The Friday Five: 5 Players Who Abruptly Left the NBA

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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Basketball Games I'd Like to See

Postby Andrew on Fri Apr 15, 2016 10:13 pm

April 15th, 2016: 5 Basketball Games I'd Like to See

As it stands, basketball gamers don't have a lot of choice year-to-year. You can either buy NBA Live, NBA 2K, or both, or stick with an older release. Alternatively, you could not play basketball video games at all, but if that's the case, you're not exactly relevant to this discussion; no offense. While I wouldn't be against another developer throwing their hat into the ring with a sim-oriented NBA game, I'm not sure that we necessarily need that to happen. I think that we basketball gamers will be alright as long as NBA 2K continues to do its thing, and NBA Live makes some big strides this year.

Of course, there's always room in the market for other types of basketball video games. This includes full-blown arcade basketball titles, or perhaps sim-oriented games that focus on different leagues. Cheaper digital releases that focus on mini-games and the like. Resurrections of popular old properties, as controversial as that practice can sometimes be. As you can probably guess, I have a few possibilities in mind; without any further ado, here are five basketball video games that I'd like to see developed.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Insulting Player Ratings in Basketball Games

Postby Andrew on Sat Apr 23, 2016 2:31 am

April 22nd, 2016: 5 Insulting Player Ratings in Basketball Games

Every year, we basketball gamers tend to argue about ratings. Most of the time, the arguments concern overall ratings, and as we saw during this past offseason, even NBA players are getting in on the act these days. While the importance of overall ratings is often exaggerated, they are still significant, and when an overall rating seems really wrong, it usually means that there are a few issues with a player's individual ratings.

It's funny to see players like Brandon Jennings publicly take exception to player ratings though, as I'm sure that a lot of players have taken a look at some of their ratings over the years, and felt quite insulted. "Seriously, you think I'm that hopeless at scoring/passing/defense?" I'd say that it's definitely led to some grumbling to the developers at EA Sports and 2K Sports. With that in mind, for this week's Friday Five, I'm taking a look at five ratings that have very likely led to some wounded pride.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Insulting Player Ratings in Basketball Games

Postby Tha2KProphet on Tue Apr 26, 2016 5:49 am

The new "2K Rating System" is just plain TRASH! :turrible:
Try MY 2016/17 Roster For NBA 2K14

Here >>>: 2KShiftLeader's (Tha2KProphet) 2017 Roster | BHM

My Thread: viewtopic.php?f=153&t=98403
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Ways to End a Basketball Gaming Rut

Postby Andrew on Fri Apr 29, 2016 11:38 pm

April 29th, 2016: 5 Ways to End a Basketball Gaming Rut

As I’ve mentioned a few times in recent episodes of the NLSC Podcast, I’ve been finding myself in a bit of a basketball gaming rut as of late. As much as I like NBA Live 16 and NBA 2K16 for what each title brings to the table, I haven’t been spending as much time with them as I’d like. This is partly due to the fact that I’ve been playing older versions of NBA Live to create content for our 20th Anniversary of NBA Live features, but on top of that, I’ve also found myself a little unsure of what I actually want to do with the most recent releases from EA Sports and Visual Concepts.

First world problems, I know. In any event, I’ve been thinking of what I can do to get out of this rut, and spend some more quality time with the latest basketball games. I’m sure that I’m not the only one who experiences occasional lulls in my basketball gaming habits, so I thought that I’d discuss the topic openly in this week’s Friday Five, and perhaps start a conversation that will help anyone else who feels like they’re in a bit of basketball gaming rut. With that said, here are five suggestions to tip things off.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Problems Basketball Gamers No Longer Deal With

Postby Andrew on Fri May 06, 2016 10:49 pm

May 6th, 2016: 5 Problems Basketball Gamers No Longer Deal With

I’ve been playing basketball games for a long time – over twenty years, at least – and as I’ve said quite a few times before, I’m impressed when I reflect upon how far they’ve come. While it’s easy to get frustrated when we don’t see some of the most desired improvements year-to-year, when you start going back a generation or two, you can really see the leaps that basketball games have made. I’ve actually been spending a decent amount of time with older basketball titles as of late, as I continue to produce content for our ongoing 20th Anniversary of NBA Live celebrations.

Playing those older basketball games has been a fun trip down memory lane, but it’s also reminded me of some of the problems that were often present, even in the best titles from yesteryear. Needless to say, with basketball games progressing as much as they have, a few of those issues are even more glaring now. While today’s hoops games are still facing some of the same challenges, such as implementing a maximum difficulty setting that plays smarter instead of cheaper, there are some noteworthy problems that we no longer have to deal with. Let’s consider ourselves lucky that we’re not still battling the following five issues.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Suggestions for MyCAREER in NBA 2K17

Postby Andrew on Sat May 14, 2016 2:10 am

May 13th, 2016: 5 Suggestions for MyCAREER in NBA 2K17

As we look ahead to NBA 2K17 – the only basketball game that will be hitting consoles and PC in Fall 2016 – our Wishlist discussions are in full swing. While franchise modes have traditionally been my bag, and I’ve taken a greater interest in the card collecting modes in recent years, I would like to get more involved in MyCAREER again. I had a lot of fun playing MyCAREER in NBA 2K13, so much so that I ended up maintaining a story thread about it. As I’ve discussed in previous articles and on the NLSC Podcast, however, I’ve lost interest in the mode following the new approach that was adopted in NBA 2K14.

While many of us have taken smirking shots at the story-driven approach of MyCAREER, snark does become overdone, tired, and useless after a while. I believe in the philosophy of fans, not fanboys; critics, not haters. As such, at a certain point we need to drop the snark, identify problems, and put together useful, constructive feedback. To that end, here are five suggestions for MyCAREER in NBA 2K17.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Trades You Make in Franchise Modes

Postby Andrew on Sat May 21, 2016 12:17 am

May 20th, 2016: 5 Trades You Make in Franchise Modes

One of the most appealing aspects of the franchise modes in NBA Live and NBA 2K is the ability to make the trades that you’d love to see happen in real life. Frustrated that your favourite team can never seem to pull off a blockbuster deal that lands them a superstar? In franchise modes, you can make it happen, and live out a few fantasy scenarios. Of course, just as in real life, you’ll need to deal with the restrictions of the salary cap, as well as convince other teams to agree to the trades that you offer. I’d suggest that a few of us have found out that building a great roster isn’t always easy.

