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MLB The Show 18 - Improved Tagging, Animations, Catchers, AI, Emotion & More

MLB The Show 18

MLB The Show 18 - Improved Tagging, Animations, Catchers, AI, Emotion & More

Game Informer has posted some more MLB The Show 18 details, as they had an opportunity to chat with the developers, prior to the release of the trailer. They discuss improved tagging, animations, improved catchers, AI, emotion and much more.

The team talked at length about shoring up exploits in online play, including getting stuck in animations. Although this is just a trailer and not online play in the wild, the team is working to make players smoother and smarter. Hundreds of new animations where added to catchers alone to make them more efficient and react better to dropped balls, and this was done in other areas as well. “There was quite a few exploits you could take advantage of,” says Gill. “We looked at that. We paid attention to that. That was our focus. Aside from that, we [got new] animations in every part of our game. Catches, throws, the fielding more advanced. We work on the logic as well. We don’t just choose one thing each year. We kind of need to keep building at the lower levels to make sure that we don’t turn into spaghetti code. We have to clean it up and we want to be more efficient in everything we do. So if a guy’s running to first base, and they use a throw they shouldn’t use, that’s very frustrating for a user. Things like that have been shored up.”
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  1. so what is the new hitting engine again? Nothing in the gameplay videos showcased anything new other than new graphic/feedback overlays.
    Blegh
    so what is the new hitting engine again? Nothing in the gameplay videos showcased anything new other than new graphic/feedback overlays.

    New graphic and feedback overlays along with more tuning of the ball physics so far.
    Probably will hear more in the gameplay stream on Thursday.
    Catcher defense was this game's biggest weakness and eye soar last year. I'm happy to hear it has been addressed, and hope a catcher's influence on games is further expanded via pitch framing etc.
    Catchers are the most overlooked position in MLB The Show, yet the most important, many would say, in MLB.
    Will I Am
    Need less not more animations, that's what's wrecking this game.

    I'm curious as to what you mean by this. I took the new animations announcement to mean that fielding will be a lot smoother, especially behind the plate.
    Mike Lowe
    Catcher defense was this game's biggest weakness and eye soar last year. I'm happy to hear it has been addressed, and hope a catcher's influence on games is further expanded via pitch framing etc.
    Catchers are the most overlooked position in MLB The Show, yet the most important, many would say, in MLB.

    This alone is why I will get this years game. Hopefully they improved wild pitches too. That would be a bonus in itself.
    Blegh
    so what is the new hitting engine again? Nothing in the gameplay videos showcased anything new other than new graphic/feedback overlays.

    I literally saw ZERO difference in the actual hitting based on the gameplay videos between 17 and 18. Astros took a 2-0 lead, Yankees came back with 2 runs in the very next half inning (conveniently of course) on a Didi Gregorious home run in which the PCI was low enough to be a pop up, followed by a home run by Greg Bird in which the PCI MISSED THE BALL ENTIRELY! So again, seeing absolutely ZERO difference in the hitting ball physics.
    Padgoi
    I literally saw ZERO difference in the actual hitting based on the gameplay videos between 17 and 18. Astros took a 2-0 lead, Yankees came back with 2 runs in the very next half inning (conveniently of course) on a Didi Gregorious home run in which the PCI was low enough to be a pop up, followed by a home run by Greg Bird in which the PCI MISSED THE BALL ENTIRELY! So again, seeing absolutely ZERO difference in the hitting ball physics.

    You sticking with the comeback stuff huh? I remember watching my Dodgers in the World Series, We were up 5-0 in Games 5, only to blow the lead, then went up 8-5, only to blow the lead.
    Marino
    You sticking with the comeback stuff huh? I remember watching my Dodgers in the World Series, We were up 5-0 in Games 5, only to blow the lead, then went up 8-5, only to blow the lead.

    Just pointing out a fact, bro. It is what it is. I am not using that terminology anymore. I'm just saying I didn't see much of a difference at all in the hitting. TWO home runs were hit back to back in which the PCI wasn't on the ball AT ALL. Forget any comeback logic, let's just talk about the hitting engine. Home runs should NOT be getting hit in which the PCI isn't even ON THE BALL!
    Padgoi
    Just pointing out a fact, bro. It is what it is. I am not using that terminology anymore. I'm just saying I didn't see much of a difference at all in the hitting. TWO home runs were hit back to back in which the PCI wasn't on the ball AT ALL. Forget any comeback logic, let's just talk about the hitting engine. Home runs should NOT be getting hit in which the PCI isn't even ON THE BALL!

    the PCI does not represent the bat, so your examples do not really fit the narrative you are trying to tell.
    The PCI reflects the likelihood of contact. So for your first example, if the PCI was still on the ball (despite being low and as you claim a pop up) then a HR is still possible. Your second example where the PCI completely misses, while infrequent, can still result in any type of hit.
    At least, this is my understanding of how it all works.
    Padgoi
    .. TWO home runs were hit back to back in which the PCI wasn't on the ball AT ALL. Forget any comeback logic, let's just talk about the hitting engine. Home runs should NOT be getting hit in which the PCI isn't even ON THE BALL!

