NHL 13 Interview with THL Commissioner Fiddy14
With the recent release of EASports NHL 13, we here at TSO wanted to sit down with our THL Commissioner Fiddy14. Fiddy has brought a new dimension to Tradition Sports with his love of Hockey, and love of the NHL Series and we are looking forward to what THL can bring to the table with NHL 13.
Let’s talk about NHL 13 to start off. What are the things that you really like about the game? Even though NHL has been a solid game for the last few years, do you feel like the Connected GM mode can take it to a whole new level?
What do I really like about NHL 13? I really like that the game actually plays different this year. It feels like a new game for once. Until this year it has really felt like we were playing a beefed up NHL 07 each and every year. While i would play the game every year it was getting really stale. The skating this year really changed the way you play the game a bit. It makes you really think about how fast you are going and if you can take certain angles or make a cut to get to the inside. It also affects how you pass and shoot, going to fast? chances are your shot or pass will miss the intended target. It also helps the dump and chase game, d-men backing in, dump it in and beat them to the puck, work the cycle and get a great scoring attempt. I love that each team plays different as well bc of the new AI. That makes each game you play a bit more exciting. Makes you change the way you play and attack teams. They added more strategy’s for the first time since NHL 2004 and that combined with the AI is a welcome change.
GM Connected Mode, can it take this game to a whole new level? Yes, but it leaves a lot to be desired as well. It’s great that us league guys now have a home of sorts to see stats, standings, trades, waiver claims, etc. Other than that its rough. You can’t use customized sliders or rosters. The commish can’t reset games, cant set owners on auto pilot (like Madden/NCAA), cant even see games remaining for each team during the current week. That’s because there is no NHL Schedule in this mode. You can only view what games you have open for the team you control. Now, offline GM mode has the NHL Schedule, how did this get left out in the GM Connected Mode? Injuries are a plenty in this mode, guys getting hurt for 24, 48, and 60 games for multiple teams. Yes, realistic to a point, but if you want the guys in the league to have fun and compete they wont be happy about those. With no ability to lower the injury slider down a notch or two to tone that down you really have to think about turning injuries off prior to starting a GM Connected Season. Despite those issues, it will definitely make playing in versus leagues a bit better. It’s nice to have the companion app to follow the standings and stats as well. I just wish it had a website like Madden and NCAA has. Maybe next year?
I don’t want to sound like a Debbie Downer about the GM Connected Mode, im sure it will get better with some tweaks next year. I just was so fired up about this mode and to me left a lot to be desired.
The game in general is still more of the same, but the skating changed that up a bit, makes the game feel like a breath of fresh air for once. For any casual or hardcore hockey fan, this is a must buy!
What has you the most excited about the new feature, GM Connected?
It has me excited for us to be able to track standings and stats without having to manually input them into a site like League Republic. It’s also nice not having to add schedules to sites like that as well. Ive been manually adding schedules for 30 team leagues for 5 years or so, not fun. While not fun, well worth it in the end when we get a solid group of guys going in the league.
Recently THL finished its second season, how would you view your second season and what do you look at for the future of THL?
When i came over to TSO from another site, I didn’t know what to expect. I had been running my NHL Leagues for past 5 to 7 years at that other site. I realized there wasnt much NHL interest here in general, so i wanted to change that. I brought over about 8 to 10 guys initially, add a few guys here from TSO and we started up a 12 team league. Had a great 1st season and an even better 2nd season.
Check out the THL Hall Of Fame Awards here from Seasons 1 and 2.
The future of the THL looks bright. After the 2nd season I sent out a mass email to everyone that had played in my leagues from the past that season 3 sign ups would be starting and i wanted them to be a part of this community. I ended up getting some of those guys to sign up along with some long time TSO members. Right now Season 3 is looking to start October 7th. We are full with 30 owners at the moment. We are aiming for getting two full 82 game seasons in before NHL 14 drops. With the guys that we have in the league this is very possible. Its going to be a long haul bc we are used to playing just two 44 game scheduled seasons (in my past leagues), but as i just said with the guys we have this can be done.
The TSO Staff must have seen what a solid thing we had going on as well, because they made the THL a Premier League. The guys that were new to the site had no issue at all supporting the TSO and becoming Premier League Members.
Every great league has great members that are in it. Who in THL has really helped you in the guide the direction of the league? What have they done to help you get THL to become an established league?
The guys i have brought with me have helped get the THL on its feet for the most part combined with TSO members. Out of the 30 owners in the THL now, 17 of them have been in my leagues the past 4 years plus. Those guys are a huge part of why its a success. They love hockey and love how we stay organized as a league to enjoy the game 1 v 1. With exploits online in random games they know they will get a good clean game in my leagues. Well, shouldn’t say “my” leagues, its everyone’s league in the THL. I just have to make the tough decisions on settings and booting owners, ha.
Anything else you would like to touch on league wise?
Lastly, let me touch on the THL (PS3) side of things.
They tried to get a season going twice last year, it didn’t work out very well for whatever reason. With the NHL game just to good not to have a league of sorts I started a sign up thread for the THL (PS3) Season 1. It went well, had 16 guys sign up. I ran the draft, it went very smooth. I then asked anybody with interest to commish the league since I don’t have a PS3 to PM me. I received two PM’s from guys that were interested. I figured it was in the best interest in the league to have two guys running things. So the admins named these two guys shiftee and rschwep THL (PS3) Commissioners.
Since the draft they have added a few more owners and have their forums running smooth with communication. With these two running things now it looks like the PS3 side of the THL have a bright future as well.
If anybody is interested in joining up with them you can view the waiting lists here…
Thanks Fiddy for your time. We really are looking forward to seeing how great this NHL 13 Release cycle will be for you guys.