SDS Content Model

SDS

I’ve played DD in MLB the Show for 5 years now, I started in ‘16 and was pretty much hooked instantly. I’ve made many posts on the topic of gameplay from then to now, both the improvements made and what I feel are retrograde steps in some areas as well, but I was thinking specifically about content and how that has evolved over the years as well.

‘16 was tough for me as a new player. It seemed like the established mantra was “elite cards were for elite players” and unless you could go 20-0 in BR (Yup it was 20 wins back then IIRC) or had the time and patience to get a billion hits with bronze rookie Wade Boggs to evolve him to prime Wade Boggs, plus the stubs to “feed” him and his ilk, you were probably going to be fielding a less than stellar lineup.

‘17 was where I felt like they started to ease up, but only slightly. This time the process was “Okay, we will give you some great cards for free, but we’ll make you jump through some pretty crazy hoops to earn them” - And the Joe Random/Pepe Alazar grind, possibly the most ridiculous series of missions ever devised in a sports game, was born. Not only were the crazy fictional rewards a cause of frenzied complaints, the actual requirements were nigh on impossible. Griffey program was no picnic either, with some steep online only requirements.

‘18 was the most horrific experience content-wise of the five year span I’ve been a show player. Gameplay was terrible too, but I’m not beating that dead horse again at the minute. I can only assume the move to a huge grind to obtain top tier cards had damaged stub sales somewhat in ‘17, as now the move was “we’ll ‘give’ you a ‘free’ IMMORTAL player at each position, but you’ll pay for it dearly, both in terms of time and stub value!”
The linear follow the pyramid from A-to-B-to-C format of content that had everyone slowly follow the same route was terrible, souvenirs and exchanges were terrible, the excessively high requirements for each stage were terrible (over 1000 total saves to obtain the Immortal CPs when all was said and done, or maybe it just felt like it), it was all terrible. Maybe the worst part of all was that it was all so badly thought out and ill conceived, there weren’t even enough immortals to fill a line up and bench plus rotation and bullpen in the end and SDS had no back up content to flesh it out. After weeks of silence and no new cards that year, we finally got a summer event to play! 89 Matt Holiday. 💀

‘19 might have been the best year of all content wise. After line up variety and quality of content hit the all time low of ‘18, SDS came out swinging and literally shoved a metric ton of useable diamonds down our throats. It was about as far from elite cards only being for elite players as you can get. Line up diversity was very good, although inevitably you saw a lot of Willie Mays out there, just as you now do Mantle. That’s been another deliberate move by SDS to make content accessible to all players, this was the first year they made the LS collection so easily attainable, although this year should be even easier still.
The inning programs and events also were packed full of free cards, some of the best legends in the game among them, even as late in the year as finest, we were receiving a ton of fun and useable cards. I have so many cards in that edition of the show I would rarely field the same team twice in a row, which is another big plus to me personally.

So, to this years offering. Obviously the year isn’t over and we’ve yet to see a lot of huge names get their best cards in game. Generally speaking, although I’ve not disliked a lot of the content, it’s been a backwards step from last year. I like the progression we saw from prospects, rookies and future stars with low diamonds and golds early in the season being superseded by the FOTF and Prime/SS cards later on, but at some point it all lost some coherence and bled into a heap, with FS still being released now and a lot of cards not making an appearance in a timely manner. I’m not a huge fan of having multiple, almost identical versions of the same players either, truth be told.

I thought I’d hate the prestige concept, but I don’t mind it personally. It gives you a reason to keep playing with a card, the packs and stubs are always a little bonus, although I think some of the requirements have been set too high, particularly given the timing of release. It’s going to take a casual player until Christmas to obtain and prestige a card like Gehrig that’s only now being released. Not sure where we’re headed with all the missing legends either, even if they’re TA4, we still have finest, postseason, blah blah. Again, if they’re intending to add more legends that you can prestige by grinding stats at some point in the future, just how much longevity are they attempting to pump into ‘20? Do they realistically expect that holding back a card like 99 Mays, Junior or Chipper until 6-7 weeks before Christmas, then adding a decent sized grind that can only be completed online is going to deter anyone from moving along to PS5, or jumping on the new COD? I’m unsure about the strategy, although we’ve all heard people complaining that “end game cards should be released at the end of the game”, I’m sure. Well, here it is in practice.

