EA Sports has rolled out another blog showcasing gameplay improvements made to NHL 14. In its latest offering, EA Sports detailed improvements to the skill stick which made its first appearance in NHL 07.
The changes made to the stick (which you can see in the video above) affect everything from deking to chopping at the puck and everything in between.
- Chop controls are easier to pull off. Now, you only need to hold the RB/R1 button and then flick the right analog stick in the direction you want to chop. This ensures you’re not chopping the puck when you expect a pokecheck and allows you to chop a puck that is directly in front of you.
- If used when close to the offensive goal, that player will try and put the puck on net.
Some get frustrated by those who spam during face-offs, so NHL 14 now gives the advantage to the person who get their sticks in early and stays with their initial grip. Timing and skill will be the determining factor in winning a face off and controlling the momentum of a play.
Pokechecks and Defensive Deflections
- Pokecheck effectiveness will still vary based on a player’s stick-checking attributes, but we’ve ensured that pokechecks are less effective if the player’s body is not properly aligned.
- Just like real hockey, players will be stronger when they’re balanced on their skates and poking in the area directly in front of them.
- In NHL 14, speed is now much more of a factor in determining whether a poke or deflection is effective. If a puck is moving with great speed, the puck may slip through the defender’s stick. In other situations, if a defender only gets a piece of the puck, the speed will play a greater role in determining how much the puck will bobble.
- If a defender gets a stick on the puck, the player trying to perform a one-timer will no longer automatically pull it off.
- A player that pokes a puck will no longer pull it back with their own stick in times when it makes double contact.
Passing & Puck Pickups
- Fixes ensure it’s easier to pass to stationary players
- Less offsides on passes near the blueline. Now, the receiver will turn to face the pass rather than pull back to their generic stance and inadvertently go offside.
- On fake slap shots, the pickup is now much more seamless (previously the player would often fumble with the puck when reacquiring it)