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NBA 2K18 AI Improvements Blog From Scott O’Gallagher

NBA 2K18

NBA 2K18 AI Improvements Blog From Scott O’Gallagher

2K fans! Scott O’Gallagher here and it’s a pleasure to be back to give you an inside look at the AI improvements in NBA 2K18. So let’s skip the nonsense and get the party started!

Back to the fundamentals

The Adaptive Coaching Engine has changed the game in the sports gaming industry. However, we believed that in order for this system to go to the next level, we really needed to get back to the fundamentals and knock out some deficiencies that have hindered this system. With that said, Shawn, the outstanding engineer that I work hand in hand with, gave me complete control over the major defensive AI decision making. This could be anything from the defender’s hip and facing angle, to what speed and stance he is in. From there, like a real film session, we broke down every cut or action that has hurt us in previous years and figured out the best “basketball” solution on how to solve it.

As you will see in this video, Beal has a situational understanding of all the different off ball cuts Redick has at his disposal.

CHANGE OF POSITIONING

In previous years, an off ball defensive setting, like moderate, has always meant the same thing. Meaning if you were one pass away you were going to be x feet away, if you were two passes away you were going to be x feet away. This is where we needed to inject some more authenticity to the game because in the NBA, that setting can have multiple distances and responsibilities depending on the situation. In 2K18, your positioning setting is more important than ever!

Here is side pick and roll action by the Lakers. Notice how Harkless is dropping even further than his initial “one pass away” gap distance because of his understanding of the shooter’s abilities and game situation.

PLAY SET AND ACTION RECOGNITION!

Yes, you read this correctly. Your CPU teammates now have the ability to recognize a set and action a team is running and adjust on the fly!  This is one of the biggest things you hardcore X’s and O’s players will recognize immediately. This also plays a substantial role in ACE. Every team knows how hot a player is and can adapt according to the set or action the players are in. For example, you will see certain teams change their pick and roll coverage in a 1-4 spread situation with Steph Curry or Kyrie Irving as opposed to Russell Westbrook. You will also see defenders play tight or back up significantly in pinch post or rub actions.

Coming from semi-transition, OKC goes straight into a 1-4 low isolation. Utah recognizes this and adapts accordingly. I’d also like to point out the difference in pressure between Ingles and Rubio. Notice that Rubio is going to stay closer to George due to his shooting ability.

Here is a high pick and roll look that Philly has been successful with early in the game. Notice how Porter adapts his gap coverage in this situation by leaving Simmons open and daring him to knock it down from deep.

Settling into the half court, Portland goes right into their horns set.

What to watch:

  • Both of the Lakers big drop on the set recognition.
  • Deng tightens up on the wing to limit the success of the downs screen.
  • Nance Jr knows the down screen in coming so he gives space and is in the correct position to play the curl or slip

Many teams will also have individual positioning adjustments in isolation situations. This can change depending on where the player catches the ball and who is the on-ball defender. Notice the difference between how Boston plays a Carmelo Anthony wing isolation compared to Golden State versus Lebron.

One of my favorite parts of this system is that you can play a heavy role as well! Do you see a set or action that’s working too often? Let’s talk about it! No different than a roster update, these can be updated on the fly.

DEFENSIVE PERCEPTIONS

This was something that we overhauled this year and something that you are going to love. Finally the defense is popping to the next location like if you were in a shell drill. Something you are going to notice immediately is the impact of elite defenders off ball. When he can read the pass animation depends on the defender’s IQ. A player such as Kawhi Leonard can sense the pass is going to be thrown while the animation is in motion, while others may be much later to do so. This equates to more off ball deflections and steals in the passing lanes.

A motto for us on the AI side this year was, “you can’t help what you can’t see.” Here is an example where Towns is late to recognize his help responsibilities because his back was to the ball. As soon as he recognizes man and ball, he’s back on his two-nine responsibility.

DOUBLE TEAMS – Double teams have been refactored. New animation coverage for pick and roll and post ups. We have also added doubled team packages for the AI, so they can change their double team coverage in four out sets compared to three out.

ZONE DEFENSE IN THE PRO-AM – You and your teammates can call a zone defense this year and not have to worry about your grades taking a hit.

ADDING TO THE AUTHENTICITY – In 2K17, we added more team specific schemes like “Weak” and Brad Steven’s “trap the box.” We have added a bunch more this year and plan to add/update these throughout the year. Along with that, all historic teams and the Jordan Rules have been updated.

MALONE LANE LINE- John Stockton and Karl Malone made their living off of the pick and roll below the foul line. Since NBA teams do it, we have to do it as well. Look to see teams adjust their pick and roll coverage in this area.

MISMATCH ADJUSTMENT- There is a lot of switching on the perimeter in NBA, the same goes for 2K18. So with that, if you get a big matched up with a guard on the perimeter, look to see the defense adjust and the on ball defender change his defensive pressure on the fly.

CUTTER AND SLIP HELP

In all basketball games prior to 2K18, an off ball cutter or screener slipping the pick early caused the defense all types of problems. This year you can deny on the perimeter and hard hedge effectively knowing that your defense on the back end in there.

Below is an example of great defensive IQ and situational recognition from an elite rim protector. Jackson beats Dragic (the user defender) and Whiteside is there to prevent the easy score. Immediately following the cut, the Pistons’ Anthony Tolliver slips the screen and Whiteside is there to save the day again!

Here is an example where Julius Randle is showing hard after Dame Lillard has been hurting the Lakers in the pick and roll. I want you to look at Zubac’s ability to recognize the cut and slide over to help.

 IMPROVED ROTATIONS AND HELP ANGLES

The NBA game has become more spread year after year, so we have simplified our multiple rotation logic as well. We also overhauled our stop ball logic which has made the defensive side of the ball feel good. With these adjustments made, we need to look at all of the help angles and speeds in which the defender move to.

TEAM SPECIFIC HELP AND ROTATIONS

As noted above, since teams can now recognize particular sets and actions, this allows us to have teams like Memphis, ICE the side pick and roll and stay home on the weak side.

Same look, but this time Chandler Parsons is the hedge man, so he shows hard and recovers back to Jordan. Another thing to note is that Marc Gasol, even though he’s a rim protector, knows that Gallinari is a knock down shooter so he’s staying at home in the corner.

As you noticed in the NBA finals, the Warriors would really shrink the floor on Lebron post-up situations. Below is an example where they have shrunk the floor and started to change the “Dig” responsibilities of the defender.

The same cannot be said when Kevin Love has the ball on the block. If he is one on one with Draymond, the Warriors will stay home and live with the outcome.

All pick and roll schemes have been improved on this year.

THE DEFENSIVE SETTING MENU

We pride ourselves on authenticity here at Visual Concepts. So year after year we keep adding all of these team specific defenses, but have never went into detail on how great they are or what they do. All we have ever given you is a wall of text and that wasn’t good enough. I’m happy to say that those days are over. This is step one in helping educate the gamers out there about the beauty in the X’s and O’s. Every adjustment has a visual representation and description on the menu along with pros and cons to that setting.

Don’t worry you MyGM and MyLeague heads! We didn’t forget about you, this year you are able to bring up the defensive setting menu in this mode so you can practice on your defensive schemes.

DIFFICULTY MATTERS – To get the most authentic NBA Adjustments from ACE, you need to be playing on Superstar or Hall of Fame. All skill levels below that will see limited double teams and changes in situational coverages.

COMMUNICATE!

Since I’ve been here, all I have heard is, “these team specific defenses are great, but I don’t know what I’m supposed to do.” Now when you turn the Defensive Communication setting on, you will get call out above your head that tells you what you’re supposed to do. This is completely driven by the ACE engine. Keep in mind that this is only for you and the message will change whether you’re the on-ball defender, hedge defender, or the player who’s got one of the main two roles in transition defense.

PLAYER HELP AND ROTATION PRIORITY

This year you will see some defenses prioritize the drive by moving to help earlier from particular players.

THE PICK AND ROLL

Getting back to the fundamentals, the pick and roll is the most used play in basketball. With that said, we wanted to pay more attention to that part of the game at the primary level. The first thing we did was move this into our motion system to give you the most responsive pick and roll branching yet. Now defenders, depending on speed and how hard they’re hit, can branch out faster depending on the throw of their stick. For years we have seen players go back and forth into screens until they find longer animations that put the defender in non-advantageous situations and go the other way. We also looked hard at identifying good screeners and making sure they were playing the appropriate content. Going under on a shooter while getting screened by a seven-footer like Steven Adams should be costly and we have made big strides on that this year.

SYSTEM PROFICIENCY

If there was one thing I assumed that you guys were going to love, this would be it. Now with System Proficiency, how the player’s skill set, position and play style fits into the coaches scheme is more important than ever. Gone are the days where teams are not getting penalized for playing players like Iverson, Kobe, Jordan and Carmelo on the floor at the same time.

So let’s get started with the systems.

