full strategy and positioning down. My gaming time is more limited anyway so I don't spend it playing anything that isn't fun for me.
    Gerg04
    What is pissing me off about online vs - it's a battle of the defensive skill stick.
    I like what they've done with it. But it almost comes down to who is better using it. What with the AI being abysmal...
    Sent from my LG-US996 using Tapatalk

    Yes, I see this, too. This is a consequence of how insanely easy it is to control the puck and skate with pace. It consistently puts you in vulnerable defensive positions. If they slowed the pace down and made the puck more difficult to control, people would be discouraged to sprint at you nonstop and instead they would need to slow down and play more of a conservative passing game.
    Josam27o7
    Yes, I see this, too. This is a consequence of how insanely easy it is to control the puck and skate with pace. It consistently puts you in vulnerable defensive positions. If they slowed the pace down and made the puck more difficult to control, people would be discouraged to sprint at you nonstop and instead they would need to slow down and play more of a conservative passing game.

    Real effective stamina would really help there. In the EA NHL series, a line being out of energy never really seems to matter. I rotate lines really just for the sake of it. But in the game, a tired player might move a little slower...but that's about it. It's not noticeably slower. I could trap their D out there, and they're still going to back up just the same.
    Well after playing a bit with the Beta, I guess I'll keep it simple , I'm a bit disappointed, don't see much changes at all and I'm not talking about graphics, cause I didn't think that would change much. Maybe saving my money in this one and play 17 still
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports
    I don't have EA Access anymore and I don't like what I'm hearing from the vets on here. Think I might wait before purchasing this year, something I NEVER do with hockey.
    bradbitte
    It seems to be more easier to make the mascots playing hockey than getting a simple legends team.
    It's cheaper. Legends need to be licensed.
    Sent from my Nexus 6P using Tapatalk
    actionhank
    Real effective stamina would really help there. In the EA NHL series, a line being out of energy never really seems to matter. I rotate lines really just for the sake of it. But in the game, a tired player might move a little slower...but that's about it. It's not noticeably slower. I could trap their D out there, and they're still going to back up just the same.

    Yes, I agree. I hope the dev team listens to us instead of the ultimate team children who are complaining that the game feels too slow.
    One thing I like about NHL is how with the sliders you can actually slow the gameplay a good bit w/o the gameplay breaking. Because in Fifa you cannot drop the accel and sprint sliders w/o breaking the gameplay.
    I wish the dev team would put the players nationalities on the player card like it is in Fifa. I would like to know if someone is Russian, Canadian, etc. Nationality often sums up players more than stats.
    Good find, man. Definitely doesn't look like someone who plays regularly or full sim settings, and maybe not even competitive. So pretty hard to judge with all the chasing on the user side. However, the skating still looks (and felt in the beta) awkward and clunky at times. I can't decide if it's too much agility (twitchy), or not enough (clumsy)?
    Real life skating is such a hard thing to emulate. Back when we could change the skate blades, I thought using the 13" blades gave a good feel. Had a bigger turning radius which made arcing turns and hard stops more important, and gave the player a longer, more powerful feeling straight-line stride. Too bad that was probably specific to the old skating system, as that kind of global modification could make a nice subtle difference.
    Qb
    Good find, man. Definitely doesn't look like someone who plays regularly or full sim settings, and maybe not even competitive. So pretty hard to judge with all the chasing on the user side. However, the skating still looks (and felt in the beta) awkward and clunky at times. I can't decide if it's too much agility (twitchy), or not enough (clumsy)?
    Real life skating is such a hard thing to emulate. Back when we could change the skate blades, I thought using the 13" blades gave a good feel. Had a bigger turning radius which made arcing turns and hard stops more important, and gave the player a longer, more powerful feeling straight-line stride. Too bad that was probably specific to the old skating system, as that kind of global modification could make a nice subtle difference.

