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NBA Elite 11 Wishlist

Here is the NLSC’s Wishlist for NBA Elite 11, compiled using suggestions from the NLSC team members and visitors via email and the NLSC Forum. The Wishlist has been organised into three categories: Essentials, which comprise existing features, changes and additions we feel are most important to making NBA Elite 11 as good as it can be; Things We’d Also Like To See, which features popular wishes that we would like to see in the game but aren’t as important; and a list of bugs and other issues under Things to Fix & Avoid.

ESSENTIALS

  • Release a PC version, ported from the Xbox 360/Playstation 3. Allow unofficial modification/patching by the community. It would also be great to have some official tools, as well as some patching capabilities for the console versions.
  • Undo most of the changes made by the official updates for NBA Live 10; basically everything aside from the backdown control, tap to contest/hold to block control, three point fix and bug fixes like the goaltending issue and player lock AI. Basically go back to the gameplay out of the box and work from there. Some specific areas of concern include:
    • The CPU too often ignores its playbook, tossing up shots too early in the shotclock and rushing up long range shots with players who shouldn’t shooting a lot from the outside when there’s no reason to. The CPU also looks to drive the ball too much.
    • Balance out the foul calls. In NBA Live 10, the CPU gets too many calls on contact that isn’t called at the other end leading to unfair and unrealistic free throw discrepencies.
    • Balance out user and CPU abilities; neither should be able to do things the other can’t. Post-patch, the CPU will too often ignore its offense and try to drive to the hoop, slicing through the user defense at an alarming rate and finishing with ease whereas the user runs into a brick wall (or gets stripped). Tone down the CPU’s ability to make difficult shots and bail itself out when the user puts up a good fight defensively.
    • Although rebounding in NBA Live 10 is pretty spot on for the most part, sometimes the CPU has a tendency to grab offensive rebound after offensive rebound because the user’s CPU controlled teammates refuse to battle on the boards. The CPU also still scores a little too easily after an offensive rebound.
  • Keep shot selection, percentages and player tendencies/abilities realistic. NBA Live 10 did a great job of this out of the box, post-patch the results weren’t always as pleasing due to the CPU seemingly running fewer plays.
  • Bring back in-game injuries. If possible, do not have them depend on shooting fouls.
  • Fix the alley-oop logic; alley-oops should never be thrown to players standing at the three point line. If no one is in a position to be thrown an alley-oop, pressing the button should simply result in no action.
  • Remove or balance out the tendency for the ball to get stripped on drives or when posting up. In NBA Live 10, the user is stripped far too easily compared to the CPU. Good idea, but implemented in a frustrating way in NBA Live 10. Having a specific slider for this – both user and CPU – could also help greatly here so that we could adjust the balance ourselves
  • Remove blind interceptions. The CPU in particular still makes interceptions too easily, being too quick to the ball and making “eyes in the back of their head” steals. This should be greatly toned down.
  • Similarly, the CPU’s passes always seem to be crisp whereas the user finds themselves throwing sloppy passes that dribble out of bounds or go right into the hands of the defense far too often. This needs to be balanced out, another slider aside from the interceptions and steals sliders could also be useful here.
  • There seems to be a bit of an issue with the CPU being faster than the user in NBA Live 10, allowing them to catch up or get back in time on in fast break situations whereas the CPU is able to out-run (or effortlessly side-step) the user. Again, there should be more of a balance here.
  • In NBA Live 10, it’s too difficult for the user to make long outlet passes with too many of them sailing out of bounds when thrown by good passes. Players with high ballhandling abilities should be able to make long baseball passes more often.
  • Clean up some lingering issues with players stepping out of bounds or back across half court without anything being called. The boundary force field slider would be a welcome re-addition here.
  • NBA Live 10 made some excellent improvements to the substitution logic which should definitely be retained for NBA Elite 11. However, the re-addition of the substitution frequency slider would be helpful for the All-Star/Rookie-Sophomore game and tweaking the gameplay in general (eg when playing shorter quarters)
  • Allow users to customise controller configurations
  • Bring back the pause menu in between quarters so that we can make substitutions and other adjustments before the next quarter begins.
  • Display the number of timeouts remaining the pause menu so we can easily bring up that information at any time.
  • Allow the user to choose whether they want to call a 20 second or full timeout.
  • Give users more control over Hustle Plays; let us manually dive for the ball and make a better attempt to get the ball to a teammate when scrambling for a loose ball/saving the ball from going out of bounds.
  • Add more off-the-ball fouls including loose ball fouls as well as tie-ups/jump balls.
  • Add the ability to perform putback dunks.
  • Add the ability to throw alley-oops off the inbounds pass.
  • Retain elements of player control such as Pick and Roll Control, Lay-Up Control, fadeaways, floaters/runners, Direct Pass Receiver Control and the ability to shoot bank shots.
  • Add some more tip-in animations that depend on where the player is standing and whether they’re moving towards the basket at the time.
  • Bring back individual player Go To Moves, implemented as they were in NBA Live 08.
  • Bring back some of the Own the Paint moves and give users more control in the paint. Add some more up-and-under moves, running hooks and other moves as well as a variety of spins, jab steps, fakes etc.
  • Bring back the pro hop/jump stop move.
  • Keep the Freestyle Passing concept, consider adding expanded shooting controls in the same manner.
  • Allow the user to select the inbounder in dead ball situations.
  • Allow the user to break out of dunking and layup animations to make a pass.
  • Add the ability to draw a foul on a pump fake (NBA Live 2005 includes a good example of this mechanic).
  • Add the ability to adjust a shot in midair (similar to the Freestyle Air concept/controls).
  • Try to avoid canned two player animations as much as possible (seemed to be more of an issue post-patch in NBA Live 10).
  • Add a wider variety of dunk packages.
  • Overhaul and improve Dynasty Mode. Some specifics about what we want to see:
    • Fix the simulated stats in Dynasty Mode so that players are averaging true-to-life statistics. Make sure that bench players are averaging realistic numbers too, ie. the league’s top sixth men aren’t averaging 5 ppg in 20 mpg off the bench.
    • Allow users to select more than one team in Dynasty Mode, as well as change teams in between seasons if desired.
    • Allow users to select a shorter season length in Dynasty Mode (eg 29 games, 58 games or the full 82).
