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MLB The Show 21 - Changes to Hitting, Pinpoint Pitching, Perfect-Perfect Pitches

mlb the show 21 perfect-perfect pitching

MLB The Show 21

MLB The Show 21 - Changes to Hitting, Pinpoint Pitching, Perfect-Perfect Pitches

On Thursday, San Diego Studio released its first feature premiere for MLB The Show 21. This first edition highlighted changes to the hitting engine, changes to pitching mechanics, execution results, as well as general quality of life changes to ensure the game plays as the developers intend it to. A big focus for this year’s game is listening to the community and building out pieces of the game that support feedback received from players. This starts first and foremost here with the concept of “PAR” and perfect-perfect pitching.

MLB The Show 21 Gameplay Styles

With MLB The Show 21 coming to Xbox consoles for the first time ever, there are going to be more new players jumping into the franchise than ever before. Because of this, developers put an emphasis on adding a new onboarding experience with the expansion of the Casual gameplay style. This mode will be for those who want to pick up the game and mess around with learning how it all works. The AI is turned way down, so if you’d like to learn how to steal a base or take the extra base on a gap shot, this will be the area to figure it all out.

Simulation gameplay style is the traditional offline style many Operation Sports players have been accustomed to in the past. The mode is authentic to the MLB experience and leans heavily on team and player ratings to determine outcomes for in-game situations. User input will have a lot to do with pitching and PCI inputs while hitting, but player ratings well certainly help buff out the edges in mismatch situations between pitcher and hitter. In short, think of this gameplay style as still leaning on the “RNG” components a bit that are inherent to baseball, and you still accentuate the player ratings a lot as well.

mlb the show 21 gameplay styles

The new Competitive gameplay style will be the default for online play, and it will be anchored by user input. Stick skills will be the catalyst for almost all outcomes here. In this style, inputs on the pitching meter and PCI will have a far greater margin for good and bad outcomes. These modes will actually change the gameplay engine and surrounding aspects as well. For example, wind will be taken out of the equation in all situations now (not just online play) if you go with the “Competitive” gameplay style. pitchers who have low energy will fail more often than they would in Simulation vs. Competitive.

One other small quality of life change coming to MLB The Show 21 is the dynamic difficulty starting point. This year, users can now start their difficulty at a certain level, and then select dynamic difficulty to go with it. This will stop the veteran players from having to beat up the CPU on beginner and rookie modes at launch until they’ve reached the desired difficulty level they should be on.

MLB The Show 21 Hitting Changes

Check swings were a big point of emphasis here. We recently talked in-depth about them as well, so it’s good to see changes are coming here.

Tons of time went into check swings. Kyle Saul, lead gameplay designer admitted in the feature that check swings were too generous in 2020 — and only got more generous as the year went on after tuning/patches. The discipline attribute has been removed from the equation entirely this year and your controller input will now reign supreme — this applies in both the Simulation and Competitive gameplay styles. Also of note, check swing animation feedback will now be more accurate to both pitcher and hitter. So you should have a reasonably good idea of the outcome from both sides of the coin without the need for a blind first or third base umpire.

In terms of the hitting engine, it sounds as though the major outcomes from 2020 will remain the same headed into 2021. Saul said the team was very happy with the outcomes that spawned from their brand new hitting engine last season. There were still changes made to hit timing, but it seems like these were tweaks that you will notice more when simply playing the game rather than a major overhaul to any one mechanic. (Tweaks to baserunning and bunting were also mentioned but not elaborated on as of now.)

Perfect-perfect hits were a base hit roughly 85 percent of the time, exit velocity distributions hit the marks as intended, and batting averages for “okay” timing hits floated around .240 or below. The one slight tweak mentioned here is now the “perfect-perfect” hits will result in fair balls 99+ percent of the time rather than 98+ percent of the time.

MLB The Show 21 Perfect-Perfect Pitching

mlb the show 21 perfect-perfect pitching

The big talking point for this week was the “Perfect Accuracy Region” (PAR) mechanic. This new pitching tool will show users where they can expect a specific pitch to end up, so long as they achieve a perfect accuracy input. Gone are the days of trying to throw a curveball in the dirt, only to serve one up at the knees. At least we hope. What this pitching mechanic sounds like is one part MLB 2K, one part PGA Tour 2K, and one part Skate.

The feature is reasonably straight forward. Based on a number of factors (pitch selection, pitcher stamina, pitcher control, pitcher confidence, etc.), the perfect accuracy region will appear after selecting a pitch. This dark circle represents the area your ball can end up when your pitching input is perfect. If you do not achieve a perfect input, the outcome of your pitch will vary. It’s worth noting that the dark circle does not mean the entire baseball would end up in that region in perfect-perfect scenarios, rather at minimum a piece of the ball will touch that dark region.

The PAR mechanic will also reward players who challenge themselves with more difficult pitching inputs. New this year, the “Pinpoint Pitching” system will feature the smallest perfect accuracy regions as it is the most difficult mechanic to master. The second-most forgiving mechanic will be meter pitching, followed by pure analog. Pulse pitching still exists as well, but since this mechanic already used a dark outline around your pitch as you executed it, not much needed to change there for it.

For online play, there will certainly be benefits for those looking to challenge themselves on the mound.

The “Pinpoint Pitching” system is a complex user-input mechanic that figures to challenge players all season long. It relies on the user landing timing patterns in the form of a stick gesture, a release timing trigger, and the direction of that release. It also ties into being in the stretch or not, and the pitcher’s overall wind-up. It’s tough, for sure. The timing is different for every pitcher, and pitch cadences are all different too.

For more information on how the mechanic specifically works, I’d encourage you to take a look for yourself.

