MLB The Show 17’s Diamond Dynasty mode has seen a host of revisions since last year’s game. Programs, widely expanded missions, multiple gameplay options, and the ability to earn cards in every mode of the game have made DD more accessible than ever. After hours upon hours of gameplay, I have concocted a few ideas for our friends at San Diego Studios to implement into next year’s game.
Make Online Missions Separate And Optional
Some of the Programs require some lofty online-only missions. SDS has wisely incentivized playing online and exploring all that DD has to offer. Unfortunately, my experiences with MLB The Show 17 have been like Adam Dunn: home run or strikeout. When it works, it is one of the most compelling online experiences in gaming, and when it does not work, it is one of the most frustrating. Just this weekend, back-to-back games experienced extreme lag after each pitch was thrown. The complexity of some of these online missions (such as the Diamond program’s four hits and a home run with Breakout Griffey in a single game) is disappointing given how the online experience can still hit some major hiccups. My Nelson Cruz and Doug Drabek Programs are stuck on the final missions that can only be completed online, and I cannot say for certain that I will grind out the necessary home runs and pitcher wins. As such, perhaps MLB 18 will be better equipped with separate online-only programs that yield more coveted online-only rewards.
As a side note, online missions have some inherent issues that will crop up even with quality servers. There’s no guarantee another user sticks around long enough for you to get four hits and a homer with Griffey Jr. in a Ranked Seasons game, and there’s no guarantee players don’t quit get various Battle Royale games early, thus never allowing you to get eight home runs in eight games to complete another mission of the Diamond Griffey Program. Other users being relied upon when it comes to completing these incredibly long and time-intensive Programs seems to only hurt users at the end of the day.
Introduce Diamond Team Customization Options Via A Customization Marketplace
Could you imagine joining a Diamond Dynasty game to find the other team in the Chicago White Sox’s iconic 1976 shorts? How many Stubs would the Detroit Tigers’ Zubaz print command on the marketplace? What about team fonts? Increasingly gregarious postgame celebrations? Throwback logos? Tie-dye jerseys? Pillbox hats? Old-timey wool uniforms? Maybe they have a slight boost on your Stub rewards by certain percentages? Diamond Dynasty teams are most often just a hodgepodge of bright colors. SDS stands to benefit from creating a Marketplace for coveted team customization options. In addition to providing more depth to the creation suite, this Marketplace could breathe supplemental life into one of The Show’s best modes.
Release Most Programs At Launch
The prolonged release of Programs has certainly kept players engaged all season long. But there are over 20 Programs slated for release via the Dynasty Program’s completion guidelines. Some of the Program missions require some heavy grinding, and it is often frustrating to see new Programs pop up with missions that players have already completed at length. If someone was to buy the game new today, they would have a slew of different Programs they could grind for all at once. There is no argument against post-release Programs throughout the season. SDS has utilized that to breathe significant new life into previous iterations of the series. But what if SDS released, say, 10 or 15 of the 20-plus programs at launch and peppered the others in throughout the season? That would still allow them to prolong interest and longevity without the overwhelming feeling of having to grind through another series of challenges you’ve already done previously.
No Breaks In-Between Events
Events have become a much-needed online option that allow players to play shorter games with the players they have worked hard to earn. While Battle Royale is a fresh three-inning change of pace, the drafted teams do not reflect your current inventory. Some missions require online play that can see upwards of an hour in Ranked Seasons, and that amount of time is not always available. Events have been very creative thus far, particularly highlighted by the Pitchers Advantage and Hitters Advantage events. However, there are long breaks between the conclusion of and the start of Events. Maybe dulling or expanding some of the card rewards will allow for longer event windows. In a dream world, we would only see a day in-between Events given the bounty of cards available and ease of concocting new Event parameters.
Allow Players To Select Cards For Exchange/Collect Missions
This is a much smaller request (and almost feels more like an oversight or bug), but there have been multiple times where I have not been able to select the cards I trade in for a Collect or Exchange missions. For example, let’s say I wanted to lock my Impact Veteran Ron Guidry into the Legend Ron Guidry Program Mission instead of my Luis Severino cards. Instead of being able to choose Guidry outright, I had to go into the marketplace, buy two of the cheapest Yankee pitchers to bump the selection to exclude Luis Severino. This option is available in certain Collect/Exchange missions, so why not all of them? Especially when players could potentially trade in their higher value cards. This is a small feature that should be featured in MLB The Show 18 or even patched into this year’s game.