Since the EA Sports NHL series made the jump to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, the reactions to the installments have been mixed — at best.
There was the trainwreck of a game that was NHL 15 where almost every mode fans cared about was watered down to nothing, if not completely removed. NHL 16 saw modes return, though many still felt dry and dull. NHL 17 improved modes like EASHL and Franchise Mode, but there was still a lot left out that fans hope to see in coming games.
Speaking of coming games, NHL 18 is well in development. And seeing as the game is still seven months away from release, it feels like there’s no better time than now to talk about what fans want to see in the newest installment from EA Sports Vancouver.
It’s the NHL 18 wishlist!
More Player Likenesses: It’s something that lead producer Sean Ramjagsingh has made more of a priority over the years, but it’s still not exactly where it needs to be. Sure, it’s pretty impossible to get all the rookies scanned in time for the game’s release, but mainstay NHL players — especially five year or more veterans — should all be scanned into the game by now.
Authentic In-Game Atmosphere: It’s gotten better over the last two games, but more often than not the feeling in NHL 17 feels like watching paint dry. Where’s the excitement that comes whenever someone has a scoring chance in a playoff game? Can we also work on the Stanley Cup presentation this year, too? Please?
Roster Sharing: Waiting for official roster updates can be annoying to some. Madden already lets fans update them as they see fit, and share them for the world to download. It makes no sense for the NHL series to not allow this yet.
Off-puck AI: The AI in NHL 17 often leaves fans scratching their heads. Out of position, slow to react and just too easy to beat at times. On the offensive side of things, instead of going for the puck, the AI often backs away from the play.
Better Stick Detection: Sticks shouldn’t go right through the posts, other sticks, bodies or the puck itself. Let’s just leave it at that.
Get Rid of the Invisible Wall: This has been a problem for far too long, and it still rears its ugly head too much. The puck, heading towards an open net, hits some sort of wall and just dies on the goalline. Poking at the puck does absolutely nothing, and you’re left scratching your head as to what just happened.
Trade Requests: It happens more times than you think. A player is unhappy with his current situation and wants to move on. In the NHL series, requesting a trade isn’t available even though it should be. Allow trade requests, but also implement team reactions in the form of morale changes, lineup changes and more until a trade goes through…if it does at all.
Full-fledged Career Mode: Right now, Be-A-Pro is the most generic and bland single player career mode in all of sports gaming. There’s no sense of accomplishment; it’s just an unnecessary grind that feels like a waste of time. Give the mode a sense of personality like the “Live The Life” mode that debuted before generations changed over.
In-Season Contract Negotiations: The fact that this still isn’t in the game is beyond impossible to believe. If you want to negotiate deals, you have to wait until the offseason to do anything. If a player has a year left on their deal, an extension should be discussed as soon as the eligible date comes.
Coaching Changes: Another feature that somehow is still missing, the ability to fire, hire and extend coaches. Even if they can’t lock down the likeliness of coaches, at least just let us fire those who’s systems don’t work with the players we have on the roster.
Overhauled Scouting System: It appears as though scouting has just been forgotten about. Feedback from scouting reports doesn’t do enough to prep you for upcoming drafts. Different scouts having different views of the same players would add a nice twist to the drafting process.
Free Agency Rebuild: Offering a player the most money still ultimately leads to you signing anyone you want. More back-and-forth negotiation, only having a short time to sign the big fish — if the player actually wants to talk with you, and adjusting to player demands all need to make their way into the game.
Player Flexibility: Other than cosmetics, there’s no feeling of differentiation in EASHL. Even if EA Sports won’t allow custom attributes, at least allow different equipment to offer different boosts to players.
Best of the Rest
— Chris Ostrander (@2ITB_Buffalo) February 20, 2017
— §⊕ññ¥ Ц†Ğ (@UpgradeThaGame) February 9, 2017
@MikeStrawWrites implement line changes in EASHL. You have 4 copies of your player, 1 for each line. Changes gameplay, something new
— John Sikula III (@J_Sikula) February 8, 2017
@MikeStrawWrites Expansion Mode w/ 32 – 40 teams slots & let the Franchise Mode be more like NBA 2K17 ?
— Anthony Lopez (@TheAnt755) February 9, 2017
@MikeStrawWrites GM Connected and Roster Sharing
— Joe Kazmier (@Kazmier21) February 12, 2017
— Rogue IT Staff (@Husaria) February 20, 2017
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