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MLB The Show 19 Twitch Stream - Defensive Improvements (Archive Included)

MLB The Show 19

MLB The Show 19 Twitch Stream - Defensive Improvements (Archive Included)

There are quite a few defensive improvements in MLB The Show 19, as the team discussed in the Twitch stream earlier today. Here’s a list of some of the topics they went over.

  • Fielder rating improvements
  • Ball of the wall ribbons and new surface type
  • Fielding efficiency
  • Combating exploits
  • Other new animations
  • Defensive regrade
  • Jimmie Foxx was revealed as a new Legend

We’ve posted an embedded archive of the stream below, in case you missed it. This was a fantastic stream with a ton of details, so make sure you watch it and post your thoughts.

Watch MLB The Show 19 – Defense Overhaul from SonySanDiegoStudio on www.twitch.tv

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Discussion
  1. Ramone says: Pitch speeds will be faster than they've ever been at the higher difficulty levels.
    A lot of focus/discussion on user vs. user head-to-head games, based on streamer content. They watched a lot of streaming games with two human players playing against each other.
    Video showing Lucroy, Cozart and Simmons at shortstop for the Angels to show players playing out of position vs. players at their primary position.
    Lucroy is bad with a very small green area on the throw meter, Cozart is just fine, as SS is his secondary position, and Simmons is a stud. Pretty straight forward.
    nemesis04
    Did they happen to show the new button accuracy meter?

    Yes...it looks similar to what it's looked like in the past. It has red, yellow and green sections. One of the devs did say that the input is different this year...I missed the exact description of what he meant.
    Now they are showing the ball off the wall ribbon. The ribbon path is based on defender ratings. You see more if your fielder is better. Surface types make a difference on how the ball reacts off the wall (padding, netting, brick, etc.).
    Mercury112491
    Listening to these guys talk, how can anyone doubt they don't care and aren't trying to deliver the best game possible.

    I don't think I have ever heard anyone argue they don't care about the game. The argument which I personally feel is 100% accurate is that they don't care about franchise or offline players
    Armor and Sword
    The Fielder animations are looking buttery smooth folks. And the urgency looks better too.

    Damn can't wait to see the archive.
    They finally blocked Twitch here at work. :(
    They really have upped the game defensively. The double play animations look fantastic. Ultra realistic.
    Also balls up the middle hitting pitchers excessively are claimed to be fixed!!!
    They dropped a comment about the fact that they added more pitcher fielding animations to prevent line drives/fast grounders from hitting off the pitcher like it did in the past.
    Just said you should hardly ever see the ball firing off the pitchers head and body like in the past. Added a lot more animations for the pitcher fielding those or it getting by him.
    Official......Pre-Ordered.
    The gameplay improvements are off the hook. I saw enough already to be like "WOW!"
    The new defensive animations they have added...the smoothness of it, the urgency improvement....just awesome.
    I will say, these new defensive enhancements/animations focused on urgency and efficiency are pretty amazing.
    They are now moving on to combating base running exploits that are mostly seen when playing online head to head.
    Just showed a fix to the pitchout exploit...in the past, people would stop part way down the line and go back to first on a steal. Now, the runner slips and can be thrown out a first.
    For me though. Gameplay wasn't a major issue. It's always played a good game of baseball. It's just gotten stale for me. Lots more info to wait for though. So we'll see.
    Sent from my SM-J337VPP using Tapatalk
    Showing new animations...new robbed foul balls (more fluid as the fielder runs), new jump catches against the wall, new errors in the outfied, new hot shot defensive plays (knocking down the ball on a hard-hit ball). "Ole" plays should be reduced.
    Fielding rating regrade...Yasmani Grandal is now a 91 defensively vs. 76 last year...
    Lindor is a 90 both this and last year.
    Castellanos from the Tigers went from 63 last year to a 38 for '19.
    Stream now ending...hitting stream later today will have another legend reveal and a giveaway.
    Final thoughts...defensive gameplay and animations look fantastic. Not necessarily surprising, but you can definitely tell they improved upon last year in this regard.
    Them dudes really excited about Jimmie Foxx. I mean that one guy was smiling ear to ear lol.
    I enjoy the legends though. Love playing with the retro teams.
    Sent from my SM-J337VPP using Tapatalk
    Armor and Sword
    Official......Pre-Ordered.
    The gameplay improvements are off the hook. I saw enough already to be like "WOW!"
    The new defensive animations they have added...the smoothness of it, the urgency improvement....just awesome.
    I wonder how these new improvements will work for carry over saves and the great work HYBRID guys do.
    I would think it wouldn't make a big difference. Just the threshold for top defensive players with hybrid will resemble decent defensive players with out of box ratings
    Sent from my Pixel 3 using Operation Sports mobile app
    That was awesome! Very detailed stream with many gameplay situations showing all tons of new animations and man they’ve made big strides in urgency and fielder awereness.
    Loved it!
    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Councilmann_Jamm
    I wonder how these new improvements will work for carry over saves and the great work HYBRID guys do.
    I would think it wouldn't make a big difference. Just the threshold for top defensive players with hybrid will resemble decent defensive players with out of box ratings
    Sent from my Pixel 3 using Operation Sports mobile app

