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MLB The Show 19: March To October Impressions

MLB The Show 19

MLB The Show 19: March To October Impressions

During the lead up to MLB The Show 19, I was excited about the new March To October mode. I used to strictly be a franchise player, but during the last couple years I’ve started to lose my excitement for the mode. I started simming more games and finally got to a point where I was simming more games than I was playing.

The mode was never the deepest in the genre, so I found myself without much to do because I was doing all this simming. So when I heard about March to October and found out it could take the franchise experience and condense it down to a manageable length of time, I thought this mode could be perfect for me.

Well, to be honest, it’s not perfect for me. And being even more honest, the mode is exhausting so far. My first three games I went into extra innings. One of them lasted 15 innings before I finally hit a walk-off single. The issue here is that almost all of the games it drops you into are late-inning games where the score is either tied or you are up or down by a run.

Broad Thoughts

For a mode that is supposed to save time, it seems like it would be more fun just playing a whole game in franchise mode.

In addition, the mode doesn’t give you the ability to pick a custom roster to start. It uses the default roster and you are stuck with it. You do have the ability to manage your lineup, bullpen and starting pitching staff, which is good, but after that you have almost zero control.

You are also unable to use dynamic difficulty or adjust any sliders such as pitch speed, which is important to a lot of players. Also, there are no call-ups, no send downs, basically nothing to do with how a real baseball season would unfold. You are given a chance to make a trade at the deadline, but that’s about it.

I do like the fact that the teams you can choose from are broken up into tiers. Those would be favorites, contenders, underdogs and longshots.

After this, it gives you a graph of where your expected wins should be, how many wins it should take to win your division, and how many games it would take to win a wild card spot. I really like this concept.

Momentum

The core of the mode is about building momentum.

The simulation engine uses your wins and losses, along with how you came about earning those wins and losses, to simulate the next handful of games and then dumps you into what’s deemed a critical situation for your team at that particular juncture of the season.

Again, this is a good idea in theory, but maybe not so much in practice. I say that because you are dropped into almost the same situations, or at least similar situations most of the time, so the mode can get boring.

I would actually like to see myself being dropped into games with some lopsided scores to even things out, but I haven’t really seen that while grinding through the games I played so far. You can also be put into full games using player lock. They can be fun, and it helps to get through some of the regular games at a quicker pace.

More Needs to be Explored

I still believe this mode is a good idea, but I feel like it needs to be more fleshed out for next year’s iteration. Too many extra-inning games really hurt the pacing of the mode. Maybe that’s just me, maybe people like the suspense of playing those games, but I find it frustrating.

I just want to get to the next game. I also wish the developers included a forfeit option for games. If you decide to quit the game, your only option is to save and exit. So when you go back to the mode you have to continue the game you were playing.

Final Analysis

Overall, March To October is hit and miss. It’s a good, yet flawed concept where there is fun to be had, but also plenty of frustration to go along with it. Unfortunately, I don’t see it as a viable option to replace franchise mode for those looking for a more streamlined experience.

There are too many things that are not under your control. And if you like making moves, or realistic rosters and stats, I don’t think you are going to get it with this mode.

