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Detailing the Changes to Hitting Coming to MLB The Show 19

MLB The Show 19

Detailing the Changes to Hitting Coming to MLB The Show 19

On Thursday, San Diego Studio began its annual Twitch streams aimed at providing insight and information on the new features and changes coming to this year’s iteration of MLB The Show. The two streams highlighted the defensive changes and hitting changes coming to MLB The Show 19, but it was really the hitting stream that highlighted the changes that will be occurring year over year.

Maybe the biggest change coming to MLB The Show 19 will be the onus on contact hitters having a bigger impact. The power meta that developed in MLB The Show 18 largely eliminated the desire to utilize contact hitters, so legends like Rod Carew and Kenny Lofton, as well as guys like Dee Gordon and Whit Merrifield, went largely underutilized. This year you should see a greater variation in hits.

The developers noted that contact hitters received a back-end power bump, thus encouraging more hard-hit shots into the gap and over the infield. It was emphasized that this was back-end tuning, and contact hitters didn’t specifically receive in-game power bumps. This shouldn’t increase a contact hitter’s home run numbers.

Another important piece of information to take away from the stream was users being rewarded for swinging at “good” pitches. Hanging breaking balls will have a much greater chance of being punished this year as developers found they were far too effective in MLB The Show 18. This should be a welcomed change for baseball purists wanting to destroy a floating meatball at the letters.

Furthermore, users will begin to be penalized in a sense for spamming the same pitch over and over. As an example, if you’re a player who likes to throw 80 percent changeups below the zone, the pitch will begin to miss more and more, and possibly make its way up in the zone as the game progresses. This applies to pitches that are not a pitcher’s primary pitch. Mixing things up and keeping the batter uneasy will matter more than ever this year.

Developers also noted that pitch speeds will be “faster than ever before in The Show.” This change will affect players on Hall of Fame and Legend difficulty the most. The pitch speeds for Rookie and Veteran were also brought down a little bit, thus widening the spectrum for beginners and some of the best players in the world. This is mode-dependent, so users playing Road to the Show will see different pitch speeds than that of head-to-head Diamond Dynasty players.

Bunting has also been addressed in MLB The Show 19. In general, users will see a greater success in bunting when “using bunting in correct situations.” They’ve also added a pre-pitch bunt direction mechanic that will allow a little more control in the placement of bunts.

Finally, power hitters can be countered to a certain degree this year with pitchers who have a strong HR/9 rating. While this will not totally destroy a player’s ability to hit a home run against the pitcher, it will help bring down the aforementioned power meta that had been built into MLB The Show 18.

A few final thoughts and changes coming to MLB The Show 19:

  • While PCI location is “still king” a bigger impact will focus on swing timing.
  • Off-speed pitches will not break quite as much as they did in MLB The Show 18.
  • Knuckleballs and splitters will be less effective this year.
  • Power hitters will be more prone to striking out as developers try to highlight the risk/reward that applies to most power hitters.
  • Hitting pitches that are outside of the zone for home runs should be more difficult as a greater emphasis is being placed on rewarding users for hitting pitches in the zone.
  • The implementation of a “squared up” PCI feedback will alert users when they had good timing and PCI location, highlighting the ball hitting the barrel of the bat.
  • Bunting against the shift will be slightly more effective.
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  1. Well written article, but seems a little redundant.
    Furthermore I will say that it just goes on to point out and solidify that the single player offline experience in sports games is dying quite quickly. Companies have all converted to the micro transaction, card flipping, e sport crowd and really just don't care for the offline single player gamer anymore.
    Now I understand its all about the all mighty dollar, I get that. Companies are here to make money. If all of the offline franchise players quit buying it would be a small blip on their financial radar.
    I love The Show and I am more cautiously optimistic that I was a week ago. But lets be honest for a minute. None of these changes were made to gameplay for the benefit or development of the offline franchise players. Sure we may benefit in small part because of it, but they were not made for us in any way shape or form. Just look at the offline features that have been removed in 10 years over online modes and features that have been added.
    Again I am not faulting anybody for making a buck, that is they way business works. But I am just being realistic about my opinions on the future of this game and others. We of the offline community are merely an afterthought if that and we will continue to see the way we want to play our game dwindle until it is non existent and I think it will happen sooner rather than later.
    Bullit
    Well written article, but seems a little redundant.
    Furthermore I will say that it just goes on to point out and solidify that the single player offline experience in sports games is dying quite quickly. Companies have all converted to the micro transaction, card flipping, e sport crowd and really just don't care for the offline single player gamer anymore.
    Now I understand its all about the all mighty dollar, I get that. Companies are here to make money. If all of the offline franchise players quit buying it would be a small blip on their financial radar.
    I love The Show and I am more cautiously optimistic that I was a week ago. But lets be honest for a minute. None of these changes were made to gameplay for the benefit or development of the offline franchise players. Sure we may benefit in small part because of it, but they were not made for us in any way shape or form. Just look at the offline features that have been removed in 10 years over online modes and features that have been added.
    Again I am not faulting anybody for making a buck, that is they way business works. But I am just being realistic about my opinions on the future of this game and others. We of the offline community are merely an afterthought if that and we will continue to see the way we want to play our game dwindle until it is non existent and I think it will happen sooner rather than later.

