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Diamond Dynasty in MLB The Show 17 was the Best Card Collecting Mode of 2017

MLB The Show 17

Diamond Dynasty in MLB The Show 17 was the Best Card Collecting Mode of 2017

Whether you like it or not, card collecting modes in sports games are here to stay. In 2017, all of the major games vied for valuable playing time with variations on these modes, and naturally some fared better than others. EA’s Ultimate Teams (FIFA 18, Madden 18 and NHL 18) all relied too heavily on microtransactions while NBA 2K’s MyTeam seemed to take a backseat to the more lucrative Run The Neighborhood career mode. But the game doing it best in 2017 was the one released earliest in the year: MLB The Show 17 and its increasingly rewarding Diamond Dynasty.

On the surface, Diamond Dynasty didn’t at first glance appear to be all that different from the other games’ similar modes, but how it ultimately separated itself from the pack is by zigging where the others opted to zag. For starters, Diamond Dynasty offered no alternative currency other than stubs, meaning that there were no cash-grab packs in the store that you had to use real money to purchase. In addition, the objectives you needed to reach in order to obtain better cards were always straightforward and challenging rather than convoluted and tedious. Perhaps best of all, a seemingly endless collection of programs and missions that allowed for a strategic element where you could be striving towards several different goals at the same time added an angle to the experience that other sports games simply couldn’t match.

The fact that rewards could be attained across a number of different enjoyable modes also allowed for players to choose how they wanted to grind towards their dream team. Don’t like playing against people online? No problem, you could always tackle Conquest, Team Epics or even accumulate stats towards completing a Legend program. Don’t like playing against the CPU? They had you covered, as you could go toe-to-toe against flesh-and-blood opponents in Ranked Seasons, Battle Royale or any of the popular Events that were held periodically throughout the year. There was even the chance with some of these modes to play shorter games, generally 3 or 6 inning affairs, successfully reducing what can often be a time-consuming affair into a more manageable commitment.

But it would have all meant nothing if the content wasn’t anything special but. Fortunately for MLB The Show 17 and its players, the game did not disappoint on this front. Take cover boy Ken Griffey Jr. for instance, whose career trajectory you could trace from his glory days in Seattle all the way to his short stint with the White Sox by collecting his various cards and completing the necessary objectives with them. And it was completing those objectives that made finally getting the cards all the more satisfying, as players devoted many hours to playing games all so they could eventually have an opportunity to start players like Felix Hernandez in his prime. As it stands, it’s hard for me to think of a better achievement I had in a sports game this year than grinding out the necessary wins in an event in order to add a peak Jacoby Ellsbury to my squad.

In many ways, MLB The Show 17’s Diamond Dynasty was as much a success for what it did do as what it didn’t do. For providing a mode that was complex and deep enough to have us still playing it today and yet accessible enough to keep microtransactions from becoming too prevalent, Diamond Dynasty is the card-collecting mode to beat in 2018.

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  1. Even less talked about, the global ratings scale and live series players. Not the Low and Grow model uses by other games and in my opinion, causes balance issues and game breaking cards are released. Not to mention the useless cards. In the show, 91 spd bronze player can always have a place to be used (even more so with Events). In Madden, the core 90 overall with 83 spd has no place in the game.
    Cowboy008
    That's fine with me as long as the developers don't just solely focus on those kind of modes.

    unfortunately that's the way sports games are going nowadays to make money. you just have to remember sports games usually get sold to a niche group, where as action/etc games tend to sell to a much larger audience(and they still micro-trans).
    No contract limits like in the EA Ultimate Team modes is the real difference. In the Show if you get Griffey you have him forever. In 2K the special Shaq or Kobe card you paid for expires after 5 games, in FIFA the Ronaldo or Messi is gone after 5 games or less, EA and 2K and money grubbing snake oil salesmen
    No contract limits like in the EA Ultimate Team modes is the real difference. In the Show if you get Griffey you have him forever. In 2K the special Shaq or Kobe card you paid for expires after 5 games, in FIFA the Ronaldo or Messi is gone after 5 games or less, EA and 2K are money grubbing snake oil salesmen
    I play DD to this day though they may have chased me away by shutting down DD Seasons. No real incentive now to keep playing it. But with that said, is was the hands down best card collecting implementation. You could be competitive with a mediocre team and I personally didn't spend a dime on the mode and it held my interest all year (played over 300 games online). I used to play Madden UT but this year EA chased me away by charging tickets for Draft Champs games (which was my preferred way to play and collect cards) and the "Pay to Win" players have so negatively impacted the balance and competitiveness of Season games that it's simply no fun to play. If they fix the match making so that my 82 overall team doesn't get matched up with a 95+ overall team I could get drawn back in....but if they did that they anger the pay to winners which is the demographic they're trying to keep happy....so I'm not holding my breathe. 
    I like the concept, but sorting/browsing your DD collection is so clunky and cumbersome. I really hope they do something about that this year and streamline/optimize the UI.
    jeffy777
    I like the concept, but sorting/browsing your DD collection is so clunky and cumbersome. I really hope they do something about that this year and streamline/optimize the UI.

    I fell in love with DD this past December. I 100% agree that the browsing portion is terrible.
    I went from never playing the mode to playing the mode a ton this year. I really enjoyed it but I also hope they don't stop improving franchise mode cuz of it cuz I love playing that mode too.
    twitch.com/livinitup921
    I loved this mode. It is far and away the best card game out there. The live updates to rosters and ratings gave you the ability to buy low and sell high. The fact they the cards aren’t just portraits but actual Topps baseball cards is so cool. I remember doing everything I could to get a Cal Ripken card because I actually own one. The fact that the monetary system is the same is also huge. I actually played this mode more than franchise mode for the first time ever.
    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    I don't play DD, but I love collecting the cards as I accrue stubs during playing franchise. I collected baseball cards as a kid, and I just love seeing many of the cards from 80s and 90s that I actually have. It's a little touch that adds to the charm of the mode and adds that nostalgia factor that seems to mean more for baseball than most other sports (IMO).

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