37 Comments

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Discussion
  1. Nice article.
    Sadly it sounds like they just threw this in to try and appease the 'WTF happened to franchise mode' crowd (of which I am one).
    It just comes across like a half-assed mode. I mean no dynamic difficulty, really.
    As I have zero interest in dynasty/online play, I'll not be buying this.
    I like the idea that it's designed to really just be an "on the field" experience...like games were waaaay back in the day before lots of options and sliders,etc were implemented.  
    I can see where the extra innings can be frustrating...there should have been an option to Sim to the end of a game.
    Ive played a handful of games so far and Im really enjoying it.
    The 1 thing though is the roster. Im using the Mets and its not even close to what the opening day roster is going to be. I understand about Alonso not being there. But they dont Nimmo, Rosario and JD Davis on the roster.
    Hopefully I can beat the mode quickly with them to get their rewards and move on to using another team.
    I like it a lot. It’s got some things that need some work obviously. But I can see this becoming a really awesome mode over the next couple years.
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports
    I'm enjoying it you are correct about extra innings. I really thought this was going to be a great mode that allowed you to play a full season in 15 hours.
    It's not. 4 of 5 of my games have gone 14+ innings. A big part of this stems from the way difficulty is handled.
    I generally play HoF on pitching and veteran on batting. So I chose All Star. I can't get a hit. I rarely give one up. Hence the extra innings.
    So close to a great mode
    I enjoy it although I am not that far in yet. I am a little concerned about the do or die nature of the mode though. You can play brilliantly all year, lose game 7 of the WS and you are basically forced to start over again with the same roster and go through it again. That is fine for just a fun mode but if you are playing it also to get the Team Affinity points in DD then that is brutal
    The plus side for members of this forum is that all the playtime hours in this mode are logged under Franchise, so all the DD players playing this mode for rewards are inflating the Franchise played time.
    I just came across this nugget on The Show Nation...discussion was about a player who did not get their rewards following beating MtO:
    "Also, if you quit any game before completing and tried reloading, it nullifies any rewards. Not saying you did this, but if you even went to go eat dinner in the middle of a game and turned off your PS4, bye bye rewards."
    EDIT - this is confirmed by a dev: https://theshownation.com/forums/12-march-to-october/forum_topics/131915-question-about-m2o-x2f-affinity/comments/949395
    MrArlingtonBeach
    I just came across this nugget on The Show Nation...discussion was about a player who did not get their rewards following beating MtO:
    "Also, if you quit any game before completing and tried reloading, it nullifies any rewards. Not saying you did this, but if you even went to go eat dinner in the middle of a game and turned off your PS4, bye bye rewards."
    EDIT - this is confirmed by a dev: https://theshownation.com/forums/12-march-to-october/forum_topics/131915-question-about-m2o-x2f-affinity/comments/949395

    Welp looks like I need to restart my MtO then
    DAMN!!
    I'm playing it for now till I find a roster I like to start franchise. It's okay for me to play with some teams I wouldn't spend time with in franchise but not something I'm all too excited about.
    I’ve gotten as far as May with the Blue Jays and every time I enter a game in the 6 th inning I’ve had Stroman on the mound with Norris and Phelps warming up in the bullpen. Every time.
    The couple times I’ve come in the 9th to mount a comeback it usually Pillar or Smoak up at the plate.
    Feels so far like every situation is being repeated.
    I do get into the moment though.
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports
    MrArlingtonBeach
    I just came across this nugget on The Show Nation...discussion was about a player who did not get their rewards following beating MtO:
    "Also, if you quit any game before completing and tried reloading, it nullifies any rewards. Not saying you did this, but if you even went to go eat dinner in the middle of a game and turned off your PS4, bye bye rewards."
    EDIT - this is confirmed by a dev: https://theshownation.com/forums/12-march-to-october/forum_topics/131915-question-about-m2o-x2f-affinity/comments/949395

    I have been part of those discussions and I find several things unacceptable.

    • This is not just a lost game. It could be a waste of a dozen hours or more.
    • There is no warning that this can happen that I have seen.
    • The user in the thread linked was not told his save was compromised and they finished the mode only to get nothing for it.

    This is killing my interest in the mode all together. It is a lot of work, a lot of RNG is involved and there are just too many ways your time can be completely wasted, some which may be beyond your control (power outage for example).
    Not to mention that I have hit my 250 innings played with cardinals players and gotten my 5 points towards my affinity but the repeatable mission does not show that it is repeatable. It just shows completed. I don't want to play 20 more conquest games with 6 Cardinals in my lineup and find that the innings are not counting.
    I really wanted to like this mode, but just couldn't get into for the reasons I stated in the article.
    I should have mentioned that I think a lot of people will enjoy it. And I do think it has the potential to be great in a couple years if they stick with it, which I hope they do.
    I will probably give it another shot down the road.
    Dolenz
    I have been part of those discussions and I find several things unacceptable.

    • This is not just a lost game. It could be a waste of a dozen hours or more.
    • There is no warning that this can happen that I have seen.
    • The user in the thread linked was not told his save was compromised and they finished the mode only to get nothing for it.

