Improving the Shooting Mechanics

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Improving the Shooting Mechanics

Postby Andrew on Tue Jun 25, 2019 5:47 pm

Something that really needs to improve in NBA Live 20 is the shooting mechanics. The last patch didn't do jumpshots any favours by ramping up the impact of shot contests, but even before that, jumpshots aren't as viable as they should be.

I feel there are a few aspects that need to be focused upon here:

Input Lag & Meter Speed

These go hand in hand, because they affect the precision of the meter and the timing of the release. Basically, it feels like the optimal release point is reached too quickly, and a lack of responsiveness makes it easy to hold the button too long and overshoot it. I find jumpshots to be impossible online, but the situation isn't much better offline. I'm not sure if the answer is tying the release point and timing/shot meter speed to the animation as I know it's something that NBA Live moved away from, but it is quite effective in NBA 2K. At the very least, there needs to be more responsiveness, and more reasonable timing.

Shot Quality & Contested Logic

Borrowing NBA 2K's approach to the shot meter with green releases wasn't a bad idea, but NBA Live's approach isn't as deep. I like the idea of heavily contested shots taking away the possibility for a green release, but in doing so, it also makes it extremely difficult to hit contested shots with great shooters. It feels as though there are perfect shots (green releases, guaranteed to go in), 50/50 shots, and bad shots. There needs to be more nuance, more differentiation in the shot probabilities when it comes to a near-perfect release, a good release, an average release, and a poor release. After the debacle that was NBA 2K18's shooting mechanics, NBA 2K19 has done a good job with it, so that would be a good place to start.

This also needs to be balanced out with the logic and impact of contesting shots. Right now, it feels like any contest counts as a good contest, removing the possibility for a green release and severely impacting a shot even if the shooter has decent amount of room. Again, NBA 2K19 has a good system with wide open, light coverage, heavily contested, and smothered. In real life and video games, it's impossible to ensure that every shot you take is a wide open one, so it shouldn't be expected in order to shoot a realistic percentage in NBA Live.

Ratings & Other Attributes

NBA 2K's ratings and Badges systems aren't perfect, but they're relatively deep and allow for players to stand out from one another. NBA Live has separate ratings for inside, mid-range, and three-point shooting, as well as dunk, layup, and free throw ratings. That's fairly standard, but there's only one contested shot rating (that doesn't seem to have much of an impact following the latest patch for NBA Live 19) and one shot-off-the-dribble rating. I think there needs to be contested and off-the-dribble ratings for all three shot distances.

I'd also suggest expanding the Traits system currently used in The One, to set players apart with special abilities similar to NBA 2K's Badges. You have to be careful with balance here, but it's important that great shooters are both effective in the user's hands, and difficult to stop when going up against them. I'd suggest these changes for all kinds of abilities, but since we're focusing on shooting mechanics here, accounting for players who can knock down shots from well behind the arc, create great results out of what would seem like bad looks, and excel from certain spots on the floor, should all be accounted for. Traits should also be more like Badges in that they're permanently equipped, not a mechanic that you switch in and out.

Trigger Zones for Dunks & Layups

It's really difficult to pull up in the mid-range, as all too often you'll just trigger a dunk or layup animation and your player starts gathering for a drive rather than stopping and popping. Even if you let the stick go to neutral, it happens too often. This also has an impact on how the CPU plays, as they're looking to drive on every play and take way too many inside shots themselves. 2K's current motion system generally has the opposite problem where momentum stops for no good reason and you end up pulling up when you want to drive with the occasional layup when you want to pull up instead, but on the whole I'd say 2K's trigger zones are a little better.

Adjusting this should allow for more control over shooting, and go a way in helping gameplay to be more realistic as offense won't just come down to driving on every single play. Tendencies and playcalling AI will also need to be improved of course, but I think that triggering too many layups and dunks in the mid-range also contributes to the problem here.