When we don our virtual GM suits and start wheeling and dealing, there are some common types of trades that we end up making. Sometimes, we try to be realistic, while other times we’ll make unthinkable deals. Some trades are very good, some trades are very bad, and some trades work out very differently than how they looked on paper. Sometimes, they can make or break the franchise mode experience. In this week’s Friday Five, I’m looking at five types of trades we’ll make when we play through a franchise game in NBA Live or NBA 2K.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Trades You Make in Franchise Modes

Postby Hg8Harrier on Mon May 23, 2016 5:43 am

Andrew: I think a few that are missing from this Five, and not all of these apply to later versions of NBA Live / NBA 2K are:

1) The "I Need the Roster Space" trades : In NBA Live, at least up until 2008, you could not draft a player if you had a full roster, and you could not release a player in the off-season. In order to get something in return for my investment, I would try to create roster space before the trade deadline by packaging two for one or by trying to take on a crappy, but expiring contract. For Live 07, this often meant taking on Adonal Foyle, Jerome James, or DeSagana Diop. If memory serves me correctly, I think that Calvin Booth also had a bad contract, but that may have been an earlier iteration of Live.

2) The "Let Me Resign My Player" trades : Similar to what was mentioned above, this was often a matter of taking on expiring contracts in order to make sure that you can resign the players that you want to keep on your team that do not have Bird Rights (for whatever bizarre reason). This may include rookies that were acquired in off-season trades, or players that had long standing with your team, but bizarrely no longer had Bird Rights. It would often be the case that I would find two players that I absolutely wanted in the draft, or miss out on the one player I wanted by a pick or two; however, if I acquired them in a trade, I wouldn't be able to retain Bird Rights by the end of their contract. :x

3) The "He's a Real Player, I Need More of Those" trades : These trades would often come down to being ten seasons into the league, and suddenly lacking real players. I remember a Franchise Mode where I took on Andrew Bynum and Andray Blatche and tried to turn them into the next Twin Towers. However, in trying to improve them, I focused a bit too much on trading for players to complement them. I forget how, but I ended up losing either one or both of them, and I was stuck with one season of created players in whom I had no training or emotional investment. Pretty soon, I was trying to get some of those players that linger around forever. such as Nikoloz Tskitishvili or Julius Hodge, just to make it interesting for me again.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Trades You Make in Franchise Modes

Postby Andrew on Mon May 23, 2016 9:21 am

Well, it's impossible to include everything in five points. My hope is that the Five will spark some discussion and that alternatives will be suggested to the five things that came to my mind. :)

I recall being able to release players during the offseason, but from memory the functionality wasn't made very clear (and may indeed have been missing in a couple of games). I don't remember players not having Bird Rights when they should have, but I do remember occasions where players conversely did have Bird Rights when they shouldn't have, given that some of the salary cap rules were simplified. I'd have to go back and double-check though, my memory may just be letting me down there.

The third point is certainly an interesting one, and a definite downside to generated rookies. On one hand, it's great for the fantasy element of franchise modes. On the other hand, there's that detachment from reality, and as you said, a lack of emotional investment/interest in the fictional players.

I'd add another one that's exclusive to NBA Live 2004: "I'm Fixing the League" Trades. In NBA Live 2004, players often wouldn't re-sign with their teams, nor sign elsewhere, so prominent players would be stuck as Free Agents. I remember signing a few of those players for the minimum and then trading them back to their previous teams, just to make sure they didn't sit out the whole season.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Ways We Mess Up Franchise Mode Games

Postby Andrew on Fri May 27, 2016 10:20 pm

May 27th, 2016: 5 Ways We Mess Up Franchise Mode Games

As I’ve mentioned in recent episodes of the NLSC Podcast, I’ve just started Dynasty and MyLEAGUE games with the Charlotte Hornets in NBA Live 16 and NBA 2K16 respectively. I’d like to have some fun with at least one of the franchise modes while I’m waiting for the release of next season’s games, and since I haven’t been able to get my previous attempts with the Chicago Bulls off the ground, I thought I’d try again with the Hornets. With any luck, one of these new attempts will pan out.

Of course, the success of a franchise game doesn’t just come down to luck. Good fortune is a factor to some extent, but I would suggest that we create our own luck, and there are ways that we shoot ourselves in the foot when it comes to franchise gaming. I figure that if I discuss some of the ways that we mess up in those modes, I might just be able to avoid a few of those pitfalls. Without any further ado, here are five mistakes that can quickly ruin franchise games in NBA Live and NBA 2K.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Frustrating Design Choices in Basketball Games

Postby Andrew on Fri Jun 03, 2016 10:47 pm

June 3rd, 2016: 5 Frustrating Design Choices in Basketball Games

It's stating the obvious, but we're pretty fond of our basketball video games around these parts. We may get frustrated and grumble when we encounter a bug or some other quirk in a game, but I'd like to think that for the most part, a majority of us are enjoying our time on the virtual hardwood. No game is ever going to be perfect or completely bug-free, and new gaming tech is always being developed and refined. All the same, we generally find a way to enjoy basketball games, especially if they receive official patches that are able to stamp out some of the most troubling issues.

Of course, bugs aren't the only issues that cause us to become frustrated with basketball video games. Sometimes, our complaints are with the design choices that are made when developing hoops titles; the approach to certain features. While there may be a rhyme and reason to some of those choices, that doesn't mean that they aren't annoying, or problematic. In this week's Friday Five, I'm taking a look at five design choices that cause their fair share of frustration for basketball gamers.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Frustrating Design Choices in Basketball Games

Postby Nick on Sun Jun 05, 2016 4:03 pm

Andrew wrote:June 3rd, 2016: 5 Frustrating Design Choices in Basketball Games

It's stating the obvious, but we're pretty fond of our basketball video games around these parts. We may get frustrated and grumble when we encounter a bug or some other quirk in a game, but I'd like to think that for the most part, a majority of us are enjoying our time on the virtual hardwood. No game is ever going to be perfect or completely bug-free, and new gaming tech is always being developed and refined. All the same, we generally find a way to enjoy basketball games, especially if they receive official patches that are able to stamp out some of the most troubling issues.

Of course, bugs aren't the only issues that cause us to become frustrated with basketball video games. Sometimes, our complaints are with the design choices that are made when developing hoops titles; the approach to certain features. While there may be a rhyme and reason to some of those choices, that doesn't mean that they aren't annoying, or problematic. In this week's Friday Five, I'm taking a look at five design choices that cause their fair share of frustration for basketball gamers.

I think the biggest frustration, at least for me, is that the developers are going in the “online” direction for gameplay. Which means they have to tweak the gameplay in ways that prevent online users from exploiting the gameplay, which makes the gameplay for offline users play worse. There’s little tweaks in there that just make the game frustrating, less smooth and just less fun in general
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Re: The Friday Five: Final Results of My 5 2016 Season Predictions

Postby Andrew on Fri Jun 10, 2016 9:28 pm

June 10th, 2016: Final Results of My 5 2016 Season Predictions

The 2016 season is close to being in the books, and could be over in two more games. I'll be honest: it hasn't been my favourite NBA season. The fact that the Chicago Bulls had a disappointing year definitely doesn't help, but apart from the Golden State Warriors' impressive, record breaking performance, I didn't find it to be especially noteworthy. I found myself tuning out during the year, and there were a couple of months where my subscription to NBA League Pass Broadband was definitely going to waste. While there have been some good games, and a couple of exciting moments in the 2016 Playoffs, I've mostly been underwhelmed by this season.