There are eight different systems:

  1. Balanced
  2. Pace and Space
  3. Seven seconds
  4. Post Centric
  5. Grit and Grind
  6. Perimeter Centric
  7. Triangle
  8. Defense

We wanted this to be as authentic as possible, so instead of myself identifying these coaches, I called my contacts around the league and asked them to identify these coaches themselves. Every coach in the game is graded on each of those eight systems. Each system comes with its pros and cons. These systems prioritize skill sets, attributes, tendencies and badges on a per position basis. These are multi-level, attribute additions and subtractions depending on the system and how well the player fits into the scheme. The coach’s ability in the system adds into these effects. For example, an elite scorer like Carmelo Anthony may fill the scoring void you need at the small forward position. However, since he is a player with a heavy isolation tendency, he does not fit the seven seconds or less system. The same goes for placing Steve Nash in the Triangle. Yes he can play in that system, but he’s not going to be the same MVP guard you saw in Phoenix, simply because he needs the ball in his hands and wants to play in a heavy pick and roll and up-tempo game. This is not always the case, however. Some great players such as KD, Kawhi and Lebron have skill sets that allow them to flourish in any system. But not all coaches have the same capability in each system and even a great fit for a system, like Kobe in the triangle, can be sabotaged by a coach that is out of his depth. It’s important to have a holistic approach to System Proficiency to maximize the effect.

Another thing to note when it comes to System Proficiency is the importance of position. Yes, we’re in an era of “position-less basketball,” but that doesn’t mean you should be rewarded for putting Paul George at center. This plays a crucial role because, like I mentioned above, some coaches are looking for a particular need and skill at that positon. Therefore, I suggest not playing a player outside of his primary or secondary position.

THE MYGM/MYLEAGUE EFFECT

As you can see here, System Proficiency also plays a pivotal role into these two modes as well. Team building has already been fun and entertaining in these modes, now you have another layer to think about when signing a coach or adding players to your franchise.

THE MyTEAM EFFECT

Being a big historian of the game, I’ve always loved the thought of getting some historical players together from packs and diving into MyTeam. Where I’ve always struggled playing that mode, from a gameplay perspective, is that it became of a matter of gamers just getting the five best shooters or scores and throwing them out there with few repercussions. Since role players like Robert Horry mean more now than ever, I feel like this has only brought more depth to an already outstanding mode and will attract more players like you and I.

IN CLOSING

Without a doubt, this is one of my favorite times of year. Working on 2K18 was a lot of fun and I’m excited to get this game into your hands. Big shout out to entire 2K team who helped bring this together! What we were able to accomplish this year has set us up significantly for the years to come! No stone has gone unturned when it comes to providing you with the most authentic sports gaming experience to date. I hope you guys enjoy this as much as we did creating it. I’ll see you on the virtual hardwood on September 19th!

Until next time, WinnersWin and I’m out!

 

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Discussion
  1. Coming from semi-transition, OKC goes straight into a 1-4 low isolation. Utah recognizes this and adapts accordingly. I’d also like to point out the difference in pressure between Ingles and Rubio. Notice that Rubio is going to stay closer to George due to his shooting ability.
    FYI, the video is incorrect for under this segment.
    Now THIS is what I'm takin bout 2k!!:appl: ...and for the love of baby Jesus..don't switch things back because some dude cant make a shot! Finally(hopefully) you'll have to think about how to score instead of the usual turbo nonsense!
    Great blog! The only topic that was not touched on was interior post defense. Has the game been programmed to account for CPU controlled interior post defenders leaving their man wide open under the basket for an easy basket?
    "Therefore, I suggest not playing a player outside of his primary or secondary position." - OG
    I hope this is reflected in the My Career AI. Got tired of being a SG and being played at PF and occasionally Center.
    "Team building has already been fun and entertaining in these modes, now you have another layer to think about when signing a coach or adding players to your franchise." - OG
    If this translates over to the computer teams in MyGM/My League during free agency that's going to be major.
    tsbmolina

    This new dynamic broadcast camera angel that shows more of the court and zooms in when in half court looks phenomenal. No more passing blindly.

    One of the biggest cons about broadcast cam. Glad this was added.
    Got a 2K11 feeling with this game. Think it'll end up becoming GOAT.
    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    MoneyOvaHuds
    That Noel model tho

    I was more surprised at seeing Jared Sullinger there -- I forgot he was even in the league still. I remember him getting traded to Phoenix and then disappearing into thin air. Apparently, dude got waived and hasn't signed with anyone yet ... I'm surprised he's rated so well (and apparently is cheap to sign). Definitely will have to look at him in my ML for this year.
    Now all we are missing is the chant 'DEFENSE BOOM BOOM BOOM, DEFENSE BOOM BOOM BOOM...
    Practice Defense now finally my favorite side of the ball got some therapy, showed some love and let's hope it show out.
    Jrocc23
    One of the biggest cons about broadcast cam. Glad this was added.
    Got a 2K11 feeling with this game. Think it'll end up becoming GOAT.
    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    That's high praise from you, and damn, we haven't even hit Thursday yet... :drink:
    I love how they are explaining things more. Before I felt like I had to have some coaching experience to know what terms meant. This is great for novices like me who actually want to dig more into schemes and stuff.
    LD2k
    That's high praise from you, and damn, we haven't even hit Thursday yet... :drink:

    Just got a good feeling about it lol.
    Hopefully, you play some Teamup games on Xbox next year. I still haven't forgot what you did to us with Dwight Howard some years ago
    https://youtu.be/9W6kttiVWA0
    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Sitew33

    "Team building has already been fun and entertaining in these modes, now you have another layer to think about when signing a coach or adding players to your franchise." - OG
    If this translates over to the computer teams in MyGM/My League during free agency that's going to be major.

    Exactly my thoughts. Hopefully they worked the new (and wonderful) system proficiency into the AI's decision making on signing/trading players. This also should help with something else that bugged me which was that coaches really didn't mean anything in MyLeague, at least not for user controlled games. Now you have to think about who to hire even if you're manually playing all the games.
    Just a minor thing I noticed, during the moratorium period there's a nice display of your current cap room and hard cap room on the main screen as opposed to waiting until you offer someone a contract to show that info.
    I'm looking forward to the defensive rotation and AI fixes that will really have me working to understand the X's and O's more, what a great blog.
    There may be no greater improvement than having an icon tell me where I'm supposed to go on defense. I've been wanting this feature for years. I get so frustrated when my teammate expects me to switch on a screen and I don't because I had no clue that's what I was supposed to do. This alone justifies buying this version of the game. Bravo, 2k.
    LD2k
    That's high praise from you, and damn, we haven't even hit Thursday yet... :drink:

    LD do you know which Broadcast camera that is? Is it a change made across all broadcast cameras or one in particular? I usually play on stadium broadcast but the short clip of this camera looks fantastic
    the AI improvements are so overwhelming and am glad the difficulty determines the effectiveness of the ACE system....
    was gonna wait to get this fame on my pre ordered x1x in NOV. but am just gonna get it on my pro until then..
    Jrocc23
    Just got a good feeling about it lol.
    Hopefully, you play some Teamup games on Xbox next year. I still haven't forgot what you did to us with Dwight Howard some years ago
    https://youtu.be/9W6kttiVWA0
    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    We'll run some this year, promised!
    Really amazing stuff here. 2k17 got old when I was able to beat the CPU badly with Pick-N-Rolls.
    I'm hoping the defensive rotations are also improved.
    I'll be buying September 19th.
    Great read and examples. The rotation and help logic can be game changing... I look forward to seeing how it plays out. This sort of realism can go along way to mitigate cheese and unrealistic play in and of itself. I particularly liked the communication aspect...very good idea and system proficiency is dope. Hopefully the AI utilizes this in seeking out trades and free agents as well.
    The only negative I took away had nothing to do with the blog at all; the arena lighting and court graphics looked the same as last year, which is a bad thing. Unfortunate.
    tsbmolina

    This new dynamic broadcast camera angel that shows more of the court and zooms in when in half court looks phenomenal. No more passing blindly.

    I love the camera angle, but that turbo dribble animation is bothering me looks like he is dribbling with his head down.
    Yes a beautiful broadcast cam. No more 2k cam for me if I can see the while court and not get hit with those full court passes I couldn't see in past titles.
    Love team building and systems where player positions matters. Sounds good but I wanna see if it really will matter months from now when everyone is playing. Been said last year to not play out of position but I've seen some crazy lineups work fine.
    Myteam sounds good to join this year for skinheads. But will they stop releasing guys with 90+ 3pt ratings so they won't have to inflate historic players with 3pt shots.
    Love those pnr screens on cp3 and rozier, please no more canned screen animations!!
    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-J120A using Tapatalk
    They mentioned zone defense for Pro-Am, hopefully you can set up match ups as well. Its always annoying having the indicator pointing you towards your guy but because of match up and player type, sometimes you switch for the sake of the team and defensive schemes.
    sfx
    There may be no greater improvement than having an icon tell me where I'm supposed to go on defense. I've been wanting this feature for years. I get so frustrated when my teammate expects me to switch on a screen and I don't because I had no clue that's what I was supposed to do. This alone justifies buying this version of the game. Bravo, 2k.

