Sports Gamers Online

NHL 16 Q & A Part 6


Below is the Q&A from the NHL 16 development team’s Ask EA page. We got a chance to play the game a E3 and you can read our impressions here.

Will there be goalie injuries in off line modes?

If games are simmed during the off line modes there are goalie injuries. During gameplay we do not have goalie injuries.

Will single player tournaments be available in HUT 16 under “Play Solo”? This is the feature i’m missing most. As someone who loves playing the CPU, the tournament win bonus was the main reason I could actually build a nice team in earlier versions of NHL.

Hi Jason, glad you asked! In HUT 16, we are introducing Single Player Seasons for the first time. It has very similar aspects to the old Offline Tournaments with the ability to work your way through higher divisions. On top of this, we are also bringing back entry criteria to help keep things interesting.

Love seeing EASHL is coming back. My biggest complain with it is that it doesn’t play like any of the other modes / real NHL, no reason to dump for a line change, get on fresh players when stamina is low. It’s essentially a game no line changes enabled. Can we ever expect to see a line change feature in EASHL, so that the captain calls for a change, you skate to the bench and your player comes back out with fresh legs, more stamina? I’m not saying have reserve players or sitting on the bench, but just something that captures the flow of a game more accurately than skating around, always pushing into the offensive zone.

Hi TK, thanks for your question. Line changes is something that does come up in our design discussions. I can definitely see your point but it does have some design drawbacks that we have to be careful with. This is something we will continue to look into.

How will the draft look and will be able to pick our players/trade our picks or will it be simulated?

Last year after NHL 15 was released we put in a patch a whole new Entry Draft experience for our users, allowing users to make their own picks as well as trading their picks to other teams. This will be in NHL 16 for you to use to draft your up and coming stars.

What will we see in the way of tutorials for those of us new to the series?

In NHL 16 we have a new feature called On-Ice Visual Trainer which is meant to allow all players (regardless of skill level) compete at a higher level by teaching them the controls through visual aids. These aids are adaptive so that as you learn each of the controls, you continuously advance to more complex moves.

In NHL15 online team play is plagued with too many player collisions. Has this been identified as an issue to be fixed for NHL 16?

Yes, with the return of EASHL, there has been a big focus on balance and behavior making the game fun to play from every position in an online multiplayer space. Part of this has been tuning core gameplay elements/factors such as player physics and collisions. We have not only tuned the balance of how prepared players are in different situations for collisions but also added more variety in reactions at lower levels so that even when players do collide, they don’t have to be as extreme as they were in NHL 15. Small stumbles have helped these incidental collisions as well as allowed big power forwards to protect the puck when turning their back to a defensive player to absorbing impacts better.

Will teams sit on the correct players benches this year?

We have gone through all of the stadiums and tried to update them to be as authentic as possible. The art and rendering teams did an amazing job in NHL 15 capturing the architectural likeness of all of the licensed buildings but this year was more about taking them to the next level with behavior and interaction and they have met and surpassed the mark once again. In NHL 16 you will see players on the correct benches, using the proper tunnels for the home and away teams, updated banners to be as authentic as possible and many other stadium accents to add more life into each of the arenas.

Has any work been done to avoid pucks and sticks going through legs, net, board?

We are always adding improvements within physics for collision detection. We have also improved the detection of stick on stick & stick on body collisions to tune when pucks get dislodged/collide per game style. We have also added the ability to tune how stick on stick contact effects puck control from different angles to simulate the strength the defender would have vs. the offensive player. These are the types of improvements you can expect to see in NHL 16.

With the NBC package, will there be warm ups, league updates, player/coach interviews, national anthems?

For NHL 16 we have worked closely with NBC and have received great support to update the in-game broadcast package to better match the authenticity of what they rolled out this past January on their network. On top of that, Doc and Eddie will have a lot more pre-game analysis to cover your team and your opponents as you play through a season and for specific match-ups. We don’t have interviews this year but you will see the players skating around pre-game as the commentary team focuses on the teams/players complete with spot lights, team props raising to the rafters, crowd flags and unique effects whenever authentic to the team.

Has there been any server upgrades to help with lag issues?

Yes. With more and more people playing online every day, we’re continuously trying to improve our online experience.

Will Custom Soundtracks be possible in NHL16?

This year our focus was to get music to make our in-arena experience as authentic as possible. Unfortunately, Custom Soundtracks will not be in NHL 16.

Will be a Pro include the All-Star game?

The All-Star game will not be a part of Be A Pro this year however it is something we will continue to look into.
Can we expect to see any (big) changes for playing goalie, both in terms of gameplay and the overall experience?

Yes. In NHL 16 there is a brand new way to control goalies. We have added all new motion capture which allows for much more realistic motion when moving in the crease. You can now decide between controlled strides and longer t-pushes. If you want to track a single skater with the puck or push over quickly to track a cross ice pass, you now have the tools to do so. You are also accountable for your momentum so pushing back the other way in butterfly is different than pushing from a still position since you have to recoil first which makes you much more accountable for staying in control. We have also improved the ability to push into saves so that you don’t feel locked in or stopped by the AI.

Are there any goalie improvements this year like to the movement and save? And also when playing as them are there new saves for the button combos?

We are still finalizing the controls so can’t full comment on the new controls/abilities. However, in NHL 16 you will have more control than ever before when playing as a player controlled goalie. We have all new motion capture for goalies movement so that you can take both smaller strides and big t-pushes when you either want to re-position in the crease or make more committed moves to the opposite side to track cross ice passes. We have also put specific focus on ensuring players aren’t locked into saves when they want to continue to slide with momentum.

Is there anything new or improvements on Goalies (Human or Computer) in NHL 16?

Hey Johnny…in NHL 16 we’ve overhauled player controlled goalies as part of our efforts to make it fun to play from every position on the ice. You’ll now have new controls (which are still TBD in terms of button mapping) which will give a more authentic look and feel to the goalies. You’ll also notice that the AI goalies also have new animations and poses to refresh the look.

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