Having said that, I made five predictions before the season began, which I later revisited as the year progressed. Now that the 2016 campaign has almost wrapped up, I thought I'd look back at those predictions one last time, and tally up the final results. So, how did I do? Did I manage to at least do a little better than my record in the Bold Predictions segments of the NLSC Podcast? Well, let's take one last look at my five predictions for the 2016 NBA season.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Issues with MyCAREER/Pro-Am's Grading Logic

Postby Andrew on Fri Jun 17, 2016 8:31 pm

June 17th, 2016: 5 Issues with MyCAREER/Pro-Am's Grading Logic

I'm on a real 2K Pro-Am kick lately, as I've really been enjoying getting together with Arcane, Kenny, and other members of our community to play a few games each week. However, while we do have a lot of fun at the Joel Anthony Arena - whenever we're lucky enough to play there - we also have our fair share of frustrating moments. As I mentioned in Monday Tip-Off, some of our problems are self-inflicted, but there are a few issues that I would say do stem from gameplay imbalance and quirky logic. Obviously, these problems also affect the MyCAREER experience as well.

Apart from the story-driven approach, issues with the grading logic are one of my biggest complaints when it comes to MyCAREER (and now Pro-Am as well). Having recently gone back and played a few games of my memorable MyCAREER in NBA 2K13, I was frustrated to realise that I'm still experiencing some of the same problems in NBA 2K16. In order to enhance the MyCAREER and Pro-Am experience in NBA 2K17, I believe that the following five issues need to be addressed.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Strange Basketball Gaming Habits

Postby Andrew on Fri Jun 24, 2016 10:13 pm

June 24th, 2016: 5 Strange Basketball Gaming Habits

As I've said many times before, we take our basketball gaming seriously around these parts. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but as with any gaming community, it can lead to some attitudes that aren't very constructive or open-minded. There are many strong opinions in the basketball gaming community, but the most important thing at the end of the day is that we're enjoying playing these games that we're so passionate about. We shouldn't get caught up telling each other how to have fun, or lecture each other about the supposed "correct" way to play. There are many different ways to enjoy NBA Live and NBA 2K, after all.

At the same time, there are some strange habits and attitudes in the basketball gaming community. Again, everyone is entitled to their opinion and preferences, but some habits are puzzling, and certain attitudes myopic. In this week's Friday Five, I'm taking a look at a range of basketball gaming habits that are peculiar for one reason or another. I'm not saying they're all wrong, but some are definitely a little odd. Without any further ado, let's tip things off!
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Things You Learn During a Server Move

Postby Andrew on Sun Jul 03, 2016 10:37 pm

July 1st, 2016: 5 Things You Learn During a Server Move

If you're tried to visit the NLSC throughout this week, you'll have found that we've been out of service for much of it. If you're reading this now, however, chances are everything is back to normal and our big server move is finally complete. I was hoping to avoid having this much downtime, but we ran into a few complications along the way. As I'm writing this week's column, we're fortunately in the home stretch of the server move, and it won't be long before it'll be business as usual. As you can probably imagine, I'm quite relieved!

I've mentioned before that in running the NLSC for all these years, I've learned a thing or two. I've gained fascinating insights into the development of basketball video games, and through my duties in the NLSC Forum, I've learned about dealing with different types of personalities. Through developing content and implementing new features for the NLSC, I've also gained some useful technical skills and knowledge. Undertaking our most recent server move has certainly been a learning experience too, so I thought I'd reflect upon that in this week's Five. Without any further ado, here are five things that I learned moving the NLSC to a new server.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Reasons My MyPLAYER is a Point Guard

Postby Andrew on Fri Jul 08, 2016 10:25 pm

July 8th, 2016: 5 Reasons My MyPLAYER is a Point Guard

One of the reasons I've always loved the franchise modes in basketball video games is the fact that there's so much to do. You're in control of everything, as you play so many roles: coach, GM, and every player on the team. Not having full control is an interesting change of pace however, which is why I've also taken an interest in MyCAREER, and more recently, 2K Pro-Am. When I create my MyPLAYER with an eye towards playing those modes, point guard has become my position of choice.

It wasn't always that way, though. When I was a teenager playing basketball in my local league, I was one of the taller kids, so I played centre and power forward. As a result, I do have an appreciation for (and bias towards) post play, and mixing it up in the paint. I also enjoyed taking the occasional three-pointer once I got better at knocking them down, and Michael Jordan is my all-time favourite player, so my early attempts at MyCAREER were with a MyPLAYER who was a shooting guard. So, what changed, and why do I now prefer to run the point instead?
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Ideas for 2K Pro-Am

Postby Andrew on Fri Jul 15, 2016 10:10 pm

July 15th, 2016: 5 Ideas for 2K Pro-Am

As you might know if you've caught any recent episodes of the NLSC Podcast, I've been playing a lot of 2K Pro-Am lately. In fact, I haven't played much besides 2K Pro-Am in recent weeks, which is unusual as I'm not normally an online gamer. However, as I explained in Monday Tip-Off a few weeks back, I'm really enjoying the social aspect of the mode, and it's been a fun change of pace from the modes that I usually play. It's one of the reasons that I'm considering pre-ordering the Legend Edition of NBA 2K17, in order to immediately level up my MyPLAYER.

Needless to say, while I am enjoying the mode, it's not without its problems. A few weeks ago, I discussed some issues with the grading logic that also affect MyCAREER, which I'd definitely like to see fixed. On top of that, there are some other improvements that I'd like to see made to 2K Pro-Am, five of which I'm outlining in this week's column. So, without any further ado, here are five ideas for NBA 2K17's Pro-Am, which I feel would greatly benefit the mode.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Most Missed Modes in Basketball Games

Postby Andrew on Fri Jul 22, 2016 10:08 pm

July 22nd, 2016: 5 Most Missed Modes in Basketball Games

Earlier this week, we received some exciting news about upgrades to the franchise modes in NBA 2K17. MyGM and MyLEAGUE will include league expansion, both modes will feature all kinds of customisation options, and a standalone Playoffs mode is also being added to the game. After expressing my frustration at the prospect of a quiet preview season in this week’s Monday Tip-Off, it was definitely satisfying to see the previews for NBA 2K17 get underway with some very welcome news about the franchise modes, which I’ve traditionally been quite interested in.

