NBA Live 09 Online Team Play Improvements

Posted August 14th, 2008 at 2:28 pm

Online Team Play is easily the aspect of the NBA Live 09 that I am most excited about. EA knew it was a big hit not only by the overwhelmingly positive response from gamers last year but also by seeing how online usage quadrupled after being released. Producer Julien Carron even talked with me about the list I published of how the mode could be improved and how a good deal of those suggestions were met.

This year you’ll be able to form “Clubs” which will have their own ranking system. A large group will be able to form a club of up to 50 people. As long as an OTP game is played with at least three club members on the same team it will count into the rankings and record/statistics. In theory there could be multiple games taking place at the same time for a club.

Positional success is tracked and is a way of the Club’s GM to scout potential members and put together good balance. A player gets credit on their performance bar for making good plays related to their position, while making bad plays or allowing their assignment while on defense to score will hurt your rating. At any time the GM can remove a player from club, so performance along with desire to stay in a club will provide incentive for people to play the right way.

Some other details: The camera in OTP is similar to the broadcast camera except that it pulls out to provide a wider view when away from the action. The mode includes menu areas for blogs and trophies. You can set screens this year. There are areas for “Club Tryouts” which are ranked games that can help build up history and stats as well as regular unranked OTP. There are no additional tie-ins to EA Sports World unfortunately.

I’m really excited about the forming of the Pastapadre Club! This will be a better way to really involve the community and I think we could have a club that competes at the highest level.