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What NHL 20 Needs to Do on the Ice to Succeed

NHL 19

What NHL 20 Needs to Do on the Ice to Succeed

Over the last few years the NHL has evolved into a different animal. No longer is the game only about size and toughness, but rather it now involves speed, speed and more speed. Obviously, the skill aspect is still majorly important but the skill is now shown off at top-end speed. Simply put, the game is so much faster than it was just a few years ago. And that is the problem with EA Sports’ annual hockey title. Perhaps not intentionally, but it feels like EA has ignored addressing these changes to the game. Sadly, we also have not received the AI changes needed in order to replicate the real life on ice product either. To me, it feels like EA’s NHL has kind of been the same game since maybe NHL 14?

Now, EA has included some smaller nice touches you see during NHL games that are somewhat AI/gameplay related. For example, you’ll notice players will be shown chewing on their mouth guards and five-man goal celebrations (finally!). But I think we can all agree that AI/gameplay is still the biggest gripe had by many of the game’s fans and naysayers. This article will focus on AI/gameplay issues that are still missing or unchanged from previous years.

Gameplay

Okay, so this first one is obvious and maybe impossible? But, in short, mimic the NHL style. No more arcade-like, up and down, back and forth gameplay we’re unfortunately accustomed to seeing each game. Possibly even worse is when the computer just continues to circle in the neutral zone waiting to gain entry into your defensive zone. When playing NHL 19, there is zero creativity available at your disposal. Every odd man rush is identical. Every zone entry is identical. Every game, every goal all seem to be identical.

Player Differentiation

This one seems like the biggest thing that could help to change people’s opinions of the game and give it a fresh new feel. Now, in fairness, it might be the hardest to implement. Overalls and ratings are great and all but how important are they if every player you control feels the same? Some players are faster than others — this is obvious — but turn off the player indicator setting and then try to figure out if the player you’re controlling is Sidney Crosby or Ryan Reaves. I feel no less dangerous moving into prime scoring position with Brian Boyle, a fourth liner, than I do skating through the slot with Alex Ovechkin. Also, can I please not be forced to see Claude Giroux in front of the net on the power play and a player like Patric Hornqvist roaming the half boards — on his opposite side nonetheless.

Player/Teammate/Computer AI

Many issues still exist within teammate AI, but the number one issue (for at least three years) has been trying to get your teammate to stay onside. How could this be an issue? How could this still be an issue. I can’t even begin to count how many times I have intercepted a pass in the defensive zone and started an odd-man rush counter attack only to have my unaware CPU teammate go offsides. Another related issue is that your defenseman too often is unaware of his positioning inside the blue line in the offensive zone. While trying to establish offensive zone pressure, a D to D pass, or pass from low to high will see your defenseman turn or pivot the wrong way with the puck leaving the zone. I whine about this issue at least three or four times every game it seems.

Goalie AI is also a position that seemingly has gotten no love or attention over the past few years. You still see horrible goals trickling in and poor angles being played. But it is a tough position to play especially during shootouts when the CPU just runs right into your goalie. Don’t make a move and don’t take a shot, just slam right into the goalie.\

The Frostbite Engine

It’s also worth mentioning the Frostbite engine remains missing in action for EA’s NHL series. Frostbite is now used by Madden and FIFA, and it seems like if the NHL series wants to get improvements from other games within the company, the leap to Frostbite will need to happen. As of now, producers of the series say they are still evaluating the Frostbite engine. They’re monitoring FIFA and Madden, and learning about the successes and challenges they’ve had to better prepare themselves for implementing the engine down the line

Wrap Up

Differentiation, differentiation, differentiation! But perhaps I’m part of the problem because I buy the game every year, play it a few times, whine about all the issues, let it sit on my shelf untouched for the next 10 months, and then buy it again the following year. Here’s hoping EA will listen to its fans and really overhaul the AI/gameplay instead of relying on blind loyalty.

What are your biggest gameplay gripes?

