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MLB The Show 22 Diamond Dynasty Deep Dive

MLB The Show 22 Diamond Dynasty

MLB The Show 22

MLB The Show 22 Diamond Dynasty Deep Dive

The seventh (and final) Feature Premiere for MLB The Show 22 was for Diamond Dynasty, esports, and live content. If you didn’t already know, I’m quite fond of Diamond Dynasty, and it’s the one card-collecting mode we focus on a lot here because we think it’s the best one — and also exploits users the least. Coming off last year, I think the general consensus was it was another step forward for DD, but folks were hoping for more single-player content and some amount of discussion around “freeze offs” and other legacy issues that hampered online play at times.

Coming off the Feature Premiere, I think single-player users should be much happier, and in general it seems like the quality of life should be improved in this mode. There are a couple new concerns we’ll be monitoring, but let’s get to the news and talk about it there.

MLB The Show 22 Diamond Dynasty Deep Dive

MLB The Show 22 Diamond Dynasty

Mini-Seasons

SDS started the stream with a look at Mini Seasons in MLB The Show 22, and rightfully so since it’s the biggest change for single-player users in years. This will be an 8-team league (with home and away games) where you battle seven other CPU teams. The seasons are 28 games long, there are four playoff teams, and then you have two playoff rounds that are each best of five. SDS did not say whether the games were 3 innings or more, but I would assume the games are still 3 innings each. The fact that the games are presumably 3 innings will probably be the only negative for some folks since there are not many ways to play “full” offline games in DD, and that is probably even more true now if Extra Innings is gone.

Still, this is a great addition, and it will be a repeatable mode just like Conquest or things like that. The CPU rosters will change for every Mini Season (the mode will grab other DD teams from across the world), and there will be persistent goals (win the World Series) versus other goals that will be one-off goals (get X number of hits). Again, the structure feels like what you might expect when doing a Conquest map, just with more rewards.

MLB The Show 22 Mini Seasons

The plan is to have the Mini Season change around every four weeks, and there’s also a new concept of a “mystery mission” that was introduced here. SDS gave no hints, so it’s just something you’ll have to figure out first or wait for someone else on the internet to tell you about. You can also play Mini Seasons on any difficulty, though there will be some “extra” goals if you want to do certain things on certain higher difficulty levels.

The only other “negative” I really see here is that there’s no “stats” page for your Mini Seasons that I noticed. So while it will be fun to build a story of sorts as you go through one of these seasons, you can’t keep track of the stats and see who is crushing it during a stretch. Still, you’ll be earning XP and Parallel XP and all that other good stuff during the run.

Programs Have Been Changed

SDS is moving towards a structure where you don’t have Team Affinity programs, Daily XP programs, Showdown programs, Inning Boss programs, etc. Instead, there will be a “Featured Program” and then the section with “other programs” in it — this seems to include stuff like the Starter programs to get you used to DD itself. It’s not that Daily XP and Showdowns, and so on are vanishing, but SDS has tweaked the structure so any XP you earn (in any mode offline or online) will count towards whatever the Featured Program is at the time — much like it would for Inning Programs last year.

Within the Featured Program itself — the first one is the Faces of the Franchise program — there will still be XP-based missions that tie into things like Showdowns and so on, but it’s basically trying to simplify the process so you’re always looking in just one section to figure out what you should be doing during that day/week/month to earn XP.

The biggest downside people are latching onto so far is that the Team Affinity programs won’t exist anymore as that sort of “bigger” content drop that happened between some of the Inning Programs throughout the year. The other factor that ties into that is you will only be able to earn 12 of the 30 Face of the Franchise cards by playing through the entire program. All the other cards you will need to buy on the Marketplace (as of now) — again, much like the Inning Programs last year.

MLB The Show 22 Faces of the Franchise

There will be some blinking “pay to win” lights flashing here, but I do think it’s too early to say anything with too much certainty. I would consider myself as a “top end” DD user: I had every card last year, constantly had millions of stubs that were not being used, and never spent a dime on in-game currency. I am not the normal user, but I would also say some of the people talking about “pay to win” are not normal users either.

I would finish Team Affinity in the first day or two, getting 30 cards by just grinding Showdowns and doing the exchanges. As cool as the content was to get, it wasn’t exactly a long-lasting aspect for me. Plus, it’s not like all 30 of those cards were even really that good or went in most lineups. It usually still dwindled down to 10-15 of the cards mattering. So when people say “pay to win” with this change, I don’t think that would be right way to even frame it. If you want to be negative about it, I would call it a “pay to collect” tax, or you’ll simply need to get used to not getting all 30 cards day one unless you “pay” to get them.

