In about a month, hockey will fully recover, whether you are watching an ice hockey game on TV or wearing skates in NHL 22. This year, EA Vancouver is calling on its elite talents to become difference makers, introducing Superstar X-Factors, providing special skills and moving to the best. This will force you to predict the abilities of these players every time you hit the ice, thereby affecting the game, and they will appear in every major game mode. To learn more about this feature and how it brings NHL 22 to new places, we talked to producer Clement Kwong, who also answered some of our other larger questions about EA’s latest NHL series.
Some players have reservations about Superstar X-Factors being overwhelmed and giving certain teams an advantage. For example, why not choose Tampa Bay Lightning every time because they have these abilities? Vasilievsky’s All-Star goalkeeper was alongside elite players from Kucherov, Poynter, Stamkos and Herdman. How does EA Vancouver ensure that X-Factor capabilities are properly balanced while maintaining fun?
Kwong: There are a few things here.One is that we continue to work with our community, with our EA game changer group. Since NHL 16, we have established this specific group of different experts, covering gameplay, becoming a professional player, and a variety of different modes. Therefore, for this year’s X-Factor, in addition to being available in all modes and integrating in it, we also invited game experts in this group to provide us with feedback. We continue to provide them with weekly builds, updates and gameplay changes, and adjustment mechanisms. We have gotten quite a bit of feedback from there.
Second, it is obviously the technical test that has just ended. With a balanced side of competition, what better testing model than our CHEL community? If there are any imbalances or loopholes, that is where we found them. Therefore, these two data points do provide information for any type of balance, change, or adjustment that we may need to make at the time of publication.
How often does X-Factors activate in the game? I know that few players have strong “area” X factors, and they are prepared for big-name superstars, but how much will I see that Alston Matthews’ “shock and awe” ability has been hit? Can he do that action every time he comes out of ice, or do you need to do something to activate it?
Contrary to Madden’s design model, you have to throw a [certain amount of] The number of yards completed in a single game is different in hockey games in terms of line changes and game speed, and there is no special team other than penalty kicks and powerful games. We have to take a few different methods to keep the “zone” and “superstar” abilities always active in the right environment.
Take McDavid’s Wheels Zone capability as an example. He is known for being the fastest player in the game, whether he is dribbling or not. If you are in your own defensive zone, or you are busy with defensive tasks, you will not have his abilities. However, what you will see is that if he has a hockey puck and he takes it through the middle zone and the o zone, then you will activate the ability there. Therefore, in terms of ability, it is context. We don’t have a specific trigger or event to activate it; it is always active in the correct context. The reason can be traced back to what I said before; hockey is a fast sport with great changes in course. If we design a design where you have to trigger it, you really won’t have too many moments. We tested this very early.
It is said that X-Factors will change the meta game. How did they change the way you play games?
With the pace of the game and the challenge of team competition, really. I will use the example of the CHEL world. We are changing the way we build player courses based on a lot of feedback from the community.So far we will say,’Hey, this is the first choice [build]”Then a day later, it was like,’Actually, no, this is the first choice, this is how you fight it back. “For me, this is an interesting exploration. It’s not just about minimizing and maximizing. Before CHEL, you tried to add up these abilities to find out different combinations and which one can add points. This is not There is an extra point, even if it is an available auxiliary layer. In World of CHEL, the key lies in your game style and the opponent you face.
A short example I will use is truculence, which is the ability of a big man, you can basically beat anyone.I tend to play with a smaller body and have shooting accuracy or the ability to hold the ball, and I am playing someone and they just completely destroy me, even if they are [so] Much slower. I just can’t bypass them. Therefore, there must be different ways to counter these new player categories.
So every player class should feel a little different. Do you have to find a way to deal with these player types? One of my biggest complaints in previous iterations was that every player felt too similar. In CHEL, you can adjust some statistics, but they are never enough. You will use a similar strategy no matter who is on the ice.
Yes, I would say that there must be more consideration about how to build your player level and how you build players in your lineup. For the franchise model, team chemistry plays such an important role. It is changing the way you build and manage roster lineups.
Let us propose poke check because it is very powerful in NHL 21. Has it been adjusted for NHL 22?