This is just an outline of a few ideas, but I really feel it would improve the shooting mechanics in NBA Live 20. Right now, it just doesn't feel right in NBA Live 19; like I said, it feels like jumpshots aren't as viable as they should be, and it makes the gameplay both boring and unrealistic by forcing constant drives in order to score consistently.
This topic was moved from NBA Live 19 by Andrew on Mon Jul 01, 2019 10:39 pm.
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Re: Improving the Shooting Mechanics

Postby Andrew on Tue Jun 25, 2019 7:59 pm

To put the shooting problems in perspective, here's a shot chart from a game I played on five minute quarters. To demonstrate just how broken shot contests are now, the difficulty is on Pro, an intermediate level where it should be pretty easy to knock down a bunch of jumpshots, contested or otherwise.

Image

Image

When you can't knock down shots - good shots, some very lightly contested with capable shooters and good releases - on an easy difficulty level like Pro, there's a problem with the contest logic. It may work for the online modes, but it's destroyed offline gameplay.
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Re: Improving the Shooting Mechanics

Postby [Q] on Wed Jun 26, 2019 1:16 am

They should make a difference between offline and online (PvP) gaming
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Re: Improving the Shooting Mechanics

Postby Andrew on Wed Jun 26, 2019 1:04 pm

I think that'd be great for NBA Live and NBA 2K alike. I'm not sure how feasible it is, though. Surely the mechanics would be more or less universal?
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Re: Improving the Shooting Mechanics

Postby [Q] on Wed Jun 26, 2019 4:36 pm

Well at least in Live they got sliders for offline gaming but there doesn't seem to be any user editable sliders for online gaming but it's hidden there somewhere so I think it should be possible
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Re: Improving the Shooting Mechanics

Postby Andrew on Wed Jun 26, 2019 4:57 pm

Fair point. I must admit I haven't tried messing around with the sliders. I had intended to, but my inability to get hooked on the game this year discouraged a lot of my content creation plans.
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Re: Improving the Shooting Mechanics

Postby Geemonster84 on Wed Jul 03, 2019 5:04 am

Just to touch upon the Trigger Zones for Dunks & Layups & Shot Quality & Contested Logic aspect, I don't think NBA LIVE Team needs to following a shot meter in the traditional aspect. In my blogs I always refer to LIVE as a standard car. I think adding a "Contested Shot Meter" once players collided into each other for a potential 3 point play would work instead of trying to control your lay-up with a meter.

1. Contested Logic

In this clip Kobe Draws a foul after being hit this should trigger a shot meter if the player "holds" the shot button after pressing the dunk/lay-up and releasing it timely for shot. Branching animations... Sandbox of possible outcomes.

For example:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OHwHgUNZbjM
Kobe Bryant Draws Contact and Throws Up A Crazy Shot


2. Trigger Zones for Dunks & Layups

Trigger Zones l believe should be attribute base even for your created player( I will let LIVE Devs play with that idea, am a offline player that plays only the NBA season). However having the ability to switch hand dunks giving the rim a "Left, Middle and Right" dimension instead. This could help the player vary their approach to the basket as a case by case basis. So now instead of crazy can-animation blocks the user who's approaching the player with the ball has to be wary of positioning and timing the block, but the dev team would have a less margin of error than the dunker in all cases to make it fair.

For all the miss dunks the dev team could literally watch all the - Javale Mcgee highlights from his Washington days.

For example:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hqBi5hWHKbc
Derrick FAVORS ENDS Ilyasova With a MONSTER DUNK

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OFECJDBuZ-Q
Giannis Antetokounmpo Finishes Mid-Air Like Michael Jordan And Andre Drummond Couldn't Believe It

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDYxuOQxvJc
Al Horford huge block on Giannis Antetokounmpo
(hang time block)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HNhAgSWoVko
Nerlens Noel with the Huge Block on James Harden
(two handed dunk on block animation)

Lastly to make the contest shots easy to manage the user cannot do it all the time because hang-time is based on stamina so letting the play happen or activating the second chance should be used smartly because the player get the wind knocked out of them, low stamina or even injured.

Even a badge could be created called hang-time for those who want to use it more 5% than normal.

Anyway really like the discussion on NBA LIVE 20 direction.
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Re: Improving the Shooting Mechanics

Postby Andrew on Wed Jul 03, 2019 1:27 pm

I'm undecided when it comes to extending the shot meter to layups (I certainly wouldn't have it on dunks). It has worked out alright for NBA 2K.
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