    Love the way it's implemented too by showing what the defenders are saying (actual defensive communication) as opposed to just a text telling the user what to do.
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports
    Love what I read and hope that it continues to separate elite players and average players. I love the Defensive callouts so that you understand why something didn't or did happen.
    Wonder if these changes will affect MyCareer. Especially the System Proficiency. Would be great if your Team AI follows that system proficiency and teams that looking to draft you see if you are a good fit
    vannwolfhawk
    Great blog and read! Loved the digs on the post up's... Thursday? Is Thursday Da Czar's turn? After sitting out last year I think I'm back!

    He might be referencing the event they're holding in NYC
    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    trekfan
    I was more surprised at seeing Jared Sullinger there -- I forgot he was even in the league still. I remember him getting traded to Phoenix and then disappearing into thin air. Apparently, dude got waived and hasn't signed with anyone yet ... I'm surprised he's rated so well (and apparently is cheap to sign). Definitely will have to look at him in my ML for this year.

    Oddly enough Sullinger is currently discussing a deal with the Nets.
    CDazzle91
    Exactly my thoughts. Hopefully they worked the new (and wonderful) system proficiency into the AI's decision making on signing/trading players. This also should help with something else that bugged me which was that coaches really didn't mean anything in MyLeague, at least not for user controlled games. Now you have to think about who to hire even if you're manually playing all the games.
    Just a minor thing I noticed, during the moratorium period there's a nice display of your current cap room and hard cap room on the main screen as opposed to waiting until you offer someone a contract to show that info.
    I'm looking forward to the defensive rotation and AI fixes that will really have me working to understand the X's and O's more, what a great blog.

    Oh, good eye, sir. Didn't notice that at all and yes, it does make life easier.
    cthurt
    Oddly enough Sullinger is currently discussing a deal with the Nets.

    Why not? He could use a revival year and the Nets could use an actual big man not named Mosgov. Sullinger as a small-ball 5 (well, he's not THAT small, but only 6'9") would open up the Nets offense. Assuming Carroll can get right (big assumption), he could play as a four, and you could roll out Russell, Lin, Crabbe, Carroll and Sullinger. Not bad.
    The more I go back through this, the more impressed I am. Even in the small video clips, you can tell a lot of the animations are sped up or less heavy. The Lebron Post up I think shows it really well. Seems like you get into your movement quickly, hard to explain.
    I'm truly excited about this. Also, very slick that they can update this stuff just as easily as a roster update, if something is becoming too effective, etc.
    Fantastic write-up here, OG. Amazing too that the talk is backed by the walk of showing actual game play. Basketball fans are lucky to have a series like this that sets the standard for sports gaming. There's nothing even close.
    Being a kid, I learned most of what I know about sports through video games. NBA 2K is the only series that continually does this for me today as an adult.
    vannwolfhawk
    Great blog and read! Loved the digs on the post up's... Thursday? Is Thursday Da Czar's turn? After sitting out last year I think I'm back!

    Nice to see you back, Vann.
    I liked a lot of what I read, but I hope all comes through in practice. I also didn't like that when players left their assignment to help - off of a poor shooter - they would dive to the paint. I hope he's right that the CPU will understand ratings/ability/tendencies before "over helping" or over committing like that.
    We also didn't see anything about transition defense and if big man will understand their assignments better.
    Didn't hear enough about addressing this (broken) nonsense:
    https://youtu.be/Y2JAWrs_gpo
    from Bills Backer/Spurs Nation HQ
    Awesome Blog! great concepts going forward. I wonder now since the AI got smarter on the defensive end are we going to see MORE people who playing off ball or not? I always play on-ball and since the animation less heavy animated switching should be easier but only time will tell?
    J_Posse
    Nice to see you back, Vann.
    I liked a lot of what I read, but I hope all comes through in practice. I also didn't like that when players left their assignment to help - off of a poor shooter - they would dive to the paint. I hope he's right that the CPU will understand ratings/ability/tendencies before "over helping" or over committing like that.
    We also didn't see anything about transition defense and if big man will understand their assignments better.
    Didn't hear enough about addressing this (broken) nonsense:
    https://youtu.be/Y2JAWrs_gpo
    from Bills Backer/Spurs Nation HQ

    If this hasn't been addressed hopefully this is something they can go in and update on the fly.
    I love 2k because even if what they are doing doesn't work to me they are trying to make the game better they are pushing and pushing to have AI system that acts to real life counter parts the deepest dev blogs when it comes to gameplay plus they keep adding layers to franchise mode #FranchiseNation
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports
    I'm so excited for an apparent end to illogical super-teams in MyTeam. I'm really looking forward to having to put together sensible teams that work together rather than star studded lineups that don't make any sense or the sought after "God Squads" with Jokic or Porzingis at point guard. Or guys running overpowered 5-outs all game.
    Being a big historian of the game, I’ve always loved the thought of getting some historical players together from packs and diving into MyTeam. Where I’ve always struggled playing that mode, from a gameplay perspective, is that it became of a matter of gamers just getting the five best shooters or scores and throwing them out there with few repercussions. Since role players like Robert Horry mean more now than ever, I feel like this has only brought more depth to an already outstanding mode and will attract more players like you and I.

    I love the idea of role players/non-stars being more important this year. By the end of the year anybody who wasn't at least a diamond was pretty much useless. It meant using the best cards you could buy/snipe rather than using guys you liked. I'm a huge fan of OJ Mayo and last year I was upset that by the time his card became available, he was a sapphire in the era of rubies. Same with Ben Wallace, who seemed all but useless at times because he couldn't make anything past the restricted area.
    Hopefully that negates the necessity of giving every endgame card good 3PT ratings just so they aren't overshadowed by the players who can shoot.
    KayOtic723
    I love 2k because even if what they are doing doesn't work to me they are trying to make the game better they are pushing and pushing to have AI system that acts to real life counter parts the deepest dev blogs when it comes to gameplay plus they keep adding layers to franchise mode #FranchiseNation
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports

    A big reason why I get upset with some complaints towards 2K. It is frustrating when reoccurring issues aren't fixed but I don't think anyone could fault 2k for not caring or not trying. Every year they address issues across the board. Sometimes it results in improvements, other times is could create other issues or leave problems unsolved, but it's evident that 2k cares as much about their product as we do.
    Can't wait to get my hands on this game. Hopefully the updates and patches throughout the year continue to improve and expand on the base product.
    Junior Moe
    I love how they are explaining things more. Before I felt like I had to have some coaching experience to know what terms meant. This is great for novices like me who actually want to dig more into schemes and stuff.

    For real I feel that same way now I'm about to learn what that 2-9 coverage KAT was supposed to fall back to is I just wanna understand the game
    Sent from my iPhone using Operation Sports
    My only question is whether these AI adjustments happen automatically or if we have to set them manually.

    In this video, Marc did great to hang back to stop the drive and recognize that Jordan can't pop off the pick. However, will this type of read be the same if it were Kevin Love? Or will Marc recognize the shooting ability and soft hedge while staying on Kevin?
    One thing omitted, hopefully the Da_Czar can clean it up in his blog. Manual Defensive settings versus ACE. What affect will it have on the defense? Does it still cancel out the ACE assignment? will it corrupt the defensive scheme?
    Question Answered: http://forums.operationsports.com/forums/showpost.php?p=2048976211&postcount=101
    As soon as you change a particular setting in the defensive settings menu, you are overwriting that part of ACE.
    For example:
    If the Lakers are going over on all D.Rose PnR's and you decide that you want go under? That's the change that's going to happen. Everything else will stay in tact.
    This is great to see, and i hope this does apply to online play also, i play both offline and online, but the online portion of 2k17 this year, was basically they added all those plays, offensive sets and so many more settings , but players would just run pick and roll off the top, or sometimes not run anything, just force from the top and it would work, so hopefully they are going to force players to play some type of offense and not just reward user's for playing clueless basketball.
    Incredible stuff! That clip of Lonzo looked so seamless and realistic with all those animations blending so smoothly.
    My biggest takeaway from all this is that AI on HOF will be brutal lol
    Alright why is Ty Lue an A in every category? This dude couldn't coach his way out of a paper bag without LeCoach helping him.
    And Kerr is a B+ defensively while being an A- potential, lower than Lue?! Warriors have been a top 3 defensive team every year of Kerr's reign! This is madness!
    But on a more serious note, all these improvements look and sound great. I can't wait to play!
    The last few years, I've really loved the game. But then usually around December/January there is an update that just sort of kills it for me. For 2K17, after that late December update, just loading the game became so bad that I just gave up and stopped playing it.
    I keep saying, I'm done. Going to wait and see. Maybe pick it up in January if things are still looking good.
    Then I read stuff like this ....That's how it starts. The fever, the hype, the feeling of desperation and hope that turns smart consumers ...dumb.
    Pre-ordered. :y220d:
    Since it was announced, I've been considering getting 2K on Switch. Absolutely nothing about that version has been revealed yet (except that it is not coming physically to start with).
    Is the gameplay the same? Will AI react the same? All of the stuff mentioned in this article?
    Obviously, I don't expect it to look the same...but solid gameplay and the MyGM/MyLeague improvements are what I'm really looking for (seriously; MyGM on the go...)
    Retropyro
    The last few years, I've really loved the game. But then usually around December/January there is an update that just sort of kills it for me. For 2K17, after that late December update, just loading the game became so bad that I just gave up and stopped playing it.
    I keep saying, I'm done. Going to wait and see. Maybe pick it up in January is things are still looking good.
    Then I read stuff like this ....That's how it starts. The fever, the hype, the feeling of desperation and hope that turns smart consumers ...dumb.
    Pre-ordered. :y220d:

    In the same boat, man. I am really trying NOT to pre-order until The Prelude, but it's getting harder by the day. 2K is putting the pressure on.
    Just incredible. Really happy they used clips.
    Stuff like this is what's making me SMH at "2k17.5" talk.
    This is a fundamental change to every single game you're going to play which is huge.
    Can't wait to see it in action.
    Impetuous65
    One thing omitted, hopefully the Da_Czar can clean it up in his blog. Manual Defensive settings versus ACE. What affect will it have on the defense? Does it still cancel out the ACE assignment? will it corrupt the defensive scheme?