While we’re still yet to learn anything about MyCAREER, 2K Pro-Am, or much else about NBA 2K17, I’m expecting another very solid release as far as game modes are concerned. Meanwhile, NBA Live has struggled to provide deep modes since its comeback with NBA Live 14. While LIVE Pro-Am was well-made with a lot of potential for further growth, generally speaking, modes remain a weakness for NBA Live. As I look ahead and hope for improvements in both titles, I can’t help but think about some of the modes that are greatly missed. I would suggest that many basketball gamers would welcome the return of these five modes.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Gripes with Current Gen Basketball Games

Postby Andrew on Fri Jul 29, 2016 9:53 pm

July 29th, 2016: 5 Gripes with Current Gen Basketball Games

In many ways, basketball video games are better than they've ever been. While there are still quirks with the AI, it's much smarter than it used to be, with players thinking for themselves and getting into position instead of just standing around. Scanning in faces, jerseys, shoes, and other details ensures that the games look a lot better than their predecessors from a couple of generations ago. We have some really fun and deep modes to play, both offline and online. In short, basketball video games have done some really cool things in recent years.

On the other hand, there is definitely still room for improvement. More to the point, while recent basketball games have delivered some really impressive modes and very enjoyable moments on the virtual hardwood, they do have some aspects that I'm not so thrilled about. I know I've discussed some of these issues before, but with new titles on the horizon, they're once again on my mind. With that being said, here are five gripes that I have with the current generation of basketball video games.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Things Modders Must Stop Doing

Postby Andrew on Sat Aug 06, 2016 12:51 am

August 5th: 5 Things Modders Must Stop Doing

Every online community has its own issues, but as I've said many times before, I truly believe that we have a good thing going here at the NLSC. While I've enjoyed expanding our content and relish the opportunity to both interview and provide feedback to developers at EA Sports and Visual Concepts, it's probably fair to say that our enduring legacy is our modding community. Over the twenty years that the NLSC has been around, the talented modders in our community have produced some truly outstanding works.

For the most part, I do believe that our modders are largely helpful, and supportive towards one another. Like I said though, every online community has its own issues, and I believe there are areas in which we can improve. There are some troubling practices in our modding community, and for some of them, it's well past time to nip them in the bud. While I may not be heavily involved in our NBA 2K modding scene at this time, I do keep tabs on it, and I've been involved in NBA Live modding for close to two decades now. As such, I do know what I'm talking about when I say that these are five things that modders should stop doing, to make our community better.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Things That Would Help Modding

Postby Andrew on Fri Aug 12, 2016 9:29 pm

August 12th: 5 Things That Would Help Modding

In last week's Friday Five, I discussed how our modding community could improve in terms of its attitude and practices. Having put that very important message out there, I wanted to cover more of a modder Wishlist in this week's Five. These are the features and resources that I believe would really help facilitate modding, allowing us to create even better mods for the current generation of basketball video games.

As many of you are probably aware, many of the file formats have changed since the PC version of NBA 2K became a port of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One version. On top of that, NBA 2K's roster files have never been particularly modder-friendly compared to the DBF files that the PC versions of NBA Live utilised. Of course, NBA Live itself doesn't support modding right now, being a console-only release. This isn't intended to be a comprehensive list of ideas that would help out the modding community - I only have the five points to work with, after all - but they are the first that come to mind for me, and are intended to tip off the conversation.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Retro Teams I'd Like To See in NBA 2K

Postby Andrew on Fri Aug 19, 2016 11:28 pm

August 19th: 5 Retro Teams I'd Like To See in NBA 2K

The NBA 2K series has done some fantastic things with historical content, beginning with the Jordan Challenge in NBA 2K11. Since then, we've seen several noteworthy teams added to the game, including twelve new retro squads last year in NBA 2K16. As of writing, there's been no word about any new retro teams being added in NBA 2K17, but the league expansion blog did briefly mention the presence of historical teams, so we can rest assured that most (if not all) of the existing retro teams will be in this year's release.

Moving forward, it will be interesting to see which other historical teams will be added to NBA 2K. Needless to say, securing likeness rights for all the players - or at least the major ones - is always going to be a stumbling block that keeps certain squads out of the game. Of course, that doesn't stop us from wanting, wishing, and wondering what if. Since I've previously talked about retro teams that are highly unlikely to make the cut (and for good reason), this week I'm listing five retro teams that I would actually like to see included in a future NBA 2K game.
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Re: The Friday Five: 20th Anniversary of the NLSC

Postby Andrew on Fri Aug 26, 2016 10:08 pm

August 26th: 20th Anniversary of the NLSC

If you've connected with us on Facebook or Twitter, you might have seen that this August marks the 20th Anniversary of the NLSC. As it happens, today also marks my 15th Anniversary as the NLSC's Webmaster/Administrator. Time certainly flies; it seems like only yesterday that I was in high school, a couple of months short of turning seventeen, and being handed control of my favourite website. I'd like to think that for the most part, I've done a pretty good job in the role. While there have been some tough moments, I've certainly enjoyed running the NLSC, from creating mods and content to all of the discussions in the Forum. Well, most of the discussions!

I take pride in the work that I and the rest of the NLSC Team put into the site, as well as what our community has been able to achieve with modding and other ventures. Even though the NLSC is not my day job, my aim is to always approach it with professionalism and dedication, because I truly believe that we are a site with a great heritage. For twenty years - beginning as an NBA Live fansite, and in time expanding to cover NBA 2K and other basketball games - we've always been by basketball gamers, for basketball gamers. For this week's Friday Five, I'd like to reflect a little on that heritage, and my involvement with it.
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Re: The Friday Five: Top 5 Teams of Interest in NBA 2K17

Postby Andrew on Fri Sep 02, 2016 7:45 pm

September 2nd: Top 5 Teams of Interest in NBA 2K17

We're just a couple of weeks away from the release of NBA 2K17, at least in terms of the Early Tip-Off Weekend. I've been planning on spending more time with MyLEAGUE this year, so needless to say, I was glad to read about some of the various additions and improvements that we can expect to see in the mode. Although I'm traditionally a franchise gamer, my attention has been drawn to other modes in recent years. From the sounds of things, NBA 2K17 will be a good year to get back into the franchise experience, offline and online.

Before starting a franchise game, it's important to decide which team you're going to use. Unless you decide to control all thirty teams in MyLEAGUE, you'll need to choose carefully, as picking a team that you don't enjoy playing with is a good way of putting a quick end to a franchise game. Each year, offseason player movement results in new lineups that not only seem like they'll be fun to watch in real life, but also fun to play with in basketball video games. For this week's Friday Five, I thought I'd pick my top five teams of interest in NBA 2K17; in other words, the most interesting and appealing teams to choose for a MyLEAGUE or MyGM game.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Memorable Basketball Game Characters

Postby Andrew on Fri Sep 09, 2016 9:42 pm

September 9th: 5 Memorable Basketball Game Characters

As revealed in the deep-dive developer blog and subsequent trailer, we'll be introduced to a new cast of characters in NBA 2K17's MyCAREER mode. Of course, the presence of fictional characters in basketball video games is nothing new, and goes back a long way before NBA 2K began taking a story-driven approach to MyCAREER. While we obviously remember and are familiar with the real players featured in basketball video games, new and old, those fictional players and other characters we encounter also have a tendency to stick in our minds.