43 Comments

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Discussion
  1. What is it with folks wanting to stick Frostbite into sports games? It's a FPS engine with no assets for a hockey game. It doesn't even translate well to 3rd person shooters, it just makes for shiny graphics and passable details. Ignite is built for sports games specifically why switch? I always see folks asking for Frostbite but I don't know why?
    And after reading the troubles Anthem has with Frostbite, I’m not so sure I want to see NHL try it. This has been a lost console for this series in many ways.
    The NHL series has been stale for several years. A complete overhaul of the gameplay mechanics, AI and animations is required imo. This is the first time in years where I have lost interest in playing the game. Picked it up on release day and only played it for about a month. Haven't touched it since. Just not fun anymore. 
    Peter_OS
    The NHL series has been stale for several years. A complete overhaul of the gameplay mechanics, AI and animations is required imo. This is the first time in years where I have lost interest in playing the game. Picked it up on release day and only played it for about a month. Haven't touched it since. Just not fun anymore.*

    We are on the same page here. Too many good pc and console games for me to want to play the same NHL game this year. I'm going to try to get back into it with the new roster update but it's been a difficult journey.
    TjJunior
    What is it with folks wanting to stick Frostbite into sports games? It's a FPS engine with no assets for a hockey game. It doesn't even translate well to 3rd person shooters, it just makes for shiny graphics and passable details. Ignite is built for sports games specifically why switch? I always see folks asking for Frostbite but I don't know why?

    Frostbite is an EA engine designed to encapsulate all of their games under one hood.
    Unforunately, documentation is horrible and studios have to put countless hours in to transitioning the engines to Frostbite with typically no benefit.
    In the social media world (especially the echochambers where the 'EA sux' circle jerks run strong and deep) the kids say things like 'Frostbite would be awesome' with literally zero idea of what they're saying. They only say it because all of the other people who hate on EA for fun have been saying it.
    This article lost me at this line:
    "When playing NHL 19, there is zero creativity available at your disposal. "
    That is statement made by someone who gets stuck in the patterns that NHL gives you and other players so there's less responsibility to be creative.
    However, there's PLENTY of tools at your disposal to be as creative as you want. Just because you are unaware or unwilling or incapable of executing said creativity with any shred of success does not mean it is absent.
    "I buy the game every year, play it a few times, whine about all the issues, let it sit on my shelf untouched for the next 10 months, "
    How does this qualify as someone who has any authority to say what NHL 20 needs? If you only 'play the game a few times' - you're in no position to assert what NHL 20 'needs'.
    I've played it the whole year, off and on, am still playin' it, this year was best NHL game I played in decade, for ability to play 20 minute periods, I can only play 2 games at a time, cause I get worked up and fried, my mind numbing experience , I can play forward and Coach Mode (managing lines and strategies and stuff etc..) for franchise mode, I play on the classic setting.
    am impressed at this game, I got to see how the game has evolved and stuff, at first I didn't appicate what I was lookin' , then one setting changed it all , pass assist: 87 (so close to NHL, it was like I was at NHL game), cause in December I went to real NHL game at Christmas, Winnipeg Jets Vs Vancouver.
    so I got see what there entrance was like into the zone and stuff, so first thing I did was looked at it was pass assist: 87.
    its dead on.
    I suggest others try it also, to see it, so am not crazy or loonie.
    yah it takes while find settings that works, but I think I have mastered it now, so I know what setting messes with others, what u do, take setting go into gameplay and play it doesn't work out might have to adjust something, doesn't mean u have to re-invent the wheel, it means there setting that slider doesn't like.
    me I had to re-invent the wheel several times, before I find setting that was untinkerable, needed very little tinkering.
    u kind've have to balance things out.
    same with goalies, u need to find that untinkerable settings that helps u, where it needs very little slider changes, now for goalies it has changed over year, its gone from manual shot aim too aim-assist shot aim.
    I dunno how am beating the AI CPU at there own game, but I annihilate them, 6-3 or 9-4 or 7-3 , sometimes 5-2, with ai learning sometimes at Zero most of the time its 5-1.
    I just kept at it, its rewarding when I beat them to pulp.
    I play against the computer. The opposition skates and passes the puck like a laser and it never comes off their sticks. When they're in my zone, it's insane. the opposite is also true. I can't hold a puck for a second before I'm swamped by the defense. I adjusted sliders, etc. and it's still out of control. If these things can be fixed, what a game it could be.
    dandeb
    I play against the computer. The opposition skates and passes the puck like a laser and it never comes off their sticks. When they're in my zone, it's insane. the opposite is also true. I can't hold a puck for a second before I'm swamped by the defense. I adjusted sliders, etc. and it's still out of control. If these things can be fixed, what a game it could be.