    At a glance, you can't tell me that doesn't look like NHL 17 with the Vegas Knights added and DSS. I'm just so frustrated with this game. They did not put full effort into this game. They just did not. The 3s mode is where it seems all the attention went like DJ Neo said and perhaps Frostbite next year.
    The game is not worth $59.99.
    I'm not a hockey fan at all, but I enjoy the playing the games. My main interest in this would be to play online, and in that regard I'm very pleased with it. Visually it looks damn near exactly the same as 17, but it feels good. I had a great time running 6 vs. 6 and 3 vs. 3 games with friends. I'll probably grab it when it's cheap like I have the last two years, but for my purposes it's good enough.
    csamuelsvt
    At a glance, you can't tell me that doesn't look like NHL 17 with the Vegas Knights added and DSS.

    Yeah, it doesn't look impressive or overhauled. Honestly, I'm not expecting to see what I want to see when sliders aren't involved (or even default full sim).
    For as much as I can play these days, my expectations have been lowered to balanced enough gameplay/mechanics to enjoy sporadic EASHL nights, and enough customization options to significantly impact the offline game.
    I played very little of the Beta, but I think OTP will be OK, although with a bit of been-there-done-that feel. The 3v3 option will add a new wrinkle at least. Who knows about offline... it hasn't grabbed me for a few years now, but also didn't really put in some time to find settings I liked.
    I think the more you understand hockey the easier it becomes to see the flaws in positioning, and the wonky things the AI does. The one thing I definitely notice is that the defensive AI doesn't always understand when they've got too many players committed to an opposing player in the zone, or might not position along the boards or in front of the net properly depending on where the puck is at and who controls it.
    The AI can just get sort of stuck chasing the puck and leave gaping holes in your defense at times.
    The other big negative for me was the AI still having trouble locating the puck when it is in front of them or is higher in the air.
    I believe NHL needs to take a play out of the last version of Madden (and 18) and get down to basics on the ice. Refine the AI, and make sure that the overall game play on the ice is closer to the basics of the game.
    NHL has an okay structure in place, but it's not being built upon at any noticeable pace. With the Canucks right there in town it's hard to imagine they couldn't work with them to create a better overall structure to the game when the puck hits the ice.
    csamuelsvt
    At a glance, you can't tell me that doesn't look like NHL 17 with the Vegas Knights added and DSS. I'm just so frustrated with this game. They did not put full effort into this game. They just did not. The 3s mode is where it seems all the attention went like DJ Neo said and perhaps Frostbite next year.
    The game is not worth $59.99.

    I feel the same.. looks identical to 17. Now, maybe the skating and AI have been improved, but the goalies haven't so I don't see why anything else made a big leap. Someone at OS did say the AI seemed much better so we shall see. I'm not paying $60.
    MizzouRah
    I feel the same.. looks identical to 17. Now, maybe the skating and AI have been improved, but the goalies haven't so I don't see why anything else made a big leap. Someone at OS did say the AI seemed much better so we shall see. I'm not paying $60.

    This is not a big leap series. I think your expectations are out of whack.
    Well threes could have been a fun extra game mode, but it's pretty much ruined by the randomly assigned points for each goal. Who the hell thought that would be a good idea?
    I was hoping it would be more like the mini rink mode from the old 2k games. Instead it come off as a lame imitation of Mario sports mix.
    Squeezed in four games of 3v3 EASHL with two regular teammates last night. It can be a lot of fun, especially once you get the three man cycle going with all that space. But, please, please make PPs 3v2. :y220:
    Nothing kills the fun like having two AI players come on the ice to make it 4v3. It doesn't feel like much of a penalty because it just mucks everything up. Now 3v2, now that would really feel like a powerplay.
    I know it's not possible under real rules, but this is the EASHL, and it's about time they get creative and give it a bit of personality and character.
    Qb
    Good find, man. Definitely doesn't look like someone who plays regularly or full sim settings, and maybe not even competitive. So pretty hard to judge with all the chasing on the user side. However, the skating still looks (and felt in the beta) awkward and clunky at times. I can't decide if it's too much agility (twitchy), or not enough (clumsy)?
    Real life skating is such a hard thing to emulate. Back when we could change the skate blades, I thought using the 13" blades gave a good feel. Had a bigger turning radius which made arcing turns and hard stops more important, and gave the player a longer, more powerful feeling straight-line stride. Too bad that was probably specific to the old skating system, as that kind of global modification could make a nice subtle difference.