The Featured Program concept, in part, seems to be about just getting you playing like a more “normal” user rather than being a crazed “power” user, and I say that as a “power” user. Again, it’s hard to know whether this escalates the FOMO or lessens it as of now, but I would think it stops people from feeling like they need to do 20 Showdowns in a row to get all the cards the first night.

I think the bigger potential concern here is for those who simply are not playing the game enough during certain moments and miss out on some rewards. The Featured Program will take on the features of the old Inning Programs in that they do expire — Team Affinity did not expire. I don’t really have any doubts we’ll continue to get “old” players in the newest Featured Program (I would be shocked if we don’t get more Faces of the Franchise packs in the new Featured Program and elsewhere), but you might not be able to get the game in July and have months and months of content to grind through at your leisure like you did last year.

On the content front, the other question becomes how is SDS “filling the gap” as it relates to not having these giant Team Affinity programs throughout the year. We know the second Featured Program will “only” have five players, and you will be able to earn two of them by playing through that program. Are we getting more players in other sub-modes and such, or will we be relying more on the Moments cards (I hope not) to fill these gaps on a weekly basis?

In short, it’s something worth monitoring, but I do think some of the outrage is overblown as of now. You don’t need all 30 players on day one, and if a person is so concerned about “pay to win” then you should still be able to get the 12 “best” players and be just fine. One other question I have will be whether this leads to more lineup variety or less online. Again, I think a lot of people talking about “pay to win” mostly had same-y lineups anyway, so I would think this won’t do much to lineup variety one way or the other, but I do hope a bit more variety comes into play.

Online Programs

One component that sort of falls outside the umbrella of a Featured Program to some extent relates to the online-only programs. I’m not sure if Events/Ranked Seasons/Battle Royale programs will be in the Featured Program menu or “other programs” menu, but there are small but important changes coming here now.

First off, Battle Royale and Ranked Seasons programs have more XP goals now for the sub-program that would get you to the “Flawless” or “World Series” rewards even if you never could do those things last year. So this means wins no longer matter as much for these programs, rather now it’s just about innings and XP. To put it another way, quitting should be less frequent now in Ranked Seasons because just playing out games gets you just as close as anything else to getting that World Series reward. Yes, you still will get the extra rewards if you go Flawless or reach World Series, but you don’t have to “optimize” your gameplay sessions anymore and feel like you’re just wasting your time if you’re not racking up wins (or stats in BR) in an efficient manner.

The other nice part for BR specifically is you will now have mission-specific rounds. Last year, I would basically “reset” and do another draft if I didn’t get one of the mission-specific players to help push my way through the BR program. Now, there will be specific rounds where you know you’re going to be able to pick one of these players.

As it relates to Events, these will still be based purely on wins. However, this is fine because my favorite change — and, yes, it’s absurd to say that — is that Events lineups can be saved. I swore off doing many Events last year because I simply did not want to build my lineup again between runs, so this is a great quality-of-life change.

It sounds like BR and Ranked Seasons programs will continue to refresh every four weeks or so, and Events seem like they will continue to change every week or so.

Other Small Changes

There will be no DH in DD, so you still need to worry about making those pitcher changes for this year. Beyond that, Parallel XP is a new mission type, but really all it seems to mean is there won’t be as many “hit five home runs with Player X,” and it’s more earn XP with Player X. If you hit home runs, you’ll earn the XP faster, but it’s SDS sort of trying to get people to just play the game normally I think.

March to October now has XP gates for the Featured Program rather than earning points towards Team Affinity. I think this is another logical change because March to October should be an offline mode first and foremost. While the idea was to get people from DD playing the mode, MtO needs to just stand on its own two feet and be worth playing because it’s fun or not.

Conquest simulation speeds have been cut in half, which is great news. The simulations were the worst part of the mode, so hopefully this change is noticeable.

Collections and so forth seem to be about the same, but I’m not really going to get into the cards and all that here because it’s better to just start putting all that together once we have the game.

Diamond Dynasty Quick Sell Values

Related to collections is your general inventory and the marketplace. The biggest change to the marketplace is probably the Quick Sell values being altered. Much like certain cards had more value for exchanges based on their overall within diamond/gold/silver/bronze tiers, now the QS values should reflect that as well. So when you invest in certain players, you might not just sell them when they hit gold or diamond, you can wait it out longer and potentially earn even more.

Chase Set 1 pack

The last change worth noting relates to the Chase pack. These are packs that will show up as a “topper” in the 50 The Show packs, and also can potentially show up in every normal The Show pack. The Chase pack does not mean you will get the “mystery card” in the pack, but the point is that’s how this card gets found. It seems like it might be the most rare card that cycles through DD as of now. More than anything, this sort of feels like the “dirtiest” way to get people to buy stubs in order to buy the biggest bundles to at least get a guaranteed Chase pack opportunity.

