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NBA Live 09 Wishlist

This year we’re changing the format slightly. In the past, we simply separated a list of wishes for the upcoming game into different sections and compiled a shortlist of the most popular wishes. While this year’s list still aims to be detailed and comprehensive, we’re going with a new format that will hopefully better emphasise the things we feel the game needs, some other important additions or improvements that we’d like to see followed by miscellaneous suggestions for the new game.

Here’s a quick rundown of the new format:

ESSENTIALS: As the name implies, this section is for all the things we feel the game needs to have. In contrast to previous Wishlists that focused on missing elements and additions we’d like to see, this section may also including existing features that we don’t want to lose (such as Player Lock); in other words, all the elements we feel need to make up NBA Live. It will also include all “must fix” items, such as the sim engine and issues related to gameplay AI and Dynasty logic. Items in this section have the highest priority.

THINGS WE’D ALSO LIKE TO SEE: These items need not be essential for most players but will be comprised of much talked about and popular ideas for the series, as well as some. This section could probably best be summed up as things we’d like to see but their absence will not be as big a deal as an item missing from the Essentials section. Items in this section generally have lower priority.

THINGS TO FIX & AVOID: A shortlist of prominent and recurring bugs that get in the way of the game or otherwise bother us.

ESSENTIALS

  • Port the PC version from the Xbox 360/Playstation 3 version rather than the Playstation 2 version.
  • Balance the shot distribution so that it is realistic (ie no position domination, correct players taking the most amount of shots).
  • Ensure that all players (no matter what the position) fatigue and are automatically substituted at the same rate, according to their Fatigue ratings.
  • Have each team run the specific plays they do in real life so that each team has its own distinct style and plays the same as their real life counterparts.
  • Have players behave like their real life counterparts with different levels of logic, eg Steve Nash looks to pass but will also look to score if given the opportunity or the team needs it, Kobe Bryant looks to score first but can also find his teammates, etc.
  • Adjust the simulation engine so that all players get true to life statistics based on their real counterparts, including bench players who normally play a significant amount of minutes.
  • Allow players to reorder their rosters through the traditional method (ie the same Reorder Rosters screen that is accessible from the main menu) in Dynasty Mode, so that players can easily change their starting lineup and bench order.
  • Allow players to set their rotations (but make this separate from ability to reorder the rosters).
  • Allow players to toggle between interest and contract information (size and length) on the Trade Players screen.
  • Include the Free Agent negotiation mini-game and trading/counteroffer system from the Xbox 360/Playstation 3 version of NBA Live 08.
  • Reduce the number of trades involving star players and eliminate wildly unbalanced trades (ie stars for role players) that sometimes occur between CPU teams in Dynasty Mode.
  • Improved selection of All-Star teams, All-NBA teams and individual award winners in Dynasty Mode.
  • East & West Player/Rookie of the Week/Month in Dynasty Mode.
  • Adjust generated rookies so there are less undersized players, guards with low dribbling abilities and poor speed/quickness ratings and players whose height and weight is out of proportion (eg 5’11” point guards who weigh around 230 lbs).
  • Factor playing time into player progression/development.
  • Allow players to save games in progress so that they can finish them at a later time.
  • Include Scenario Mode.
  • Include Player Lock.
  • Include the ability to save statistics screens, boxscores, screenshots and replays in all game modes.
  • Allow players to select a 29, 58 or 82 game season in Dynasty Mode.
  • Allow the creation of custom teams using a set of generic basketball themed art (or custom art we create ourselves)
  • Add the ability to hire and fire head coaches in addition to other team staff.
  • Allow player accessories to be modified in Edit Player.
  • Include as many sliders as possible so that we can tailor gameplay aspects to suit our needs.
  • Allow all gameplay sliders to be modified for online play.
  • Discourage cheating in online play by punishing players who intentionally disconnect with a loss. This could perhaps be made fair by calling the result according to the current score when a disconnection occurs since most intentional disconnections happen when a sore loser has fallen behind.
  • User profiles with the ability to track individual user stats.
  • Display career stats in table format (ie similar to NBA.com and the back of trading cards) complete with career totals.
  • Include a database of first and last names so that generated and created players can be assigned commentator/PA audio.
  • Include Signature shooting styles and Go To Moves. Allow the user to manually trigger Go To Moves videos in Practice Mode.
  • Add an expanded Practice Mode that allows players to practice free throw shooting and other aspects of the game.
  • Allow the user to toggle the frequency of automatic replays.
  • Utilise a more PC friendly user interface with the PC version that takes advantage of the mouse (drop down and pop-up menus, use of the scroll wheel, etc).
  • Add the ability to control more than one team in Dynasty Mode or allow the users to switch teams more readily and easily.
  • Place more focus on ratings so there are fewer overrated rookies/underrated players.

THINGS WE’D ALSO LIKE TO SEE

  • Single player career mode similar to Madden.
  • Ability to track career milestones and break NBA records.
  • All-Star voting in Dynasty Mode.
  • Larger roster of international teams for the FIBA World Championship Mode.
  • Team rankings in team selection screens (Scoring, Defense, Rebounding, Ball Control, Overall etc) similar to early NBA Live games.
  • The skills challenge and shooting stars contest in the NBA All-Star Weekend
  • Include retro jerseys for all teams in all versions of the game.
  • Include Legends (including as many from the 90s who have disappeared over the last few years as possible) in all versions of the game.
  • Weekly highlight/recap shows & fictional news articles in Dynasty Mode.
  • More variation of musical genres in the soundtrack and/or the ability to easily import our own music.

THINGS TO FIX & AVOID

  • Blocked shots counting for two missed field goal attempts instead of one.
  • Player indicator disappearing when making a substitution through the pause menu.
  • Lengthy loading times for the Xbox 360 version.
  • Players stepping out of bounds or committing backcourt violations that aren’t called.
  • Various graphical/clipping issues where players pass through one another or appear to be sitting on thin air instead of on the bench and coaches walking through the scorers table.
  • Three point line in FIBA World Championship court inaccurate.
  • Database errors (eg incorrect player bio data, positions, weird ratings).