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NLSC Podcast #320: A Post-Mortem of NBA 2K18

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Episode #320 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! This week, Dee4Three and I conduct a “post-mortem” examination of NBA 2K18, in particular noting how it’s proven to be a turning point for the NBA 2K series, and also catch up on some recent news.

A welcome hotfix has arrived via Patch 1.12 for NBA 2K20, which resolves the free throw music bug introduced by the previous title update. Unfortunately, we’re not as pleased to see the new Out of Position packs in MyTEAM. After catching up on the news, we dive right into the topic we introduced at the end of Episode #319: a post-mortem look back at NBA 2K18. We reflect on the initial reactions to the game, the backlash to criticism, and the eventual change in perspective. In addition to discussing issues with gameplay mechanics and microtransactions alike, we note how it was a turning point as far as gamers losing fondness for and trust in NBA 2K, and being more willing to criticise it. We also touch on developer blogs, the NBA 2K League, and compare and contrast the situation with NBA Live’s downfall over the past 15 years.

Tune in below!

What are your thoughts on NBA 2K18? Do you also see it as a turning point for the NBA 2K series? Sound off in the comments section below, or join in the discussion here in the Forum! Additionally, feel free to hit us up with any feedback on the episode, as well as suggestions for topics that you’d like to hear us discuss in future episodes. For more information on the NLSC Podcast including episode guides, check out this page in our Wiki.

NBA 2K20 MyTEAM Developer Blog & Trailer


The latest developer blog provides in-depth insights into what to expect from MyTEAM in NBA 2K20. A trailer has also dropped, providing a concise overview of this year’s mode. The blog is particularly lengthy and I recommend checking it out in full, but here is a brief summary:

  • Evolution cards are upgradeable by accomplishing single game and career tasks. A free and permanent Evolution card will be granted upon firing up the mode for the first time.
  • Single player Triple Threat has been re-designed, with randomly determined opponents. There is also a new prizing mechanic in the form of a slot machine.
  • There are bonuses for logging in daily, and special prizes for logging into MyTEAM every day of the week. Prizes include Tokens, MT, packs, and more. There’s also a prize wheel that can be accessed via Locker Codes, as well as the weekly grand prize for logging in every day.
  • Today in MyTEAM features special events and challenges. Limited Time Events are available during the peak playing hours in each region, while The Agenda is similar to the daily bonus tasks in last year’s mode, only much deeper and with custom objectives. There will also be different boards for the Ball Drop this year.
  • A Community Hub will allow interaction with the developers, provide tips and tricks, and so on.
  • Players can only be slotted in at their primary or secondary positions, preventing cheesy lineups.
  • The PRIME Collection is the top collection of premium cards. Throwbacks have been replaced by the Spotlight Collection. The Legacy Showcase series will spotlight Legends who deserve more attention.
  • Domination has been re-designed with Star levels depending on the difficulty you choose, and Heat Check cards have been tweaked. Online matchmaking has been improved along with server stability, and the Auction House will be accessible much sooner.
  • Players will still have contracts, as evident in the trailer.

Check out the trailer below, or catch it here on YouTube. What are your thoughts on the NBA 2K20 MyTEAM developer blog and trailer? Have your say in the comments section below, and join in the discussion here in the NLSC Forum!

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NLSC Podcast #294: Microtransactions, Mega Profits

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Episode #294 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! This week Arcane and I cover all of the latest previews for NBA 2K20, along with record-setting numbers for NBA 2K19, and the latest word on NBA Live 20.

A statement from Andrew Wilson has reiterated that NBA Live 20 is coming. Free-to-play has neither been denied nor confirmed, which along with talk of a “different approach”, has us feeling a little concerned. We also wonder what a free-to-play NBA Live 20 would look like. As for NBA 2K20, we have a better idea of what it will look and play like thanks to this year’s gameplay blog, as well as Tweets from Beluba. There are some very promising details, but we have been burned before. News on the WNBA’s presence in NBA 2K20 emphasises the gap between NBA 2K and NBA Live, which leads to a discussion on the matter of who did it first vs. who did it best. Finally, record-setting numbers for NBA 2K19’s sales and recurrent revenue are something Take Two has to be very pleased with, but it speaks volumes about the attitude and resolve of the basketball gaming community.

Tune in below!

What are your thoughts on the latest NBA 2K20 developer blogs, increases in recurrent revenue, and the situation with NBA Live? Sound off in the comments section below, or join in the discussion here in the Forum! Additionally, feel free to hit us up with any feedback on the episode, as well as suggestions for topics that you’d like to hear us discuss in future episodes. For more information on the NLSC Podcast including episode guides, check out this page in our Wiki.

