NHL 17 Q&A Part Three

With the launch of NHL 17 on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One just about two months away, EA Sports continued its Ask EA Sports NHL series.

Answering a number of questions for the NHL 17 fan base, producers of the game addressed in-game music, arena designs, Draft Champions and more. Check it out for yourself below, and be sure to stick with The Hockey Writers for more on NHL 17 as the launch gets closer.

The Orlando Solar Bears play at the amway center. Will the graphics of the stadium reflect that our will we get the generic arena like in the past games?

We will have the authentic center ice logo and center line and all of the home fans will be wearing the authentic jerseys as well, but the arena will not have the exact architecture of the Amway Center.

When playing someone that non stop ties you up on the faceoff. Will we have the option to do a normal draw and still have a chance to win the draw?

Using the forehand draw should be the best way to beat a player that is using the tie up.

How many different things can you customize when it comes to your arena?

There are a lot of things you can customize in your arena. Everything from the base architectural design all the way to the in-arena presentation of music, special effects and lighting. As some examples you will be able to create a very unique brand having control over your board trim colour, seat pattern layouts/colour schemes, railing colours, goal light types, center ice logo design/layout,center line styles, stanchion styles/colours, goal spotlight effects, scoreboard types, special effects during intros/goals, goal songs, powerplay songs, and a bunch of other details.

[RELATED: NHL 17 Draft Champions Details]

Just to make sure, will there be price ranges on HUT cards this year?

No. When HUT launches, you can expect the same auction house functionality as NHL 16

In last years NHL 16 you guys introduced unique playoff atmospheres like the Winnipeg Whiteout but they were only in playoff mode will the unique playoff atmospheres be in other modes like be a pro and franchise for NHL 17 ?

Yes, the playoff atmosphere shows up in season play as well as playoff mode.

Is there going to be speed differentials between skaters? For example nhl 15 and 16 made it so the defender no matter what position he was in if he turned it over at the blue line he some how was able to get back and break up the break away. Nhl 14 had it spot on with the acceleration and speed differences between players.

This is a bit subjective as there are differences in player speed/acceleration based on attributes but other effects such as fatigue, skating with the puck, etc. can have an impact. In a tuner for NHL 16, we actually reduced the impact skating with the puck has on your skating, especially when hustling and pushing it ahead. This will be the case in NHL 17 as well.

Will you be reducing pauses in VS, Hut, OTP and Eashl? Or remove them all together and only allow 1 time out. This is probably the most useless idea ever all it does is just irritates people.

We have reduced pauses to 1 per team regardless of mode or the number of players on the team. Given that you only have 1 and it is 30 seconds in length it essentially becomes your 30 second timeout. Right now it will not automatically consume your actual timeout that refreshes your lines.

When will you be releasing the overalls for the players?

We will be revealing NHL 17 player ratings closer to launch.

What are the rewards to the brand new Draft Champions mode? I’ve played the Madden 16 version and loved it so I am excited to see what NHL brings to the table.

By winning games in Draft Champions you will be able to unlock rewards in HUT, such as packs and unique players

Will the 1-3-1 powerplay be in the game? It’s the one that pretty much every team in the NHL uses now. Caps, Penguins, etc. Also are the behind the net and in front of net variations of the 1-3-1 in?

We haven’t added new powerplay formations to the game this year.

Are you guys going to do another gameplay series like last year to show off the new modes before the release?

Yes. We will be releasing more information and videos around gameplay and game modes.

Has there been any improvements in the checking part of the game? Because I find the littlest pushes knock the player down and I believe the checking should be toned down. I feel there is too much checking (huge checks) in the game and should be toned down.

It really depends on what Game Style you play on. The default game style is definitely tuned to be more of a classic videogame hockey experience where it is based around realism but is a bit more over the top with the shorter period lengths — quicker speed, harder more accurate shots, bigger hits, etc. This year, we added a new Game Style so now have 4 that range from Arcade all the way to Full Sim. On top of that, you can also go in and tweak numerous sliders to get the exact experience you are after. Around hitting alone, we have multiple sliders that range from the impact relative speed, the checking/balance ratings of the players involved and the relative size of the players have on the collision. You also have sliders for stumble thresholds and how much incidental contact affects players.

Will we have the option to create, customize & use our eashl clubs in the beta?

Thank you for registering for the NHL 17 Beta. Codes will be sent out once the beta is live, stay tuned on our social channels for upcoming announcements.

Will menu and in game music be updated for this iteration?

Yes! More details to come on that later :-)

Are there any changes to player animations? For example, better animations for slow gliding on the ice.