To be honest, during the production of NHL 22, we heard a lot of these words from the game changers, they were like, “Hey, where there is a chance, let’s fix the poke check.” This is the use of cue and physics. The place of martial arts. So when you look at our ability to separate players defensively, like Victor Herdman or Drew Dowty, it is more effective to move the ball away without receiving a penalty. That is the first floor.
The second layer is for the stick to make a real response. It adds more predictability to our approach to poke checking, including the strength and power of the defender or skater’s poke, and how the stick interacts with the body and the puck. So, the short answer is yes. When you start the game and play this year, we made some huge improvements in this area.
Be A Pro got a huge upgrade last year, and this year is said to have a multi-season storyline. Can you talk about how this will work and what some of the story lines are?
As X-Factors changes the journey of Be A Pro, you want to progress, unlock and grow into the most powerful ability, we need a way to tell these stories. We want to address some of the feedback we received, “Hey, you have this dialogue system is great, but it’s a bit repetitive, and you don’t have a multi-season storyline.” Well, this year, we brought X-Factors, and we brought Here comes a new challenge, and we bring a new storyline that spans multiple seasons. So you have examples of you winning multiple departments, winning multiple awards, all the way to what Pat Maroon did-winning multiple cups in consecutive seasons on different teams. The new challenger allows you to unlock new X-Factor points so that you can unlock the slots assigned to the abilities of the character you created.
This may be a problem you encounter every year, but it is essential to gameplay. Whether it is on defense, offense, or being able to create better performance, what improvements will EA Vancouver really focus on this year?
AI is an area that we invest in every year. I don’t think we can say that we will solve all AI problems, because as our community and players play, AI will inevitably spend some actions that are meaningless to players. Especially for defensive AI and joining the boom, we have made some improvements and upgrades there, more at the core AI level, rather than a large-scale overhaul of new features.
The other part is how AI players can support you in HUT or CHEL World of CHEL, because you have these new X-Factor capabilities.Therefore, since many AI players also have these abilities, such as passing, they have been upgraded to accommodate better teamwork and what it means to pass the ball to you when you have single service court capabilities [which gives you advanced power and accuracy on one-timers]So, there are some small updates, but this is something that we are diminishing year after year.
From inspection to changes in franchise model, more quick confirmations from Kwong:
- There won’t be any new skill moves like last year’s “Michigan”, but the new animations are linked to new areas and superstar X-Factor abilities.Kuang used the example of a power forward with better power and balance as an example. An animation showed this, he was leaning on the lane. [while still] It can protect the puck from the opponent’s defensive players.
- Has the inspection improved? Kuang said. “We must have updated the collision and tripping model, especially.” However, Kwong said that when separating the player from the puck, it is not always due to the size of the player, but is determined by referring to the player’s strength and balance. How easy it is for them to fall. He took Pavel Datsyuk as an example to show that he is only 5 feet 11 inches tall, but his skates are still very strong, he said that this is where the new X-Factor ability shines for certain types of players.
- This time you can expect more realistic club interaction and psychic, where players can hit the ball more naturally and interfere with the passing route. This also led him to say that you will see Poke Check less penalized. “In the past, you would have seen inspections by roller skates. Obviously, it was unrealistic when you tripped a player. It was a source of frustration. This is one thing that has now been resolved.”
- For fans of the franchise model, finding the right players for the coaching system is still a factor, and the trade deadline minigame (unfortunately) remains the same. Kwong also said that the scout hasn’t changed much, except to be able to find out whether the player has the X factor. He said to focus on having the best scout, because there will be more gems in the next few rounds. Due to the X factor, circuit chemistry is also a larger factor in this model. “A very simple example I use is that you want to make sure you are supplementing your passing area ability with someone who can also shoot the ball, whether it’s a player [increased] The accuracy of single shots, slap shots or wrist shots,” Kwong said. “Combining complementary skills will greatly increase your production line chemistry, and at the same time [soley] Depends on a player [with these special abilities] It will only give you a little excitement. “
- Kwong confirmed that players can have at most one regional ability and up to five superstar abilities.
- Be A Pro did not add new scenes, but Kwong said that hundreds of new dialogues are also associated with the new podcast program of this mode to support your journey and branch storyline. He also confirmed that you are still choosing the “star” or “team” dialogue option to determine what type of teammate you want to be.