    • Utilise the qualifying thresholds in season league leaders, so that there aren’t players leading the league in field goal percentage at 75% having made 15/20 field goals.
    • Allow users to hire and fire staff including the head coach, assistant coaches, trainers and scouts. Allow the user to make use of a similar negotiation mini-game to the one used to lure free agents.
    • On a related note, have coaches retire and retired players go into the coaching free agent pool so that they may be hired as coaches/assistants after they hang it up.
    • Speaking of which, please retain the negotiation mini-game used to lure free agents.
    • Allow users to use the traditional Reorder Roster screen to change their lineup. The Player Rotation/Injured List screens are too cumbersome and just don’t work out as well as the traditional menu. This has been an issue since NBA Live 07, if Dynasty Mode is getting overhauled this is a change that needs to be made.
    • That said, the ability to allocate minutes is a good idea. It should be separate from the ability to reorder the lineup though.
    • Allow users to train players in an NBA Academy-like setting. Make sure there are drills to improve all of their abilities (in NBA Live 10, it was impossible to develop outside shooting ratings)
    • Allow users to enter the five-on-five scrimmage and practice with their team at any time, not just during the monthly ratings development sessions.
    • Tone down the amount of superstar trades that take place in Dynasty Mode. Perhaps there could even be a slider/toggle setting for this.
    • Give in-game injuries the possibility of carrying over to other games and keeping players out for an extended period of time, similar to previous versions of NBA Live.
    • Improve the All-Star selection logic as well as the logic used to select end of season award winners. Better yet, represent the fan, coach and media voting that decides those honours in real life.
    • Add more manager/front office duties but allow the user to simulate these duties if desired. Alternatively, offer a non-gameplay/complete sim mode like a coaching/owner/GM mode.
    • Bring back the rumour mill and the ability to investigate NBA rumours.
    • Display all-time records and statistics as well as player career stats, so that players can break records and move up the list of career leaders.
    • Expand the trading block feature so that both the user and CPU could make players “available”, thereby inviting specific offers for those players.
    • Allow users to toggle between interest, salary and years remaining on the Trade Players screen, so that we can seek out expiring contracts without too much back and forth between menus.
    • Allow multi-team trades (at least three teams)
    • Accurately represent free agency with Bird Rights, Restricted and Unrestricted Free Agency, 10 day contracts in season (when they come into effect in January), the mid-level exception and veteran/rookie minimum contracts
    • Allow trading of draft picks.
    • Include the full All-Star Weekend.
    • Dynasty Cut Scenes, similar to NBA Live 2004.
    • Better looking generated rookies (less crazy/inappropriate hair colours and mismatched facial hair) with realistic heights/weights (not too many undersized guards and centres) and abilities appropriate to their position (most point guards should at least be average to good ballhandlers, for example)
    • Have the CPU give more feedback when they reject a trade (eg this leaves us too weak at centre, we are not interested in trading Player X, etc)
    • Bring back the Confirm/Cancel dialogue box from NBA Live 2000 to represent trades being agreed to in principle/backed out of…mainly so the user can see what kind of offers will be accepted before making a decision.
    • Avoid the PDA style of waiting two days to find out if a trade is accepted; this should be done in “real time”, as it was in NBA Live 10.
    • Keep sim intervention as an option, but also allow users to simulate to the end of the game once they’ve started a game or intervened in one they were simming, if they’ve built a big lead and would like to take their chances (if possible, allow users to jump in and out of gameplay and simulation).
    • Include “analysis” screens including mock drafts, MVP candidates/project award winners, etc.
    • View boxscores from every game during the regular season, All-Star game and Playoffs.
    • Add the D-League; allow users to assign players to the D-League for development.
  • Full ESPN Integration with commentary and accurate TV-style presentation. If at all possible, TNT integration on top of that (much like the ESPN/CBS integration in NCAA Basketball 10) would be fantastic (and we could still hear Marv Albert).
  • Allow users to enter the NBA Academy from the main menu to practice certain drills and scrimmage five-on-five.
  • Add the ability to practice free throws in the NBA Academy.
  • Add the ability to save games in progress.
  • Bring back Scenario Mode.
  • Bring back the All-Star Weekend complete with Three Point Shootout and the Dunk Contest. Even if there are no major improvements to the mode, its presence spices things up and adds a bit of variety as another exhibition mode (as well as fleshing out Dynasty Mode).
  • Continue to allow users to save replays and screenshots and upload them to EA Sports World.
  • Add the ability to save boxscores and upload them to EA Sports World as well (or dump them to a text file in a PC version :)).
  • Display player career stats in table format, similar to the backs of basketball cards and in reference material such as the player profiles on NBA.com.
  • Keep the animated play diagrams.
  • Add a custom team feature similar to the one in NBA Live 2000. Ideally include custom art that consists of generic basketball-themed logos and the like, so that they can be used with a variety of custom team names.
  • Add other creation modes such as Create-a-Jersey, Create-a-Court, Create-a-Coach, Create-a-Play etc.
  • Allow editing of dunk package and all other playing style data.
  • Add a single player career mode, similar to Madden’s Superstar Mode or My Player in NBA 2K.
  • Retro and special jerseys were a welcome return in NBA Live 10. Please keep them. 🙂
  • Keep the arena specific audio and atmosphere settings introduced in NBA Live 10 along with the pre-game rituals, instant replays, “spotlight” features etc.
  • Elaborate championship celebration cutscenes which we can replay (just in case we accidentally skip them) and take screenshots of for Dynasty Stories.
  • Keep the standalone Playoffs Mode in the game. Bring back a more bare-bones single Season Mode as well (without all the extras of Dynasty Mode that relate to multi-season play).
  • Allow sharing of more files in EA Locker, including Dynasty saves, Scenarios (if Scenario Mode is included), Playoffs, settings, rosters, videos, boxscores and screenshots.
  • Allow upload/sharing of files to a public server where users can easily download files without having to send a friend request first.
  • Bring back the ability to run a give-and-go play by holding the pass button to hand off to a teammate, then release it to call for the return pass after making the cut.
  • Add moving hair for players with long hairstyles.
  • Allow users to modify aspects of the sim engine if they don’t like the default ranges for stats.