For this week's Friday Five, I'm compiling a list of some of the most memorable characters we've seen in basketball video games. Please note that I don't necessarily mean memorable in a positive sense; just that we do remember them. Please also note that I'm excluding secret players in NBA Jam who are actors, politicians, or developers, as well as NBA mascots (who are obviously characters, but not ones created specifically for basketball video games). These are five fictional basketball video game characters that are all memorable for one reason or another.
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Re: The Friday Five: My 5 Goals for NBA 2K17

Postby Andrew on Fri Sep 16, 2016 9:34 pm

September 16th: My 5 Goals for NBA 2K17

As I write this, I've finished pre-loading NBA 2K17 PC, and am waiting for the Day One patch for the PlayStation 4 version to finish downloading. With any luck, it won't be long before I'm playing one or the other (most likely the PS4 version), and getting the ball into the air for the Early Tip-Off Weekend. I spent some time playing through The Prelude last weekend, and I'm feeling very optimistic that I have an enjoyable year of NBA 2K gaming ahead of me.

While I'm preparing to get my hands on the full version of NBA 2K17, I've been thinking about some of the things that I want to do with this year's game. With so many deep and robust game modes, there should be something for every basketball gamer, and perhaps more than any of us can truly sink our teeth into in the space of a year. Of course, with NBA Live 17 not coming out until early 2017, I won't be splitting my time between EA and 2K on the virtual hardwood, at least for a few more months. With that in mind, here are five goals that I have for NBA 2K17.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Things Old School Basketball Gamers Did

Postby Andrew on Fri Sep 23, 2016 9:30 pm

September 23rd: 5 Things Old School Basketball Gamers Did

I've been playing basketball video games for a long time now, and I know that I'm far from the only person in our community with a long history on the virtual hardwood. If you go back a long way with basketball video games, chances are you have a healthy appreciation for how far they've come, while also harbouring a certain amount of nostalgia for the more primitive games from yesteryear. You probably remember many of their quirks, some of which you may miss, whereas others will definitely leave you feeling very grateful that they're no longer an issue.

Of course, we gamers have plenty of quirks of our own, whether it's some kind of superstitious ritual with the controls ("Yeah, tapping the button at that time totally works!"), or just something we do because it's kind of fun, such as timing movements with the soundtrack. When it comes to basketball games, there are also certain things that we old school gamers did that probably seem a bit strange and amusing to younger gamers, because technology is so much better now. Just for fun, I thought I'd make a list of some of those quirky rituals and old fashioned activities that it seems many of us old school basketball gamers indulged in at one time or another.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Mods We Rarely See Anymore

Postby Andrew on Fri Sep 30, 2016 1:12 pm

September 30th: 5 Mods We Rarely See Anymore

As I mentioned in Episode #178 of the NLSC Podcast, and as you can see in the NBA 2K17 Releases & Previews section of the Forum, our community is already hard at work figuring out how to develop mods (and indeed, already releasing some) for this year's game from Visual Concepts. Modding - or patching, to use the old name for the hobby - is something that our community has been doing a fantastic job of for over twenty years now. I expect that we'll see many more great mods being released over the next year, and beyond.

Although I haven't been extremely active in the NBA 2K modding scene, I do keep tabs on it, and I've been involved with NBA Live modding since before I was running the NLSC. Not only have several modders come and gone, but certain types of mods have also seemingly gone in and out of fashion over the years. For this week's Friday Five, I thought I'd create a list of five types of mods that we don't see as often these days. That's not to say that they don't still get made from time to time, but for one reason or another, they're not as popular as they once were. With that being said, perhaps we can bring a few of these mods back in NBA 2K17.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Basketball Game Features Ahead of Their Time

Postby Andrew on Fri Oct 07, 2016 8:37 pm

October 7th: 5 Basketball Game Features Ahead of Their Time

As I've said many times before, when you go back and compare an old basketball video game to more recent releases, it's obvious how far the genre has come. At the same time, you'll often be surprised at some of the features and functionality that can be found in vintage basketball games, especially when they're no longer present in newer titles. Advances in gaming technology have made a lot of our Wishlist items come true, but it's impressive to see what developers were able to accomplish while working with more primitive tech.

On the other hand, it's also interesting to see how some really good ideas fell by the wayside. In some cases, it took many years for those features to make it back into one of the basketball games, whereas other features are still absent in today's releases. For this week's Friday Five, I'm taking a look at five features that may not necessarily be the pinnacle of technology in basketball gaming, but they're nevertheless ideas that were ahead of their time. Let's tip things off with number five.
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Re: The Friday Five: Top 5 Features of MyCAREER in NBA 2K17

Postby Andrew on Fri Oct 14, 2016 9:35 pm

October 14th: Top 5 Features of MyCAREER in NBA 2K17

One of my resolutions for NBA 2K17 was to finally get stuck into a MyLEAGUE game. I'm still keen to do that, but I'm thinking that I might wait until the opening night rosters are pushed through. In the meantime, I've been playing MyCAREER with an enthusiasm I haven't had for the mode since NBA 2K13. I'm partly playing it so that I can boost my MyPLAYER for 2K Pro-Am, but I am finding myself really enjoying the single player experience as well. It's actually getting to the point where I want to get some closure on MyCAREER before I launch into the MyLEAGUE experience in NBA 2K17.

Over the next few editions of The Friday Five, I'm planning on posting some top five countdowns for various aspects of NBA 2K17. Since I've been hooked on MyCAREER, I've decided that that's where I'll begin. Needless to say, not everything is perfect, and I still have my criticisms, but I feel that NBA 2K17's MyCAREER is the best incarnation of the mode since the game adopted the story-driven approach back in NBA 2K14. Without any further ado, here are my top five features in this year's MyCAREER mode.
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Re: The Friday Five: Top 5 Features of 2K Pro-Am in NBA 2K17

Postby Andrew on Fri Oct 21, 2016 11:08 pm

October 21st: Top 5 Features of 2K Pro-Am in NBA 2K17

I'm counting down another Top 5 for NBA 2K17 this week, as I'm taking a look at what I feel are the five best features in 2K Pro-Am in this year's game. Aside from MyCAREER, 2K Pro-Am has been my mode of choice so far. I've enjoyed getting online with the guys to play a few games each week, and although we've had some tough sessions, we've also enjoyed some very satisfying wins as well. To that end, you can expect us to continue sharing stories of what's going on with the NLSC squad over the next several months, both in the Forum and on the Podcast.