    whose setting u using, I go look at it, and see I can fix there's.
    you gonna need , pass reception ease at 50 and pass reaction reception at 30 and puck control at 30, puck control rating: 77 and puck pick ups at 100, if u go 100 for puck control rating the more puck bounces off stick, between 50-77 is best, other slider at 65 (don't go to 75 or 85 puck bounces off stick) 55-65 is best, bouncey puck keep this at 55 or 65, tried it at 75 (really bouncey puck), low it had no bounce but played in AI CPU Favor.
    keep pass speed min: 35-45 and pass speed max : 65 , saucer pass speed: 50-55-60
    now deking impact: 45-50 and spin deke impact: 50 & Skating Impact: 45-50
    off to work I go, i'll be back later.
    Thank you my friend. Are the first set you listed for the CPU? I have CPU numbers you mentioned at 0. I poke check and hit. But they always spend more minutes in my zone than I do in theirs by a wide margin. Thanks again.
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports
    Would've liked to see a more in-depth article that actually explains AI problems in-depth, as their problems extend far-past offensive zone blueline awareness and staying onside. One thing I have to note as I have been an exclusively ONLINE player since NHL 10, and have recently switch to exclusively OFFLINE for NHL 19, is that NHL 19 actually offers way more goal variety and dynamic scenarios than any other NHL game I have played to this day. Users simply do not want to put the time and effort into building custom sliders and adjusting strategies to make the game a lot more dynamic...and for goo reason.
    That reason is, you cannot edit CPU strategies in Franchise mode due to the lack of multiple team support (definitely unacceptable in today's world) which makes the time and effort to get the gameplay correct meaningless if they can only use those edits in Play Now or Season modes. Being a huge believer in creating my own "eSport" league and storylines allows me to be okay with being stuck with season mode, but I can definitely see why people who love to build teams and enjoy the GM side of the game as much, or if not more, than the on-ice gameplay would rather ditch the game completely than struggle through uninteresting gameplay that is currently present in Franchise Mode. 31 team (or 36-38 take NBA 2k MyLeague as someone to model) is an absolute MUST for me to spend another $1 on this series in this generation of consoles. The lack of creativity and customization in an offline mode is inexcusable.
    This game needs some sort of online league feature. I'm not asking for a full-blown CFM (as I actually thing CFM is a total pain to setup full-league control) but an online league like NHL 08-12 had with customization sliders and rudimentary trades would be more than enough to revitalize a community of hardcore NHL users who like to experience human opponents, but are turned off by the lackluster slider values that cater the casual/eSport players who like to see the same goal scored 10 times a game.
    All-in-all, this game can be tuned into a respectable representation of hockey. Archaic choices that include little to no customization in offline modes paired with the lack of any sort of custom lobby/league feature where users can import their own gameplay sliders is hurting NHL 19's reputation more than the actual quality of the game.
    dandeb
    Thank you my friend. Are the first set you listed for the CPU? I have CPU numbers you mentioned at 0. I poke check and hit. But they always spend more minutes in my zone than I do in theirs by a wide margin. Thanks again.
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports

    I was about to go update them as of now, am assuming u are using the 20 minuts with ai learning at 0, yah just gimmie couple minutes I go update them.
    Updated! slider am currently, am using the ai learning 0 and coach mode sliders.
    Needs to fix accumulating bugs from previous years..
    Such as - fix the penalty sliders. Make sure they work,
    How do you release the game with them not working?
    dandeb
    Thank you my friend. Are the first set you listed for the CPU? I have CPU numbers you mentioned at 0. I poke check and hit. But they always spend more minutes in my zone than I do in theirs by a wide margin. Thanks again.
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports

    oh that what u mean , so if u all dudes everyone who views my sliders, pretty much know it by now, I reason why didn't put CPU and Human this year, cause that's a lot of typing, so settings I set it at is just is what both human and AI CPU setting values are set at , meaning I didn't give any one advantages , so just keep that in mind, if u see just numbers and no human and cpu, its means both of them. sorry for confusion. :y3:
    PES3Paul
    Needs a PC release, first.*

