Connect with us

Diamond Dynasty - Faces of the Franchise Postmortem

faces of the franchise postmortem

MLB The Show 22

Diamond Dynasty - Faces of the Franchise Postmortem

It’s officially May, which means MLB The Show 22 is almost a month old now. While the game and Diamond Dynasty have certainly felt familiar, the change in program structure is completely new. Gone are the Inning Programs of the past and Team Affinity no longer exists. In fact, Inning Programs, Team Affinity and the XP reward path have basically been merged into the Featured Programs. This keeps the Featured Program in the limelight, and it is the main course for players to grind. With that in mind, I wanted to talk about the change to programs and do a postmortem on the first Featured Program of the year.

Faces Of The Franchise Postmortem

Faces Of Programs Past

The Faces of the Franchise program debuted with the launch of MLB The Show 22 and brought plenty of new structural changes to how we do things. In the “old” days, the Inning Programs usually featured a choice pack featuring three bosses that rotated each program. During the grind, you could earn a free pack and take any one of the bosses you wanted. Pretty sweet deal, right? The bosses were also sellable so you could make some stubs out of the grind — or even potentially buy the other two from each program. There were also a myriad of other rewards like henchmen packs (essentially lesser bosses), bat skins, icons and a lot more. Suffice to say, the Faces of the Franchise Program was very similar to this old structure but with some key changes.

The first major change was the fact that you could earn 12 of the bosses instead of the singular boss in years past. Let that sink in: You got 12 free diamonds just for playing like normal. It came with a catch, but it doesn’t change the fact that you were walking away with a ton of really good early game cards for next to nothing.

That catch, however, rubbed a lot of players the wrong way. The program contained choice packs for each division. Each division featured five players that represented each respective team in said division. But the first pack you earned for each division was a randomized no-sell pack. In other words, you got the card for free, but you could not sell it back on the marketplace, and you did not get to pick which of the five cards you got. This caused a fair amount of grief in the community.

On top of that, in the past the hardcore players were able to grind the boss pack and sell the card for massive stubs early in the prorgam. As more players earned the bosses and sold them, the value dropped and those bosses could be bought back much cheaper. Rinse and repeat and many people made many, many stubs using this method.

That’s Just The Way It Is

Faces of the franchise postmortem

I think this truth was at the heart of the resistance. MLB The Show has long been generous when it comes to rewards and the ability to play without paying. But anytime a card or item is no-sell, that’s one less way to make stubs. SDS made up for this later in the program by providing a normal choice pack that allowed you to take any player you wanted, and they were sellable. For some, it still left a sour taste.

Personally, I enjoyed the change in program structure and didn’t mind the first handful of cards being no-sell. I can’t speak for every Diamond Dynasty player out there, but I know I fall into habits of using the same cards each year. I end up not really experimenting or trying out as many as I’d like. I did this a fair amount last year, but that was because I finished the Live Series collection early. Every card I ended up with after was stub fodder. So while I tried a bunch of cards, there was just as many that never saw the field.

With the Faces of the Franchise Program, I ended up with six cards that I could not sell, and it created a new kind of challenge. Between the offline grinding and online play (specifically events) I had some solid options at my disposal that I would never use. No offense to Sean Murphy, but I would never go out of my way to start him at catcher. But I got him out of my no-sell AL West pack so he was my starting catcher early on.

I eventually pivoted to completing the Cover Athletes Program for 96 Joe Mauer. But that Murphy card got plopped into my lineup because I basically had to use him. The very next pack I ended up with Jake Cronenworth, and it was more of the same. Two guys I’d have never considered getting playing time and providing variety directly because of that.

With that said, I understand why others weren’t happy with the program design. For starters, it was change and not everyone likes change. Ending up with cards in your binder that go unused will always feel bad if they can’t be converted into stubs. But I think it was a fresh way of playing, and we got really good cards this way. We’ve never gotten a free Mike Trout card to use this early in the season. With the Faces of the Franchise program, we had two chances to get a free Trout among other superstars like Ronald Acuna Jr. and Byron Buxton.