THINGS WE’D ALSO LIKE TO SEE

  • Allow users to hang on the rim after a dunk by holding the shoot button. Assess a technical if players hold for too long.
  • Add the ability to start Dynasty Mode with an expansion team.
  • Allow customisation of the soundtrack with the ability to import music files.
  • If the likeness rights can be secured, bring back Legends and the All-Decade teams from previous games.
  • Update the FIBA rosters.
  • Allow users to modify the All-Star and FIBA teams (ie add/remove players, add created players etc).
  • Show a preview of the animations for dunk packages, signature shot styles etc in the Edit Player screen.
  • Bring back the T-Meter to shoot free throws.
  • Allow users to select who they want to shoot around with in the Hangar.
  • Increase the length of auto saved replays for end of quarter scenarios.
  • Add more than one court for use in Adidas Live Run
  • Bring back Online Team Play Clubs
  • Add the ability to watch/spectate friend’s games
  • Remove the invisible barrier around the court so the ball can sail into the crowd.
  • Less restrictions on the replay camera, allow the user to go up into the nosebleeds if desired.
  • In the absence of NBA Street, include a more arcade-orientated Street Mode in NBA Live.
  • More shoes including all the Air Jordans.
  • Bring back the old team rankings/ratings on team selection screens (eg ranks in scoring, rebounding, defense, overall)

THINGS TO FIX & AVOID

  • Random crashes/lock-ups during gameplay (happened a lot after the official updates).
  • Glitched replays where the players just stand still (seemed to lead to the aforementioned crashes)
  • Quick substitution options in subs screen don’t work properly (eg selecting Starting 5 does not make any changes)
  • Players are sometimes invisible in the NBA Academy.
  • Foul out rule does not seem to be followed; players remain on the court/are able to return after picking up their sixth foul.
  • During online games, allow shot control to be recognized on each user’s side for jumpshots and freethrows so there is no need for a users compensation due to lag.
  • Correct the player lighting at the Create-a-Player/Edit Player screen to match what is shown during a 5 on 5 game.
  • Improve the performance when editing the attributes of a created players head and face. For the past couple years that screen has been very laggy. Possible by caching the files to the hard drive?
  • Improve the performance during team select and other screens by caching dynamic screen graphics such as logos and photos to the hard drive.