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The Friday Five: 5 Ways to Improve Ultimate Team in NBA Live 20

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 ways to improve Ultimate Team in NBA Live 20.

Due to its extended hiatus, NBA Live was the last EA Sports title to implement an Ultimate Team mode. Along with Franchise and The One, its presence provides the game with the staple experiences of a franchise, career, and card collection/team building mode, and has proven to be a welcome addition. However, while Ultimate Team is a mode I’ve enjoyed since the reboot, it shares the same problem that other modes in NBA Live have suffered: it’s still too barebones. To that end, just as I have ideas on how to improve Franchise mode, I have suggestions for Ultimate Team.

After enjoying the mode so much in NBA Live 18, I felt disappointed by NBA Live 19’s Ultimate Team. Quite a few changes were made that I believe were done with the best of intentions, but the result was that an already thin mode became even thinner, despite making a couple of additions. It’s not too late to correct course however, as a lot of the building blocks are in place. LUT also made a great move in NBA Live 19 by removing contracts, something that NBA 2K’s MyTEAM should also implement. Generally speaking though, Ultimate Team should borrow ideas from MyTEAM, as well as bring back or expand upon concepts that it has featured in previous iterations.

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The Friday Five: 5 Ways to Improve Franchise in NBA Live 20

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 ways to improve Franchise mode in NBA Live 20.

Our Wishlists for NBA Live 20 and NBA 2K20 have been submitted, but as we await another preview season, I feel like talking about my hopes for the upcoming titles. I’m beginning with NBA Live 20, as it needs to be a big year for the long-running hoops series from EA Sports. NBA Live 18 and NBA Live 19 have been EA’s best efforts in quite some time, but there’s plenty of room for improvement. A recurring complaint that I’ve seen is that there isn’t enough focus on the NBA in NBA Live, and that’s a sentiment that I share. One way to address that is to give more attention to Franchise.

The counterargument I’ve seen to that suggestion is that Franchise is old hat for old heads, and that no one cares about it. Considering the fact that us old heads do care about it, and that younger basketball gamers have also expressed their frustration with the lack of depth to Franchise, it’s ridiculous to suggest that no one cares, and that it’s unimportant. NBA Live must provide deep, engaging experiences across the board, and with The One and its connected modes already quite robust, it’s time that a few enhancements were made to Franchise. As a long-time franchise mode enthusiast, I believe that focusing on these five key aspects will help achieve that goal.

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NBA Live 20 & NBA 2K20 Wishlists Submitted

The Wishlists for NBA Live 20 & NBA 2K20 Have Been Submitted

Our official NLSC Wishlists for NBA Live 20 and NBA 2K20 have been finalised and submitted to the developers at EA Sports and Visual Concepts respectively! A big thank you to everyone who helped us compile constructive feedback for the upcoming games. As always, there’s no guarantee that our wishes will be granted, but if we don’t speak up, we can guarantee that they’ll go unheard.

Although we won’t be making any further additions to our Wishlists, the topics will remain open until the preview season for NBA Live 20 and NBA 2K20 gets underway. Discussion about what we want to see in the new games is obviously still most welcome, and we can try to pass along any late suggestions as well.

You can check out the NBA Live 20 Wishlist here, and the NBA 2K20 Wishlist here. They’re also available in PDF format, here and here respectively. We’ve tried our best to present an accurate and comprehensive cross-section of what our community wants out of both games, and hopefully, we’ll see some of our most desired additions, fixes, and changes implemented sooner rather than later. In the meantime, feel free to keep the conversation going!

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Monday Tip-Off: NBA Live’s Identity & Longevity

Cherashore Tournament in The Streets World Tour (NBA Live 19)

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 my thoughts on how NBA Live needs to establish its identity, and deliver an experience with greater longevity.

There seems to be somewhat of a divide and a notable amount of unrest among NBA Live gamers at the moment. At a time when we should be consolidating out feedback – obligatory cheap plug for our NBA Live 20 Wishlist – there’s a lot of argument about the future of the series. Many gamers are expressing concerns and frustration, while others are arguing that we must all be supportive and, to borrow a slogan, trust the process. Both sides have a point and are coming from a good place, though I do find myself agreeing more with the former group.

That’s probably because the group that’s most frustrated tend to be gamers my age. We remember a time when NBA Live was the dominant brand in 5v5 sim-oriented NBA games, and all the things that made it successful. Needless to say, that’s led to a bit of sneering at us allegedly out of touch “old heads”; a term that’s quickly come to highlight the toxicity in today’s basketball gaming community. At the same time, it is certainly easy to get caught up in the past, and we do need to have some patience, but it’s getting tougher for a lot of NBA Live loyalists to remain patient. Ultimately, NBA Live needs to forge an appealing identity that results in longevity and a deeper game.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #272

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Episode #272 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Both Arcane and Kenny are unavailable to co-host this week, so I’ve given a solo show another try. As a result, it’s a shorter episode, but I still manage to catch up on some recent news, offer up some opinions, and share what I’ve been doing on the virtual hardwood.