    The new animations, fielding urgency, branch offs from animations that previously you would get stuck in too long.
    Big improvements that will carry over to all rosters, carry over saves and new rosters. It's all good.
    MrArlingtonBeach
    Yes...it looks similar to what it's looked like in the past. It has red, yellow and green sections. One of the devs did say that the input is different this year...I missed the exact description of what he meant.
    Now they are showing the ball off the wall ribbon. The ribbon path is based on defender ratings. You see more if your fielder is better. Surface types make a difference on how the ball reacts off the wall (padding, netting, brick, etc.).

    You may be speaking about the exact point of when a button input is accepted by the system. In years past, it the button press wasn't accepted until the moment that you released the button (whether or not you're in the 'green' zone).
    This year button press input is accepted at the exact moment you first press the button. Then, accuracy is still affected by whether you hit the 'green' zone, or 'yellow' zone, etc. This, thus, allows the AI to set up for the proper animation by the time that you release the button.
    Hopefully the above makes sense to ya'll.
    I wonder since they are going esports with this game, it's obvious. And, that Gil went in to detail about the tag animation and stated lets take it to New York to review. Have they finally updated the challenge system. And, on Thanks head to head twitch streamers, they made big strides based on your play.
    It wasn't just perfect jumps that led to outfielders getting to every ball and preventing XBHs, it was that combined with their unreal speed and ability to cover distance in a matter of seconds. Reaction did need to be addressed, but the scaling of speed over distance also needs to be adjusted or we will still see a lack of doubles and the rare triple into the gaps. The physics of the ball off the bat also play a huge role in this, whether it hangs longer in the air than it would in real life. It should all be addressed.
    Not jumping to buy this until this has been out a while and reviewers have had ample time with it.
    Glad for these streams. If we weren’t privy I think a lot of people wouldn’t even notice the detail as many of the moves are subtle and there would be complaints that the devs really don’t do much to enhance the game. It really is “the little things” and I tip my cap to their hard work and long hours that they put in.
    Any mention of user control? I don't always feel like I'm controlling the action on defense...like I'm on some kind of semi-assisted fielding setting.
    Hopefully manual fielding feels truly manual.
    Also, any mention of collision detection between players?
    Missed chunks of it, but it all looked very slick. I have to say, I never thought the fielding lacked slickness anyway tbh, but most of it seemed geared towards stopping online exploits, so the issues with animations getting locked in was never much of an issue against the computer.
    I like the direction they're heading in with the bad fielders angle, but again from the bits I saw it seemed heavily angled at online DD, talking about playing Buster Posey in the outfield, rather than Miguel Sano making jump throws from 3rd or Nelson Cruz diving all over the outfield. I saw JD Martinez take a bad jump, but I might have missed bits where they showed the difference between great and mediocre fielders in their actual position? (I probably did, I missed about 15 minutes around that part) Hopefully that's in there.
    The hitting stream will be interesting as that's where the fielding should be more apparent I think, as in that stream they were getting to everything as that's what they wanted. That was my number one issue with fielding, that on the default settings everyone got to everything, so hopefully on the hitting stream we see plenty of ground balls through the infield. (and infield hits! I know online people hate the scruffy hits but they are a thing!)
    Did they say if you can turn off the bronze/silver/gold shield indicators under players? I presume you can.
    I've just spent the last four months, on a daily basis, upgrading the rosters for each team, including all vitals and current off season injuries, ready to play a franchise season for 2019, on MLB17........
    I may have been a tad hasty, in assuming the worst for '19.........:y220e:
    Bring on the hitting stream...... to convince me entirely :60:
    inkcil
    Any mention of user control? I don't always feel like I'm controlling the action on defense...like I'm on some kind of semi-assisted fielding setting.
    Hopefully manual fielding feels truly manual.
    Also, any mention of collision detection between players?