NBA 2K20 WNBA Developer Blog & Trailer

WNBA in NBA 2K20

Following on from the gameplay insight, the latest developer blog and trailer spotlights the WNBA in NBA 2K20. The blog explains the work that has gone into making the players look authentic, from faces and hairstyles to tattoos and models. It also details how the team worked on getting the WNBA teams to play differently to NBA squads, from the plays they run to thousands of authentic animations for the players. The game will also include a season mode, so the teams won’t only be available in Play Now.

Further insights can be found in the Integration Trailer. The trailer features behind the scenes footage of motion capture sessions and snippets from Gameplay Director Mike Wang, as well as gameplay footage of the teams and players in action. You can check it out below, or catch it here on YouTube if you can’t see the embedded video.

It seems that a lot of work has gone into adding the WNBA to NBA 2K20, especially compared to additional content in previous years such as Euroleague teams. A season mode is also a step further than NBA Live’s efforts, though there’s no word as yet on what EA has planned for NBA Live 20.

In the meantime, feel free to add your thoughts in the comments section below, and join in the discussion here in the NLSC Forum!

NBA 2K20 Gameplay Blog: Motion System, Controls, AI, & More

NBA 2K20: Serge Ibaka

Following last week’s insight into MyGM and MyLEAGUE, the NBA 2K20 gameplay blog has been posted! NBA 2K Gameplay Director Mike Wang (aka Beluba) has provided an in-depth look at the improvements, additions, and changes to the on-court experience in this year’s release. As always, I encourage you to read the entire NBA 2K20 gameplay blog for the full scoop, but here’s an overview:

  • The Motion Engine has received an upgrade, improving foot planting, animation selection, momentum modelling, and realistic differentiation in player weight and speed. Sprinting has also been reworked to make it harder to abuse, with more visual feedback when a player is getting low on energy.
  • Ballhandlers now have contextual awareness that they didn’t before. More dribble moves and animations have been added, with a focus on signature styles. A new size-up mechanic will allow moves to be chained together more cleanly, and without pre-scripted sequences.
  • An arrow will assist in movement on defense, showing which direction a player is leaning or attempting to go. The arrow shows up at different times, according to the defender’s abilities. The player indicator will also change from a solid circle to a broken line, indicating how vulnerable they are to losing the ball on steal attempts. Steal spam has also been addressed.
  • Gathers have more flexibility this year, allowing offensive players to react to defense collapsing on them in the lane and branch into different finishes. Hundreds of new animations have been added including in-air collisions, hard fouls, grab blocks, and swats. The post game has also been enhanced with new moves on both sides of the ball.
  • Off-ball control has been expanded with juke moves, as seen in older games. Moves are performed with the right stick when playing off the ball. Off-ball collisions have also been improved, and a new quick screen control has been added.
  • Further enhancements have been made to AI at both ends. This includes improvements to the Adaptive Coaching Engine, and a new Dynamic Freelance engine. There are also new play action buttons, which you can customise with your favourite plays. Transition defense has also been re-written with new options.
  • CPU players now utilise shot timing mechanics, rather than Real Player %. Takeover has been tuned to be less OP and there are new Badges. According to a Tweet by Beluba, some Badges have also been removed.

Once again, be sure to check out the full NBA 2K20 gameplay blog for more details. Got any thoughts? Feel free to share them in the comments below, as well as join in the discussion here in the NLSC Forum!

NLSC Podcast #293: We’re Seeing What’s Next

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Episode #293 of the NLSC Podcast is out now! As the preview season rolls on, Arcane and I are discussing the MyGM blog and “Next is Now” trailer for NBA 2K20, and the latest news on what’s happening with NBA Live 20.

Not everyone is thrilled about it, but the first NBA 2K20 developer blog revealed details on MyGM and MyLEAGUE. As we’re burned out on MyCAREER and thinking of returning to the franchise mode experience, it comes as good news. We’ve also received a longer look at gameplay thanks to the “Next is Now” trailer. It’s another slick production, but does it have us hyped for the game? Speaking of hype, the latest NBA Live 20 news has dampened our optimism somewhat. The game is slated to come out later than NBA 2K20 which may work in its favour, but with talk of a “different approach”, we do have some concerns.

Tune in below!