    This! It would be great if Scott could provide clarification on the topics mentioned above.
    Honestly do not see anything in the videos, aside from Love & Lebron that is something noticeable partly due to how short they are. I do like what they claim of course and great to hear that they have some sets / strategy for classic teams, though it's probably limited to some really key things as they mentioned the Jordan Rules.
    Ok, don't you guys think your being just a bit ridiculous. This was pretty in depth and an excellent blog about what they worked on from an AI standpoint but the amount of hyperbole in this comment thread is utter insanity. How many times are you guys going to get all amped up over marketing ploys. First the videos were VERY short. So we see how the AI reacts initially  off a preset such as a pick and roll but what happens after a pass is made, or several passes are made. Does the D keep proper formation? Do they rotate to the proper shooters? Do they cross match in transition and then look for an opportunity to match back up when it is presented? How about this, if we want to control an off ball defender are we helpless to stop an interior pass because of the reaction time from pushing a button and the controlled player deflecting it? All I know is I refuse to get all hype before actually playing the game and at least seeing some footage longer than 1-2 seconds. Right now there is another game that everyone can try already doing all these things with great precision and real life accuracy. Playing, testing, and seeing that is what made me fall in love with the gameplay. Certainly not watching a 1 second clip and having a developer tell me what they want me to know. I am reserving enthusiasm until I actually play the game. Fool me twice. 
    BQ32
    Ok, don't you guys think your being just a bit ridiculous. This was pretty in depth and an excellent blog about what they worked on from an AI standpoint but the amount of hyperbole in this comment thread is utter insanity. How many times are you guys going to get all amped up over marketing ploys. First the videos were VERY short. So we see how the AI reacts initially *off a preset such as a pick and roll but what happens after a pass is made, or several passes are made. Does the D keep proper formation? Do they rotate to the proper shooters? Do they cross match in transition and then look for an opportunity to match back up when it is presented? How about this, if we want to control an off ball defender are we helpless to stop an interior pass because of the reaction time from pushing a button and the controlled player deflecting it? All I know is I refuse to get all hype before actually playing the game and at least seeing some footage longer than 1-2 seconds. Right now there is another game that everyone can try already doing all these things with great precision and real life accuracy. Playing, testing, and seeing that is what made me fall in love with the gameplay. Certainly not watching a 1 second clip and having a developer tell me what they want me to know. I am reserving enthusiasm until I actually play the game. Fool me twice.*

    Lol you just harped on people for being enthusiastic about an actual breakdown of changes with included video clips and then inserted a plug for Live like it's gods gift to basketball. Congratulations, you managed to do two of the most annoying things on this forum in one post. Crap on people for being excited, and tell them why another game is better.
    If this is how you feel, wait for the prelude then, preferably quietly. You don't have to tell us why you don't care about this blog or why we should be playing a different game.
    GoDucks1224
    Lol you just harped on people for being enthusiastic about an actual breakdown of changes with included video clips and then inserted a plug for Live like it's gods gift to basketball. Congratulations, you managed to do two of the most annoying things on this forum in one post. Crap on people for being excited, and tell them why another game is better.
    If this is how you feel, wait for the prelude then, preferably quietly. You don't have to tell us why you don't care about this blog or why we should be playing a different game.

    Why do these Live guys spend so much time here if that game is so great?
    The Ben Simmons clip -
    How is that not a 3 second defensive violation?
    My concern (especially against the CPU) would be too many wide open 3s especially in transition where the defensive player is "confused" as where to be while lagging in transition. This plagued 2K17.
    Junior Moe
    Why do these Live guys spend so much time here if that game is so great?

    They're like hipsters. They have to tell you why the less popular thing they like is better than your popular thing or else it's not worth it.
    Good job 2K as a simhead this is the stuff I look forward to hearing about the most.. :popcorn:
    Only thing I didn't like was in the clip with Fultz running pick n roll & Ben Simmons in the corner. Yes the defender should play off but he literally ran under the rim and left Simmons open.. Even though he's not a shooter Fultz still makes that pass and then you have Simmons going downhill towards the rim.. Playing off doesn't mean both feet in the paint just saying.. And giving their best player that much room to catch n drive is not smart.. A simple fix just thought I'd say it in case nobody else noticed but otherwise this was perfect..
    Pound4pound
    Good job 2K as a simhead this is the stuff I look forward to hearing about the most.. :popcorn:
    Only thing I didn't like was in the clip with Fultz running pick n roll & Ben Simmons in the corner. Yes the defender should play off but he literally ran under the rim and left Simmons open.. Even though he's not a shooter Fultz still makes that pass and then you have Simmons going downhill towards the rim.. Playing off doesn't mean both feet in the paint just saying.. And giving their best player that much room to catch n drive is not smart.. A simple fix just thought I'd say it in case nobody else noticed but otherwise this was perfect..

    Yeah that was the one that concerned me too. Hell, Ben can make midrange shots occasionally too. All he has to do is take a couple steps forward and shoot.
    GoDucks1224
    Alright why is Ty Lue an A in every category? This dude couldn't coach his way out of a paper bag without LeCoach helping him.
    And Kerr is a B+ defensively while being an A- potential, lower than Lue?! Warriors have been a top 3 defensive team every year of Kerr's reign! This is madness!
    But on a more serious note, all these improvements look and sound great. I can't wait to play!

    I do have a problem with the coach ratings. It seems that some of the coach ratings are massaged to impact the overall team ratings in a particular way. They are widely inaccurate.
    Wow. Love this so much.
    Might actually be interested in handling more of the coaching options with this much control.
    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-N920A using Tapatalk
    eko718
    I do have a problem with the coach ratings. It seems that some of the coach ratings are massaged to impact the overall team ratings in a particular way. They are widely inaccurate.

    Yeah, and if that is the case I don't know why the Cavs would need to be higher overall defensively than the Warriors. The Warriors are vastly superior on the defensive side of the ball.
    GoDucks1224
    Alright why is Ty Lue an A in every category? This dude couldn't coach his way out of a paper bag without LeCoach helping him.
    And Kerr is a B+ defensively while being an A- potential, lower than Lue?! Warriors have been a top 3 defensive team every year of Kerr's reign! This is madness!
    But on a more serious note, all these improvements look and sound great. I can't wait to play!

    I wish the coaches rating was dynamic, like the game hud. If you press up on the game hud to get a little scouting report, you will see the players grade in those 4 specific areas go up and down throughout the game. I hope the Coaching rating has a similar dynamic from in game and from game to game.
    GoDucks1224
    Yeah, and if that is the case I don't know why the Cavs would need to be higher overall defensively than the Warriors. The Warriors are vastly superior on the defensive side of the ball.

    Agreed. This is one of the first things I adjust when editing rosters. Ty Lue is not an outstanding coach in any regard really...if you reduce that A to a B or C+ on defense, that might correct that issue.
    ch46647
    This! It would be great if Scott could provide clarification on the topics mentioned above.

    As soon as you change a particular setting in the defensive settings menu, you are overwriting that part of ACE.
    For example:
    If the Lakers are going over on all D.Rose PnR's and you decide that you want go under? That's the change that's going to happen. Everything else will stay in tact.
    bigeastbumrush
    The Ben Simmons clip -
    How is that not a 3 second defensive violation?
    My concern (especially against the CPU) would be too many wide open 3s especially in transition where the defensive player is "confused" as where to be while lagging in transition. This plagued 2K17.

    Yes, yes, yes....
    I appreciate that Scott and Da Czar put in work on the AI front, but if the CPU is still doing all the braindead things in that video I posted (credit to Alabamarob) then this is all a moot point. I hope, hope, hope they cleaned up these huge AI issues from 2K17, but that blog did nothing to quell my concern.
    from Bills Backer/Spurs Nation HQ
    I love all of the responses, guys! I plan to respond to as many as I can. It looks like some of you are just finishing this blog. I want this to set in before I go into deep dive mode with you. Apologies for the length! ;)
    cjacks17
    Just incredible. Really happy they used clips.
    Stuff like this is what's making me SMH at "2k17.5" talk.
    This is a fundamental change to every single game you're going to play which is huge.
    Can't wait to see it in action.

