NLSC Podcast – Episode #220

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Episode #220 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Arcane and I have plenty to talk about following a big week of NBA 2K18 news, as well as the release of a new patch for the NBA Live 18 demo. The question is, as always, now that the show has been recorded, will any further news break over the weekend?

On this week’s show…

  • Patch 1.05 has been pushed through for the NBA Live 18 demo, and this time, we have a few patch notes. Once again, we take the opportunity to offer some further impressions of the demo, and encourage everyone to keep the feedback coming.
  • Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett will be joining NBA 2K18’s broadcasting team as special guest commentators. Unfortunately for KG, the game is only rated E10+.
  • The latest NBA 2K18 developer blogs by Scott O’Gallagher and Da_Czar have delivered a lot of promising news about improvements to AI, playcalling, and gameplay in general.
  • NBA 2K18 will see the debut of The Neighborhood, a new online open world experience that encompasses MyCAREER, 2K Pro-Am, and MyPARK (now called The Playground). It’s very cool, but we do have a few questions and concerns.
  • There will be 189 MyPLAYER Archetypes this year, with primary and secondary archetypes and hybrid styles. Excellent news, in our opinion.
  • A list of Achievements for The Prelude has been leaked, hinting at this year’s story. Mild spoiler warning!
  • We wrap up Episode #220 of the NLSC Podcast with Our Week in Basketball Gaming, which included a couple of really fun sessions of 2K Pro-Am as our season in NBA 2K17 continues to draw to a close.

Click Play to listen to the show!

Have some thoughts on the latest episode? Sound off in the comments below, or here in the Forum. Also, if there’s a topic you’d like us to discuss on the next episode of the NLSC Podcast, feel free to hit us up in this thread.

The Friday Five: 5 Teams To Use in Franchise Modes This Year

The Friday Five

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Friday Five! The Friday Five is a feature that I post every Friday in which I give my thoughts on a topic that’s related to NBA Live, NBA 2K, and other basketball video games, as well as the real NBA, and other areas of interest to our community. The feature is presented as either a list of five items, or in the form of a Top 5 countdown. This week’s Five is a list of five teams that are appealing prospects to play with in this year’s franchise modes.

We’re just a couple of weeks away from the release of NBA Live 18 and NBA 2K18! Although I anticipate spending time with modes like MyCAREER, The One, 2K Pro-Am, MyTEAM, and Ultimate Team, I’m also looking forward to returning to my roots as a franchise gamer. Given its incredible depth, MyLEAGUE will likely be my mode of choice, but I’m still undecided as to which team I’ll use. My beloved Chicago Bulls are naturally always an option, but with the team entering a rebuilding phase, they’re not exactly the most appealing squad. I can’t help but think back to my attempts to play Franchise Mode with the Ron Mercer-led Bulls in NBA Live 2001!

MyLEAGUE does offer the flexibility of controlling multiple teams, switching control of teams, and of course, creating a brand new expansion team. However, I must admit that I’d personally prefer to take control of one franchise, and a real NBA team at that. I can’t rule out trying to make things work with the Bulls, but there are quite a few interesting possibilities heading into the 2018 season. If you’re looking for a team that can be competitive out of the gate, but also provide options in terms of wheeling and dealing, here are five teams that you may want to consider using in the franchise modes of NBA Live 18 and NBA 2K18.

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Patch Notes for NBA Live 18 Demo Update 1.05

NBA Live 18 Demo: Warriors vs. Cavaliers

As we noted in Episode #218 of the NLSC Podcast a couple of weeks ago, the NBA Live 18 demo has been receiving a few official patches since its release. A new update (1.05) has just come through on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. It should come through automatically as long as you have an active Internet connection, but if you encounter any issues, try restarting your console. Xbox One users may also want to try this workaround.

There hasn’t been a lot of information about the updates so far, and the Update History on PS4 simply lists the generic “minor bug fixes” note. However, NBA Live 18 Game Designer ProjectLeet has Tweeted out some comprehensive patch notes for the latest update, which are as follows:

  • Live Run unlocked.
  • Numerous gameplay changes, which include…
    • Big men will no longer be able to perform high tier dribble moves.
    • Contested layup percentage has been tuned.
    • Big men won’t perform as many athletic reverse layups.
    • Increased Game Speed to 80.
    • Interception tuning. Fewer interceptions when players aren’t facing the ball.
    • Alley-oop frequency tuning.
    • Hard screens are less frequent.
    • Celebration tuning.
    • Box out tuning.
    • Reduced the frequency of interior shot blocking based on matchups. Slight reduction overall.
    • Various Gameplay bug fixes.
    • Improved loose ball reaction times.

