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Spotlighting Our Stories Section; Join in the Fun!

Enter the Dragan is one of the most active Stories in the NLSC Forum

The Stories section in the NLSC Forum isn’t as popular as it once was, in part due to changing demographics and basketball gaming habits. However, there has been some renewed interest in sharing franchise and career mode stories in recent months. To that end, I’d like to spotlight some of the tales that are currently being told on the virtual hardwood.

  • NLSC 2K Pro-Am team member Valor has been running with an expansion franchise – the Chicago Sharks – in NBA 2K17. Currently in the second season, they’ve been able to make some noteworthy free agent signings.
  • Speaking of NBA 2K17 stories, Phil89 is running one titled “Enter the Dragan“. It features the Phoenix Suns, who are currently squaring off with the Chicago Bulls in the 2019 NBA Finals.
  • A rather unique NBA 2K14 story is being told by truefaith0826. Set in the 1996 season using a combination of Ultimate Base Roster and U R Basketball assets, it features some fantastic presentation including video recaps and artwork from NBA Live 96.
  • Speaking of throwback stories, Kevin is running an NBA 2K17 story currently set in the 1997 season. Notably, he’s using an expansion team: the Montreal Hyenas.
  • Jumping over to NBA Live 06, Breems is attempting to re-write history with the 2006 Washington Wizards. The story already features a noteworthy trade, and is approaching the All-Star Weekend.
  • We’ve seen some great NBA Live 10 stories over the years, and cavs4872 is looking to recapture that with a new tale featuring the Houston Rockets. A couple of offseason moves have been reversed, and Allen Iverson has ended up in an unexpected destination.
  • Contributor Dee4Three has taken a fantasy approach to an NBA 2K17 story, pitting historical teams against each other with injuries disabled. It’s resulting in some interesting match-ups to say the least.

With NBA Live 19 and NBA 2K19 on the horizon, I hope that we can see further activity in our Stories section. As our interviews with various members of the community hopefully demonstrate, a lot of people have had fun sharing their franchise and career experiences with their fellow basketball gamers over the years, and it’d be great to see that trend return.

Whether it’s through written recaps or video content, franchise or career modes, a new game or old, I invite everyone to join in the fun! In the meantime, be sure to check out the aforementioned stories, the other active topics, and of course, the Story Hall of Fame for both NBA Live and NBA 2K.

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Monday Tip-Off: To Be, Or Not To Be, A Developer

NBA Elite 11: A tough game to be a developer on

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 the appeal of being a developer working on basketball video games, and a story about an opportunity that I had some ten years ago.

For those of us who have grown up playing video games of any genre, the prospect of one day being able to work on them ourselves is very appealing. From what we’ve heard from people in the industry – including former community members who have been hired by EA Sports and Visual Concepts – it is indeed an amazing and exciting career, in many ways a dream job. It does come at a price, however: long hours, harsh deadlines, and intense scrutiny from a target audience that can often be extremely toxic. Much is demanded of a video game developer, and it’s clear that you need to be all in on the job, as well as willing and able to weather the tough aspects of the gig.

I don’t believe that I’ve ever told this story publicly, but around ten years ago, I had an opportunity to join the team at EA Canada as a developer on the NBA Live series. As my continued presence here and lack of in-game credits would indicate, I didn’t take the job. It was a difficult decision for reasons I’ll get into shortly, but beyond any personal issues or possible concerns about the direction of NBA Live, I had to ask myself one rather pertinent question: did I really want to do it? Would it truly be a dream job for me, one worth moving to the other wide of the world for? In short, and with apologies to William Shakespeare: to be, or not to be, a developer?

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Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, basketball gamers! I’m glad to have you back at the NLSC as we tip off 2018, and gear up for another year of hitting the virtual hardwood. In that spirit, a new Monday Tip-Off article will be out shortly, but before that, I wanted to lay out some of our plans for a new year of basketball gaming.

I’m actually currently out of town, but as soon as I’m back, I’ll start catching up on any files that have been added to our Downloads section. It’s my hope that our modding community will continue to make good use of our hosting facilities, so that we may avoid losing mods that have been uploaded to hosts that routinely delete files after a period of inactivity. In any event, I’m sure that we’ll see many great releases this year.

On a personal note, I’d like to be a bit more active in the modding community this year, if possible. I had grand plans to do that last year, but unfortunately, things kept getting in the way. I do have a list of ideas for mods that I’d love to make if I can find the time, and with a couple of them already out there as beta/demo releases, I’m eager to give that a try. I can’t make any promises, but it’s certainly my intention to try to release some work here and there.

