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FHM 6 - General Discussion Talk about the latest & greatest FHM, officially licensed by the NHL!

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Old 11-09-2019, 03:59 PM   #1
Bones26
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Thoughts & Suggestions on the Future Evolution of FHM

Inasmuch as I am slowing warming to this latest version of the FHM series (having supported all the releases in the franchise series to-date), and while I believe there is still a ton of ‘potential’ contained within the game in its present state, I cannot but find myself still feeling far less than engaged in the gameplay than I would otherwise hope.

Anyways with that as a starting premise, and with a new game engine being developed, I thought I would start this post where forum members can share their current concerns with the game and also contribute some constructive thoughts and suggestions on the possible future evolution of FHM that would hopefully make it both far more accessible and deeply immersive experience for the average player.

I am under no illusion that any of these will see the light of day, but one can always hope… and I’m also curious how the community sees the game in its current form.

I will apologize at the outset for the length of this initial post. I’ve been thinking of these points for some time now, and just so happen to have a lot of free time on my hands presently…LOL

Tactical Settings

First up, and a significant aggravation to at least this player, I would like to propose to greatly reduce the number of current variants available to the player for selection in the tactical settings screen, from the present 40 individual schemes contained within the offensive & defensive zone drop-down menus, to something a bit more manageable and hopefully also more intuitive to the average player.

Presently a Human Player (HP) coach wanting to set-up their own tactical settings for just each of their 4 even strength lines is faced with having to choose from a total of 160 (4 x 40) different schemes. To say nothing of then potentially incorporating yet an additional 32 (4 x 8) variants if one were to also include the available tactical tendencies into the mix. And this is not even addressing also having to do the same for one’s PP & PK and other strategies. Nor does this factor in the option to further drill down for an additional 21 (forwards) / 14 (defensemen) rating choices specific to each individual player rating.

Then having slogged through that process (and it can be a real slog doing so while having to flip back through the various screens to review play attributes etc.), one is potentially faced with having to set up all or part of one’s systems all over again a match or two down the road, if your player selection on any particular line(s) were to change.

Excessive complication & busy work such as this, in my opinion, does not equate to neither an elevated sense of immersion nor FUN, and instead leaves the player (or at least this player) in the end irritated both at the cumbersome process required and after all that still left largely guessing as to what any particular tactical selection or selections I’ve made may be having on the actual in game match results.

So how about instead simply reduce the available tactical selections to a more basic three choices per each of the Offensive, Neutral & Defensive zones?

As an example, in practice you would only then need to decide if either your team, and / or your individual lines and / or players are instructed to adopt; 1) an offensive posture, 2) a containment posture or 3) a defensive posture for each zone. (Think of a kind of rock, paper, scissor approach that would be implemented vis a vis your opponent within each zone.) And for those desiring a more granular level of coaching, to continue to allow that these various selections can then be further refined / tweaked via both the player and/or unit tactical tendencies’ slider adjustments, line TOI’s adjustments etc.

Player Ratings

Insofar as player ratings go, again in my opinion, there does appear that there are more than a couple instances where a few of the current role ratings can be combined into one single rating (i.e. does there really need to be a distinction between a rushing versus a mobile defenseman, or a two-way versus an up & down forward). Instead I would propose that the forward choices be reduced to just two variants per each player role category, while the defenseman be afforded just three variants per player role per category.

Building on the aforementioned changes to the tactical settings, these reduced role options, and the underlying player ratings that ultimately comprise them, would still present the HP with enough variability to make the options and choices on team building and line construction & tactics still both strategically and tactically interesting and I trust the resulting game play far more immersive.

Play Representation (Match Engine)

Lastly. one cannot help but remark that many forum posts continue to express the desire for a better on-ice representation of the actual match play.

On this I agree, however my own take on this is that this aspect of the match play would be best addressed more symbolically than through an actual 2D or 3D match engine showing individual players & puck movement etc. ( Knowing nothing about programming, I would hazard to guess that the computing power & programming required, together with the opportunity for unintended bugs or other consequences involved in accurately tracking and recording in ‘real time’ the actual position and play of each individual player, makes this I believe a highly suspect undertaking at best.)

In a past version of FHM, there was the introduction of a momentum meter. Building on that premise, if instead play on the ice could be symbolically represented in real time by simply illustrating the relative puck position on the ice surface ( example: each O-N-D zone could be further broken down into nine grid squares) & also the team then in possession through simple color coding within a grid square, then the HP would be able to relatively easily visualize how a particular line, what likely player(s) and how their current strategy is faring against their opponents line and player(s) on the ice surface, be it a positive, neutral or negative advantage.

Thus, for example, a HP controlled team that was being hemmed in their own zone for some length of time would be able to visually see that occurring (both via the on-ice puck position and team possession) as well as seeing the players/line involved without the need to get down in the weeds as it were. Combine this on screen with the current player numerical tally system that now occurs in real time, and this should be enough to give any HP Coach enough of a sense of the general flow of play to make whatever coaching adjustments they feel are warranted.

Additional features could potentially allow the HP to choose to highlight & show options such as shift / game fatigue, player ratings, next to each players name etc.