MLB The Show 21 Practice Modes

Elsewhere, practice modes have improved.  You can now force pitch type and force pitch location if you’re looking to focus on practicing on a specific weakness of yours either at the plate or on the mound. You can still change camera views and difficulty levels in these practice modes as well.

MLB The Show 21 Legend Reveal

mlb the show 21 alfonso soriano

Finally, we got our first taste of the new legends coming to MLB The Show 21. Alfonso Soriano will be in the game. Interestingly, San Diego Studio teased the number “2” a LOT on the infield in this reveal before the entire number “24” for Soriano was finally revealed. Were they trolling fans, suggesting Derek Jeter was coming? Is it a lead-in to a Jeter reveal in the future? We’ll see…

You can watch the full feature premiere from SDS at these three locations:

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Discussion
  1. I love the look of pinpoint pitching. Anyone notice that the 12-6 curveball has a 9-3 gesture though? Haha.
    Is power used in pinpoint pitching? Is it the speed at which you thrust your stick downward?
    I liked a lot of what I saw and heard. I prefer a clean screen in general, but you obviously need it for pinpoint pitching (not sure if I need all the other numbers in the way, but that's okay).
    One thing that was never mentioned when playing 2K games that I hope SDS develops for pinpoint pitching is a bit of a stick calibration thing. I don't know about you, but my thumb doesn't naturally move vertically up and down the right stick if I want a four-seam fastball. It goes a little left of 6:00 and a little right of 12:00. Maybe if they can have you go up and down a bunch of times to calibrate the user's "up and down," that would be nice.
    I love the way they teased Jeter, and went to Soriano haha.
    Anyway, still no night shots! I honestly only see that as a good thing, that maybe they're still working on the lighting system.
    A lot of good in there for me. Really liking PAR and really like the free reign practice mode.
    Pinpoint pitching is cool, but not for me. Too busy for my taste so I'll stick with meter.
    I liked the explanation of the 3 gameplay style settings.
    Check swings being all user input is an interesting choice, but honestly I don't mind it. They honestly seemed completely random. Having the game try to incorporate both user timing and discipline rating to determine the success of a check swing just didn't work.
    countryboy
    A lot of good in there for me. Really liking PAR and really like the free reign practice mode.
    Pinpoint pitching is cool, but not for me. Too busy for my taste so I'll stick with meter.
    I liked the explanation of the 3 gameplay style settings.

    I definitely really like the new practice mode
    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    countryboy
    Check swings being all user input is an interesting choice, but honestly I don't mind it. They honestly seemed completely random. Having the game try to incorporate both user timing and discipline rating to determine the success of a check swing just didn't work.

    And to be clear for anyone else that may ask the question; SDS confirmed in Mills' chat post-stream that the removal of the discipline rating for check swings DOES apply to simulation game mode.
    JoshC1977
    And to be clear for anyone else that may ask the question; SDS confirmed in Mills' chat post-stream that the removal of the discipline rating for check swings DOES apply to simulation game mode.

    Yep....I was the one who asked the question. Was definitely curious about that possible loophole. They said it still matters in simulations (not-played-out games), so I guess that's the only place the rating matters now.
    bcruise
    Yep....I was the one who asked the question. Was definitely curious about that possible loophole. They said it still matters in simulations (not-played-out games), so I guess that's the only place the rating matters now.

    wouldn't it still apply with auto generated pitch counts?
    tcnumba10
    Really interested in how next gen will look since I’m assuming all gameplay footage so far is from PS4...right?

    Yes there is a disclaimer at the bottom of the video that says its PS4 gameplay being captured on PS5
    Seems to be some interesting new features. Hasn't changed my mind to buy it yet. But looks good. I'm still more interested in what's being taken out, than whats being put in. That's just me.
    I thinking about trying pin point pitching, but probably stick with meter. It seems like you would have to practice with each pitchers wind-ups. I'm glad to see it get implemented in the game though.
    JoshC1977
    And to be clear for anyone else that may ask the question; SDS confirmed in Mills' chat post-stream that the removal of the discipline rating for check swings DOES apply to simulation game mode.

    Oh wait ! So if I’m hitting in my franchise with the most undisciplined player on earth, it’s now all on me ?
    TripleCrown
    Oh wait ! So if I’m hitting in my franchise with the most undisciplined player on earth, it’s now all on me ?

    In terms of checking your swing, yes.
    Mercury112491
    I missed the first 15 min. Besides check swings what hitting stuff did they talk about?
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports

    You might've missed when they misspelled "gesture." ;)
    The first fifteen minutes showed a little bit of a promo trailer kind of thing, then details about check swings, hitting data from the past year (or something) to improve things like perfect-perfect hitting, and the PAR (perfect accuracy region) breakdown for certain pitchers/pitches/pitching modes.
    Related to the legend reveal.. do we think SCEA will entertain historic teams at some point in the future? Especially with the next gen console hardware, I would love to see them build out legendary teams for use in the game.
    Is there a “legends / retired union” of sorts that could (relatively) quickly and easily grant them access to a lot of those players? I understand there’s more players to deal with than a NBA 2k legendary team, but I think it would really bring something to the game to have this included.
    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Also confirmed by the same SDS account that commented on check swings in Mills' post-stream chat (which means I can talk about it): Pulse pitching is basically the visual representation of PAR that has always been in the game. PAR itself isn't new - showing it to users across the various interfaces (except classic) is. And it is why your seemingly perfect-input pitches with the ball-marker on a corner can land in the middle of the strike zone. Adjust your aim - or your expectations - accordingly.
    TripleCrown
    Thx Josh, but someone can explain to me how is it suppose to be an enhancement ?

