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NBA 2K20 MyLeague Online Review: Finally We Have Some Stability

NBA 2K20

NBA 2K20 MyLeague Online Review: Finally We Have Some Stability

It’s been over two months since NBA 2K20 was released, so I think it’s time to look back at one of my favorite game modes: MyLeague Online (MLO). MLO is the only game mode I play in NBA 2K20. I am generally intrigued by the thought of playing GM/coach versus other human owners. The art of trade negotiation, free agency plans and battling users has always been my preference rather than playing against the AI.

Looking back, MyLeague in 2K19 was a huge step, but it was held back by lack of server support. Beyond that, the history of online franchise in NBA 2K goes back to the NBA 2K9 days where the mode was simply ahead of its time. Back then, 2K had a website supporting leagues, and you could even scoreboard watch live games. Roughly a couple years later the developers attempted an Online Association that made multiple-year leagues a possibility. The Online Association had its issues but was still ahead of its time as well.

Then next generation happened and MLO took a backseat to MyCareer, The Park, MyTeam and basically any game mode that required VC. The beginning of online leagues on the next-generation consoles was a disaster, to say the least. There were a ton of negative reactions and it left the 2K online community confused about the future. Last year, 2K19 introduced MyLeague Online and promised contracts, real-life free agency, rookies, etc. The thing they did not promise was server support, which left the community asking for stability. This year they promised more stability and a better mode in general.

So how did they do?

The Good

The servers have held up for the most part during the offseasons. This was one of the biggest issues last year because leagues would freeze and there was no support or fix to stop it from happening. Last year, my league did six seasons and we only were able to get through one offseason. We had to re-create the league five times out of six! A lot of time was spent fixing contracts, doing progression, fixing rosters, etc.

With NBA 2K20, my league just went through its first offseason, and I am happy to say we were able to get to the next season without any issues. The promise to keep the servers stable and possibly add more support has paid off. The menus are quick and responsive, and the league doesn’t feel like it’s in quicksand.

Overall, the mode seems to run well compared to last year’s, and it has really taken some positive steps in the right direction. There is not that same fear of crashing or freezing a league like we had last year. The admins have powers that work and can be used to the benefit of their leagues. It feels like the mode is on the right path to being a complete mode.

2K has also done a great job of providing users with content in the league. The ability to see advanced stats and per 36 stats has given each league more life, and added another dimension to the scouting of opponents and trade targets. The scouting system for upcoming rookies actually works this year and helps make the draft more interesting. The contracts also do a good job of replicating the current NBA collective bargaining agreement in terms of salary cap and the luxury tax.

The virtual league does a good job of using the social network voices to provide league news updates. This is where the game mode excels in terms of functionality and presentation. Another cool feature is the ability to re-brand and re-design your court, logo and/or jerseys. The game does a great job of providing mock drafts and power rankings. It also provides three different mock drafts to give users a different feel of the draft. This is just another example of 2K bringing realism to the league.

The Bad

There are several minor issues in MLO that take away from the experience. Currently, you cannot see the jersey selection screen before the game begins. The option is there to change jerseys and accessories, but you cannot see what jersey you have on. This presents a problem as teams can end up playing with the same colors, which obviously makes it really hard to determine who is on what team. The way around this is to memorize the selections before the game, and then hope you and your opponent don’t have the same colored jerseys.

Another issue is the fact that contracts seem to act differently as the league advances from season to season. I’ve noticed in season three that team options start to disappear, leaving free agency needing to be manipulated by the users. It can be quite frustrating that the league works 90 percent of the time and runs into other small issues the remaining 10 percent. It would also be nice if we were able to trade during the rookie draft.

MLO provides the league with sliders that seem to do a good job of customizing the gameplay experience. However, the injury slider doesn’t seem to work at all during games. I have no problem seeing injuries from sims, but injuries during games are very rare. I have tried to turn the sliders to the worst possible conditions and I am still not receiving any injuries. This creates a problem because teams have no fear of playing guys heavy minutes. The injuries need to be fixed in order to have a true simulation of the NBA. Speaking of sliders not really having an impact on the game, the free throw slider doesn’t seem to have any impact on the FT percentages. It is too easy to “green” a free throw even if the slider is at 0.