Bottom Line

It’s hard for me to come out of that Feature Premiere and not be excited. Beyond the potential concerns of maybe leaving some folks behind who can’t play often enough during a set time for a specific Featured Program, it’s a lot of what I love about Diamond Dynasty now just optimized and improved. I feel like the changes this year were all about getting people playing the game more as a “normal” person rather than trying to min/max every little aspect of gameplay to make sure you were being as efficient as possible about earning cards.

Beyond that, offline players should now have a consistent way to play through the mode with Mini Seasons, and that was probably the biggest complaint outside of “freeze offs” last year. I do hope/wish that SDS maybe puts in a 9-inning option at some point for this mode (and some light stat tracking), but even if it’s just 3-inning games, it’s a great add.

We’re hours away from the Early Access launch of MLB The Show 22, so it’s time to play the game.

27 Comments

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Discussion
  1. DanH35
    I had to accept a delivery so I missed a minute or two. Did they say if the mini season games are 9 innings?

    I believe it’s 3 innings.
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    mthsgrg32
    I believe it’s 3 innings.
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    I’d like to have a reason to play 9 inning games vs cpu, but if a season is 28 games plus playoffs I guess 3 inning games are for the best.
    DanH35
    I’d like to have a reason to play 9 inning games vs cpu, but if a season is 28 games plus playoffs I guess 3 inning games are for the best.

    I love the 3 inning flow against CPU. I also like that you have to play 28 games which actually adds a bit of a challenge in terms of time required. I'll have to see how it all feels once playing as 28 games is a lot, but playing a handful of games a week virtually guarantees completion and it's just so nice having a new avenue for offline stuff.
    Huge W all around. Love the mini seasons, although I wish you could pick the number of innings. Personally, I'd prefer 5 or 6. And BR rewards being tied to innings for rewards is awesome. Gives casual players a readon to play BR (hope there's a 10 run rule lol).
    Really impressed with all of it. I think SDS really nailed it this year with improvements to Franchise, MTO, and DD.
    Sent from my SM-S205DL using Operation Sports mobile app
    I'm still not convinced mini seasons is 3 innings. I know...the clip....but that may not have been the same game. SDS never came out and said how many innings it was...but they specifically called out the fact conquest are 3 inning games. (also note that Extra Innings games were 9 inning affairs). I guess we'll find out soon enough...
    Fingers crossed they are 9 inning games, because that is what has been lacking for offline. If they are shorter, that knocks the mode down a couple of pegs for me.
    JoshC1977
    I'm still not convinced mini seasons is 3 innings. I know...the clip....but that may not have been the same game. SDS never came out and said how many innings it was...but they specifically called out the fact conquest are 3 inning games. (also note that Extra Innings games were 9 inning affairs). I guess we'll find out soon enough...
    Fingers crossed they are 9 inning games, because that is what has been lacking for offline. If they are shorter, that knocks the mode down a couple of pegs for me.

    I would have to guess 3 innings. At 9 innings just one run could be pushing 25-30 hours. The rewards did not seem to sync up with that time investment. At 3 innings it should clock in at around the same length of time it takes to finish the US Conquest map.
    Conquest - 30 three inning games (plus sim time)
    Mini Seasons - 34 three? inning games (to win it all)
    If mini seasons were 9 innings games, I'd be all in on that mode. But yet another 3 inning mode where you don't even need a starting pitcher? I'll probably just jump into franchise a lot more. To me, 3 innings games aren't baseball.
    The guy was talking about hitting a walk off grand slam with Alvarez in Mini Seasons while they were showing a clip of Alvarez hitting a walk off grand slam in the 4th inning. I think it's unlikely Mini Seasons are 9 innings.
    Sent from my Pixel 6 using Tapatalk
    I think it's def 3 innings. That clip was a walk off in the bottom of the 4th.
    28 9 inning games would be brutal to try and do in a month IMO. Not brutal as in bad just really difficult to pull off.
    Nice changes to DD for '22.
    I've read some takes that the timed element are going to lead the player to FOMO, but I didn't get that. I think they're trying to find the right balance of having exclusive cards accessible to all players. In '21, very few people got Chipper and/or Billy Wagner, iirc, and last year it was almost too easy to get every card. IMO, SDS continues to provide thoughtful updates to DD.