I will say that I'm not a fan of some of the changes that have been made to 2K Pro-Am this year. In particular, forcing teams to level up before they can make significant branding changes and import custom logos feels like a big mistake. Information on how the different tiers work is also difficult to come by, and 2K themselves have not been particularly forthcoming with those details. All the same, I am enjoying my time with 2K Pro-Am in NBA 2K17 - for the most part - and these five features in particular are going a long way in enhancing the experience.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Tips for Building Your MyPLAYER in NBA 2K17

Postby Andrew on Fri Oct 28, 2016 10:06 pm

October 28th: 5 Tips for Building Your MyPLAYER in NBA 2K17

I've really been enjoying MyCAREER and 2K Pro-Am in NBA 2K17, as you probably know if you've read my last two Friday Five columns, or regularly tune in to the NLSC Podcast. With the less intrusive story and increased amount of gameplay in the first season compared to last year, I've been able to steadily build up my MyPLAYER and have some memorable games in my rookie campaign. As such, I thought that I'd share a few tips on how to build your MyPLAYER in NBA 2K17, based on my experiences with the game so far.

Now, I must disclose that I did invest in some Virtual Currency on Day 1 (on top of my pre-order bonus), so I have been able to accelerate the process somewhat. I certainly won't encourage anyone to engage in microtransactions, though since you will need to keep the VC flowing in, I would recommend getting the MyNBA2K17 app and playing the daily games for extra VC. Aside from that, strong performances and endorsement deals will help build up your VC reserves. With that being said, here are five tips for building your MyPLAYER in NBA 2K17.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Things You Learn Making Roster Updates

Postby Andrew on Fri Nov 04, 2016 9:55 pm

November 4th: 5 Things You Learn Making Roster Updates

It's been a few years since I released my last roster update for NBA Live, and although I've tinkered a bit here and there, I've never really gotten into roster editing for NBA 2K. That being said, I'm certainly no stranger to making roster updates, having gotten into the hobby when I discovered the NLSC back in 1997, eventually taking over the NLSC rosters when I became webmaster and Lutz passed them over to me. Make no mistake: over the years, I've spent a lot of time creating players, moving players around, editing ratings, and updating games for a brand new season.

There are times when I miss making rosters, though remembering the more tedious and time-consuming aspects of their creation makes me realise that I probably made the right decision in moving on. Of course, I've also found that making roster updates can be an interesting and rewarding exercise. There are a few things that you learn when you're making those updates, so I thought that I'd talk a little bit about that in this week's Five. Whether you're looking to make your own roster updates for NBA Live or NBA 2K, or you'd just like a little more insight into their creation, I hope you'll find it informative.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 MyCAREER Story Theories

Postby Andrew on Fri Nov 11, 2016 8:07 pm

November 11th: 5 MyCAREER Story Theories

One of the most common complaints about the current approach to MyCAREER mode is that the story is basically on rails, and the player character's back story is predetermined and not always "one size fits all". Although we can customise our MyPLAYER's appearance and make a few decisions along the way, the impact those choices have on the plot is minimal at best. When it comes down to it, taglines like NBA 2K16's "Be the Story" ring a little hollow, since they suggest a deeper connection to the character than we might have, and more influence over our destiny than the games actually allow.

Of course, while we may not be able to change a lot of what we see in the cutscenes, there's still room for some imagination as we play the games. If fan fiction and ambiguous endings have taught us anything, it's that we can interpret stories in differing and creative ways, and make up our own minds about certain plot points. To that end, I thought I'd have a little fun and throw out five theories - or if you prefer, five alternate interpretations - for the MyCAREER stories we've seen so far. Needless to say, there are some spoilers here (both for the games and other media), so proceed at your own risk.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Players You Find in 2K Pro-Am

Postby Andrew on Fri Nov 18, 2016 9:23 pm

November 18th: 5 Players You Find in 2K Pro-Am

It took a while for the NLSC 2K Pro-Am squad to click last year, but we had so much fun playing the mode that we definitely wanted to create a squad again this year. As we've mentioned on the Podcast, the NLSC THRILLHO - that's an old Simpsons reference, for those of you who are unaware - hasn't been winning quite as many games as we'd like. We're still doing better than last year though, and despite occasionally grumbling about this and that in NBA 2K17 (such as the lack of logo importing before reaching Elite level), we keep jumping on every week to get a few games in. I think it's safe to say that we're still enjoying ourselves.

If you play 2K Pro-Am regularly, chances are you'll encounter the same team more than once. Playing at the times we do, and especially given our location, there are times when we'll face the same squad two or three times in a single session. This leads to some fun rivalries, not to mention becoming very familiar with certain players. Of course, even if you're facing a host of different opponents, you'll certainly run into the same types of players quite often. For your consideration, here is a breakdown of five of the players you're likely to encounter in 2K Pro-Am.
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Re: The Friday Five: The NLSC 2K Pro-Am Squad

Postby Andrew on Fri Nov 25, 2016 6:03 pm

November 25th: The NLSC 2K Pro-Am Squad

Between some of my recent columns and the weekly "Our Week in Basketball Gaming" segment on the NLSC Podcast, I talk about 2K Pro-Am a fair bit. There are other topics that I'll be touching upon in upcoming articles, but The X suggested this topic to me on Twitter, and it was too fun of an idea to put off for another week. Since this is the Friday Five, and there are five regulars in our 2K Pro-Am squad (NLSC THRILLHO), the format lends itself quite nicely to putting together a fun write-up about our crew.

The five of us started playing 2K Pro-Am together about six months ago, ultimately creating a couple of squads in NBA 2K16. Arcane and I were a little late to the party, but once the two of us joined in and we were getting in games with all five regulars, we had a lot of fun, and a few very satisfying victories. We've been doing a little better this year, though we've still got a long road ahead of us if we want to reach the Elite tier, and unlock logo importing (which shouldn't be necessary, but that's a topic for another time). Without any further ado, let me introduce you to the key members of NLSC THRILLHO!
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 More Patches I Always Wanted to Make

Postby Andrew on Fri Dec 02, 2016 8:39 pm

December 2nd: 5 More Patches I Always Wanted to Make

A little over two years ago, I wrote a Friday Five column about five patches that I always wanted to make, but never did. Since then, I've given a couple of them a try, releasing beta/demo versions of an Ultimate Jordan Roster, and a fictional league roster inspired by World League Basketball. They're a couple of projects that I'd like to return to when I have the opportunity, as I do like to get back to my roots and make some patches from time to time. It's been a while since my last release, so I must admit that I am getting the itch to work on something beyond my regular columns and other features (although I certainly do enjoy creating that content, too).