The inning bosses have been a lot weaker than last year as well, although certainly not too shabby for free cards. It’s nice to see a return of a few cards from years past and the card art is good this year fwiw, looks clean on most cards and there are some eye catching designs out there for sure.

Finally, The event grinds have felt longer for sure, to the point I’ve skipped events almost entirely this year. I’ve personally found I don’t have enough time for RS, events, plus moments and player programs. Despite the fact I think I play quite a lot (975 RS games, 65d 10h 14m in DD, currently), I’ve failed to hit all the targets in game this year due to a lack of time and motivation. That said, SDS have managed the market pretty well, pushing and pulling the throttle with stub sales and market crashes, which has meant that at some point in time, most cards and collections were available at a fair price if you were waiting for that specific card. Obviously, you’re always going to pay a premium for cards like Alomar or Glavine, but nothing is really inaccessible if you want it.

SDS

That’s a great write up. I have played The Show every year since its conception, but this is my first year of really diving into DD. I’ve had a blast.

My one comment is as much as you have played, you have had more than enough time to do everything in the game, but 975 RS games is a ton and great skews where your times goes.

SDS

@OreoRockstar said in SDS Content Model:

That’s a great write up. I have played The Show every year since its conception, but this is my first year of really diving into DD. I’ve had a blast.

My one comment is as much as you have played, you have had more than enough time to do everything in the game, but 975 RS games is a ton and great skews where your times goes.

I repeatedly complain about this to no avail, but for me, baseball is a game of 9 innings. I find the 3 inning game modes on all star difficulty, with reduced pitcher stamina, to be a poor representation of baseball. It’s a game of juiced offense, like an arcade baseball mini game, where strategy and tactics take a back seat to mashing the swing button early and more often than not, hitting a bomb, due to the huge PCI, exhausted pitcher stamina (after one pitch, lol) and juiced batters you tend to encounter.
If there were another competitive mode where the games were 9 innings and it played more like baseball than Super Mega Slugfest 2020, I’d probably be down to play less RS and give that a try.

SDS

Another user on this forum made a great point to me a while back when I said the content was the only decent thing in the game. He said that player cards are not content. Playable modes like moments/showdown/conquest and so on is content. I thought this was a great point and from that moment on I don't use the word "content" anymore when I speak about player cards.

SDS

@raesONE said in SDS Content Model:

Another user on this forum made a great point to me a while back when I said the content was the only decent thing in the game. He said that player cards are not content. Playable modes like moments/showdown/conquest and so on is content. I thought this was a great point and from that moment on I don't use the word "content" anymore when I speak about player cards.

Probably splitting hairs, but I’d say they’re game modes as opposed to content. Content, for me, at least, is a derivative of DLC, which usually indicates additional post launch, or at least post purchase items, in game. As most of the updates to the rosters, market and programs available are server side and don’t require a download, I think the shortened description “content” is absolutely accurate. In this context, patches that alter gameplay or add audio files etc would be the DLC. Not that it matters what you call it, really. It is what it is.

SDS

@ComebackLogic said in SDS Content Model:

@raesONE said in SDS Content Model:

Another user on this forum made a great point to me a while back when I said the content was the only decent thing in the game. He said that player cards are not content. Playable modes like moments/showdown/conquest and so on is content. I thought this was a great point and from that moment on I don't use the word "content" anymore when I speak about player cards.

Probably splitting hairs, but I’d say they’re game modes as opposed to content. Content, for me, at least, is a derivative of DLC, which usually indicates additional post launch, or at least post purchase items, in game. As most of the updates to the rosters, market and programs available are server side and don’t require a download, I think the shortened description “content” is absolutely accurate. In this context, patches that alter gameplay or add audio files etc would be the DLC. Not that it matters what you call it, really. It is what it is.

It's not a very big deal how you call things, that's true. But it matters when you look at it from this perspective;
We've been saying that last year and arguably this year too the game has been pretty bad when it comes to gameplay. But at least the content was/is good, we would say. But when you think about it and don't look at cards as content (it takes zero effort to make them and you can only use them in the actual content that is already available like RS, BR and vs CPU), the content hasn't been all that good either. I personally don't mind the Showdowns, which I do perceive as content, but they aren't my idea of having fun. I play them for the rewards and the grind, not for fun. Same goes for moments. Online franchise was content which was actually removed, so if anything you could say content has gotten skinnier. That's why I agreed with the guy that cards shouldn't be perceived as content.