    That kinda thing lessened my interest in the game. I remember it wasn't like that 4 years ago or so. I felt like my input wasn't being factored enough when I was batting.
    I know why it's like that. It's like that because they don't want guys who hit 5 HRs in reality to hit 40 in the game and vice versa. It also ties in with pitcher's attributes.
    Maybe they could balance it better..
    Let's see what they say about the new feedback box. Seems like that is focused on showing where and how the bat meets the ball, maybe easier to understand and explain than the PCI.
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports
    Do we know what difficulty level they were playing on? The PCI was the size of a hot air balloon. If it was a low level it could explain some of the reason why contact was made. PCI just needs to be in the general area..
    KCowse
    Let's see what they say about the new feedback box. Seems like that is focused on showing where and how the bat meets the ball, maybe easier to understand and explain than the PCI.
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports

    Great point. Actually I noticed that the ball came off the very end of the bat on Didi's HR, implying that it was less than perfect contact. Hit speed was extremely low for a HR too - 94 MPH. But...Didi's a strong hitter, AND he pulled it into that short porch at Yankee Stadium. So even with a PCI miss he's still strong enough to hit it out (barely) in those conditions.
    This doesn't seem like an unrealistic result to me. I don't think this is a HR for a hitter with less power than Didi. Bird's was similar, although it looked like he sweet-spotted it a bit more.
    Also, it probably is a low difficulty as others stated, given the size of the PCI. Both videos had PCI's that were that big, and they didn't change size a whole lot throughout the lineup. That implies that they were as big as they're gonna get, and again indicates a low difficulty level.
    I felt like that more realistic spin off the bat was back. I remember seeing a lot of balls twisting and curving after contact when the game launched last year. Then everyone complained about the HR being given up and that variance of ball flight seemed to disappear after the patch to lessen HR’s. Seems maybe they were able to balance the spin a bit better this year so we get more hit variety without exaggerated HR?
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports
    Padgoi
    I literally saw ZERO difference in the actual hitting based on the gameplay videos between 17 and 18. Astros took a 2-0 lead, Yankees came back with 2 runs in the very next half inning (conveniently of course) on a Didi Gregorious home run in which the PCI was low enough to be a pop up, followed by a home run by Greg Bird in which the PCI MISSED THE BALL ENTIRELY! So again, seeing absolutely ZERO difference in the hitting ball physics.

    And here we go again......
    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G920A using Operation Sports mobile app
    Padgoi
    I literally saw ZERO difference in the actual hitting based on the gameplay videos between 17 and 18. Astros took a 2-0 lead, Yankees came back with 2 runs in the very next half inning (conveniently of course) on a Didi Gregorious home run in which the PCI was low enough to be a pop up, followed by a home run by Greg Bird in which the PCI MISSED THE BALL ENTIRELY! So again, seeing absolutely ZERO difference in the hitting ball physics.
    I'm not ready to give up on 18 yet. I'll need to see how it plays in my hands, not someone elses. And if SDS didnt have a track record I approved, they wouldn't get my purchase for 18.
    Marino
    You sticking with the comeback stuff huh? I remember watching my Dodgers in the World Series, We were up 5-0 in Games 5, only to blow the lead, then went up 8-5, only to blow the lead.

    That was great, wasn’t it? But seriously, lets calm down a bit. This was obviously an earlier build. And it was the first gameplay we saw.
    Padgoi
    I literally saw ZERO difference in the actual hitting based on the gameplay videos between 17 and 18. Astros took a 2-0 lead, Yankees came back with 2 runs in the very next half inning (conveniently of course) on a Didi Gregorious home run in which the PCI was low enough to be a pop up, followed by a home run by Greg Bird in which the PCI MISSED THE BALL ENTIRELY! So again, seeing absolutely ZERO difference in the hitting ball physics.

    Video games aren't perfect. Just because the PCI doesn't seem to be in the right spot means nothing. It happens, things are off some sometimes. I play Call of Duty and see kill cams all the time when the gun is not even pointed at the guy it kills, it's not perfect. If there was a comeback code no one would ever win a game against the AI. I don't use the PCI so I don't know for sure, but I would imagine there are times when you swing and miss when you have it right on the ball also.
    cusefan74
    Video games aren't perfect. Just because the PCI doesn't seem to be in the right spot means nothing. It happens, things are off some sometimes..

