Feature Article
Player Quirks Are a Step in the Right Direction for MLB The Show

Last week, the Sony San Diego team detailed an intriguing new feature intended to make each player feel more unique in MLB The Show 17: Player Quirks.

Player Quirks are extensions of the current set of player attributes to set apart those who have special abilities. A few examples detailed last week were “Rally Monkey” for players who excel at hitting when the team is trailing, “Road Warrior” for players who perform better playing away from home, and “Night Player” for those who prefer performing under the lights.

Some Player Quirks have a stacking effect on the batter’s PCI (Plate Coverage Indicator), making it easier or more difficult for the batter to get contact (and quality contact) on a pitch. Pitchers also have Player Quirks as well, which can shrink the batter’s PCI and give them an advantage in the matchup.

This feature should add another layer of strategy and challenge to players looking to build their roster in franchise mode. Perhaps you are controlling the Chicago Cubs in your franchise mode. It may make sense to check out players who possess the “Day Player” quirk so you can ensure top performance in the unique day-game-heavy schedule at Wrigley. Or perhaps you aren’t much for patience at the plate -- it may be advantageous to load up on players who have the “First Pitch Hitter” quirk to back up your free-swinging style.

Somewhat disappointingly, several of the Player Quirks in MLB The Show 17 are merely a summary of the player’s attributes and do not impact gameplay. For example, a pitcher can have the “Control Artist” Player Quirk, but this is only assigned to pitchers who have a high BB/9 attribute and does not impact gameplay in any way beyond that. Other examples of these include “Hitting Machine” (players with high contact ratings) and “Speedster” (players with a high speed rating).

Although these “display-only” quirks may have been intended to give players a quick and easy way to summarize a player’s abilities -- since they don’t impact the gameplay at all -- it’s a bit discouraging that many of the Player Quirks fall under this category.

For a first-year feature, I think Player Quirks are absolutely a step in the right direction for the MLB The Show series. Franchise mode is better when there are a wide variety of player attributes that can make each player unique and make building a roster more strategic. Player Quirks also help better simulate the tough decisions a manager must make on a daily basis when filling out the lineup card. Do you keep a player with the Situational Hitter (excels at driving in a runner from third base with less than two outs) on your bench, ready to be called on in a crucial situation, or do you put that player in the starting lineup because it is a home night game, and he has both the Home Body and Night Player quirks?

There is certainly a lot of room for building and improving this feature. Currently, all of the Player Quirks are positive. It would be fantastic to see negative Player Quirks as well. A few ideas: players that don’t always hustle out of the box, pitchers who don’t do a good job of holding runners on (I’m looking at you, Mr. Lester), and pitchers who get emotional and lose focus after a few questionable calls from the home plate umpire.

More quirks for defensive players would also be a welcome addition. Some more ideas: players who take unwise risks such as diving for a line drive that can get behind them and become a triple or inside-the-park home run, defensive wizards who can make bare-handed pickups look routine, or outfielders who have a knack for robbing home runs.

Overall, I believe this is a solid new feature for MLB The Show 17, and can’t wait to dig into the game to see how Player Quirks add a new dynamic to already fantastic gameplay.

Member Comments
# 1 Caulfield @ 03/15/17 03:50 PM
IMO too, quirks are a positive step forward for the Show series.
Now 5 years from now, I want Create-a-Quirk implemented lol
# 2 leinhart_6 @ 03/15/17 03:51 PM
No ones commented on this yet?? This feature has to be one of my favorites by far. I'm a big franchise guy and the variety with multiple outcomes that these quirks will effect have me too excited!
# 3 GSW @ 03/15/17 03:54 PM
Nice write up, man.

I agree. When I first heard about them I was intrigued. As someone who loves baseball, baseball video games but fairly busy during the regular day I dont have the same amount of time to devote to watching as much baseball as I have had previously.

Player quirks give me a visual snapshot of who a player is and what they are good at. In the game when it does mean it affects gameplay, all the better. But as a general teaching tool it's very useful as well.

It's an underrated feature that will help newcomers to the series as well. MLB The Show is probably my favorite sports game on console allowing access to it for "newbies" through visual things like badges *cough* I mean quirks...really is a step in the right direction.
# 4 Caulfield @ 03/15/17 03:54 PM
Originally Posted by leinhart_6
No ones commented on this yet??
threads less than 15 minutes old and there are probably at least a half dozen other threads on Player Quirks lol
# 5 craigscar @ 03/15/17 04:06 PM
Two things - only have quirks for which we have empirical and statistically significant data. Otherwise it's a slippery slope to quirks like, "Pitches great on Thursdays". Also, as the author mentioned, you MUST have negative quirks as well.
# 6 @legendm0de @ 03/15/17 04:40 PM
I wish there were more than twenty, that's my only gripe. Their work on the progression/regression system and this feature (the Player Quirks) could carry gameplay toward the next level from where it is now.

In my opinion, I wish all players were given static ratings based on their skillset at the point in their careers, when the game drops, and then features like the player quirks and progression/regression dynamically update the kind of performances the player has mixed in with those static ratings.