    I do not care what direction this game goes i skipped it last year for the first time and in the past i have bought every other version now if it goes to P.C
    I will be all on it day one otherwise another skip for me
    I’m personally done buying it unless it’s back on PC at some point.*
    I did the whole “grab a console just for NHL”, as I otherwise don’t use consoles...massive massive disappointment with NHL19 and sold the PS4.*
    I simply wont buy another NHL game unless it’s on PC where all if my gaming is now. I honestly still enjoy NHL Legacy on PS3 to this day. I enjoy last gen NHL way more and love my custom music and goal horns, etc.*
    Bring a new version to Pc and I will at least try it most likely...but I’m done chasing the tail on buying a console that’s way less powerful than my PC, that I don’t want and don’t need, just for NHL games that I find to be pretty disappointing right now.*
    Peter_OS
    The NHL series has been stale for several years. A complete overhaul of the gameplay mechanics, AI and animations is required imo. This is the first time in years where I have lost interest in playing the game. Picked it up on release day and only played it for about a month. Haven't touched it since. Just not fun anymore.*

    Feel exactly the same. Mainly mad I bought a digital copy I couldn’t resell and at least salvage $15 out of.
    Someone mentioned it already, but if they could put something in so we could share rosters and even have historic rosters. It would be awesome to play just the original six, or some of the great Flyer and Bruin teams in the 70's.
    dandeb
    Someone mentioned it already, but if they could put something in so we could share rosters and even have historic rosters. It would be awesome to play just the original six, or some of the great Flyer and Bruin teams in the 70's.

    did the settings help, ones I mentioned, it seemed at the time they did help, so was just making sure everything was alright. :y3:
    I guess I'm in the minority. But, I thought this year's release was much better than the last few. The skating seems much more fluid, and the hitting way better. Much more fun overall, which is what counts. The computer AI definately is still an issue though. 92 percent passing completion almost every game is outrageous. Seems the same way in FIFA as well. Much more fun against another person. Although online vs seems just to be all about deeking. Can't decide which update/tuner set I like prefer though. It's like having 5 different versions of a game. Visuals could use an update. 4K on the Pro/X versions are nice though. I'm guessing they are waiting to change the engine till next gen.
    I thought this game was the best it has been on this console, but I don't believe that absolves the game of it's flaws.
    Frankly the game does feel pretty similar to NHL 14 on the ice for many of the reasons discussed in the article. All of the tweaks and additions here and there have edged the play on the ice in an incrementally better direction, but at some point we need to see the changes add depth and a more enjoyable experience to the game.
    Players having no major difference in feel between them has always been a major sticking point, and really digging deep to fix this issue would help the stale feel of the game. Even the simply differences such as speed add another level of depth to your strategy and play on the ice. It adds a whole new pleasure to drafting or signing players by giving you direct controlled feedback to the work you did.
    Strategies and everything related to it and line changes need to be completely overhauled. The options for how to deploy your team in all 3 areas of the ice is incredibly lacking, and makes a minimum effort to explain itself. Line changes are apart of strategy, and become almost a game inside a game. It is basically absent in the NHL series despite it being such a crucial part of the real game.
    Penalties need to be more reliable. The computer shouldn't take the same penalty repeatedly against me in the same manner as a minute earlier. It should change how it's playing.
    Outside of that, make the game work out of the box for all the difficulty levels, and Arcade or Simulation. It shouldn't take hours of slider adjustments to make the game play and a suitable level. Why would you need to adjust the default settings to make the game play more dynamic and creatively? Isn't that the idea? Isn't being more generic the opposit of how it should play?
    I want the game to improve a lot, and I appreciate each small improvement between titles, but you have to give some depth to keep me intrested.
    Madwolf
    I thought this game was the best it has been on this console, but I don't believe that absolves the game of it's flaws.
    Frankly the game does feel pretty similar to NHL 14 on the ice for many of the reasons discussed in the article. All of the tweaks and additions here and there have edged the play on the ice in an incrementally better direction, but at some point we need to see the changes add depth and a more enjoyable experience to the game.
    Players having no major difference in feel between them has always been a major sticking point, and really digging deep to fix this issue would help the stale feel of the game. Even the simply differences such as speed add another level of depth to your strategy and play on the ice. It adds a whole new pleasure to drafting or signing players by giving you direct controlled feedback to the work you did.
    Strategies and everything related to it and line changes need to be completely overhauled. The options for how to deploy your team in all 3 areas of the ice is incredibly lacking, and makes a minimum effort to explain itself. Line changes are apart of strategy, and become almost a game inside a game. It is basically absent in the NHL series despite it being such a crucial part of the real game.
    Penalties need to be more reliable. The computer shouldn't take the same penalty repeatedly against me in the same manner as a minute earlier. It should change how it's playing.
    Outside of that, make the game work out of the box for all the difficulty levels, and Arcade or Simulation. It shouldn't take hours of slider adjustments to make the game play and a suitable level. Why would you need to adjust the default settings to make the game play more dynamic and creatively? Isn't that the idea? Isn't being more generic the opposit of how it should play?
    I want the game to improve a lot, and I appreciate each small improvement between titles, but you have to give some depth to keep me intrested.