    No mention of collision detection, just some new animations that showed fielders moving out of the way on certain plays (like a 2B avoiding the runner on a double play where the 2B had to charge into the baseline).
    They did mention that they want to find a balance between user skill and player in-game ratings. They don't want the human user to feel like an animation in the game cost them a run. So it seems they are trying to make the human's skill matter more, while still realizing that the ratings have to be the differentiation between good and bad players on the virtual diamond.
    The only thing that SDS never address, is playing with an injury/hurt and how that affects gameplay. I would love to see a diamond player play with a slight hammy strain and how he compensates for injury/hurt. I also don't like that diamond guys are always right, just doesn't sit well with me. And they need to address speed range all these guys have the same speed, even your slow fellas almost gets to the ball.
    That looked smooth as heck.
    I loved the Andujar play when he was charging in and threw across his body.
    Also loved when Andrelton Simmons took his time at Short Stop.
    Let's hope the batting animations are improved, too
    inkcil
    Any mention of user control? I don't always feel like I'm controlling the action on defense...like I'm on some kind of semi-assisted fielding setting.
    Hopefully manual fielding feels truly manual.
    Also, any mention of collision detection between players?

    No mention of less user assisted jumps and from what they've said about it in the past, I would doubt that it's changed without a mention. PYS uses a cheat to allow this control and be functional and they've been against doing something similar in the past.
    My game was already pre-ordered but I must say, I'm very impressed by the defensive improvements they made.
    I'd kill for them to update franchise but 18 was already a very nice game to me (strictly offline franchise). It's more than playable but having the depth of NBA2k would be awesome on top of solid gameplay that MLBTS always had.
    Just thought of one that wasn't mentioned in the stream. Did they ever fix the 1B going back to the bag or tagging the runner on a throw that pulls them off the bag? This was bad through '16 where even with plenty of time they would just give up after catching the throw even when they had lots of time.
    Correction TWO updated base running animation added the ability for the runner to slip when running back to the bag after a fail steal attempt. Notice how much more dynamic the play looked!
    But the down fall will come as most likely every runner will slip the same way. Things like height and weight should factor into these moments and they just have not over the course of the game!
    Bottom line more just needs to be done in this department.
    Pre-Pitch Defensive Position
    Really wish they would add different animations for this part of the game. Maybe it's too difficult to branch out into a throw if there was more than one. The downside of this is that when you are using Player Lock in my case a SS you can only walk up and position your player so far.
    So in Chris Gill's examples he talks about how players can play closer for runners such as Billy Hamilton does not quite work for that area of the game!
    I brought the game last year because he talked about all of the new flexibility and improvements. But it still felt stale and the same when actually playing!
    Effort looks good and similar to last year so far but I still have to question why was this not programmed from the beginning! It should be a lot further along at this point! It's almost 2020!
    Honestly that was a pretty impressive stream. Saw a lot of things I have never seen being possible in this game before. Really nice. Loving it.
    New animations looked quite impressive and were far more noticeable than the ones they've touted in previous years IMO. Looking forward to seeing them during an actual game.
    Armor and Sword
    Pitch speeds on HOF and Legend.....upgraded.
    #upyourgame
    Love it.

