Gameplay Being Emphasized Over Modes With NBA Live 15

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Posted August 8th, 2014 at 9:30 am

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EA Sports has been largely quiet in regards to NBA Live 15. The game skipped E3 and outside of some examples of enhanced visuals the campaign to promote the new game seems to be more about apologizing for the last one.

Yesterday Game Informer posted an article noting some of the ways the company hopes to improve with Live 15. What’s evident is how gameplay is the priority though it was said to be last year as well. Certainly that needs to make a dramatic jump for Live to even be a consideration with consumers, but a lack of attention to modes affects potential longevity and value. Ultimately when spending $60 consumers expect both gameplay and depth of modes to be there. The most disheartening mention is related to Dynasty mode which the company seems to believe isn’t important going forward. 

Given the popularity of Ultimate Team, Live Seasons, and Rising Star, by default Dynasty is becoming less prominent in the development cycle. That said, the team is determined to fix the sim engine so it creates better results with the right teams winning and more believable player movement through trades and free agency.

Does this mean by extension that Dynasty mode is becoming less prominent in your development cycle?
Sean O’Brien: I would say yes right now. What we’re trying to do is incorporate some of the cool moments and the control you have either as a coach, player, or general manager within other game modes.

Those other modes were also fairly thin and vanilla last year and it seems they’ll only be getting marginal improvements too. It’ll also disappoint those hoping for EASBA to debut that it won’t be happening with Live 15. That was one area where EA could have taken advantage – the competition not offering the “Crew” mode that crowd was hoping for – but at the same time one could argue without the sufficient gameplay first no one would care to be playing online anyway. Having all players user-controlled though would help to disguise some AI issues.

The demo will be especially important for Live 15, as will the word-of-mouth that could come from early exposure in the EA Access program. It’ll also be critical to offer ways to learn how to play and improve skills. Not having that was a big factor in why Live 14 failed. EA recognized that mistake immediately but couldn’t do anything about it except add a shootaround mode through a patch nearly three months after it came out. Live 15 is expected to have a practice gym, some mini-games and 5-on-5 scrimmages to help in that regard.

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  • SENZ

    They just have no fucking clue what they’re doing. This company and its developers are so out of touch with what the consumers want in a game it’s incredible.

    Die, EA.

    • Danny

      EA needs to go the way of Acclaim!

    • Dounte

      EA is not catering to the cry-babies any more. It is what it is with the true NBA LIVE fans and that’s clearly the route they’ve taken. Gone are the days where all the dumb dumbs get all the bells and whistles where as of now, real authentic gameplay is being produced. Buy NHL 2K15 lol and quit crying about NBA LIVE.

      • SENZ

        There is no such thing as NHL2K15 you moron.

        • Dounte

          I was being sarcastic JACKASS.. 2K basketball with all the sliding around the court? See, this is 2K’s fan base at it’s best lol Slow poke…

          • vic

            Fanboy Lmao good hoops game is a good hoops game I don’t care who makes it I’ll play the best that is put out but you running around trying to bash 2k is pathetic obviously you didn’t read the interview on os what they have put in the game is little short of amazing and they haven’t even announced everything yet, es sports has been historically bad for the last 10 years in basketball and football games they have not given a reason to think otherwise yet. If they make a great game good then I’ll buy it ifnot I won’t stop running around here like a little kid bashing something you know nothing of

      • Keljo85

        Authentic gameplay is being produced? Lol!!!!

        • Dounte

          Ohh it’s comin stankin dude lol… Wait for it?

  • Bowinkle82

    i said this also. they are focusing on gameplay and the modes will lack. its true that without great gameplay all the modes mean nothing however if you dont have engaging modes then the game has no longevity and its not worth $60 imo when its competitor has gameplay and modes. 2k needs to work on its gameplay as well tho

  • agent916

    And…..boom goes the dynamite. That’s exactly why EA is not back in the game of basketball. Dynasty Mode NOT important to fans? Really EA? Really?