    I don't agree that it's quite so simple.
    If games lose the backing of the "sim" crowd, they lose the feel of the sport. Then, there is virtually no valuable content (rosters, sliders, CAPs) created after release. The feedback they get is also much less useful. What was a AAA title with many options for gameplay becomes something more of a joke game, and even the casuals start jumping ship. That's closer to what I believe would happen if they developed the game solely for the arcade-y, cheese-y, baseball know-nothings straight out of a *take my money* meme. I think it's important for them to keep some critical mass of "sim" offliners in the fold and I think they are probably smart enough to realize that.
    WaitTilNextYear
    I don't agree that it's quite so simple.
    If games lose the backing of the "sim" crowd, they lose the feel of the sport. Then, there is virtually no valuable content (rosters, sliders, CAPs) created after release. The feedback they get is also much less useful. What was a AAA title with many options for gameplay becomes something more of a joke game, and even the casuals start jumping ship. That's closer to what I believe would happen if they developed the game solely for the arcade-y, cheese-y, baseball know-nothings straight out of a *take my money* meme. I think it's important for them to keep some critical mass of "sim" offliners in the fold and I think they are probably smart enough to realize that.

    I agree, to a certain point
    No, it isn't so simple. I listened very carefully to what the developers were saying in both streams and I am weary that all of the gameplay changes were explained in the lens of head to head, human versus human play. This is a good example of the pendulum shifting towards online play.
    With that being said, I will say that I'm excited to see how these changes are reflected in the behavior of the AI. The optimist in me says the streams and the language used was just the developers marketing their product towards the DD crowd, even though the changes made to the AI, for the offline franchise players, are still significant. Maybe they could have gone into more detail about the user vs AI experience with these changes, but I (unfortunately) understand why they didn't.
    WaitTilNextYear
    I don't agree that it's quite so simple.
    If games lose the backing of the "sim" crowd, they lose the feel of the sport. Then, there is virtually no valuable content (rosters, sliders, CAPs) created after release. The feedback they get is also much less useful. What was a AAA title with many options for gameplay becomes something more of a joke game, and even the casuals start jumping ship. That's closer to what I believe would happen if they developed the game solely for the arcade-y, cheese-y, baseball know-nothings straight out of a *take my money* meme. I think it's important for them to keep some critical mass of "sim" offliners in the fold and I think they are probably smart enough to realize that.

    I see your point, but I still disagree on a point or two.
    First there has obviously already been a decline in offline numbers pretty much across the board. Maybe not as a whole, but certainly as a percentage. Just to use base numbers for my example: Lets say 100 people play The Show and 60 of those play offline modes only. Thru development of DD, card collecting, online head to head the number of people playing the game as a whole doubles. So now 200 people play The Show. I think we can agree that the majority of those players brought into the game will spend little if any time in offline play. So as the number of players in the game increase those playing the offline modes will not see the same increase and have more potential for drop off. This would mean that over time the percentage of people playing offline would steadily decrease.
    We can already see this happening. Starting with 17 the developers started working on making The Show more approachable to new users. Which at its core is a good thing. But we have also seen no real development in any offline mode except for RTTS. This isnt just a SDS problem , I think this can be seen across the board. All of the major sports titles have added "RTTS" modes to increase accessibility to the player base for offline, but all of these modes are tied to micro transactions of some form or another to increase monetization of the game as a whole.
    So yes, while popularity and player count go up, in my opinion (based on pretty solid financial and mathematical formulas of economics) the overall percentage of people playing offline will go down over time. Again let me be clear I am not saying this is a problem for any company or a fault at all. I am not laying blame or bad mouthing anybody. This is straight up economics of capitalism. I love the folks at SDS and hold them in very high regard. They put out a wonderful product that has kept me playing for well over a decade. But things change, the world changes and as much as I HATE change it is inevitable.
    I used to play every sport title out there, I mean all of them. Now I only play The Show and I know I am not the only one. I am also sure that there are players in the respective game that have given up all other games and only play FIFA or Madden Or NBA2k. This is my second point. The loss of those players in each of those games has had no effect whatsoever on their bottom lines. But it does effect the development of those titles. If the numbers of offline players in any sports title was as high or effective at bringing in income then we would see development of those modes to a much higher degree. But the lack of ability to tie money into these modes has and will effect their growth. Look at the results when 2K added micro-transactions into the GM mode. Was it not added that you had to purchase with VC the ability to trade players or other GM decisions as well. I am not sure because I stopped playing those games because of things like this. I am sure others did as well, but again it did not change anything going forward with the game.
    So thats a long winded treaty that I really let get away from me sorry, but I had good intentions.
    so knuckleballs and splitters will be less effective this year. dont particularly care about the knuckler, but I love that splitter so I'll definitely be interested in seeing just what I can do throwing it. Wonder if the splitter's ugly cousin the forkball is affected.
    Caulfield
    so knuckleballs and splitters will be less effective this year. dont particularly care about the knuckler, but I love that splitter so I'll definitely be interested in seeing just what I can do throwing it. Wonder if the splitter's ugly cousin the forkball is affected.

    Unless it is the pitcher’s number 1, then it would not be less effective.
    Bullit
    Well written article, but seems a little redundant.
    Furthermore I will say that it just goes on to point out and solidify that the single player offline experience in sports games is dying quite quickly. Companies have all converted to the micro transaction, card flipping, e sport crowd and really just don't care for the offline single player gamer anymore.
    Now I understand its all about the all mighty dollar, I get that. Companies are here to make money. If all of the offline franchise players quit buying it would be a small blip on their financial radar.
    I love The Show and I am more cautiously optimistic that I was a week ago. But lets be honest for a minute. None of these changes were made to gameplay for the benefit or development of the offline franchise players. Sure we may benefit in small part because of it, but they were not made for us in any way shape or form. Just look at the offline features that have been removed in 10 years over online modes and features that have been added.
    Again I am not faulting anybody for making a buck, that is they way business works. But I am just being realistic about my opinions on the future of this game and others. We of the offline community are merely an afterthought if that and we will continue to see the way we want to play our game dwindle until it is non existent and I think it will happen sooner rather than later.