    yep that's been my biggest frustration with sliders getting that damm pitch speed correct but then they nerf it in a patch because people complain about it being to fast. it happened last year
    for years pitching has been my meat and potatoes while hitting has been my dessert but fielding has mainly been an afterthought. That really looks to change and I'll have two slices of dessert in 19.
    KnightTemplar
    These guys are lazy and just don’t have any reason to improve the game (sarcasm off). GREAT job fellas. Looking forward to release day.

    the problem is they only want to do what is going to keep them in business and making a game each year when all I really need are the things I want. Socks are the wrong shade of white. I want eggshell white socks but they look closer to vanilla white and off-white. dont get me started on the sky color , sometimes it looks blue and then sometimes it looks pitch-black. I even played a game in Tampa, sky wasn't cloudy but I couldn't tell if it was black or blue. dont know why they keep forgetting to add create a stadium. I played Tony Hawk Pro Skater this one time and I was able to design my own park so I know it can be done in the Show too.
    The tricky thing for the devs is to balance it all and get accurate runs scored.
    I play manage mode franchise only and my guess as to what the changes will do is:
    1. Improved AI for infielders will result in fewer infield hits. Fewer infield hits will result in fewer runs.
    2. Outfielder route to the ball will result in more hits if the fielder has low reaction/fielding ability. More outfield hits will result in more runs.
    3. First baseman no longer automatically scoops all balls in the dirt will result in more errors and baserunners.
    In a different preview they indicated contact hitters would have a greater impact this year which means more offense. How it all balances out is the difficult thing to get right but is sounds like they have added a lot of infield defense and at the same time have made efforts to balance it with more offense elsewhere. Won't know for sure until I get the game and start playing.
    As usual mlbts does a great job of promoting and previewing changes to the game. I'm not aware of any other game where the developers take the time to sit down and take the time to do this for their customers.
    Man, I’m very impressed with the level of detail they’re going into this year. These guys truly are the best in the biz. So far, these are the best twitch streams we’ve had, and we’re just getting started. :popcorn:
    Mercury112491
    Listening to these guys talk, how can anyone doubt they don't care and aren't trying to deliver the best game possible.

    Are you saying they don't care/aren't trying? :confused:
    I'm halfway through, and I'm loving what I see with the changes made and animations added.
    I do have a nitpick with reading the ball off the wall: the hard part about playing right field in San Francisco is not knowing what object it's going to actually hit off of beforehand. I understand that they have the physics for the different objects, but if you're an outfielder you shouldn't really know which one it's going to hit or what angle it will be at. When it reveals the trace of the ball's path, it kind of spoils that fun and gives the defender an extra edge that he otherwise shouldn't have. I'm likely going to turn this off anyway (please tell me we can!), but I thought I'd mention that and I'm guessing the CPU will often have this small advantage. In no way am I saying this is something easy to program in.
    This needs to be especially important for balls hit down the line and rolling into foul ground. Those short walls that angle into the field and then parallel toward the lines are always troublesome for outfielders because they often won't know whether it will hit or miss that corner. I don't have an exact video on hand right now in real life or in the game, but in the game the CPU is always aware of this. We are nearly always aware of it as well because of the angle that we get, so maybe there's no way around this.
    There are some small presentation things that are likely unchanged I'd like to see (Retro cam doesn't get batter cam delay off contact when on offense, you can't get dynamic defensive cam when on offense, etc.), and default outfield positioning is always the thing I clench about, especially at Oracle Park (I noticed that they always hid the big signage above the scoreboard even in these videos haha). Right fielders don't play near the line in that park, they play toward triple's alley. This isn't always true, but it is more so than at other parks. You can see the right fielder against Brandon Crawford in this shot here.
    MrArlingtonBeach
    Fielding rating regrade...Yasmani Grandal is now a 91 defensively vs. 76 last year...
    Lindor is a 90 both this and last year.
    Castellanos from the Tigers went from 63 last year to a 38 for '19.