What are your thoughts on the latest NBA 2K20 and NBA Live 20 news? Sound off in the comments section below, or join in the discussion here in the Forum! Additionally, feel free to hit us up with any feedback on the episode, as well as suggestions for topics that you’d like to hear us discuss in future episodes. For more information on the NLSC Podcast including episode guides, check out this page in our Wiki.

NBA 2K20 MyGM Blog: New Tasks, Conversations, Leaderboards

NBA 2K20 MyGM: User Interface

We have our first insight of the preview season, courtesy of the newly posted NBA 2K20 MyGM blog! As in previous years, it’s a deep dive developer blog describing the new features and enhancements that we can expect to see, beginning with this year’s franchise modes.

I encourage you to read the blog in its entirety, but an overview of the key points is as follows:

  • NBA 2K20 is introducing MyGM 2.0. The mode, which has been revamped to be more accessible, includes additions such as Action Points, score and leaderboards, new Skills Tree and levelling structure, new tasks, and sponsorships and branding.
  • Action Points will determine which tasks you can perform each day, encouraging efficient use of your time and team-building strategies. How you perform in the GM’s seat will rank on the new score and leaderboards. These features are affected by the difficulty level you choose.
  • Each save begins at Level 1, and will end up at around Level 20. The new Skill Tree begins with the general style of management that you choose, and branches in five directions: Leadership, Diplomacy, Insight, Finance, and Facilities. Each provides a different path to the ultimate goal of winning a championship, and you can respec once a month.
  • Relationships, goals, and tasks have all been revamped. Requests will now come from players and other executives, and it’s not always in your best interests to fulfil all of them.
  • Morale and Team Chemistry has also been enhanced in both MyGM and MyLEAGUE. Other additions and improvements include Staff Cards, new Personality Badges for max players, more functionality in Player DNA, extra details in History and Records screens, quick scroll options, improved Draft Class authenticity, and even the ability to force winners when simulating.

Be sure to check out the NBA 2K20 MyGM blog for the full scoop! Got any thoughts? Feel free to share them in the comments section below, and join in the discussion here in the NLSC Forum!

NBA 2K19 Gameplay Blog & MyCAREER Video

NBA 2K19 On The Fly Coaching

NBA 2K19 will be in our hands very soon, but there are still some things to learn before this year’s game drops. After what was seemingly an unintentional post yesterday, a gameplay blog by the one and only Da_Czar is now officially live.

The blog goes into great detail about enhancements to playcalling and AI in NBA 2K19. Key points on the user side of things include the new playcalling visuals, the revamped On The Fly Coaching menu, and dynamic plays for specific players. You may have already noticed some of these elements if you played through a 2KU game in The Prelude.

On the AI side of things, Da_Czar talks about improvements to play distribution/variation, recognition of mismatches, pick and roll switching, transition offense, double team logic, and freelance offense. He also includes several videos demonstrating the improvements to playcalling and AI on both sides of the ball. Be sure to give it a read for the full scoop!

Meanwhile, Chris Smoove has posted a video providing a comprehensive breakdown of MyCAREER in NBA 2K19. It offers up a wealth of information on MyPOINTS, player progression, contract negotiations, endorsements and VC earnings, career objectives, and more. Watch it below, or catch it here on YouTube.

As always, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below, as well as join in the discussion here in the NBA 2K19 section of the NLSC Forum!

NBA Live 19 Developer Blog: One-on-One Play

NBA Live 19 Demo

The demo and EA Access trial of NBA Live 19 may be out and providing us with hands-on previews of this year’s game, but EA Sports aren’t done with their developer insights. Check out the latest developer blog for more information on the improvements to one-on-one play:

Last year, a big focus for the NBA Live gameplay team was to make playing on-ball defense fun, impactful, and skill-based. We introduced the one-on-one system for the on-ball defender and ball handler matchup. This allowed the ball carrier to try and break down defenders while giving the defense the ability to cut off and stop counter moves. With NBA LIVE 19, we’ve not only made some improvements to the on-ball system but created a brand-new one-on-one system for off-ball play.

The blog details the addition of off-ball controls in player-locked gameplay, updates to the jostle system on both sides of the ball, and some of the basic strategies you’ll want to use. Once again, check it out for the full scoop, feel free to add your thoughts in the comments below, and join in the discussion in the NBA Live 19 section of the NLSC Forum!

