NHL 22 World of Chel revamps loadout system with X-Factor abilities and greater customization

EA Sports
EA Sports /

In the first of multiple NHL 22 In-Depth Series videos, EA has highlighted improvements coming to World of Chel. A revamped user interface that’s more immersive and user friendly, a new social widget to jump into games faster with friends, and new matchmaking settings are all coming in NHL 22; but, the biggest new addition this year is more customization when creating your skater.

NHL 22 has completely revamped the loadout system and the result is an increased level of customization. All 12 classes are still coming back but now they have an edge: the X-Factor Zone Abilities.

For those unfamiliar, X-Factor abilities are new to the franchise. This feature, which has been brought over from Madden, provides game-changing Zone abilities and enhanced Superstar abilities. In World of Chel, these abilities have a huge impact on how the class plays on the ice.

As you level up each class, you will unlock up to five abilities to choose from. These abilities “really drive the fantasy” of the class you are playing. So for the Sniper class, for example, the “One Tee” Zone ability which gives them exceptional power and accuracy on one timers. Another Zone ability for Sniper is “Close Quarters,” which provides exceptional power and accuracy when taking wrist/snap shots in close proximity to the net.

In addition to the enhanced customization ability, this feature encourages experimentation. You have to level up each class to unlock their associated X-Factor abilities, and then you’ll have to try out how each X-Factor impacts your play on the ice. It’s no longer just 12 classes; it’s now 12 classes that have impactful decisions that can really change how they play.

There are also Superstar abilities that also impact how your skater plays on the ice, but a little less than Zone abilities. These are global abilities that aren’t limited by class. So if you want a defensive defenseman, but you also want to have a shooting edge, you can use a Superstar ability to achieve that. This opens up the customization for the classes further because you can now really tune what you want your skater to do.

Superstar abilities are obtained by leveling up your skater, but in order to equip them you have to use the attribute customization system and ensure you meet the minimum attribute requirements. The “Shutdown” Superstar ability, for instance, requires Stick Checking to be rated 76 and Body Checking to be rated 75.

You can achieve this through the attribute customization system. After selecting your initial class, you’ll now have the freedom to tune and modify your ratings — to a certain extent. Ratings have been divided into five attribute categories: Technique, Power, Playstyle, Tenacity, and Tactics.

The new system allows you to adjust ratings by up to five points. The reason for the attribute categories and ratings movement cap is to ensure game balance and keep the classes feeling unique. So there are some limitations.

Additionally, each rating has a specific cost assigned to it. So if you want to increase body checking, you will have to sacrifice another rating within that Playstyle attribute. The other rating you sacrifice, may not have the same amount of points associated.

In the example provided, offensive awareness had to be lowered by three points in order to increase body checking by two points. Again, this is done to maintain balance and also provide players with “smart and fun” ways to customize your skater. It creates a strategic element to character customization where you have to make conscious decisions for your ratings.

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You can also increase your ratings through Boosts, perks that you can equip if you meet a certain rating threshold. So the Slapshot Timing boost provides +2 Slap Shot accuracy, but requires your Hand Eye to be rated over 80. All Zone abilities, Superstar abilities and boosts are locked through the level progression system as well. Additional special Superstar abilities and boosts will be released throughout the different seasons as well to help shake up the meta.

Overall, these are some very promising changes that I’m sure fans will appreciate. Check out the full In-Depth Series video for World of Chel improvements in NHL 22 and to get an even better idea for the type of customization available.

Next. NHL 22: Comparing Standard and X-Factor Editions. dark

NHL 22 is set to hit the ice on October 15, 2021. To learn more about dual entitlement and cross-progression, check out this article.