Another issue is the defensive game planning doesn’t seem to work anymore. Every league member in my league gets a blue screen error on the PS4 when doing a defensive game plan before the game starts. We’ve had to resort to doing them after the tipoff. It can be a little frustrating but it’s not the end of the world. It would also obviously be nice if teams could do an offensive game plan before the game to match the defensive game plan.

A couple of other small issues in MLO are the controller settings and coach settings not saving. This creates a small issue where people can’t rely on settings being the same from game to game. 2K has normally had these issues but it’s frustrating that you can’t rely on changes being saved on your profile.

Bottom Line

2K has really delivered a solid My League Online experience. There are a couple of smaller issues, but it seems like stability was a focus this year. Last year they introduced a brand new mode, but I don’t think they were prepared on the back end (servers). This year the servers are a lot more stable. There is not much of a worry during the offseason that the league will freeze. Last year just navigating through the menus within the league was a drag, and you could tell the strain being put on the servers. This year the menus flow smoothly, and you can transition easily into different aspects of the game mode.

In the future, I would love to see 2K bring some more of the modes from the offline MyLeague to MLO. I would love to see an updated home screen that amplifies the league news section. It would be cool if we could do a live look in on current games going on within the league. Maybe this could be something similar to the website from the past leagues, only now it’s something within the league on the console. I hope to see better in-game presentation when playing online that is comparable to offline presentation as well.

I want to see 2K continue to push the envelope regarding online leagues. This community has been waiting for it, and it seems like 2K has delivered on its promise this year. Now let’s keep that momentum going as we wrap up this generation and move into the next gen.

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  1. you cannot do defensive settings on ps4 before the game? wow.... at least that is working on pc.
    Right now the General consensus in our League is that the game gets worse every year especially in regards to stability. this year we have Lots of network errors and crashes.
    you Pause the game and make defensive settings/substitutions? network error.
    you take a timeout? crash.
    one User is unable to Play with his own Team after a trade, because the game will crash some where between Minute 1 and 40, but He is able to select other Teams. if other users take the same Team, it crashes, too.
    for some people the gameplan does Not Stick and when they Start a game they habe strange limeups Were starters are in the inactive roster.
    and i havent even started in how the gameplay itself is just horrific.
    so maybe all of this "around the game" Features are working, but the core game itself is a complete mess.
    All of this lead to some Long time members retiring and we decided to reduce the number of games per season from 43 to 29. it seems like the majority of the League does Not like the game but only our community and all the managinf aspects of the game.
    Also like last year, new content is not pushed through to existing save files. As it currently stands, MLO users will not see new jerseys, shoes or courts during the 2k20 cycle.
    Player Morale is bugged in MLO in the sense that there is no option to turn it off. Offline you have the option but it doesnt work anyway, it remains on. So you will still see random substantial hits to ratings of some players.
    This bug occured last year but it seems to happen more often at least in our experience, the quarter length will randomly default to 5 minutes.
    Playbooks are randomly disappearing. I edited my playbook to have 48 plays, had it for a couple games, then noticed i only had 25.
    Last year there was a bug where if 2 users edited the same team playbook their edits would override each other. Havent tested but not sure this is responsible this time.
    Every once in a while, game results are not registering. 2 users will complete a game, return to the main menu only to see that the game simmed to a different result.
    Lastly, this is present in other modes (though Im assuming not the MyPlayer ones otherwise there would be a monstrous outcry and an immediate fix) but it has a huge affect on MLO and that is, the shot meter is bugged so that Very Late releases go in at a significantly higher rate than good releases (full whites as this generation calls them.)
    To combat this, we've had to say that if anyone abuses it they will get the boot, luckily we have 30 stand up guys lol. But even when it happens on accident, and Thaddeus Young makes a double covered 100% smothered very late release moving jumper at the shot clock buzzer, it can be frustrating.
    Mikelopedia

    Last year there was a bug where if 2 users edited the same team playbook their edits would override each other. Havent tested but not sure this is responsible this time.

