VC Rewards Nerfed in MyCAREER

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VC Rewards Nerfed in MyCAREER

Postby Andrew on Fri Oct 18, 2019 2:12 am

Noted here on Reddit, among other threads: https://www.reddit.com/r/NBA2k/comments ... ential_vc/

Key points are:

  • The top salary if you play through the story has been reduced from 1000 VC to 750 VC per game.
  • If you skip straight to the NBA, you begin with a salary of 500 VC per game wherever you go, which is down from 750 VC.
  • Endorsement incentives have been reduced, with some of them not being very high to begin with. Furthermore, the reduction is retroactive, so if you already negotiated a higher deal, it's been lowered all the same.
  • Negotiating endorsement deals is now tougher.

Now, there's a bit to unpack here. Also, while this issue is related to MyCAREER and its connected online modes, the bigger picture is the underlying attitude and approach that 2K has taken, which is problematic for the game in general.

VC nerfs are an indication of two things. One, it's a push to get people to buy more VC, and I think most of us would agree that that demonstrates a certain amount of greed. The second is the more understandable need to try to balance the game and its longevity, since quite a few people have hit 99 Overall within the first six weeks of NBA 2K20 coming out. It can be seen as a slight correction given the intended longevity of a MyCAREER save, and while I don't think it was a problem after the ridiculously long grinds of recent years, I can understand it.

However, it's still a bad look. Once again, there's the greed of pushing microtransactions even harder, which demonstrates very little goodwill. Even putting that aside, the timing is bad. While there are some things that are difficult to gauge until the game has been out a little while and it becomes apparent how everything will perform in the hands of gamers - including just how long it'll take creative and enthusiastic grinders to get high ratings - it's something that should've been done much sooner if it was going to be done. It also now places gamers who are late to the party at a disadvantage by making it harder to catch up...unless of course they buy VC, and so we're back to that issue.

The thing is that while there would be backlash to these moves, the real problem is the lack of transparency. This is something to specifically address in the patch notes, rather than a vague mention of "many more fixes". Again, there would be backlash regardless, but by trying to keep it quiet and avoid controversy, it just becomes a much bigger deal. It's a recurring problem for 2K: a lack of communication, and trying to sweep bad news under the rug so they don't have to deal with the fallout, only we do find out and it's a much worse situation as a result. Sometimes the lack of honesty outweighs the original act, and that's definitely the case for a lot of 2K controversies.

It was like that last year when a Locker Code for a Pink Diamond LeBron James got out into the wild. Rather than simply shutting down the code before too many more people used it, 2K went ahead and removed the card from everyone's account. Now, even though that card wasn't meant to go to everyone and they were correcting a mistake, they tried to do it quietly and without any acknowledgement of the situation (or the fact that it was their mistake, not something people were wrong to try to do).

Had they put out a statement that there had been an error with that code, it wasn't meant for the general public, and they were removing the card accordingly, people would've been upset but they'd also understand and appreciate the honesty. Instead, they removed the cards and hoped that there wouldn't be a fuss. The timing was also bad optics as it was around Christmas time, meaning they had a perfect opportunity to say "It was a mistake and we've disabled that code, but if you got it, that's on us and our oversight, keep it, Merry Christmas!" And yes, they basically did that when they issued a new Locker Code for a guaranteed Pink Diamond afterwards and that was nice, but it was only after the situation blew up in their face and they had to try for some goodwill. It was a good move and appreciated, but it only came about because their poor handling of the initial mistake forced it, so it's far less charitable in context.

The underlying problem here is making changes to the game and not being transparent about it. We may not all like or agree with every change, but we should be informed of them. Nerfing VC rewards is never going to be popular, but if 2K were upfront about it and explained "We feel they're too high based on the intended longevity for the mode", many people may vehemently disagree and complain, but they would have at least been honest about it and that would be appreciated; it would've softened the blow somewhat. Tweaks to the difficulty of endorsement negotiations is also something that gamers should be made aware of, so that everyone knows the situation and can change their strategy accordingly.

Again, this is just MyCAREER stuff, but these problems run deeper than that, and it's a troubling approach to the game in general. Whenever there's a significant change to the way the game plays or a mode operates, that should be in the patch notes. None of this "many more fixes" stuff, which was becoming a problem even before the abbreviated patch notes of this year. Total transparency can be problematic and working on certain things behind the scenes is understandable, but there are changes that we should know about, and we're not hearing about them because 2K wants to have their cake and eat it too as far as avoiding backlash. The irony is that the backlash is so much worse for not being forthcoming in the first place.

The fact that it facilitates a more aggressive push towards VC sales is the icing on the cake as far as this being a bad look and approach for 2K. It's a disappointing practice, and it's a shame it reflects badly on talented developers and programmers who don't necessarily make all these decisions, and just want to make the best game possible. Unfortunately, video games have become a vehicle for recurrent revenue, which takes precedence over honesty, and in some cases, good game design and quality of the experience. These particular issues only impact MyCAREER gamers, but again, the underlying approach and recurring problem of the game we get in September being radically different and changed for the worse before the season has even started is concerning, and one that can and will impact other modes and aspects of gameplay. Unfortunately, it's what we've come to expect.

I hope this issue won't just get swept under the rug, because the situation is emblematic of one of NBA 2K's biggest weaknesses and drawbacks, and it's been that way for too long now. Sadly, considering their response to the "Fire Ronnie 2K" movement (such as it was), I'm not confident that we'll see a desirable change anytime soon. All the same, I don't think gamers should forgive and forget. Even if you aren't a MyCAREER gamer, the issue runs deeper than that, and it's one that can affect the game as a whole. Like I said, this issue mustn't just disappear quietly into the night.
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Re: VC Rewards Nerfed in MyCAREER

Postby Dee4Three on Fri Oct 18, 2019 2:58 am

I first heard about this on Operation Sports, the few who have commented are not happy.

It's not a good look, especially on the lack of communication side. I think that's what gets people riled up the most, the VC price hikes (Or VC award drops) that get silently placed into the game, without warning to that large player base. It's not a good way of doing business, nor is it fair to that crowd who again, make up a large portion of the playing base.

Giving people a heads up, along with an explanation, would do wonders for the reception of such a change. However, the manner in which it is implemented, only make people look at 2K as being even more greedy, and unfair to them.

Who knows how much attention this particular move will garner, but hopefully people make voices heard.
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Re: VC Rewards Nerfed in MyCAREER

Postby Andrew on Fri Oct 18, 2019 8:14 pm

The lack of transparency and acknowledgement is definitely the kicker. Again, it'd be an unpopular move regardless, but trying to sneak it in ends up making it a bigger controversy.
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