Here is the 5th installment of the developer Q & A for NHL 16 EA via their Ask EA NHL page. There are already some great questions and answers as well as some additional feature information on Ratings, Be a Pro, Presentation, AI, EASHL, HUT & More. Checkout the questions below.

In Be A Pro, can we chose to be a hockey player? (Such as Sidney Crosby)

In NHL 16 you cannot select to be an NHL player in Be A Pro. This year it’s all about creating your character and living out your NHL career.

What kinds of graphical improvements have been made to NHL 16 over last year?

For NHL 16, we have done a lot in terms of graphical improvements whether it be the new NBC broadcast package, more player authenticity, unique elements in each of the arenas or just general improvements that impact the overall look of the game.

Are there going to be more updated player likenesses for players that currently have generic faces?

Yes. We were able to scan additional heads and update player likenesses for NHL 16.

Do you have the New York Islanders “Yes Yes Yes” crowd chant after they score a goal in NHL 16?

We are trying to add as many team authentic presentation and atmosphere elements as we can to NHL 16 to bring our living worlds even more to life. We can’t confirm what we have for the Islanders quite yet.

Are you planning to bring back the 3-Stars of the game celebration, like we have in real life? I know it’s been a while since you removed them, but I think it’s a pretty sweet add-on to the game. Thank you.

Not for this year. For NHL 16 our end of game flow matches what is most common on an NBC broadcast with the NBC theme playing over the end of game highlight reel and final score overlay as the broadcast team signs off. We did update our end of period and game score overlays to match the new look that NBC implemented this year to stay as authentic as possible.

Will player numbers be so highly inflated? It seems NHL15 took a huge step towards boosting player numbers, making it seem like it really didn’t matter who you played, According to NHL15, Tyler Bozak(87) is almost as good as Phil Kessel(90), and Clarkson’s(85) almost as good as JVR(87). The entire game is riddled with examples like this, not to mention that goalies basically fit into 2 categories, 85-86 or 93.I think some diversity in player rating would go a long way into helping teams feel more unique instead of top line and 3 second lines.

We work closely with a professional scout who provides our NHL, AHL and CHL ratings. We are always looking at making the ratings better each year and this is something we will look at prior to NHL 16. Two years ago were tuned our ratings so that more players would be in the high 70’s and low 80’s playing in the NHL to give that separation from the top players in the NHL.

Have you made significant improvements to the AI that should not be in the game? Such as skating offside, taking interference penalties, running the goalie, etc

We are always looking at ways that we can improve our AI both offensively and defensively. However, we do want them to behave as human as possible so taking penalties and sometimes going offside will be part of the experience depending on how the play evolves around them.

How the player evolution will work in Be a GM? Will it be like madden where you can assign drills to players and spend XP on a specific aspect like acceleration?

In NHL 16, Be A GM Player progression is tuned based on real world statistics of how players have grown in the hockey world. The two main contributing factors are the player’s potential and his likelihood of reaching his potential. Some players will grow faster while other will be late bloomers. Putting players in the right situation based on their roles will have an impact on how a player develops.

With the new player “classes” in EASHL will there be any attribute type system to give any customization to player stats? (Speed, hand eye, ect)

Hi Joe. If I’m not mistaken I think you are talking about progression and the ability to boost a player’s attributes. With the player class system in NHL 16, the aim is to have all the strengths and weaknesses of each player be visible and transparent to each user. While you can still customize the way your created pro looks, we took a new direction with the player stats such that they are locked based on the player class you select.

Will there be offline HUT challenges that reward either packs or coin bonuses or just offline games that tally coins for gameplay like they are in 15

HUT Single Player Seasons is a new mode for NHL 16. While it does have some aspects of the previous HUT Tournaments, we do not support rewarding items or pack bonuses at this time.

In EASHL will there be tournaments? If so are they similar to the past and how far are they apart. They used to be every month which made them more rewarding, as they went weekly they lost their value.

We can definitely tune/tweak the frequency of the Playoff window within the EASHL Online Seasons. Thus far, the overwhelming response supports bringing back the monthly format.