Patch Expected Soon for NBA Live 14; Adds Shootaround, Improves Gameplay and Visuals

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Posted February 7th, 2014 at 3:15 pm

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While there may not be many consumers playing NBA Live 14 it has been important for EA Sports to follow through not just on post-release promises but delivering a competent and enjoyable product to market. Those who gave the game a chance may not be so forgiving this fall when Live 15 arrives. It’s not just the goodwill of improving the game but demonstrating that the company recognizes its faults and may be in a position to rectify them while excelling in other areas in the coming years.

With that in mind EA released details today on the second patch for NBA Live 14 which is expected to go live on Xbox One and PS4 next week. The update will include a practice gym for shootarounds – the most inexplicable decision of all for the game finally being addressed – with hope of a more comprehensive tutorial and practice mode in the future. Changes to the lighting are being made so the players will look better but the player scans the company has been doing won’t be patched into Live 14.

Gameplay has been worked on with “responsiveness” being the key word. Improving on the delay seen in passing/moving/shooting/blocking would certainly represent progress. All-Star jerseys, court, and Adam Silver’s signature on the basketball will also be included. Continue on for the full descriptions of what the coming patch will address.

SHOOTAROUND
From the start, many of you have told us that your biggest frustration with the game is the lack of in-game tutorials or a practice mode. We hear you loud and clear, and it’s been a priority for our team to build something that helps fans come to grips with the intricacies of NBA LIVE. The first step down this road is the new Shootaround mode, which you’ll see in the update. In Shootaround, you can take ANY NBA player into the gym and get a feel for all the dribbling controls and signature moves, as well as the many ways you can shoot the ball and various gather types. This is the place where you can learn the timing and flow of dribble moves for each of your favorite players, as well as see how each guy handles the ball. Without a defender in your face and no shot clock to worry about, it’s our hope that you can take your time to really get a feel for how to best string moves together and become a more effective player.

Similarly, you can work on various shots and moves to better understand each player’s release point and shot timing. In a previous update, we tweaked the timing of shots to make jumpers a little easier to hit and now you can focus on really dialing-in your timing in a stress-free environment.

It’s our hope that you come out of Shootaround mode feeling more confident about your game and are able to translate the skills you’ve worked on out on the court in game situations. We want you to feel prepared when you’ve got the ball in your hands, down by 1 in the 4th with 10 seconds left on the clock.

We also understand that there’s still a lot more to learn in NBA LIVE and that Shootaround mode doesn’t touch on every single control offered in our game. Our team is committed to delivering a robust, comprehensive onboarding experience, but it takes a lot of time and resources to build up a brand-new mode from scratch. Shootaround is our first step down that path, and puts us in a good place moving forward to expand into a much deeper experience in the future. We are looking forward to your feedback and hearing what you like about Shootaround and what else you want us to include in next year’s game.

In addition to the new in-game Shootaround mode, we’ve also got numerous tutorial videos available here on the website to help with things like shootingoffensive and defensive post play, gameplay tips and tricks and offensive and defensive play-calling. It’s our hope that by combining the info in the videos with the hands-on experience in Shootaround that you can get a more complete picture of all the things you can do in NBA LIVE.

VISUAL UPGRADES
Since we shipped NBA LIVE 14, our graphics team has revisited some of the lighting and textures in order to further improve the game’s visuals. We realize that the lighting technique we used caused some players to look smooth, clay-like or even “plastic.” After tuning lighting and color values with think there’s a marked improvement, and we’ve made sure to touch every player and every uniform to enhance their look. Some of the changes are subtle, but overall you should see that every player on the court looks better and they’re really starting to pop from the gameplay cameras. Again, these are transitional steps which not only help us right now, but as we continue work on the franchise. We can take the lessons we’re learning here and use them to continue to refine and improve our visuals moving forward.

Some of our more invested fans may have heard about the recent head scans we’ve been doing with various NBA teams. These scans will help ensure we have the best possible player likeness in future editions of the game, bringing us closer and closer to photorealistic players. The actual head scan is just the first stage of a multi-step process that goes into creating an in-game asset. We take that scan, put it through a pipeline, hand it over to an artist who then spends some time with it to ensure that the likeness is spot-on before it can be seen in the game. That, along with a brand new character lighting technique, will allow us to get the players and their likeness to where you expect them to be. Based on what I’m seeing so far, you’re not going to be disappointed with the way our players look in future editions of the game. The process is simply too long and complex to include in a Content Update, but we’re doing the work now so it can be included in next year’s game.