If nothing else, I’ll continue creating original content in the form of my weekly features. In addition to Monday Tip-Off, I’ll continue to post Wayback Wednesday and The Friday Five features every week. The NLSC Podcast will be back on the air – hopefully as soon as this Sunday – and we’ll do our best not to miss weeks as we unfortunately ended up doing last year. I’m eager to get some more video content out there on a regular basis, possibly in the form of a revamped Tuesday Triple. We may also be looking to finally add a few new content creators to the NLSC Team, so stay tuned for more details.

As always, I encourage everyone to make good use of our Forum, as I’d love to see lots of great discussion taking place throughout the new year. Our Wiki could always use a few extra helping hands as well, so if you have the knowledge, the time, and the enthusiasm, please feel free to pitch in and help keep our resources up to date.

Since it’s a new year, I will mention our Patreon and GoFundMe campaign once again. As I’ve said before, I don’t want to push them too aggressively or more than a few times a year, but if you are able to help out with our hosting fund in any way, we’re grateful for any and all contributions. A big thanks to everyone who has already dug deep and lent a hand in that regard. I hope we’ll continue to justify your generosity with our content and facilities.

With all that being said, let’s get Year 22 here at the NLSC underway! Thanks for being a part of our community!

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New Year’s Eve 2017

New Year's Eve Fireworks

And so, 2017 is all but in the books. I know I reflected on the year that was in my most recent Friday Five article, but I’ve generally made it a tradition to post a few final thoughts on New Year’s Eve. With that in mind, here goes!

It’s been a pleasure and a privilege to run the NLSC for another year, its 21st in operation. It’s been great to see all the talented modders sharing their work with the community, and I’ve enjoyed releasing my own work here and there when I’ve found the time. As I mentioned in my Year in Review in the Friday Five, I’ve enjoyed creating original content throughout 2017, and in particular, covering some topics that have been on my To Do list for some time.

Something that I forgot to mention in last year’s New Year’s Eve message is that we’ve managed to post a daily update of some kind every day without fail since December 31st, 2006. Our archives currently don’t go back that far as we changed to a new content management system in 2011, but I promise you, the streak is indeed intact. One of my goals with the NLSC is to bring basketball gamers something new every day, be it a round-up of the latest additions to our Downloads section, news from the preview season, one of our regular features, or other information of interest to basketball gamers. I’m proud of the fact we’ve been able to do that for over ten years running.

This was our first full year with our current host, and I would have to say that for the most part, it’s been smooth sailing. Thanks to a combination of donations, our Patreon supporters, and advertising revenue, we’ve been able to cover the monthly hosting costs, and expect to be around for a while yet. As such, I’m hoping to do more fun things as we enter our 22nd year covering basketball video games.

Thank you for your support throughout 2017, I hope to see you all back with us in 2018. Until then, as is the tradition around these parts, I’ll leave you with Lutz’s words of wisdom for the occasion: Remember the safest order of things on New Year’s Eve: 1. Fireworks, 2. Drink, and not vice versa!

See you in 2018!

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Monday Tip-Off: The NLSC’s Biggest Move, One Year Later

NLSC 20th Anniversary Logo

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 some reflections on the NLSC’s big move last year, which was one of the most significant in the history of our site.

Around this time last year, I was in the process of moving the NLSC from our old host to our current home. It wasn’t the first time that we’d had to move to a new host, but it was definitely the most stressful move we’d undertaken. On top of the usual downtime and teething problems, there was also an air of uncertainty. For the first time since I took over the NLSC, we’d be footing the bill for our hosting costs, rather than getting free hosting in exchange for advertising space. We also had a deadline, as our old host was discontinuing their services as of July 7th 2016, which meant if we hadn’t moved or at least backed up everything by then, everything would be lost.

Fortunately, it all turned out for the best. We found a new home, nothing was lost, and in terms of covering our expenses, we’re confident that we’ll be around for a while yet. Needless to say though, until everything was transferred and running smoothly, and the financial side of things had been sorted out, I was under a lot of stress. There were a few moments where it looked very bleak, and I found myself trying to prepare for the worst and figure out how to announce the unfortunate news. With our future now looking much brighter, I thought that I’d reflect a little on that time, and offer a little more of the back story.

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Operation Sports Visiting 2K; Send Them Questions!