SDS

@ComebackLogic said in SDS Content Model:

I’ve played DD in MLB the Show for 5 years now

Great write up - thanks for taking the time to do this.

SDS

I think content has been the best ever this year. As frustrating as showdown can be for some people it’s a new way to play. Last year I found myself bored because if I hit World Series and completed the event, well, there wasn’t anything to do really besides BR. Showdown gives you progress towards the massively expanded team affinities (an awesome addition) and gives you its own rewards.

The new event reward structure doesn’t get enough credit either. You need the same amount of wins as last year, but there are so many new and different rewards, and there are rewards for going past earning the player rewards too.

Moments have been a downgrade IMO. I miss storyline moments the most actually, with their extra commentary and everything. It feels like SDS didn’t understand that the reason nobody played them was because the rewards were so lackluster.

Lineup diversity has never been better. There’s a version for pretty much every card you could want, and more to come still. Of course there are going to be some notables missing, but i said it before and I’ll say it again: people who would leave for COD/Madden/insert new game here are going to leave anyways.

SDS

Not looking to argue, but I think content is different to everyone. My definition of content is whatever keeps you interested in the game so it doesn’t get stale. For me, its a combination of game modes, different events and different cards to chase. Might be different for someone else

SDS

I could quit today and I feel like I've gotten my money's worth for '20, I mean I'm still here 6 months later. I think the releases have been fine. I'm more into competition so everything outside of RS/Events is just a bonus to me. Others who are mostly offline will have a more rigid scale to judge SDS on for sure though.

SDS

This year’s game is trash until Kyle Lewis goes gold or I get a Kelenic future star.

Once that happens I will agree that the cards have been pretty good this year. Although I am not a huge fan of having to wait until September or October for a high end Griffey (HRD version doesn’t count) and Edgar Martinez.

In all seriousness I have a bit of a different perspective than most because I only play offline. But even offline there has been enough to keep me occupied for 6 months so far.

SDS

The term content is subjective for sure to me anything we get at an update point that is added we didnt have before is content but I can see how others do not see it that way which is cool.

I think I with any game you have to ask your self did I get my money worth and did I enjoy myself. To me it's an easy answer yes but other will say no.

I think SDS has nailed content this year over last years yes the late release of some guys back to back years I wish would change but that's a small gripe.

SDS

@raesONE said in SDS Content Model:

Another user on this forum made a great point to me a while back when I said the content was the only decent thing in the game. He said that player cards are not content. Playable modes like moments/showdown/conquest and so on is content. I thought this was a great point and from that moment on I don't use the word "content" anymore when I speak about player cards.

I wouldn’t consider cards to be content at all, if that’s the case these made up FS and prospects are content and playing the game isn’t. As far as I’m concerned The Ruth program and Extreme are the only two content drops this year that aren’t exactly the same thing with a new card available. Every player program has been the exact same model. Every inning program has been the exact same model.

What SDS has done that was quite genius, is take real MLB games and have them create the content for them, the problem is they’ve pretty much made it the only content. SDS have fallen way behind in playable content like squad battles and weekly competitions other sports game have. If you don’t play them you won’t realize it, and probably have no idea how rewarding they are and still think you need to buy packs every day to earn anything in them which hasn’t been the case for years.

SDS

@raesONE said in SDS Content Model:

Another user on this forum made a great point to me a while back when I said the content was the only decent thing in the game. He said that player cards are not content. Playable modes like moments/showdown/conquest and so on is content. I thought this was a great point and from that moment on I don't use the word "content" anymore when I speak about player cards.

You put numbers on cards new content oh well done thanks much appreciated. I'm glad your doing something to mprove the game game mode wise is what i think when I see the "new content" phrase being used.

I don't think the game is that bad tbh just the users who say those words get under my skin a little. Although that said we need new modes it's getting worn out they need something new and big to create excrement I mean excitement because even as a new-ish player 2012 -> It feels like there's been nothing new except gameplay tweaks e.g Fifa Madden NBA doing nothing new.

