Full details on Road to the Show changes in MLB The Show 18

Posted March 8th, 2018 at 10:30 am

While Road to the Show in MLB The Show has become stagnant over the years the career mode has remained compelling for many because it has always executed the basics well and the structure has simply been a natural fit for baseball. Last year a documentary style presentation was added to bring in some story elements but it wasn’t the dramatic change that some other sports games have made turning their career modes into story modes.

For MLB The Show 18 there again won’t be a shift to a story mode but Road to the Show is changing up some of its fundamentals. Performance-based progression means the removal of the ability to distribute skills where desired and attribute caps will limit the ratings of players based on their archetype models. The mode is becoming more restrictive by taking many of the decisions out of the player’s hands. That may reduce some of the tedious nature along the way and prove more realistic but could disrupt the satisfaction players get of building their player up they way they envision to be best. 

No More Micro Transactions

The first change is the removal of micro transactions from progression. We wanted to remove the need to make purchases to progress your player and just focus on the gameplay and more pure experience. So this year, you will no longer be able to purchase Training Points. Instead, you will experience a new way to progress your created player. The removal of micro transactions from Road to The Show also means that you will no longer be able to heal injuries through stubs. You will just heal naturally.

New Archetypes and Attribute Caps

Another big change we made was how your player is created. This year, your created player will have an Archetype. We designed Archetypes as a means to create more believable players and they reflect the various types of players currently found in baseball. Each will have their own suggested primary positions, and there are specific ones for infield, outfield, and pitchers.

Every Archetype has a pair strengths and a weakness. Some Archetypes may have big power potential at the sacrifice of speed, while others will be insanely fast, but lack the ability to go deep. For example; a Power Corner Archetype’s strengths are their Arm and Power, and their weakness is Speed.

Lastly, Archetypes will have limitations to how powerful they can be in certain attributes. These are called Attribute Caps and you will need to be raised these during the course of your career if you want to get the most out of your player.

There are two types of Attribute Caps, Current and Max. Current caps are temporary attribute limits that can be raised through selecting the appropriate Focus Training choice, during one of your training sessions. Training choices that feature a teammate are the only way to raise your cap. Be sure not to neglect these opportunities, because once you reach a Current cap, you will not be able to take advantage of any gains until the cap is raised.

Eventually, you will reach an Attribute Cap, which cannot be raised. This is your Max Attribute Cap. Max Caps are the best that your player can be at a particular attribute, through training. But don’t worry, you can use equipment cards to further enhance attributes, even past their Max Caps. Speaking of equipment cards, we have added even more equipment and rituals, to provide so much more variety for your created player. We know how much fun it is to find that right piece of equipment, which balances both looks and bonuses.

Expansion of Pave your Path – Focus Training

We have brought back our narrative experience to help tell the story of what it is like for a mid-to-late round draft pick in the baseball world, with a newer minimal UI. In addition to keeping the strong storytelling presence, this year, we are taking some major steps in one of our favorite modes.

In addition to Archetypes, we changed the way you progress your characters, as you pave your path. We thought about how our previous progression system worked and we asked ourselves, “Does this feel good?”, “Is this how you would progress in the real world of baseball?” and “How do we create a more seamless experience?” After discussions, between ourselves and with professional players, we came to an answer for how player progression should work. Progression is now a two part experience.

On The Field

The first way that you progress and get better is on the field. As we all know, you learn by doing, and your abilities will award you gains to your player’s attributes. We felt like this was a very organic and passive way to progress. You just play the game. Every on the field action you make will feed into your player’s attributes. For example, if you hit a monster bomb off of Chris Sale, with runners in scoring position, then your player would earn gains in their Power vs Left and Batting Clutch attributes. You will be able to track these gains, both during the game, as they happen, and at the end of the game, on the Base Gains screen. The hope is that both you and your player improve together, as you play.

Focus Training Choices

The second way that you will be able to improve your player is through Focus Training Choices. Previously, you had the power to take all accumulated training points and place them wherever you wanted. This year, we removed the hassle of getting into a groove, of playing some of your best games, and then having to spend that growing sum of points to play catch up on lapsed training. Now, you will be presented with a quick choice experience, during the course of your season, where you are presented with a short list of options. These options represent areas you want to specifically focus and train your player, in order to improve. You will choose one from up to four facility themes. Each facility will have their own specific training exercises. You will choose the training exercise that suits your needs and then improve the specified attributes. It is just that simple. This will allow you to choose how your player progresses, while allowing you to get back to playing the game.

When we interviewed players over the past two years to help build Road to the Show, every player we spoke to, mentioned that a big part of their growth came from learning from other players. We wanted to try and reflect that this year in some way. So, as mentioned previously, All Player Archetypes have temporary caps. You will have the opportunity, during a Focus Training session, to choose a teammate to learn from and have them help you push your player’s potential. Managing your Caps is important, because if you neglect them too long, and an attributes caps out, then you will not be able to gain progress in that attribute and will have to wait for another opportunity to train with a teammate.

Customization Improvements

Finally, I want to write about the customization improvements available in Road to The Show. As a team, we have made it one of our biggest priorities to improve the look and appearance of your created player, while offering you more ways to express yourself. We know that this is the starting point, of your Road to The Show experience, and it should offer everything you need to make you or your ideal version of a ball player. This year, we have taken some steps to help make this process a best in class experience.

Improved Skin, Hair, and Heads

Our Art Team has been busy all year to improve the quality of our skin tones and how they look in various lighting conditions. This year, in MLB The Show 18, your player’s skin tone will have an even more natural appearance, and look more realistic. In addition to skin, all of our hair has been re-worked, in order to look and react more like hair. This is for both facial and head. Now fade hairstyles transition better from shaved areas to the grown out parts, while mustache, goatee, and beard fidelity reflects a more realistic look.

Batting Stance Creator

A major addition to the player customization experience is the brand new Batting Stance Creator. Batting Stance Creator will allow you the opportunity to tweak and adjust that perfect batting stance to reflect your personal style. We even exposed the values, so you can share these with other people. All of these adjustments to provide a deeper level of customization and uniqueness to created players. So fine tune as much as you need!