NBA 2K17: John Wall

Our friends over at Operation Sports will be visiting 2K Sports next week, where they’ll have an opportunity to chat to former community members who are now working on NBA 2K. As such, they’re inviting the community to submit questions for them to ask. If there’s something you’d like Chris to ask, be sure to let him know here over on OS.

Please note however, as clarified here by the one and only Leftos, this interview won’t be touching on any issues related to NBA 2K17, or providing any information about NBA 2K18. The conversation will be focusing on what it’s like to make the transition from a gaming community to the development team, what it’s like to work in the industry, and other developer stories.

I’m also happy to pass along questions that get posted here at the NLSC, either in the comments below, or in this thread that I’ve set up in our Forum. Post them ASAP, and I’ll be sure to shoot them across to Chris.

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Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, basketball gamers, and welcome to 2017! Hopefully, you’ve made it through the holiday season and New Year’s Eve celebrations safe and sound, and you’re ready for another twelve months of fun with basketball video games. We certainly are!

In addition to hosting our talented modding community for NBA Live and NBA 2K, we also aim to keep bringing you coverage of the latest basketball gaming news, and fresh original content. Last year, we were able to keep a fairly consistent schedule with our features, and we’re aiming to do the same this year. Be sure to check in every week for Monday Tip-Off, Wayback Wednesday, the NLSC Podcast, and The Friday Five. Our 20th Anniversary of NBA Live content is also ongoing, Kenny has The Sunday Substitute, and we’ll be looking at introducing some other new content as well.

A couple of other things I want to promote at the start of another new year here at the NLSC are our Forum, and the Wiki. I’d definitely like to see more discussion taking place in the Forum in 2017, whether it’s our reaction to the games, our recent experiences, or sharing tips and advice with one another. I’d also like to see more discussion in the comments sections of our feature articles; remember, they’re intended to start conversations, not be the final word! As for the Wiki, I’d like to see it continue to expand, and become a definitive resource of information for basketball video games.

I’d also like to mention our Patreon and GoFundMe campaign once again. I don’t want to push them too aggressively, but if you are able to help out with our hosting fund in any way, we’re grateful for any and all contributions. We’re hoping that we can also use some of those funds for some more contests and giveaways in 2017.

I’m looking forward to working on original content, recording more podcasts (hopefully with some interviews this year!), seeing what our modding community comes up with, and getting involved in some modding myself when I can. And of course, I’m looking forward to another year of basketball gaming. I hope you’re all looking forward to that too, and will join us for the ride throughout 2017.

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New Year’s Eve 2016

New Year's Eve Fireworks

That sure went by fast, didn’t it? We find ourselves at the end of another year here at the NLSC. I’ve already reflected on the year that was in the December 23rd edition of The Friday Five, but as we get ready to ring in a new year, I thought that I’d offer up some final thoughts on the past twelve months.

Every year has its ups and downs, and we were seemingly dealt a big blow back in June when we had to seek out new hosting. At one point, it looked like we might have to either shut down or severely scale back our operations to suit cheaper alternatives. Fortunately, we were able to find a great new host and source the funding to keep us going, and we expect to be around for a while yet. A big thank you to everyone who has helped out in that regard; your contributions are very much appreciated!

Our modding community continued to do great work in 2016, whether it was for the latest game, or an old favourite. I think we hit the ground running when it came to NBA 2K17, and the community has been very proactive in working out methods and solutions, as well as churning out releases. We’ve also been able to add some new members to our Contributors group, and I thank them again for their hard work and the example they set.

In the world of basketball gaming, and real life basketball, it’s been an eventful year. We saw the Golden State Warriors break the Chicago Bulls’ twenty year old record of 72-10, only to become the first team to lose in the NBA Finals after going up 3-1. The Cleveland Cavaliers in turn became the first team to rally from a 3-1 deficit in the NBA Finals, with LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, and Kevin Love delivering the city their first major sports championship in 52 years. On the gaming front, EA Sports announced a delay for NBA Live 17, which has gamers both optimistic and sceptical. Meanwhile, Visual Concepts delivered a strong (but occasionally problematic) release in NBA 2K17. The preview season for 2K17 brought some unexpected drama, but also some exciting news of improvements and additions in this year’s game.

For all the challenges we faced, for all the ups and downs, I think we’ve come through them stronger and just as dedicated to our coverage of basketball video games, and commitment to bringing you interesting and entertaining original content. It’s something we aim to continue throughout 2017 and beyond.

Thank you for your support throughout 2016, more good stuff is on the way. For now, I’ll leave you with the traditional reminder of Lutz’s words of wisdom: Remember the safest order of things on New Year’s Eve: 1. Fireworks, 2. Drink, and not vice versa!