    catswithbats
    I can hardly believe he was ever rated as highly as 63.
    should any major leaguer be rated lower than 40? 38 just sounds TOO low.
    besides that, Castellanos had nearly a 3 in WAR in 2018.
    Caulfield
    should any major leaguer be rated lower than 40? 38 just sounds TOO low.
    besides that, Castellanos had nearly a 3 in WAR in 2018.
    Considering he was the worst defender in baseball, -19 DRS, 38 might just be too generous for defensive ratings lol
    Sent from my SM-G965U using Operation Sports mobile app
    Really liked a lot of what I saw and heard in this stream. The whole discussion about the timing of the throwing mechanic start point brought back some memories of this discussion I had with Woodweaver during the '16 cycle (my first post is #8 and he responds a short while later):
    https://forums.operationsports.com/forums/mlb-show/878821-making-your-ss-throw-run.html
    Basically, part of the issue back then is that the backhand animation queued before I could even start to preload my throw - I had no control of my player movement at all, and the batter/runner was safe because I had a bad animation. To their credit, this was improved in '17 and '18, to the point where long animations on simple plays like that rarely affected the outcome (though the user still had minimal control over the urgency of the throw they got).
    But now, if I'm understanding this right, it's a whole new level of user control. If the player's catch/throw animation doesn't queue up until the user starts their throw input, then we aren't locked into pre-catch routines anymore. If that's how it is, that's absolutely huge and will be felt on every ball put into play. Pre-loading's still fine (and probably encouraged), but on plays where you want to be flexible and maybe have to react to runner movement, the user should be able to control the fielder's movement deeper into the play without being locked into an animation which might limit their ability to make a play.
    I wish I could explain what I'm trying to say more clearly, but I really hope that's the case.
    Auto base running now scares me because the CPU acts like a ******* sometimes and trys to steal base on it's own (never used to be like this) so that means they are gonna slip and trip everytime?? so we have to use manual baserunning now to avoid that? (I hate Manuel)
    Caulfield
    Defense must have a bigger impact on overalls than ever before. Still wish Potential was divided into Offensive Potential and Defensive Potential.

    Agreed, the fielding progression in general needs a complete overhaul. All the ratings just steadily climb, while the hitting progression is dynamic, usually resulting in everyone becoming great fielders.
    There was a FIFA game, maybe about 09 or 10, where players attributes were sorted into three categories; physical, mental and skill, and the different ratings had different rates they improved at different ages and different peak ages. (physical developed and peaked early, mental late, skill more steady) It was a great idea, that they unfortunately got rid of when they intentionally crippled career mode to force players into UT. That sort of system would play really well in baseball, where different skills develop at different speeds generally
    Always so clinical when Chris Gill is on the scene...funny to watch.
    I don't think anyone would consider more variety of animation on defense to be a bad thing...
    ...but, the defense can get too efficient. To the point where the infield is vacuum cleaning anything thrown at it and you really have to crank on the sliders (lower defensive reaction A LOT, which I already had to do anyway) for things to work in offline play.
    I don't even mind that all of these things have clearly been worked on only due to combat online cheesing and to appease those who stream, but I do worry about the game becoming even more of a GIDP-fest due to hyper-fast reactions by the defense. I mean, they showed examples of triple plays being turned here with plenty of room to spare.
    What's more is it still doesn't appear like you can learn new positions dynamically on defense. Really hoped this would become a thing with this level of "focus" on defensive play.
    Excellent stream, they put a ton of work into this. With that said I am a little concerned with how tight the system is at manufacturing plays. I think the double play is going to increase and I also think the triple play will occur more often as a result of the system. I hope they really tune baserunner speed to be more in line with the tighter system. Also with the quicker animations it seems like the game plays fast but that could just be me being a year removed from the game. Overall great work though!
    Ultimately I wish their fielding attribute system was diffrent, I still feel each position has a unique set of fielding attributes. Where all players have the basic attributes but if for example a player is a shortstop their would be added attributes for left and right range, ability to turn a double play, ability to catch fly balls over the shoulder, arm accuracy based on throw range (short, medium, long),etc. When you start to break down the position I feel you emulate the player and the position to a truer form.
    I got the impression that the fielding attribute values will be changing which is fine and dandy for the new rosters SDS plans on releasing throughout the MLB 19 calendar year. But it is unknown how this will be affecting carry over saves from the MLB The Show 18 game? I have a number of MLB 18 RTTS save files I would like to use in 19 (if I choose to buy the game, which I seem to do every year) and I am not sure if the SDS carry over save code will be doing some sort of fielding attribute conversion to use the new fielding attribute range scales or if no conversion is done, what sort of affect is this going to have on all the existing players in my RTTS save files (or franchise carry overs for those who play with the franchise mode).
    Only time will tell since I doubt we will get an answer to this here.
    CujoMatty
    Looks really good. I just hope you can turn off the icons under the fielders though. That’s just way too much shield for my liking lol.