    I think it's a combination of both. Skating at higher speed can feel clunky, while quick inputs with the LS and/or RS for deking or evasive movement is too loose twitchy. The animations for quick explosive movement is too loose and branches from one to the next poorly or not at all in some cases.
    bad_philanthropy
    I think it's a combination of both. Skating at higher speed can feel clunky, while quick inputs with the LS and/or RS for deking or evasive movement is too loose twitchy. The animations for quick explosive movement is too loose and branches from one to the next poorly or not at all in some cases.

    Thank you for your excellent between-the-benches analysis, BP!
    I really enjoyed the beta. I am looking forward to the full game and patch/tuners and sliders to take this game to another level.
    I was deeply unimpressed by PES 18. Madden 18 still has unfulfilling player movement, NBA 2k has the same issue. I have no interest in baseball. So NHL is going to be my game this year.
    csamuelsvt
    Didn't know where to post this, but this looks like the full version of the game. Looks like EA held some get-together to show off the game and it has Vegas Knights gameplay along with every mode in the game and the new training session with team Canada.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02FI1GBfu5c

    Nice find! Thanks for sharing.
    CPU still has a 99% pass success rate. And this on an expansion team.
    Looks like it's more of the same.
    The CPU waits for the human player to get out of position and then take advantage.
    And the human player has to constantly switch control of players because your CPU teammates are too dumb and docile to actually attack the puck carrier.
    Nothing really new to report as this has been going on for over a decade now.
    And is it just me, or did Garrison play the entire game?
    Money99
    Nice find! Thanks for sharing.
    CPU still has a 99% pass success rate. And this on an expansion team.
    Looks like it's more of the same.
    The CPU waits for the human player to get out of position and then take advantage.
    And the human player has to constantly switch control of players because your CPU teammates are too dumb and docile to actually attack the puck carrier.
    Nothing really new to report as this has been going on for over a decade now.
    And is it just me, or did Garrison play the entire game?

    That's what I'm seeing too. The AI, for all of the defensive changes and additions, still don't do anything when they don't have the puck. Kessel and Hornqvist are both skating in and the two defenders back in from center ice, don't attempt to poke check at any point, don't move for a pass right through the left defender's stick, and don't play any form of actual defense beside being bodies in on the ice until Kessel skates the puck into Fleury's pad and they lose possession. It's just always too passive in the way they play the actual game.
    Add to that, guys still skate straight into the boards to retrieve pucks, and skate facing away from the puck carrier. It looks like beer league hockey at the lowest level...which i know, because it looks like 10 guys that follow my playing style out there.
    Ugh. Very disappointing to watch. In addition to the poor AI it's still the same old ho hum non exciting feeling when a goal is scored. It irritates me so badly how 2 guys skate over to the goal scorer but the other 2 skate away and look more like they are on the other side of that goal scored rather than a teammate of the scorer. It's shocking to me how poorly this development crew captures the excitement and feel of an actual NHL game. If they could just do that it would go along way in improving this series.
    Money99
    Nice find! Thanks for sharing.
    CPU still has a 99% pass success rate. And this on an expansion team.
    Looks like it's more of the same.
    The CPU waits for the human player to get out of position and then take advantage.
    And the human player has to constantly switch control of players because your CPU teammates are too dumb and docile to actually attack the puck carrier.
    Nothing really new to report as this has been going on for over a decade now.
    And is it just me, or did Garrison play the entire game?

