Playing goalie offline against AI has always been difficult. They have the uncanny abilities to exploit the angle faster than any human can react. It has always bas been an adventure of frustration. One that brings rewards when you perform well in a game but often make you want to quit after a few games. Unfortunately, this years iteration makes it an impossible task.
The integration of X-Factor and the removal of playing the in the CHL , AHL before making it to the league put you against much higher rated player that a goalie of OVR 70 should ever face in their career. I should not be a goalie in the NHL with the rating that I have. Normally , I managed to get a .825 to 0.850 save percentage and a 4.00 GAA (believe me, this is good stats for playing offline) but this year, so far, I am almost at 7.00 GAA and a low .750 saving average. No GM in their right mind would allow such a goalie to remain in the league.
The issue comes from the fact that human goalie highly depends on their player stats to stop the puck. Every single year that I've played, I was in rated as A+ positing but C or D+ rating in saves. That's because until I get more training and more points, being in the right position does not guarantee you to make a stop. So what is a human goalie supposed to do ? Well , normally you have to anticipate and not always be square to the puck at your five hole rating might allow a goal if you are exactly where you need to be. So cheating a little bit as always been the way to try to get saves you normally wouldn't get because of your ratings. This year X-factor and the changes to goalie animation exploit goalie like never before. I watch myself being in a very good position to make a stope and watch my goalie not react all to the puck. He just stand there as a zombie on the ice. So what am I supposed to do there ? react using the right stick which would stop moving my goalie aggressively in a lower body position to the left or to the right. Not ideal when ever someone with a Rating 72 can snipe you top corner whenever they see an opening the size of the puck If you are not perfectly square, you are opening yourself to that weakness, if you are square , you are vulnerable to five hole. It's a lose/lose situation.
It is my impression that AI players are tweaked to play against AI goalies and not human goalies. Therefore , AI goalies reacts faster and can handle subtle changes in puck position before firing the puck. It makes sense. They shoot faster than human and goal react faster than human. Everything is balanced right ? But there is one problem, strategy adjustment and AI behavior. As a goalie, you spend a lot of time watching AI plays as the puck is not always in your zone. pattern emerges, I can tell where the winds is going to change as it is always trigger by the same events : 2 goals advantage. The second a team gets a 2 goals lead, strategy adjustment occurs on both team, The team leading goes into a less aggressive and more neutral defensive and offensive strategy while the opposite team goes into a much more aggressive one. At this point in time, your defense will skate backward and let the forwards with way too much space, They will allow them in the slot. They will be allow to shoot from prime location without any challenges. Some might called it DDA but it's the strategy adjustment that is responsible for this. This has been going on for years. Taking about AI behavior. The passing % when AI plays against AI is in the 90+ % on every game. They almost never miss a pass, they are perfect. It's uncanny to see such an high pass percentage. Which compounds to the issue a human goalie must face.
So what about sliders ? Well. Sliders are separated main category : human controlled players and CPU controlled players but when you are a goalie, tweaking the hall of fame shooting of a Line 4 checking players will do the same to your team as they are CPU controlled. So reducing shooting precision, will make both team starting shooting wildly. Which is one of my other complaint about AI behavior. It seems to be that AI has 2 mode, I snipe you whenever I see a whole as big as the puck or I missed by 10 feet. There is very little in between in terms of precision. It's seems to be a very arbitrary and binary decision. I hit the snipe or I don't. So I can control the the goalie speed and movement using sliders to make the game a little more advantageous for me but am I really solving the issue here ? What is going to happen when I am going to go online and play against other players ? Will I form bad habit, relying on my speed that I really don't have anymore while I am online.
It's really hard to see the puck and who has the puck this year. Even with increase the puck shadow to it's maximum, it's the hardest it has ever been. Also the indicator above the player is hard to see which doesn't help following the play. I find often myself in a situation where I have no idea where the puck is. For the first time in years, I had to turn on Visual On-Ice training so that I can actually see where the puck is. I can only imagine what it's going to be back online where the vision cone is not available. But at least human are not as fast as the CPU control player to react.
I am not one to enumerate issue without providing a solution. So what would be best ? The most obvious one is that regardless if a player has a X-factor or not, they all behave the same way. The checking line player has the same capabilities of exploiting an human goalie than Sidney Crosby does. They are so good and shoot so fast than it's very difficult for a human goalie to reacts in time. Even if you do reacts, you are back to relying on your players overall rating to make the determination whether a save will be made or not. So what I would like to see if that a player with a lower rating would try to hit that top shed and hit you in the pad instead because he just doesn't have to agility or the space to do so. Missed shot should not only be missing the net but missing the target and hitting the goalie. I do not see enough of that. I wanted to upload video of this but we need to wait until the October 15th before we can upload clip on xbox live. The 2nd thing I would do is allow to be sent back to the CHL and AHL as goalie so I can improved my overall rating before being called up. It makes sense right ? I need more ice time and be put in a situation where I can actually win. There is no way I will win a game in the NHL at a 70 OVR goalie.
