Will online play ever be good?

SDS

So I've been an avid The Show player for the last several years, preordering the game, and playing a ton. Until this year. Because last year's online play was so bad I decided to wait until the game was on sale and not spend a dime more this year. I got the game in OCT and I've worked my way to a solid team of 99s and generally had a great time doing moments, showdown, conquest, etc.. That is until I started playing RS. I've played about 10 RS games and already I want to stop playing, even though I have a winning record. Just the sheer amount of bonkers insane situations I see playing out is baffling. Now I'm not a WS quality player. I admit that. But I play on a gaming monitor, I use a wired connection, I can make it to CS. This last game I gave up 16 hits. 11 hits I gave up were on pitches on the black or OFF THE PLATE. Including 5 singles, a double, and a home run that were SEVERAL INCHES off the plate. Like basically in the dirt or 6 inches outside. It left me scratching my head how someone could RIP balls that much off the plate. Balls that most major leaguers would spit on.

My question is this. Will online play ever be good if SDS sticks to this RNG based hitting and pitching that throws well executed pitching down the middle?

I've said for the last few years that they need to change the PCI to something more bat shaped and switch from a RNG based hitting system, to a physics based system, where the PCI is bat shaped through the zone and results are based upon where the ball actually hits the bat. They make huge open world games with real physics now. Why can't they make this use real physics too? That way if the contact results show I was underneath the ball, then so be it, I can't argue. But I can only stomach so many routine flyball out GOOD/GOOD contact results where the balls is DIRECTLY in the middle of the PCI.

I've also said that they need to change the pitching to something a little more in depth. It doesn't matter if you're using meter, pulse, or analog, if you're off by a sliver there's a 99% chance that the ball is going straight down the middle. They need to make a pitchers control factor more into the ability to execute a pitch properly. Maybe make the yellow line bigger or smaller depending on the pitcher's control. As it is now it seems if you execute a pitch perfectly the game checks the pitcher's control and if it's bad says, "Yeah yeah yeah, I know you had perfect release on this pitch.... buuuuuuuut I checked the stat sheet here and it says this guy's only got 70 control. Soooo the pitch is going straight down the middle... Sorry!"

In addition that, why pitch speeds increase as difficulty goes up is beyond me. Does this game exist in a world where two things traveling 95MPH have two separate speeds? How do you go from grinding conquest on rookie where 99MPH is one speed and then to RS on hall of fame where 99 can be a different speed? They need to make pitches hard to execute and PCIs smaller to increase difficulty, not alter the laws of physics...

My guess is that SDS doesn't feel like doing a complete tear down of their game engines to make them actually good. That's why they concentrate on churning out more and more content rather than improve gameplay. And I admit the content was spectacular this year. Sure we've been missing a few cards, but there is a TON to do and I've really enjoyed the content part. However the actual core gameplay is just eroding my desire to actually even buy the game again. I guess I don't blame them, they're probably making a ton of money while phoning it in gameplay wise. So why do anything different? Why put in all the effort to rebuild when they don't need to?

Here's hoping there will eventually be a rival baseball game out there to light a fire under them.

Sorry guys. Rant over...

SDS

Probably not.

SDS

Get time machine. Return to 2016.

SDS

I cant speak for anyone else but if im the away team pitch speeds seem faster then home games which is completely ridiculous. The RNG for the most part determines the games outcome instead of user skill. Your whole assessment of this game is spot on in my opinion

SDS

I cant speak for anyone else but if im the away team pitch speeds seem faster then home games which is completely ridiculous. The RNG for the most part determines the games outcome instead of user skill. Your whole assessment of this game is spot on in my opinion

SDS

Yeah, I agree, it’s a good post that sums up my feelings on the game pretty accurately. I’ve been saying the exact same thing for a couple of months now, I wanted to start saying it earlier in the year, because it’s been apparent that the game is terrible for some time, but I wanted to wait until we got towards the end of the season, as it’s not fair to make comparisons between MLB ‘20 in July and MLB ‘19 with a full year of content and gameplay adjustments to look back on.

Well, here we are. All cards played face up on the table, all the gory details of the online gameplay laid bare by 8 months of experience. My verdict is that ‘20 is a step backwards from ‘19 in many aspects, both content and gameplay oriented. Gameplay has been totally unbalanced in favour of hitting over pitching all year, it’s been a horrific non stop slugfest and probably the worst year for gameplay since ‘18, another year in which SDS ruined pitching completely. In terms of content, they’ve simply oversaturated everything, from cards with ludicrously inflated stats to the amount of free stubs available. It seems you can have too much of a good thing after all.

I like some of the new things they’ve implemented this year, but they tend to be things that are of little consequence, nice touches here and there as opposed to improvements that make a significant impact on the game. Examples would be things like the crack of the bat on good contact, some of the new card art designs, a few snappy animations when they work as intended, not that there are any guarantees there, that kind of thing. It’s just window dressing though and can’t hide the real flaws which frequently serve to irritate and frustrate players.

