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Roundtable: MLB The Show 17's Online Rollout Rocky, But How Are Things Now?

MLB The Show 17 has had another rather rocky rollout to their online gaming experience this year. Our MLB The Show Online Forums are full of reports of different modes not working well (or at all) for some users.

In short, the rollout has been rather rocky with several social media posts turning towards the nasty side as well. However, things have improved quite a bit according to some users, but some persistent issues remain. How big are they? To answer that we asked some OS writers what their experiences have been, check out their thoughts on the online side of MLB The Show 17 after the jump!

Kevin Scott: I have to say that while my online experiences thus far have been far from ideal, I haven't experienced quite the kind of frustration that so many others have reported. Yes, it was obviously pretty disheartening to see once again that online games were absolutely unplayable upon release. There's nothing quite like the disappointment of pre-loading the game and then staying up until midnight on the night of release so you can try the game online right away, only to be greeted by an error message telling you that you're missing something called an access token you never knew existed. That didn't only leave me upset, but rather confused. Perhaps SDS is doomed to just always underestimate the enthusiasm people have for this game.

But since the initial assault on the servers died down, I have been able to play many Diamond Dynasty and Battle Royale games online with only slight issues and surprisingly few disconnections (other than making people quit when I blow them out, yay!).

The biggest issue I've seen in these modes has been the infuriating lag balls when hitting that jump abruptly from one side of the screen to the other and seem to somehow know to happen on an important pitch that will inevitably then result in a strikeout. The more pressing concerns have actually been in online franchise play, where I've had games freeze and seen re-occurring weird glitches such as batters forgetting to leave the batter's box after they hit the ball.

That said, I'm really beginning to come around on Battle Royale as a nice alternative to Diamond Dynasty. The 3-inning games make it the kind of mode you can play pretty quickly and the drafting of your players allows for some interesting choices in terms of strategy. It's nice to think of your players more as rentals rather than the ones you own in Diamond Dynasty and you can sometimes become so taken with a player you draft in Diamond Dynasty that you simply have to acquire him for your Diamond Dynasty team. And that's the story of how I now own Anthony Rendon.

Elliott Jenkins: My experience with online play has come strictly from Diamond Dynasty. My issues have strictly come from in-game play after the launch server issues subsided, at least for me. I have only been a victim of the dreaded lagball in two of my games. When it was present, it was deadly, but I have not seen it since. However, I often find myself victim of throwing errors and baserunning blunders due to very random lags in timing.

I did suffer an extremely frustrating walk-off rundown due to lag. The fact that the first baserunner reached due to the ball inexplicably missing my defender standing in the middle of the circle and rolling into center field just made things worse.

Last year’s biggest holdover for me, however, has been the inability to throw out base stealers. The delay from the catcher catching the ball to setting up the throw animation is omnipresent and very damaging to the online experience. Baserunners with as low as 71 speed routinely take second and third due to a deadly mix of the catcher throwing delay and the throwing error timing lag. This is still a bad game-impacting problem, especially in one-run three-inning contests.

SDS wowed us with their expansion of missions in their live streams. Missions were hugely successful last year and provided year-round replay value to an already well-built mode. However, the overwhelming amount of missions and programs are plagued by almost impossible difficulty and a lack of reward variety.

I do not see myself playing (let alone winning) 50 Battle Royale games. I certainly will not reach April’s 20 home-runs, but for an uncertain amount of tickets and Stubs, I would not have prioritized it in the first place. A lot of Missions function as secondary rewards for those interested in playing DD for hours, but that varies from player to player.

Programs presented a similar issue. I came to grips with the sad reality that I will never complete the Diamond or Dynasty Programs due to the sheer amount of difficult challenges in modes that require hours and hours of playtime. Smaller note - it is also difficult to conquer a Tampa Bay Rays territory when they get always absorbed by the Miami Marlins by the third round of Conquest. I can only restart that mode so many times before I shift back to Franchise Mode instead.

I was thrilled by the Team Epics at first. Their enticing reward for progression that appears to be against the CPU provided a different strategy and experience. However, the mission chain took a sharp turn once I reached the third phase. Take, for example, the Astros’ Team Epic. Defeat them twice in Play VS CPU. Easy. Defeat them three times on veteran difficulty in Play VS CPU. No problem. However, the third phase of the epic is collecting Hardware Dallas Keuchel, who can only be acquired by collecting all Astros or buying him outright in the marketplace.