    Give this man an award! :appl::appl::appl:
    Well said and echos exactly what most of us are feeling. However, in no way will it change the way I play games going forward. I will always be an offline/franchise mode type of player. I just wish we had more competition when it comes to baseball video games. Having more choices is better for the consumer and healthier for the gaming community.
    Trackball
    I've said it before, and I'll say it again.
    Microtransactions ruin everything.
    except for those who enjoy microtransactions lol and there is a ton who do
    but I still think this is a fad that will have burned its fuel in the next 4-6 years. right now these companies have caught lightning in a bottle but they wont be able to replicate it when the well runs dry. and they will return to us once again. I really believe that, though I can easily see how one would be sceptical given the current situation.
    MLB14
    I don't see microtransactions as a fad. I see them as part of gaming evolution, unfortunately.

    I agree with Caulfield, things go in cycles and at some point gamers will feel like they're being taken advantage of. How many times is somebody going to buy the same player card year after year before they ask themselves "why am i paying for this when I've already bought it every year for the last five years?"
    Remember, they added carry over saves because we got tired of having to start a brand new franchise every year. Card collecting modes are the definition of starting over and the cow can only be milked for so long.
    MLB14
    I don't see microtransactions as a fad. I see them as part of gaming evolution, unfortunately.

    Yep and they will soon fade. The problem these companies will face is, have they lost their true yearly supporter? The good news is that they have time to save face with the gamers that game them their yearly platform today. The bad news is that they seem blind to the fact.
    One of the reasons publishers don't mind losing offline players are threads like this. We have an article about hitting improvements, and instead the thread ended up being about lamenting microtransactions.
    Regardless how anyone feels about micro transactions, there is not a more consistently negative core gamer than sim and franchise players in sports. this goes whiter they are in their, 'just trying to help the devs make the game better" mode or in the "devs are lazy and publishers are greedy" mode.
    This thread is not an outlier. This is what publishers see across all sports games. And negative game bashing threads hurt sales. In fact, that's where the discussion goes, urging others to boycott and make used game purchases to punish the publisher.
    Publishers found a better way to generate revenue than placating gamers that really do nothing but complain. There is no path to the perfect sim. They can't even get a release out before "helpful" gamers begin with their wishlists for the next game, which begins what has become the annual process of creating the narrative of what is wrong with the current game, before it ever drops.
    And you wonder why devs don't come around. Look at the title of the thread and what has been written. It's not rocket science.
    I stink at the longball game so the Dee Gordon & Whit Merrifield contact type guys being hyped has me thinking I now have a chance at averaging 5 runs a game. And now I want to steal Merrifield from KC along with pitcher Keller.
    They spend most of their time fixing exploits for people that play the game incorrectly to begin with.  At least they touched RTTS this year. But it looks like it's going to get repetitive quickly with those mini games. I'm leaning towards skipping for the 2nd year in a row. But it really depends on RTTS for me at this point.
    This series has been growing stale since the first iteration on the PS4. Looking back at the debut to now, we still have the same terribly boring commentary, same player models, same uniforms design. This year it is no different and like previously said, the game is build around online head to head. I'm not even a franchise player myself. However, that is mostly because I just get bored after a few games because it is the same game every year.
    We need another sim from EA, 2K, whomever. I just can't wait to stop buying this game.
    I have been getting this game religiously since 2007. This last version was the first time I skipped on it.
    Ironically, I skipped because 2017 Diamond Dynasty was so addicting and time consuming and I needed to really focus in on work and school. However, when I played with a buddy I was so disappointed in the hitting that I was ok with skipping it. Then I saw that hitting problem was felt by all.
    That said, the changes to hitting seem promising and I might just pick this up at launch.
    JayhawkerStL
    One of the reasons publishers don't mind losing offline players are threads like this. We have an article about hitting improvements, and instead the thread ended up being about lamenting microtransactions.
    Regardless how anyone feels about micro transactions, there is not a more consistently negative core gamer than sim and franchise players in sports. this goes whiter they are in their, 'just trying to help the devs make the game better" mode or in the "devs are lazy and publishers are greedy" mode.
    This thread is not an outlier. This is what publishers see across all sports games. And negative game bashing threads hurt sales. In fact, that's where the discussion goes, urging others to boycott and make used game purchases to punish the publisher.
    Publishers found a better way to generate revenue than placating gamers that really do nothing but complain. There is no path to the perfect sim. They can't even get a release out before "helpful" gamers begin with their wishlists for the next game, which begins what has become the annual process of creating the narrative of what is wrong with the current game, before it ever drops.
    And you wonder why devs don't come around. Look at the title of the thread and what has been written. It's not rocket science.

    Good developers don’t want to know what their users like, they want to know what gamers don’t like so they can make it better. There’s no bashing in this thread for bashing sake, conversations frequently evolve inevitably onto the issue of countering online exploits precisely because SDS made it clear that some of their additions this year were implemented precisely for that reason. As for their community involvement, they rarely post anywhere including their own forums and the Twitch stream comments pale in comparison. Finally if they could make more money from offline gamers than their online counterparts, the priority would be offline.
    ...Finally if they could make more money from offline gamers than their online counterparts, the priority would be offline.
    exactly. the bottom line is what it boils down to. Sony doesnt lose sleep or make game decisions based on internet chatter. If they did, they would have out of business 20 years ago. Anyone who thinks DD doesnt have its share of users (or any game from any genre for that matter) that critique the mode hard hasn't visited enough other internet sites to read whats been said. and at the end of the day, no game maker wants their game ignored.
    I wont go so far as to say ANY press is good press but thats not far off the marker. "As long as you spell the name right."
    I will admit you see more sports games studied, dissected, scrutinized and analysed here on OS but that has more to with this being Operation SPORTS.
    I keep reading this concern that SDS focused solely on fixing online exploits and that means the offline user is at the mercy.
    But I haven’t seen one thing mentioned thus far by the devs this year in these streams that is beyond the realm of baseball when it comes to fixing online exploits.
    Personally it seems that their focus on fixing online exploits this year is leading to a more “sim/realistic” game.
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports
    JayhawkerStL

    There is no path to the perfect sim. They can't even get a release out before "helpful" gamers begin with their wishlists for the next game, which begins what has become the annual process of creating the narrative of what is wrong with the current game, before it ever drops.

