Park stinks. Let me count the ways.

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Park stinks. Let me count the ways.

Postby JWL3 on Sat Nov 16, 2019 11:55 am

Hi NLSC’ers. I used to be an avid pc b-ball gamer and visited this site frequently. The problem was there were so many hackers in 2K mypark that I was forced to move to (ugh!) Xbox. It’s great and I enjoyed fair play. But I decided to skip 2k19 to make a stand against the VC cash grab and insane grind.

I got back into 2K20 but realized that park is a completely different game than 2K18. And not for the better. Here’s a list of how much worse it is:

1) there are far less shooter archetypes in park. Thus, spacing is horrible and there’s a traffic jam in the paint. Even when I pass to a wide open shooter, there is no guarantee it’s a hit. Unlike 2k18 that rewarded smart passing.

3) the badge system is good and bad. The bad is that everyone can be a brilliant passer or shooter or whatever. It is incredibly confusing when a “slasher” starts draining half court 3’s and you do not know how to d your opponent up from the start. Also, every player seems to have gold interceptor meaning my pass first pg is totally nerfed.

4) every team seems to have/need a big dude, which means again, poor spacing if two of your 3 players cannot shoot. The defenders just camp in the paint and dare you to brick.

5) park is really difficult to navigate and walk around. And looking at a player’s bio card requires going 6 deep into a menu to see their park record. And the player plaque under the player is really small and difficult to see. I’ve had to twist and turn my player to see what a player’s Archetype is.

6) cannot join your friends’ parks anymore unless they extend an invite.

7)everything is totally slow and nerfs iq. I always pump fake or hesitate to get defenders flying and they do. Except my layup release is so slow they can easily block or intimidate me into a miss even if I am wide open after they fly by.

8) moving the inbounds to half court nerfs back doors, which smart players used to use to score easy baskets. It forces players to basically spam one on one dribble moves instead of running back door cuts and picks.

Maybe everyone thinks their archetype is nerfed each year but I really think my favored position, a pure playmaker pass first unselfish high iq unforced shots player gets dinged worse and worse every year. The speed advantage is nil now thanks to +4 Gatorade boosts for everyone. It can’t shoot into the ocean with horrid slow releases and 4 badges. It cannot finish at the rim with everyone having the intimidation badge (they just have to be near you to make you miss, not time their jump to your release). The interceptions are far more frequent now nerfing the one big advantage it has in drawing double teams and creating shots for others.
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Re: Park stinks. Let me count the ways.

Postby Andrew on Sat Nov 16, 2019 2:50 pm

I've been playing in The Rec every day this week for a feature that I'm compiling for next week's Monday Tip-Off. Playing NBA 2K online certainly can be an adventure, and very hit and miss depending on who shows up to play.

Playground/MyPARK has never really been my thing, but I've had some fun with it here and there. Like team Pro-Am and The Rec, though it suffers from a lack of proper matchmaking and balance in the Archetypes. For all the changes that have been made to Archetypes since they were introduced, there are still only a few really viable options for online play, and they tend to be OP. Those that aren't are often broken and useless, or at the very least severely disadvantaged. The new pie chart and custom Badges system has its merits, but as you noted, it's led to online play being unbalanced in other ways because the names in the new system aren't always indicative of skillset. Min-maxing is obviously still a thing, too.

The quality of teammates and opponents can vary drastically as well, and the lack of matchmaking doesn't help. MyREP has become the new standard for judging potential teammates, and it's not uncommon to see people hop off Got Next (or leave the locker room in The Rec) because they'd rather stand around than risk a loss or play with someone who has lower MyREP. I can understand being wary of playing with a newbie, but since nothing carries over from year to year, an experienced online player who's late getting into the scene this year has no way of demonstrating that. It's created a toxic and elitist atmosphere where you need to be a certain level to play, but need to play in order to get to that level. It's what happens when you throw everyone in there together without matchmaking.

Basketball IQ also tends to be pretty low, at least in my experience. A lot of Playground veterans are adept at using video game strategies, but it doesn't resemble real basketball, pick-up or otherwise. Also, even when spacing is an issue, the fact that it's 3v3 or 2v2 means that there's enough room to ballhog without really suffering any penalties for it, compared to 5v5 online play. I'm not saying it can't be fun, but it's definitely not my speed. It might be if some of these issues were addressed, but that doesn't seem likely.

I think that's the most frustrating aspect of all. There are some fantastic concepts with MyCAREER and its connected modes, but they could be better. There are legacy issues, and design choices that have cultivated a toxic atmosphere. Instead of addressing them, new bells and whistles like racing cars and exclusive events are added to The Neighborhood. More attention is paid to the new MyCAREER story than addressing long-standing issues with teammate AI and substitution logic. Matchmaking - a must if you're going to have a competitive scene - is basically non-existent. The Badge/Archetype system still isn't properly balanced.