    I'll preface this by stating that I'm a bit torn on this change myself.
    But there was a LOT of randomness to it before. Yes, it was related to that rating; but you could sometimes barely tap your button and then check and it would be a big swing through the zone. Other times the opposite. It very much felt like a 'dice roll' on many occasions; for better or worse....not judging until I can feel the controller in my hands on launch day.
    The more interesting question, and one we don't have an answer to, is does that rating still affect CPU-controlled hitters? If not, what mechanic influences the likelihood of a successful check swing.
    JoshC1977
    I'll preface this by stating that I'm a bit torn on this change myself.
    But there was a LOT of randomness to it before. Yes, it was related to that rating; but you could sometimes barely tap your button and then check and it would be a big swing through the zone. Other times the opposite. It very much felt like a 'dice roll' on many occasions; for better or worse....not judging until I can feel the controller in my hands on launch day.
    The more interesting question, and one we don't have an answer to, is does that rating still affect CPU-controlled hitters? If not, what mechanic influences the likelihood of a successful check swing.

    CPU hitters are going to be dice rolled based on their discipline ratings. They have to be. They are bots.
    I am in the same boat with you....I can’t pass judgement till I feel it myself. But I still....do not like the path the game is on. It is pretty obvious.
    It would be cool if they put the practice mode inside your franchise. That way you could do a bullpen session with a pitcher. Or batting cages for a hitter.
    Wasn’t the starting point of dynamic difficulty in MLB 20? I know when you first got the game it asks what difficulty level you are on. Cause it did it when I got my PS5. I turned it to all-star and it started there. But I don’t think you could change it afterwards. It be nice if they would let us pick Allstar plus as an option.
    changing the plate discipline stat and making it useless and onto the user... that is TERRIBLE to make that move!! so they are saying a strikeout machine like Chris Davis for instance would be no different to a player that doesn't strikeout much all because of the user? I hate that.
    as for the difficulty modes and casual modes they are all in for xbox users first timers. clearly. They really are not talking me into not buying the game for the first time... man I have never felt so down about the game before in march
    Armor and Sword
    CPU hitters are going to be dice rolled based on their discipline ratings. They have to be. They are bots.
    I am in the same boat with you....I can’t pass judgement till I feel it myself. But I still....do not like the path the game is on. It is pretty obvious.

    I’m with you both. I watched that part of t stream again but still not clear to me. They said simulation still as before, 50/50 , but later they mention check swing is completely reworked.
    But I can leave with randomness, it’s a video game. But it was randomness based on a rating, which to me makes sense. A check swing with Adam Dunn may be successful maybe 2 out of 10 times where a good contact player may get 8/10.
    I understand for the Competitive level ( I see eSports coming btw) but for Simulation....
    TripleCrown
    I’m with you both. I watched that part of t stream again but still not clear to me. They said simulation still as before, 50/50 , but later they mention check swing is completely reworked.
    But I can leave with randomness, it’s a video game. But it was randomness based on a rating, which to me makes sense. A check swing with Adam Dunn may be successful maybe 2 out of 10 times where a good contact player may get 8/10.
    I understand for the Competitive level ( I see eSports coming btw) but for Simulation....

    That makes sense in theory, but do we know that’s how it actually worked in-game though? I know that the discipline rating played into check swings, but do we really know to what extent?
    For all we know, it could’ve been a leftover value from years ago that barely had input in the result anymore.
    TripleCrown
    I’m with you both. I watched that part of t stream again but still not clear to me. They said simulation still as before, 50/50 , but later they mention check swing is completely reworked.
    But I can leave with randomness, it’s a video game. But it was randomness based on a rating, which to me makes sense. A check swing with Adam Dunn may be successful maybe 2 out of 10 times where a good contact player may get 8/10.
    I understand for the Competitive level ( I see eSports coming btw) but for Simulation....

    I mean this is like saying a pitcher throwing a fastball fast or slower depends on the user not the rating... I don't get this at all. or the timing slider means nothing because it depends on the user, I don't like it at all if you are a master at check swinging (like I am) you can get walks now with the worst discipline players, it's not separating the players at all. and that will effect a lot of the sliders too.
    SmashMan
    That makes sense in theory, but do we know that’s how it actually worked in-game though? I know that the discipline rating played into check swings, but do we really know to what extent?
    For all we know, it could’ve been a leftover value from years ago that barely had input in the result anymore.

    I can tell you now it does matter. taping the button on better discipline players check swings easy it's not as sensitive if you are using someone like Reyes from the Indians the checking will swinging a little more and more of a chance at a strikeout. 9 times out of 10 my check swing appeals are balls not strikes. but with less discipline players I find tapping the button will result in a swing more then a check one so it does matter.
    This also effect all the different modes. check swinging with buttons is easier then using the stick depending on what style you are hitting on.
    I've always thought one of this game's strongest elements was having ratings like discipline matter as you could definitely feel a difference in using a guy like Carlos Santana vs a guy w little or even average discipline. Surprised to hear that's "no longer part of the equation." So what does the rating actually do now then?
    ninertravel
    I can tell you now it does matter. taping the button on better discipline players check swings easy it's not as sensitive if you are using someone like Reyes from the Indians the checking will swinging a little more and more of a chance at a strikeout. 9 times out of 10 my check swing appeals are balls not strikes. but with less discipline players I find tapping the button will result in a swing more then a check one so it does matter.
    This also effect all the different modes. check swinging with buttons is easier then using the stick depending on what style you are hitting on.

