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.
As I write this, I’ve finished pre-loading NBA 2K17 PC, and am waiting for the Day One patch for the PlayStation 4 version to finish downloading. With any luck, it won’t be long before I’m playing one or the other (most likely the PS4 version), and getting the ball into the air for the Early Tip-Off Weekend. I spent some time playing through The Prelude last weekend, and I’m feeling very optimistic that I have an enjoyable year of NBA 2K gaming ahead of me.
While I’m preparing to get my hands on the full version of NBA 2K17, I’ve been thinking about some of the things that I want to do with this year’s game. With so many deep and robust game modes, there should be something for every basketball gamer, and perhaps more than any of us can truly sink our teeth into in the space of a year. Of course, with NBA Live 17 not coming out until early 2017, I won’t be splitting my time between EA and 2K on the virtual hardwood, at least for a few more months. With that in mind, here are five goals that I have for NBA 2K17.
1. Begin (and stick with) a MyLEAGUE Game
Even though I’ve long described myself as being a franchise mode gamer, I have to admit that I haven’t spent a lot of time in those modes these past few years. I was drawn into MyCAREER in NBA 2K13, have taken more than a passing interest in MyTEAM, and despite traditionally not being much of an online gamer, spent most of my time with NBA 2K16 playing 2K Pro-Am. It’s a shame because some incredible work has gone into MyLEAGUE and MyGM these past couple of years, yet all my attempts at starting a MyLEAGUE game last year didn’t pan out. Franchise modes are closer to being everything I’ve always wanted, and yet I’m not playing them.
However, it seems as though NBA 2K17 will be a great time to get back into franchise gaming, and finally get stuck into a MyLEAGUE game. I personally prefer MyLEAGUE to MyGM, as there’s no VC paywalls, and I find the customisation and sandbox elements more appealing than the RPG-like approach of MyGM. It’s just a matter of figuring out what I want to do, and letting myself get immersed in the experience. The Chicago Bulls are always an appealing choice, but there’s also Ben Simmons and the rebuilding Philadelphia 76ers, the prospect of running an expansion team, and of course, redoing the 2016 offseason. I’m going to have to experiment.
2. Get More Involved with Modding
If you’ve only been around the NLSC for the last few years, and mostly paid attention to our NBA 2K coverage, you may not be aware that I do have a history with modding. Indeed, I’ve been creating mods for the NBA Live series since before I was running the NLSC. One of the reasons I haven’t been very heavily involved with NBA 2K modding is that it’s not as straightforward as NBA Live modding, which I’ve had years to learn and practice at this point. Another reason is that I’ve had to step back from the hobby in general while rationing my free time, as a lot of the time I could spend modding actually goes towards maintaining the NLSC itself.
I have a bit of catching up to do, but I’d like to get back to my modding roots with NBA 2K17. There’s a lot of content I’d like to create this year – more on that in a moment – but mods are definitely among them. Even if I can’t create a lot of works myself, I’d at least like to help out in organising our resources, and pointing new modders in the right direction. It all comes down to how much time I can set aside in between work, my social life, running the NLSC, and of course, actually playing NBA 2K17. Nevertheless, my aim is to be more involved with the NBA 2K modding community this year.
3. Level Up My MyPLAYER More Quickly
Getting stuck into a MyLEAGUE game is one of my top priorities for NBA 2K17, but I also intend to continue meeting up with other members of the NLSC Team and community for some games of 2K Pro-Am. Despite the fact I’m generally not a big online gamer, I had a lot of fun with the mode in NBA 2K16. However, the games are going to be very frustrating unless I level up my MyPLAYER reasonably quickly. I’m 57 Overall after playing through The Prelude, and that’s just not going to cut it against anyone who’s already maxed out their player. It’ll also mean a lot of frustration as I try to do the things I’m used to doing with my levelled up player in NBA 2K16.
That means I’m going to have to play through the story in NBA 2K17’s MyCAREER much quicker than I did in NBA 2K16. That’s not as unappealing a prospect as it was last year, as NBA 2K17’s story is shaping up to be much better than “Livin’ Da Dream”, but I’ve ranted about that enough for the moment. It’s quite likely that I’ll end up spending some real currency on Virtual Currency, in order to give myself a quicker boost for both 2K Pro-Am and MyCAREER. I prefer to avoid microtransactions as much as possible, but having gotten into 2K Pro-Am while trying to grind my way up from a 67 Overall last year, I’d say it’s definitely worth the investment.
4. Spend More Time with MyTEAM
I’ve taken more of an interest in the card collecting/team building modes in NBA Live and NBA 2K than I ever thought I would. In addition to being a fun change of pace, there’s a nostalgic element to Ultimate Team and MyTEAM, as they remind me of collecting basketball cards as a kid. I’ve generally preferred Ultimate Team to MyTEAM because of the way EA Sports approaches certain features, but I’m ready to give MyTEAM more of a chance this year. I like the sound of some of the improvements they’ve made, and I’ve received some good tips in terms of building up my collection.
A couple of the most important tips that I’ll be employing in NBA 2K17 are to never use VC to buy packs, and instead mostly focus on acquiring players through auctions and completing challenges. That approach worked quite well for me in NBA Live 16’s Ultimate Team, but I wasn’t a fan of some of the restrictions on last year’s MyTEAM challenges. Once again though, it does sound like some improvements have been made in that regard. Additionally, with Locker Codes now being timed rather than limited by quantity, there should be more opportunities to grab a few Free Agent trial cards, and perhaps even a handful of decent permanent cards as well.
5. Create Content for My Fellow NBA 2K17 Gamers
This is something that I brought up here in the NBA 2K17 section of the Forum, but I’d like to see us get back to having in-depth discussions about our experiences playing the game. Naturally, I want to see our modding community continue to go from strength to strength – and like I said, I’m hoping to be a part of that myself – but I’d also like to see us return to the days when we shared our knowledge of the game, and compiled resources such as gameplay tips and tricks, lists of moves, and so on. Because I plan on spending a lot of time playing (and hopefully greatly enjoying) NBA 2K17, I also intend on being a part of that initiative.
Needless to say, that initiative will also include our original content, from articles to videos. I’m very pleased with the way we’ve been able to introduce more original content over the past few years, and I’d like to keep expanding on that with content centred around NBA 2K17. I believe our enjoyment of and passion for basketball video games should always drive our original content, whether that content is positive, critical, informative, or whatever. We’re by basketball gamers, for basketball gamers, and my personal philosophy for the NLSC is “fans not fanboys, critics not haters”. In short, I’m looking forward to doing some cool stuff with NBA 2K17.
What are some of your plans for NBA 2K17? Let me know in the comments section below, and be sure to join in all the discussion of the game in the NLSC Forum. That’s all for this week, so thanks for checking in, have a great Early Tip-Off Weekend, and please join me again next Friday for another Five.