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10 "You're a bum, Rock"

About PuckingAround

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  1. Better line-matching controls. Defense and Forwards should have individual line-matching controls. Hockey does not work in 5-man units, it is 4 forward units and 3 defensive units. Tactical settings for defensive units would be nice as well.
  2. What's the incentive to use the 24 day IR instead of just continually renewing the 7 day IR?
  3. By "fluke trade", I think you mean a typical EHM trade. Has anyone not managed to snag the #1 pick for a bunch of spare parts? Agree with you about the media hype. More media coverage with 'personality' year-round for all events would go a long way. I would love more fan buzz, news reports, speculation, etc.
  4. There seems to be, at least according to the Positioning/Movement diagrams on the tactics screen, a problem with the "Wings Cross" breakout. Regardless of your instructions in the neutral zone, the wings always re-cross in the neutral zone, returning to their natural positions. It doesn't matter which neutral zone offensive formation you choose, they will always re-cross. Correct me if I'm wrong (and I may be), but isn't the purpose of the Wings Cross breakout to build a lot of speed when exiting the defensive zone, and carrying that speed through the neutral zone down the wing? Also, the 0-4 and the 1-2-2 neutral zone defensive formations seem to be identical.
  5. There are plenty of teams that play four forwards on the powerplay, some even play with five. With a quarterbacking forward at the point, they are still "behaving" like a forward, in a sense. Their role is still offensive, so I'm concerned whether playing them out-of-position on the powerplay affects their offensive stats. It shouldn't. This is why I'm curious about training a forward in a defensive position, to prevent their offensive stats from suffering when playing the point on the powerplay. And I'm pretty certain almost all teams in real life use player-specific tactics.
  6. The movement on the tactics screen never works for me. I tick the box and it shows nothing. Sometimes it draws a few lines that help very little, and other times it doesn't work at all.. The dots actually move for you? The most I get is the lines, and it only ever shows the neutral zone attack / defense. I never get to see even movement lines for player positioning in the offensive zone. It seems broken, honestly. Sometimes the lines completely disappear, or they never change regardless of what tactics I choose.
  7. Excellent suggestion. I never even thought of it, but you're right, zone starts are probably just as important. I would also like to be able to instruct a player to plant himself in front of the net. All hockey teams want to have that big body who's skilled with deflections plant himself next to the goalie, but there's no way to specify that right now. "Net Presence" should be one of the sliders available.
  8. I don't believe the cap gets re-evaluated in the EHM simulation. Cap-inflation would just needlessly complicate things under-the-hood. Cap goes up, salaries go up, lather, rinse, repeat. It doesn't add much so I don't think they're bothering with it. Look to the "Be a GM" mode in the Electronic Arts series to see an example of how cap inflation can throw the balance of a simulation off completely. As for the salary cap situation of the blackhawks, I'm not that familiar with it. Is it possible that you have a number of highly paid players that have been waived to your AHL affiliate? Or perhaps the total player salary commitment is taking into account the NHL value of Two-way contracts (Players on a two-way contract are paid far less in the AHL than they are when called up to the NHL team). Managing the cap at the end of the year is always going to be one of the challenges of managing a club like the Blackhawks, a team which often seems to be juggling pieces around to stay just under the cap-ceiling.
  9. The interface in general is pretty awful. Some options are hidden under drop-down menus for no reason, others are buried many clicks deep somewhere you wouldn't expect to find them. Right clicking sometimes produces a useful menu, other times it does nothing (why can't you request coach or physio reports from right-clicking on a player? Instead you have to enter their profile and check the "Actions" menu). Clicking a player's name sometimes brings his profile up, on other screens it does nothing. Comparing the abilities of your coaching staff is a good example of a nightmare in interface design, another is the scouting screen (scouts listed under a drop-down menu?) Interface design is about minimizing the number of clicks required to navigate and logically grouping options. Sometimes this interface almost appears designed to maximize the number of clicks required. Tool-tips are absolutely useless, or even broken (such as the morale listing - this is something I'm sure they will rectify). I assume a lot of this has to do with shoehorning new options into what is actually a much older game. The hard-coded 1024x768 resolution and current font sizes means there's no more space to add options to the top menu. Instead of re-thinking the interface, Sports Interactive has opted to use the mysterious "Actions" menu, which is just a catch all "More" button. It makes no logical sense. What distinguishes an "Action" from anything else you do as a manager? This forces you to click and check the "Actions" button independently on every single screen to make sure something important is not hidden there. I realize that hockey is a very niche market, especially when compared to Football, so the resources for this project will be fairly tight even if it does gain a strong following. I also sympathize with SI, as the amount of information and options to organize is absolutely mind-boggling. Still, this interface needs to be re-worked from the ground up. I would not expect it to happen on a shoe-string budget, however, but there are still many things that could be done to improve it. As an amusing addendum, even the interface in this forum is poor. The composition box I'm writing this post in doesn't word-wrap, so entire paragraphs are restricted to a single break-less line. Reviewing what I've written before posting is almost as aggravating as running my hockey team =P.
  10. Hm, interesting point. I use a scoring forward in the left defense position on my first powerplay unit. Now I'm curious about exactly which stats are negatively impacted by playing out-of-position. I wonder whether a defenseman playing a forward position is affected differently than a forward playing a defensive position. Perhaps I should start practicing the forward in that position?
  11. Line match-ups can make or break a team's success in a series. It's a fundamental strategy, so I think it's essential for a hockey management simulation to do it right. Hopefully the football roots of the engine don't hold it back.
  12. Yes, but the shutdown defensemen are slotted into the 3rd pairing so that they work with the checking line to shut down the opponent's #1 unit. A necessary concession due to how the limited line-matching tactics currently work. Overloading the defense sees my shutdown pair get less ice-time in favour of my worst defensemen on the 2nd pairing. In the NHL it's typical for a coach to assign the best defender to contain the best forward of the opposition over a series, regardless of how forward lines are matching. In this game it's not possible to do that.
  13. Just a few more thoughts I've had. Defensive pairs may need to work independently of offensive lines. Right now I have my shutdown units on the third pairing, so they come out with the 3rd line (traditionally the checking line) to help shut-down the top line of the opponent. These are not, statistically speaking, bottom-pairing defensemen. Unfortunately, when overloading to the top two lines, I end up having my worst defensemen on the ice (because they are set as the second pairing). Defensive units should have assignments independent from the forwards. If I want my shut-down pairing out with the top forward line as they take on the opposition's #1 line, I should be able to get that match-up without shuffling. Being able to designate a checking assignment, and have the checker come out onto the ice for every shift his target takes, would be very nice. I also think it would be great if we could watch a highlight package of a specific player. Sometimes I insert a rookie and I'm very curious to watch his performance. It's tedious to sit through an entire game waiting for his line to come on. I'd love to just be able to see every shift a specific player took.
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