The trouble is, Hardware Dallas Keuchel requires Live Series Jose Altuve, whose Stub price is in the hundreds of thousands. Suddenly, completing the Astros Team Epic, the Legend Billy Wagner reward, and diving into the other Team Epic mission chains lose my interest. It ends up coming down to paying for Stubs or finding sheer luck in packs (which also cost Stubs).

Another small nitpick: I was surprised that the level 20 rewards did not unlock at level 20. At level 33, only the 0 through 15 level rewards are available to purchase. I certainly understand this incentive to keep players gunning for higher levels, but it still felt odd.

That’s a lot of nitpicking for in-game rewards that solely exist to maintain my long-term engagement with one of the best baseball video games in years. I’m still checking the Community Market dozens of times a day and I’m still tantalized by the variety of three-inning game modes. Events have been a great injection of variety. I also particularly appreciate setting a separate roster altogether for each mode instead of having to constantly swap players in and out of my roster like in last year’s edition.

I bought a Rookie Zach Greinke from the Ticket Counter and unlocked a secret mission for him. This was a nice touch, as I acquired him to complete a Chris Archer Program mission and wound up with another string of easily attainable missions. Don’t let the above dissuade you, SDS. I’m still eating out of your hand in DD.

Josh Houtz: I consider myself an "online gamer" and for many years purchased games such as Madden, MLB the Show and FIFA, with intent on playing the game primarily online. After years of frustration with MLB the Show's online play, I decided to take a hiatus from one of the better sports' simulations for several years. That is until this year, when I decided to once again purchase the baseball juggernaut.

Based on the last time I played MLB the Show online, the game seems much improved. Yes, there is still the occasionally lag when using meter pitching, or when trying to time a hit just right. As many have experienced, at crucial times the ball will jump from side to side, resulting in a frustrating strikeout. The slight hesitation after a hit can be nerve wracking, but after playing several games you become used to this type of thing. Trying to gun down a runner who is stealing is nearly impossible.

Diamond Dynasty and Conquest modes are fun and bring a much needed element to online play. I find myself striving to get elite players and cards, doing everything necessary to better my team. Drafting is fun, and much like MUT makes you choose each position and player wisely. Despite leaning towards my favorite Pittsburgh Pirates' players, I walked away with a nice haul. Diamond Dynasty and Conquest will keep this game from getting stale, as long as the servers can keep with the ever-changing times.

Disconnections remain an issue, and I'd like to see something changed here in the near future. When playing a three-inning Diamond Dynasty game, my opponent quit shortly after a two-run homerun which gave me the lead. Sure it was the first inning, but I had already had two outs and battled back from an 0-2 count. In my opinion, enough of the game had been played to record the win.

I'm not sure a baseball game will ever play as flawless as Madden, FIFA or any of the other sports games online. However, it is clear Sony has made necessary strides to make online gamers happier and the experience far imporved over where it used to be. With modes like Diamond Dynasty and Conquest, I will be playing MLB the Show well into the fall.


Member Comments
# 1 jeffy777 @ 04/12/17 10:08 PM
From what I've seen, just about every pitch online looks hitchy/laggy. As far as lag and smoothness goes, MLB 2K10-11 was still the smoothest online MLB game I've seen. Why The Show has had inferior netcode is a real head-scratcher, since everything else about this game is so solid.
 
# 2 Rekkapryde @ 04/12/17 10:37 PM
the online freezing is past rediculous. Year after year after year after year. It's really disgusting at this point
 
# 3 Ronoko @ 04/12/17 11:13 PM
The OS minor league roster sealed the deal for me..............just going to be playing the cpu for a while. Hardly ever can complete a 9 inning game online.
 
# 4 Trackball @ 04/12/17 11:20 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffy777
From what I've seen, just about every pitch online looks hitchy/laggy. As far as lag and smoothness goes, MLB 2K10-11 was still the smoothest online MLB game I've seen. Why The Show has had inferior netcode is a real head-scratcher, since everything else about this game is so solid.
So it's not just me, then.
I thought it was my comparatively-slow DSL connection.
Glad to know it's not that.
 