    Agree with your post, particularly the part about all the slider tweaks to make the game even playable. I still have not found the right balance to play 20 min periods with realistic stats. The SHOW sliders this year are almost perfect at default. Face off also need to be overhauled. There should be ability to be kicked out of circle. We also need back ability to see away line change before home line change and to edit players in franchise or season. Way more in game stats needed. NHL series has made a lot of progress but it is still way behind the other sports.
    SuperGoalies
    I was about to go update them as of now, am assuming u are using the 20 minuts with ai learning at 0, yah just gimmie couple minutes I go update them.
    Updated! slider am currently, am using the ai learning 0 and coach mode sliders.

    How many shots per game is CPU averaging on 20 min?
    knich
    How many shots per game is CPU averaging on 20 min?

    I get too many shots and hits, I just ignore that and focus on the scores, if I can keep scores low, that's good thing, I've played 3 games 2 of sliders them have been low, trick is keep to keep ai learning at 0 and cpu strategy adjustment: 4, now for coach mode its different I need ai learning at max and cpu strategy adjustment at 5, if u view my both sliders, you'll see why I have them set up that way.
    the coach mode sliders , I've never had so much fun in my life, I must've played like 15 - 25 games in total, I change strategies during the game, cause its so random, u have to take full command of the strategies during the game, to become expert at it, I'd say coach mode is pretty stable at moment, so Is my ones with ai learning at 0 and stuff.
    SuperGoalies
    I get too many shots and hits, I just ignore that and focus on the scores, if I can keep scores low, that's good thing, I've played 3 games 2 of sliders them have been low, trick is keep to keep ai learning at 0 and cpu strategy adjustment: 4, now for coach mode its different I need ai learning at max and cpu strategy adjustment at 5, if u view my both sliders, you'll see why I have them set up that way.
    the coach mode sliders , I've never had so much fun in my life, I must've played like 15 - 25 games in total, I change strategies during the game, cause its so random, u have to take full command of the strategies during the game, to become expert at it, I'd say coach mode is pretty stable at moment, so Is my ones with ai learning at 0 and stuff.

    I tried your sliders on AS. I think they are one of the best I've tried so far, although I reduced speed to 4 otherwise you have no playoff hockey speed. :grin: If only we could stop the CPU from shooting at will and there be a little more board play/cycling and neutral zone aggression/stick play then the replay value would be so much higher.
    knich
    I tried your sliders on AS. I think they are one of the best I've tried so far, although I reduced speed to 4 otherwise you have no playoff hockey speed. :grin: If only we could stop the CPU from shooting at will and there be a little more board play/cycling and neutral zone aggression/stick play then the replay value would be so much higher.

