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NHL 12 Gets New Trait System

EA has gone on to make the world get fond to playing their virtual rendition of their favorite sports and same is the case with NHL series. Fans of ice hockey, quite simply love the NHL series and always anticipate the new version.

However, one complaint that seemed to be persistent in the series, was the poor AI that players had to go up against. Irrelevant of what team you played against, it seemed like they all attacked and defended in the same way.

Nonetheless, that won’t be the case with the upcoming NHL 12. The development team has gone on to boost the AI’s performance significantly. They have introduced a trait system, which is going to help in-game players, act like their real life counter-parts.

Players who shoot in real life, will shoot more in the game, players who like to tackle, will tackle poor and so on and so forth. Players can have more than one trait assigned to them and any player can be assigned any trait, irrelevant of his overall stats and ratings.

However, Novell Thomas the producer at EA Canada in a blog post at Operation Sports, went on to emphasize that these traits will boost the behavior of the AI, but won’t “dictate their behavior entirely”.

He also said:

The key word here is tend, because these assigned qualities will only influence the AI; it won’t dictate behavior entirely.

Here is a complete list of the available traits that have been revealed and will feature in the game:
Offensive Traits

  • Net Presence – players who hang out in front of the net looking for screens and deflections. Example: Ryan Kesler.
  • Setup Players – players who setup down low and look for shooters in the slot. Example: Joe Thornton.
  • One-time Specialists – players who often and effectively put themselves in position for on-timers. Example: Steven Stamkos.
  • Offensive Opportunists – players who aggressively anticipate the play and look for the quick breakaway pass. Example: Marian Gaborik.
  • Shooter Slot – players who frequently position themselves in the slot, when setup in the offensive zone. Example: Mike Cammalleri.
  • Shoots on the Rush – players who are more likely to shoot during the rush than dump the puck in or maintain possession. Example: Alexander Ovechkin,.

Puck Carrier Traits

  • Drives the Net – forwards who like to drive hard to the net. Example: Sidney Crosby.
  • Dump and Chaser – players who dump and chase. Example: Many third and fourth liners.
  • Puck Protectors – players who control the puck by maintaining possession during the rush, looking for passing opportunities. Example: Henrik Sedin.

Off-Puck Traits

  • Net Agitators – players who position themselves in front of the net and are consistently screening and distracting the goalie. Example: Tomas Holmstrom.
  • Peripheral Players – players who prefer the corners and shy away from the net and the grittier areas. Example: Alex Kovalev.
  • Finishes Hits – players who will finish their hit after the puck is gone. Example: Matt Cooke.
  • Non-Physical – players who rarely throw hits. Example: Henrik Sedin.

Defensive Traits

  • Pinching D – Defensemen who are more likely to attempt riskier plays in the offensive zone. Example: Brent Seabrook.
  • Rush Joining D – Defensemen who aren’t afraid to and excel at leading the rush. Example: Duncan Keith.

What do you think about these improvements made to revamp the gameplay mechanics and is that a welcoming addition ?