    It does mean something. It means player attributes are factored into the equation more than controller input.
    When contact occurs in The Show or in most other video games, it's all smoke and mirrors. The bat isn't actually a physic-based mesh and neither is the ball. It's all equations to govern the hit direction, ball rotation, and power.
    They tilt the balance more towards player attributes so that players actually perform like they do in real life REGARDLESS of controller input.
    I remember when I thought the CPU was cheating to come back. When I was 9 playing Blades of Steel.
    And I’m not sure how many times the way the PCI works needs to be explained before people stop thinking it’s a representation of the bat.
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports
    Even the talk has made a comeback. Or did it ever really go away.
    Rob_NYY
    This comeback code talk is so 2012.

    Now this improved tagging, is that fielders tagging runners or the kind of tagging talk that was going around last year before 17 dropped that was balls hitting walls and such?
    You mean to tell me the number of times the CPU (even at times myself), continually foul off pitches in one at bat no matter where the pitches are, is not a predetermined outcome?
    Caulfield
    Even the talk has made a comeback. Or did it ever really go away.
    Now this improved tagging, is that fielders tagging runners or the kind of tagging talk that was going around last year before 17 dropped that was balls hitting walls and such?

    Fielders tagging the runners.
    In the gameplay videos, Ramone mentions how fielders will now be aware of what type of slide a base runner is doing and react appropriately (make the correct type of tag)
    nemesis04
    Do we know what difficulty level they were playing on? The PCI was the size of a hot air balloon. If it was a low level it could explain some of the reason why contact was made. PCI just needs to be in the general area..

    The PCI will be bigger than MLB 17. It was the same last year ( way bigger than MLB 16 ) cause the focus of the game now is on DD mode and DD players want easy hits, a lot of HR's and flashy plays.
    WhiteBunny
    The PCI will be bigger than MLB 17. It was the same last year ( way bigger than MLB 16 ) cause the focus of the game now is on DD mode and DD players want easy hits, a lot of HR's and flashy plays.

    I would recommend watching the gameplay stream and listen to Lance breakdown hitting and PCI. Also Jeff and the changes to the physics
    Very insightful
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports
    MLB14
    It does mean something. It means player attributes are factored into the equation more than controller input.
    When contact occurs in The Show or in most other video games, it's all smoke and mirrors. The bat isn't actually a physic-based mesh and neither is the ball. It's all equations to govern the hit direction, ball rotation, and power.
    They tilt the balance more towards player attributes so that players actually perform like they do in real life REGARDLESS of controller input.

    Yes, I understand this. But this, in essence, takes away from the skill level of the player. I guess it's a catch-22.
    Padgoi
    Yes, I understand this. But this, in essence, takes away from the skill level of the player. I guess it's a catch-22.

    Yea, it wouldn't be easy to adjust things so that controller input matters more without skewing the player's performance away from reality, but I think it's possible.
    I think too many player attributes can muddy a system. Like, what does the clutch attribute rating of a player control?
    MLB14
    Yea, it wouldn't be easy to adjust things so that controller input matters more without skewing the player's performance away from reality, but I think it's possible.
    I think too many player attributes can muddy a system. Like, what does the clutch attribute rating of a player control?

    I agree. I mean, to me, what is the sense of playing when my controller input isn't even that important? This in itself takes away from the fact that someone like Bryce Harper can go from hitting .330 one year to .240 the next and then back to .320 the following year! If player attributes are a larger deciding factor in result than stick skills, it's basically implying that, while stick skills do play a minor role, many of the stats are controlled by . . . the game. Why would I want to play a game in which the results are largely dictated by the game deciding a result based on player ratings and not my own skills?
    I understand this is why SDS updates player ratings as often as they do, but when I start a franchise, we can't update player ratings based on SDS updates so we're "stuck" with the player that we started the franchise with. For me, this really takes away from the enjoyment of playing the game. We play games to be in alternate universes. That's the point of playing games, no?
    I would recommend watching the gameplay stream. Lance and Chris do a good job of breaking down the balance of user input vs player rating, as well as the physics impact on hitting
    Can’t speak for other aspects of game but I would imagine it’s similar
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports
    Padgoi
    I agree. I mean, to me, what is the sense of playing when my controller input isn't even that important? This in itself takes away from the fact that someone like Bryce Harper can go from hitting .330 one year to .240 the next and then back to .320 the following year! If player attributes are a larger deciding factor in result than stick skills, it's basically implying that, while stick skills do play a minor role, many of the stats are controlled by . . . the game. Why would I want to play a game in which the results are largely dictated by the game deciding a result based on player ratings and not my own skills?
    I understand this is why SDS updates player ratings as often as they do, but when I start a franchise, we can't update player ratings based on SDS updates so we're "stuck" with the player that we started the franchise with. For me, this really takes away from the enjoyment of playing the game. We play games to be in alternate universes. That's the point of playing games, no?

