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The Friday Five: 5 Unsolved Modding Mysteries (Part 2)

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 another list of five unsolved modding mysteries.

As I mentioned in my first Friday Five article about unsolved modding mysteries, the whole hobby is dedicated to figuring out the inner workings of the games we play, and discovering how we can change them. We’ve made many exciting discoveries which in turn have led to the creation of fantastic projects, but there are still some gaps in our knowledge. Although we’re constantly looking to innovate and solve those mysteries, sometimes we have to admit defeat – if only temporarily – and file them under the heading of modding barriers that we may or may not ever overcome.

Incidentally, I originally included “blanking out career stats in NBA 2K11” on this list, as it’s something I’d noticed in the Chinese roster updates and had no idea how it was done. Not only have I since been informed that it’s an option in the Chinese trainer for the game, but I accidentally stumbled upon a method of doing it with REDitor II. It just goes to show that even when a game has been out for a decade, we can continue to solve modding mysteries and learn new techniques. That may mean that there’s hope of finding answers to these five modding mysteries at some point, but as of now, they do remain unsolved.

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Wayback Wednesday: NBA Live 2004’s Unusual Ratings

Wayback Wednesday: Unusual Ratings in NBA Live 2004

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 the unusual ratings in NBA Live 2004.

As I noted in my in-depth retrospective of NBA Live 2004 for our 25th Anniversary of NBA Live celebrations, the game was a strong return to form after NBA Live 2003 was skewed in more of an arcade direction. It revamped the franchise experience into Dynasty mode, saw the addition of gameplay sliders, and introduced new player animations and physics with 10-Man Freestyle. It’s a fantastic game for its era, and tipped off a strong three year run for the series. I’d still rate it as one of my favourite games, and rank it among the best all-around NBA Live titles.

Of course, it does have a handful of issues. I’ve talked about some of the problems that occurred in the offseason of the new Dynasty mode, and mentioned a couple of other quirks in my retrospective. Something that a lot of gamers who played NBA Live 2004 will no doubt remember is the unusual ratings – specifically the Overall Ratings – for many of the players, past and present. As usual, there’s a story behind the oddity, so let’s take a look back…way back…

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Monday Tip-Off: Fixing MyREP in NBA 2K

Monday Tip-Off: Fixing MyREP in NBA 2K

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 ideas on how to fix MyREP in future NBA 2K games, if not in a patch for NBA 2K20.

I’ve outlined some of the problems with the new MyREP system in a previous article, so this week I thought that I’d offer up some more specific solutions. Thanks to my week spent playing The Rec, I’ve been able to level up and unlock some of the rewards, though admittedly MyCAREER is a mode that’s gone on the backburner for me this year. All the same, I’d like MyCAREER and its connected modes to be as good as they possibly can be for my fellow gamers who still want to sink most of their time into those experiences.

As a replacement for the Road to 99, MyREP has its benefits and drawbacks. Among the positives, all of the rewards need to be earned by playing the game and gaining rep; there are no shortcuts through microtransactions. It’s also drawn some attention away from Overall Ratings, a mechanic that often carries an overinflated sense of importance. On the downside, it locks offline gamers out of NBA-related rewards, doesn’t adequately reward online gamers grinding for MyREP, contributes to elitism, and could stand to distribute its rewards far more logically. With that in mind, here’s how I’d fix the MyREP system in NBA 2K.

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The Friday Five: 5 Alternatives to Overall Ratings

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 explores five possible alternatives to having Overall Ratings in basketball video games.

If you play basketball video games – and in particular, if you maintain the rosters for them – then Overall Ratings often cause a lot of hassle. I’ve written not one but two articles on the matter, and since then, the situation sadly hasn’t gotten any better. During this past preview season, there was plenty of grumbling when an Overall Rating was revealed and it didn’t seem quite right. For their part, players themselves have strong opinions as to what their ratings should be. Of course, many of them feel they should be 90+ Overall; even rookies who still have everything to prove!

Overall Ratings remain a point of contention in basketball games (and sports games in general), but unfortunately, they are a necessary evil. They provide us with a succinct overview of a player’s value and standing in the league compared to his peers, which is important when trying to put together trades in the franchise modes. The concept of 99 Overall Ratings also gives us a lofty goal to shoot for in the career modes. As such, Overall Ratings aren’t going anywhere. I do think we need them, but what if we were to replace them with a less controversial system? Does such a solution exist? Well, here are five possibilities that I can think of, that might be viable alternatives.

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NBA Live 19 Ratings Reveals: Top Rookies

NBA Live 19: Trae Young (81 Overall)

EA Sports aren’t quite done with the ratings reveals for NBA Live 19 just yet. The latest article over on the official website lists the top-rated rookies in this year’s game, while also profiling the key members of the Class of 2018. The top rookies and their Overall Ratings are as follows:

  • DeAndre Ayton, Phoenix Suns (84 Overall)
  • Marvin Bagley III, Sacramento Kings (82 Overall)
  • Luka Doncic, Dallas Mavericks (81 Overall)
  • Trae Young, Atlanta Hawks (81 Overall)
  • Jaren Jackson Jr., Memphis Grizzlies (81 Overall)
  • Mohamed Bamba, Orlando Magic (81 Overall)
  • Michael Porter Jr., Denver Nuggets (80 Overall)
  • Collin Sexton, Cleveland Cavaliers (79 Overall)
  • Grayson Allen, Utah Jazz (79 Overall)
  • Kevin Knox, New York Knicks (78 Overall)
  • Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Los Angeles Clippers (78 Overall)
  • Aaron Holiday, Indiana Pacers (77 Overall)

As always, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below, as well as in this topic in the NLSC Forum.