    :appl: Every year the game gets better. But you wouldn't know it.
    RogerDodger
    Good developers don’t want to know what their users like, they want to know what gamers don’t like so they can make it better. There’s no bashing in this thread for bashing sake, conversations frequently evolve inevitably onto the issue of countering online exploits precisely because SDS made it clear that some of their additions this year were implemented precisely for that reason. As for their community involvement, they rarely post anywhere including their own forums and the Twitch stream comments pale in comparison. Finally if they could make more money from offline gamers than their online counterparts, the priority would be offline.

    You're absolutely right that they want to know what's wrong so they can fix it, but I feel like it's equally important to point out what's good so they don't change what people are enjoying about the game - it's not about brown-nosing the devs or anything like that that those of us who compliment the game get accused of. When all communication is negative it makes it seem like everything about the game is terrible and needs to be overhauled, which is most often not the case. There needs to be a balance in both IMO.
    And, like Jayhawker, I fail to understand how a thread about hitting devolving into MTX disapproval adds to these types of discussions in any way.
    So my understanding is that the Power attribute now raises the ball exit velocity ceiling like it always has, unlocking higher bat exit velocities more often. The contact attribute now helps raise the ball exit velocity floor, unlocking low ball exit velocities less often.
    That... actually makes a lot of sense to me, especially when Contact directly combats H/9. H/9 will open up bat exit velocity floors, and HR/9 will close bat exit velocity ceilings more often. So they nerfed the importance of power by buffing everything else. I like it.
    I am concerned about what they said about pitching, I mean there are a few guys out there that can throw 5 effective pitches, but overall I like what they've done with hitting and pitching this year. Most potential issues I may have with the balance can be solved with sliders.
    TheWarmWind

    I am concerned about what they said about pitching, I mean there are a few guys out there that can throw 5 effective pitches, but overall I like what they've done with hitting and pitching this year. Most potential issues I may have with the balance can be solved with sliders.

    I'm thinking that using those weaker pitches as show pitches or maybe get-me-overs on counts where the hitter won't be looking for it (like 2-0 and you throw a meh forkball - as long as it's lower in the zone, the hitter might just spit on it and you get to use it and grab a strike) is going to be needed.
    Probably have to use them sparingly like a pitcher that throws a pitch 4% (1 in 25 pitches) of the time or something, but enough so that they are used and then you can get back to your better stuff.
    Relievers might be an adventure, though. But, I'd imagine they'd be very highly rated if they are solid with highly rated pitch #1 and #2 so they could be used a lot and still effective.
    KnightTemplar
    :appl: Every year the game gets better. But you wouldn't know it.

    You’d know it if you’d read all my posts on here this year. I’ve played over 200 games in my 18 franchise, thrown every pitch and faced every AB from spring training onwards. It doesn’t mean somebody like me doesn’t have legit concerns. Those of us who posted our wish lists for months are probably seeing next to none of those things addressed and I’m talking beyond what we’ve seen so far in the first two streams but the writing seems on the wall. I’d love to see hitting improve but when they introduced the idea by saying they’d taken their feedback from watching online streaming, hardly builds confidence. I’ve been down a road like this before with other sports games to justify scepticism.
    If it helps, to provide balance I liked the defensive stream :)
    countryboy
    I keep reading this concern that SDS focused solely on fixing online exploits and that means the offline user is at the mercy.
    But I haven’t seen one thing mentioned thus far by the devs this year in these streams that is beyond the realm of baseball when it comes to fixing online exploits.
    Personally it seems that their focus on fixing online exploits this year is leading to a more “sim/realistic” game.
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports

    We all have. And it’s having a base runner slip every single time they try and retreat back to the bag on a steal attempt and pitchout. Just like rocket bunts, this is an overreaction to nerf online cheese tactics and the implementation goes beyond the realm of not only actual baseball, but general realism. It screams of “we didn’t know how to fix an issue that we created, so we broke something else intentionally in the name of it.”
    KBLover
    I'm thinking that using those weaker pitches as show pitches or maybe get-me-overs on counts where the hitter won't be looking for it (like 2-0 and you throw a meh forkball - as long as it's lower in the zone, the hitter might just spit on it and you get to use it and grab a strike) is going to be needed.
    Probably have to use them sparingly like a pitcher that throws a pitch 4% (1 in 25 pitches) of the time or something, but enough so that they are used and then you can get back to your better stuff.
    Relievers might be an adventure, though. But, I'd imagine they'd be very highly rated if they are solid with highly rated pitch #1 and #2 so they could be used a lot and still effective.