I’m currently in the process of trying to understand why the game behaves as it does and how much of it is the fault of players like myself blaming the game for things that actually have some basis in logic. Sadly, it’s not been a very insightful or illuminating experience so far, in fact the more I look at things in greater detail, replaying everything from simple pitches thrown to routine base hits and swinging strikeouts, the more I become convinced that this game is terribly broken in some areas. Pitch locations not corresponding to good input, particularly on the vertical plane. Baseballs travelling through the bat as if it’s not a solid object. Baseballs travelling through outfield walls and back into play as if it’s not a solid object. Inane and irrelevant swing feedback that in no way corresponds to actual events and batted ball outcomes. Players constantly selecting incorrect animations that directly impact gameplay - A classic example being when you get the ball to a defending player on a base well ahead of the runner. Instead of simply tagging the opposing player for the out, they set the glove off to one side and make a huge sweeping tag that is totally inappropriate for the situation and results in a safe call. It’s been this way forever, yet nobody at SDS has once thought “This looks terrible. We need to find a better way of showing that the runner is safe regardless of input. The ball is clearly there well in advance of the runner, this is the kind of thing that makes the game feel scripted.”

If I worked at SDS in some capacity, these niggles would drive me insane. I’d want to deliver a product that felt good and natural, because that in turn increases player engagement. I’d want the game to play in a way that was enjoyable and engaging for the exact same reasons that I want SDS to deliver that experience now, as a consumer. Sadly, I feel that the players are much more passionate about improving the quality of experience in MLB the Show than the developers are and that’s a problem. You can’t just churn out the same product year after year, with the same flaws and slightly remixed content and expect not to get complaints from the community. It’s only because we want a better product. As the sole provider of “simulation” baseball on consoles, I feel like it’s all become a bit complacent. When you’re the number one baseball title in a field of two and the other contender is RBI Baseball, it can happen.

SDS

It’s amazing that they have Professional ball players that have said the game is trash but they don’t care. Content is amazing but there is no reason that gameplay shouldn’t be. In IRL a 100 mph fastball in high school is the same as a 100 mph fastball in the majors. The only difference is control, it improves as you receive better coaching. In the game it is ramped up as you move to allstar, hof then legend.

SDS

@beanball0571 said in Will online play ever be good?:

It’s amazing that they have Professional ball players that have said the game is trash but they don’t care. Content is amazing but there is no reason that gameplay shouldn’t be. In IRL a 100 mph fastball in high school is the same as a 100 mph fastball in the majors. The only difference is control, it improves as you receive better coaching. In the game it is ramped up as you move to allstar, hof then legend.

I’d like to see difficulty scaled more by PCI size and reduced area for solid contact than by variable pitch speeds and reduced swing timing windows. I don’t believe that swinging as fast as possible without having time to read and react to the pitch appropriately should be the primary determining skill gap factor. Not only does this not make sense when your target demographic is an older subset of players with naturally slower reaction times (This is indeed the case with MLB the Show, which has a large number of older players in comparison to a game like Fortnite or other current FPS games, where kids with twitchy reactions will always hold the advantage), it encourages the game to treat accurate PCI placement as a secondary factor to swing timing.

This year, I feel like the pitch speeds are fairly consistent between all star and HoF and the swing timing window differences, while tangible, aren’t insurmountable. We also have a nice speed differential on pitches, with the ability to set up a high fastball, or offspeed pitch and fool the batter simply with the change in velocity. That’s been lacking in years past, which is why it’s so annoying that they didn’t get it right. They were so close, but that’s as far as it went. The lack of pitch accuracy on reasonably good input, forced hangers over the plate, failure to calls strikes on the black and crucially, the huge area for contact with the oversized PCI, with batters being totally fooled on speed or location but getting bailed out with a foul tip which then causes ABs to go on until the game forces a pitch over the plate on fairly good input, have ruined the balance completely.

Combine this with the juiced cards and juiced hitting, with SDS so focused on showing us how rewarding hitting can be when you have an .855 average on perfect/perfect swings that they forgot to reward pitching. You can hit any pitch, in any location, hard. That’s not the case in real life. If you go after the wrong pitch, you’re just giving yourself up for an easy out. As a pitcher, that’s a big part of my job on the mound. I want you to make contact sometimes. You get two fastballs from De Grom on the inside half of the plate at 102mph as a righty, I want you to swing at that slider breaking away. You’re probably going to be early, you’re probably going to roll over and I’m probably going to get the out. In MLB the Show, you’re probably going to be early and you’re more likely than not going to pull that pitch 420 feet over the left field wall for a home run. It’s pretty disgusting.

SDS

Does gameplay as it is lend itself more to people buying stubs and packs and trying to get the best cards thinking that that’s what they need to play better? I wonder if that’s what they’re banking on. If gameplay felt more consistent and rewarding, maybe people might be less inclined to spend money on upgrades. For me personally, I would be more likely to spend money on a game that didn’t frustrate me so much, but I don’t know if I’m who they’re marketing to.

SDS

The sad part is that they've actually had superior gameplay in the past, the solution to perfecting this game is as easy as tweaking the mlb 16/17 engine and adding all the new content. Literally NO one asked for a new hitting engine in 18 but SDS stuck to their guns and kept regressing since then. Profits > quality

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