GAMEPLAY IMPROVEMENTS
Gameplay has been a big focus of previous updates, and that continues here. We’ve improved responsiveness and control for first steps, plus dribble moves, which will give some of the league’s best players a more explosive first move and the ability to quickly change gears to blow by a defender. We’ve made multiple improvements to passing with ball physics, pass speeds and branch points within animations for improved responsiveness. We’ve worked to make passing and catching feel better and improve animation quality. Better responsiveness improves your ability to move the ball around the perimeter in the half court. Also, you’ll see how much better the overall flow of the game feels, especially in transition. Preserving momentum while passing and catching on the run makes transition more fun, and provides more opportunities to push the ball to a teammate and get to the basket for an easy bucket.

A FEW OTHER DETAILS
In addition to all the changes I’ve already described, we’re also introducing the official court and jerseys for NBA All-Star Weekend in New Orleans, as well as some additional Adidas Hardwood Classic uniforms and a new basketball complete with the signature of new NBA commissioner Adam Silver. For all you LIVE Season fans, we’ve moved the camera to default to normal broadcast view rather than player lock and we’re adding variety in the types of Challenges you’ll see day-to-day. We’ve also addressed some additional camera issues that you’ve pointed out in Big Moments in LIVE Season, as well as some other bug fixes in that mode and Ultimate Team.

While we’re on the topic of LIVE Season, I just want to take a moment to recognize the team for all the good work they’ve done providing fresh content throughout the season. So far we’ve posted over 13,000 updates from Synergy Sports driving not only roster updates, but player performance as well, which is pretty staggering. There’s still plenty more where that came from, as we remain committed to keeping our game up to date with everything that’s happening in the NBA.

BUILDING FOR THE FUTURE
The last thing I want to mention is that everything we’re doing here—from the improvements we’re making in gameplay and to our visuals, to providing the start of our onboarding experience with Shootaround—is being built with the future in mind. We’re making these additions with an eye towards rebuilding NBA LIVE, making sure everything we do today can continue to be improved and iterated upon for next year’s game. Don’t think that we’re doing all this work at the expense of the next NBA LIVE. Instead, we’re building for next year’s title and including everything we can in the current game right now to improve the experience for our loyal fans—the fans who have been there since day 1. We sincerely thank you for sticking with us, and I personally want you to know that we’re all working our butts off to deliver the best possible next-gen basketball experience both right now and in the years to come. We’ve still got a long way to go on this journey and we want to keep hearing from you along the way to help shape the future of NBA LIVE and the future of basketball gaming.

  • Juukbox

    wanting to see how the new patch improves the game. these little improvements could make a big difference in the game if done correctly.

  • jsouva6

    Guess we;ll find out monday if EA is really serious about the future of NBA Live

  • jr

    In before Keith comes in hating on a product that he doesn’t own or posting his stock quotes.

    I’m glad they are making a real effort to fix a game that was completely broken at release. With the problems that 2k had, I wish I had just kept Live and prayed for a better day. Hope the new update makes the game more enjoyable for the people that still have it

    • B-Dog

      You actually believe all this bullshit EA is telling you? LOL! Don’t hold your breath buddy.

      • jr

        I believed that I was making a wise decision trading this in for 2k and was burned for over 2 months. That game still had glitches that are ignored by blind homers but that’s a whole new story. So at the end of the day, no matter how big a download a game is or how pretty it looks, every company feeds us bullshit if you like it or not

  • CSaint

    At least they are listening

  • Khadeem

    Waiting 4 Keith

  • Keith.

    After 9 weeks, this game hadn’t even sold 50,000 on PS4 here in the US. And selling under 1,000 copies a week now, it may never get to 100,000 copies sold, which is pitiful.

    http://www.vgchartz.com/game/74703/nba-live-14/USA/

    To put that in perspective, Backbreaker has sold 138,000 on 360 and 132,000 on PS3, and it didn’t have ANY licenses to pay.

    http://www.vgchartz.com/game/42980/backbreaker/

    The NBA Live producer must have pictures of Andrew Wilson or something — I don’t see how else EA can justify spending another nickel on this series at this point. Four years of wasted dev expenses and counting.

    • LLSMUVG

      I do have to say that numbers don’t lie “often”; but there is some truth to what Keith is saying; these numbers are horrible; even combined between PS4 and XB1, globally they have sold 146,841 units in Ten weeks!
      They (EA, NBA LIVE franchise) are in trouble!
      I am still waiting for this game to go on major sale before I pick it up! I borrow my friends game ever so often, because he hardly plays his own; but he won’t sell it to me; because he feels the game will be worth something down the road when EA closes up shop on the series! (LOL)
      $60 for a so called “Next-gen” title; that they are only scanning faces now for next year (NBA LIVE 15)!!! So what faces did they scan for this current unfinished project this year??? smh