Combined I feel these few changes would help greatly streamline game play while still affording the human player the experience & enjoyment of constructing both a contending team and formulating a opponent game plan where the consequences of one’s choices are more readily apparent and much more streamlined and simpler to implement in the process.
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Old 11-09-2019, 05:03 PM   #2
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Communication

In an earlier post, I put forward a few suggestions that I thought might help streamline game play and, in the process, allow for a more engaged and immersive Human Player (HP) experience, all within the current games existing framework.

In this post I would to propose a new ‘feature’ set for possible future inclusion in the game, again with the aim to make the over all experience increasingly more immersive and inter-active for the HP.

In todays sports environment one frequently hears of the need for ‘enhanced communication’ amongst the various stakeholders, (fans, players, coaches, management, agents and media to name just a few).

For anyone with access to one of the ubiquitous sports stations, who cannot relate to the after-game player / coach scrum or after practice media sessions etc., or to the GM having explaining his draft / trade/ contract or other player / coaching movement choices.

Currently, within FHM, this human interaction aspect of todays professional sports team is largely absent. While it is hinted at via hidden attributes, the HP GM / Coach has no real way to ‘speak’ to any of the issues likely to confront their real-life counterparts in the modern game.

Building off the concept introduced via Team Chemistry / Fan Support, then assume under this feature, you have a particular player experiencing a prolonged slump or that has uncharacteristically taken a rash of bad penalties in recent games, or conversely that is on a roll and that you want to build on that newly found confidence. Ditto for similar type of team wide performance matters etc.

To that end, I think it would be an interesting feature if for instance one was able to provide the HP’s GM and / or Coach, a bank of “PROFESSIONAL” points at their disposal at the start of the year (amounts and effectiveness subject to the GM /Coach’s own communication / motivation skills) and that they can choose to ‘spend’ at their discretion either in private or public, and in whatever amounts the HP feels is appropriate, on addressing a particular difficult situation, or perhaps used for player / team motivation, and so on. Such an intervention may have, depending as well on the recipients own values, either positive, mixed or negative consequences with resulting tangible consequences on subsequent play outcomes.

Could this not add yet another strategic / tactical aspect to the gameplay and contribute to the sense of engagement and immersion for the player.
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Old 11-09-2019, 05:53 PM   #3
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Rushing and mobile defensemen are two different things, so yes there does need to be a distinction.

It's the little things, like the distinctions, that make the game more in depth, more hands on. You can always use fog of war to get less info if that's your goal.
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Old 11-09-2019, 07:08 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bones26 View Post
Communication

In an earlier post, I put forward a few suggestions that I thought might help streamline game play and, in the process, allow for a more engaged and immersive Human Player (HP) experience, all within the current games existing framework.

In this post I would to propose a new ‘feature’ set for possible future inclusion in the game, again with the aim to make the over all experience increasingly more immersive and inter-active for the HP.

In todays sports environment one frequently hears of the need for ‘enhanced communication’ amongst the various stakeholders, (fans, players, coaches, management, agents and media to name just a few).

For anyone with access to one of the ubiquitous sports stations, who cannot relate to the after-game player / coach scrum or after practice media sessions etc., or to the GM having explaining his draft / trade/ contract or other player / coaching movement choices.

Currently, within FHM, this human interaction aspect of todays professional sports team is largely absent. While it is hinted at via hidden attributes, the HP GM / Coach has no real way to ‘speak’ to any of the issues likely to confront their real-life counterparts in the modern game.

Building off the concept introduced via Team Chemistry / Fan Support, then assume under this feature, you have a particular player experiencing a prolonged slump or that has uncharacteristically taken a rash of bad penalties in recent games, or conversely that is on a roll and that you want to build on that newly found confidence. Ditto for similar type of team wide performance matters etc.

To that end, I think it would be an interesting feature if for instance one was able to provide the HP’s GM and / or Coach, a bank of “PROFESSIONAL” points at their disposal at the start of the year (amounts and effectiveness subject to the GM /Coach’s own communication / motivation skills) and that they can choose to ‘spend’ at their discretion either in private or public, and in whatever amounts the HP feels is appropriate, on addressing a particular difficult situation, or perhaps used for player / team motivation, and so on. Such an intervention may have, depending as well on the recipients own values, either positive, mixed or negative consequences with resulting tangible consequences on subsequent play outcomes.

Could this not add yet another strategic / tactical aspect to the gameplay and contribute to the sense of engagement and immersion for the player.
While in theory these types of additions sound great, but I don't think I've ever seen them implemented well in a sports game. Just look at EA's sports games and NBA 2K, every one of them the implementation of their story modes and or features like player/coach implementation are very bare bones and nothing to get excited about.
I agree the game needs some added depth to situations like contract and trade negotiations.
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Old 11-09-2019, 07:56 PM   #5
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Bluenoser, I appreciate that a rushing and a mobile defenseman are two different beasts, however in reading their respective descriptions shown within the game, it seems like a distinction without all that much difference. But be that as it may, what I am questioning is that the amount of such little distinctions, and that one presumes should be taken into account if one is to fully exploit the coaching features of the game are so opaque & onerous as to ultimately distract from the on-going enjoyment of the game. (At least in my view ...lol)

For example, I ask myself how does a third line mobile D with a 12 rating differ all that measurably from a third line rushing D also with a 12 rating, and how does that presumed difference factor into the resulting 40 possible tactical options you are confronted with for that line. So if I were to replace one player with the other on a particular line, then I presume I should also have to then also change my tactical settings for that line as well.(If I don't I have to, then I'm back to my original contention, that is it is a distinction without much difference).