    My guess is they will have an algorithm dependent on the number of pitches in a player's arsenal
    For a reliever, I think the dropoff from pitch 1, to pitch 2, to pitch 3 will be more slight.
    If a starter has 5 pitches, I think the disparity between pitch 1 and 2, and pitch 5 will be more drastic. Or they may just increase the pitch cofidence penalty this year.
    Cycloniac
    My guess is they will have an algorithm dependent on the number of pitches in a player's arsenal
    For a reliever, I think the dropoff from pitch 1, to pitch 2, to pitch 3 will be more slight.
    If a starter has 5 pitches, I think the disparity between pitch 1 and 2, and pitch 5 will be more drastic. Or they may just increase the pitch cofidence penalty this year.
    Millennium mentioned on twitter that dropoff is indeed tiered, based off of the number of pitches a pitcher has.
    ******** async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8">
    I hope that worked...doing this from my phone is a pain.
    Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
    bigwill33
    We all have. And it’s having a base runner slip every single time they try and retreat back to the bag on a steal attempt and pitchout. Just like rocket bunts, this is an overreaction to nerf online cheese tactics and the implementation goes beyond the realm of not only actual baseball, but general realism. It screams of “we didn’t know how to fix an issue that we created, so we broke something else intentionally in the name of it.”

    I didn't realize it was every time, but if that's the thing, then I don't consider that a big deal personally.
    I think the new paradigm of "forced inefficiency" of secondary pitches and/or spamming the same pitch will be quite interesting. I doubt people will be happy with how it's tuned right when the game releases--they will probably need a few patches before getting something that isn't too overbearing about how you choose to mix pitches but also accomplishes their underlying goal of people online not cheesing as much with throwing 90% offspeed.
    Not really a fan of the "tiering" that I'm hearing (bout to drop this mixtape) with pitch 3 getting worse faster than pitch 2...and this is because pitch 2 might actually not be as good of a pitch as pitch 3 but it could be more of a setup pitch that is thrown more often. Unless, the game ships with P1-P5 ranked by effectiveness somehow (which it won't, knowing this as someone who has done pitch edits for several years) I'm not sure it makes a lot of sense. I think we can all get on board with smart batter AI that could find patterns in what you're doing and exploit that against you, but I'm unconvinced that making the actual pitch physically worse just because it's thrown more often (seems illogical) is the right way to accomplish this. Again, this is where the knowledge that this is really intended in hum vs hum online games is helpful to understand why they went this route.
    It'll be interesting to see how this new system interacts specifically with relievers, many of whom basically only throw 2 pitches and oftentimes will throw one or the other several times in a row.
    Finally, it would be nice if the focus on pitch sequencing would've come along with a realization that a minimum of 3 pitches or a maximum of 5 pitches is pretty restrictive. Again, almost all relievers only throw 2 pitches. There are several starters (Tanaka, Bauer, Keuchel, Darvish etc) that throw at least 6. As one of those starters with a deep arsenal, it would help avoid these repeater penalties if you had your entire repertoire to select from.
    countryboy
    I didn't realize it was every time, but if that's the thing, then I don't consider that a big deal personally.
    I do have some concerns about the stumble in offline play, but not in the scenario described here. And that's for one simple reason - the CPU does not do this move, ever. And I have no problem nerfing something that could be used to game the AI (or another user due to the game mechanics) into the ground. This is apples and oranges to the rocket bunting situation IMO, because that was a key part of baseball that became difficult/impossible for people do.
    That said, I'll miss the rush of hitting that 50/50 back pick to first (which is more like 80/20 once I've seen it a few times) when people would try to spam this move.
    Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
    bcruise
    I do have some concerns about the stumble in offline play, but not in the scenario described here. And that's for one simple reason - the CPU does not do this move, ever. And I have no problem nerfing something that could be used to game the AI (or another user due to the game mechanics) into the ground.
    That said, I'll miss the rush of hitting that 50/50 back pick to first (which is more like 80/20 once I've seen it a few times) when people would try to spam this move.
    Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk

    Yeah as an offline player I don’t see this as a big deal because the CPU never returns on a pitchout, and I don’t either.
    And you’re right, this doesn’t fall in the same category as rocket bunts
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports
    If they just made the offspeed pitches less effective overall, there wouldn't be need for this bandaid fix for tiered pitches.
    Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk
    Does this make the individual pitch type confidence irrelevant now? Basically the pitch is going to deteriorate based on use. I wonder why they just did not make it more difficult to establish confidence on the lower tier pitches which would result in less effectiveness? That way seems more believable to me.
    nemesis04
    Does this make the individual pitch type confidence irrelevant now? Basically the pitch is going to deteriorate based on use. I wonder why they just did not make it more difficult to establish confidence on the lower tier pitches which would result in less effectiveness? That way seems more believable to me.

    I was just about to ask this myself because this has suddenly become confusing
    If I max out my pitch confidence for my third pitch in a five pitch arsenal, does that mean I won't be penalized for continuing to throw it?
    If my third pitch is a fastball, does that mean the penalty for overthrowing it will be relatively less than if it was a breaking ball?
    Hmm.
    Cycloniac
    I was just about to ask this myself because this has suddenly become confusing
    If I max out my pitch confidence for my third pitch in a five pitch arsenal, does that mean I won't be penalized for continuing to throw it?
    If my third pitch is a fastball, does that mean the penalty for overthrowing it will be relatively less than if it was a breaking ball?
    Hmm.

    I'm not really sure how "confidence" worked (or what it means in baseball terms, especially since pitchers already have a "variable stuff" to them), though I'm guessing it's a ratings modifier? If so, then the (over)usage modifier could just be another in the pile along with the fatigue modifier, playing hurt, etc.
    So, high confidence + good pitcher + good stamina left = more wiggle room from the over-usage modifier.
    Having to use lower "confidence" pitches, especially if they are weaker pitches could be another adventure.
    nemesis04
    Does this make the individual pitch type confidence irrelevant now? Basically the pitch is going to deteriorate based on use. I wonder why they just did not make it more difficult to establish confidence on the lower tier pitches which would result in less effectiveness? That way seems more believable to me.