    I hope so too. I like the idea but I think it would’ve been nicer if they just gave the ring under the player the specific colour based on the type of player. This way it doesn’t add an extra osd but you still get the new info.
    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Haven’t watched the stream yet, but it sounds like the content is good. But then again, on launch day it always is. It’s the months to come that determines how well the game does. The game is patched backwards and regresses to cater to the droves that can’t enjoy a game without winning and can’t not win and keep playing.
    Help me out here, we can’t get rosters on a Usb and transfer them in can we?
    I see the colors are now blurred into one another for button accuracy but I wonder why they did not transition the green section into the yellow and chose to leave it solid?
    nemesis04
    I see the colors are now blurred into one another for button accuracy but I wonder why they did not transition the green section into the yellow and chose to leave it solid?

    I still don’t totally understand what’s new about it? Anyone? I hoped the shape would be more like how it was in MPV. The meter in the show is just too in your face or something.

    Makes more sense to start small if you ask me.
    Finally watched the whole thing and it's impressive how they've cut out those awkward in between ranges that caused issues with animations
    I do worry it's all a bit too slick though, hopefully it's just because they were capturing it for the purpose of making it look as slick as possible, but some of those turns were ridiculously sharp to the point of them being unrealistic if you see them often. There was one by the Nats where the 2B charges the ball, then back hand tosses it almost behind him, perfectly into the path of the SS, who barehand catches it, touches the bag, avoids the slides and pings off a perfect throw all in one motion, getting the runner by a couple of steps. Seriously slick stuff, that would be one of the best plays I'd ever seen in real life if someone pulled it off.
    I'm hoping these things are possible, but really, really rare.
    Watching the stream now, some notables:

    • Out of position stuff seems old. However, seems like good athletes at premium positions won't get dinged for playing out of position in case of emergency, which is great, especially for roster flexibility.
    • The wall hop stuff looks really nice. I love the idea of the rating determining what you see. It reminds me of MLB 2K where there was a landing indicator that slowly disappeared showing the landing spot, and the better the fielder, the smaller the first indicator. I'm glad to see separations finally being made between players on stuff like this. More contextual situations where your player actually matters.
    • Love the new infield animations. I loved the one where Trea Turner got to the bag, slowed up to catch it chest high, and then fired it.
    • Speaking of height, the new animations to capture bounce height are real nice. This might start making defense not be a binary choice between "Urgent" and "Not Urgent".
    • Second pitcher grounder animation was great. That alone might make me pre-order this game.
    • Not a big fan of all of the bare-handed and glove tossing plays. Those need to be toned way down.
    • Can already see those all in one tags being a problem. It will be great when it works, but that unless that trailing animation can be broken, you will have missed tags and a pitcher that can't throw to first afterwards.
    • Third base play with the Yankees with the 3B steal and double play was great.
    • 1st and 3rd steal thing was great.
    • Catches on the run will change a lot of plays because many times you had to wait to throw to a base if the guy wasn't already there. However, the showcase play was a bad one, because the pitcher should have been covering 3rd.
    • Robbed foul balls. Finally.
    • Alright, 3B hotshots were added. It's about time. That's all I've wanted for 4 years. You've sucked me in once again SDS.

    All in all, the things addressed were some of my biggest gripes about the game in years past. It was either all or nothing. Finally, they've filled in a LOT of gaps and made it more of a spectrum than a binary. All in all, great job. Don't patch it away.
    The wall hop stuff is especially good, an innovative idea that probably caught all of us by surprise and differentiating players defensive ability will certainly add another dimension to putting together a lineup card.

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