‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house,
Not a MyTeam game was stirring, not even a challenge;
But packs were still purchased and opened with care,
In hopes that Kobe Bryant soon would be there…
Thursday, December 21st. They called it “Kobe Christmas.” And I was frothing at the mouth like everyone else.
Earlier that afternoon I learned that 2K had released two Kobe-centric moments challenges, along with four new Kobe cards. A ruby, an amethyst, a diamond and (holy crap) a pink diamond. In the first challenge, scoring 60 points (with any player) would earn you the ruby Kobe. Then you were supposed to use that ruby (or any Kobe card you might already have) in the second challenge, where you needed to score 81 points. The reward for that is a special Kobe Christmas pack, which apparently could (emphasis on could) net you a diamond shoe and/or the amethyst Kobe card.
Now this is exactly the kind of thing I was hoping they would start offering us — more ways to earn actual players instead of just chump change MT. Very exciting. But an interesting wrinkle is that all these cards were inserted into Throwback Packs too, meaning they are auction-able.
Here is that lovely diamond card again:
Now for a piece of important context: the Lakers had retired his jerseys earlier in the week, so Kobe fever was already going strong. Obviously the timing of these challenges was not a coincidence, and Kobe fever quickly escalated into a strain of the Mamba super-flu as tons of people were buying packs to try and get these cards. I know this because the auction house suddenly was flooded with other historic cards, and prices started dropping pretty dramatically.
That night I personally was trying to take advantage of all this madness by grabbing some needed historic players at a discount, and this is when I started noticing issues. The auction house would occasionally fail to bring back any results, or just kick me out.
Okay, not a huge deal. I just had to search for things multiple times. Whatever.
After an exercise in patience, I was able to buy some cards I had been coveting. It was a good day. But then, I found myself getting caught up in the madness too…I bought some VC and used it to get a Throwback Box.
And this was the first pack I opened. Needless to say, I lost my sh*t. I’ve mentioned before that I usually have bad luck with pack openings, but that all turned around in one joyous card flip.
Or so I thought.
Since it just was the first pack, I thought perhaps I had been touched by the grace of God and proceeded to excitedly tear through the box. The second pack had an emerald Tracy McGrady. Sweet, I love Tracy. The third pack was total crap. Okay, no biggie, just a fluke…surely the next one would be a ruby or something.
But then, on the fourth pack, this happened:
I started freaking out. Would my Kobe still be there? What about the rest of my unopened box? Well, I tried to get back into MyTeam, but kept getting a similar error.
After walking over to the mailbox to get some fresh air (and stave off a panic attack), I tried to sign in again. And this time it actually worked. Plus, the game was now starting the box opening animation again, all on its own — except instead of there being five cards in a pack, there were only one or two. Starting with that Clint Capela card you saw in the picture above.
So it seemed to be trying to give me my cards back at least, just in an odd way.
As I got about halfway into the box, I got kicked again. Eventually I was able to sign back in, but the pack animation just started over from the beginning. Same cards (Hi again Clint Capela), and just one or two at a time instead of a full pack of five. This cycle continued for a while. Until finally, a couple of hours later, the animation finished and I was able to get my stuff.
Except for Kobe.
So I tried restarting the game, and then the PS4, to see if I could get the animation to trigger again or maybe get a pack to show up in my rewards queue. I had read online that it happened like that for someone else — missing cards just mysteriously showed up in their queue.
Well, it didn’t work for me, and I was seething. So, I took a break for the night.
The next day I checked in again, but MyTeam was still all kinds of messed up. I could barely sign in, and whenever I did, there were no packs waiting for me. People online also were losing their collective minds, as stories like mine seemed to be popping up everywhere. Needless to say, morale was low.
I started poking around my collections, looking for cards I could sell, because at this point I was considering just burning it all down. Selling everything, and starting over. Then, I had a weird feeling.
So I navigated a few more screens…
And there he was!
Maybe he was saved before the game initially crashed on me and I just never thought to look, or maybe 2K somehow dropped him in my collection overnight, who knows. But as far as I could tell, I now had everything I was missing from that box I purchased.
Unfortunately though, I had not been able to actually use Kobe, or any of my new cards. Because even after 24 hours the MyTeam struggles continued.
Sometimes I could get in for a few minutes, but if I tried to add a contract to a player or play a game of any kind, I still got kicked out. The only thing that seemed to sporadically work was the auction house. And card values were still dropping.
I’ve been wanting this Connie Hawkins card for weeks, and it’s typically in the 100K MT range. Now, as you can see, it’s under 10K. Unfortunately I don’t have 10K right now. Since I can’t play any games, I’ve actually resorted to quick-selling jersey cards and logos and basketballs to get some MT, and I’m getting close.
Who knows how long the auction house will be like this, but maybe it will be possible to actually complete a historic collection or two after all. Fingers crossed. Oh, and speaking of which:
Oh well, at least it’s 100 percent clear that 2K players love Kobe Bryant.
I bet it pleases him to know that his massive popularity brought the servers crashing down. And honestly, I can’t blame him. That would be like getting angry at his old partner-in-crime Shaq for smashing a backboard with a monster dunk — yeah it’s going to delay the game while they clean it up, but d**n…
I heard Kobe exclaim, as slighted gamers still pout,
Happy Christmas to all, and (mic drop) MAMBA OUT!