The Friday Five: 5 Biggest Improvements in Basketball Games

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 what I feel have been the five biggest improvements in basketball games over the past two decades.

After I grumbled about the current state of the preview season at the beginning of the week, we ended up getting the first NBA 2K18 screenshots, and a ton of exciting information about MyLEAGUE and MyGM. Although I stand by my comparisons to the way previews were handled in years gone by, and my point about EA Sports’ missed opportunity to keep hyping NBA Live 18, it does seem as though this year’s preview season is finally getting into gear. As I said, the news we’ve just received regarding improvements to MyLEAGUE and MyGM is exciting, and hopefully the good news will keep rolling out for both basketball games in the coming weeks.

Needless to say, for all the promising tidbits we’ll hear, there’ll be a healthy amount of scepticism. It’s understandable, because both NBA Live and NBA 2K have their own frustrating legacy issues, some of which have been bothering basketball gamers for many years. Of course, with new releases coming out every year, it can be difficult to appreciate just how much basketball games have improved over time. Even though we still have valid complaints, basketball games have indeed come a long way since their early predecessors. Let’s take a look at the aspects of basketball gaming that have seen the most progress; the biggest improvements in basketball games, if you will.

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Details on MyLEAGUE & MyGM in NBA 2K18

Joel Embiid in NBA 2K18's MyGM

The first developer blog for NBA 2K18 has been posted, and it’s a treat for fans of franchise modes. Written by Senior Producer Erick Boenisch, it describes the changes and improvements to MyLEAGUE, MyLEAGUE Online, and MyGM in great detail. A quick breakdown is as follows:

  • MyGM (now titled MyGM: The Next Chapter) will now feature a story, similar to MyCAREER. Gamers will still retain control over gameplay and team building features. It will also have a few more customisation options.
  • MyLEAGUE will retain its large suite of customisation features, and familiar sandbox approach.
  • The 2017 NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement will be accurately reflected, including aspects such as Super Max Contracts, updated salary figures, Stretch Provisions, Two-Way Contracts, the Hardship Exception, and so on. New rule changes such as the number of timeouts have also been implemented.
  • G-League (formerly the D-League) Integration. No G-League games are playable, but players can be sent there to help with their development.
  • The Free Agent Moratorium is in the game. As in real life, no signings will be made official during that period, but you can come to binding verbal agreements with players. Cap holds and renounced rights are also now included.
  • International Draftees can remain overseas, and rights to players can be traded during the Draft. Draft Class generation has also been improved.
  • Re-branding options have been enhanced with additions such as alternate uniforms, and the ability to redesign a team’s court without also redesigning the whole arena. Relocation and re-branding options are also available in MyLEAGUE Online, and there are new cities to relocate to.
  • All-Star Game hosts will be selected each offseason, and will have their own generated designs, rather than generic All-Star courts.
  • Players will have attributes that determine how frequently they wear each type of accessory (Never, Rarely, Sometimes, Often, Always). Jumpshot Creator can also be used for any player, quick editing has been expanded, and created players can be added to a MyLEAGUE game already in progress.
  • The ability to practice plays is back.
  • There is a new Analytics Tool, better functionality when searching for community creations, and other features that make various customisation and administration tasks easier.

Check out the blog for the full scoop! A few screenshots were also released with the blog, which you can check out below, or here in our NBA 2K18 Screenshots Gallery. Got any thoughts? Feel free to share them in the comments below, as well as here in the NBA 2K18 section of the NLSC Forum.

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File Additions for NBA 2K17

NBA 2K17 Cover Art

Today’s selection of file additions for NBA 2K17 PC includes player faces, new jerseys, and shoes. Download all of the latest mod releases at the links below!

advinXcola
Ante Zizic Face

TGsoGood
Jonathan Isaac Lookalike Face
Frank Ntilikina Face
ZO2 Show Time
ZO2 (Editable Colorways)
Dennis Smith Jr Face
Lonzo Ball Face (2017 Summer League Version)
CP3 X AE (2 Colorways Included)

Issy
OG Anunoby Face
Justin Jackson Face

Shuajota
Sacramento Kings Jerseys 2017-2018

Wayback Wednesday: Tweaked Roster Updates

Cover player Jason Kidd dribbles the basketball in NBA Live 2003

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 tweaked roster updates for NBA Live.