Top 5 Small Fowards, Power Forwards, & Centres in NBA Live 19

NBA Live 19: Kevin Durant (95 Overall)

The reveal of the Top 5 players at each position in NBA Live 19 continues. Officially, EA Sports are up to the small forwards, but since the articles for the power forwards and centres have already been posted, they’ve inevitably leaked the ratings ahead of time. The Top 5 players at each position are as follows:

Small Forward

  1. LeBron James (97 Overall)
  2. Kevin Durant (95 Overall)
  3. Kawhi Leonard (92 Overall)
  4. Paul George (90 Overall)
  5. Gordon Hayward (85 Overall)

Power Forwards

  1. Giannis Antetokounmpo (90 Overall)
  2. Draymond Green (88 Overall)
  3. LaMarcus Aldridge (87 Overall)
  4. Kevin Love (87 Overall)
  5. Kristaps Porzingas (86 Overall)

Centres

  1. Anthony Davis (94 Overall)
  2. Joel Embiid (92 Overall)
  3. Karl-Anthony Towns (91 Overall)
  4. DeMarcus Cousins (90 Overall)
  5. Rudy Gobert (89 Overall)

In case you missed it, you can check out the ratings for the shooting guards here, and the point guards here. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments section below, as well as in this topic in the NBA Live 19 section of the NLSC Forum.

NBA Live 19 Ratings Reveals: Top 5 Shooting Guards

NBA Live 19: James Harden (94 Overall)

EA Sports are continuing their reveal of the Top 5 players at each position in NBA Live 19, along with their specific Overall Ratings. Next up are the Top 5 Shooting Guards in this year’s game.

  1. James Harden (94 Overall)
  2. Klay Thompson (91 Overall)
  3. DeMar DeRozan (90 Overall)
  4. Jimmy Butler (90 Overall)
  5. Victor Oladipo (89 Overall)

The 94 Overall Rating for NBA Live 18 cover player James Harden matches the rating for the best point guard in the game, Stephen Curry. My guess is that LeBron James will be the highest rated player in the game, with his rating coming tomorrow along with four other small forwards.

We’ll continue to post the ratings as they’re released. In the meantime, feel free to have your say in the comments section below, as well as in this topic in the NBA Live 19 section of the NLSC Forum.

NBA Live 19 Ratings Reveals: Top 5 Point Guards

NBA Live 19: Chris Paul (92 Overall)

EA Sports are revealing the Top 5 players at each position in NBA Live 19, along with their specific Overall Ratings. They’re tipping things off with the Top 5 Point Guards:

  1. Steph Curry (94 Overall)
  2. Russell Westbrook (93 Overall)
  3. Kyrie Irving (93 Overall)
  4. Chris Paul (92 Overall)
  5. John Wall (90 Overall)

More ratings should be coming through the week. In the meantime, feel free to add your thoughts in the comments section below, as well as join in the discussion here in the Forum. For more NBA Live 19 coverage, be sure to check out our portal for the game.

Top-Rated WNBA Players in NBA Live 19; More Screenshots

NBA Live 19: Brittney Griner

In the wake of the big announcement regarding Female Create-a-Player, an article profiling the top-rated WNBA players in NBA Live 19 has been posted over on the game’s official website. In addition to discussing the career accomplishments of their real life counterparts, it reveals the top three WNBA players at each position, which are as follows:

  • Point Guard: Sue Bird, Seattle Storm (89 OVR); Jasmine Thomas, Connecticut Sun (86 OVR); Skylar Diggins-Smith, Dallas Wings (85 OVR)
  • Shooting Guard: Diana Taurasi, Phoenix Mercury (90 OVR); Chelsea Gray, Los Angeles Sparks (85 OVR); Seimone Augustus, Minnesota Lynx (84 OVR)
  • Small Forward: Maya Moore, Minnesota Lynx (93 OVR); Elene Delle Donne, Washington Mystics (91 OVR); Nneka Ogwumike, Los Angeles Sparks (88 OVR)
  • Power Forward: Candace Parker, Los Angeles Sparks (92 OVR); Breanna Stewart, Seattle Storm (88 OVR); Chiney Ogwumike, Connecticut Sun (85 OVR)
  • Center: Sylvia Fowles, Minnesota Lynx (92 OVR); Brittney Griner, Phoenix Mercury (90 OVR); Tina Charles, New York Liberty (88 OVR)

The article has also provided us with some screenshots featuring a few of those players in action. Check them out below, as well as here in our NBA Live 19 Screenshots gallery.

As always, I invite you to share your thoughts in the comments section below, as well as join in all of the discussion that’s taking place in the NBA Live 19 section of the NLSC Forum.

Monday Tip-Off: Should 99 Overall Ratings Be Possible To Attain?

Road to 99 Loading Screen in NBA 2K18

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 discussion of whether 99 Overall ratings should be possible to attain in NBA Live and NBA 2K.

Few aspects of the core gameplay experience in basketball video games cause quite as much controversy as overall ratings. They cause heated debates and much frustration when a player’s overall appears to be too high or too low, or otherwise incorrect when compared to other players. It’s all too easy to place too much emphasis on them, even though the individual ratings are more important, and the formula for calculating the overalls often makes it difficult to get every player’s rating to be “perfect”. However, although they can be problematic and even unclear, they are an important mechanic.

A debate that I’ve seen come up more than a few times over the years is whether or not any player deserves the maximum rating of 99 Overall. Not counting some of the boosted cards in Ultimate Team and MyTEAM, only a few players have reached that level in NBA Live and NBA 2K over the years, including Michael Jordan, LeBron James, and Magic Johnson. It’s also become a prominent goal to reach in NBA 2K’s MyCAREER, emphasised by NBA 2K18’s Road to 99. Few things make a player stand out in a video game quite like boasting a maxed out overall rating, but the question remains: should 99 Overall be possible in the first place?

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