    Literally everything you say is a problem across the board in all sports games. I was playing Fifa yesterday and everything you said could be said about fifa. On a lot of these issues the tech isn't there yet. But, why would you mention 99% pass success? There are sliders for that.
    Josam27o7
    Literally everything you say is a problem across the board in all sports games. I was playing Fifa yesterday and everything you said could be said about fifa. On a lot of these issues the tech isn't there yet. But, why would you mention 99% pass success? There are sliders for that.

    I don't think the lack of technology has anything to do with it.
    It's the lack of quality programming. Or the lack of desire from management to sink time into proper AI.
    The AI in NHL2K3 is still, to this day, lightyears ahead of anything EA has produced.
    So it's possible.
    I don't get the sense EA cares.
    I'm reading that NBA Live is actually pretty good.
    Go figure; the one sports venue they have competition in.
    Sent from my LG-K210 using Operation Sports mobile app
    Money99
    I don't think the lack of technology has anything to do with it.
    It's the lack of quality programming. Or the lack of desire from management to sink time into proper AI.
    The AI in NHL2K3 is still, to this day, lightyears ahead of anything EA has produced.
    So it's possible.
    I don't get the sense EA cares.
    I'm reading that NBA Live is actually pretty good.
    Go figure; the one sports venue they have competition in.
    Sent from my LG-K210 using Operation Sports mobile app

    Let's face the truth. And the Fifa 18 dev team explicitly said it. They said if we make the defense better the game will be boring. THAT'S THE ISSSUE. The devs need to balance casuals w/ sim which is hard to do. When you are simulating a 60 minute game into such a shorter amount of time it complicates things.
    And I just watched the NBA live demo. The AI is just like the other sports games w/ the flaws you mentioned. Don't know why you are blind to it in one game but not the other. But NBA live's player movement looks really good. The players look really grounded. That's a huge step forward.
    And btw. This idea that NHL doesn't have competition is BS. NHL loses sales to other sports games when it is not good. Or people will just play an RPG instead. There is competition.
    actionhank
    That's what I'm seeing too. The AI, for all of the defensive changes and additions, still don't do anything when they don't have the puck. Kessel and Hornqvist are both skating in and the two defenders back in from center ice, don't attempt to poke check at any point, don't move for a pass right through the left defender's stick, and don't play any form of actual defense beside being bodies in on the ice until Kessel skates the puck into Fleury's pad and they lose possession. It's just always too passive in the way they play the actual game.
    Add to that, guys still skate straight into the boards to retrieve pucks, and skate facing away from the puck carrier. It looks like beer league hockey at the lowest level...which i know, because it looks like 10 guys that follow my playing style out there.

    Don't think it's right to judge it from this video bc the guy played like a chimp, pulling everyone out of position.
    And you're not truthful. You need to say the defenders need to do more. In the videos I am seeing some poke checks and stick lifts. This is a good sign.
    I loved the Threes. But did not see any huge leaps on regular play. I did see the start of male a mascot. LoL. Not that it matters. But as the only NHL game not like we have any other choices. The great roster made this year for 2K10 just doesn't work anymore as the 7 year gap on players is showing. But that game still has many many things right that EA has to learn.
    Sent from my LG-H901 using Operation Sports mobile app
    Josam27o7
    Don't think it's right to judge it from this video bc the guy played like a chimp, pulling everyone out of position.
    And you're not truthful. You need to say the defenders need to do more. In the videos I am seeing some poke checks and stick lifts. This is a good sign.

    I'm 100% truthful, but, I guess that's you opinion. I'm not talking about the player controlled team, I'm talking about the team he's playing against in the video. The AI controlled defenders simply skate backwards from the blue line in, applying no pressure. Accuse me of misrepresenting the product all you want, but I'm more than happy to get gifs that illustrate my points...
    Money99
    I don't think the lack of technology has anything to do with it.
    It's the lack of quality programming. Or the lack of desire from management to sink time into proper AI.
    The AI in NHL2K3 is still, to this day, lightyears ahead of anything EA has produced.
    So it's possible.
    I don't get the sense EA cares.