See you in 2017!

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Help Us Expand The NLSC Wiki

It’s been a while since I posted a bulletin about the NLSC Wiki, so I felt it was time to make another appeal. While our community is doing some great work in creating and compiling various resources in the Forum, and we absolutely want that to continue, in the NLSC Wiki we have another handy resource that we’d like to develop further.

For those who are unaware, the NLSC Wiki features articles on all of the games in the NBA Live and NBA 2K series, as well as several other basketball video games. There are also articles on gameplay features and game modes, along with resources such as modding tutorials, file format guides, slider explanations, and cheat code listings. Episode guides for the NLSC Podcast and a brief history of the NLSC itself can also be found there.

I’ve recently spent some time updating the info on NBA 2K17 in the Wiki, though there’s still work to be done to make it a definitive source of information for NBA Live, NBA 2K, and basketball gaming in general. I’d therefore like to invite anyone who is knowledgeable about basketball video games to help us out in expanding our articles, adding new tutorials, and making sure that information on the games is kept up to date.

You don’t need to register an account to modify 99% of the Wiki, as only a few important pages are protected, or restricted to administrator-only edits. Of course, if you’re concerned about privacy, or plan on making frequent contributions, we certainly encourage you to sign up. Thank you to everyone who has helped out here and there so far; hopefully, we can continue building upon this resource! If you’d like to contribute but aren’t sure where to begin, please let me know so that I can offer a few pointers.

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Dunk Practice Game by Dr B on Steam Greenlight

Dunk Practice

NLSC Forum Member Dr B has created a Dunk Practice game, which is currently seeking approval for release through Steam Greenlight. The game, which would be available for both PC and Mac, is a single player dunking exhibition, based on the NBA Slam Dunk Contest. A more detailed description of the game is as follows:

Dunk Practice takes the skill and creativity of professional slam dunk competitions and translates them to a dual-analog gamepad and nostalgic graphics. You have the freedom to create any dunk you want by mixing combinations of lobs or off-the-glass tosses with 180s, 360s, windmills, through the legs or behind the back tricks and reverse or tomahawk finishes. Control your dunker’s body rotation with the left analog stick and their arms with the right analog stick in realtime to throw down any dunk you can think up. There are 4 dunkers for you to customize with over 100 million possible combinations of appearance and uniform colors and creative challenges for you to complete and collect medals.

In the interest of supporting the efforts of members of the NLSC community, I wanted to share the link to Dr B’s Steam Greenlight campaign. To that end, if you’d like to vote on the game, you may do so here.

Furthermore, if you’d like to try out a beta version of the game, Dr B has previously uploaded demos to our Downloads section. You can can download the Windows version here, and the Mac version here. More information can also be found in this thread.

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Monday Tip-Off: Why We Don’t Charge For Mods

Modding the 2016 NCAA Tournament into NBA 2K14

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.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. We have a good thing going here at the NLSC, especially when it comes to our modding community. Although the changes to the file formats beginning with NBA 2K15 PC have presented some challenges, our community remains dedicated to creating some outstanding mods. Fantastic work is also being done to keep old favourites up to date, and breathe new life into the retro basketball gaming experience. We can be proud of the work we do here.

Of course, every hobby or “scene” has its issues, and modding is no different. I’ve written about some of those issues in previous Monday Tip-Off and Friday Five articles, because I do want to see our community continue to get better and better. With the release of NBA 2K17 and a brand new season of modding looming on the horizon, I thought that I’d dive deeper into the reasons behind some of the rules and procedures in our modding community. This week, I’d like to discuss an issue that came up just the other day, which I realised we’ve never really explained in detail: why we don’t charge for mods.

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The Friday Five: 20th Anniversary of the NLSC

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.

If you’ve connected with us on Facebook or Twitter, you might have seen that this August marks the 20th Anniversary of the NLSC. As it happens, today also marks my 15th Anniversary as the NLSC’s Webmaster/Administrator. Time certainly flies; it seems like only yesterday that I was in high school, a couple of months short of turning seventeen, and being handed control of my favourite website. I’d like to think that for the most part, I’ve done a pretty good job in the role. While there have been some tough moments, I’ve certainly enjoyed running the NLSC, from creating mods and content to all of the discussions in the Forum. Well, most of the discussions!