    This is killing my interest in the mode all together. It is a lot of work, a lot of RNG is involved and there are just too many ways your time can be completely wasted, some which may be beyond your control (power outage for example).
    Not to mention that I have hit my 250 innings played with cardinals players and gotten my 5 points towards my affinity but the repeatable mission does not show that it is repeatable. It just shows completed. I don't want to play 20 more conquest games with 6 Cardinals in my lineup and find that the innings are not counting.

    That's unacceptable if it doesn't let you know you've lost your rewards. I had my internet go down in the middle of the game and I assumed I'd be fine since it's an offline mode.
    I really want to like this mode as it enables me to play through a season quickly and I don't have that much time to really go deep into a franchise... but not being able to adjust sliders or make simple roster decisions is such a huge turnoff.
    Just a theory, but couldn't you just play through it without connecting to the internet, quitting as much as you like to avoid autosaves, then just turn the internet back on to do the last game? How will the server know I've been quitting if I'm not online?
    I've been mostly a RTTS player for years, i decided to give this mode a try, playing on HOF difficulty and i instantly love this mode. I picked the Mariners, and so far am 43-41, 6 games behind the 1rst place Astros, and 3.5 games behind the Twins for Wildcard, I'm projected to win 80 games. Started out bad, i was like 10 games under 500 or so, but rallied nice to get to 2 games over 500. I'm really having a blast with this mode, and had some great come from behind wins, and also had some heartbreaking blown saves. this is going to be a really fun year with The Show, love this mode.
    TheDominator273
    The biggest issues with the mode can all be solved by separating it from DD rewards.

    Correct. I’m a huge DD fan and I’m really digging this mode. But the connection of the two feels forced and unnecessary.
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports
    TheDominator273
    The biggest issues with the mode can all be solved by separating it from DD rewards.

    As I mentioned earlier in this thread, attaching it to DD is actually giving a big boost to Franchise. All of the DD players whop play through this mode are logging hours that are being counted as franchise players. So not only will Franchise look like it has gained a large number of users but the hours spent in franchise overall will go up.
    Maybe that will give them the justification to spend more time on Franchise for next year.
    Dolenz
    As I mentioned earlier in this thread, attaching it to DD is actually giving a big boost to Franchise. All of the DD players whop play through this mode are logging hours that are being counted as franchise players. So not only will Franchise look like it has gained a large number of users but the hours spent in franchise overall will go up.
    Maybe that will give them the justification to spend more time on Franchise for next year.

    Wouldn’t it be logging hours into MtO, not franchise? Not sure why the telemetry data would point these hours to franchise until the end of the first year, if even then.
    goillini03
    Wouldn’t it be logging hours into MtO, not franchise? Not sure why the telemetry data would point these hours to franchise until the end of the first year, if even then.

    It is definitely putting time spent in MtO into Franchise. I rented the game on Wednesday, and my universal profile at The Show Nation shows I have 1 hr. 11 mins. played in Diamond Dynasty (which is because I played Moments), 17 mins. in Play Now, and 1 hr. 43 mins. in Franchise (which is due to playing MtO).
    It's will be quite interesting to see what will happen next year, if they are using time in MtO as time spent in Franchise. Seems a bit artificial to me, but if it helps bring freshness to Franchise mode, I guess I am all for it.
    MrArlingtonBeach
    It is definitely putting time spent in MtO into Franchise. I rented the game on Wednesday, and my universal profile at The Show Nation shows I have 1 hr. 11 mins. played in Diamond Dynasty (which is because I played Moments), 17 mins. in Play Now, and 1 hr. 43 mins. in Franchise (which is due to playing MtO).
    It's will be quite interesting to see what will happen next year, if they are using time in MtO as time spent in Franchise. Seems a bit artificial to me, but if it helps bring freshness to Franchise mode, I guess I am all for it.