    Every year we get the "2k.5 upgrade" comments. I guess some people expect the game to look completely different each year which is unrealistic. I feel like a lot of improvements and changes with 2k aren't things that immediately jump out at you. Take these clips for example. If we weren't told what to look for and what was updated a lot of us would probably be wondering if this was 2k17 or 2k18.
    For me the changes are most evident once you play and spend a little time with the game. Graphical changes are most evident once you are watching it on TV. The feel is typically noticeable right away. Some years if feels the same or similar, other years there is a noticeable difference in feel. But the biggest changes usually surface after spending time with the game and being able to determine what would or wouldn't happen the previous year. That's where changes presented in this blog will show there face.
    OGSPORTS
    I love all of the responses, guys! I plan to respond to as many as I can. It looks like some of you are just finishing this blog. I want this to set in before I go into deep dive mode with you. Apologies for the length! ;)

    You ought to apologize. That's all you could come up with? :duck:
    The simplification of PnR/transition D responsibilities was something that's long frustrated me as a defender that prefers broadcast cam. Thank you for finally addressing it.
    On a side note, is auto-jump finally out of the game? I know they mentioned it was in last year only as a glitch, but it was definitely there and there was nothing more frustrating than watching my player go for a fake even when I know the fake is coming and I'm standing my ground controller-wise.
    OGSPORTS
    I love all of the responses, guys! I plan to respond to as many as I can. It looks like some of you are just finishing this blog. I want this to set in before I go into deep dive mode with you. Apologies for the length! ;)

    Deep Dive away and please don't apologize for the length. :)
    OGSPORTS
    I love all of the responses, guys! I plan to respond to as many as I can. It looks like some of you are just finishing this blog. I want this to set in before I go into deep dive mode with you. Apologies for the length! ;)

    Don't apologize for the length, more info the better.
    I just need to find out if the loading issues from last year have been addressed. And I'm all set.
    OGSPORTS
    I love all of the responses, guys! I plan to respond to as many as I can. It looks like some of you are just finishing this blog. I want this to set in before I go into deep dive mode with you. Apologies for the length! ;)

    You never need to apologize for length! The more detail the better.
    Pound4pound
    Good job 2K as a simhead this is the stuff I look forward to hearing about the most.. :popcorn:
    Only thing I didn't like was in the clip with Fultz running pick n roll & Ben Simmons in the corner. Yes the defender should play off but he literally ran under the rim and left Simmons open.. Even though he's not a shooter Fultz still makes that pass and then you have Simmons going downhill towards the rim.. Playing off doesn't mean both feet in the paint just saying.. And giving their best player that much room to catch n drive is not smart.. A simple fix just thought I'd say it in case nobody else noticed but otherwise this was perfect..

    I disagree. This happens all the time in these situations. This is a high PnR. If you can't "Tag" from the weak side he can take this depth to the strong side low post on a below average shooter. If the ball get's pushed to that side, he will tighten up. If the ball is moved from the top, he's moving immediately to a "short" close out. This limits the down hill effectiveness. With the perception improvements, you will see the defense much more responsive.
    GoDucks1224
    Yeah, and if that is the case I don't know why the Cavs would need to be higher overall defensively than the Warriors. The Warriors are vastly superior on the defensive side of the ball.

    I think the Team Offense and Team Defense overall ratings are in reverse in 2K17 by the way (what is showing as the offensive overall is really the defensive overall and vice versa)... I forgot about that. If you play with the ratings you'll see what I mean.
    bigeastbumrush
    The Ben Simmons clip -
    How is that not a 3 second defensive violation?
    My concern (especially against the CPU) would be too many wide open 3s especially in transition where the defensive player is "confused" as where to be while lagging in transition. This plagued 2K17.

    You are correct, this is a legacy PNR issue in the Bill Simmon video and acting like it's a new great defense ai improvement because Simmons can't shoot. No player leaves a defender in this manner when the ball is on the strong side or top of the key. This defenders runs to the middle of the paint and stands under the goal as soon as someone calls a PnR .
    The AI is overreacting to the PNR call as he is under the goal before the pick is even initiated and it is a 3 second violation but 2K modified the code from last year so they can camp in the paint longer rather than fix the player running into the paint like a madman because in the early days of 2k17 too many 3 second calls was happening due to this but like Jay z would say "ok"
    Kstat
    The simplification of PnR/transition D responsibilities was something that's long frustrated me as a defender that prefers broadcast cam. Thank you for finally addressing it.
    On a side note, is auto-jump finally out of the game? I know they mentioned it was in last year only as a glitch, but it was definitely there and there was nothing more frustrating than watching my player go for a fake even when I know the fake is coming and I'm standing my ground controller-wise.

    Perceptions have improved the transition defense game. The same principals apply: stop ball, someone has to take the basket, back flow the wings to match ups. We're not flying out of the way from the basket to corner shooters to give up wide open dunks like CLE in games 1 & 2 of the finals. :)
    Off topic of AI from the Blog, but in the KAT clip, Wiggins has his cornrows. In the Sacramento Clip, he has an afro. Probably different builds, but if not, could we see the return of the Ben Wallace days, where guys rock different hairstyles? If so, I demand a hairstyle blog, lol.
    This is why 2k is allowed to call out other sports games for their authenticity. Whether it's gameplay mechanics like this or authentic shot styles, footwear, mannerisms not to mention all the My League/My GM stuff... 2k year on year builds something innovative and these new gameplay features are amongst some of the deepest ever.
    *claps*
    OGSPORTS
    Perceptions have improved the transition defense game. The same principals apply: stop ball, someone has to take the basket, back flow the wings to match ups. We're not flying out of the way from the basket to corner shooters to give up wide open dunks like CLE in games 1 & 2 of the finals. :)

    If I might piggy back on this, are the responsibilities based on which defenders are the furthest back at the time of transition, or by which are best equipped to handle them? I'm trying to play the scenarios out in my head.
    I take it the basket takes first priority, then ball, then wings? If Patrick Beverly is the first one back on defense in transition followed by Blake Griffin for whatever reason, does Beverly take the rim while Griffin stops the ball?
    WTF
    Off topic of AI from the Blog, but in the KAT clip, Wiggins has his cornrows. In the Sacramento Clip, he has an afro. Probably different builds, but if not, could we see the return of the Ben Wallace days, where guys rock different hairstyles? If so, I demand a hairstyle blog, lol.

    Thought that was confirmed already ? Or was that just for accessories ?
    read the post/vids/comments - good readand thanks for examples. also good to see everyone so excited about the improvements/changes
    what i liked reading about the most
    - overall AI recognition of repeatedly sucessful sets.
    - all the lebron clips, but especially depicting the ai's response to lebron iso'd and melo iso'd.
    - defensive communication (calling out ball), would be nice addition if it worked in proam/park
    - being able to call zones i the proam without losing grade
    - the rozier clip of him fighting over the screen was really nice
    - coaching systems is what made me say "damn b..". if it works out as explained by OG that would completley change how myteam is played. im curious how it would effect trade logic for mygm/myleague
    again, good read.
    Continuing on the Otto Porter/Simmons clip..
    Sagging off of Simmons allows him to help stop the penetration of Fultz forcing him to either hit the roll man, Simmons who can't shoot or a skip pass, or back out and try something else.. Situations like this is what would often lead to a turnover by the PG but if Porter runs completely under the rim the entire defense is screwed and he really isn't guarding anyone
    Kstat
    If I might piggy back on this, are the responsibilities based on which defenders are the furthest back at the time of transition, or by which are best equipped to handle them? I'm trying to play the scenarios out in my head.
    I take it the basket takes first priority, then ball, then wings?

    Yup. You will also notice that if there's only one player back that he's going to move slightly towards the most dangerous man before committing to stop the ball.
    OGSPORTS
    Yup. You will also notice that if there's only one player back that he's going to move slightly towards the most dangerous man before committing to stop the ball.

    So, 3 on 2 break, point guard and power forward on defense, point guard is much further back at the time of the break. Assuming everything else is equal, the point guard sags toward the rim while the power forward commits to the ball. Do I have that right?
    coachcolbert
    read the post/vids/comments - good readand thanks for examples. also good to see everyone so excited about the improvements/changes
    what i liked reading about the most
    - overall AI recognition of repeatedly sucessful sets.
    - all the lebron clips, but especially depicting the ai's response to lebron iso'd and melo iso'd.
    - defensive communication (calling out ball), would be nice addition if it worked in proam/park
    - being able to call zones i the proam without losing grade
    - the rozier clip of him fighting over the screen was really nice
    - coaching systems is what made me say "damn b..". if it works out as explained by OG that would completley change how myteam is played. im curious how it would effect trade logic for mygm/myleague
    again, good read.

    Thanks! Just like I mentioned in the blog, you guys can keep in touch with me about a particular set or action that you feel is too successful. I plan to be adjusting or adding more sets and actions when the season starts.
    Kstat
    So, 3 on 2 break, point guard and power forward on defense, point guard is much further back at the time of the break. Assuming everything else is equal, the point guard sags toward the rim while the power forward commits to the ball. Do I have that right?

    Top man needs to stop the ball, anchor down under the basket needs to get out to the first pass. Back flow from there.
    OGSPORTS
    Thanks! Just like I mentioned in the blog, you guys can keep in touch with me about a particular set or action that you feel is too successful. I plan to be adjusting or adding more sets and actions when the season starts.