I think most of what I want to see for human goalie is that it most skilled based than statistically driven. Human goalie is the only position in NHL22 that you can actually be punish for being square to a shot. Being in the right position might actually be bad for you. I've seen it so many times because my glove high rating was not high enough to stop <whoever is shooting at me>. Maybe I am not supposed to play goalie offline and that goal is one of a foolish dream. Maybe I am getting too old to play goalie. Time to hang up my skate ? It's the only position in NHL 22 that makes me feel this way. As a forward or a defenseman, I can go on and score 100 goals as a rookie regardless of my rating . You can't have a .929 save percentage and a less than 3.00 GAA in a rookie year. Heck , I don't think it's possible as a human goalie period to do this against an AI opponent. I am glutton for punishment so I am going to keep going and see how far I can push but this year is by far the worst be a pro goalie experience since it was first possible in NHL games.
The only thing left is the "git gud" statement that many will surely feels they need to reply to this analysis. Well, obviously, i can always try to "git gud" and achieved the impossible but it's really difficult when the game is rigged against you from the start. As a player who has completed Dark Souls and games like cuphead. I am not a person who is looking for a simple and easy resolution. What these games have in common is that they teach you a lesson and if you don't do it again, it rewards you with success. You can't do that in NHL 22. The AI does not rewards you for good behavior. It just punishes you until you quit. There is nothing to be learned as your defenseman in front will make it too easy for the opposite team to abuse you. So maybe the only real solution is to never play goalie offline again. That would be a tragedy.
It was never possible to play Be a pro as a goalie sadly. It has been reported for years now, but there is no answers to that.
The game is geared for goals. You shouldn’t be a 70. And win the scoring title either but here we are. It’s the days of instant gratification. I totally agree that a 68-72 goalie should be in the minors. I guess the majority that didn’t like starting in the minors and complained about it won.
It has nothing to do with instant gratification. You either never played a goalie offline and you just didn't read what I wrote. It's about any level of progress in the be a pro career. Everything is related to your performance including unlocking perks, X-factor skills and just general progress. Please do me a favor and at least try and let me know how it feel. It has nothing to do with instant gratification at all.
Having the same problems loved NHL20 minors league found my draft year playing bad just to go down to stay build. Second season got called up and could actually hang in the NHL with good stats and felt accomplished. 21 with no minors and everything was on your shoulders made the game in enjoyable. Was hoping they would go back to having the minors for 22 but no still pressure on a 67 butterfly keeper to put up a .956 game against a fully X factor oilers but hey ho. I agree with everything you say from when I first started NHL on rookie for be a pro up until superstar the only difference in the AI is how much they score. You still end up with hardly any shots to deal with and the ones you do are snipes, cross creases or xfactors. Game needs balancing or don’t let people be keepers
Nice of you to assume what are my playing habits are. I have been playing nhl bap goalie since NHL 11. And those older titles have played better. I remembered when the ai defense used to cycle the puck. Now and for years now, the ai enter the zone and pass the puck once and goal. I always hated the puck going thru the pads, the blocker and at times, behind the post. I’ve also endured countless one timers that I’d never had a chance to gett, and sliders that were backwards. So yes, I’ve played and raged quit and yelled that is impossible and hated the game. I agree with you.
do you remember when the defense AI would just skate back to the crease and do nothing?
I wished the AI would pass the puck more and cycle the puck, I wished it wasnt so I had 12 shots against me and have 6 goals against me. But here we are..no improvements on the AI, goalies have not been touched, and we can’t even custom our masks and have had the same ones for years. Very frustrating
Well said mate. Only bought the game because I played the 10 free hours as a goalie and it was fun. But the more I play it just sucks more. Doesn’t matter what difficulty you play, you always get 8-14 shoots against you. Only thing when gettin the difficulty up you will still get the 8-14 shoots against you but you will also drop 3-6 goals depending on the difficulty. the game needs to be more balanced. I won the CL European tournament and went as a 70 to NHL. That’s just not fair. We should be gettin more xp. Everything in the game needs to be more balanced.
a month ago - last edited a month ago
Thanks for the input. Could you be more specific? Just kidding I don't work for EA but I feel like that's what they would say
As much as I appreciate them trying to put some role playing into BAP I'd give it all to be able to start in the CHL (not just memorial cup)
2 weeks ago
The way I see it, there are two ways to fix this:
1. Add a slider for the quality of shots the AI will take.
2. Add the ability to save your franchise / BAP during a game.