The dev team at EA Tiburon certainly seem to be taking feedback on the NBA Live 18 demo quite seriously. As such, if you have any impressions that you’d like to share, feel free to post them in the comments section below, as well as in this topic. Remember, the more detailed our constructive feedback about the NBA Live 18 demo, the more adjustments that can be made to the full version via a day one patch. We’ll do our best to compile feedback and pass it along to the developers accordingly.

Details on The Neighborhood in NBA 2K18

NBA 2K18: Run The Neighborhood Event Poster

As previously announced, 2K held a live stream event for NBA 2K18 titled Run The Neighborhood. As it turns out, The Neighborhood is the name of a new experience in this year’s game that combines MyCAREER, MyPARK, and 2K Pro-Am. The three popular modes are now connected in an open world setting, where MyPLAYERs live in the titular Neighborhood. There will be several locations to visit, including stores and The Playground. Some of the key points include:

  • Players will be able to level up no matter which mode they play, whereas in previous games this was primarily achieved through grinding in MyCAREER.
  • There is an over-arching meta game called Road to 99, which rewards players for improving their Overall Rating. A unified Badge system across MyCAREER, Park, and 2K Pro-Am has also been implemented.
  • There are primary and secondary MyPLAYER Archetypes, including pure and hybrid styles. There are 189 Archetypes in all, each of which have their own assortment of attainable Bronze, Silver, and Gold Badges.
  • While the traditional MyPARK experience is gone, it’s still available in the form of pickup games that you can find in the open world of The Neighborhood.

Check out the trailer for Run The Neighborhood below, or catch it here on YouTube if you can’t see the embedded video.

We’ll be able to get a preview of NBA 2K18 via The Prelude, which will be released on September 8th. The MyNBA2K18 companion app with face scanning functionality will be released a day earlier on September 7th. What are your thoughts on the new open world career mode? Have your say in the comments section below, and join in the discussion taking place here in the NBA 2K18 section of the NLSC Forum!

New NBA 2K18 Gameplay Blog by Da_Czar

NBA 2K18: Dynamic Play Menu

Our friends over at Operation Sports have posted another exclusive NBA 2K18 developer blog, this time from the one and only Da_Czar. Following on from Scott O’Gallagher’s blog, Da_Czar discusses offensive tendencies, AI execution, and player motion in this year’s game. Once again, it’s difficult to summarise such an in-depth blog and do it justice, but here are some of the key points:

  • Playcalling and substitutions have been moved from the right stick back to the buttons. Left on the D-Pad will bring up the Dynamic Play Menu, where you can toggle through different sets and make your selection by pressing the appropriate button. Right on the D-Pad will bring up gameplan items, which you can also cycle through and then select using the face buttons. Up on the D-Pad calls a Smart Play, while Down on the D-Pad brings up the on-the-fly substitution menu.
  • NBA 2K18 will feature situational tendencies, so that players make realistic decisions based on where they get the ball and the current situation, including the quality of defender that they’re facing. Elite scorers will break plays if they believe they have an opportunity to score against their current match-up.
  • Several improvements have been made to the way AI players execute offensively, such as spotting up or cutting to the basket in transition, as well as their awareness of mismatches, numbers advantages, and defender positioning.
  • The new motion engine improves player movement, allowing seamless changes in direction and avoiding a feeling of getting stuck in animations.
  • There will be a noticeable difference in tempo between teams, according to real life data.

Be sure to check out the blog over on OS for the full scoop, as well as several screenshots and video clips that demonstrate what Da_Czar is talking about. As always, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below, as well as join in the discussion in our NBA 2K18 Forum.

Top Ten Players Overall & By Position in NBA 2K18

NBA 2K18: Top 10 Players

Over the past few days, 2K has been releasing screenshots revealing the top ten players at each position in NBA 2K18, as well as the overall top ten active players. The ten best active players and their Overall Ratings in this year’s game are as follows:

  1. LeBron James (97 Overall)
  2. Kevin Durant (96 Overall)
  3. Kawhi Leonard (95 Overall)
  4. Jame Harden (95 Overall)
  5. Stephen Curry (94 Overall)
  6. Russell Westbrook (94 Overall)
  7. Anthony Davis (94 Overall)
  8. DeMarcus Cousins (92 Overall)
  9. Paul George (91 Overall)
  10. Giannis Antetokounmpo (91 Overall)

See below for the full position-by-position list. Sixteen players are rated 90 Overall or higher in NBA 2K18, an increase over recent games in the series which have seen as few as five active players rated in the 90s at launch. On another interesting note, despite a previous screenshot listing his Overall Rating as being 84, it seems that Dwyane Wade will instead have a rating of 82.