The Grind And The Friends Made Along The Way

I was happy with the content but more impressed with the XP offerings. Again, there was familiarity in the way of Conquest maps and Showdowns. We also had henchmen packs with attached PxP missions (itself a change from stat missions). The program also featured a fair amount of Moments for the sadists. In addition to the collections that provided XP, SDS showered players with opportunities to earn XP at your own pace.

In the past, I often felt pressured into playing stuff I didn’t really want to do. I don’t like Showdown, but it always carried a massive chunk of XP or program stars. I hate Moments with a passion but often had to do them anyway. If I was interested in sticking offline, I had to force myself to play online for the 10 wins XP/stars. I often found myself wanting to play The Show, but feeling as if I had to play on SDS’ time and not my own.

That all changed with the first Featured Program of the year. I played how I wanted, when I wanted, and finished the program with time to spare. I played Showdown because I wanted to and not because I had to. The days where I was feeling energetic and wanted online competition, I played online and made progress. The days where I was a little tired and not in the mood, I stuck to offline and still made progress. The ebb and flow was perfect, and I never felt like I was grinding. I was just playing the game. If SDS carries this style into future programs, then I think we are in store for the best year of content yet. For as much as gameplay can weigh this product down at times, the content saves it consistently and lifts it to new heights.

Spring And Beyond

Spring Cleanup Program Bosses

We’re a couple days into the new Featured Program, and SDS has shown it will iterate on the fly. A major complaint with these programs has always been that they end. Everything has a beginning and end, right? But when it comes to grinding a video game, we always want more rewards. SDS has answered this call by expanding the new Spring Cleanup program to 750,000 XP. This is a huge win all around as it gives more incentive to keep playing, and it gives out a bunch of free packs. We’re still early in the year, so these free packs are huge for the No Money Spent crowd and certainly appreciated.

I imagine as the year goes on and more people complete collections that there will be more calls to change up the rewards. Free Show packs lose their luster by summer, so perhaps SDS will include premium packs like Big Dog or others that may drop before then. My bold prediction? They eventually start trickling Rewind Boss packs into the extended program path. They’ve already started including Rewind packs in Events, so it only makes sense. If they did this across every game mode, it would help keep the market fairly stable and reduce the number of “unaffordable” cards. With the change to quick sell values completely altering investing, dropping more of these cards into circulation seems like a fair trade off.

Bottom Line

Content drives MLB The Show, and SDS is off to a great start in 2022. A new, fresh way to play the game and earn rewards no matter how you choose to do so, the Featured Programs are batting 1.000 so far. With SDS already iterating, it appears nothing is off the table. Who knows what surprises we could be in for as the year goes on. If the developers do boldly start adding Boss Rewind packs, then everyone should have something to smile about.