Court Battles in NBA Live 19; Trailer & Developer Blog

Court Battles in NBA Live 19

The latest trailer and developer blog for NBA Live 19 have provided us with details on Court Battles, a new competitive mode in The One. Court Battles involve taking on your friends and the rest of the NBA Live community on their own One Courts. This involves competing in games against an AI version of a user’s squad to earn unique bonuses and rewards, with an ultimate goal of “controlling” as many courts as possible. A breakdown of the key points is as follows:

  • Court Battles are comprised of Campaigns, which include both a “defend” and “attack” phase. Your AI squad defends your court, while you play the games attacking other courts.
  • Defending your court includes setting the custom rules, defensive lineup, attacker handicap (a restriction placed on the attacking team to make their games more challenging and aid in your defense), and a game plan for your AI squad.
  • There will be 38 custom rules at launch, with more settings being added throughout the year.
  • Players available for your squad are earned through The Streets World Tour, LIVE Events, and levelling up in terms of Court Hype and number of controlled courts.
  • As mentioned, the ultimate goal is to control as many courts as possible (in addition to your own), in order to level up and earn better rewards. Bonuses are rewarded for controlling your own court, facing a more difficult opponent, and so on.

Be sure to read the entire blog for the full insight! You can also watch the trailer below, or catch it here on YouTube.

As always, feel free to share your opinions in the comments section below, as well as join in the discussion taking place in this topic in the NBA Live 19 section of our Forum.

Information on LIVE Run, 5v5 Online, & Hype in NBA Live 19

NBA Live 19: LIVE Run

The NBA Live 19 demo will be dropping in less than ten hours, but before then, we have some new information about this year’s game. This insight comes straight from Executive Producer Seann Graddy, in a developer blog posted over on the official website.

Specifically, the blog provides some further details on LIVE Run, 5v5 online play, and the Hype system in NBA Live 19. A breakdown of the key points is as follows:

  • Changes to 3v3 LIVE Run go beyond the new global courts. Games are now played to 11, with baskets counting for one and two points rather than twos and threes.
  • Hype is intended to set The One players apart from each another, since reaching 99 Overall will be an attainable goal with persistence. Hype has six tiers (Rookie, Pro, All-Star, Superstar, Legend, Icon), with each tier having five levels.
  • Raising your Hype earns new gear, as well as players for your squad and other rewards. You’ll also get a badge displaying your Hype level in online lobbies.
  • 5v5 LIVE Run will be more of a traditional Pro-Am experience, with five minute quarters and full rules, including fouls. It also benefits from the addition of the new global courts.
  • Private games on our One Court will allow for custom rules, including additional points for dunks and layups, and other variations on the Pro-Am format. More rule sets will be added post-launch.

Be sure to read the blog for the whole scoop! Feel free to post your thoughts in the comments section below, and join in the discussion taking place here in our NBA Live 19 Forum.

NBA 2K19 MyTEAM Developer Blog & Trailer

NBA 2K19: MyTEAM Menu

The latest NBA 2K19 developer blog has provided us with a comprehensive overview of MyTEAM in this year’s game. As with the previous blog, Senior Producer Erick Boenisch has gone into a lot of detail, but I’ll summarise it as best as I can. If you’re a MyTEAM enthusiast, then I definitely recommend reading the blog in its entirety.

  • The approach to packs has changed to provide gamers with better content. This includes better pulls, and changes in philosophy. For example, Throwback packs will guarantee a throwback player, as in NBA Live’s Ultimate Team.
  • There will be new content that’s pushed through more often, including packs, inserts into existing packs, and more Locker Codes. Speaking of Locker Codes, in addition to the limited quantity codes, there will be single use codes all gamers can take advantage of for random reward drops (as in earlier games this generation, though it’s being touted as a new feature). We also have our first Locker Code to use in NBA 2K19 when it’s released: GETIT-DUWW7-AN5F3-FPEZB-9VMWC
  • New modes this year include MyTEAM Unlimited (take your best lineup of 13 players online to compete for rewards), Triple Threat (3v3 against all 30 NBA teams and other squads with rewards on the line), and Triple Threat Online (the same concept, only against other gamers online).
  • This year, single player Weekly Challenges will not expire (but Multiplayer Weekly Challenges still will). Schedule Challenges have been revamped to be less of a grind, and the rewards have been increased. There will also be Daily Trials in the form of stat-based objectives each day.
  • Domination no longer has to be played through in a singular fixed order. The mode includes NBA Domination, Fantasy Domination, and All-Time Domination.
  • Reward Tokens are now earned for completing objectives throughout MyTEAM, and can be traded in at the Reward Market. There’s is also a Token Market which offers the chance to get even more content for your Reward Tokens.
  • Collector Levels return, awarding prizes as your collection grows. New cards this year include Heat Check cards (cards that gain boosted abilities for 48 hours after a player turns in a great performance in real life) new Throwback collections with retro players, and a 20th Anniversary collection.
  • The interface has been updated to be more user-friendly, and now includes notifications and a Card Glossary. The Auction House, Pack Market, Edit Lineups, and other menus have also been updated with a new aesthetic and functionality.