    I doubt it exists because who has the time to actually log this kind of thing, but if there was data to look at on check swing results vs discipline rating I'd be interested in seeing it; because in my experience it seems the results were more random than not, no matter the hitter or his rating - especially in the last couple years for whatever reason.
    I don't know if you all are talking about whether the player committed to swinging (according to the field umpire) or whether an actual full swing ends up being registered in-game, but if it's the former I turned off check swing appeals a long time ago because of its apparent randomness. I'm not saying player-to-player, but I'm saying from my pressure sensitivity and with the visual feedback. Now every time that I check swing and it's not in the zone, it's a ball. Yay me!
    If you mean the latter (where it's a dice roll if they just end up swinging in full even with tapping the button), I get that time to time, but this game is so much better than most allowing check-swings to even be a thing. I kind of need it for myself, but I too would prefer that less disciplined ballplayers didn't get as much leeway in this as more disciplined ballplayers do.
    I thought it was a good stream. Pinpoint pitching is not for me, but I can see where this could potentially become the default for the competitive guys. The practice mode is pretty slick.
    The check swing rework is interesting. Personally, I don't mind it as much as others, but it does leave me to wonder if the 3 play styles will be fully separate. The reason I say that is I think the "check swing debate" is a result of the -inflated ratings in DD. So instead of simply LOWERING the rating, they remove it from the equation and now claim it's a "skill". Interesting.
    I'm just left wondering if we'll end up seeing other things that can't be tweaked for the individual play styles and ends up as across the board fixes ala Madden. Time will tell.
    I thought the game looked good and I'm looking forward to the next streams.
    I thought pinpoint pitching wouldn’t be anything for me but after this stream I’m definitely gonna try it!
    The PS4 version of the game is so smooth on PS5 can’t wait for the next gen stream, hopefully it’s not only about stadium creator...
    I must say I like this feature premier style.
    Way more organized and to the point than the streams previous years.
    tril
    I look forward to the new pitching mechanics.
    The only question I have is, will these features also be in the PS4 version?

    All the features shown today will be in the PS4 version of the game
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports
    Grey_Osprey
    I thought it was a good stream. Pinpoint pitching is not for me, but I can see where this could potentially become the default for the competitive guys. The practice mode is pretty slick.
    The check swing rework is interesting. Personally, I don't mind it as much as others, but it does leave me to wonder if the 3 play styles will be fully separate. The reason I say that is I think the "check swing debate" is a result of the -inflated ratings in DD. So instead of simply LOWERING the rating, they remove it from the equation and now claim it's a "skill". Interesting.
    I'm just left wondering if we'll end up seeing other things that can't be tweaked for the individual play styles and ends up as across the board fixes ala Madden. Time will tell.
    I thought the game looked good and I'm looking forward to the next streams.

    This is the first indication of where the game is headed.
    I can clearly see and tell the difference between a high a discipline hitter and someone who is really low. We are taking 1000’s of hours playing this series for a sample size.
    I am a great check swinger. The randomness comes into play more with the check appeal. That can be a scream at the ump moment or a shout of “lucked out”.
    But the actual mechanic? Especially with directional hitting is steered by the ratings in combination with the skill. How much is it the rating all depends on the rating itself.
    The difference between 90 and 50 is felt and seen the difference between 90 and 80 is a lot tighter.
    The fact the rating has been turfed is a huge indication of where the game is going.
    Not a good sign for me being a ratings first simulation sports gamer.
    It was a huge letdown hearing them literally “glee” about it when they stated it.
    It was a “throwing in the towel” moment in response to let’s call it what it is “online competitive player whining”
    Hey....if that is where the series is going it is what it is. Nothing we can do about it except eventually play it and judge for ourselves.
    I am pretty much out for release of this game. I have zero motivation to buy it.
    Hope those that do enjoy it.
    And if Y2Y is not confirmed to be in for 2022 it may be a while before we break from 20.....if ever.
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports
    tril
    I look forward to the new pitching mechanics.
    The only question I have is, will these features also be in the PS4 version?

    Yes ofcourse this was the ps4 version they were showing.
    Eh. I’m nowhere near a “competitive” player and play simulation just about as hardcore as anyone here, but the check swing fix makes sense. While I wish it had some input on your rating, maybe a pressure sensitivity boost, I’d rather it be my fault for going too far vs the randomness of how it’s always been. Seems like it will be a big deal for some but for me personally, it’s a minuscule change, as long as simulation mode doesn’t keep going toward pure stick skills. Couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve become frustrated with the game over random check swings regardless of rating.
    I don't know about everyone else's experience, but I would say that easily 9 out of 10 check swings in '20 were ruled as the batter held up, even when the animations playing out real time seemed to indicate otherwise. And 9 out of 10 is being generous with the amount of times it occurred.
    They mentioned in the streams that they were generous in erroring on the side of the batter when it came to check swings last year and I'm guessing that its because the discipline rating would far too often "bail" people out, but that is purely speculation on my end.
    I look forward to seeing how check swings play out over the course of a season or large sample size of games for both myself and the CPU because again my experience in '20 was that I would be completely "shocked" to see a check swing rung up as a strike.
    Pinpoint pitching looked a bit too challenging for me. I am not sure I can move the controls that finely with my fingers.
    However, on a general note I found the presentation very well done. I felt like they covered more ground in less time while still being thorough.
    Sent from my CLT-L29 using Operation Sports mobile app
    countryboy
    I don't know about everyone else's experience, but I would say that easily 9 out of 10 check swings in '20 were ruled as the batter held up, even when the animations playing out real time seemed to indicate otherwise. And 9 out of 10 is being generous with the amount of times it occurred.
    They mentioned in the streams that they were generous in erroring on the side of the batter when it came to check swings last year and I'm guessing that its because the discipline rating would far too often "bail" people out, but that is purely speculation on my end.
    I look forward to seeing how check swings play out over the course of a season or large sample size of games for both myself and the CPU because again my experience in '20 was that I would be completely "shocked" to see a check swing rung up as a strike.