One of the key elements of roster updates, be they official updates or community-made rosters, is tweaking player ratings for more realistic performance. Whether it’s correcting the guesswork that’s originally needed when assigning ratings for a rookie player, or accounting for a drastic change in performance compared to the previous season, adjusting player attributes is an important part of creating a desirable gameplay experience. In some cases, gamers have ended up making major adjustments to all players, in order to counteract gameplay quirks and try to inject a little more realism into the game. These were known as tweaked roster updates.

It’s an outdated practice now, but many years ago, creating a tweaked version of a roster was considered a necessity if you wanted to try and enhance the experience for your fellow NBA Live gamers. Let’s take a look back…way back…

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NBA Playgrounds Patch 1.3.0 Released (PS4 & PC)

Online Menu in NBA Playgrounds (1.3.0)

As noted in yesterday’s bulletin, the next big patch for NBA Playgrounds was expected “later this Summer”. However, it turns out that PlayStation 4 and PC users didn’t have to wait very long at all, as the new update, Patch 1.3.0, has been pushed through on both platforms. It should download automatically as long as you have an active Internet connection, but if you encounter any problems, restart your console or Steam client.

The patch adds over 30 new players to the game, including commentators E.J. Johnson and Ian Eagle, as well a few more YouTubers. Additional versions of several players have also been added on other teams that they played for. Key feature additions include an online three-point shootout, a friends invitation system, rebounding indicator, and additional online play options. Notable adjustments and fixes include the difficulty of tournaments, the amount of XP gained in tournament games, and resolutions for a couple of technical issues.

See below for the full patch notes. Feel free to share your impressions in the comments section below, as well as in the NBA Playgrounds topic in the NLSC Forum. There’s no word on when the patch will hit the Xbox One and Nintendo Switch, but hopefully it shouldn’t be too much longer.

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File Additions for NBA 2K13

NBA 2K13 Cover Art

Today’s file additions for NBA 2K13 PC feature a collection of roster updates, including 2017 season offseason rosters and retro season mods. In addition to the latest version of U R Basketball, PatTheHead’s pack has been updated with Slimm44’s rosters from 1960-2017. Check out all of the latest releases at the links below!

PatTheHead
1946/47 to 1984/85 ABA + NBA Seasons (Updated to v4.5)

Skoadam & Slimm44 & PatTheHead
URB 2K13 Roster Files (Updated to v3.3)
2K13 U R Basketball V51 [34 Complete Seasons Mods] + Accurate 17-18 Roster/Rotations [ALL Transactions 16.07.17] (Updated, July 16th)

Details on Big Content Update for NBA Playgrounds

A game of NBA Playgrounds

Following last week’s teaser, the big new content update for NBA Playgrounds has been officially announced. In an interview with Game Informer, Saber Interactive’s Matthew Karch revealed some details on the forthcoming fixes and content updates for the game. He also mentions the game’s success, noting that so far it has sold a combined 500,000 copies on PC, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox One, and touches on the possibility of sequels down the road.

One of the improvements that we can expect is a further tweak to pack odds, guaranteeing that new players will be included in all packs. Matthew also noted the possibility of including a one-time “pay to unlock everyone” option, though he admits that he’s not a big fan of such mechanics. A preview video has also confirmed improvements to the rebounding system, 33 new players (including commentator Ian Eagle), friend invitations, and a three-point shootout. The possibility of adding a three-point shootout post-release had been mentioned in previews of the game.

There isn’t a specific release date for the update at this time, except to say that it will be coming “later this Summer” (or Winter, for those of us in the Southern Hemisphere). When the update does drop however, it will be available on all four platforms.

What do you think of NBA Playgrounds so far, and the new update that’s in the pipeline? Have your say in the comments section below, as well as in this topic in the NLSC Forum. Thanks to zzcoolj21 for the heads up!

First Look NBA 2K18 Screenshots Released

NBA 2K18: Isaiah Thomas First Look

Visual Concepts has released three “first look” screenshots of NBA 2K18. The screens, which feature Team 2K members Paul George, DeMar DeRozan, and Isaiah Thomas, provide us with our first glimpse of the game’s lighting effects, player faces, and body models. The new Nike uniforms are also on display. Check them out below, as well as in our newly added NBA 2K18 screenshots gallery.