    I'm reading that NBA Live is actually pretty good.

    Go figure; the one sports venue they have competition in.
    Sent from my LG-K210 using Operation Sports mobile app

    Its not. People's expectations were low but it falls short in so many areas.
    actionhank
    I'm 100% truthful, but, I guess that's you opinion. I'm not talking about the player controlled team, I'm talking about the team he's playing against in the video. The AI controlled defenders simply skate backwards from the blue line in, applying no pressure. Accuse me of misrepresenting the product all you want, but I'm more than happy to get gifs that illustrate my points...

    In regards to the CPU defenders skating backwards at the blueline, what do you expect on lower difficulties???
    In the beta one of the best improvement goes exactly against what you said. In the beta your defenders would step up and play physical after an attacker skated at them crossing the blueline. It happened a lot and I was pleasantly surprised each time.
    Josam27o7
    In regards to the CPU defenders skating backwards at the blueline, what do you expect on lower difficulties???
    In the beta one of the best improvement goes exactly against what you said. In the beta your defenders would step up and play physical after an attacker skated at them crossing the blueline. It happened a lot and I was pleasantly surprised each time.

    Well clearly we're seeing different things and at the end of the day we will never know without getting our hands on 5 on 5 offline mode with slider adjustments. Your optimistic and that's cool but many of us are not. I think we're not going to see much difference from 17. EA has abandoned trying to capture real Hockey and decided to put all their eggs in cash cow HUT and arcadey 3 on 3. That's why our lone sim hockey rep at the game changer event bailed out on them. It is what it is and instead of getting a great game I'm left with making the best of what I get because I love the sport so much. Lol....maybe that should be the EA slogan for true sim Hockey guys...."EA sports....try to make the best of it"...
    Josam27o7
    In regards to the CPU defenders skating backwards at the blueline, what do you expect on lower difficulties???
    In the beta one of the best improvement goes exactly against what you said. In the beta your defenders would step up and play physical after an attacker skated at them crossing the blueline. It happened a lot and I was pleasantly surprised each time.

    I think my issue is that I've never seen a difference at any difficulty level. I'll reserve final judgment for the released product, but so far in the years since NHL07 when I started following the series, what you saw in the videos leading up to the release month has been almost exactly what you get in the final product.
    Last year I saw videos of the same lackluster defense where AI defenders backed in without any stick work. The backcheckers had the same issue. It seemed in the game that the AI only really saw physically checking players as a means to separate players from the puck. You could see the AI almost waiting for the puck carrier to enter an invisible bubble, at which point they would then try to physically check the puck carrier, despite having been in stick check distance for a little bit. This lead to the AI doing what they still appear to do which is slowly back in at a predetermined distance, before reaching the crease where they switch to "defense" mode and then try to make contact with the puck carrier as soon as they enter the bubble.
    You don't see that in real life. Guys are keeping a gap with the puck carrier, while others close off passing lanes and keep their own gap on any other potential forwards. Similarly, the backcheckers are coming in and applying pressure from behind the play, instead of trying to come in and physically check the player, they're using their sticks before they get within arm's reach to force the puck carrier to move the puck away from their stick, and to also force the puck carrier towards the boards.
    You simply don't see any of the above executed by the AI in the game. They don't cover open forwards, they don't use their sticks when they are in range, and they don't try to keep the puck carrier to the outside. They back in to the point that the forward with the puck can simply curl into the high slot and shoot on a now screened goalie, because both defenders have backed up and stopped in the lane, but also put about 10 feet between themselves and the puck carrier leaving an uncontested shot.
    Like I said. I know this isn't a final product, but in the past, what's been in the video months before launch has been in the final product. That and the lack of real information on the Franchise mode have me pretty underwhelmed at the idea of NHL18 coming out. EA has two separate pages for Multiplayer and Thee on Three hockey. They have an section dedicated to the Expansion Draft and even a portion of the page dedicated to the all new "Create a Mascot" mode, for the crowd that was just dying to see more mascots in the game. But there's no page for the franchise mode.
    I'm fine accepting that EA has to focus on where the money is, and in this day and age, that's DLC and/or online play. They're focusing on online play, and that's fine. But I'm done pretending that maybe this is the year where the offline crowd gets the real changes we've been harping on about for years. I can be proven wrong, but unfortunately, EA's done a great job of proving me right.
    This may be a miss to most people but what do you think you would have if the d played perfectly? You would have 75% of the players offline that cannot score due to not knowing how to set up, move the puck and create space so that you can pass. Sales would drop and the game would get even worse. I want a game that is a challenge which is why I don't play offline anymore at all and even though people's sliders do help in making the game more challenging, for me anyways the sliders change from game to game and will not save properly but that is for another thread.
    They have to come up with a balance that allows all the players to not only compete but to have fun with the game which is probably why they are going to a more arcade style game play. I would love to work for goals and feel rewarded but it'll never be like that, at least not with ea.
    Sent from my SM-G935W8 using Tapatalk
    oilersfan99
    This may be a miss to most people but what do you think you would have if the d played perfectly? You would have 75% of the players offline that cannot score due to not knowing how to set up, move the puck and create space so that you can pass. Sales would drop and the game would get even worse. I want a game that is a challenge which is why I don't play offline anymore at all and even though people's sliders do help in making the game more challenging, for me anyways the sliders change from game to game and will not save properly but that is for another thread.
    They have to come up with a balance that allows all the players to not only compete but to have fun with the game which is probably why they are going to a more arcade style game play. I would love to work for goals and feel rewarded but it'll never be like that, at least not with ea.
    Sent from my SM-G935W8 using Tapatalk