    This is not the issue. The ruling on appeals was random. Agree.
    The mechanic of the actual check swing itself is now purely user input based. And if your ok with that....cool. Everyone plays and enjoys the game the way they want.
    The fact is there will be no difference now between Christian Yellich and Chris Davis on check swings now.
    There clearly was on 20 and before that. Again 1000’s of hours like you playing the game. I felt and saw the difference in low discipline vs high.
    Online players complained like lunatics about it. They got their wish just like bunting.
    That is a huge thing for me.
    I am not making a mountain out of a mowhill. This is fundamental change to the game in terms of ratings driven simulation first and user input second. To now only user input.
    No way to explain that away.
    So again....not a big deal to some. But it is to me and some other players.
    Carry on.
    Armor and Sword
    This is not the issue. The ruling on appeals was random. Agree.
    The mechanic of the actual check swing itself is now purely user input based. And if your ok with that....cool. Everyone plays and enjoys the game the way they want.
    The fact is there will be no difference now between Christian Yellich and Chris Davis on check swings now.
    There clearly was on 20 and before that. Again 1000’s of hours like you playing the game. I felt and saw the difference in low discipline vs high.
    Online players complained like lunatics about it. They got their wish just like bunting.
    That is a huge thing for me.
    I am not making a mountain out of a mowhill. This is fundamental change to the game in terms of ratings driven simulation first and user input second. To now only user input.
    No way to explain that away.
    So again....not a big deal to some. But it is to me and some other players.
    Carry on.

    Not sure why you felt the need to defend yourself against my post, but I'd appreciate you saving the educational lesson for someone who's attacking your personal opinion.
    I was purely sharing my experience in '20 and opinion of the change.
    Carry on
    countryboy
    Not sure why you felt the need to defend yourself against my post, but I'd appreciate you saving the educational lesson for someone who's attacking your personal opinion.
    I was purely sharing my experience in '20 and opinion of the change.
    Carry on

    Dude shocked you responded like this. Thought you were better than this.
    We are having an adult discussion and there was no personal attack on my part at all. Just comparing notes.
    You just made it personel.
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports
    In my own experience, I have never really felt the impact that ratings made on check swings. It always felt fairly random to me. I should probably note I use analog input style, which seems to be a little more sensitive as far as check swings. I don't know how taking ratings out of the equation will affect it, but I don't think it will ruin my hitting experience. I don't really mind having more control over swings, while allowing ratings to influence whether I make contact and the exit velocity, as opposed to ratings influencing whether I swing or not.
    This is probably going to sound silly to the vets here; up until today, I always thought check swings were on me anyway. Now understand, I'm not a vet of this game because I've always been an Xbox guy. Before 20', the last MLB The Show game I played was in 2016. I got the PS4 Pro for me and my son this past Christmas and am in the midst of a Franchise with the Braves. I have been noticing that check swings seemed random...but didn't understand why. In instances where I'm full swing, I would get a check and vice versa and was starting to get pissed...especially in close games and I'm saying to myself "I'm pressing the heck out of this button, why am I getting a check"...it all makes sense now lol.
    With that being said, now that I know this, I can deal with it a lot better. I can deal with some "randomness" in a game, especially when it's done as a result of ratings being taken into account. It's no different to me than if I'm playing 2k and I make the perfect input for a pass but because my player has a low pass rating he throws it out of bounds...or if I'm playing Madden and I have a guy open on a drag and my QB misses him because he has a low SAC rating. It may come at a piss poor time in the game...but as long as it doesn't happen all the time I'm cool. So, it kinda sucks they took the discipline rating out of this years game.
    You learn something new every day!
    Another thing mentioned in passing at the end of the stream but not expanded upon was that they made improvements to baserunning. Hopefully they have addressed issues that those who use auto baserunning experienced in '20.
    countryboy
    They mentioned in the streams that they were generous in erroring on the side of the batter when it came to check swings last year and I'm guessing that its because the discipline rating would far too often "bail" people out, but that is purely speculation on my end.

    I think this is a very fair and likely assessment.
    Here's where I have a concern....I'm fairly sure their tracking data comes from online H2H games; the majority of which are on DD where many players have extremely high discipline ratings. I'd be curious to see how that trend data faired for players using more "franchise normal" discipline ratings (vs the more inflated ratings for the higher-end DD cards). As Heidi would say, I can "flat out" tell you that it was WAY easier to check swings with the super high-end discipline cards.
    I just don’t understand why they boast about giving us three different play styles, then take the simulation aspect out of it. To me, for a true simulation, ratings need to matter, yet every year they cater more and more to the online competitive crowd, while those of us who want a true simulation are just forced into playing a more competitive arcade style, even offline. (i.e. rocket bunts, now check swings). Stop giving us all this crap about options and ways to play when they are clearly making this a more arcade style experience throughout. And if thats the way this game is heading, (which it clearly is) then thats fine, unfortunate but fine. Just say it and stop taking the sim aspects out one by one and trying to pass the game off as a true to life experience. Each video convinces me more and more to stick with 20 instead of going in on 21.
    I desperately hope they have tendency attributes like 2K does.
    How often a pitcher throws pitch 1, pitch 2, pitch 3, etc.
    How often a batter swings at an outside pitch, at a 3-0 count, etc.
    I'd find this to be a game changer, honestly, in franchise. A SP who throws 100mph that IRL throws a changeup maybe 10% of the time would be throwing it 50% of the time in game because I whiff on it a couple of times that first inning.
    Speedy
    I desperately hope they have tendency attributes like 2K does.
    How often a pitcher throws pitch 1, pitch 2, pitch 3, etc.
    How often a batter swings at an outside pitch, at a 3-0 count, etc.
    I'd find this to be a game changer, honestly, in franchise. A SP who throws 100mph that IRL throws a changeup maybe 10% of the time would be throwing it 50% of the time in game because I whiff on it a couple of times that first inning.