    • vic

      They said the same thing bout draft classes in Madden…

  • http://www.egsr.net MaSTA SoLIDUS

    And at the same time, 2K is adding an offline fully customizable Franchise mode.

    So…no matter how much I want to try to justify getting Live, I can’t.

    • Trey Warner

      And what exactly does fully customizable franchise mean?

      • vic

        Did you not read the 2k article?

        • Trey Warner

          I read the pasta one but i didnt see any specifics

      • vic

        Did you not read the 2k article?

      • Dounte

        Watering everything down so you and a toddler can act like your experts a basketball video gaming lol

    • Dounte

      I tell you what bro, get on board right now because NBA LIVE 15 is gonna be SERIOUS… Modes haven’t even got mentioned yet ( fully ) so hold your horses. We’re all in for big surprise just wait…

      • vic

        Injuries have been completely re-written for NBA 2K15; internally we like to call the new system ‘Injuries 2.0’.  Historically, players in our game had a single Durability rating that would define how likely they were to get injured.  When a player then got injured, a body part would randomly get chosen.  Not great. 

        With ‘Injuries 2.0’, every player has a unique durability rating for 16 different body parts (think left foot, right foot, left ankle, right ankle, etc.).  This level of control allows us to pick a player like Russell Westbrook and say that he has a right knee with a significantly higher chance of getting injured than his left knee, or any other body part for that issue.  In short, player injuries are going to be a lot more relevant, and a lot less random. 

        Body parts are going to wear down over the course of a career, as more miles are put on the body.  Significant injuries to a body part will often shorten the lifespan of that body part before it becomes a real problem later in a player’s career.  These injuries, depending on the severity, can forever change a player.  Some players will never get back to their former selves after they blow out a knee, for example.  NBA 2K15 also introduces the concept of career ending injuries to our game.  In truth, they don’t happen very often (as they shouldn’t!), but they do happen.  Players with continued injury problems to a body part will feel those aches and pains and retire at an earlier age than a player who has managed to stay relatively healthy throughout their career.

        When a player gets hurt, you’ll often (not always) see him nurse that body part back to health with the aid of an accessory.  Sleeves on elbows, pads on knees.  It’s small, but it’s cool to see when you are playing the game.  And when a player returns from an injury, he doesn’t necessarily come back 100% right away (injury length obviously drives this one).  Players will need playing time to work their game back to its optimal level.  Injuries are no longer like on/off light switches, you will now have to deal all facets of what it means when one of your players gets injured.

        Getting back to the original question at-hand, we keyed in on the sandbox philosophy of MyLEAGUE and allow you to customize the frequency of User/CPU injuries in addition to how much those injuries affect a player’s ratings.  Heck, you can even turn injuries off all together, but do you really want to do that after you just read all of the above?

        One more thing on body durabilities.  They will a be ‘thing’ when it comes to how you scout draft prospects throughout the season as our Prospect Scouting feature got a major overhaul this year.  We’ll be talking more about that later this summer.  The ‘game’ in scouting rookies is back, and we think you will love it.

        Can you have a fantasy draft? What sorts of options are there?

    • sigh

      The thing is what 2k is adding should’ve already been in the game. Nothing new actually. Live 15 has it right, gameplay!

  • Skopin

    This is the attitude I was hoping they (and 2k) would take. Gameplay and AI are my top priorities. If those aren’t great, all the modes in the world won’t make it better. Once those are where they need to be, then worry about fleshing out the modes.

    I’m not sure how I feel about the Dynasty statement. It sounded like they just aren’t focusing on it this year by him saying “right now”, but hopefully that’s not what their thinking is going forward. People may have neglected the mode because it wasn’t robust enough, rather than just not having interest in it.

    In any case, gameplay comes first, in any game.