    I disagree with this because that's what difficulty levels are for Rookie should be for those who don't know how to setup. There are 4 difficulty levels in addition to set sliders for arcade/sim/hardcore sim. In addition to a large variety of sliders. When you play on a higher level on hardcore sim it should be tough. MLB the Show has always nailed that...you can go out and slug the ball around and strike out 20 batters on rookie or play a legit realistic game on higher difficulty levels.
    On a side note Rammer, in my opinion, took a shot at us hardcore sim guys in this months issue of Game Inforner while discussing all the new dekes. "A lot of stuff we're seeing on a nightly basis, (in the real NHL) if we would have tried to put that stuff in our game 2-3 years ago our core fans would have said 'this is so arcadey' now we're seeing this stuff every single night".......hey Rammer you know what else we see every single night? Boardplay....5 man celebrations....defenders who know where they are supposed to be.....UGH. How about putting that in the game.
    I preordered tonight... as much as I want to "wait and see" hockey is just a part of me and something I cannot get by with via text sim like I can with baseball and football (although I think I'll pickup Madden this year).
    Sliders have made the game manageable in the past, even with things that frustrate me.
    I really hope Rammer and team improved the AI for us solo/sim/franchise players.
    oilersfan99
    This may be a miss to most people but what do you think you would have if the d played perfectly? You would have 75% of the players offline that cannot score due to not knowing how to set up, move the puck and create space so that you can pass. Sales would drop and the game would get even worse. I want a game that is a challenge which is why I don't play offline anymore at all and even though people's sliders do help in making the game more challenging, for me anyways the sliders change from game to game and will not save properly but that is for another thread.
    They have to come up with a balance that allows all the players to not only compete but to have fun with the game which is probably why they are going to a more arcade style game play. I would love to work for goals and feel rewarded but it'll never be like that, at least not with ea.
    Sent from my SM-G935W8 using Tapatalk