I take pride in the work that I and the rest of the NLSC Team put into the site, as well as what our community has been able to achieve with modding and other ventures. Even though the NLSC is not my day job, my aim is to always approach it with professionalism and dedication, because I truly believe that we are a site with a great heritage. For twenty years – beginning as an NBA Live fansite, and in time expanding to cover NBA 2K and other basketball games – we’ve always been by basketball gamers, for basketball gamers. For this week’s Friday Five, I’d like to reflect a little on that heritage, and my involvement with it.

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Monday Tip-Off: Reflections on NBA Live Community Events

At EA Tiburon for the NBA Live 16 Community Event

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.

When I logged into Facebook this morning, “On This Day” presented me with a look back at previous posts that I’d made on July 25th. As it happens, on this day last year, I made a post letting my friends and family know that I’d be heading to the United States in the near future. The trip was for an NBA Live 16 community event that was being held at EA Tiburon in Orlando, but as I didn’t have clearance to talk about it openly just yet, I held back on the details and simply posted a teaser photo. I also had to be very coy on the NLSC Podcast, when discussing upcoming playtesting sessions and expressing a desire to be a part of them.

The NBA Live 16 event was one of the best that I’ve ever attended. While the game still had a ways to go – then and now – it was fun to get some early hands-on time with it, and experience the improvements. I also really enjoyed having the opportunity to meet with the developers and provide feedback to them directly. On top of all that, the whole event was extremely well-organised, with every detail taken care of, and maximum time allotted for gaming. Past events were fun and productive, but several years of organising them have definitely given EA Sports’ community managers the opportunity to make them better and better.

Since it’s been almost a year since the last one I attended, I thought that I’d reflect a little upon the NBA Live community events that I’ve been a part of. Hopefully, last year’s won’t be the last.

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Back to Business; Help Support The NLSC

NLSC Logo

I’m happy to report that the move to our new host was a success! The NLSC has actually been on its new server for a couple of weeks, but we did experience a couple of teething problems while we made sure everything was set up as before. However, everything should now be working: the main site, the Forum, the Downloads section, our upload facilities, and the Wiki. Thanks go out to the techs who helped us move everything over to our new home!

As I mentioned when I announced the move, we are now paying for our own hosting. Previously, we received dedicated hosting in exchange for advertising space, but such generous deals basically aren’t on offer these days. Because we are a non-profit website, we’re appealing to the community to help us pay for our hosting moving forward, to ensure that we can continue to provide all of the same facilities as before. This requires us to utilise dedicated hosting, rather than cheaper shared hosting, as the latter does not allow for those facilities.

We’re currently paying around $90 US per month for our dedicated hosting. If twenty people are willing to contribute $5 US per month, we’ll be able to completely cover the costs and keep doing what we’re doing for a long time to come. Should there be any funds left over, I’d like to put that money to use for monthly giveaways, and developing new content.

If you’re willing and able to contribute to the hosting fund, you may do so through Patreon or GoFundMe. A huge thank you to the individuals who have contributed so far; your support is greatly appreciated! If you don’t have the means to chip in, that’s quite alright; we hope that you’ll support us by continuing to visit the NLSC on a regular basis, and enjoying all of our features and content.

As previously mentioned, the NLSC will not be charging for downloads or any of our other content or facilities, nor putting anything behind a premium paywall. Because we’re a non-profit site, we just need a little help paying the bills, if we want to keep providing the community with file hosting facilities, a Forum, and everything else that we do here at the NLSC.

For more information on the move and the hosting fund, please check out the FAQ below. Thank you once again for your patience and understanding during the move. It took a little longer than I hoped, and we had to fix a few things up once we got to our new home, but it’s back to business as usual, and onward and upward from here on out!

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The Friday Five: 5 Things You Learn During a Server Move

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.

If you’re tried to visit the NLSC throughout this week, you’ll have found that we’ve been out of service for much of it. If you’re reading this now, however, chances are everything is back to normal and our big server move is finally complete. I was hoping to avoid having this much downtime, but we ran into a few complications along the way. As I’m writing this week’s column, we’re fortunately in the home stretch of the server move, and it won’t be long before it’ll be business as usual. As you can probably imagine, I’m quite relieved!

I’ve mentioned before that in running the NLSC for all these years, I’ve learned a thing or two. I’ve gained fascinating insights into the development of basketball video games, and through my duties in the NLSC Forum, I’ve learned about dealing with different types of personalities. Through developing content and implementing new features for the NLSC, I’ve also gained some useful technical skills and knowledge. Undertaking our most recent server move has certainly been a learning experience too, so I thought I’d reflect upon that in this week’s Five. Without any further ado, here are five things that I learned moving the NLSC to a new server.

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