The week is in the dying minutes of the fourth quarter, which means it’s time for The Sunday Substitute! It’s the article where I get some valuable minutes while the star is resting on the bench. I might not have the time to do this every week, but I like to think I’m still making a contribution to the team.
In this edition, I want to talk about MyCAREER and how I have approached it in NBA 2K16. Whether I’m building a team in a franchise mode or creating the next superstar in a player mode, I have generally found the reward to be in the gameplay experience alone. NBA 2K16, on the other hand, has been a different story for me. It’s the first NBA game that I have really delved into the online aspect – with MyPARK, 2K PRO-AM and MyTEAM – and it is also the first game I have really dealt with Virtual Currency (VC). All the sudden, the way I play one game mode affects how I play every game mode.
This article is basically a timeline of my experience in MyCAREER in NBA 2K16 and what kept me motivated to stick with it. My motivations generally changed depending on my needs in NBA 2K16 and whether I completed what previously motivated me. With that said, here’s my evolution through MyCAREER in NBA 2K16.
The Spike Lee Story
I have to admit, the #BeTheStory campaign had me intrigued. Being the dynasty geek that I am, the integration of a story that my decisions could affect was the last piece of the NBA 2K puzzle for me. After deciding what high school and college I went to, I was ready to make the big decisions that would affect my career: how long I was going to stay in college, whether I would stick with Dom as my agent and whether I would cut Vic out of my life. Alas, none of those decisions were left to me.
Lack of decision power aside, giving up the entire first season of MyCAREER for the sake of the story is the part that I am the most critical of. If the story ended at the point where Freq gets drafted, that would have been fine. I may not have agreed with him being a one-and-done player, but at least the decisions in the NBA career would be left up to the user. Instead, you’re left with this turbulent first season that only allows you to play 8 games and a dramatic storyline that feels out of place in a sports video game.
As you can see, I do have my criticisms of the mode; but despite the shots I regularly take at the story on the podcast, it was a pretty good hook to get me into MyCAREER. There were times where I found myself engaged with the story and I wanted to find out what happened next… at least in the initial stages. With that said though, I will approach the story in NBA 2K17 with cynicism, given how the grandiose idea of being the story in NBA 2K16 failed to live up to the hype.
Once you get past the first season, you are given a lot more freedom in MyCAREER. The first thing I looked into doing with my off days was connecting with current and legendary players. I saw connections as the best way to get the extras I wanted without having to spend my VC. I got a lot of MyTEAM cards (at least before the glitch I encountered), accessories for my player (I got my goggles from Kareem), and pretty much everything on my court. Connections pretty much helped me get into MyTEAM and if I didn’t complete them all, I’d probably still be playing MyCAREER for this reason.
Collecting VC for MyTEAM
I really got into MyTEAM in NBA 2K16. I loved the card collecting element, the challenges, the domination modes; basically everything except the online elements. I was in so deep that I actually spent real life currency on VC in order to buy card boxes, which was often met with mixed results. So at one point, I was playing MyCAREER purely so I could get VC to spend on MyTEAM packs.
As I mentioned before, the MyTEAM connection rewards in MyCAREER served as a hook to get me into MyTEAM. Through those rewards, I was able to pick up a pretty decent team straight off the bat, with the likes of Gordon Hayward, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Al Jefferson and various others. Once those rewards started to dry up, I decided to take more of the endorsement opportunities.
The great thing about MyCAREER is that there are plenty of avenues to earn VC. However, sometimes I feel like it takes away from the immersion of the mode. Instead of getting into the story and the milestones of MyCAREER, it feels as though a lot of the time I’m just playing for VC. And if you’re playing online as well in MyPARK or 2K PRO-AM, this mindset is almost a necessity, which is partially why I recommended that extra attribute levels should be based on achievements, not extra training sessions.
Improving My Player
Currently, I play NBA 2K16 almost exclusively through my player. I may check out MyTEAM to try and find historic players that aren’t in my collection, however, after my collector level in MyTEAM plateaued, all of my VC and off days generally go into improving the overall rating of my player. I see it as a necessity, given how much 2K PRO-AM I play and the amount of overpowered players I see online. It has turned MyCAREER into a bit of a grind, since I pretty much have to rely on off days to upgrade my player, but it’s at least something to keep me interested in the mode.
So there’s my evolution through MyCAREER in NBA 2K16. Did you have a similar experience, or did you go about things completely differently? Let me know in the comment section below.