    I think having basic AI with functioning sliders would be the real compromise. With The Show I can fine tune the difficulty so that really good pitchers challenge me, or I can tune it back to where every game is a home run fest.
    I don't want to alienate anyone from the game, but my argument is, and has been, that EA's making the entire game cater towards online play and casual hockey alienates the people who don't want that type of game, which would be fine if the tuners had any real affect on the way the AI players handled themselves.
    I don't think there has to be an "either or". It's just that EA's sliders can't make the AI do what it isn't capable of. I've been frustrated with the game because even playing basic good defense means you can end up losing. That's frustrating, even for new players. But at the same time, I don't think goal scoring would be "harder" with better AI and goalies. It would just be different. Instead of guys having to rely on 10 silly dekes before sliding the puck around a goalie that's diving all over, a simple pass to another player and a good shot could score a goal.
    MizzouRah
    I preordered tonight... as much as I want to "wait and see" hockey is just a part of me and something I cannot get by with via text sim like I can with baseball and football (although I think I'll pickup Madden this year).
    Sliders have made the game manageable in the past, even with things that frustrate me.
    I really hope Rammer and team improved the AI for us solo/sim/franchise players.

    Seems Madden is trying to fix how crappy its pure left-stick control of players is, but to me, this year it is still pretty poor. What do you guys think?
    I even saw NBA 2K write a blog saying this year they are trying to address the crappy feeling of their pure left-stick movement. LMAO. I doubt they will be able to do it.
    And yeh, Fifa and Nhl both need their games to have scoring in them. The two games do it different ways. Fifa makes the player movement super-speedy to accomplish this. While NHL allows too much spacing between its players to accomplish this. Movement is definitely better in NHL than Fifa, I just wish NHL would give us a slider to allow for tighter marking (such a slider exists in Fifa).
    So, I am looking for a Marking slider in NHL, the aggression slider is nice, but we need a marking slider, too - like Fifa
    For a game that hits the shelves in 24 days there is still very little seen or known of the offline 5 vs 5 game. I'm going to guess that's not good news for us hardcore hockey sim guys.
    jake19ny
    For a game that hits the shelves in 24 days there is still very little seen or known of the offline 5 vs 5 game. I'm going to guess that's not good news for us hardcore hockey sim guys.

    This game hasn't been for hardcore fans for a long time.
    Sent from my LG-K210 using Operation Sports mobile app
    jake19ny
    For a game that hits the shelves in 24 days there is still very little seen or known of the offline 5 vs 5 game. I'm going to guess that's not good news for us hardcore hockey sim guys.

    Madden did the same thing, and madden looks okay (it's still not for me, poor left-stick movement), but it turned out fine.
    solidus29
    Maybe EA will surprise us but it looks like 18 will be more or less NHL 17 and I'm all set with that

    I'm not. If that's the case I'll stick with my EA Access copy of NHL 17, and hope NHL 19 will be better.
    Peter_OS
    I'm not. If that's the case I'll stick with my EA Access copy of NHL 17, and hope NHL 19 will be better.

    Agreed. While I was happier with '17 than I had been with the previous few iterations, that's certainly no reason to pay $80CAD for a roster update.
    I did feel that everything felt a bit tighter and more responsive in the beta, but only having access to 3v3 for single player during that period made it hard to really tell. Re-subbed to EA Access to get a better gauge. Speaking of - anyone heard when that's releasing? Should be this coming Thursday if it's following the same schedule as Madden, I think?
    adayinthelife
    Agreed. While I was happier with '17 than I had been with the previous few iterations, that's certainly no reason to pay $80CAD for a roster update.
    I did feel that everything felt a bit tighter and more responsive in the beta, but only having access to 3v3 for single player during that period made it hard to really tell. Re-subbed to EA Access to get a better gauge. Speaking of - anyone heard when that's releasing? Should be this coming Thursday if it's following the same schedule as Madden, I think?

    EA Access members on Xbox One can play NHL® 18 from September 7th*with Play First Trials.
    http://forums.operationsports.com/forums/ea-sports-nhl/910681-nhl-18-trial-arrives-september-7-ea-access-subscribers.html
    https://www.easports.com/nhl/news/2017/nhl-18-release-date
    :cheers:
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