    Please, Please, Please don't do this until we have had the game for about a month or so.
    NO MORE KNEE JERK!!!
    OGSPORTS
    Top man needs to stop the ball, anchor down under the basket needs to get out to the first pass. Back flow from there.

    Thanks. I was just making sure there wasn't any unnecessary AI switching involved. Good transition D actually makes for smarter transition offense because there isn't random switching all over the place and there's more of a rhythm. Thanks for the explanation.
    One last question: does this apply to made baskets as well? Cherry picking the AI in this regard was still a major issue last year.
    OGSPORTS
    Top man needs to stop the ball, anchor down under the basket needs to get out to the first pass. Back flow from there.

    ...Wow, maybe the Pro am guys I encounter will finally understand why I move Rim, the rotate out to the 3 once they start getting back in 3 on 1 scenarios.
    Kstat
    Thanks. I was just making sure there wasn't any unnecessary AI switching involved. Good transition D actually makes for smarter transition offense because there isn't random switching all over the place and there's more of a rhythm. Thanks for the explanation.
    One last question: does this apply to made baskets as well? Cherry picking the AI in this regard was still a major issue last year.

    Only if there's a numbers advantage somehow.
    Did you all identify and change the way your teammates reacted on defense, leading to way too many backdoor baskets (both on the break and in the half court set)? I know that defensive breakdowns happen, but not all of my teammates are James Harden, allowing open lanes while staring into oblivion, lol.
    WTF
    Did you all identify and change the way your teammates reacted on defense, leading to way too many backdoor baskets (both on the break and in the half court set)? I know that defensive breakdowns happen, but not all of my teammates are James Harden, allowing open lanes while staring into oblivion, lol.

    Yup! this speaks to my initial paragraph on going back to the fundamentals. We looked at back doors and rub actions immediately. Adding cutter help and proper position loads on particular sets helped even more. You know how spread the game is these days, much different from 8-10 years ago. We had to adapt just like the league is. Five, good spacers is still going to cause the same issues that it would in the league. That's why I mentioned how important your offball positioning settings this year.
    scottyp180
    Every year we get the "2k.5 upgrade" comments. I guess some people expect the game to look completely different each year which is unrealistic. I feel like a lot of improvements and changes with 2k aren't things that immediately jump out at you. Take these clips for example. If we weren't told what to look for and what was updated a lot of us would probably be wondering if this was 2k17 or 2k18.
    For me the changes are most evident once you play and spend a little time with the game. Graphical changes are most evident once you are watching it on TV. The feel is typically noticeable right away. Some years if feels the same or similar, other years there is a noticeable difference in feel. But the biggest changes usually surface after spending time with the game and being able to determine what would or wouldn't happen the previous year. That's where changes presented in this blog will show there face.

    The more granular we go with the improvements the more nuance will be needed in trying to dissect the videos and replays after you have the game. Questions like what level is being played and what where the defensive settings will all need to be considered before declaring something isn't working.
    Sent from my iPad using Operation Sports
    BTW - Once this game is in your hands I would love to do some morning or late night "film sessions" to break this down even further. If that's something that would interests you, let me know.
    DolfanDave
    You are correct, this is a legacy PNR issue in the Bill Simmon video and acting like it's a new great defense ai improvement because Simmons can't shoot. No player leaves a defender in this manner when the ball is on the strong side or top of the key. This defenders runs to the middle of the paint and stands under the goal as soon as someone calls a PnR .
    The AI is overreacting to the PNR call as he is under the goal before the pick is even initiated and it is a 3 second violation but 2K modified the code from last year so they can camp in the paint longer rather than fix the player running into the paint like a madman because in the early days of 2k17 too many 3 second calls was happening due to this but like Jay z would say "ok"

    First off, this is not 3 seconds. If you look at the shot clock, it's barely 3 full seconds. It goes from 9-6 which isn't necessarily indicative of 3 full seconds, and you can see the defender begin to slide out as it approaches 3 full seconds.
    Also many real defenses, even in playoff games have players they treat as non-factors from 3. Ben Simmons has shown to be one of those players attempting only 3 three pointers in his last full season of basketball while making one. He's probably rated in the high 50s at best as a 3 point shooter and can afford to be ignored on the perimeter. Tony Allen and Roberson come to mind as guys who have been completely ignored by defenses when they are behind the line.
    How the Warriors started ignoring Tony Allen and completely shut down Memphis' offense

    Here is a full video of literally no one guarding Roberson

    I get the concern, but to me this clip doesn't heighten those concerns. I'm sure the CPU defender has logic in place to not leave Klay or KD this open.
    UnbelievablyRAW
    My only question is whether these AI adjustments happen automatically or if we have to set them manually.

    In this video, Marc did great to hang back to stop the drive and recognize that Jordan can't pop off the pick. However, will this type of read be the same if it were Kevin Love? Or will Marc recognize the shooting ability and soft hedge while staying on Kevin?

    Could either Scott or Czar answer this?
    UnbelievablyRAW
    Could either Scott or Czar answer this?

    These adjustments happen automatically. ACE knows who's in the PnR, Where is the PnR coming from, who's the hedge man, etc. If CLE shows soft or hard with the four man in Side PnR situations, the game will as well. MEM knows this is a side PnR and Gasol is the hedge man, so they send everything to him.
    I only have one request....Steve can you put this on the front page...
    DIFFICULTY MATTERS – To get the most authentic NBA Adjustments from ACE, you need to be playing on Superstar or Hall of Fame. All skill levels below that will see limited double teams and changes in situational coverages.

    Is that defensive communication left on by default? I would love to try that out....even though I keep everything off. We can use this setting for online as well?
    Goffs
    I only have one request....Steve can you put this on the front page...
    Is that defensive communication left on by default? I would love to try that out....even though I keep everything off. We can use this setting for online as well?

    What happens when using custom difficult? (custom sliders)
    Goffs
    I only have one request....Steve can you put this on the front page...
    Is that defensive communication left on by default? I would love to try that out....even though I keep everything off. We can use this setting for online as well?

    This setting is off by default. Turn it on and have fun.
    Excellent read. This is the good stuff.
    Looks like AI off ball PnR help defense is more active but will still have to test it.
    If I'm not mistaken there are two sides of the ball that need blogging about :)
    Jesus dude im not even halfway down the page and had to post something
    This is good info man. This doesn't really affect user Park and Pro Am games, but hopefully seeing the CPU do defense this year starts teaching users how to play D in online co-op modes and we see some of the defensive IQ 2k put into the game rub off on users.
    Also it may just be a farce and this stuff may get toned down after a month for being too complicated for children but it really seems like you are actually going to be able to draft a team in leagues that will actually play how you want.
    Aka in 2k17 if I draft Patrick Beverly, Kahwi Leonard, Tony Allen, KAT, and Rudy Gobert that team will most likely against elite competition play defense the same way as a team of Curry, JJ Reddick, Melo, Pau Gasol, and Javele Magee. Who you have didn't really matter defensively because D was so trash it made everyone suck.
    But the way this blog makes 2k18 sound is if I draft Beverly, Allen, Kahwi, KAT and Gobert im going to be able to FEEL that I have an elite defensive squad.
    THAT is all I wanted for 2k. If I draft 2 elite shot blockers at PF and C I should be able to change my settings to some settings that funnels most the action to these bigs. If I only draft 2 good defenders in my starting 5 I should be able to see it in games. 2k has had a problem with stars playing like stars but I think they are getting into an area where they can
    OGSPORTS
    These adjustments happen automatically. ACE knows who's in the PnR, Where is the PnR coming from, who's the hedge man, etc. If CLE shows soft or hard with the four man in Side PnR situations, the game will as well. MEM knows this is a side PnR and Gasol is the hedge man, so they send everything to him.

    Perfect. In 2k17 it felt like the CPU only had one way of defending the PnR (hard hedge that may turn into an ICE) unless the user manually changed it. It was so easy to pick and pop the CPU because of the long "going through screens" animations (thankfully you addressed that) and the roll man defender AND the ball handler defender following the ball handler and leaving the roller wide open.
    The blog was great, looking forward to the next one on Thursday!
    P.S. Hope to see in 2k18 that the CPU is better able to break out of plays if they recognize that a player is open outside of the parameter of the play. A lot of times a guy will be open and rather than cut to the basket or space the floor, the guy will commit to running the called play and setting a screen or something
    vannwolfhawk
    Great blog and read! Loved the digs on the post up's... Thursday? Is Thursday Da Czar's turn? After sitting out last year I think I'm back!

    Your pass has been revoked. Ha
    Great blog Scott. I have a question. You mentioned that Carmelo has a high solation tendency in the blog. Does that mean that there is an actual "iso" or "go one on one" tendency that differs for each player? Or does it mean that Carmelo's primary play type is isolation therefore giving him the high isolation tendency that you mentioned?
    Also what dictates that steve nash "needs the ball in his hands alot" as mentioned in the blog?
    Thanks for any answers from you Scott or even Big Czar. Looking forward to another great installment
    OGSPORTS
    This setting is off by default. Turn it on and have fun.