    I've tried everything do that, to get them not shoot as much, no avail, I just decided to live with it, I even asked the NHL Developer about that, he said 'if play 20 minutes the stats go jump really high, we haven't found solution'
    is how he put it at the time, so I just took it and ran with it, if I can keep scores low that's good, am happy with that.
    if u like it can u rate my franchise thread with gold star, so I can feel applicated, so I know am doing good things, so my work ain't feeling like its not going to waste. , I'd be very happy camper and proud, that I got a gold star finally, I have had one yet for whole year, then It can come back for next year.
    one thing ea developer said years ago was very strange I will quote what he said 'we just don't have technology or tech to copy real life results of real hockey game yet, in tell technology and tech evolves we can't produce a full 20 minute results and stats yet, in tell then u will have to use lower periods to get realistic amount of stats in tell then.'
    I was stunned by that, what's he waiting for, how's it I can produce good results , even though there's a lot of shots and hits, that's head scratcher .
    that's got me thinking now, more cycling and board plays and stuff.
    its not as bad as it is made in the article. based on that what rating did it get here?
    3/10?
    for me I have seen plenty of different goals, not every rush feels the same either, there is some more septeration as well, why am I scoring way more goals with my top players if it is just speed? the offside issue does not exist for me to such extend.
    SM-G955F
    I've been debating actually to lower one settings, I keep seeing 5-4 scores, game is good, just hmm..., there's gotta be lower those scores tad more, first time I had it was scores of 6-3, that was awesome, might lower that setting tad more, not pass speed reception ease, the other one, with 54, pass speed reaction reception, gonna test out 45 & 52 & 30 (default setting I had at first), does everyone like those 5-4 scores, am just not sure now, for coach mode sliders.
    its good for high scoring and playoff style scores, just the GAA sure is high though.
    Decided on 52 , on Pass Speed Reaction Reception., hope it helps u all with winning games and scores.
    UofMfan13
    I think an over haul of leadership needs to happen. Rammer needs to go.

    I've been saying this since 2013. The game was "fun" in 2009/10 when Littman was in charge, but when Rammer took over in 2011 things began to go downhill. Not only does Ramjagsingh need to go, but the game engine requires a 100% overhaul as well. Unfortunately though, that's not going to happen anytime soon due to the cost and time involved to do so and NHL sales wise is at the bottom of their sporting list. HUT is the mode that's keeping them afloat.
    So if there is an NHL 20, all it's going to be is another update on 19 where they're touting this and that as new and improved features but in reality will be nothing more than a patch (band-aid) on their current game and engine. I'd love for EA to shock and prove me wrong though.
    I totally agree with you. This is the first time that I’ve completely stopped playing NHL. It’s mostly just an exercise in frustration. You are dead on about making players feel different, they don’t at all. I think they are afraid to rate players lower (in the very early version of the game there were players rated in the 40s!). And this game needs sliders that work, no matter what settings I find, the game starts playing different by the second or third period. I will say that I thought franchise mode was much better this year though.
    Need better sliders, a pass/shoot ratio, players that feel different, and roster sharing.
    Sent from my iPad using Operation Sports
    handheldpictures
    I've been saying this since 2013. The game was "fun" in 2009/10 when Littman was in charge, but when Rammer took over in 2011 things began to go downhill. Not only does Ramjagsingh need to go, but the game engine requires a 100% overhaul as well. Unfortunately though, that's not going to happen anytime soon due to the cost and time involved to do so and NHL sales wise is at the bottom of their sporting list. HUT is the mode that's keeping them afloat.
    So if there is an NHL 20, all it's going to be is another update on 19 where they're touting this and that as new and improved features but in reality will be nothing more than a patch (band-aid) on their current game and engine. I'd love for EA to shock and prove me wrong though.