Because I don't have as much free time as I used to, these days I prefer to focus on making smaller patches that fill a particular need, or works that are creatively satisfying, rather than the regular roster updates that I used to create. When I'm trying to come up with some fun ideas for patches, I still tend to think back to projects that I've envisioned in the past, but never got around to making. Following on from my previous Five, here are some more patches that I didn't end up creating, some of which I might take a shot at sometime in the future.
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Re: The Friday Five: Best Sim Basketball Game of Each Generation

Postby Andrew on Fri Dec 09, 2016 7:53 pm

December 9th: Best Sim Basketball Game of Each Generation

When we look back to rank and rate basketball video games throughout the years, it's important that we keep a few things in perspective, such as the technology of the time, and a game's improvement over its immediate predecessors. With the way that basketball titles and other sports video games have improved, it's not always a fair comparison once a few years have passed, to say nothing of a generation or two. Even though they've been surpassed, certain basketball games definitely deserve to be recognised as the best sim title of their day. As such, today I'm picking the best sim basketball games in five distinct generations, or eras if you prefer.

I must emphasise that these are my personal picks, and that I'm not presenting this list as infallible, definitive, or above question. There are several worthy candidates that you might prefer, and I obviously reserve the right to change my opinion in the future as well. However, as it stands today, these are my selections for the best sim-oriented basketball video games in each generation, starting from the early days of basketball gaming and going right through until today. Without any further ado, let's tip things off with basketball games from the 16-Bit era and earlier.
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Re: The Friday Five: Best Arcade Basketball Game of Each Generation

Postby Andrew on Sat Dec 17, 2016 1:37 am

December 16th: Best Arcade Basketball Game of Each Generation

Since I offered up my picks for the five best sim basketball games of their generation in last week’s Friday Five, this week I thought I’d focus on the arcade games. While there are sim heads who won’t touch arcade basketball games, and conversely more casual sports gamers who greatly prefer them to the sim titles, there are a lot of people who have a healthy appreciation for both styles. I definitely count myself as someone who has enjoyed both types of basketball games over the years, and as such, I have my own picks for the best arcade hoops title in five distinct generations/eras.

As with last week’s list, I’ll emphasise that these picks are only my opinion, and it’s not my intention to present them as infallible, definitive, or indisputable. I’d like to think that I have an informed and reasonable take on the subject, of course, but lists like this are intended to start the discussion, not end it. I’m certainly interested to see if some of you have a different take, and if so, what your picks are. With that being said, let’s once again tip things off with the basketball video games of the 16-Bit era and earlier, and take it right through until the current generation.
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Re: The Friday Five: 2016 Year in Review

Postby Andrew on Fri Dec 23, 2016 8:34 pm

December 23rd: 2016 Year in Review

We do have one more Friday left in 2016, and I expect that I'll post a column as usual next week, but just in case I do have to skip it, I thought that I'd post my Year in Review edition of The Friday Five this week instead. As the year draws to a close, it's obviously a time to celebrate the holiday season and spend time with loved ones, but we also can't help but reflect upon the past twelve months. For one reason or another, it seems that a lot of people had a rough time in 2016, and if you can say the same, then I hope we were able to lift your spirits at times.

Of course, it was something of an up and down year in our community, too. There was some big news about NBA Live, a new NBA 2K release, and a lot of activity in terms of discussion and modding releases. There was also some stress and uncertainty back in June as we searched for a new home, and ultimately were able to move to a new host. I'll no doubt have some final reflections in my annual New Year's Eve post, but for now, please join me as I take a quick look back at the year that was, and ahead to the year to come.
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Re: The Friday Five: How I Write The Friday Five

Postby Andrew on Sun Jan 01, 2017 6:19 pm

December 30th: How I Write The Friday Five

Well, here we are at the end of 2016! As I said last week, the prevailing thought for many of us seems to be that it’s been a tough year, and in the last seven days alone, we’ve lost some beloved entertainers. Looking ahead to 2017, we can only hope for better times, and resolve to do all that we can to be productive, happy, and healthy, and to look out for one another. I was originally going to look ahead and make plans for next year in this week’s Friday Five, but looking back at the column I wrote last year, I realised that many of my goals are similar. To that end, I’d prefer to simply focus on putting in the work to move closer to achieving those goals in 2017.

Instead, I thought that I’d end 2016 on a somewhat meta note with a Friday Five about how I write The Friday Five. Yes, really! After missing a couple of columns here and there last year, I resolved to make sure that I posted a Five each and every week in 2016, a resolution that I also made with the NLSC Podcast, Monday Tip-Off, and Wayback Wednesday. I hope to continue that trend next year, and look forward to providing you all with more opinions, trivia, retrospectives, and other original content. In the meantime, here’s an “inside look” at how I write my weekly Friday feature!
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Suggestions for Gameplay in NBA Live

Postby Andrew on Fri Jan 06, 2017 8:58 pm

January 6th: 5 Suggestions for Gameplay in NBA Live

2017 is upon us, which means it shouldn't be too much longer before we start receiving news about NBA Live 17. It remains to be seen what EA Sports' plans are for the NBA Live franchise; the next instalment is set to be released in the first quarter of this year, but what will it entail? Will it be a smaller, digital only release, with a fully-featured NBA Live 18 released later in the year? Or can we expect a full game? Only time will tell, but for now, I thought that I'd spend a few editions of The Friday Five discussing what I'd like to see in forthcoming NBA Live titles.

Late last year, I discussed my ideas for crafting NBA Live's comeback in a Monday Tip-Off column. There'll probably be a little bit of overlap with that feature, as I'm obviously still interested in seeing NBA Live make the improvements that I've already outlined. I'll just be going into a few of the things that I previously discussed in more detail, since I'll be spreading the discussion out over multiple columns. With that being said, let's tip things off with what most of us would consider the most important aspect of any video game: the gameplay.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Suggestions for Dynasty Mode in NBA Live

Postby Andrew on Fri Jan 13, 2017 9:42 pm

January 13th: 5 Suggestions for Dynasty Mode in NBA Live

Last week, I posted five suggestions for enhancing the gameplay in NBA Live 17 and beyond. While it's important that the gameplay delivers a quality experience, basketball video games also need robust modes if they're going to hold our interest for any length of time. After all, no matter how fun and realistic the gameplay, a string of meaningless exhibition games is going to get boring after a while. It's therefore vital that NBA Live's franchise, career, and card collecting modes are all deep and engaging experiences. The addition of a couple of other modes - such as All-Star Weekend - wouldn't go astray, either.

For the moment, however, let's focus on Dynasty Mode. It's traditionally been my mode of choice in NBA Live, and it's the mode with the longest heritage in the series. Right now, Dynasty is functional, but it's also missing a lot of basic functions and features that could be found in its predecessors. Simply bringing back those elements would be a significant improvement for the mode, but I am hoping that future NBA Live games can go even further in fleshing out the franchise experience. Here are five suggestions that I believe would help achieve that goal.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Roster Editing Needs in NBA Live

Postby Andrew on Sat Jan 21, 2017 10:14 am

January 20th: 5 Roster Editing Needs in NBA Live

Great gameplay is paramount, deep game modes keep us hooked, but another essential element of any basketball video game is customisation. It's an area where NBA Live has been lacking since its comeback in 2013, and although NBA Live 16 did see the return of gameplay sliders, roster editing was still missing. It's an issue that many of us have grown impatient about, and to that end, it's vital that roster customisation returns to NBA Live in the next full release. If what's coming in the first quarter of this year is a stripped down release or demo as currently speculated, it would be understandable if there isn't any roster editing in that.