    Your suggestion makes more sense to me, or make the AI smarter as well. One thing we don’t know from SDS to my knowledge is how this will affect the AI. Will AI pitching also deteriorate? Will my catcher amend pitch call strategy? It’s been built for online games.
    RogerDodger

    Remember, they added carry over saves because we got tired of having to start a brand new franchise every year. Card collecting modes are the definition of starting over and the cow can only be milked for so long.

    It's shocking that people have been taken for a ride this long.
    JayhawkerStL
    They can't even get a release out before "helpful" gamers begin with their wishlists for the next game

    I guess I'll save my "wishlist for MLB the Show 2020" until after MLB the Show 2019 drops, then.
    countryboy
    I keep reading this concern that SDS focused solely on fixing online exploits and that means the offline user is at the mercy.
    But I haven’t seen one thing mentioned thus far by the devs this year in these streams that is beyond the realm of baseball when it comes to fixing online exploits.
    Personally it seems that their focus on fixing online exploits this year is leading to a more “sim/realistic” game.
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports

    This this this this this this 1000X THIS!!!!!!!
    I swear it’s like some people on this bird just completely shut down if there’s any context given that what they’re fixing came from online feedback. How can people say they’re doing nothing when a ton of the GAMEPLAY(you know, the most important part of a game) changes this year will make for a smoother and more sim game of baseball across the board.
    I can understand the frustration of not getting a meaningful update to franchise mode for several years. I love playing online leagues with friends so trust me, I know your pain. But to just so blindly direct so much hate towards the DD community is ridiculous.
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports
    I don't like the pitching change, I think it's the wrong way of doing things and pretty much the opposite of how things actually work. In real life, the more I throw a pitch (successfully), the better feel I will get for it, not worse. If I throw that pitch and have success, I will keep throwing it and my confidence in it will grow. Pitchers frequently lean on whatever pitch is feeling best that day. (just ask Lance McCullers and his endless curveballs)
    The downside to throwing the same pitch too often isn't that I lose control of it, it's that the hitters get to see it more and they also become more aware I'm going to throw it, so might sit on it.
    So to punish my control for throwing that pitch is the wrong way of going about it and doesn't make any real sense, if instead you want to improve the hitters success rate(hard hit %, speeds of the bat etc) when they actually read it correctly, that'd be much more in line with how it should realistically work.
    BigOscar
    I don't like the pitching change, I think it's the wrong way of doing things and pretty much the opposite of how things actually work. In real life, the more I throw a pitch (successfully), the better feel I will get for it, not worse. If I throw that pitch and have success, I will keep throwing it and my confidence in it will grow. Pitchers frequently lean on whatever pitch is feeling best that day. (just ask Lance McCullers and his endless curveballs)
    The downside to throwing the same pitch too often isn't that I lose control of it, it's that the hitters get to see it more and they also become more aware I'm going to throw it, so might sit on it.
    So to punish my control for throwing that pitch is the wrong way of going about it and doesn't make any real sense, if instead you want to improve the hitters success rate(hard hit %, speeds of the bat etc) when they actually read it correctly, that'd be much more in line with how it should realistically work.

    Every point you make is right. Realistic isn’t artficially making my pitches deteriorate, it’s making the hitting better if they see the same pitch over and over.
    BigOscar
    I don't like the pitching change, I think it's the wrong way of doing things and pretty much the opposite of how things actually work. In real life, the more I throw a pitch (successfully), the better feel I will get for it, not worse. If I throw that pitch and have success, I will keep throwing it and my confidence in it will grow. Pitchers frequently lean on whatever pitch is feeling best that day. (just ask Lance McCullers and his endless curveballs)
    The downside to throwing the same pitch too often isn't that I lose control of it, it's that the hitters get to see it more and they also become more aware I'm going to throw it, so might sit on it.
    So to punish my control for throwing that pitch is the wrong way of going about it and doesn't make any real sense, if instead you want to improve the hitters success rate(hard hit %, speeds of the bat etc) when they actually read it correctly, that'd be much more in line with how it should realistically work.

    How would the game know if a user “reads it correctly” though
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports
    Mercury112491
    This this this this this this 1000X THIS!!!!!!!
    I swear it’s like some people on this bird just completely shut down if there’s any context given that what they’re fixing came from online feedback. How can people say they’re doing nothing when a ton of the GAMEPLAY(you know, the most important part of a game) changes this year will make for a smoother and more sim game of baseball across the board.
    I can understand the frustration of not getting a meaningful update to franchise mode for several years. I love playing online leagues with friends so trust me, I know your pain. But to just so blindly direct so much hate towards the DD community is ridiculous.