    This is a slippery slope for me.
    I understand and agree with your premise about how often a pitcher throws particular pitches based on real life data, but at the same time if a pitcher has a pitch working on any given day (ex: changeup) I wouldn't want them to abandon using that pitch in the game, simply because real life data suggests that he should only throw it a certain percentage of the time.
    Nor the flip side, if a pitcher throws a fastball 80% of time and I'm timing it and hitting it hard, I wouldn't want them to continue to throw it at a high clip simply because data suggests how often he should throw the pitch.
    I could be wrong but I thought they said the check swing is all user input for the Casual and Competitive styles. And the Simulations style is still based on random 50/50.
    They keep saying that they listen to us. But they don't seem to ever listen to guys like Armor or Mike Lowe or some other great guys on here. Which is sad. They can bring a lot of good stuff to the table with this game. But like everyone said...they don't want to sit at that table.
    countryboy
    This is a slippery slope for me.
    I understand and agree with your premise about how often a pitcher throws particular pitches based on real life data, but at the same time if a pitcher has a pitch working on any given day (ex: changeup) I wouldn't want them to abandon using that pitch in the game, simply because real life data suggests that he should only throw it a certain percentage of the time.
    Nor the flip side, if a pitcher throws a fastball 80% of time and I'm timing it and hitting it hard, I wouldn't want them to continue to throw it at a high clip simply because data suggests how often he should throw the pitch.
    I think this is where we could have a slider "Pitch Effectiveness Impact" where we could tune how much we want a pitcher to deviate from their tendencies if a particular pitch is working.
    EmpireWF
    What's Y2Y?

    Year-to-year (saves). The ability to move your Franchise or Road to the Show from one year's version of The Show to the next.
    It was removed this year, and most are
    a) hoping they had a good reason to do it (i.e. big franchise structure changes)
    b) hoping it comes back in '22.
    When I watched the video from SDS yesterday, I found the HUDs to be extremely cluttered when they were show casing the new "pinpoint" pitching interface (plus I will honestly state I did not quite understand how the whole thing would work). Now I will acknowledge that this new pitching interface will likely be very popular in online DD game play moving forward. But when I play RTTS games (as well as player lock Franchise games), I like using the single button "Classic" pitching and hitting interfaces mainly because it allows me to play with a clean screen (ie: the strike zone and all the pitch info in the HUD displays are turned off) and I have my difficulty levels set to where I am still challenged. With the classic pitching interfaces, not all of my pitches go where I want them to go (even when I touch the "X" button with the slightest delay), but I have learned pitching tactics that work for me more often than not. So I can't see myself having a huge desire to use this new interface. Then again, since Y2Y saves won't be available in MLBTS21, I likely won't be buying this years game and will continue to play MLBTS20 until either later in the year when MLBTS21 goes on sale or when a future iteration of the game that makes sense for me to buy is released.
    So this post wasn't a "this feature sucks" post. It is simply a "this feature does not help me making the decision that MLBTS21 is a must buy at this time". Carry on ...
    Speedy
    I desperately hope they have tendency attributes like 2K does.
    How often a pitcher throws pitch 1, pitch 2, pitch 3, etc.
    How often a batter swings at an outside pitch, at a 3-0 count, etc.
    I'd find this to be a game changer, honestly, in franchise. A SP who throws 100mph that IRL throws a changeup maybe 10% of the time would be throwing it 50% of the time in game because I whiff on it a couple of times that first inning.
    You can mitigate that effect some by turning off pitch confidence. I've played that way for a few years now and it helps a lot to have pitchers pitch to their primary, secondary, tertiary, etc. pitches instead of the confidence meter
    Sent from my SM-G970U using Operation Sports mobile app
    I was really looking forward to pinpoint pitching since I really liked it in MLB 2K. But I have a couple concerns. I really don’t like that the HUD for it is in the middle of the plate. Can’t they move that off to the side? Maybe it makes sense with wanting to see your pitcher but it clutters it up.
    The other thing I don’t really like is finishing the pitch. When I used analog pitching I struggle with lining up my accuracy. This could make it pretty hard to use. I think the gesture with the proper speed would be good enough. The final stage is going to break me.
    bcruise
    Year-to-year (saves). The ability to move your Franchise or Road to the Show from one year's version of The Show to the next.
    It was removed this year, and most are
    a) hoping they had a good reason to do it (i.e. big franchise structure changes)
    b) hoping it comes back in '22.

    Thanks, right, wouldn't hold my breathe for the former.
    beau21
    Related to the legend reveal.. do we think SCEA will entertain historic teams at some point in the future? Especially with the next gen console hardware, I would love to see them build out legendary teams for use in the game.
    Is there a “legends / retired union” of sorts that could (relatively) quickly and easily grant them access to a lot of those players? I understand there’s more players to deal with than a NBA 2k legendary team, but I think it would really bring something to the game to have this included.
    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    I have always wished they would do whole season. Like you could buy the 1964 NL season with all teams and stadiums....
    While I understand their point about check swings, I would have preferred they try to balance it better or, frankly, even leave it the same for sim mode. Not a huge deal, but that's kind of the point of different modes right?
    I definitely noticed a difference in being able to hold up with a high discipline guy vs low in previous titles and, even if it was too forgiving overall, I'm concerned about getting to the point where I can check off of any pitch simply due to mechanic familiarity.
    On the plus side of things, I'm super excited for the new pitching mechanic. It is fantastic and actually improves upon what 2K, in my opinion, did so well with theirs. I hope this eventually expands into getting a feel of more "snap" on pitch finishes (perhaps with the new controller feedback on PS5?) similar to the way new contact/bat sounds impacted the feel of hitting in 20.
    rudyjuly2
    I was really looking forward to pinpoint pitching since I really liked it in MLB 2K. But I have a couple concerns. I really don’t like that the HUD for it is in the middle of the plate. Can’t they move that off to the side? Maybe it makes sense with wanting to see your pitcher but it clutters it up.
    The other thing I don’t really like is finishing the pitch. When I used analog pitching I struggle with lining up my accuracy. This could make it pretty hard to use. I think the gesture with the proper speed would be good enough. The final stage is going to break me.