    I can see what you're saying, but I think this balance is pretty good how it is. If your skills can completely override the attributes of the players in game, than what is the point of compiling a good team in Franchise or DD? You should have an advantage hitting with Bryce Harper (or another 90+ rated hitter) over a lot of other guys. Your input still does matter (my HR pace with Judge is welllllll below what his is in real life). But the attributes really should still matter, and I appreciate the way the Show makes you hit differently with different players.
    Padgoi
    I agree. I mean, to me, what is the sense of playing when my controller input isn't even that important? This in itself takes away from the fact that someone like Bryce Harper can go from hitting .330 one year to .240 the next and then back to .320 the following year! If player attributes are a larger deciding factor in result than stick skills, it's basically implying that, while stick skills do play a minor role, many of the stats are controlled by . . . the game. Why would I want to play a game in which the results are largely dictated by the game deciding a result based on player ratings and not my own skills?
    I understand this is why SDS updates player ratings as often as they do, but when I start a franchise, we can't update player ratings based on SDS updates so we're "stuck" with the player that we started the franchise with. For me, this really takes away from the enjoyment of playing the game. We play games to be in alternate universes. That's the point of playing games, no?

    its such a hard line for the Show to straddle. I mean, I dont wanna be hitting 50 homers with Dee Gordon, no matter how good I get at hitting.
    And why you cant edit player attributes in franchise mode? I do it all the time.
    Padgoi
    I agree. I mean, to me, what is the sense of playing when my controller input isn't even that important? This in itself takes away from the fact that someone like Bryce Harper can go from hitting .330 one year to .240 the next and then back to .320 the following year! If player attributes are a larger deciding factor in result than stick skills, it's basically implying that, while stick skills do play a minor role, many of the stats are controlled by . . . the game. Why would I want to play a game in which the results are largely dictated by the game deciding a result based on player ratings and not my own skills?

    Counter-argument....what's the point of playing with "Real players" if my user input can override their ratings? If I can hit for a stellar average with a scrub, then it renders franchise (or DD) building to be a completely moot experience....then why bother having real teams and players?
    For arcade style interfaces (like zone or analog) it should be (and is) more about stick skills. For sim style interfaces (i.e. directional) it should be (and is) more about ratings with the user interacting on a swing-timing and mental basis (i.e. knowing when to swing).
    As Caufield said, it is a VERY fine line....and I am sure it is one the devs battle with every year.
    So it looks hit physics are on point and perfect.
    I'm curious though about once it hits the ground? Choppers, balls down the line, in the gap.
    I'd like to see more bloops, I wonder also if fielder speed should be adjusted too.
    Maybe it's me...just some ponderings to increase hit variety.
    Speedy
    So it looks hit physics are on point and perfect.
    I'm curious though about once it hits the ground? Choppers, balls down the line, in the gap.
    I'd like to see more bloops, I wonder also if fielder speed should be adjusted too.
    Maybe it's me...just some ponderings to increase hit variety.
    If they programmed actual baseball physics right, hit variety will take care of itself. It shouldn't be an issue this year judging by what people are saying, the devs worked on it.
    Speedy
    So it looks hit physics are on point and perfect.
    I'm curious though about once it hits the ground? Choppers, balls down the line, in the gap.
    I'd like to see more bloops, I wonder also if fielder speed should be adjusted too.
    Maybe it's me...just some ponderings to increase hit variety.

    Hit variety will only ever be as good as the hitter is imperfect. It won't matter how good the physics are if someone's able to square up the PCI on the ball all the time - they're going to hit rockets. It's the "edge cases" on the PCI that create hit variety.
    IMO, 17 already has a TON of hit variety when your settings are right for your skill level - I can only imagine how the physics being further improved will make that aspect of the game even better.
    bcruise
    Hit variety will only ever be as good as the hitter is imperfect. It won't matter how good the physics are if someone's able to square up the PCI on the ball all the time - they're going to hit rockets. It's the "edge cases" on the PCI that create hit variety.
    IMO, 17 already has a TON of hit variety when your settings are right for your skill level - I can only imagine how the physics being further improved will make that aspect of the game even better.

    Absolutely correct on everything you just said, during the first weeks of 17 release, I noticed that some sliders that had never really effected things very drastically in the past, made some big changes to gameplay. The wind slider had a huge effect in power/homeruns than it ever had in the past.......possibly due to ball physics? I don’t really know, but even playing in a dome it had an effect on power/flight.
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