    Ah, cool. I thought the same thing about artificial numbers. That is why it did Not make sense to me as to why it would count towards franchise.
    Think this would have been amazing if they had actually incorporated MTO into franchise. Just give the user a choice to sim their season using the momentum way but allowing them to tweak their roster. Have the rewards be dynamic. So as you improve your team via trades and FA your rewards would change to coincide with your teams overall rating.
    That’s probably the future of the mode.
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports
    I like the idea of the mode but the execution is lacking. It is a nice distraction while I wait on actual rosters to be released but this mode isn't deep enough to keep my interest. I do hope to see them do more and actually include it in Franchise in the future. I like the risk/reward it adds to simulation.
    Won the World Series last night on All-Star (the only difficulty I care to play) with the A's. Took about 20 hours to get through.
    +I think this is a really well-designed mode. It keeps things moving through the season and does a solid job of informing you of where your team is in the season. It was hard to put down (until the end, where the post-season dragged).
    +The UI is really nice.
    +I can see myself playing through it again with an NL team, just to get used to them and get through a season.
    -The rewards for winning (which I had to go look for in Diamond Dynasty, as there wasn't a screen that popped up with my rewards) were not very compelling for me, personally. I know that you get more stuff on the higher difficulties; the amount of stuff I got was not my concern, but rather the substance of my rewards. I got my A's Profile Plate and Icon, so that's cool, but the rest was pretty much all for DD, which I only dabble in. I ended up pulling a Diamond DeGrom and got some Gold players (specifically for the A's, Silver Jason Giambi and Gold Sonny Gray). After it was all done, it just felt like time wasted, but it's good that they let you continue into Franchise Mode. I did just in case I wanted to play with this team in the future, but don't know if I ever will play that Franchise save, because...
    -The lack of control over your roster kind of hinders the experience. I say "kind of" because on the one hand, it was putting guys into the starting rotation that I never would personally put in there. You also don't get to do the draft and I was only prompted with one trade offer (Franklin Barreto and prospects to KC for Billy Hamilton is what I chose).
    -It makes you play every Post-season game. Not the full game all the time (which it made me do once), but my problem with this is: What's the point of building momentum in the post-season if it's not going to be used?
    Overall, I think this is a good mode, especially for those looking to get into Franchise, but want to ease into it. Getting a whole season done in essentially a few days and still having an impact on your results is cool, but I also had an "empty feeling" after I won last night. I was just glad it was over and I could move on.
    Jeffrey Smith
    I’ve gotten as far as May with the Blue Jays and every time I enter a game in the 6 th inning I’ve had Stroman on the mound with Norris and Phelps warming up in the bullpen. Every time.
    The couple times I’ve come in the 9th to mount a comeback it usually Pillar or Smoak up at the plate.
    Feels so far like every situation is being repeated.
    I do get into the moment though.
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports

    I've noticed this, too - the repeating of situations...every time I jump into a late-inning scenario, Brad Brach is on the mound for me (Cubs), and Carl Edwards Jr. and Xavier Cedeno are warming in the pen.
    I know the difficulty you play on determines the rewards if you win the WS. What about the team you pick? In terms of earning stubs/ xp. Do I earn the same whether I use the Yankees or the Royals?
    SwedishTouch76
    I know the difficulty you play on determines the rewards if you win the WS. What about the team you pick? In terms of earning stubs/ xp. Do I earn the same whether I use the Yankees or the Royals?

    They said you would earn more for playing as a lesser team but they and nobody else has confirmed if that was actually implemented or, if it was, how much of a boost it would be.
    I appreciate all the insight and comments in this thread. I have been wanting to try MtO since first learning about it in the developer streams, but I must admit that I am having reservations due to the inability to adjust the rosters, the issue if you don't finish the game and have to start all over again, and some of the other thoughts that have been brought up. Who knows, I will probably still give it a chance and try it eventually. Right now though, my Franchise has my attention.
    Has anyone been able to choose a SP or RP as a trade target? I went through the trade deadline with Redsox and only received offers to acquire batters. I was hoping to acquire a closer as Sox lineup is pretty stacked and bullpen is weakest area for them. Trade deadline came and went only giving me options for bench pieces essentially.
    Did they ever mention whether pitchers could be acquired or did i miss something?
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports

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