As noted in the discussion taking place in the NLSC Forum, the aesthetics appear to be very similar to NBA 2K17. This isn’t a huge surprise of course, as the development team obviously has a certain aesthetic in mind, and the largest leaps in graphics quality occur between generations of hardware.

What are your thoughts on these first look screenshots? When do you think we’ll start seeing some gameplay footage and developer blogs? Have your say in the comments section below, as well as in the aforementioned topic in the NLSC Forum!

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Monday Tip-Off: What Happened To The Preview Season?

The NBA Live 18 Preview Season is Underway

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 another underwhelming start to the preview season.

In recent episodes of the NLSC Podcast, as well as bulletins covering tidbits about NBA Live 18 and NBA 2K18, I’ve talked about this year’s preview season being a little slow to get underway. It’s frustrating, as I found myself discussing the same issue around this time last year. I had hoped that with the return of NBA Live, we might also see a return to the days where there was a constant stream of preview media and information about the upcoming games. Instead, it’s been the same trickle of info, and relative radio silence from both EA Sports and Visual Concepts.

We obviously know that NBA Live 18 and NBA 2K18 are coming out, and we’ve seen glimpses and heard a detail or two here and there, but that’s it. We know what NBA 2K18’s pre-order bonuses are, but we haven’t heard anything about new features or improvements. We do know a little more about NBA Live 18 coming out of EA Play, but the hype train stopped rolling shortly afterwards. With the way info is held back until it’s almost too late, it’s difficult not to ask the question: what happened to the preview season?

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Changes to Modding Sections in the NLSC Forum

NLSC Forum

As announced in the NLSC Forum last week, a few changes have been made to our modding sections, effective as of today. Those changes are as follows:

  • Contributors will have access to create new topics in the Tutorials section.
  • The individual Releases & Previews sections will be renamed Modding, and all modding-related discussions – releases, previews, requests, help and development – will be welcome there.
  • The Tutorials & FAQ sections will remain separate to avoid their respective Modding sections getting cluttered by pinned topics, and ensure those resources are easier to find.

The first change is intended to make it easier for our Contributors to add to the various Tutorials & FAQs subsections, as they will not have to wait for their newly created topic to be moved by a moderator. All members are of course welcome to contribute resources which will then be moved to the Tutorials & FAQs sections as soon as possible, but Contributors will be able to post there directly.

We’ve decided to consolidate all modding discussion into central subsections as the old practice of having separate sections for requests, help, and mod releases and previews proved to be overkill, leading to unused and redundant sections. The more recent solution of simply having Releases & Previews sections with requests and help belonging in the main discussion section was unclear, and therefore somewhat confusing. These consolidated modding sections are intended to eliminate that confusion, as well as reduce the likelihood of off-topic posts and posts going unanswered.

If you have any questions or concerns about this revamp to the NLSC Forum, please let me know, and I’ll try to provide further clarification. As I mentioned in the Forum thread, we may end up moving the Tutorials & FAQs subsections so that they’re under the Modding sections, in order to make them more visible and easily accessible directly from those sections.

File Additions for NBA 2K14

NBA 2K14 Cover Art

It’s time to catch up on the latest file additions for NBA 2K14 PC! Although the game is a few years old now, our modding community has been quite busy bringing it up to date. The latest additions include new versions of U R Basketball and Med’s NBA Roster, both updated with offseason transactions, and a bunch of new rookie faces from Blang and Devilish. Download them all at the links below!

Blang
Robert Williams Face
Alex Caruso Face
Nick Richards Face
Jawun Evans Face
Abdel Nader Face
Cameron Reddish Face
Royce O’Neal Face
Sindarius Thornwell Face
Zion Williamson Face
Dillon Brooks Face

Devilish
Dwayne Bacon Face
Donovan Mitchell Face
Edmond Sumner Face
Monte Morris Face
Tyler Dorsey Face
Frank Mason III Face

Medevenx
Med’s NBA Roster Appdata Files (Updated, July 21st)

skoadam
2K14 U R Basketball V51 [34 Complete Seasons Mods] + Accurate 17-18 Roster/Rotations [ALL Transactions 16/07/17] (Updated, July 16th)

NBA 2K18 Soundtrack Revealed; Includes Range of Genres

As originally reported by our friends over at Operation Sports and discussed in Episode #214 of the NLSC Podcast, the NBA 2K18 Soundtrack has been revealed. As has been the case with the past few NBA 2K soundtracks, the entire playlist is available to listen to on Spotify.