I like this game btw prob won't buy another though there's almost no point for a roster update.

SDS

Taking COVID into this year has impressed me the most in terms of cards released without spending $. The future stars thing I’m not a big fan of multiple versions but when you take the team affinity content massive improvement and the player programs along with prestigable cards.... this year they killed it period

SDS

@ChArTeRBuS said in SDS Content Model:

@raesONE said in SDS Content Model:

Another user on this forum made a great point to me a while back when I said the content was the only decent thing in the game. He said that player cards are not content. Playable modes like moments/showdown/conquest and so on is content. I thought this was a great point and from that moment on I don't use the word "content" anymore when I speak about player cards.

I wouldn’t consider cards to be content at all, if that’s the case these made up FS and prospects are content and playing the game isn’t. As far as I’m concerned The Ruth program and Extreme are the only two content drops this year that aren’t exactly the same thing with a new card available. Every player program has been the exact same model. Every inning program has been the exact same model.

What SDS has done that was quite genius, is take real MLB games and have them create the content for them, the problem is they’ve pretty much made it the only content. SDS have fallen way behind in playable content like squad battles and weekly competitions other sports game have. If you don’t play them you won’t realize it, and probably have no idea how rewarding they are and still think you need to buy packs every day to earn anything in them which hasn’t been the case for years.

Was talking with a friend about this exactly. Everything is a template and it's all the same, which is fine for the first inning or two, but I just don't have the energy or care anymore to go and do a bunch of boring moments, play a 9 inning game against the CPU or play online to unlock a less then stellar program player to checkmark off 20 more PP.

Cards are not content, and I think the blueprint needs to change going forward. We are doing literally the same exact thing every 2 weeks and the rewards frankly just aren't worth it anymore. Everybody has a god squad so who cares about 98% of the players we see going forward?

I miss grinding stats, and for me personally WAY to much of this game is tied to moments, which to me are the least rewarding thing in the game (Both in actual rewards, and feeling after doing them).

I mean Topps Now, Showdown, Player Programs, they are all built around the terrible moments engine. Pitchers not throwing strikes, stupid RNG, bad sliders.

I haven't dug into the Extreme stuff yet, mainly due to just fatigue and boredom with the content, but for me the best thing they did this year was the Tatis POTM program, it was just WAY to easy of a stat grind. That's the type of thing I want to work on to unlock cards, not an endless list of moments.

SDS

Yeah some good points made, in particular - Agreed, Team affinity seems great this year, pending the final stage, it’s been really good. I don’t like moments or showdowns much either, I want new H2H modes that aren’t just like events or BR, I don’t like this vs CPU stuff at all, it always feels scripted to me, with bronze outfielders making leaping catches and so on. I’ve never really liked the vs CPU stuff, how can it be a fair game when the AI knows exactly what you’re going to do the second you do it? Prime example; go try and steal a base with a sub 60 speed player vs CPU. They’ll instantly read your mind, pitch out in a hitters count and gun you down. When facing the computer, you only succeed when the game decides to allow you to succeed, regardless of all other factors, including your input.

SDS

For all intents and purposes for discussions, you may view content as you perceive them to be; however, SDS does view both playable modes and player cards as content.

This is evident from the last survey SDS conducted where they made it very clear at the beginning, that the survey would be related to content and not gameplay, and they were very specific about that.

I think there was a question(s) related to Player Programs, amongst other questions I can't seem to recall. But I do remember, we had the opportunity to submit a list of names of player cards we would like to see. And following immediately after that, there were many posts of others sharing their ideas as well as their list of names they submitted. Following is a couple links to support this:

https://forums.theshownation.com/topic/14881/who-did-you-suggest-in-the-survey

https://forums.theshownation.com/topic/5983/i-like-the-idea-of-the-survey-but

SDS

Cards arent content. Things to do to unlock those cards are content. Things to do with those cards once you have them are content. Simply putting a pack to buy in the store is not content.

SDS

My opinion. For $60, content should not be locked by a paywall or grind wall.

To me, I tried one more time with this game and it's not there for me. My opinion. The gameplay has not improved.

This is not baseball. This is a baseball card collector simulator.

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