On this week’s show…

  • A content update has come through for NBA Live 19, featuring current rosters and new items in The One Store. Although the updates are welcome, there is growing unrest within the community, who generally want to see more focus on NBA content.
  • Our modding community continues to pump out some excellent work. It’s difficult not to get inspired to contribute, and to that end, a few projects are still in the works.
  • Cleanprincegaming posted an excellent retrospective on the rise and fall of the NBA Street series. It highlights an unfortunate shift in EA Sports’ business model, and a lack of creativity in the current market.
  • Has 2K ruined Team Pro-Am? Despite the launch of the NBA 2K League, the changes to Pro-Am in recent games seem counterproductive to generating interest in it, or the mode in general.
  • Episode #272 of the NLSC Podcast wraps up with some recent stories from the virtual hardwood, including a frustrating bug in the NBA Finals in NBA 2K19’s MyCAREER.

Click Play to listen to the show!

Have some thoughts on the latest episode? Got a mailbag question or topic suggestion for the next show? Sound off in the comments section below, or join in the discussion here in the Forum! For more information on the NLSC Podcast including episode guides, check out this page in our Wiki.

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The Friday Five: 5 Ideas NBA Live Should Borrow from NBA 2K

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 five ideas that NBA Live should borrow from NBA 2K.

Since we’re in the process of compiling feedback for our NBA Live 20 Wishlist, I feel like discussing some of the improvements that I believe would take the game to the next level. In particular, I’d like to discuss some ideas and concepts from NBA 2K which NBA Live should be looking to borrow. After all, when it comes to good ideas and features that an NBA video game should have, it doesn’t matter who did it first. The important thing is that games find a way of implementing those ideas and making them work. It never hurts to look at what the brand leader is doing, either.

Glancing at Twitter as of late – a foolhardy thing to do, some might say – I have seen some divided opinions when it comes to the matter of NBA Live’s approach, identity, and the notion of borrowing ideas from NBA 2K. A lot of younger and admittedly passionate fans are downplaying the concerns and suggestions of “old heads”, their point being that it’s a new day and we’re hung up on the past. Respectfully, I must disagree. While it is easy to get caught up in nostalgia, we long-time virtual hoops enthusiasts do know a thing or two, including what the game was like it in its heyday. To that end, NBA Live would benefit from borrowing these NBA 2K concepts.

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NLSC Podcast – Episode #270

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Episode #270 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! Join Arcane and myself as we catch up on a couple of news items from the past week, and discuss our top wishes for NBA Live 20 and NBA 2K20 as Wishlist season officially gets underway.

On this week’s show…

  • NBA Live 19 and NBA 2K19 continue to receive content updates, including new rosters, player items, and challenges. We discuss the games’ efforts to remain fresh and evergreen.
  • We’ve officially tipped off Wishlist season for NBA Live 20 and NBA 2K20! Once again, we stress the importance of constructive feedback, and having our say.
  • What are our top wishes for NBA Live 20? What are the most important areas to focus on if the game is to take the next step?
  • Likewise, what are our top wishes for NBA 2K20? NBA 2K is the brand leader, but how can it continue to get better?
  • If you could ask the executive producers of NBA Live and NBA 2K any three questions, what would they be? We’ll list ours on next week’s NLSC Podcast, but first we want to hear from our listeners!

Click Play to listen to the show!

Have some thoughts on the latest episode? Got a mailbag question or topic suggestion for the next show? Sound off in the comments section below, or join in the discussion here in the Forum! For more information on the NLSC Podcast including episode guides, check out this page in our Wiki.

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Wishlist Topics for NBA Live 20 & NBA 2K20 Now Open

Our Wishlist includes improvements to Pro-Am

It’s that time again! The NBA Live and NBA 2K development teams are hard at work on the next titles, which means we need to get our feedback in as soon as possible. I’ve created our official Wishlist topics for NBA Live 20 and NBA 2K20, so that we can compile our suggestions and send them along to EA Sports and Visual Concepts respectively.

As always, we’re looking to compile a comprehensive but concise snapshot of what the basketball gaming community wants to see in the upcoming games. Whether it’s new features, fixes and improvements, or bug reports, it’s all useful feedback for the Wishlist. Bullet points are best and far preferable to long-winded essays and videos, though at the same time, don’t just say things like “make the gameplay better”. We need to explain how we want the gameplay to change, and what would make it better. The same goes for modes, and all other aspects of the two games.

Just a reminder that we are focused on constructive feedback here, so please leave out the snark and insults. Venting about the games is perfectly acceptable in other Forum topics, but these topics are about compiling useful suggestions, not yelling at the developers. By all means constructively criticise and point out problems, but please be aware that we’re not going to pass along profane suggestions!

Once again, we want to get our Wishlists in as soon as possible – ideally before the end of January – in order for them to have the most impact possible. To that end, sign up for a Forum account (if you don’t have one already), and start posting your ideas! We’ll be organising a Top Wishes section to concisely explain what we most want to see, so feel free to prioritise your lists. The first post in the Wishlist topics provides further information about the best format for your feedback, in case you’re looking for a guide. With all that being said, start posting those wishes!

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