If you’re anything like me, you hate being nickel and dimed by the developer and publishers of games. For the past few years, EA has done a great job of doing this to the consumers. First they added boost slots that gave +1, +3 and +5 to attribute points of your choosing. There are three ways to obtain these boosts. Play the offline BAP mode and hit statistical markers, play online in the EASHL and hit similar statistical markers, or line their pockets by using Microsoft Points and purchasing them. Since there are 12 slots available and generally most people use +5s that cost 160MSP a pop, you’re looking at 1920MSP give or take.
Last year, EA added the Season Ticket which is ~$25. You get 3 days early access to all the sports titles, and 20% off on the boosts. So assuming you get the Season Ticket and buy your boosts, you’re looking at $60+tax for the game, 2000MSP or ~$25 for the Season Ticket and then you can get 12 +5s for ~1500MSP. Now I apologize for making you read things you already likely knew to get to my point, but in the end to stay “competitive” at the beginning of a NHL series launch, you’re almost paying double. If money isn’t an issue to you, I salute you. However if you’re looking for an easy way to unlock boosts with only a handful of hours of investment, then continue on.
Each year since they’ve added boosts, I’ve always unlocked all my boosts for my skater using Be A Pro. A lot of people would say it’s time consuming and it’s cheaper to just use their pay from a few hours of work then to spent a dozen or more to unlock it themselves. The thing is, it doesn’t even need to take that long to unlock them all. Last year with NHL 12, I had 95% of all my skater boosts unlocked after two season of Be A Pro. While that may seem like a lot of time, the trick is knowing how they unlock and using mechanics to your advantage.
Progress towards your boosts only occur if you’re playing in the NHL, so you’ll want to get into the NHL as soon as possible. What I do first, is adjust the sliders of the game in my favour. What I mean by this is putting the gameplay sliders for humans to the maximum/minimum levels to benefit me. Wrist Shot/Slap Shot power and accuracy all maxed, maximum fatigue recovery, minimum fatigue effect, maximum acceleration, etc. Then I do the opposite for the AI, adjusting the sliders to penalize them. Make them slower, more penalty prone, etc.
I start in the CHL, setup so I’m in my draft year. You can either simulate the entire year, or play a few games here and there, especially if you’re going after some of the achievements, then simulate the rest. There are a few boosts involving playing in the CHL, like getting drafted in the first 2 rounds, but they’re mostly +1s. The reason I do this for a season is to get the extra experience to put into my skater. You can simply skip the CHL and go right into the NHL, but your player overall has lower attributes. Personal preference really.
Once you’re in the NHL here’s where it becomes easy. Simulated games do not count towards your progress, you need to get all the statistics yourself. What you can do is start a game, play for a few minutes, get a few points, then exit the game. The rest of the game is simulated, and you keep all the points you obtained yourself. Some of the boosts involve playing 40 games in a season and doing X statistics. This makes it very easy. So you play a partial period then quit having the rest of the game simulated, then simulate the next game. With the adjusted sliders, scoring goals is very easy, and getting around the defense is a non-issue. Overall the process of playing and quitting takes maybe 2-5 minutes. Break that down for an entire season and the playoffs and you’re looking at ~1-3 hours for a season, do that twice and you’ll have unlocked 95% of your skater boosts.
Currently I’m halfway through my first NHL season and I have nearly all my +3s unlocked and a few +5s. After the first season I should have all my +3s and a bunch of +5s. While this works great for skater boosts, and it could work for goalies, it’ll be a lot harder. Goalie boosts generally require having so many shots and saves and because you’re quitting out of games to simulate the rest, you’ll only have a handful of each. It’s better to just play EASHL Club games. As you’re progressing towards your Legend card, you’ll get most of the +3 and +5s you’ll need doing that.
Hopefully this will help a bunch of people out and save yourself the additional $40-$45 in costs to stay competitive in the EASHL and in Online 6v6 Leagues, like the GamingRendo Hockey League for Xbox 360