    • bltzkrieg666

      What is the purpose of your existence Keith. Seriously you bring up bullshit like backbreaker. Your a joke. Perhaps if you actually belonged to a community and actually took an active role in said community you would actually have a clue. Why you insist on quoting useless sales numbers, stock quotes and other superfluous drivel is beyond me. Live is a fun game period. Criticize all you like, but at the end of the day Live 14 is a fun game and if you ask anyone, present company included, who actually has logged in the serious hours of gameplay, they will tell you how fun this game is. Nobody gives a shit what 2k fanbots such as your self thinks about this game. All I will say is that EA is at least listening to the fans, responding directly to the fans and are being quite humble in the process. Perhaps this is just the occurrence that needed to happen for EA to wake up and recognize us fans as more then one your ignorant and useless sales figures. Hopefully their approach to Live 14 and subsequently Live 15 will spread over to Madden, FIFA, NHL etc. Specifically to you Keith, you mock EA, but tell me exactly what has 2k done to impress you. They once again market a game that fails to work, offer patches that do nothing, rip you off with VC, rarely provide you with content updates, and basically ignore the community because the game has shipped already. Maybe you should take notice that the only time 2k embraces the community is when they are hawking the next iteration of their game. There they wheel out the Devil himself Ronnie Singh and his little minion Chris Manning to mesmerize you with their bullshit and demonstrate the next game that won’t work. Sadly Keith your rhetoric is old and stale and maybe you should find a new soap box to pontificate from. Gamers Game. Perhaps you should try it.

      • Keith.

        Damn, Daley. Whoever the English teacher was that taught you how to use paragraphs, should be fired.

        • bltzkrieg666

          Your not worth the effort to use proper paragraphing Kruk.

    • Casor_Greener

      Y’all can hate Keith all ya want but y’all know these facts is hurting you EA fanboys ahahahahaahh

      • bltzkrieg666

        Last time I checked I am playing MY games. What’s your excuse.

    • jbl72

      I’m gonna use your own logic when people complain about 2K.

      You don’t own the game so you’re just jumping on the bandwagon and don’t have the right to say jack about it.

    • MoneyMayweather

      Didn’t you say there wasn’t gonna be a live 15?

      • Keith.

        Have you ever seen a sequel green-lit for a game with Live’s dreadful sales numbers? Me neither.

        BackBreaker sold 3x as many copies, didn’t have any licenses to pay for (all profits from the game went to the 10-12 guys who developed it), and even it didn’t get a sequel. And remember, just because EA has guys still working on it, doesn’t mean anything. From what I read on the TW boards this summer, they had a second patch all but completed by June or July, but it was never released because word came down later that the series was canned. If Live’s still well below 100,000 copies on PS4 by the time May rolls around, look for it to be cancelled.

        • bltzkrieg666

          Are you really that much of a moron Kruk. Perhaps if you took your big pumpkin sized head out of VGChartz long enough to read what has been said, you would know that LIVE 15 is already in production.
          You would also know that they have been actively scanning player faces for that effort.

          • Iown You

            Being “in production” doesn’t prevent a game from being cancelled, lol. Do you realize how many games have been in production only to be cut? Especially ones this far away from release? Nothing is set-in-stone here.

            I couldn’t care less if Live comes back or not, but the game bombed… BADLY. That’s a fact. With those kinds of numbers, no one in their right mind would EXPECT a continuation.

    • grammernasi

      And you’re the only one that cares. I hope the patch makes the game amazing just so you can eat your own words. Hell, I don’t even like the NBA, but I might just go out and buy the game for the lulz knowing how attached you are to sales figures. Like it matters at all.

      • Keith.

        You really think I’m “the only one that cares” about sales numbers? Let me tell ya something kid, in this industry, sales numbers are all that matter. Just ask a BackBreaker fan like me. Or a TW fan. Or an NHL2k fan. Or an MLB2k fan. See what I’m sayin’?

    • hungryandrew

      And they plan on releasing NBA Live 15? This has to be a joke right?

  • clubguru

    doesn’t matter…..now that 2k has fixed most of the problem’s people have had with nba2k14…..It’s bar none the best basketball game money can buy……all you nay sayer’s STOP HATIN’………I only play season mode mostly and have enjoyed it from the start and the mycareer mode…WOW….just awesome……