As always, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below, as well as in our NBA 2K18 Forum.

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Wayback Wednesday: Legends & Champs Rosters for NBA Live

Isiah Thomas in the Legends Roster for NBA Live 2000

This is Wayback Wednesday, your midweek blast from the past! In this feature, we dig into the archives, look back at the history of basketball gaming, and indulge in some nostalgia. Check in every Wednesday for retrospectives and other features on older versions of NBA Live, NBA 2K, and old school basketball video games in general. You’ll also find old NLSC editorials re-published with added commentary, and other flashback content. This week, I’m taking a look back at the Legends and Champs rosters for NBA Live on PC.

The announcement that NBA 2K18 will be receiving new historical content, not only in the form of additional classic teams but also All-Time squads, drew a lot of excitement from gamers who are also enthusiastic NBA history buffs. While there have been omissions and other issues, historical content is something that the 2K series has generally done a great job with since NBA 2K11. Of course, as more than a couple of people have pointed out here and on social media, All-Time Teams are not a completely original concept, as many fan-made rosters featuring such squads have been created in recent years.

However, the concept goes back a lot further than that. Rosters comprised of All-Time squads date all the way back to the early days of patching NBA Live on PC, as Lutz’s Legends rosters demonstrate. For that matter, the concept of classic teams was also utilised by his Champs rosters. It’s been a while and a lot of newer basketball gamers probably aren’t aware of those influential mods, so let’s take a look back…way back…

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NBA 2K18 AI Improvements Blog; MyNBA2K18 Cover Announced

NBA 2K18: System Proficiency

A new developer blog for NBA 2K18 has been posted exclusively over at Operation Sports. The latest insight is from Scott O’Gallagher, with OG breaking down the improvements to artificial intelligence in this year’s game. It’s a lengthy read with some great news and detailed information, and as such, it’s hard to do it justice with a quick summary. However, here are some of the key points that Scott touches upon:

  • The Adaptive Coaching Engine has received a lot of attention, in order to weed out flaws from previous games.
  • Positioning is improved, with players being more aware of the situation. Players will also recognise sets and make adjustments accordingly.
  • Elite defenders have much better awareness. However, if an AI player can’t see the ball (i.e. has their back to the play), they will make errors and be slower to react with help defense.
  • More team specific defensive schemes have been added, there are new animations for double teams, rotations and help angles are improved, and there are better mismatch adjustments.
  • Zone defense is feasible in 2K Pro-Am without taking a hit to your teammate grade.
  • Authenticity is optimised for Superstar and Hall of Fame difficulty levels.
  • There is a Defensive Communication setting that when enabled, instructs you on what you’re supposed to do defensively.
  • System Proficiency, which will affect all modes in NBA 2K18, emphasises the importance of matching the right players with the right coach and sets. This affects team building strategies in MyLEAGUE/MyGM and MyTEAM, as well as the on-court experience.

Scott has also included a bunch of brief gameplay clips that demonstrate exactly what he’s talking about. Be sure to check out the blog on OS for the full scoop!

2K have also revealed the cover player for MyNBA2K18, the companion app for NBA 2K18. This year’s cover player is Kristaps Porzingas of the New York Knicks; see below for the cover art. MyNBA2K18 is set for release on September 7th, just in time for this year’s Prelude on September 8th.

As always, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below, as well as in the NBA 2K18 section of the NLSC Forum!

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NBA 2K18 Special Guest Commentary Trailer; Gameplay Videos

NBA 2K18: Shaquille O'Neal vs. Kevin Garnett

Confirming the EB Games Australia leak, 2K Sports have released a new NBA 2K18 trailer announcing guest commentary in this year’s game. Future Hall of Famers Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett will join the broadcasting teams in NBA 2K18, making guest appearances on a rotating basis.