# 5 theu715 @ 04/13/17 08:07 AM
People really walk on egg shells around here when it comes to describing MLB The Show's online play. Frankly, it's not fun and borderline not playable. Before the patch I tried two 9 inning games and had multiple issues, runners freezing at home, fielders still making slow animations to throw out runners, pitches jumping, and then both games froze and had to be disconnected. I started trying BR and event games only to have many go to the que and never get wins, or games disconnected and took a loss. Not to mention the base running lag and other issues. Personally, I have given up on online play (which is all I've played the last two years on the show) and am playing about 2 offline games a week or RTTS. To have spent full price on a game that the biggest marketing point for it and most of the development time seems to go into (online/DD modes) these again are not fun because of issues or unplayable due to connection errors and server problems. I've mostly seen from people that many issues still persist after the patch, so I'm not wasting my time with it. Let's call it what it really is this year, a HUGE disappointment.
On a side note, congrats for strictly offline gamers, it's perfectly smooth, so those who play that way, don't jump on this.
 
# 6 yelch @ 04/13/17 08:36 AM
Played one event game first day. Won and registered as a win despite all the lag and hitching, my guess is the other guy had it worse.
Haven't touched online since because of all that.

So, last night, I decided to play ond more event game before it closes. New patch and all, figured it had improved. Oh, was I wrong.
The game was barely playable, pitches appearing on home plate out of thin air, every swing was hitchy, every ball contact resulted in a one second freeze. Runners tagged out by fielders 20 yards away, outfielders waiting for a flyout that lands 10 feet behind them...
It was a complete crapshow of a 0-0 game through six, when I managed to bit a single, steal, and sacrifice home. Game over. Win....... Queue...... Nothing, no win, no stats, nothing.

Last online game for me this year. Waste of time. Screw the missions and player rewards, it will never happen anyway with stats being wiped out randomly.
 
# 7 ph33 @ 04/13/17 08:46 AM
The online is absolutely atrocious.

I have had so many Battle Royale wins that either never count, OR I am given the loss instead.

And when I actually lose, it gets recorded 100% of the time.

I emailed them very politely the first time I won a game but was given a loss. You know what their response was?

"sorry about that. As a one time goodwill gesture, we will refund your Battle Royale entry"

Seriously? I should be grateful that I got a battle Royale refund (1500 stubs is NOTHING to them) even though it is THEIR fault? And I should not expect this favor from them again even though I'm paying stubs to enter? In addition to that, the difference between 12-0 and 12-1 is huge. I didn't even really make demands from them, but the tone of that email pissed me off.

And the false loss was given to me again a few days later, this time when I should have been 9-0, much bigger stakes, so I messaged again. No reply whatsoever. And trust me, I keep my cool in the emails. I know excess anger gets nowhere.

I really didn't want to pre order the game this year knowing this was possible. So I got it digitally cause my ps4 is having issues with randomly ejecting discs. But I'm never getting this pre order again, they don't deserve all the support I have given them through the years.
 
# 8 BYU 14 @ 04/13/17 09:36 AM
Off line play is awesome, with the very notable exception of the CPU pulling pitchers in the 4th or 5th in 95% of the games with quick counts on. Doesn't happen playing full counts, but there are some of us who never play that way.
 
# 9 trevorprice07 @ 04/13/17 10:05 AM
My issue is that some of the missions seem impossible to complete. It seems like I will never be able to get 4 hits with griffy in an online game. If someone is losing, they quit by the 4th inning. They need to make it where you can finish against the CPU if the opponent quits or disconnects.
 
# 10 rangerrick012 @ 04/13/17 10:13 AM
I want whatever servers these guys are playing on, because I would love to be able to finish a game, even if it was filled with lag, rather than have all my games either freeze or go to the queue upon me finishing them, sometimes both.

I hate to do this, but had a game like Madden (which people will go out of their way to bash) come out with these game breaking flaws in online play, there would be a story on it every day here on OS. As far as I can see this is the first time you have even addressed it on here, and the writers seem to be underselling how bad the flaws are right now.
 
# 11 yelch @ 04/13/17 10:16 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by trevorprice07
My issue is that some of the missions seem impossible to complete. It seems like I will never be able to get 4 hits with griffy in an online game. If someone is losing, they quit by the 4th inning. They need to make it where you can finish against the CPU if the opponent quits or disconnects.
I remember some old Maddens doing this. If the opponent quits, it gets replaced by AI on Rookie. Then after you wallop the AI, the final score gets charged to the quitter and kills their ratings.
 