    In my experience I have much better alignment pushing down on the right stick (which is what it looks like happens with pinpoint) that I do pushing up on the stick (which is how accuracy is determined in analog pitching).
    Not sure if you had/have access to the tech test, but you can still open the app and practice the movements.
    For those of you complaining about the check swings, I will say that in the demo for 21, the game definitely seemed to err on the side of pitchers now, meaning like 95% of check swings were called strikes. I'm good at checking and I still felt some randomness.
    Also, the pinpoint pitching was very strict in the sense that nailing a pitch gesture perfectly was exceedingly difficult on a consistent basis.
    Sent from my SM-F916U using Tapatalk
    Jr.
    You can mitigate that effect some by turning off pitch confidence. I've played that way for a few years now and it helps a lot to have pitchers pitch to their primary, secondary, tertiary, etc. pitches instead of the confidence meter
    Sent from my SM-G970U using Operation Sports mobile app

    I'm almost positive that turning off the pitch confidence meter only gets rid of the meter itself. Internally, I believe that nothing changes.
    Although I am not purchasing the show this year (not upgrading to ps5 till fall so I'll buy the show next year), the new pinpoint pitching system looks interesting. The only thing I don't like about it is how big the pitch interface is. Pitching could be a bit more difficult IMO, its too easy to spot pitches in this game with both meter and analog.
    I actually welcome the changes to check swings. I don't know why, but that is one area of the game where I want full control. I am also tired of the batter either fully committing and the ump says he doesn't go, or I clearly hold and the ump will say I went. Just kills the immersion for me.
    Now, we really need changes to bunting, and I don't mean the rocket buns, which are annoying, but I mean how you go about bunting. It takes the batter too long to get in his bunt stance and too long to pull the bat back if the pitch is out of the strike zone. The way bunting currently is, I feel like you are 100% committed to that pitch. Too many times I will try to pull the bat back on a bad pitch, my batter does not react fast enough, and a strike is called.
    I saw they are only making minor changes to hitting. I wonder if they are doing anything about power. There are way too many homeruns in this game. I'm playing my second season with the Phillies on Hall of Fame, default sliders, zone analog hitting and have 75 homeruns for Hoskins, 69 for Harper, and 57 for Gregorious. The season is in early August.
    Sent from my SM-G973U using Operation Sports mobile app
    rabnothimself
    Although I am not purchasing the show this year (not upgrading to ps5 till fall so I'll buy the show next year), the new pinpoint pitching system looks interesting. The only thing I don't like about it is how big the pitch interface is. Pitching could be a bit more difficult IMO, its too easy to spot pitches in this game with both meter and analog.
    I actually welcome the changes to check swings. I don't know why, but that is one area of the game where I want full control. I am also tired of the batter either fully committing and the ump says he doesn't go, or I clearly hold and the ump will say I went. Just kills the immersion for me.
    Now, we really need changes to bunting, and I don't mean the rocket buns, which are annoying, but I mean how you go about bunting. It takes the batter too long to get in his bunt stance and too long to pull the bat back if the pitch is out of the strike zone. The way bunting currently is, I feel like you are 100% committed to that pitch. Too many times I will try to pull the bat back on a bad pitch, my batter does not react fast enough, and a strike is called.
    I saw they are only making minor changes to hitting. I wonder if they are doing anything about power. There are way too many homeruns in this game. I'm playing my second season with the Phillies on Hall of Fame, default sliders, zone analog hitting and have 75 homeruns for Hoskins, 69 for Harper, and 57 for Gregorious. The season is in early August.
    Sent from my SM-G973U using Operation Sports mobile app

    I agree with you about the bunts. It’s gotten so frustrating that I don’t even attempt to bunt anymore. I hope they change things.
    And my goodness those HR numbers. What is your Power slider set at?
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports
    It's default sliders
    Kotter
    I agree with you about the bunts. It’s gotten so frustrating that I don’t even attempt to bunt anymore. I hope they change things.
    And my goodness those HR numbers. What is your Power slider set at?
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports

    Sent from my SM-G973U using Operation Sports mobile app
    I am sick of hearing about the bunts. every Feb/March every year we hear about how 'they have fixed bunts' it's becoming extremely boring. all these 'fixes' are for the online play whinges. (now we have check swing nerfed because of it too)
    Is there a way to "check bunt" in this game? I don't think there is but I don't know, which could explain another issue I always had with trying to bunt in this game.
    Blzer
    Is there a way to "check bunt" in this game? I don't think there is but I don't know, which could explain another issue I always had with trying to bunt in this game.

    If you're referring to pulling a bunt back after squaring around, yes you can "check bunt" in the game.
    countryboy
    If you're referring to pulling a bunt back after squaring around, yes you can "check bunt" in the game.

    Pardon me, I meant "check drag bunt" specifically. That was a big word that I left out.
    Blzer
    Pardon me, I meant "check drag bunt" specifically. That was a big word that I left out.

    Ok
    I don't believe so because the mechanic in the game is to press triangle (bunt) right as the ball is on top of you to perform a drag bunt.
    I would have to mess around to see if you can check a drag bunt, but I really don't believe its possible.
    As it is every year, all gameplay changes cater to the Diamond Dynasty crowd who want to be able to perfect the mechanics and dominate online. Meanwhile franchise players get hung out to dry.
    Blzer
    Is there a way to "check bunt" in this game? I don't think there is but I don't know, which could explain another issue I always had with trying to bunt in this game.