Once again, that’s just a very brief summary, so be sure to check out the blog for the full scoop. A trailer for MyTEAM in NBA 2K19 has also been released. Check it out below, or watch it here on YouTube. I’ve also included the screenshots from the developer blog below, and added them to our NBA 2K19 gallery along with some other recently released screens.

What are your thoughts on the details revealed in the MyTEAM blog? Is it a mode you’re likely to check out this year? Have your say in the comments section below, as well as in this topic in the NLSC Forum.

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Monday Tip-Off: Cynicism & Developer Blogs

Developer blogs always deliver promising information (NBA 2K19, MyLEAGUE)

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 cynicism we often feel when we read developer blogs.

NBA Live 19 and NBA 2K19 are just a month away from release, which means we’re in the thick of the preview season. We’re not necessarily getting huge information dumps or new media every day of the week, but the stream of previews is growing steadier as their launch draws nearer. Of course, there are still quite a few things that we’d like to learn about the upcoming games, even though they’re already available to pre-order and will be released in just four weeks. As previously discussed, this has become the norm for basketball gaming’s preview season.

So far, we’ve had one deep-dive developer blog for NBA 2K19, detailing all of the improvements and additions to MyLEAGUE, MyGM, and MyLEAGUE Online in this year’s game. More developer blogs should be on their way, and Mike Wang has also been dropping some important information about gameplay enhancements via his Twitter account, but sometimes it’s difficult to take even the best news at face value. When we take a look back at the developer blogs throughout the years, it’s easy to notice a few patterns and recurring themes. Some people may call it “hating”, but if you’ve experienced a few preview seasons, it can be tough not to get a little cynical.

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Details on MyLEAGUE, MyLEAGUE Online, & MyGM in NBA 2K19

NBA 2K19: Player Mentorships in MyLEAGUE

The first developer blog for NBA 2K19 has revealed details on MyLEAGUE, MyLEAGUE Online, and MyGM in this year’s game. Given the depth of NBA 2K’s franchise modes, it may seem difficult to imagine how they could get much better, but it appears that there will be some very nice enhancements in NBA 2K19.

With such a comprehensive blog, it’s difficult to summarise all of the new information and do it justice, but here’s a quick overview of what Senior Producer Erick Boenisch had to say:

  • MyLEAGUE Online now reflects the offline experience, complete with full contracts (no more Keeper system) and comprehensive front office management. League admins have the ability to set the duration for completing offseason tasks, and participants have access to more information, such as who is currently online.
  • Even more sliders have been added, allowing us to tune more aspects of MyLEAGUE. New sliders include various aspects of trade logic, salary expectations, and player progression. There is an incredible amount of customisation potential here, from teams and players to individual attributes.
  • Create-a-Player has been enhanced, both for custom Draft Classes and CAPs in general. New face sculpting tools have been added, and created player templates can be shared via Player DNA.
  • MyGM is now more flexible. In addition to a story-driven approach (“The Saga Continues”), we can now choose to play MyGM without a story. The traditional MyGM experience is also more flexible and customisable.
  • The Draft has been enhanced with commentary and analysis. The new Draft Lottery system is also incorporated.
  • Other additions and updates in terms of accuracy and depth include traded player exceptions, another year’s worth of draft picks to trade, new rule changes (and the ability to choose your own), user-chosen awards (overriding the sim engine’s picks), the new formats for the All-Star Game and Summer League, and additional tracking menus.
  • A new Player Mentorship system will allow veteran players to have an impact on the development of younger players.
  • There will be pre-created Draft Classes featuring historical players: 1960, 1965, 1969, 1970, 1974, and 1976-2017. These ready-made Classes can also be customised.

That’s just a very brief overview, so be sure to check out the blog for the full scoop. Some screenshots of MyLEAGUE, MyLEAGUE Online, and MyGM were also posted in the blog. Check them out below, as well as in our NBA 2K19 Screenshots gallery. Brian Mazique of also had an opportunity to speak with Erick Boenisch about the improvements to all three franchise modes. Check out the video below, or here on YouTube.

What are your thoughts on the first developer blog? Are you looking forward to playing these modes? Have your say in the comments section below, and join in the discussion here in the NLSC Forum.

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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.