    • Dounte

      Exactly, and it would be funny if EA launches with an ONLINE DYNASTY mode so all the little cry-babies can showcase their skills online instead of playing the little ol’ AI… That’s why they’re so open about this. The market and industry has evolved to an social like setting with everything so all the guys who’ve been playing offline all these years need to adjust and step your game up. When you get off work, cut the router and the modem on and come play against real users who don’t cheese but simply eat offline guys for breakfast. I’m 31 and theirs no way any of these adult fans should be crying about offline stuff. It’s ridiculous and I’m glad they put it out that way so maybe they’ll put their big boy pants on and come play against a real opponent. I heard someone say it was too easy in 14.That should’ve rung a bell right there.

    • Khadeem

      I definitely agree with you. But modes are big part of the experience for me. Before online gaming was prominent, I was a big franchise mode player. To have solid gameplay and a in depth dynasty mode would be awesome.

      • Skopin

        Yea, going forward they will definitely need to add to the dynasty mode and make it worthwhile. But for me, gameplay, AI, and presentation are top priorities. Those are the things that will affect every mode, from dynasty to mycareer/rising star to online quick games. So I’m ok with them focusing on that until it’s right, as long as the modes aren’t neglected after those are good.

  • Khaleel Ward

    They do need to improve gameplay. If the game is fun to play people will get by with a basic dynasty and online play. Live 14 was not fun at all.

  • TMack1986

    And 2K is adding a fully customizable franchise mode….God I wish they still made football games. Imagine having this in a NFL game? Sighs…I wish

    • Khadeem

      with none of those features online

      • JReezy

        Eh… people put too much stock in online.

        • Khadeem

          ??? what…then why to do you think sony and microsoft made a load of money from xbox live and psn plus…be serious bro

          • JReezy

            I am being serious. People out here acting like online anything makes or breaks their gaming experience baffles me. It’s perfectly okay if there’s a mode you can’t play with that one guy 900 miles away in another state. Even in genres that are kind of big on social experiences such as sports. Single player (or even local co-op) isn’t a plague. Well, it shouldn’t be, at least. Devs have been shoving multiplayer into games for the hell of it for a while now. Not that NBA Live or NBA 2K falls under that shoehorned multiplayer experience.

            TL;DR: Single player exclusive content shouldn’t be viewed negatively.

      • vic

        They haven’t announced the online features yet dude

  • TIMtationX

    Not an Live fan, but they’re doing the right thing by focusing on gameplay. You need to have a good basketball GAME first before you do anything else.

  • Khadeem

    This is the part where Keith hypocritically claims that dynasty are an essential part to the basketball experience

  • MBird

    Even without reading the rest of the article (which I did), the first thought that came to me about the headline was, of course they do. It seems EASports has been traveling down this road for awhile now, they don’t care about franchise or simulation gamers, such as myself, and only seem to care about the quick online game crowd who, IMO, don’t support the game the way they think they do. I think if they threw the hardcore gamers an actual game bone they would actually see better sales, but no, typical EASports not caring about their hardcore base who they continue to give the middle finger, although, I am holding out hope that Connected Franchise in Madden will be much improved, as I have been for years.

    • http://pastapadre.com/ pastapadre

      Yeah thankfully EA has a team dedicated to franchise mode. Obviously not the case in Live…where the focus is shifting towards Ultimate Team, career mode, and one-off things like Big Moments.

    • Dounte

      But don’t you think they do some sort of census interms of game sales and online activity? They are in the business to make money right in regards to UT? EA know what’s going on and frankly, it almost seems as if they could careless about all the bitching which is cool. The hardcore fans buy regardless ( I don’t know what you heard ) to support future titles. If we don’t then there’s no need for a ” particular ” mode because there won’t be a game! Dynasty mode will not end this game so all the 2K brainwashed need to give it up or at least get a real life if they think this is a blow to the release of NBA LIVE 15. Man, please…

      • MBird

        Thanks for the reply, but really, besides what seems like a handful of people, no one cares about NBA Live anymore, it’s more of a running joke than an actual product worth $60.

  • Live 15

    Sorry Mr. PASTA guy, Live 14 was not about gameplay at all as far as their marketing. What their doing is incredible for Live 15. They actually bare about having the atmosphere of the game unlike 2KVC. Yeah 2k is finally going back to basics and all but most know, that read, understand that the “customobile” association is just really something they removed and now trying to add it back in.

