A few weeks ago, several players were able to go hands-on and test out NHL 24 prior to the game’s October 6 release. Today, the development team behind NHL 24 released an update on some changes they are going to make to the game prior to launch. These changes are based directly on player feedback.
NHL 24 Makes Major Changes Based on Playtest Feedback
Many of the changes are tuning adjustments to different systems in the game. For example, the Sustained Pressure System is getting a couple of adjustments. The impact of having possession of the puck on building pressure has been decreased, while the decay rate of the pressure meter has been increased. The Close Quarters X-Factor ability also got some tuning adjustments. The distance required to activate was reduced, along with the accuracy bonus granted by using the ability.
The speed loss a player experiences after attempting a poke check has been reverted to the level in NHL 23. Players found it too difficult to use the poke check due to how slow their player became after doing so. Glass breaking and nets being knocked off were also tuned to occur less often. The full notes from this update can be seen below:
SUSTAINED PRESSURE SYSTEM TUNING
Community Feedback – The puck possession aspects of the Sustained Pressure System are too powerful for the growth of the system which encourages puck ragging. Additionally the defensive team does not have many ways to counter the system making it feel unbalanced at times.
- Puck Possession Tuned Down 30% – We have lowered the impact that possessing the puck has in the offensive zone with regards to building sustained pressure. The value of possessing the puck has been lowered by 30%. Shots on net and big hits in the offensive zone are now strengthened as the best way to build sustained pressure.
- Decay Rate of Pressure Meter Increased by 100% – The new tuning sees the meter decay faster once the puck is cleared outside of the defensive zone by the defending team. This creates a more authentic feel to sustained pressure as the offensive team must keep a consistent attack in the offensive zone in order to activate full pressure. Previously the offensive team could attack, leave the zone and then re-attack to slowly build the meter which ultimately did not feel authentic to the sport. Full pressure as a result will be slightly tougher to trigger during each period of play.
GOALIE FATIGUE SYSTEM
Community Feedback – The new goalie system and its tuning has resulted in the goalies being way too active, flopping around far too frequently resulting in netminders that feel too loose as they seemingly are always using desperation saves. This always makes the goalies feel less authentic.
- Goalies Recover When Puck Exits Defensive Zone – Previously goalies would only regenerate their energy during active play when the puck crossed over the opposing team’s blueline. This resulted in the goalie remaining tired for too long and throwing too many desperation saves. We have changed this to now by having goalies start to recover immediately when the puck exits the defensive zone. This means more peaks and valleys with goalie fatigue rather than consistent fatigued states.
- Fatigue Meter Always Visible – To create better overall understanding of the state of the goalie’s fatigue during gameplay the respective fatigue meter will be visible at all times. This will enable players to attack and defend better based on always knowing the relevant state of the goalie’s fatigue level.
- Goalie Attributes Have Increased Impact on Drain & Recovery – We have increased the impact that a goalie’s respective attributes have on both energy drain and recovery. This means breaking down a higher rated goalie will be more difficult as compared to a lower rated goalie as they will recover energy faster and fatigue slower.
- Goalies More Stable When Rested – Goalies have been tuned to be more stable and positional when above 50% energy. This means that you will see fewer desperation saves overall when a goalie is in what is deemed a reasonable rested state.
PHYSICS BASED CONTACT
Community Feedback – The hitting has some points of concern such as hip checks at slow speeds result in massive collisions that make little sense, the reverse hit is way OP and appears to disregard player size which is unrealistic.
- Big Checks Deal Slightly More Stamina Damage – Any big checks that are landed during gameplay will add more stamina damage to the target player and bringing into play the longer recovery get up states..
- Player Size Carries More Impact on Reverse Hit Outcomes – Player size now factors more predominantly into the reverse hits that connect during a game. Smaller players will be far less likely to run through a larger player due to a size mismatch whereas a larger player will be far more likely to run over a smaller player.
- Performing A Reverse Hit Results In Some Slowdown – We have added a small slowdown event that occurs when any reverse hit is thrown during gameplay to provide more balance to the mechanic. This will address the issue where a player can reverse hit a defender and then continue at full speed up the ice.
- Hip Checks in Low Speed Situations – The relative speed of both the puck carrier and defensive player throwing the hip check will now be taken into consideration in these game situations resulting in less dramatic hip checks during slower pace of play moments.
GLOBAL LACROSSE DEKE TUNING
Community Feedback – With the lacrosse deke now being accessible to everyone it is constantly being used and seems to be far too OP which hurts the moves authenticity as compared to the NHL.
- Lacrosse Deke (The Michigan) Effectiveness Tied to Deke Ability – In an effort to help control the impact of the lacrosse deke on the overall game experience we have connected it to a player’s deking attribute. The tuning change results in the speed of the deke being impacted. A lower deke attribute will result in the animation taking longer to execute and a higher attribute will result in a faster execution of the deke. This applies globally no matter which controller setting you are playing on.
Community Feedback – The Close Quarters X-Factor remains too powerful and needs to be adjusted so it can be used in a balanced state. In the current tuning it tends to be outlawed in competitive leagues despite the desire to want to employ this X-Factor.
- Close Quarters – This X-factor has had the following tuning to make it more balanced for competitive play.
- Reduced the distance required to activate Close Quarters from 30 to 20 feet
- Reduced the accuracy bonus of Close Quarters by 50%
- Reduced the accuracy bonus of Close Quarters Superstar Ability by 75%
HUMAN GOALIES TUNING
Community Feedback – Bring back Legacy Goalie Controls for core goalies. The current tether system feels too restrictive in terms of how far the goalie can challenge and move making it hard to cut down on angles. Fatigue system appears to be impacting human goalies too much based on active adjustment. And the instinct system feels too punishing in terms of guessing incorrectly on a save location.
- Increased Tether Distance – A human goalie using the new Tether Controls now has an expanded area to move within this control set. We have increased the movement range from 3 feet to 5 feet allowing for more ability to cut down angles and overall freedom of movement.
- Increased Goalie Instinct Boost When Correct – When a human goalie guesses the shot target correctly after engaging the Instinct System, they will receive a higher boost to their respective save probability.
- Removed Goalie Instinct Penalty When Incorrect – The penalty applied to a human goalie when they guess incorrectly within the Instinct System has been removed. Any incorrect guess will not carry any additional impact on the save scenario.
- Reduced Fatigue Impact on Human Goalies – Given how human goalies will potentially make more adjustments in game as compared to AI goalies, we have slightly softened the over fatigue impact on human goalies.
Community Feedback – The poke check has become too difficulty to use based on the new tuning changes for ‘24. Now when I poke check not only do I recover slower but I incur a speed loss which allows puck carrier to easily blow by me if the poke check fails to connect.
- Reverted Speed Loss to NHL 23 Tuning – We have tuned back the speed loss that was added during production back to the same tuning that was shipped in NHL 23.
GENERAL GAMEPLAY TUNING
Community Feedback – The nets come off way too much during gameplay and you can actually try and skate at the net to stop a scoring chance without penalty which is unbalanced. And the glass breaks way too often making it annoying rather than a fun moment.
- Nets Being Knocked Off Less – We have tuned down how often nets are knocked off the moorings to have it happen less frequently.
- Glass Breaking – We have tuned down how often the glass will break so that it happens less frequently.
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