Our animations for gliding with and without the puck are the same, but we have added a lot of new animations to the game. Aside from all the animations we added around our Moments in Be a Pro and Franchise Mode, on the Gameplay side, our new Net Battles mechanic has a lot of animations and our new goalie save mechanic has a lot of new positional save animations. We have also added a lot of authentic goalie stances and new goal scoring celebrations that you can choose in Be a Pro or unlock as part of your progression in the EA SPORTS Hockey League.

Will the cards in the packs that you receive by pre-ordering be able to be sold in the auction house?

Yes! You will be able to sell the items from a preorder pack in the auction house.

Will there be a demo prior to NHL 17’s release?

Great question Jonathan. The goal of the Beta is to get as much feedback as possible so we can deliver the best experience possible at launch. That said, there will be no carryover from the Beta to the full game.

Has EA considered adding a “classic teams” mode or roster? For example: any of the the Oilers teams from the 80″s, the 1997/1998,2002 Red wings, the early 90’s Penguins, the 93 Canadiens or Kings and so on. It would be great to play as these teams in single matches or be able to add the teams/ or individual players to GM mode.

Thanks for the question Rob. We’ve definitely considered classic teams however there are some challenges when it comes to licensing. There is not a single union for all retired players which means that we have to license each player from each team individually which can be logistically challenging.

Can you tell us what punishment players (especially goalies) can expect when they quit the game?

We have been listening to our NHL community and NHL 17 includes a number of anti-griefing improvements. In EASHL Club games, any game that is started with 2 human goalies requires those goalies to finish the game otherwise their team will be awarded a loss. For Drop-in when a goalie leaves they will be replaced with a backup goalie of far lesser skill and size. Also for Drop-in games, the coach will keep tabs on your team play grade. If you aren’t being a good team player and are intentionally going offside or perhaps leaving your controller idle for too long, they coach may boot you from the game. In some cases we can adjust the above with a server update, so we are looking for feedback regarding these features in our Beta.

Will camera relative controls be back for goalies?

Camera relative controls were actually making it hard for a lot of goalies to move laterally in the net, especially on the passes across since the camera was constantly rotating and goalie pushes are a base move and not continuous — so we changed the control based on feedback from the core goalie community and will see how the feedback is through the Beta period.

Are there going to be more coach options and or are there only going to be fiddler and so on.

The same coaches that were in NHL 16 are returning for NHL 17 but instead of granting stat boosts they will now contribute to Synergy (new way to build teams in HUT 17).

Have you added more play-by-play names?

Yes, we have added new player and team/city names to our commentary.

Are you guys looking into making a fut draft type of tournament on hut?

At launch when playing Draft Champions you will be able to play solo or play Head to Head games. We will not have a tournament mode.

So… Do we have to unlock the items for arena customization on eashl before we can use them in arena customization?

In EASHL you will have to play games and level up your club to earn a majority of the unlocks in EASHL, including arena customization. You will start in 2 brand new community rinks which are only available in EASHL. From there you can unlock larger arenas as well as customize options like scoreboards, goal songs and horns. You will be able to use the Create Team/Create Arena feature outside of EASHL and that will not require unlocks.

In NHL 17, will sticks still go through the rink when you skate in or beside it.

Yes. We haven’t turned on a pure physics solve for the stick on the boards, due to the limitations it puts on your skater in certain animations. The choice right now is to not limit your ability to move when skating near the boards. On the defensive side, we did run tests to ensure that pokechecks can still connect with the puck in these situations.

Will there be a returning user reward in hut this year?

Yes, returning HUT 16 users will receive a one-time returning user reward in HUT 17. We’ll have more information on that at a later date.

Can you change your height and weight in eashl?

You will not be able to manually adjust your height and weight as they are specifically tuned to ensure each class is balanced. For example, height and weight affect hitting and skating ability so allowing these to be adjusted freely may give users an advantage over other players.

Could you give us more information on the new Draft Champions mode?

Draft Champions is an exciting new mode that can be played offline or online. To start, you will need to pick a draft theme, this will determine the selection of players and your starting base roster. The player pools will be updated with new content each week as TOTW and other special items are released.

I’m extremely interested in Draft Champions. Is the game mode going to be both offline and online? I’d really love to play against friends in this mode.

You will be able to play Draft Champions Solo against the CPU or Head to Head against another user. There will not be Play a friend in Draft Champions

Is there gonna be a way too see in hut in the marketplace if you allready own players, like when you buy packs it says allready owned? Would be a huge help when you are doing collections.

The ‘Unowned Items’ view is a new addition to HUT Collection. This is a quick and easy way to see what player and team items you’re missing. On top of that, we also added the ability to shortcut to the auction house to do a direct search for that missing player.