NHL 13 Be a Pro and EA SPORTS Hockey League Improvements

In NHL 13,we approached Be a Pro and EA SPORTS Hockey League in two ways: change the way you play the game and address what the community wanted to see improved.

The biggest change you’ll see with both modes this year is how your AI teammates play around you. We spent more time working on AI this year than across the past three years combined. The result is EA SPORTS Hockey I.Q., a completely overhauled A.I. system where players are now fully aware of every other player on the ice, resulting in quicker, smarter and more true-to-life decision-making. It also delivers the deepest and most customizable set of real-world hockey systems and strategies ever for the franchise.

The introduction of EA SPORTS Hockey I.Q. into Be a Pro and EA SPORTS Hockey League means smarter teammates and a better gameplay experience for you. Let’s dig into the community requested improvements that we made.

Be a Pro Improvements

NHL 12 introduced Be a Pro Revamped which gave you the option to start your career in the CHL and forced you to earn your ice time. The better you played, the more time on the ice you’d receive. This was all made possible by the EA SPORTS Action Tracker which tracked your performance and allowed you to sim to your next shift, drastically decreasing the time you spend waiting on the bench for your player’s next shift. All-new coach tasks were introduced as you worked to progress through 18 career levels to take your pro to the top.

In NHL 13 we’re building upon the success of Be a Pro Revamped with the addition of some of the EA SPORTSNHL community’s most frequently requested features:

Trading

·         Users can now request trades from their NHL Teams (requested on My Game Idea)

·         If a user requests a trade they will be placed on the trade block if they are of high enough trade value.

·         If the user does not meet the trade value requirement the user will be warned for requesting a trade and not being good enough.

·         If the user continues to ask for a trade they will get demoted from the line they are currently on and can even end up being sent down to the minors if they continually ask for a trade.

 

Retiring

·         Once a user feels that they want to end their career they can simply retire.

·         The user can view their career stats once they have retired.

 

EA SPORTS Hockey League Improvements

Regional Matchmaking:

In NHL 13 we have revamped some of our matchmaking parameters to help find closer matches in skill and location. When creating a club or while in the GM Settings screen, the user has the option to set their Club Region to best suit their current location. We will also show you which region is recommended by pinging all three of our game host centers to determine which is closest to you by the response times received. Since we now only match within the region you’ve selected, we increased the search timers to a maximum of 4 minutes to help find a closer skilled team with a similar number of players within your region. We do have the ability to adjust some of these depending on community response from different regions.

6-Player Leaderboards:

One of the most requested EASHL features on the EA forums has made it into NHL 13. We now track 6-player club games on their own leaderboards alongside the other leaderboards that are currently in-game. Not only will everyone know who the top 6-player club is during the season, but we will also be giving out in game awards to the top 6-player club and the clubs that finish within the top 10 and top 100 respectively. To qualify for the 6-player club leaderboards you must start and finish the game with 6 players on your team. The team you match up with does not have to have 6 players, however if you attempt to drop players when losing, you will still be ranked on the 6-player leaderboard with the loss.

Performance Points Multiplier:

To encourage teams to play with more human players, we have adjusted the performance points multiplier to be determined by the number of human players on your team. A two player team will always receive a multiplier of one, whereas a 6-player team would receive an approximate multiplier of 1.6. For example, if a team had 25 performance points, and was playing with 6 players, their total performance points would be 40. The multiplier value can be tuned server side if the community finds that it is becoming too unbalanced.

Club Captains:

In NHL 13, you will be able to assign captains and alternate captains to players in your club. Club GMs will have the ability to assign one captain and up to two alternates, or no captain and up to three alternates from the Club Roster screen. Captains and alternates will display C’s and A’s respectively in gameplay, however goalies will not have a C or A on their jerseys.

Club Matchmaking Settings Saved to Server:

Regular Season and Playoff Captain’s Options settings can now be saved in the GM Settings screen and will be automatically loaded when you enter the Club Dressing room. Players are still able to modify the search options from within the dressing room; however, they will only be saved from the GM Settings screen.

 

Club Join Request changes:

The naming of Public and Private club options have been changed slightly to better include the addition of the GM Friends option. Public/Private club is now called “Auto Join Club” [Yes/No] but it also has an option to only allow GM Friends to be able to auto join. A similar option exists in the “Accepting Join Requests” option where you can set it to GM Friends Only to only allow join request from friends.

Back-out Penalty:

Over the years we have read posts about teams cherry picking their opponents, and ducking teams when they are not the home team. Users have mentioned that nothing is more frustrating than winning an Elite Championship the month before and having half the teams quit out on you once they realize this in game.

We feel that with the matchmaking improvements we have done, there should be no reason to back-out on your opponents in NHL 13. The back-out penalty is intended to punish the quitting team whether they quit from the Side Select or prior to the one minute mark in game. Anything after the one minute mark of game is tracked as a Did Not Finish (DNF) Loss so there is no need for additional punishment.

Consecutive back-outs are able to stack, and the punishment results in a deduction of rank points upon the next completed regular season game if it results in a win. DNF losses post 1 min mark, and Playoff games will carry any back-out penalties to the next game. Side Select and Pre-Game back-outs can be weighted differently and we can choose to implement a grace number of back-outs before the penalty would apply. Penalty amounts per back-out, Max penalty amount, and free back-out amounts can all be adjusted server side per back-out type.

Got an idea to help make the EA SPORTS NHL Franchise better? You can submit your idea, vote, discuss, and build upon other community ideas in the My Game Idea section of the EA SPORTS Game Changers website.