    We have to play in superstar or hall of fame to have all the adjustments. What if playing with custom sliders?
    TonGunne
    We have to play in superstar or hall of fame to have all the adjustments. What if playing with custom sliders?

    Sliders would be different than difficulty though right? Like the difficulty could be HOF but you can play on default or simulation
    Da_Czar
    The more granular we go with the improvements the more nuance will be needed in trying to dissect the videos and replays after you have the game. Questions like what level is being played and what where the defensive settings will all need to be considered before declaring something isn't working.

    Sent from my iPad using Operation Sports

    This is integral when it comes to updating and patching the game. There might be issues that exist regardless of the difficulty settings, coacing settings, teams and players used, game style (sim, normal, casual), etc but it's important to know the playing conditions of users before declaring that there is a problem in the game.
    The game seems to be designed to play differently under different conditions. I hope people aren't jumping the gun and declaring there are issues before experimenting to see if applying different strategies and adjusting settings can fix the perceived problem.
    So does this mean the pick n roll cheese is gone? (AKA calling for a pick, getting the defender stuck in the going over pick animation then darting the other way)
    OGSPORTS
    BTW - Once this game is in your hands I would love to do some morning or late night "film sessions" to break this down even further. If that's something that would interests you, let me know.

    Thanks alot O'Gallagher great work.
    Is there a defensive setting that allows us to choose who to help off of this year? Or is that only an ACE decision?
    Guys constantly run 4 out with non shooting bigs. Can we choose as a setting to help off of Faried if he is standing at the 3 point line?
    GSW
    So does this mean the pick n roll cheese is gone? (AKA calling for a pick, getting the defender stuck in the going over pick animation then darting the other way)

    I'll let you be the judge ;)
    OGSPORTS
    I love all of the responses, guys! I plan to respond to as many as I can. It looks like some of you are just finishing this blog. I want this to set in before I go into deep dive mode with you. Apologies for the length! ;)

    Firstly, don't ever apologize for a long blog.... ever.... :)
    Second, question on the heavy sag on Simmons. If he happens to get the catch and knock down a J, will the AI defender tighten on the next possession?
    Do adjustments relate specifically to the in game action or to players ratings/tendencies in general?
    MarkWilliam
    Excellent read. This is the good stuff.
    Looks like AI off ball PnR help defense is more active but will still have to test it.
    If I'm not mistaken there are two sides of the ball that need blogging about :)

    From what I heard, Da_Czar is doing a #Czar10for10
    Love it OG.
    In 16 I found the pick and pop was a money play. Big was left open too often.
    17 was better although not as consistent.
    I can see myself running a heap of smith Jnr/dirk pick and pops. Will the AI send a weak side defender to my pop guy if they hedge or double the ball? Will the big hug up on my pop guy and concede the 1 on 1 if they have a good ball defender?
    My question got too long. TLDR will the Ai have a full suite of options when defending pick and pops?
    This is going to sound stupidly simplified, but will there be a way to opt out on celebration animations this year and get back on defense? Watching my guy stop and do a fist pump after a made basket while my man ran by me at full speed was a needless exploit.
    Also I'll ask here while I can.
    In 2K17 I was able to run PnR all game when a hedge man showed on the pick.
    Wait for the roll, time the pass and get 2 points every time. 11/11 FG in the first qtr with Roberson (OKC) on dunks or layups.
    AI weak side help on the roller was the same all game (late or not at all).
    I'd like to know if the help defense will be different after a play is successful and be less "scripted" to a teams scheme.
    Thanks in advance OG!
    I wonder if this System Proficiency stuff also works or it is customizable for MyLeague Online... Is it something you could confirm @OGSPORTS ?
    Cheers! ;-)
    MarkWilliam
    Firstly, don't ever apologize for a long blog.... ever.... :)
    Second, question on the heavy sag on Simmons. If he happens to get the catch and knock down a J, will the AI defender tighten on the next possession?
    Do adjustments relate specifically to the in game action or to players ratings/tendencies in general?

    This depends on the team but it will take more than one most likely. Especially with a player like Simmons. It's also looking at his efficiency before adapting.
    TonGunne
    We have to play in superstar or hall of fame to have all the adjustments. What if playing with custom sliders?

    Mike wang told us last year you could turn the difficulty to HOF. Adjust sliders from there and you'd get full ace. It was a nugget buried on the forums that only a few of us saw. It explains why many of us who saw it came away with a more positive experience with the Ai.
    OGSPORTS
    Yup! this speaks to my initial paragraph on going back to the fundamentals. We looked at back doors and rub actions immediately. Adding cutter help and proper position loads on particular sets helped even more. You know how spread the game is these days, much different from 8-10 years ago. We had to adapt just like the league is. Five, good spacers is still going to cause the same issues that it would in the league. That's why I mentioned how important your offball positioning settings this year.

    Scott, first of all, thanks for this detailed blog and all the things you focused on this year. They were the right things! I especially appreciate the greater level of explanation on the user screens for the defensive settings - that will help a lot of people we've been trying to help in previous years with the defensive settings wiki thread.
    Question: most #simnation players have tended to use one approach to PnR defense almost all the time, like catch hedge, because other settings, like hard hedge or ice, were often really ineffective. The problems were because of limitations in the animations around the pick itself and also lack of AI intelligence for help in the paint.
    So my question is, do you think all the PnR defensive strategies will be legitimate situational weapons (rock-paper-scissors) this year and genuinely vary their effectiveness based on defensive player ratings? Will bigs still be able to recover speed unrealistically coming out of PnR plays based on animations again? I'm hoping we don't find again that, in spite of all the efforts, just one or two core strategies become templates for playing all opponents, just maybe varying whether the guy on ball goes over or under.
    Thanks.
    Baebae32
    Great blog Scott. I have a question. You mentioned that Carmelo has a high solation tendency in the blog. Does that mean that there is an actual "iso" or "go one on one" tendency that differs for each player? Or does it mean that Carmelo's primary play type is isolation therefore giving him the high isolation tendency that you mentioned?
    Also what dictates that steve nash "needs the ball in his hands alot" as mentioned in the blog?
    Thanks for any answers from you Scott or even Big Czar. Looking forward to another great installment

    Curious about this as well. A dedicated ISO tendency would be really cool.
    A Player who has a 4 stars in "Grit and Grind", he's now traded to a "Perimeter Centric" style coach and has a star rating of 2. Can he learn "perimeter centric" over the course of the season? Let's say from October to April, 2 stars become 3 1/2? Or AllStar Break to the Season End he has 2 stars, but once he enters the playoffs, he jumps to 2 1/2 or 3 stars. Or does his rating stay what he initially received?
    Question Answered:http://forums.operationsports.com/forums/showpost.php?p=2048977567&postcount=283
    You are waaaaaaay ahead of where the feature is in year 1.
    Smirkin Dirk
    Mike wang told us last year you could turn the difficulty to HOF. Adjust sliders from there and you'd get full ace. It was a nugget buried on the forums that only a few of us saw. It explains why many of us who saw it came away with a more positive experience with the Ai.

    That explains a lot!
    GSW
    So does this mean the pick n roll cheese is gone? (AKA calling for a pick, getting the defender stuck in the going over pick animation then darting the other way)

    Personally I would never say anything thing is gone. Simply because people get the game and actively try to break it. We have so many more animations and systems than other games and there is always multiple things that can cause a particular issue.
    So we did our best and like OG said if you feel it is gone then that is up to you to say or not say. We did all we could with the time allotted.
    There was an issue and OG and crew came up with a design they felt would alleviate it but it is still a video game and video game ish is bound to happen.
    Sent from my iPad using Operation Sports
    LorenzoDC
    Scott, first of all, thanks for this detailed blog and all the things you focused on this year. They were the right things! I especially appreciate the greater level of explanation on the user screens for the defensive settings - that will help a lot of people we've been trying to help in previous years with the defensive settings wiki thread.
    Question: most #simnation players have tended to use one approach to PnR defense almost all the time, like catch hedge, because other settings, like hard hedge or ice, were often really ineffective. The problems were because of limitations in the animations around the pick itself and also lack of AI intelligence for help in the paint.
    So my question is, do you think all the PnR defensive strategies will be legitimate situational weapons (rock-paper-scissors) this year and genuinely vary their effectiveness based on defensive player ratings? Will bigs still be able to recover speed unrealistically coming out of PnR plays based on animations again? I'm hoping we don't find again that, in spite of all the efforts, just one or two core strategies become templates for playing all opponents, just maybe varying whether the guy on ball goes over or under.
    Thanks.

