The good, the bad and the ugly: MyCareer as a PC player in NBA 2K18

PC players are definitely the minority of players within the 2K community. The PC port is undeniably less popular than the other versions of the game. According to Steam Charts, there are an average of 11,566 PC players since the game’s release in September. Most of the 2K community unanimously resides on the Playstation 4 console. Our reasons as PC players are that we don’t own a console or we prefer the single player experience or we just don’t care.

The most coveted game mode in NBA 2K18 by far is MyCareer. You begin in an area called ‘The Neighborhood’ where your first thought is Grand Theft Auto’s open world but with basketball. This is where you begin your NBA career. MyCareer encompasses both MyPark and Pro-Am inside its world. Both are the main competitive modes of the game. Playing with CPU and other players as teammates/opponents was both fun and frustrating. The game certainly wasn’t easy the entire way. I can say my journey in the NBA was rough around the edges.

The good

Snapshot of my MyCareer player. Courtesy of Tito Sar.

NBA 2K18 is a lot of fun. I’ve played this game a lot, with around 200 hours worth on record. Most hours were spent playing MyCareer. I’ve played an entire season and participated in MyPark frequently. Playing with friends is enjoyable which makes for good laughs and jokes. I get a kick out of other players and how ridiculous most look. You can make friends in-game and run a few games together too. If you really enjoy the NBA and the game of basketball it’s hard not to have fun.

Playing season games is fun because of how your player’s strength benefits playing as a team. The actual gameplay of basketball feels reminiscent of years past. There is a lot of depth into the gameplay that shows the balance between every player’s archetypes. I may be in the minority but I do miss a few of the cut-scenes before and after the game. The cut-scenes gave me a sense of immersion that I really am in the NBA, but plays off on its humor entirely.

The bad

Empty Pro-Am arena. Courtesy of Tito Sar.

NBA 2K18 has a lot of bugs. Times where my character will spawn into a ghost town after using the subway to go to MyPark. Other times where my game will crash if I didn’t mute my teammates in my squad. The game will also randomly crash after MyPark games and the list goes on if you can already tell. The gameplay isn’t perfect. Sometimes you can’t make wide open layups. The shot meter isn’t accurate either because a slightly early release is better than a good release. These bugs aren’t being addressed and causes players including from console versions to lash out at 2K on social media as well.

There’s a small community of people that play MyPark or Pro-Am in general. I still haven’t played a Pro-Am game via walk-on because there isn’t a Pro-Am scene that I know of. I’ve been told it’s still bugged. You’ll eventually play with the same people that are the regulars at MyPark. It’s disappointing to pay the same price as console versions for an abandoned PC port. I can’t imagine how many people will still play several months from now. There isn’t an incentive to play on PC if you plan on playing multiplayer.

The ugly

Hackers already managed to get 99 overall. Courtesy of Tito Sar.

NBA 2K18 has a lot of cheaters and exploiters. They have been around in previous years of 2K and remain prevalent now. There’s already 99 overall players around yet it’s barely October. The chances there’s a legitimate 99 is slim to none. Another exploit I’ve seen is farming experience in the Gatorade Training Facility where I’ve seen a player do dumbbell flyes for weeks. People are finding different ways to get to 99 because of the grueling grind. This ruins the experience of others, including myself.

A few players from the Steam Discussion forums have recently reported that there are players using speed hacks. Meaning they have a 99 rating in more than a few attributes. However, the 2K PC community isn’t surprised because they’re all used to this behavior. Players who play 2K on PC every year comment that the developers never had an anti-cheat system in place. Many warn others about the PC port’s problems regarding cheaters, and to get the console version instead if possible.

In conclusion

I enjoy NBA 2K18’s MyCareer. This game has its strengths and fair share of weaknesses. I don’t regret my purchase at all because I knew what I was getting myself into. If you’re looking for a single player experience then PC is for you. MyLeague and MyTeam are really fun and you should try it if you haven’t. Otherwise if you’re looking for a more competitive scene or a complete experience, like me, then console is for you. I will admit this is going to be my last year as a PC player. Soon I will join everyone else on Playstation 4!

 

Featured image courtesy of Tito Sar.

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NBA eLeague

The NBA and Take-Two Are Changing esports

The NBA and Take-Two (Makers of NBA 2K) are teaming up to change esports in a major way starting in 2018. The NBA and Take-Two have partnered to create a professional, competitive NBA eLeague.

Traditional sports games have fallen behind in the world of esports. Games like League of Legends, Pokemon, Halo, Counter-Strike and Dota2 have had been dominating competitive gaming and are already paying gamers million of dollars.

The NBA is trying to take a piece of that pie. There is so much money to be made from gaming that traditional sports need to innovate before they get left behind.

The NBA and Take-Two are trying to set the trend for these traditional sports. This bold leap could change the gaming industry like never seen before.

So what exactly will this NBA eLeague be and how will it run?

How Will it work?