Fortunately there's single player/offline aspects of the game that I enjoy, but the shortcomings of the online scene are disappointing, given the depth and further potential of those experiences.
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Re: Park stinks. Let me count the ways.

Postby JWL3 on Sun Nov 17, 2019 6:27 pm

Yep, the matchmaking is horrid. As soon as a brown box comes onto a spot, they all leave. Never mind that I won 0.780 of 3500 mypark games in 2k18 and shoot 76% fg’s with 4 assists per 21 pt game. I’m 80 mypark games into 2k20 and eking above 0.500. A great deal of this is what you said Andrew: the matchmaking. There are squads that just keep feasting on randoms like me. Today, they had some park event that was random matchmaking and it was actually fun. Because both teams were made up of randoms so the competition was fair. I’m not quite sure what the devs at 2k are trying to achieve either. Each year, they try to address some concern. Like 2k18 shooting was overpowered so they killed it in 2k20. Also, big men kept getting stripped and were useless, so they make them overpowering in 20. Problem is, every action > reaction. Now, they create other problems like completely useless point guard passers and make dribble spamming overpowering. Two games in a row, I had to guard two shooters who hit everything and were unguardable - simply because they used the behind the back cheese. Left, wait for me to catch up, hit me with a behind the back which teleports them into another dimension 50 ft away, wide open 3. I try to anticipate but it’s a matter of guessing and most of the time, it’ll be wrong. A great video game gives you great balance among all the archetypes. Like Street Fighter 2. A bad video game gives you archetypes you can exploit, that are unbeatable, like Street Fighter 3, where you just use E Honda’s million hand slap and are downright unstoppable.

I’ll give Rec a try. At least it’s random matchmaking.
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Re: Park stinks. Let me count the ways.

Postby Andrew on Sun Nov 17, 2019 11:53 pm

It seems quite likely that the lack of matchmaking is done to encourage VC sales. If you feel overmatched because you're still grinding your way up and you're being thrown in there with people who are already rated much higher, there's a chance you'll buy some VC to catch up. Even if you tough it out, you're contributing to their user activity stats with all the hours you're spending on the grind. It also caters to the crowd that likes to sneer at other gamers and pat themselves on the back for being "elite". It's a toxic approach but it hasn't killed the online scene...yet.

There's also the need to come up with features that grab attention and look cool in a trailer. Racing cars in The Neighborhood look flashy and interesting, at least to the casual gamers and those who aren't hardcore hoopheads. You can put that stuff on the trailer and the back of the box; "improved matchmaking", while it'd be something a lot of people would probably really like and want, isn't a sexy selling point. The quality of the on-court product has suffered as the game has moved with the times as far as online gaming, and become a pop culture juggernaut. There are a lot of problems, but right now the game is too successful for them to affect the bottom line. We'll see how long that lasts, but we're kind of at 2K's mercy here.
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Re: Park stinks. Let me count the ways.

Postby JWL3 on Tue Nov 19, 2019 12:53 am

Absolutely. Enough people skipped 2k19 (and also the bad publicity and online reviews) that they finally decided to pay lip service to the Vc blowback. This year, it’s actually easier to get get VC and they made the grind less onerous and shorter. None of that would have happened if they didn’t fear the publicity and there was enough user blowback. It just isn’t enough though. A video game should be fun, not a chore. Every game has leveling-up, but for most, the process of getting there is fun and part of the storyline. Here, it’s just work.

I noticed that they made Gatorade gym workouts a once a week thing - primarily to preempt complaints by parents that their fat overweight kids are spending more time in a virtual gym than a real one. Again, it’s all about image and stemming the flood of complaints, all while keeping the spigot of VC revenue on.


As fort he silly neighborhood , I completely agree and most users don’t care for it in any way. You don’t buy a b-ball game to experience driving dynamics in F1 neighborhood races. Totally silly.


I think I’m just going to trim down my hours on this game. My job and family life will be the richer for it.
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Re: Park stinks. Let me count the ways.

Postby Andrew on Tue Nov 19, 2019 1:14 am

The Gatorade Gym is one of the most annoying concepts devised for MyCAREER and the connected modes. NBA 2K18 was the worst, depleting the boost with every game. NBA 2K19 was a little better with the boost lasting for five games. NBA 2K20 requires a couple more drills to be completed for the boost, but then it lasts for a week in real time, so it's the best approach so far, but it's still an annoyance.
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