6 Comments

Leave a Reply

Discussion
  1. I love the changes they've made to the program. I mainly play offline I don't like playing ranked and hate playing moments and now I don't feel like I need to in order to get to the good stuff.
    I'm happy to play conquest or mini-seasons or just get XP from playing franchise games.
    I already feel like I have a good variety of useful cards, plus I've earned plenty of studs to buy what I want, which for me is just any Oakland A's card.
    Sent from my Pixel 3 using Tapatalk
    I'm also a big fan of the new program style. It's nice to just focus on the program (with a couple special side quests) and playing ball instead of trying to manage like three separate grinds.
    My only complaint, and it's not new, is the staggered release of offline content during the program. I wish they'd drop it all at once so you can play at your preferred pace. Sometimes I've run out of things to do, but other times I feel rushed at the end or wonder if leaving town for a few days will screw me over somehow.
    What are peoples thoughts on what to do with cards now hold or sell I have a bunch of sellable FOTF cards that aren’t making my lineup or bench anymore. Should I sell and use the stubs to finish some of the live series or hold in hopes they are need for a collection or go up more in price?
    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    konkretekid10
    What are peoples thoughts on what to do with cards now hold or sell I have a bunch of sellable FOTF cards that aren’t making my lineup or bench anymore. Should I sell and use the stubs to finish some of the live series or hold in hopes they are need for a collection or go up more in price?
    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    I always hesitate to tell people what to do with their stubs. But I'll tell you what I decided to do with the FoTF cards.
    I had bought low on a handful when they were around 8k. As they've begun to climb, I off-loaded the ones eligible in the current event and held the others for now. I'll probably consider moving them if they rotate into active events.
    Faces of the Franchise will be a part of collections. Every collection set provides a voucher for the bigger collections. And it's a virtual certainty that the cards will continue to increase. I personally decided to just take the profit now versus waiting and potentially being burned. If SDS is already adding Event Rewind packs, then there's nothing stopping them from releasing Rewind Boss packs and as I mentioned in the article - I think they will sooner than later.
    So really it comes down to your priority. I'm not interested in finishing the Live Series stuff anytime soon but I still took the profits on some of these now. If you want the LS done ASAP, then taking the profit and moving on might be best. If you'd prefer to be ready for collections, holding onto them for now will do one of two things: provide you the cards to collect if those collections interest you or provide significant stub boosts if the collection doesn't interest you.
    I'll just caution you (and everyone) that with the programs being different, the marketplace changes (quicksell values) and Rewind packs already floating around; there's really no way to know what the best decisions are.
    It's ultimately why I am such a big fan of the changes. The last several years have been rinse and repeat. Buying event/BR/WS cards low then flipping them when the collections drop and ending up with millions of stubs and the collection done. That isn't to say this won't still be a thing, but it feels like SDS is intentionally trying to change the dynamic so I think we're all gonna slowly find out how the market adjusts.
    papadell
    I always hesitate to tell people what to do with their stubs. But I'll tell you what I decided to do with the FoTF cards.
    I had bought low on a handful when they were around 8k. As they've begun to climb, I off-loaded the ones eligible in the current event and held the others for now. I'll probably consider moving them if they rotate into active events.
    Faces of the Franchise will be a part of collections. Every collection set provides a voucher for the bigger collections. And it's a virtual certainty that the cards will continue to increase. I personally decided to just take the profit now versus waiting and potentially being burned. If SDS is already adding Event Rewind packs, then there's nothing stopping them from releasing Rewind Boss packs and as I mentioned in the article - I think they will sooner than later.
    So really it comes down to your priority. I'm not interested in finishing the Live Series stuff anytime soon but I still took the profits on some of these now. If you want the LS done ASAP, then taking the profit and moving on might be best. If you'd prefer to be ready for collections, holding onto them for now will do one of two things: provide you the cards to collect if those collections interest you or provide significant stub boosts if the collection doesn't interest you.
    I'll just caution you (and everyone) that with the programs being different, the marketplace changes (quicksell values) and Rewind packs already floating around; there's really no way to know what the best decisions are.
    It's ultimately why I am such a big fan of the changes. The last several years have been rinse and repeat. Buying event/BR/WS cards low then flipping them when the collections drop and ending up with millions of stubs and the collection done. That isn't to say this won't still be a thing, but it feels like SDS is intentionally trying to change the dynamic so I think we're all gonna slowly find out how the market adjusts.

    Thanks man this is a great summary. This is my first year really doing DD so any insight is always helpful as I don’t have any prior experience to go on.
    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    brunopuntzjones
    My only complaint, and it's not new, is the staggered release of offline content during the program. I wish they'd drop it all at once so you can play at your preferred pace. Sometimes I've run out of things to do, but other times I feel rushed at the end or wonder if leaving town for a few days will screw me over somehow.

    SDS is clearly gating the amount of available XP at any given time.
    People should not be able to jam through a 1-month program in 2 days - it's far too open to exploitation by 'try hards'.
    NBA 2k does this as well with their "seasons" (they just don't have universal "gameplay XP" - which is the only plus of their system IMO).

More in MLB The Show 22

To Top