  • bltzkrieg666

    Lets crunch some numbers KEITH STYLE, but without his usual bias. All figures come straight from KEITH’s favorite source: VGCHARTZ.
    NBA2k 13 sold 5.02 million copies of the game total split out over the PS3 and 360. Pretty impressive numbers to say the least, but lets see how 2k14 fairs. Well 2k14 has sold 4.2 million copies of its game but that number is spread out across 4 consoles. Yes the PS3,PS4,360, and XB1. Wow 4 consoles and the game has lost near a million of its consumer base. That too is an impressive number. Ok, lets look at Live. We all know the struggles with this game and the numbers do reflect it. Live to date has sold roughly 150,000 copies of the game and that is PRE PATCH. Not your typical EA Sports games numbers but 150,000 is still a lot of people. Now just to put this in perspective lets take a look at a game that EVERYBODY recognizes as the pinnacle of sports games and that would MLB The Show 13. Well that game sold 590,000 copies and is only available on a single console. So while the lofty numbers of 2k are in fact impressive, don’t fool yourself into thinking that you need those kind of numbers to succeed. Live is sitting at 150K. Keep in mind many still don’t have their next gen consoles yet. Also keep in mind that the Patch to Live, which is due out this Tuesday will certainly boost the sales numbers to the game. The one thing we can certainly see from the numbers and what really matters is the vast numbers of people who left the 2k camp this year. Well over 800000 to be more exacting. So while we all enjoy the bloviating of Keith, lets keep it real. Live has nowhere to go but up and 2k has clearly shown us with the debacle of 2k14 next gen why 800K have chosen not to return to 2k.

    • bltzkrieg666

      Funny, Kruk is no where to be found when presented with the ACTUAL truth. Cmon Kruk where is your explanation for the over 1 million lost sales to 2k.
      Perhaps you would like to use a stock quote or perhaps remind us again how many people bought Back Breaker.
      The problem with you Kruk is that you are such a jaded gamer that it blinds your better judgment.
      Your too busy on your usual anti EA rant to even understand what is going on. You better learn to face the facts. EA is the big dog and 2k is the little minion. EA has stomped on 2k before and when the time comes it will do it again.
      2k is down to basically 1 legitimate sport, so don’t you think EA, moving forward, is going to concentrate its efforts on that one last franchise.
      We all witnessed what they did to NHL2k. We all witnessed what Sony did to MLB2k. It’s only a matter of time before NBA2k succumbs, just like they did in baseball and hockey.

      • MBird

        Wow……No, to both of these comments.

  • Weekend Roady

    Did EA farm out FIFA World Cup’s next-gen handlers to Live… geesh, a lot of money being fed into this apparent sinkhole.

    Only reason I can give for this project being propped up is 2K’s shocking inability to close the door on the next-gen market this year. I played the Live demo a few times and I thought the gameplay was woefully bad – I can’t imagine many people would jump in now after trying the demo just to chance it with these patches. Still, I suppose we’re still reading about Live because 2K has left the door open.

  • flossbee

    Can’t wait to see what they’ll deliver. I’m fed up with this mess they are calling next gen NBA 2K14. 2K drop the ball on this release and left the door wide open for legitimate competition down the road. Consumers are pissed lol!!!

  • Jesus

    For those of you waiting for Keith or trying to get here before he does , it won’t change the fact the game is horrible. It also won’t change 2k being unplayable for people.

  • Skihawks

    Like to see that they aren’t pushing this years game to the side. I am confused why some of the excellent tools from Live 10 weren’t carried over like the practice gym. However, I like the fact that they are asking for feedback.

    Haters aside, we need Live to succeed. Our last hope for competition in the sports genre.

  • Kyle

    Even though the game is pretty bad, EA is still making an effort to make it better and more enjoyable for the consumer. I love that. Good job EA.

  • Lnin0

    I am glad they have crappy sales numbers. Unfortunately, I would wish gamers where more vigilant in teaching publishers these types of lessons.

    In the case of Live, EA hid everything from people until release, then admitted it was half-baked and yet still sell it for full retail price. They deserve to reap what they sow.
    Why would you applaud them for listening to customers ONLY AFTER everything blew up in their face. It is nothing more than lip service at this point because there is very little any developer can do to re-write a game post release. EA knew exactly what it was putting out there and deserve every bit of bad PR and animosity toward them they get.
    While it is disheartening for gamers who just want a competitive environment, we should not give EA, or any publisher, a free pass. It is only a free pass for them. We not only pay for it, we pay for it year after year by encouraging the cycle to continue. Last time I checked all of these publishers have much bigger bank accounts than me so fuck them if they want me to pay full retail to beta test their games.

    • Details

      Well said! 100% agree!

  • Samutuck

    Keith does focus on Live’s numbers and EA’s stock a little to much, but he is right because he brings facts. If Live 15 comes out and it is not a stellar project, then it would be wise for EA to bow out sim basketball and go the NBA Street or NBA JAM arcade route. That way they don’t have to give up basketball and they can still profit from it.

  • Guest

    I think the patch will do the game some good.

    NBA Live is a fun game. The only thing it’s missing is graphics and it needs some animation tweaks. The gameplay is very solid.

  • Greg

    I’m sorry, but shouldn’t all this have been done BEFORE the game came out and people spent their $60 bucks?

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