    Do you mean a check swing where you make contact and it is essentially a bunt? If so, I have had that happen before, but never on purpose. I also can't recall a situation where I reached base off of something like that.
    CBoller1331
    Do you mean a check swing where you make contact and it is essentially a bunt? If so, I have had that happen before, but never on purpose. I also can't recall a situation where I reached base off of something like that.

    I didn't mean that, but I've seen that before as well.
    I just had improper terminology when I spoke (and clarified it after cb's first response).
    rabnothimself
    Nah, I don't mess with sliders, thanks for the info though. I'll finish this season and play my next one on Legend and see how that plays out
    Sent from my SM-G973U using Operation Sports mobile app

    But you're changing all facets of the game that way, maybe ones that you didn't want to change. Maybe pitching, defense, and making contact become more difficult.
    Just lower the power slider to 3. See if that makes any difference.
    Blzer
    But you're changing all facets of the game that way, maybe ones that you didn't want to change. Maybe pitching, defense, and making contact become more difficult.
    Just lower the power slider to 3. See if that makes any difference.
    This is true, but I do need more of a challenge all around. I have 102 wins in August. My team ERA is like 2.8, so I need everything to become a bit more challenging, not just power nerf. Like I said, I don't like messing with sliders. People start messing with sliders and then become consumed with it. I just play the game the way it was created.
    I am in no way complaining however, I love this game. I'm in my second full season of playing every pitch and fully intend to do a third season.
    Sent from my SM-G973U using Operation Sports mobile app
    Blzer
    But you're changing all facets of the game that way, maybe ones that you didn't want to change. Maybe pitching, defense, and making contact become more difficult.
    Just lower the power slider to 3. See if that makes any difference.
    I understand not wanting to develop a case of slideritis but, while the default slider set is good for the greatest amount of users, there are plenty enough of us out here who are not skilled enough to play on certain parts of te default slider set, or are too advanced to play on the default. there are parts of the slider I will absolutely not tinker with like I used to, I learned better, like such as pitch speed and strike frequency. all the others are pretty much fair game though. and slider season starts every March (well, April this year) and ends every February. plus I play on Dynamic so I'm less concerned about keeping sliders at default anyway. I'm just careful to always do my slider testing in Play Now and have my set locked in for Franchise
    Caulfield
    I understand not wanting to develop a case of slideritis but, while the default slider set is good for the greatest amount of users, there are plenty enough of us out here who are not skilled enough to play on certain parts of te default slider set, or are too advanced to play on the default. there are parts of the slider I will absolutely not tinker with like I used to, I learned better, like such as pitch speed and strike frequency. all the others are pretty much fair game though. and slider season starts every March (well, April this year) and ends every February. plus I play on Dynamic so I'm less concerned about keeping sliders at default anyway. I'm just careful to always do my slider testing in Play Now and have my set locked in for Franchise

    If you were to change anything slider wise, pitch speed is what you want to change. For one reason, it's WAY to slow on default regardless of the difficulty level, and for 2 you can alter the games difficulty with various pitch speeds without altering internal game code. On default it's like the equivalent of a 12 year old girl throwing the ball, figure of speech wise.
    Good god the pitching animations still look like a grandpa is throwing thw ball.
    12 years later and still the same speed. After TWO generations of consoles.
    knucklecutter
    If you were to change anything slider wise, pitch speed is what you want to change. For one reason, it's WAY to slow on default regardless of the difficulty level, and for 2 you can alter the games difficulty with various pitch speeds without altering internal game code. On default it's like the equivalent of a 12 year old girl throwing the ball, figure of speech wise.

    if it were 10 years ago I'd max pitch speed out but my eyesight has grown so terrible, I've tried bumping the pitch speed up every year the last few years but I wind up with only 3 or 4 hits EVERY game, and always shut out too. and that's with playing on a 65'' screen. I'm already looking to get a 75'' before I start looking for a ps5
    Caulfield
    if it were 10 years ago I'd max pitch speed out but my eyesight has grown so terrible, I've tried bumping the pitch speed up every year the last few years but I wind up with only 3 or 4 hits EVERY game, and always shut out too. and that's with playing on a 65'' screen. I'm already looking to get a 75'' before I start looking for a ps5

    So.....I went from a 65” Samsung curve screen with 60 hz to a LG 65” OLED with 120 hz.
    It took me a bit to get my timing right. With the LG I was late on everything, swing timing was late, hitting my mark on pitching I was late.
    Love the picture though, keep that in mind if you go from a 60 to a 120.
    I’m a old guy too, took me a bit to adjust.
    Has anyone else gone back and played the tech test since the information came out? (You can do this by playing the practice/options explorer portion of the tech test)
    I did this last night just to see how check swings were handled in the BETA and to my surprise I was rung up for more strikes on check swings than I'd seen previously in '20. Granted I was purposely checking every swing and this is a very small sample size using only the Cardinals (did this for 3 innings), but my overall impression of this brief experience is one that this may, for me, be a positive change given it seemed that no matter when I swung or checked my swing in '20 that it would almost always be ruled that I held up.
    I turn off check-swing appeals, but I can go around more than halfway and the home plate umpire/game will say that I committed every so often. I definitely feel myself holding on to the swing for a little while longer when that happens, though.
    Barring the "ratings not mattering" thing, the responsiveness is pretty good on my end. Though like I siad, I turn off the appeals themselves. The dice roll aspect of yesteryear scarred me from putting it back on (plus the animations/camera haven't changed in over a decade and it just adds time to my game lol).

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