    Very well said!
    I don't play DD online (because I play no games online), but I have watched a lot of top guys stream and guess what, a lot of these guys know and understand baseball (and probably know just as much, if not more, than most of the "franchise guys" that are constantly bashing them).
    Believe it or not, most of what those top DD guys (the ones solicited for feedback) want, gameplay-wise, is a realistic representation of the game. Most of the stuff that can be exploited online can be exploited offline because of some core flaws. Those things get fixed, that is good for all of us, no matter if you play online/offline, DD, RTTS, or franchise.
    To assume someone is not "sim" because of the mode they play is disingenuous. To assume someone IS "sim" because of the mode they play is equally disingenuous.
    I am in the camp that thinks fixing gameplay flaws for the online crowd by nerfing aspects of the game is a bad idea.
    But then again there does seem to be a growing optimism that these fixes might actually lead to better offline gameplay. However I think you optimists are going to be very dissapointed the first time you throw a breaking ball in the perfect spot in the RIGHT situation. Paint the corner and it gets tatooed over the wall all in the name of making off speed pitches less efffective so that online players cannot stream a 20 minute video about the "meta" low breaking ball pitch.
    Athlon sports released its annual MLB preview magazine this year and did a whole article on how he slider has become the most effective pitch in baseball. one of the highlights of the article was a chart that shows the preference was a 2 seam or sinking fastball low in the zone over a slider up until about 2016. In 2018 the slider was thrown more than the 2 seam/sinker by the widest margin in the history of baseball. The article also details how several players had career rennaisances after adopting a slider including Trevor Bauer who had at one point junked his slider completely for a version that more resembled a cut fastball, but brought it back last year and had a career year.
    I only point this out because the statement "making breaking balls less effective overall" goes against the current trend of actual professional baseball which is not sim at all. This is the definition of nerfing something for "video game" reasons and has me very concerned for this years game unfortunately.
    Therebelyell626

    I only point this out because the statement "making breaking balls less effective overall" goes against the current trend of actual professional baseball which is not sim at all. This is the definition of nerfing something for "video game" reasons and has me very concerned for this years game unfortunately.

    What if the reason were that breaking balls were unrealistically effective overall on 18 (which I happen to think that they were - it was pretty easy to induce the CPU to swing-miss on them, even on HOF)? Then toning them down for 19 would actually bring them more in-line with real life. (And yes, I am fully acknowledging today's environment.)
    This is incredibly subjective (we'd need whiff rates consisting of hundreds of thousands of data points from numerous users with different pitchers to prove this) and no one is right nor wrong. Just offering a different way of looking at it :)
    Therebelyell626
    I am in the camp that thinks fixing gameplay flaws for the online crowd by nerfing aspects of the game is a bad idea.
    But then again there does seem to be a growing optimism that these fixes might actually lead to better offline gameplay. However I think you optimists are going to be very dissapointed the first time you throw a breaking ball in the perfect spot in the RIGHT situation. Paint the corner and it gets tatooed over the wall all in the name of making off speed pitches less efffective so that online players cannot stream a 20 minute video about the "meta" low breaking ball pitch.
    Athlon sports released its annual MLB preview magazine this year and did a whole article on how he slider has become the most effective pitch in baseball. one of the highlights of the article was a chart that shows the preference was a 2 seam or sinking fastball low in the zone over a slider up until about 2016. In 2018 the slider was thrown more than the 2 seam/sinker by the widest margin in the history of baseball. The article also details how several players had career rennaisances after adopting a slider including Trevor Bauer who had at one point junked his slider completely for a version that more resembled a cut fastball, but brought it back last year and had a career year.
    I only point this out because the statement "making breaking balls less effective overall" goes against the current trend of actual professional baseball which is not sim at all. This is the definition of nerfing something for "video game" reasons and has me very concerned for this years game unfortunately.

    In the hitting stream they said offspeed were nerfed, with the exception of the slider. So sliders will still be effective
    JoshC1977

    This is incredibly subjective (we'd need whiff rates consisting of hundreds of thousands of data points from numerous users with different pitchers to prove this) and no one is right nor wrong. Just offering a different way of looking at it :)

    Definitely! And I think different view points are what makes debate fun. I guess none of us really know until we get our hands on the game. I just think this is going to be the year of the hitter for the show. I can see how the changes to contact hitters can be good. I even saw the counter point that the defensive changes were to counter balance the changes to harder exit velocities. But pitchers need to be able to get batters out to. Balls in play cannot be the only way to get bathers out, we have to be able to strike hitters out as well or the in game stats are going to be a mess. If fastballs are my only consistently effective pitch I could see a problem where a lot of balls are getting put into play way above major league averages. Now this great if I am an online competitive player. Fast paced high scoring games, sign me up. But terrible if you are a sim player
    BigOscar
    I don't like the pitching change, I think it's the wrong way of doing things and pretty much the opposite of how things actually work. In real life, the more I throw a pitch (successfully), the better feel I will get for it, not worse. If I throw that pitch and have success, I will keep throwing it and my confidence in it will grow. Pitchers frequently lean on whatever pitch is feeling best that day. (just ask Lance McCullers and his endless curveballs)
    The downside to throwing the same pitch too often isn't that I lose control of it, it's that the hitters get to see it more and they also become more aware I'm going to throw it, so might sit on it.
    So to punish my control for throwing that pitch is the wrong way of going about it and doesn't make any real sense, if instead you want to improve the hitters success rate(hard hit %, speeds of the bat etc) when they actually read it correctly, that'd be much more in line with how it should realistically work.