I'm not arguing for less information, I just don't happen to equate that granular level of complication with depth.

But thanks again for your perspective.

Cheers!

Last edited by Bones26; 11-09-2019 at 08:10 PM.
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Old 11-09-2019, 08:02 PM   #6
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Savoie45,

Well hope springs eternal. Just because if hasn't yet been done, doesn't mean it can't. :>)

Actually I would think it should be easier to incorporate than implementing a truly representative 2D or 3D match engine. But I digress...

Thanks again.

Cheers!
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Old 11-10-2019, 07:39 AM   #7
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Reducing the number of tactical variations and player roles is something I'd not like to see reduced. The more options, the better. That's why you can let AI handle stuff like that if you don't want to bother with it. Working on strategy is - at least to me - the most fun thing about this game and I love to waste hours on that.

I totally agree that we need a 2D-mode, that's the thing I miss the most. EHM's 2D-mode surely wasn't perfect but it's still better than nothing.
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Old 11-10-2019, 02:15 PM   #8
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I have no problem with all the different types of descriptions for roles or the tactical options that are available to the user. One can use or not use what they want.

I do believe the in game action needs something done to it. I tried using it and find it dull and doesn't hold my interest. I've been watching/following hockey since 1968 and find that unless you can see the player in action, you can't evaluate their play. So I'm not sure what can be done to improve the in game experience. A scrolling updated scoreboard of other games in action would be nice I guess.

The game itself needs to be centered more around the Human/GM coach. Some of the programming modules directly related to the Human GM/Coach need to be more immersive. I was a programmer for Kraft Foods for many years until I retired and understand the time involved in programming a module. But simply, if you want to improve a specific aspect of the game then it can be done. Especially since there is a basic programming framework in OOTP Baseball that could be used for certain features.

As mentioned by others, the Contract/Negotiations feature needs updating to be more interactive between GM's and an agent. It's difficult to offer more years to a young player and one finds them self having to usually agree to the years they want, no if's, and's or buts.

The same can be said for trades. More interaction between GM's. Perhaps more back and forth between teams to hammer out a trade. If I offer a player and a 6th Round draft pick for a player instead of No Way! How about the AI coming back with "How about a 4th rounder instead and you have a deal." How about a three team trade such as the Matt Duchene deal a couple of years back.

The Draft could use sprucing up. The Draft Lottery should be held earlier instead of the day before. Perhaps some background screens of a Draft Day Floor or audio sounds. Again something to make it more immersive for the Human GM/Coach.

Overall the game is very good and yes I know it will never be like the real deal. The amount of programming involved is immense and fixing bugs requires a lot of time. I just hope we don't have to wait until FHM 20 before a lot of things I mentioned are improved. I probably won't be around to enjoy them. LOL
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Old 11-12-2019, 10:46 AM   #9
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I would love to see Fan Happiness tracked using a weighted moving average system rather than a straight +/-. Events that occurred more recently should be more important (hold more weight) than ones that took place 2 or 3 months ago. Furthermore, the margin of victory should be taken into account. A 5-0 victory makes fans more happier than a 2-1 victory and the same with loses.

As avsfans96 mentioned, I too would love to see a a scrolling updated scoreboard. OOTP has a real-time play/sim option and I find that very immersive, especially when my game is going on at the same time. Would be awesome during the late season when you are trying to make a playoff push. Seeing an update on Dreisatl scoring his 45th goal in the 2nd period while you are in the 1st period adds so much to immersion.

As for reducing the roles and many options for tactics, I will have to disagree with that. I feel the more options we have as players, the better. I really like this aspect of FHM, even though sometimes I feel detached from what I should be selecting. I feel the problem is the UI and the information that is given to players. It's simply not enough to make an informed decision. But that doesn't mean it should be removed.

A new match engine with hopefully a 2d view (I read maybe FHM7) will help players determine which strategy and roles to select.

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Old 11-12-2019, 12:56 PM   #10
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I see what you mean by there being too many tactical options, but I disagree with you that they need to be reduced. For some players, having that much customization is what makes FHM unique, what I would instead recommend is having an option for players who are less concerned with the specifics to have general preset tactics they can choose from, whose advantages and disadvantages are covered in the manual. That way it's easier for players who are less interested in specific tactics to still have a say in how their team plays, without getting into the nitty-gritty.
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Old 11-12-2019, 05:35 PM   #11
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The problem is there is very little to indicate what is and isn't working when you use the tactics. I know it isn't but it just feels too random.
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Old 11-12-2019, 06:55 PM   #12
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The problem is there is very little to indicate what is and isn't working when you use the tactics. I know it isn't but it just feels too random.
Except, statistics and game ratings.
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