    • vic

      They have never had it so you can customize trades logic ,resign logic, draft logic , you can change draft class quality year to yearAdjusts the logic players use when signing in Free Agency.  Increasing that slider means players take their other ambitions (Play For Winner and Loyalty) into greater consideration than at the default level. Lowering it makes money matter a lot more when they choose who they want to sign with. They still have to announce my gm and online

  • The Great Leon

    Its a nice step but 2k lapped Live twice. The 2-3 years Live took off really hurt them, they have to blow me away for me to buy the game. 2k has the better gameplay whether default or with sliders. The association modes are better even with the stupid vc I played it constantly.

    • Dounte

      What??? All that retarted ” make things complicated bullshit ” was in NBA SHOWDOWN up until about ” i forgot “. EA set that tone years ago and you say lapping them.. EA will kill these boys in their sleep I can promise you that.

  • Dounte

    I tried that back with 2K09 ( the best since 2K and 2K 1 ) but after seeing how both companies benefited from Wang that year, I knew what time it was then! All the celebrities and artist an shit putting their take on a supposed to be established franchise turned me away and I haven’t looked back. Now Live on the other hand is my game of choice for basketball regardless ( EA all day ) and 2K never changed that hockey engine they keep recycling so f them!

  • Keith.

    Daley, you do realize that Andrew Wilson has stock holders to report to, don’t you? I mean, when 2K sells 8 million copies this year, and Lives struggles to crack 100,000 on PS4, do you really think the “journey” that the Live team has planned will come to fruition, after the stock holders weigh in?

    • Dounte

      Will see about that after 2K fanboys get a wiff of this new crack EA selling! 2K15 will have all those same gamebreaking bugs on and off line this year aswell which will redirect revenue EA’s way. Let’s just say they’ll split the difference lol. ( dividends )

  • JReezy

    Piece of shit franchise? 2K crackbabies? Should I even ask why you hate NBA 2K so much with that obvious bias?

    • Dounte

      2K3-2K14 trash. With the exception of 2K9? Overrated and exaggerated!

      • Keljo85

        And NBA live has been trash for a long while and even canceled 3 games idiot. The devs didn’t even like the damn games and when they tell you live fanboys in a open letter that basically it’s trash you still think it’s amazing. Dude cut the crap your going on like EA whore!

        • Dounte

          That’s what all you stankin ass dudes keep saying ” the devs are apologizing for last years games ” and it’s pretty obvious you and the rest of them support 2K. NBA LIVE 14 had a retard burglar alarm on it so that’s why mofo like you didn’t like it. The game was fun as hell and that’s why y’all mad lol! You probably one of them that didn’t even play or buy it so why the fuck do you even care? We know who the idiot is in this argument ( your grandma lol ) yeah, the one who keeps buying the same shit over and over again. Go play that slow ass game and leave the LIVE community alone ol’ stankin ass dude.

  • YungReese

    Nba live has been shit there game has never been simulation, 2K is as close as we’re getting & that’s why I choose to buy there games, I use to be a live fan until I played nba 2k5 & notice it felt more like the real game in all aspects, EA need to hire the 2k team to make there football games that’s the only way I’ll buy madden, Not a fanboy I hope EA makes a good basketball game but there so many years behind in there minds on how to make a real feeling basketball/football game it makes no fucking sense.

    • Dounte

      I hope you change your mind after NBA LIVE 15 shows up bro?

  • Dounte

    Whatever pussy. Bottom line is that NBA LIVE 15 ain’t bullshitting no more and internet shits like you don’t even know what’s about to happen. Keep putting your neck on the line for that shittie as game and see what happen?

  • Jason Hornsby

    Can we change teams in dynasty mode.

    if nba live 15 thinks dynasty mode isn’t important are freakin nuts should be fire.

    • Dounte

      Really looking forward to an online dynasty or franchise mode myself….. News can’t come soon enough but if there isn’t, NBA LIVE 15 is still gonna be crazy!

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