As demonstrated in the trailer, Kobe and KG will share anecdotes about their playing days and provide their thoughts on the current generation of players. Both legends have a history with the NBA 2K series, with KG appearing on the cover of NBA 2K9, while Kobe appeared on the covers of NBA 2K10, and more recently, the Legend Edition of NBA 2K17. Kobe also made a cameo appearance in Shaquille O’Neal’s trailer for the Legend Edition of NBA 2K18.

The latest trailer also features more gameplay clips from cinematic angles, notably featuring cover player Kyrie Irving wearing #11 for the Boston Celtics. While the status of that trade is currently in question, 2K have indicated plans to issue a new cover as necessary.

Check out the trailer below, or catch it here on YouTube if you can’t see the embedded video.

Speaking of gameplay, a handful of videos from the recent Gamestop expo are making the rounds. They are filmed over the shoulder and off-screen, so that’s something to keep in mind when evaluating what you see. In any event, you can check those out below, as well as in this topic in the NLSC Forum. Feel free to share your impressions of the trailer, and the new gameplay videos, in the comments section below!

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Monday Tip-Off: Metacritic Scores & Basketball Games

Giannis Antetolounmpo dunks the basketball in NBA Live 18.

We’re at midcourt, and the ball is about to go up…it’s Monday Tip-Off! Start your week here at the NLSC with a feature that’s dedicated to opinions, commentary, and other fun stuff related to NBA Live, NBA 2K, and other basketball video games. This week, I’m tipping things off with a few thoughts on Metacritic scores, and how they relate to basketball games.

We’re less than three weeks away from the release of NBA Live 18 and NBA 2K18. It won’t be long before publications are getting their hands on the finished games, and vying to be the first to post their reviews. The most glowing reviews will be shared by the games’ official social media accounts, while we basketball gamers discuss the merits of each reviewer’s critique. At the end of the day, however, their approval or disapproval of each game will contribute to their respective Metacritic scores. Like all developers, both EA Sports and Visual Concepts will be hoping for the best result possible, as Metacritic scores are the yardstick for successful releases.

Generally speaking, that’s an understandable approach. While there can certainly be a disconnect between the opinions of professional reviewers and the general public, along with sales, Metacritic scores are a reasonable barometer for a game’s success. At the same time, when it comes to basketball games, and sports games in general for that matter, I’d argue that they’re not always accurate or fair. I’m not a huge fan of awarding numerical scores to games of any genre, and as far as basketball games are concerned, the extent to which the importance of Metacritic scores can be overblown is comparable to the overemphasis on overall ratings in the games themselves.

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EB Games Australia Leaks New NBA 2K18 Details

NBA 2K18: Kobe Bryant

As reported by The Gaming Tailgate and Operation Sports, the listing for NBA 2K18 on EB Games Australia has leaked a few new details about this year’s game. The information has since been removed from the listing, but a screenshot has preserved the details that were revealed, which are as follows:

MyPLAYER. Build your career in NBA games, hit the courts in the Playground or join the Pro-Am circuit. Featuring new MyPLAYER upgrade and endorsement systems and so much more.

MyTEAM. Collect and compete with player cards featuring NBA legends from yesterday and today. Construct a salary-capped team for the all-new Super Max season mode, or draft cards for a 5v5 tournament in the new Pack & Playoffs mode.

ELITE GAMEPLAY. The new motion system engine brings player control to a new level of realism. Now, dribbling and off the ball movement are no longer driven by animations. This groundbreaking technology dynamically creates animations to deliver the best gameplay experience possible. You are now in complete control.

SPECIAL GUEST COMMENTARY. The biggest roster of broadcasting talent in sports videogame history gets even bigger. Legends Kobe Bryant and Kevin Garnett join the booth on a rotating basis to lend their expertise to the broadcast.

LEGENDARY TEAMS. The greatest players in NBA history from all 30 teams, together on all-time franchise rosters for the very first time. Compete in Play Now to decide once and for all which franchise’s all-time greats reign supreme.

In addition to Kobe and KG joining the NBA 2K18 broadcasting team, it’s interesting to note that MyPARK appears to have been renamed to Playground. Alternatively, that may simply be a mistake, similar to an earlier hands-on impression article that erroneously referred to MyTEAM as “MyDYNASTY”, leading to speculation of a new mode.

These details are obviously still subject to official confirmation, though we’ll likely know more after the upcoming “Run the Neighborhood” Facebook event on August 31st. In the meantime, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below, as well as in our NBA 2K18 Forum.

