NHL 13 Player Ratings
Last week in partnership with the Yahoo! Sports’ Puck Daddy blog we released the overall player ratings for EA SPORTS NHL 13. You can read those ratings here for the Western Conference and here for the Eastern Conference.
In today’s Ratings Deep Dive the production team explains what goes into determining how the players are rated.
Hi I’m Gurn Sumal Game Modes Producer on NHL 13. As many of you know we released our new overall rating system for NHL 13 and I wanted to share with you how the player ratings are decided and how our new system changes how players are rated for NHL 13.
A lot of people assume that we here at EA Canada create the ratings for the players and that the ratings are based off of statistics. In truth the ratings are delivered to us by a scout.
Each region has its own scout that does his region’s ratings. The regions themselves are as follows North America, Scandinavia, Switzerland, Germany and the Czech Republic.
The scouts rate the players against players from all over the world, and not just their own leagues. This means that a star in Germany will not be as good as a star in the NHL but that German player might make a serviceable NHLer or a star AHL player.
The scouts base players off individual skills and not by how many points they accumulate in a season. Relying only on stats would leave too many variables in play, including line mates, ice time, strength of competition and so on. By creating ratings based on individual skill at every attribute our scouts are able to more accurately capture the abilities of a player as opposed to artificially inflating them because he happened to have a great year and everything happened to click for him.
Michael Ryder is a good example of this. Last year he had his second best season in the NHL ever by putting up 35 goals and 62 points. Ryder was a solid top 9 forward who has shown tremendous goal scoring capability, but with his 62pts he scored more points than Corey Perry (Hart, Richard winner), Rick Nash (Richard Winner), Ryan Getzlaf, Dustin Brown and David Backes just to name a few. Most people would agree that Ryder was not a better player than those others, thus his ratings reflect what he does best which is getting open and firing that amazing shot of his.
There are two reasons why we went ahead and decided to change the overall system for NHL 13. The first reason is because of you the fans, for years I have been reading the forums of people alluding that they would like a much wider distinction between superstars, stars and the third liners of the NHL and this was a way for us to do so.
The second reason is the GM Brain, because we had gone through a full rewrite of a lot of GM Connected and Be A GM logic we thought it was a good idea to pull add in the greater distinction of player skill levels. This affects GM Connected through player roles and how the CPU assigns and values players.
So what is overall in NHL 13? The overall is a value given to a player for his overall skill in a player’s given position.
Each Position has its own weighted formula that provides an overall. While a forward’s offensive statistics will lead to a higher increase of their overall that does not mean that defense doesn’t matter. Overall is the “Overall” ability of that player and that does includes both offense and defense.
Pavel Datsyuk is a perfect example of this is as he’s often called a “complete” player. Offensively he is every bit as skilled as Steven Stamkos and Alexander Ovechkin. Defensively Pavel Datsyuk is one of the best if not the best in the world and this is what separates him from both Stamkos and Ovechkin.
Again you have to remember just because all of these players are forwards does not mean that defense does not count to their overall. Yes, a forward’s main objective is to produce offense but in hockey a forward must be able to play defense. While Ovechkin and Stamkos are not defensive liabilities they do not excel at the defensive side of the game. Pavel Datsyuk on the other hand excels at playing both offensively and defensively which is why his overall is higher.
Another example is when you look at a player like Mike Richards (87) compared to Anze Kopitar (86) the difference in overall is very small. When you look at Kopitar’s Offensive Ratings they are slightly better than Richards’ but Richards has much better defensive and physical attributes and that is enough for him to overcome Kopitar’s offensive edge.
Now because we stretched out the Overall value to allow for more variation there is not a one to one correlation of what a player’s overall means anymore when compared to past games. So below is a list of what an overall generally corresponds to in terms of a Player Role in NHL 13.
1st line Player 84-99
2nd line Player 81- 85
3rd line scorers/checkers 77-82
4th line players/minor league call-up 63-74
Top 2 Dman 86-99
Top 4 Dman 81-86
Top 6 Dman 76-81
Top 8 Dman/minor league call-up 72-75
Minor League Starter (call-up) 69-73
As you can see from above, a 78 overall player is not necessarily as bad a rating as it used to be in previous NHL games. A 78 is now a serviceable NHL player that can either be a scorer or checking forward, a regular NHL defenseman or a Backup Goalie. You will also notice that there is some overlap between different roles. That is because a player could be as high an overall as say a 2nd line player but his overall is high because of his defensive attributes and not because of his offensive skill so he would not qualify to be a 2nd line player but rather a really good 3rd line checker because he does not meet the offensive requirement to be a 2nd line player.
Thanks for reading and I hope this gives you a new insight into how the new overall ratings system determines how your favorite players will perform in NHL 13. Be sure to pick up a copy of NHL 13 when it hits the shelves on September 11th, 2012.