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MLB The Show 21 Diamond Dynasty Wishlist - How to Make a Great Mode Even Better

mlb the show 21 diamond dynasty wishlist

MLB The Show 21

MLB The Show 21 Diamond Dynasty Wishlist - How to Make a Great Mode Even Better

MLB The Show 20’s post-launch free content updates have been nothing short of stellar this cycle. SDS continues to provide us with new Diamond Dynasty experiences and players. What SDS is doing provides the game with a level of longevity that not long ago was unheard of for a sports title and gives it legs well beyond the real-life MLB season. It also does so in a way that is unique in the “card collecting” space in that it feels the least intrusive/exploitive when it comes to expecting money for cards.

However, there is always room for improvement, and no critics are better equipped than players who have dumped an unreasonable amount of time into the game (see: me). So here is an MLB The Show 21 Diamond Dynasty wishlist to kick off the new year.

More Time Between Programs

mlb the show 21 diamond dynasty wishlist
Unless you are playing this game — and this game only — during the bulk of your post-work free time, you will not complete programs as they go live. Sure, players can whittle away at earlier programs via online play and Showdown modes, but online play remains incredibly divisive and Showdowns can be significant time sinks. Perhaps SDS could increase the amount of daily missions or each program’s length, as even with consistent playing, I always find myself five to 15 stars short of 300. Surely, this scarcity factors into card values, but even as an avid player of the mode, I found myself questioning the pursuit of multiple programs.

Again, you can always hit 300 stars even after a program has “ended” so to speak, but I think how you fill that backlog of 300 stars should be better represented by more options to get there.

The Ability To Sort Your Inventory

diamond dynasty home run derby collection

Let’s say you just came into a bounty of pack bundles and wanted to now see who in your inventory has the highest fastball velocity. You would have to go, well, player by player through your inventory or the squad screen. Searchable in-game “velocity” itself is not a direct rating of pitch speed, so you would likely overlook a number of pitchers with high heat but worse peripherals.

Or maybe there’s a new daily mission that requires you to play as White Sox hitters, and you have a squad roster spot open at 3B. Unless you went back and forth between the slower inventory screens or immediately found the card you were looking for, you would be limited by the clunky squad screen. And if you wanted that hitter to bat left-handed or switch hit? Hope you already had someone in mind.

In theory, simple “team” or “handedness” filters would be very easy to implement and provide an immediate boost to the squad interface. 

More Offline Missions Overall

jackie robinson conquest map

Few gaming experiences were as engrossing as getting locked into a great MLB The Show offline mission and battling it to completion. However, once it was complete, there was an overwhelming feeling of “now what?” that abruptly ended the experience. It was wonderful for SDS to scatter offline options throughout the season, but the mandate for online play often remained. The abundance of offline missions for Postseason rewards and the 11th Inning Program were a great step in the right direction, and hopefully they will function like test programs of the future rather than endgame bonuses.

Overall, I think SDS started to find a balance again providing offline content for folks to play this year, but the developers could still do a bit more to nail it.

Better Team Affinity Interface

TA Stage 4 setup

This has been a painful oversight that thankfully feels easily remediable. Open up the Team Affinity screen and see how long it would take you to figure out which team is closest to 150 innings. Unless you quite literally write down each number and go by every single team, you won’t know. Why not just have a quick screen that shows each team’s progress to its next innings milestone in a little line graph so that you can strategically structure your squad to maximize your Team Affinity progress?

Easy Way To View Mission Progress

july monthly awards missions

With so many missions buried across so many programs, it is easy to lose track of what you need to accomplish, especially with different online and offline mission needs. After each game, there is a stat tracker that shows, among other things, Team Affinity progress per players featured in that game. Why not extend this so that players can quickly track mission progress? It is admittedly difficult to balance which types of players need to accomplish what, and there is already an in-game tracker for your three daily missions. Still, it feels like more could be done here to at least clean up the postgame screen so it removes missions you already completed and don’t need anymore — even if they’re repeatable, they should be removed when you already knocked out all the goals tied to that repeatable mission, for example.

The Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater remake did an excellent job of allowing players to select and track certain mission progression in the pause screen, so maybe that is one example to look to here.

More Repeatable Conquest Rewards

run it back conquest map

Run It Back was something of a dream come true for longtime players. Conquests have always been repeatable, but Run It Back was the perfect combination of length and repeatable rewards to almost always encourage a playthrough. I adore Conquest’s quick games, unique challenges, and fun maps. At the same time, the fun usually ends far too soon with Conquest.