    Littman was far more hands-on and community oriented.
    I've been lucky enough to have been involved in quite a few 'Community Days' at the NHL studio over the years, and what stood out to me was how far more impactful the gameplay producers are versus Rammer.
    Rammer seems to drive focus on high level things such as presentation. Just listen to some of the interviews he used to do - there was a time during a media blitz for NHL 15 or 16 that he seemed only focused on the fact that the new crowd enhancements included fans taking selfies.
    Littman, on the other hand, released videos during development that outlined some of the awesome changes that were coming up.
    Now, they hide behind the corporate BS that "we can't talk about anything unreleased" where other - more community focused developers/publishers lay out the roadmap and use feedback to guide it in the direction most favorable by the community.
    Plus - they seem to think arguing with trolls on twitter and their stupid forums is 'community involvement' but all it does is validate the know-it-alls who think their 0 years of development experience supersedes all of the industry-defining work EA has done for the NHL series.
    It's a hard feat to recreate real hockey as a video game for a variety of reasons.
    In hockey momentum/inertia plays a big part in the portray of the sport.
    Speed and the various degrees of burst (with their corresponding animations) are also very hard to illustrate correctly.
    That said, EA has been using the same platform for too many years now and it has started to feel and look really stale. I stopped playing the game in November. Every time I want to give it another chance and boot it up, I switch off the PS4 within 5 minutes of starting a game. It just feels like an endless repetition of the same thing.
    In order of priority, for me EA must:
    1. Provide more variety in the presentation, specifically more camera angles. A zoomable broadcast angle is my top priority by far.
    2. Better / smoother animations.
    3. Differentiation in speed / burst / momentum.
    4. Smarter AI
    5. Simple smart mechanics such as an automated turning of the skater to keep a puck onside near a blue line or an angled approach near the boards to ensure a smooth pick up.
    Watching the NHL playoffs made me realize this game has a TON of work to do if it wants to actually appeal at all to their franchise mode fans.
    I really think it's time for a new producer and team.. and a new direction.
    I thought this year's game was great. I hope they focus on offline players more this year, enough with the "new ways to play!" and online modes - they are fine, but adding in new modes every year is just ridiculous (looking at you, The Show). 3s, HUT, EASHL, BAP, Franchise mode. There's your core.
    For franchise mode, I really hope they focus on roster sharing, player differential (if every player is between 80 and 85, it doesn't really matter who you sign), world-building (especially in free agency/trading, etc.). Scouting is great, could use some fine-tuning but the core is good. I would love if they added coaches and brought back create-a-play or strategies. We need teams to play different!
    For gameplay, goalies need a huge overhaul and I would love if they made the game feel more emotional in big moments. Hockey is driven by emotion, they need to try to capture that.
    Overall, I thought 19 was a blast and a great game. I hope 20 is more building on that foundation because it's a good game.
    If they want to do minimal work on 20,,,I would be OK if they
    1) Fixed the penalty bug on slashing/hooking/tripping.
    2) Allow people to edit the players ratings and ROSTER SHARE....
    Blackwood Bully
    Easy, need roster sharing.

    + Face scan option from a pic to upload from PC to account for changing generic player faces. Also a pic upload function for that much missing and empty player profile pics.
    A lot of good ideas in this thread. I know that this may not be for everyone, and I've mentioned it in another thread, but I found that as soon as I sat down and forced myself to learn the "true broadcast" camera, the game changed 100% for me. The game plays so differently, and the puck physics seem to be a lot better, so it isn't just the cosmetics of a different view. It doesn't solve all of the problems mentioned, but it truly makes NHL 19 a different game. I've been playing the EA series every year since the original in '92, and it took me about a weekend to get the hang of True Broadcast. For those of you who haven't tried it, give it a shot. Once you get it down, you'll feel like you're looking at and playing an entirely different game.
    BelfourThibault
    A lot of good ideas in this thread. I know that this may not be for everyone, and I've mentioned it in another thread, but I found that as soon as I sat down and forced myself to learn the "true broadcast" camera, the game changed 100% for me. The game plays so differently, and the puck physics seem to be a lot better, so it isn't just the cosmetics of a different view. It doesn't solve all of the problems mentioned, but it truly makes NHL 19 a different game. I've been playing the EA series every year since the original in '92, and it took me about a weekend to get the hang of True Broadcast. For those of you who haven't tried it, give it a shot. Once you get it down, you'll feel like you're looking at and playing an entirely different game.

    Thanks for advice, will give a shot soon. Now at the moment a lot of work to change player ratings and add missing players to play finaly NHL 20. So when starting next Franchise season will try. If someone is intressted for rating changes I have a good link
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/12hst5sTS3CS88kuaKnX-tY72dhmb8rkGr_N2_t4S7HY/mobilebasic

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