Glancing at the track list, you’ll notice that there’s a mix of genres, with recent songs and old favourites alike. Portland Trail Blazers’ star Damian Lillard (aka Dame D.O.L.L.A) notably has a couple of songs on the NBA 2K18 Soundtrack, specifically “Wasatch Front” and the hidden track “Shot Clock”.

Although the soundtrack is hardly the most important part of a basketball video game, it always tends to be a point of interest. Hopefully more substantial information about NBA 2K18 isn’t too far away, but for now, you can at least make plans to cue up your favourite songs in this year’s game, or mute the soundtrack in favour of listening to something else while you play.

Check out the full track list below or here in our Wiki, and feel free to leave any thoughts in the comments. You can also jump into the discussion here in the Forum, where members of the community have also offered their thoughts on what kind of music they’d prefer to have in the game.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #214

NLSC Podcast Logo

Episode #214 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Join Arcane and I as we discuss the latest NBA 2K18 tidbits including player ratings and the newly announced soundtrack, catch up on a couple of other recent news stories, and recap our past week in basketball gaming.

On this week’s show…

  • A recent promo shoot for NBA 2K18 has revealed some early player ratings. The players themselves were on hand to hear them, and not all of them were pleased with what they heard!
  • The soundtrack for NBA 2K18 has been revealed. We’re neither thrilled nor upset with the selection, but we do wish that we were getting some more substantial details about this year’s game.
  • A significant content update is in the pipeline for NBA Playgrounds. New tournaments seem quite likely, but could we also see a slam dunk contest and three-point shootout added to the game?
  • Five copies of NBA Elite 11 have been listed on eBay for $30,000 US. Glancing at our bank accounts, we might have to pass on making an offer. We do ponder how much we’d pay for a copy, though.
  • Our Week in Basketball gaming included a so-so run in 2K Pro-Am, and some head-to-head games against each other in NBA Playgrounds.
  • Paul Pierce has signed with the Boston Celtics, in order to retire a Boston Celtic. It seems to be a new trend with retiring players, and honestly, we don’t mind it.
  • We wrap up Episode #214 of the NLSC Podcast with some thoughts on the new jersey designations that the NBA will be using moving forward.

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 Overpowered Badges in NBA 2K17

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 Badges in NBA 2K17 that are overpowered.

Badges have become an important gameplay mechanic in NBA 2K. Like their predecessors, Signature Skills, they provide players with additional traits and abilities in order to realistically represent their performance and playing style. They cover a range of offensive and defensive abilities, as well as mental traits. If you’re playing MyCAREER, 2K Pro-Am, or MyPARK, attaining Badges is absolutely crucial if you want your player to be as effective as possible. In NBA 2K17, a Gold or Hall of Fame level Badge makes a huge difference in being able to finish in traffic, knock down long threes, thread the needle on difficult passes, and so on.

As I mentioned in my Wayback Wednesday retrospective on Freestyle Superstars, concepts such as Badges represent continued innovation in terms of differentiating between players beyond their common ratings, and representing individual styles of play. While Badges have generally yielded more realistic results than Freestyle Superstars, at times they can be just as cheesy in their own right. A few Badges in NBA 2K17 are definitely overpowered, and could stand to be fine tuned for NBA 2K18. These aren’t the only problematic Badges, of course, but they are five prominent examples that immediately come to mind for me.

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File Additions for NBA Live 08

NBA Live 08 Cover Art

Catching up on the latest file additions for NBA Live 08 PC, we have one new upload from Book_Gazette, namely 2017 offseason rosters. Check out the update at the link below!

Book_Gazette
2017 Offseason Rosters

As with Book_Gazette’s other roster releases, I must reiterate that I’m not involved with them, so I can’t take any credit or offer any support. If you have any issues with or feedback about the roster, please contact him directly.