    Yeah, and this hearkens back to the underlying issue being with online gamers cheesing one another. The offliners get caught up in the crossfire. This is where the "why" is important.
    The real way to fix spamming pitches would be to make the opposing human player smarter and to make that player lie in wait for offspeed. But, this is not a dev tool Sony has available to them. So, they go the route of doing something they can control, which frankly sounds like making pitching/pitch sequencing more arcade-y feeling, as the pitches depreciate with use. Which is, again, absolutely the opposite of how "sim" pitching/pitch confidence should work.
    Making the offspeed pitches less effective overall is a different issue, I think.
    As an offline franchise only player, I still thought that offspeed pitches were too powerful. My fastball to offspeed ratio is way out of whack compared to real life pitchers, because it works way to well.
    Even when facing it, there are times when I think "Man, this CPU just needs to throw nothing but changeups and I won't get a hit all game." Curveballs especially were too powerful in 18. I don't think I ever saw a single one get hit for a home run, either by me or by the CPU.
    I'm way more worried about the new tier system with pitchers. I've been playing a carry over since 14, and I've got pitchers who developed their 2nd, 3rd, 4rth, or even 5th pitch into their best pitch. A few of them even have the perk relating to the pitch, confirming that it is really good.
    I have a guy who just recently managed to crack the rotation. The majority of his ratings progression came from his secondary pitches improving, and he now has the splitter perk, showing that he throws an exceptional splitter. His splitter is his 5th pitch. Right now he's a solid addition to the bottom half of my rotation, but now I'm worried that he's just going to become a useless turd when carried over to 19. This change just restricts pitching development so much. People can and do change what their best pitch is over the length of a career.
    It's so frustrating because under the current system I do have guys that only have 1 or 2 truly effective pitches, and their other pitches are only for once in a blue moon, and then I've got guys with a 5 effective pitches. Under the new system I feel like I'm rolling the dice on two pitches, and I'm worried that anything below that will become ineffective on every single pitcher. That is neither realistic or fun, and like I said before, leaves no room for creative growth.
    This is just my concern though. I'll have to wait to see how the new system is actually implemented before giving my final judgement.
    JoshC1977
    Very well said!
    I don't play DD online (because I play no games online), but I have watched a lot of top guys stream and guess what, a lot of these guys know and understand baseball (and probably know just as much, if not more, than most of the "franchise guys" that are constantly bashing them).
    Believe it or not, most of what those top DD guys (the ones solicited for feedback) want, gameplay-wise, is a realistic representation of the game. Most of the stuff that can be exploited online can be exploited offline because of some core flaws. Those things get fixed, that is good for all of us, no matter if you play online/offline, DD, RTTS, or franchise.
    To assume someone is not "sim" because of the mode they play is disingenuous. To assume someone IS "sim" because of the mode they play is equally disingenuous.

    I don't think anyone who trashes online players as know-nothing cheesers who exist only to buy packs and find exploits actually means that the whole population of people who play online falls into this category. Just like those who only play offline aren't necessarily Branch Rickey mixed with Billy Beane mixed with Billy Martin mixed with a CAP-making god like Motown. It would be interesting to do a real deep dive into those who play online vs those who play offline and see if the data bear out any real differences or not.
    But, there is a very real undercurrent where a few bad apples can spoil the bunch. That is to say that there are some who play online that are so utterly horrible and so utterly problematic that it frustrates others who play online. This leads Sony to make changes to protect their sacred cow (online DD being chief among equals here), which leads to offline players getting affected. Which leads to offline players complaining about online players. If you think about it, the cycle makes total sense. The issue is when a "fix" to an online exploit actually makes the quality of life worse for offliners (rocket bunts, maybe pitch depreciation...we'll see). This has happened before. And this is the kind of thing--and the 18 patches per cycle that comes with it--that has folks up in arms.
    I have my own criticisms about "streamers" but nobody wants to hear that anyway. What used to be text-based strategy guides and magazines is now a bunch of relatively comical looking guys (no offense, honest lol) with headsets talking over a video. This is simply the gaming world we live in now.
    nemesis04
    I hope less effective does not mean meatballs over the plate.

    You guys remember the meatballs you would throw in 2k baseball when you screwed up a pitch control scheme
    LastActionHero
    You guys remember the meatballs you would throw in 2k baseball when you screwed up a pitch control scheme

    Don't need to remember it - I still have 2k12 on my PC. And yeah, those tended to either end up wild pitches or right down the middle - with few other possible outcomes.
    There was very little "in-between" with that system - you either got a pitch right where you were aiming or you flubbed the input and the catcher was either going to fetch it from the back wall, or ask for a new ball after it got smacked out of the yard. There weren't many "moderate" location misses because there was such a focus on user input being everything.
    User control/agency vs accurate depiction of sports is a balancing act that every sports game struggles with, and I feel like the Show handles it better than most.
    bcruise

    User control/agency vs accurate depiction of sports is a balancing act that every sports game struggles with, and I feel like the Show handles it better than most.

    Yeah people tend to forget that the Show handles this balance, at least in my opinion, pretty good.
    LastActionHero
    Yeah people tend to forget that the Show handles this balance, at least in my opinion, pretty good.

    Not only that but if you don't like the balance they set you can often change it with sliders. It's better now, but I remember back in the day when I would crank every single slider to it's max or min value in the NHL games only to question if that did anything at all. Meanwhile in the show, I feel real differences with every tick of a slider.
    Vercingetirex
    In the hitting stream they said offspeed were nerfed, with the exception of the slider. So sliders will still be effective

    They didn’t say offspeed pitches were nuked into uselessness. They said they made them a little less effective. Slightly less break. With the exception of the slider which they apparently believe was already tuned properly. This sounds like more of a correction than a nerf. Even in offline games I felt the majority of breaking pitches moved way too much.
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports
    bcruise
    Don't need to remember it - I still have 2k12 on my PC. And yeah, those tended to either end up wild pitches or right down the middle - with few other possible outcomes.
    There was very little "in-between" with that system - you either got a pitch right where you were aiming or you flubbed the input and the catcher was either going to fetch it from the back wall, or ask for a new ball after it got smacked out of the yard. There weren't many "moderate" location misses because there was such a focus on user input being everything.
    User control/agency vs accurate depiction of sports is a balancing act that every sports game struggles with, and I feel like the Show handles it better than most.

    On the flip side...in MLB The Show, not enough meatballs were punished. So to your point, here is hoping SDS strikes the balance between missing location, meatballs, and how hittable those pitches may be.

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