How to Fix The Rec in NBA 2K
NBA 2K22 offers a variety of ways to play its MyCareer mode, but without question one of the most popular destinations within both The City or The Neighborhood is The Rec. A staple of series for years now, it’s the place you want to head if you’re looking for online 5-vs-5 games that mirror what you see in the NBA. However, it shouldn’t take more than a few games struggling to find the rest of your team in The Rec and then laboring through some kind of demoralizing blowout before you realize that this building is in need of some serious renovations. Between outdated matchmaking that seems incapable of consistently producing competitive games, the plague of quitters that have infected the place since it was built, and a teammate grading system in need of some updating to emphasize team play, there is plenty of room for improvement within its confines. So, let’s talk about how to fix The Rec in NBA 2K.
How To Fix The Rec In NBA 2K
Regardless of its current state, there is some hope though. As they’re fond of saying about buildings, the bones are good when it comes to The Rec. In its current state, it may be more of a fixer-upper from a real estate perspective, but there’s plenty of potential here that can be developed into something special with the right blueprints. Let’s pretend then that we are one of the Property Brothers (maybe the one that dates The New Girl) or some other HGTV star and outline the best ways to revamp The Rec and have it become the proper hot spot that it deserves to be.
If there’s just one thing that NBA 2K22 could focus on improving upon for next year in The Rec, it would have to be optimizing the matchmaking to have more balanced teams on both sides in terms of both user skills and their created player’s abilities. Since pretty much its inception, it’s been especially frustrating for any solo players to play games in The Rec thanks to having to try to find chemistry with a group of randoms while facing a full squad of friends who likely ball together all the time. While developers made strides this year by adding the no-squads Old Gym to The City on next-gen consoles, they essentially left those who would rather play 5-on-5 out in the cold by not employing something similar in The Rec. An easy win for next year would be to simply have separate matchmaking queues for those playing in squads and for those who are entering The Rec without any buddies.
Another huge step forward for The Rec would be to institute matchmaking that’s better at taking into account the skill level of everyone involved. If it’s possible for another online multiplayer game like Rocket League to implement something similar that’s effective at ensuring you’re matched with both teammates and opponents who are roughly just as good as you are, there’s no reason why NBA 2K can’t figure out a way to do the same in The Rec. This can be as simple as seeing everyone on the team that wins have their rank elevated within The Rec, and perhaps those who contribute more to the win than others also receive an even bigger boost to their status. This might result in some lesser players being carried to a higher rank by better players on the same team, but that’s bound to correct itself as they play more games.
It also behooves 2K to address the problem of someone who is using a 60 overall player getting matched in a game with a group of others who are in their high 90s, obviously putting one side at a bit of a disadvantage because of at least one bad mismatch. There needs to be a way to filter those with lower overall players who still want to play Rec like everyone else into a separate matchmaking queue where they can all play together. If this means that they have to wait a little longer to find a match, that’s still better than having them impact Rec games based solely on their inferior attributes.
Deal With The Quitting Problem
It will only take someone a game or two in The Rec before they bump up against another huge drawback of The Rec when a teammate inevitably quits. Whether this is almost warranted because a game can get plenty tedious when one or two teammates just refuse to pass the ball or is instead the result of someone who’s unable to deal with any adversity deciding to bail when they fall behind by a few baskets, it’s bound to happen eventually. That’s when you’ll probably realize that the AI players replacing anyone who quits become a liability immediately, especially on the offensive end where opponents can almost ignore them entirely because of how frequently they miss open shots.
It’s clear that something needs to be done to further deter people from abandoning the rest of their team, aside from taking away their postgame rewards (which can be pretty measly after losses anyway). The best idea might be to really hit people where it hurts the most and cause them to suffer some sort of penalty to their attributes that will continue until they complete a full game in The Rec. If that doesn’t work, then perhaps they could figure out a way to have those who quit games enter into a separate matchmaking queue for their next game, where they’re destined to be paired with other quitters in a nice bit of poetic justice.
Regardless of how the quitters are punished, there needs to more consideration given to those who are left behind and choose to stick it out. For one thing, these resilient players deserve better AI teammates than the brainless and unskilled ones that they are now forced to work around as best as they can. The postgame rewards could also be better for those who have to contend with these hapless AI teammates, perhaps increased exponentially based on how many users on your team dropped out over the course of the game.
The same issue with entering into mismatched games exists on all of the 3-vs-3 courts, but because these contests typically end when one team gets to 21 points, it’s at least not as much of a waste of time. In fact, it’s rather common to see people start flopping down on the ground on defense when no one is around them in an effort to expedite a blowout and give the opponent an easy path to the basket and ultimately to 21.
Sadly, there’s no such workaround for games that quickly get lopsided in The Rec on account of all games having five-minute quarters that must be completed in order to earn your rewards. If the community is stubborn about wanting to keep the clock around, it could help to shorten the misery by reducing the quarter length to three minutes. It might be better though to leave the timed concept entirely to the more organized Pro Am mode and have The Rec games go to 40 or 50 points instead of 21. One more way to avoid games ever becoming too tedious would be if 2K could take another cue from Rocket League and provide an option for all teammates to place a vote (maybe only starting in the second half) to concede a game that’s out of hand.
Refine Teammate Grading System
As much as NBA 2K has tried over the years to tweak the teammate grading system that ultimately helps determine your postgame rewards, it still enables ball hogs to chase stats without regard for the rest of their team. Unless something is done to discourage this style of play in The Rec, you’ll continue to be matched alongside selfish players who insist on both handling the ball and taking the (usually heavily contested) shots on every possession. If they had it their way, the rest of the team would stand in the corners every time up the floor and let them perform some stupid dribble moves before finally jacking up the ugliest of bricks.
Others in the community have suggested the drastic measure of giving people an option of voting on kicking specific players from the team should they show little interest in working with anyone else, but there’s the worry that this could be abused by a community that can get as toxic as the worst of them. If developers can’t figure out a way though to have the biggest offenders suitably punished for not sharing the ball with others, it might have to be time to allow people to take matters into their own hands. Rather than booting people from the game, a smaller step in that same direction would be to give everyone the chance to give either a positive or negative review of each of your teammates, and this could help determine whether or not you get matched with these same teammates again.
Eliminate Back-To-Back Timeouts
This is admittedly more of a pet peeve than a major complaint, but it’s always incredibly maddening to watch one of your teammates burn all of your team’s timeouts in one fell swoop by calling them all one after another during a game stoppage. Let’s please go ahead and limit a person to calling just one timeout during a stoppage rather than wasting the whole arsenal of them before the first quarter is even over. Of course, these same disruptive jerks are bound to then just call a timeout at every stoppage in the game and that way they’ll all be used up at just a slightly slower pace than before, but at least they’ll be spread out slightly and we won’t be subjected to a minute or two straight of timeouts.