    • I like the pivot to feature programs instead of innings, but only getting 12 FoTF without buying the rest feels weird.
    • Mini-seasons is a win and it's awesome the offline DD community is getting something they've asking for. I might use it as my new warm up method.
    • Moving ranked to innings based is an effective change, although I think ranked is going to get a lot tougher this year (no quick wins).
    • Awesome to see saved lineups in Events, finally!
    • Randy as the LS collection is a win. I haven't compared, but his stats - besides velocity - seem similar to Kershaw's card in '21 (lowish H/9 for a 99). I really enjoyed Kershaw's card last year.

    Can't wait to stay up too late playing tonight!
    Edit: Read Chase's article after posting this
    Yeah I'm curious how H/9 look this year after being such a hot topic of discussion last year.
    With the MLB Live Series collection reward, the most expensive card in the game at launch, having only 105 or whatever it was then surely that's a somewhat high bar, right? Manoah has 99 on his FotF so it'll be very interesting to see the power creep. I don't recall them saying that H/9 operated any differently this year so assuming it's the same as last year, hopefully the influx of Topps Now cards don't get maxed out when Randy is 105 to start the year.
    papadell
    I think it's def 3 innings. That clip was a walk off in the bottom of the 4th.
    28 9 inning games would be brutal to try and do in a month IMO. Not brutal as in bad just really difficult to pull off.

    28 nine inning games may be doable in a month but many would need to ignore many other DD modes in order to get it done.
    Dolenz
    28 nine inning games may be doable in a month but many would need to ignore many other DD modes in order to get it done.

    Yeah that's the big hang up for me if it was 9 (or even 6).
    In a sense, it's a great problem to have because it means the game is oodles of fun that you have options. But when there's cards specific to modes and such, it creates a frantic rush to try and play as much as each mode as possible. Which would be fine if there wasn't the time-limited aspect in play.
    The 3 inning aspect is what I enjoy about Conquest, so getting a "regular" mode with 3 inning games and rewards is just absolutely amazing. Being able to cycle between online PvP and just chilling against the CPU in a cool, new way is very exciting.
    Mini Seasons looks GREAT!! I love how it's using other people's teams and not real MLB teams. I'm going to be all in on those (and most likely ignore the rest of DD).
    At first, I was disappointed that Mini Seasons is 3 inning games but to be fair a full 28 game season of 9 inning games would add up to a lot of time. It's going to be much more intense than Conquest and there are also some missions involved which will make it fun to mix it up.
    I am intrigued by the change from Innings to Featured Programs. I found it really strange to see the first 6 boss packs to be random (but if you pull trout in those it counts right??). The rest being choice pack is cool but it will require some serious stubs to collect all 30 of the bosses.
    Like I've said, I am not planning on touching online modes so this new mode is a godsend for me to break up the Franchise and RTTS grind.
    Only about an hour left!
    Dolenz
    28 nine inning games may be doable in a month but many would need to ignore many other DD modes in order to get it done.
    I mean, 28 9 inning games is 252 innings. That only gets you 5 out of 12 unlocks in Ranked Seasons. I think 9 innings games would be fine, making it like an Offline Ranked Season.
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    They mentioned you could see Jered Weaver in conquest. Do we think that means they’ll have flashbacks and legends on the conquest rosters and not just LS?
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    DonkeyJote
    I mean, 28 9 inning games is 252 innings. That only gets you 5 out of 12 unlocks in Ranked Seasons. I think 9 innings games would be fine, making it like an Offline Ranked Season.
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    But isn't Ranked Seasons rewards so much better? If I remember correctly the reward for winning your first mini season wasn't an overly impressive card.
    Dolenz
    But isn't Ranked Seasons rewards so much better? If I remember correctly the reward for winning your first mini season wasn't an overly impressive card.

    It's an 89 Longoria. WS is a 91 choice. But even with 9 inning games, that's less than half the time investment of getting to World Series via innings in Ranked Seasons. And it's probably faster overall since you don't have to worry about people quitting in the 6th when they already have 15k. So, even with 9 inning games, it should be a little worse.
    Sent from my Pixel 6 using Tapatalk
    DonkeyJote
    It's an 89 Longoria. WS is a 91 choice. But even with 9 inning games, that's less than half the time investment of getting to World Series via innings in Ranked Seasons. And it's probably faster overall since you don't have to worry about people quitting in the 6th when they already have 15k. So, even with 9 inning games, it should be a little worse.
    Sent from my Pixel 6 using Tapatalk

    But ranked seasons has a bunch of other rewards along the way doesn't it?
    Just some packs and Pennant Race Choice Pack. I don't think it's all that much better than the other rewards you get out of Mini Seasons.
    Sent from my Pixel 6 using Tapatalk
    I haven't watched it yet but does anyone else find it funny that the DD stream was about as long as all the others combined
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