# 12 shaikio @ 04/13/17 10:22 AM
Most of my DD online issues have seemed to have disappeared in the past 4-5 days. I was having the same issues as everyone for the first week or so past launch, but since about last Sunday the game has been as playable in DD online as it was for me last year. I haven't had a game freeze or not count in the standings, and I think I've only have one that had to go into the queue. I do still see a few warp flyballs still though, but the lag with pitching and hitting seems to have all but disappeared for me.
 
# 13 eric7064 @ 04/13/17 10:23 AM
Really? Improved? Honestly how can anyone say that. It's just not true. The online has been worse this year, and it's not even close.

Sure game play significantly improved. As did the other online modes, but in actual online play it's been horrible. SDS should be ashamed of there online product right now. Phenomenal game when it's working. But nobody should accept this.
 
# 14 HustlinOwl @ 04/13/17 11:42 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by eric7064
Really? Improved? Honestly how can anyone say that. It's just not true. The online has been worse this year, and it's not even close.

Sure game play significantly improved. As did the other online modes, but in actual online play it's been horrible. SDS should be ashamed of there online product right now. Phenomenal game when it's working. But nobody should accept this.
already seen several games freeze first thing this AM
 
# 15 OtherMoon2 @ 04/13/17 01:15 PM
IMO it is pretty sad that a AAA sports title (that is only on one system) continues to have server issues. To make matters worse Online Franchise is awful (did anyone write about Online Franchise). If I want to start up a madden franchise I: open it up, select a roster, pick a team, go through setting, and invite users -- Boom! it is ready to go; No activation that takes 48 hrs, nor simming that stays in queue for 72 hours. Granted, Madden has 32 teams with 50 something athletes, MLB also has AAA, AA, and A.

It is not that I am running some super competitive online league with 20 people. I have a total of 4 people in mine, they are my brothers, it is a way for us (who are living all over the world) to connect. The experience has been pretty disappointing.

Overall the online experience is poor at best, and truly hampers a game that plays well and looks beautiful.

Note to SCEA: Be more concerned with servers than jersey stitching.
 
# 16 Spokker @ 04/13/17 02:49 PM
The issue with games not counting is like having your saved game deleted. It's infuriating in the context of video games, which means it's just a first world problem.

No communication is just the cherry on top.
 
# 17 ty5oke @ 04/13/17 03:03 PM
This is the first year I've tried to play DD, it's absolutely a pain to try and play.
 
# 18 thawkprime 21 @ 04/13/17 03:23 PM
I was finally able to complete a daily mission for stealing a base with a player under 75 speed in a DD game. But of course the game got lost in the queue and I have to keep teying.
 
# 19 jeffy777 @ 04/13/17 03:34 PM
I wish more reviewers and such would speak out about this so that SDS would be more inclined to do something to fix this.

IGN giving it a 9.5 for instance without even really mentioning online play just seems like a cruel joke.

No other game this laggy would get a free pass.

Hate to say it, but MLB 2K had better netcode 7 years ago. The Show hasn't even come close to that level of smoothness.

As I said in another thread, I have friends who would buy this game, but they only play online so I tell them not to bother, which sucks because the singleplayer is so amazing.
 
# 20 eric7064 @ 04/13/17 03:59 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by OtherMoon2
IMO it is pretty sad that a AAA sports title (that is only on one system) continues to have server issues. To make matters worse Online Franchise is awful (did anyone write about Online Franchise). If I want to start up a madden franchise I: open it up, select a roster, pick a team, go through setting, and invite users -- Boom! it is ready to go; No activation that takes 48 hrs, nor simming that stays in queue for 72 hours. Granted, Madden has 32 teams with 50 something athletes, MLB also has AAA, AA, and A.

It is not that I am running some super competitive online league with 20 people. I have a total of 4 people in mine, they are my brothers, it is a way for us (who are living all over the world) to connect. The experience has been pretty disappointing.

Overall the online experience is poor at best, and truly hampers a game that plays well and looks beautiful.

Note to SCEA: Be more concerned with servers than jersey stitching.
Right there with you in regards to Online Franchise. Just me and 3 of my buddies, who look forward to the show every year. We are all in the same division and compete in game, draft, free agency etc.. and its atrocious right now.

Having AAA,AA,A shouldnt effect the simming at all since they dont play games anyway.
 

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