But yes, the next full version of NBA Live absolutely needs to provide us with roster editing functionality. As I've said many times before when discussing this topic, it's nice to have the official roster updates, but there are times when we want (and need) to make our own changes, and we should be able to do that. Roster editing has been a staple of basketball video games for a long time now, and there are a few functions in particular that we need to have. Without any further ado, here are five roster customisation features that I believe NBA Live needs moving forward.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Suggestions for LIVE Pro-Am in NBA Live

Postby Andrew on Fri Jan 27, 2017 9:39 pm

January 27th: 5 Suggestions for LIVE Pro-Am in NBA Live

As you may know from previous articles and the NLSC Podcast, I've become a big fan of 2K Pro-Am in NBA 2K16 and NBA 2K17. I was originally sceptical of 2K's approach, and after playing LIVE Pro-Am at an NBA Live 16 community event, I figured that its quicker games would be more fun. However, I've come to like the 2K Pro-Am concept a lot more, and find myself wishing that LIVE Pro-Am could find a way to cater to those tastes as well. There are definitely aspects of 2K Pro-Am that NBA Live could stand to borrow, while implementing them in its own style.

Of course, I don't want to see LIVE Pro-Am simply become a clone of 2K Pro-Am. While I think there are features it should look to borrow, it has its own concepts that are worth building upon. It has the potential to cater to fans of the 2K Pro-Am approach, while also offering a different experience with its own appeal. In fact, by combining a few concepts that we've seen in both games so far, NBA Live could potentially end up with the deeper and more varied Pro-Am mode. Here are five suggestions that I believe would help achieve that.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Suggestions for Rising Star in NBA Live

Postby Andrew on Fri Feb 03, 2017 9:07 pm

February 3rd: 5 Suggestions for Rising Star in NBA Live

So, we now know that the next NBA Live game - presumably titled NBA Live 18 - will be released later this year, and is intended to be a fully-featured title. While there is understandably some disappointment and scepticism within the NBA Live community at the moment, there is also an opportunity for the development team to go all out in enhancing game modes, and adding features such as roster customisation. As I've outlined in recent editions of The Friday Five, those are some very important and overdue improvements that are vital to NBA Live getting to where it needs to be.

I've already covered Dynasty and LIVE Pro-Am, but there's much work to be done with Rising Star as well. Career modes are extremely popular these days, therefore it's crucial that Rising Star is brought up to speed, and given the depth that will make it a more engaging and enjoyable experience. From the action on the court to the features that make a career mode more immersive, there are a couple of key enhancements that Rising Star should receive in forthcoming NBA Live titles. This week, I'm discussing five of them.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Suggestions for Ultimate Team in NBA Live

Postby Andrew on Fri Feb 10, 2017 10:30 pm

February 10th: 5 Suggestions for Ultimate Team in NBA Live

We're coming to the end of my series of Friday Five articles on the key improvements and additions I'd like to see in NBA Live 18 and beyond. Having covered gameplay, Dynasty, Rising Star, LIVE Pro-Am, and roster editing, it's now time to talk about Ultimate Team. Ultimate Team has been a fairly solid mode since it was introduced to the series in NBA Live 14, and reasonably popular. There's definitely still room for improvement though, and since the card collecting/team building modes are such a big part of sports games these days, I do have a few suggestions on how it can improve.

Before I begin, I want to give an honourable mention to pack odds. Fair odds and value are always an important issue when it comes to the team building modes, and although Ultimate Team's packs aren't too unfair, they could stand to be a little better. Whether it's the packs bought from the store, or reward packs that are earned by completing a challenge, I'd like to see some guaranteed rare cards, especially when Legends are up for grabs. With that being said, here's my list of five suggestions that I believe would enhance Ultimate Team in future NBA Live games.
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Miscellaneous Suggestions for NBA Live

Postby Andrew on Fri Feb 17, 2017 10:07 pm

February 17th: 5 Miscellaneous Suggestions for NBA Live

I originally planned for last week's Five to be the final instalment in my current series of articles discussing what I'd like to see in future NBA Live games, beginning with NBA Live 18 later this year. However, there are a few more ideas that I wanted to put out there, as they didn't quite fit into any of the previous areas that I was focusing upon. While it's crucial that core elements of the gameplay and existing game modes are fixed and enhanced, and that features such as roster editing return, there are a couple of other ideas that I believe would help make future NBA Live games even better.

These are the ideas that cater to specific needs and preferences, and contribute towards making NBA Live a deep and well-rounded game. Again, getting the gameplay right, enhancing the existing game modes, and implementing roster editing are all improvements that are absolutely vital, but once progress has been made on those fronts, it's important that NBA Live innovates and expands upon its content, as the series once did so well. There are certainly more than five things that can be suggested here, but these are the ideas that either appeal the most to me, or I believe will have the biggest impact.
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Andrew
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Re: The Friday Five: 5 Ideas for MyCAREER Stories

Postby Andrew on Fri Feb 24, 2017 11:32 pm

February 24th: 5 Ideas for MyCAREER Stories

The story-driven approach to MyCAREER appears to be here to stay. Fortunately, as of NBA 2K17, it's not quite as intrusive as it once was. In the absence of an option to skip the story altogether, keeping the narrative to the background is definitely for the best. It would also be preferable if the gameplay experience drives the story, rather than the other way around. In any event, there are some basketball gamers who do enjoy the story aspect of MyCAREER, and as such, I expect it's something that Visual Concepts will double down on in future NBA 2K titles.

With that in mind, what kind of stories should MyCAREER try to tell? We've seen a rivalry with Jackson Ellis, an undrafted player battling for a place in the league, a Spike Lee joint, and the tale of a dynamic duo. I believe that the next step would be to introduce more than one story, preferably with branching plot points and impactful decisions that underscore the RPG aspect of MyCAREER. To that end, I have five ideas for stories that would provide gamers with a varied career mode experience, and more replay value than what is currently offered.
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Contact: Email | Twitter
Release Threads: NBA Live 08 | NBA Live 07 | NBA Live 06 | NBA Live 2005 | NBA Live 2004
Story Threads: NBA 2K13 | NBA Live 06 (Part 2) | NBA Live 06 (HOF) | NBA Live 2004 (HOF)
NLSC: Podcast | The Friday Five | Monday Tip-Off | Wayback Wednesday | 20th Anniversary of NBA Live | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube


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