File Additions for NBA 2K10

NBA 2K10 Cover Art

It isn’t very often that we get any file additions for NBA 2K10 PC these days, but a new mod was recently added to our Downloads database. MarkelleFultz76 has released a pack of court and jersey updates for the Utah Jazz, which you can check out at the link below.

Utah Jazz Jerseys and Court

NLSC Podcast – Episode #219

NLSC Podcast Logo

Episode #219 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Kenny returns to the show this week, joining Arcane and I in a discussion of all the latest topics of interest to our community, including further NBA Live 18 demo impressions, the new historical content in NBA 2K18, and the Kyrie Irving trade.

On this week’s show…

  • We tip off the show with some further impressions of the NBA Live 18 demo. The game has also been receiving some support in IGN’s Player’s Choice Awards.
  • Arcane is running a Madden 18 giveaway for PlayStation 4. Entries close August 31st, so get them in ASAP!
  • All of the new classic teams in NBA 2K18 have been revealed, including an additional seventeenth squad. The full lineups for the All-Time Teams have also been posted. We share a few opinions on the new historical content.
  • With Kyrie Irving being traded to the Boston Celtics, it seems that a new cover for NBA 2K18 will be issued at some point.
  • An upcoming Facebook event will provide us with details on MyCAREER in NBA 2K18. We speculate on this year’s story, based on the event name and hashtag.
  • Our Week in Basketball Gaming included 2K Pro-Am cheese – surprise, surprise – and MyLEAGUE success.
  • Backing up a little, we talk about the Kyrie Irving trade in more depth. Did the Cavs make a steal in the deal?
  • We wrap up Episode #219 of the NLSC Podcast by picking our Ultimate Australian 3-on-3 squads.

Click Play to listen to the show!

Have some thoughts on the latest episode? Sound off in the comments below, or here in the Forum. Also, if there’s a topic you’d like us to discuss on the next episode of the NLSC Podcast, feel free to hit us up in this thread.

The Friday Five: 5 Changes I’d Make To The NLSC & Community

The Friday Five

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Friday Five! The Friday Five is a feature that I post every Friday in which I give my thoughts on a topic that’s related to NBA Live, NBA 2K, and other basketball video games, as well as the real NBA, and other areas of interest to our community. The feature is presented as either a list of five items, or in the form of a Top 5 countdown. This week’s Five discusses some of the changes I’d like to make to the NLSC and our community in general.

Tomorrow marks my sixteenth anniversary as webmaster/administrator of the NLSC. I took over the site from Tim on August 26th 2001, a little less than two months before my seventeenth birthday. In other words, at this point I’ve basically been running the site for half of my life, which is kind of an overwhelming thought to be honest! I’ve had my ups and downs during that time – personally, professionally, and with the NLSC itself – but I don’t regret taking the gig for a minute. It’s given me a lot of creative satisfaction, fascinating insight into one of my favourite hobbies, and some tremendous opportunities.

Like a lot of people, I often look at milestones and anniversaries as an opportunity to reflect and take stock of things. It doesn’t pay to dwell too much on the past, but no matter what you’re doing, it’s important to learn from experience. One of my goals is to keep the NLSC relevant and maintain a certain level of quality, while also looking to get even better. I’d like to think that I’ve had some success in that regard, but at the same time, there’s still work to be done. I may be covering some familiar ground here, but as I look forward to bigger and better things, here are five changes that I’d like to make to the NLSC and our corner of the basketball gaming community.

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Full All-Time Team Rosters Revealed for NBA 2K18

NBA 2K18: All-Time Los Angeles Lakers

In the wake of the All-Time Teams trailer, the full rosters for all of the new All-Time Squads in NBA 2K18 have been revealed. 2K posted the roster listings over on the game’s official Facebook page, indicating the starters and revealing all of the players’ overall ratings.

As many gamers and a few publications covering NBA 2K18 have noted, there are some glaring omissions. Charles Barkley and Reggie Miller are two of the most noticeable absentees, as it would seem that 2K Sports were still unable to secure their likeness rights. The 1992 Dream Team is reportedly in the game again this year, so presumably Barkley will at least be included on that squad. Other noteworthy absentees include Moses Malone, Rasheed Wallace, Brandon Roy, and Gilbert Arenas. Of course, the new content still gives our modding community a tremendous head start this year.

See below for the full roster listings, and don’t forget to check out the trailer if you haven’t already seen it. What are your thoughts on the All-Time Teams? Have your say in the comments section below, and feel free to join in the discussion here in the NBA 2K18 section of the NLSC Forum.

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