The end of this week has brought updates to numerous next-gen sports games and NBA Live 14 is included in the bunch. Though patches are unlikely to generate additional interest in the game it is important for EA Sports to establish a level of support for the product and improve it for those who did purchase the unsatisfying reboot of the series.
The company is certain to struggle with credibility in selling next year’s game but showing a dedication to Live 14 could help them in that regard prior to then. The latest patch is just the start of what is promised to be an unprecedented level of post-release support.
The most important piece that we’re adding is a change to our technology around our LIVE Update system. This is the first step in our plans for NBA LIVE 14. Many of the changes in this update are things you won’t actually see – technology additions that will pave the way for the additions to come. This will allow us to update and add content such as gameplay tuning, new animations, audio and visual assets directly to you as they become available. This applies to cosmetic changes like new uniforms, shoes, accessories and so on, but also allows for ongoing gameplay and graphical improvements.
While new technology is a big part of what we’re releasing, there are other, immediately apparent improvements that players will notice right away. We’ve tuned shooting so that nailing the timing for a jump shot is a bit easier, as well as cutting down the number of blocked jumpers on the perimeter. These enhancements should make both mid-range and long-range shooting more realistic, and will make it more fun to play as a stretch 4 or a sharpshooting guard.
In addition, we also fixed a crowd audio issue in BIG Moments within our LIVE Season game mode, as well as changing the camera used during single player challenges. We’ve also made some tweaks to make online games more enjoyable by adjusting the shooting window. A number of other fixes and tweaks should help create a smoother overall online gaming experience.
These are some important changes, even if they don’t dramatically change the way the game is perceived yet. Toning down blocks on jump shots should open up the mid-range game which was completely absent. Online it was near impossible to make outside shots so opening up the timing window there is critical. If that still doesn’t do enough offering purely ratings-based shooting instead of factoring in timing could be a consideration also.
At the very least EA seems to have genuinely taken note of consumer feedback because these, and future plans for ways to learn how to play the game and improvements to animations and visuals, are areas that were specifically discussed at length in reviews and on our special NBA Live 14 Press Row Hangout episode.