    That is because you are not creating your own playbook based on the chosen standard playbook, so that both users start with the same and get their own which is stored under the team/user. But instead there exist 32 playbooks in the game (all 30 teams + "user 1" and "user 2"). If you now edit for example the Pelicans playbook, the edited one gets saved as the pelicans playbook. if another user is now editing the pels playbook, he sees your edits and then starts from there.
    Mikelopedia

    Lastly, this is present in other modes (though Im assuming not the MyPlayer ones otherwise there would be a monstrous outcry and an immediate fix) but it has a huge affect on MLO and that is, the shot meter is bugged so that Very Late releases go in at a significantly higher rate than good releases (full whites as this generation calls them.)

    This is so crazy I had to try it out. I took three of my players, Bradley Beal, Myles Turner and Salah Mejri to practice mode and took 20 3s each.
    With Turner and Beal I shot "normally" trying to hit the perfect release. Turner (82 3pt rating) resulted in 12/20 makes, while 9 of them were green releases.
    Beal (82) had 9/20 with only 2 greens.
    With Mejri (69) I just held the stick until it automatically released the ball. It was a very late release with every shot and I hit 13 of 20 shots with a subpar shooter without giving any though to timing the shot! Thats so crazy...
    Mikelopedia
    Also like last year, new content is not pushed through to existing save files. As it currently stands, MLO users will not see new jerseys, shoes or courts during the 2k20 cycle.
    Player Morale is bugged in MLO in the sense that there is no option to turn it off. Offline you have the option but it doesnt work anyway, it remains on. So you will still see random substantial hits to ratings of some players.
    Lastly, this is present in other modes (though Im assuming not the MyPlayer ones otherwise there would be a monstrous outcry and an immediate fix) but it has a huge affect on MLO and that is, the shot meter is bugged so that Very Late releases go in at a significantly higher rate than good releases (full whites as this generation calls them.)
    To combat this, we've had to say that if anyone abuses it they will get the boot, luckily we have 30 stand up guys lol. But even when it happens on accident, and Thaddeus Young makes a double covered 100% smothered very late release moving jumper at the shot clock buzzer, it can be frustrating.

    This 3 Bugs should be fixed immediatly, how in the world we have 9!! Patches and none of them adresses this???
    I spent years criticizing 2k for their short comings with online leagues so I'm not about to be silent when they actually deliver a quality mode for online leagues. The offseason works point blank period. Everything else can be worked around or are minor issues. Thank you 2k for stabilizing the servers. I'm on Xbox so I can't speak for ps4 or pc but it's the most stable infrastructure they have given us MLO heads in years. They could've easily gone in the direction of the show who eliminated the mode all together. We should be greatful.
    Sent from my LG-H910 using Tapatalk
    Good for you then. In our league it is really horrible. I usually need to spent 2-3 hours to complete one game.
    I managed to dig into the crashes caused by timeouts. Sometimes they happen, sometimes they don't. If someone takes a manual timeout, it will instantly crash. Auto-Timeouts work.
    jk31
    you cannot do defensive settings on ps4 before the game? wow.... at least that is working on pc.
    Right now the General consensus in our League is that the game gets worse every year especially in regards to stability. this year we have Lots of network errors and crashes.
    you Pause the game and make defensive settings/substitutions? network error.
    you take a timeout? crash.
    one User is unable to Play with his own Team after a trade, because the game will crash some where between Minute 1 and 40, but He is able to select other Teams. if other users take the same Team, it crashes, too.
    for some people the gameplan does Not Stick and when they Start a game they habe strange limeups Were starters are in the inactive roster.
    and i havent even started in how the gameplay itself is just horrific.
    so maybe all of this "around the game" Features are working, but the core game itself is a complete mess.
    All of this lead to some Long time members retiring and we decided to reduce the number of games per season from 43 to 29. it seems like the majority of the League does Not like the game but only our community and all the managinf aspects of the game.

    Everything in bold is so true. We're experiencing the very same issues in our MLO and a lot of our coaches stopped playing the game bacause of its horrendously bad, unbalanced, BADGE this badge that, non-logical "gameplay".
    2K20 has worsen a lot in terms of simulation gameplay.

Scott plays a variety of sports games and is a commissioner of USDA & SSBA 2K online leagues. I am huge Chicago sports fan (Bulls, Cubs, Bears, Blackhawks) and try to play with them any chance I can get.

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