The November expansion of Run It Back’s 11 new legend cards gave significant replay value to an already must-play challenge. Here’s hoping that MLB The Show 21 has more than just one of these.

Introducing The DH

aaron nola diamond

This is a point of contention every year, but considering the abundance of excellent hitters, the pain of hitting with pitchers, and the fixed roster sizes, Diamond Dynasty is begging for a DH option. Sure, it is nice to get bailed out by online opponents pulling their previously dominant pitcher for an ultimately unnecessary pinch hitter (and even juicier when the reliever they bring in blows the lead in the 8th inning), but is that occasionally rare liberation worth batting with Tom Seaver instead of your abundance of 125/125 power hitters?

Traditionalists understandably want pitchers to keep hitting, but as the real-life game potentially has seen its last-ever non-DH game, it does feel a bit odd to not at least have the option in some DD offerings.

Choosing The Time Of Day


Yes, we can pick the calendar month and time of the day, but as it stands right now, it is not possible to play a game where the full game is played at night. The in-game sunsets are gorgeous, but sometimes it would be nice to play start to finish with the sun fully down under the stadium lights.

Bottom Line

Between the Topps Now moments, Postseason challenges, fully fleshed out card marketplaces, Conquest maps, and various Player Programs, The Show is well equipped to hold a player’s attention through the doldrums of winter. Let’s hope MLB The Show 21 does even more to nail Diamond Dynasty.


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  1. i think it would be really cool that each team that has cards come out for bosses or stuff like that , the cards shoudl be on the team roster in the Conquest maps so that it doesnt get old playing the same players on the same teams all year long. but other than that SDS has done an amazing job this year with content

    MLB The Show 20’s post-launch free content updates have been nothing short of stellar this cycle....
    Written By: Elliott Jenkins
    Click here to view the article.
    I'd like to see:
    1. More common/bronze/silver/gold legends and flashbacks. Put them in packs, make them Conquest rewards, etc. There are so many they would just need to add back from past years that would be a ton of fun. Bringing back more robust player progression programs would be great, too.
    2. More offline missions (better yet just make all stat-based missions achievable in any mode).
    3. More auto-generated options for putting together a lineup, like a random roster button or a filtered best lineup roster, (i.e. team only, best max gold lineup, etc.) Would also be nice to be able to filter by whether a card has accumulated a certain kind of stat, too.
    4. Moments for every program should be completely optional. Give me stat grinds (available offline) instead.
    I'm having the most fun with the Show in years after jumping into DD for the first time - and still playing the game daily. I've read that this years lineup diversity has been great, which sounds reasonable since I rarely see the exact same players in my RS games, but I rarely change my squad, especially at this stage in the game.
    I know we can use different players on our own, but there isn't much incentive to do it. I don't think fatigue is the answer - may it is? (4 games one, 1 game off?) - but having a max number of games each card can play in a given RS could enhance the change even more. The details aren't clear to me, and complexity/challenge for a "fair" max increases given the variety of games played per user.
    Thoughts and suggestions?
    I wrote my thoughts in another thread and won't re-hash them.
    But I will say one thing...if we have to play vs the same Live Series teams in Conquest all year next year...I may barf.
    It makes SO much sense for SDS to use "best squad" lineups for CPU teams in that mode (and as an option for Play vs CPU). So, you get to play vs the best team-specific lineups in the game (vs just Live Series). As new cards get released, they automatically go into 'the pool'. SDS can even mix it up, making some maps "Live Series" and some "best squads".
    It has a few pluses:
    1. It's essentially 'free content' from a development cost standpoint after the initial code is written. Could you imagine playing the USA Map now vs those loaded lineups? That would be fun and even if you didn't have a lot of stats to grind, it would freshen-up the challenge. (As an aside - I would make map missions, but not hidden rewards, all repeatable aside from player rewards to add a little reward for repeating a map).
    2. It gives players a chance to 'scout' newly added cards. They just add some crazy good pitcher? You have a chance to see him in action and get a feel for him.
    3. It will allow for content to scale as user teams get better. User teams will always have the advantage as they will take players from different teams. But, this will even it out a bit.
    Now, the counter-argument to this would be that it is not friendly to new users coming into the game a few months into the cycle. I disagree. As new content gets released, a new user will have more opportunities to quickly upgrade their squad. My alternate team (started in the 11th inning program) is nearly all diamond across the board - and I haven't touched a single moment/showdown or purchased anything in the market...just played a few Conquest maps.
    This "Ask" is very much an offline-player centric one. Online guys are likely going to plow through any new map and go right back to RS. But for strictly offline guys, this change would add some legs to the mode, especially during the 'sunset phase' we're in right now.

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