    The league has gone so heavy into spread PnR. We had to adapt. The initial level has been improved but situational position changes is the game changer. Now that we are not tied to "one setting" means all, we can do so much more. Now, if guys go to 4-out and 5-out set's and don't have the proper floor or shooting balance, you will see it.
    Have you tightened up the interior defense? Post defenders leaving their man wide open under the basket for an easy basket was near game breaking for me in 2K17.
    I personally never felt like there was any user v user pnr cheese. Catch all or bringing an off ball defender to defend the roll man was realistically effective. As long as the off ball cpu defenders defend the paint the defense will be solid and realistic imo.
    Da_Czar
    Personally I would never say anything thing is gone. Simply because people get the game and actively try to break it. We have so many more animations and systems than other games and there is always multiple things that can cause a particular issue.
    So we did our best and like OG said if you feel it is gone then that is up to you to say or not say. We did all we could with the time allotted.
    There was an issue and OG and crew came up with a design they felt would alleviate it but it is still a video game and video game ish is bound to happen.
    Sent from my iPad using Operation Sports

    I agree no one should ever anticipate perfection out of a video game it's just nice to know which legacy issues have been reasonably addressed. Of course that always opens the door for new ones we don't see coming but like you said that's part of game design.
    With the blog and answers here in this thread, as well as the coming information to be released, you have my pre-order gentlemen.
    Da_Czar, Scott_OG, you are directly responsible for getting my money this year. Hope you guys get a cut. ;)
    trekfan
    With the blog and answers here in this thread, as well as the coming information to be released, you have my pre-order gentlemen.
    Da_Czar, Scott_OG, you are directly responsible for getting my money this year. Hope you guys get a cut. ;)

    Same. Glad to give them my money. Preordered.
    I'm curious about the defenders urgency getting back. To me defenders getting back should be running harder than offensive players in certain situations.
    I think the offensive AI got so strong that it would penalize defenders getting back too slowly.
    I noticed this in 2K17 more than anything. Specifically after missed free throws and sometimes directly after tip off.
    AI would pass to a cutting big for 2 points. Felt helpless.
    OGSPORTS
    The league has gone so heavy into spread PnR. We had to adapt. The initial level has been improved but situational position changes is the game changer. Now that we are not tied to "one setting" means all, we can do so much more. Now, if guys go to 4-out and 5-out set's and don't have the proper floor or shooting balance, you will see it.

    Thanks for that response. So, if I understand right, the fact that off ball settings are more dynamic (ex.: "moderate" off ball is not static as to how many feet from the offensive player the defender will be, but based on court situation and offensive player ratings) will mean that defenders away from the pick will help guard the PnR more effectively.
    As a result, defenders away from the pick will assess who has the ball, who's setting the pick and their own man's shooting ability and position themselves and adjust to the play accordingly. The net result will be better team PnR defense, which will make the full range of PnR defensive settings more viable.
    Is that what you are saying?
    Much appreciated.
    MarkWilliam
    I'm curious about the defenders urgency getting back. To me defenders getting back should be running harder than offensive players in certain situations.
    I think the offensive AI got so strong that it would penalize defenders getting back too slowly.
    I noticed this in 2K17 more than anything. Specifically after missed free throws and sometimes directly after tip off.
    AI would pass to a cutting big for 2 points. Felt helpless.

    I second this. AI transition D after made baskets was really easy to exploit and it led to a lot of helpless situations that should not have been.
    I really appreciate the fast break D adjustments but I'd also love some assurance that the offensive center isn't going to beat the other 9 guys down the floor for dunks anymore. That might happen in fast break situations but it should never ever happen taking the ball out of bounds.
    OGSPORTS
    The league has gone so heavy into spread PnR. We had to adapt. The initial level has been improved but situational position changes is the game changer. Now that we are not tied to "one setting" means all, we can do so much more. Now, if guys go to 4-out and 5-out set's and don't have the proper floor or shooting balance, you will see it.

    I needed to see this post. Pretty much answers my 2K17 gripe question.
    The blog did outline this aswell - but nice to have further elaboration.
    Thanks OG.
    alabamarob
    Thanks alot O'Gallagher great work.
    Is there a defensive setting that allows us to choose who to help off of this year? Or is that only an ACE decision?
    Guys constantly run 4 out with non shooting bigs. Can we choose as a setting to help off of Faried if he is standing at the 3 point line?

    You mean this? ;)
    BluFu
    Curious about this as well. A dedicated ISO tendency would be really cool.

    Agreed. Would love a tendency for "isolation" or even "ball dominance" (Westbrook would be a 99 here of course lol). But who knows maybe these things are integrated in some fashion with the proficiency system. We shall see
    LorenzoDC
    Thanks for that response. So, if I understand right, the fact that off ball settings are more dynamic (ex.: "moderate" off ball is not static as to how many feet from the offensive player the defender will be, but based on court situation and offensive player ratings) will mean that defenders away from the pick will help guard the PnR more effectively.
    As a result, defenders away from the pick will assess who has the ball, who's setting the pick and their own man's shooting ability and position themselves and adjust to the play accordingly. The net result will be better team PnR defense, which will make the full range of PnR defensive settings more viable.
    Is that what you are saying?
    Much appreciated.

    Yup. Dynamic is correct wording as well. That's why I put the Lonzo side PnR in there. Randle is in the strong side corner, so that allows the Gap coverage to get more depth in this situation. Again, if there's an issue you run into consistently, I'll take a stab at it. Big Czar has years of depth into these offenses so thinking absolutely everything is "knocked out of the park" would be a bit much. :)
    Smirkin Dirk
    Mike wang told us last year you could turn the difficulty to HOF. Adjust sliders from there and you'd get full ace. It was a nugget buried on the forums that only a few of us saw. It explains why many of us who saw it came away with a more positive experience with the Ai.

    Wait. So Hall of Fame is the best difficulty setting to play the game on?
    I played on Superstar all year! Lol
    OGSPORTS
    You mean this? ;)

    Welp. I stand down. Great work. My favorite part of next gen 2k has been the added defensive settings. By adding the ability to choose who to help off of, you have changed the game. Guys will now have to pay for running those Noah and Kyle O'Quinn lineups.
    The lames will have to go with spacing or rim protection? Make a choice
    Da_Czar
    Personally I would never say anything thing is gone. Simply because people get the game and actively try to break it. We have so many more animations and systems than other games and there is always multiple things that can cause a particular issue.
    So we did our best and like OG said if you feel it is gone then that is up to you to say or not say. We did all we could with the time allotted.
    There was an issue and OG and crew came up with a design they felt would alleviate it but it is still a video game and video game ish is bound to happen.
    Sent from my iPad using Operation Sports

    This is the reason iv played more MyLeague this year than iv ever played. It becomes a chore playing sometimes when you know for a fact you are gonna play and get pissed at some losers running pick and rools for 3s or dribbling whole shot clocks out because they want to break ankles for youtube.
    OGSPORTS
    You mean this? ;)
    I think you just changed my life man. So are you telling me I can hide my weak defensive players by having them come to help on drives no matter where they are at!?
    This is amazing. So I can leave limited offensive players in one and one and set up very detailed defense to guard stars I love it.
    Everything sounds awesome. I hope a couple other things that were addressed are a lack of charges taken by CPU controlled players and defensive 3 seconds not being called on CPU teams. I absolutely loved 2k17 and played more games of it than I even want to admit, but I literally never saw one defensive 3 seconds called on the CPU. Also not nearly enough charges taken, or attempted to take.
    But, needless to say these broad ai defensive improvements are really exciting. Especially happy about reworked double team AI. Opportune trapping by AI/CPU defense would be great.
    Sent from my Nexus 5X using Tapatalk
    MarkWilliam
    I'm curious about the defenders urgency getting back. To me defenders getting back should be running harder than offensive players in certain situations.
    I think the offensive AI got so strong that it would penalize defenders getting back too slowly.
    I noticed this in 2K17 more than anything. Specifically after missed free throws and sometimes directly after tip off.
    AI would pass to a cutting big for 2 points. Felt helpless.

    It's an automatic 2 points if you win the tip and pass to the paint.
    The first vid with Redick running Beal around, I really enjoyed seeing Beal guard him on the ball.
    He stays with him, doesn't run into him/bump him. When he loses a step, he changes his angle to recover a contest.
    THAT. IS. BASKETBALL.
    BluFu
    It's an automatic 2 points if you win the tip and pass to the paint.

    This could be as simple as delaying the screen flip for 2 seconds after tip. If your paying attention you should be good after 2 seconds. Guys who aren't paying attention will get punished as they should
    OGSPORTS
    I disagree. This happens all the time in these situations. This is a high PnR. If you can't "Tag" from the weak side he can take this depth to the strong side low post on a below average shooter. If the ball get's pushed to that side, he will tighten up. If the ball is moved from the top, he's moving immediately to a "short" close out. This limits the down hill effectiveness. With the perception improvements, you will see the defense much more responsive.

    Does the offensive CPU AI have the awareness if guarded like this with weak side tag man responsibilities? Like do they have a offensive counter or maybe a play that the player lifts up from the corner shooter away from the tag man for throw back situations?
    You guys are killing me with this blog! As a MyLeauge exclusive player, seeing how this all ties in with system fit, tendencies and everything like that is bringing me SUCH joy. I mean holy crap, team building actually means something this year and it's the most excited I've ever been for a 2K game.
    There was no rhyme or reason to signing free agents and making trades in past years, it was just get the best players and go out there and play. Utilizing strategy when it comes to obtaining players and coaches is something Iv'e wanted forever. I can't wait until this gets expanded on in future versions.
    It also looks like no more brick wall defense. I feel like that was such a crutch in 2K17 because there weren't proper rotations, assignments, etc. It seems like each player has their own individual defensive intelligence to go along with the scheme. Bravo, guys. Keep building on this ACE system. What you're doing over there is legendary.

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