NBA eLeague

(Photo Credit: https://geekiversedotcom.com)

The eLeague, as Adam Silver has called it, will be a professional gaming league run by the NBA and its franchises. Each NBA team will be in control of their own 2K virtual basketball team.

For example, the Chicago Bulls will have the eBulls and the team will manage its roster just as they do for the on-court basketball team. There will be general managers and a salary cap.

All 30 NBA teams will be involved and this season will mirror the real season. Gamers will be paid a salary to practice, train and compete for their respective teams and the only difference is they will be training with a controller instead of their body.

These teams will be through a real draft, similar to the traditional NBA draft. Each team will have five professional gamers on its roster. They won’t be playing with LeBron James, Steph Curry or Kevin Durant but instead they will play with their custom created avatars that they work on to improve.

One area of concern most people come up with is how can they do this if everyone is going to just be a 99 overall player who can do everything? NBA2K has already fixed this issue in their latest version of the game.

archetypes and badges

NBA eLeague

(Photo Credit:https://www.youtube.com)

NBA 2K17 really wanted to make sure that each player had their own specialty. In previous years a player could make a point guard who could be 6-foot-7 and earn all badges to become the most unstoppable player of all-time.

There are three solutions they came up with to halt this.

The first is with archetypes. For all examples in how this works, we will stick to looking at point guards.

When you create your player you can pick a position. Once you select the position you wish to play, you must pick an archetype. The archetypes for point guard are the following: playmaker, sharpshooter, lockdown defender, shot creator and slasher.

Depending on the type of point guard you decide to become, you will have only five badges you can upgrade. That is the second part of the solution: the number of badges one can upgrade. In NBA 2K there are dozens of badges a player can get that makes them better.

One of those badges is the pickpocket badge. To unlock the pickpocket badge, a player must get a certain amount of steals within a season. The pickpocket badge makes a player more effective at stealing the ball.

As you can see in the picture with the sharpshooter, pickpocket is not one of these upgradeable badges for that archetype. What that means is that the pickpocket badge must stay at the bronze level.

NBA eLeague

(Photo Credit: YouTube)

If the sharpshooter archetype gamer unlocked the limitless range badge then they could upgrade it from bronze to silver then to gold. Once a player has a gold badge they can upgrade it to the hall of fame level. Hall of fame badges allow a player to be great at that skill.

By allowing gamers to only have five upgradeable badges, they have stopped people from becoming players that are great at everything and 99 overall.

The third way NBA 2K17 has made it difficult to become 99 overall is by including park reputation.

Park reputation is a tier system in which can only be aquired by playing at MyPark. There are five levels to each tier. The tiers are as follows: rookie, pro, all-star, superstar and legend.

A player can only get to 95 overall before the game will not let them upgrade anymore. To earn more upgrades, one must reach levels one, three and five of the superstar tier at MyPark. The amount of games and time it takes to reach those tiers is extremely straining and does not come easily.

These three additions have really helped NBA 2K level the playing field and made a game that requires multiple different skill sets, rather than just a bunch of players who can do all. This is something NBA teams will have to look at when constructing teams for their NBA eLeague.

2K HAS ALREADY TESTED THIS

There is a mode in NBA 2K called Pro-Am that allows all these different gamers to take their custom players play in five on five games similar to an NBA contest. These teams become really competitive and are an example of how an NBA eLeague team would look. NBA 2K have already held two major tournaments over the past two years to test how this would work in a legitimate format.

NBA eLeague

(Photo Credit:http://www.usatoday.com/sports/)

The first one was called the Road to the Finals which took place in 2016. This year NBA 2K held the All Star Tournament which would gave 250 thousand dollars to the winning team Still Trill.

Over two million people streamed the final game, according to NBA 2K, proving that there is a market for competitive traditional sports games. The tournament showed is that these skilled players are capable of drawing a lot of viewers.

There are over 110,000 teams on Xbox alone in the Pro-Am game mode. The teams and players are already around waiting to be picked up by NBA franchises.

Why This Will Change eSports

NBA eLeague

(Photo Credit: Matthew Hagan)

The potential of this idea is unlimited. Currently, getting the NBA to be involved is monumental for the growth of NBA 2K as an esport. The NBA is the first professional league in the United States to create their own esports league.

The success with the two tournaments that NBA 2K have already run proves that there is huge interest in this game. Eventually the NBA eLeague could expand to more teams than just 30. There could be hundreds of teams in each region of the world. Eventually there could be regional championships that lead to a world championship.

An eLeague allows people who could never play in the NBA a chance to become NBA stars. This includes people who have disabilities and are unable physically play the sport. It doesn’t matter your size, weight, or gender, anybody who is good enough on the sticks can end up being drafted to an NBA eLeague team. That is something that no other professional sport can offer.

This is just the beginning for the NBA and Take-Two. Once the money begins to flow they will realize they need to expand the field. Before you know it there will be an NBA2K Hall of Fame and a list of new NBA eChampions.

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