For example, if 70 OVR like maybe Joey Gallo is a power/hr hitting below avg Defensively rookie but he's having a monster season performing like an 85+ OVR IRL or Season Modes; then I want to see a balance created tethering the 70 OVR Joey Gallo with the new improved Joey Gallo so not to lose the possible rookie traits within his 70 OVR version from being apart of the gameplay. And then Dynamic quirks to boot, instead of unchanging ones like we currently have.

The final result then is if you take a well developed Joey Gallo, who's had massive success mashing Fastballs in Day Games consistently. Then he dynamically adds those 2 quirks. Plus, now performing like an 85+ OVR, his Vision, Plate Discipline, and all hitting attributes are significantly up, However, since he started the season as a 70 OVR you'll see two separate but active ratings on the player. The dominant rating for this game will be his 85+ OVR version, with for this example, a 10% chance of 70 OVR throughout the game.

Anyway, I just agree there is a lot of potential added to this game by the player quirks that can carry it forward if done correctly.
# 7 p00p1 @ 03/15/17 05:07 PM
I'm curious about pick off moves. I think during gameplay they mentioned that someone had a good pick off move, so I wonder if that is a possible quirk, since it doesn't appear to be listed as a new attribute.
# 8 Caulfield @ 03/15/17 05:12 PM
Is there a 'display-only', 5 Tool Quirk? Mike Trout should have that.
# 9 tzvih4 @ 03/15/17 06:24 PM
This is like NBA 2K's badge system
# 10 ps3veron @ 03/16/17 02:56 AM
Stupid question: Are these quirks only in Franchise or in every mode (including online)?
# 11 Trackball @ 03/16/17 03:06 AM
Originally Posted by ps3veron
Stupid question: Are these quirks only in Franchise or in every mode (including online)?
As far as I can tell, they're in RTTS, too.

We'll know for sure in the upcoming deep dive.
# 12 bacon96 @ 03/16/17 11:21 AM
Originally Posted by ps3veron
Stupid question: Are these quirks only in Franchise or in every mode (including online)?
They showed a screenshot of Griffey's quirks so they're in DD too.
# 13 Mitchrapp @ 03/16/17 11:55 AM
I suppose these aren't dynamic so if someone gets the "Road Warrior" quirk yet they can't hit on the road during the season, they'd change?

Being dynamic it would be cool if my created RTTS player could get quirks over time. Not sure how they could figure that out though.
# 14 burth179 @ 03/16/17 04:30 PM
I don't even care because I don't play this game, but that said I think it depends on exactly how they are determining these "quirks". Because one guy has a season where he hits better at night than he does in the day, does not mean the next season it will be the same.

You have to be careful looking at stats and deriving conclusions, especially if the sample size is not large enough to draw a good conclusion from.

In theory it sounds good, but it sounds like something that will be based on things that by and large could just be random variance.
# 15 Caulfield @ 03/16/17 04:37 PM
Sorry, but you lost me right there
Originally Posted by burth179
I don't even care because I don't play this game,
Attachment 132468
# 16 kehlis @ 03/16/17 04:41 PM
Originally Posted by Caulfield
Sorry, but you lost me right there

Attachment 132468
He's not wrong though.
# 17 Caulfield @ 03/16/17 04:49 PM
Originally Posted by kehlis
He's not wrong though.
Yeah, quirks will be great for year one in a franchise, but hopefully in year two things dont get wonky. I'm hopeful SDS prepared for that.
# 18 WaitTilNextYear @ 03/16/17 05:02 PM
Originally Posted by kehlis
He's not wrong though.
Originally Posted by Caulfield
Yeah, quirks will be great for year one in a franchise, but hopefully in year two things dont get wonky. I'm hopeful SDS prepared for that.
Yeah, basing splits-based quirks on one year of stats (which is my impression) would be a poor design decision. Lots of players oscillate back and forth and essentially perform the same over a large enough sample size with home/road and night/day splits.

I don't think things will get wonky because they made it seem that the splits-based quirks are not dynamic. For example, if Justin Turner hit "well" with 2 strikes in 2016, then he will have the 2-strikes quirk for the rest of his career.

All in all, just having the quirks is probably a good thing for now, but in future years I'd like to see them go with a larger data sample (3-5 years or data or X number of at bats) and allow quirks to become dynamic based on stats in your franchise.
# 19 kehlis @ 03/16/17 05:06 PM
Originally Posted by Caulfield
Yeah, quirks will be great for year one in a franchise, but hopefully in year two things dont get wonky. I'm hopeful SDS prepared for that.
I'm with you and can even live with "incorrect" (perceived or accurate) quircks in year one.

I'm mostly concerned with how it can be done with edited players (OSFM as an example).
# 20 Jay D @ 03/16/17 06:15 PM
I remember reading Tom Tippet's blog, when Diamond Mind Baseball was my jam, when he responded to requests for things like clutch. Every attempt to include it just blew the sims up and created unrealistic results.

That said, it could still add a fun and strategic dynamic to playing. I'm looking forward to it, but I would hesitate to call it sim.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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