Is galaxy opal overload a bad thing?
I know a lot of folks would say yes, especially in April. And I completely get it (every team becomes a ‘god’ team, it devalues lower-tier cards like diamonds to the point where no one cares about them anymore and so on). But I’m going to argue otherwise.
MyTeam is a fantasy mode.
If I wanted to play “regular” 2K basketball, I’d start up a MyLeague. And I actually do that as well, just to get the “sim” experience. I love building a team of role players (silver and gold-level guys) around what are essentially pink diamond players (Harden, LeBron, Kawhi).
But in today’s NBA, I actually don’t think anyone would be considered a galaxy opal. That level should be reserved for the GOAT (Jordan, Kobe, prime LeBron or whoever else you want to throw on that list). But in MyTeam, half the fun is trying out juiced versions of players you’d never get to run with under normal circumstances.
This is a pink diamond Jared Dudley. No disrespect to Jared, but at no point in his career would he be considered a pink diamond (with 30 hall of fame badges).
I want to try this card for that exact reason. It’s rare and unnatural (again, sorry Jared). Some of you might have tried out Fan Favorite opal Alex Caruso for the same reason. I know I did, and I really enjoyed playing with him for about a week, then selling him back to try someone else. MyTeam in a nutshell.
This whole quarantine thing is obviously terrible, but having the opportunity to submit players (#SpotlightSim) with crazy stat lines to try and get them an awesome card is, well, awesome. It’s probably the closest that we as 2K fans will ever get to having a say in what cards are released. Which, frankly, is insane considering that we’re the ones spending money on the game. There should really be way more input from us as customers on cards that come in packs.
Now if 2K were curating theme packs like Spotify playlists, that would be one thing. Back in the day that used to be the case. But it seems like today when a set of cards comes out, it’s just a random group of players. For example, the Flash Packs and Buzzer Beaters are cool, but they’re also kind of lazy. I’d like to see more Leap Year or Fan Favorite sets, but with community input. How hard would it be to put a poll up on Twitter to at least help select one or two of the cards in a set? Not very. And I think people would love that.
But back to the opals.
We’ve got our first BIN opal of the year, and no surprise that it’s Trae Young. An undersized point guard with zero defensive abilities, who already has like 20 pink diamonds. I get why they included him in the Luka Prime Pack (those guys are going to be connected forever because of the draft-night trade), but there are SO MANY other players who are deserving of great cards.
Can you imagine if Jim Jackson got an Opal? He only has one card right now, and granted it’s an evo (to diamond), but he’s got the Mavericks connection with Luka, and to my knowledge has never had a great card.
Or how about an opal Shawn Marion who could play like three or four different positions (let’s think outside of the box a bit). I’m not even a Mavericks fan but I’d be all over that card. That would be way better than creating yet another Trae or Kristaps. Give some other guys, like the Jared Dudleys of the world, some love.
But the main reason I’m cool with more opals is that it brings the prices of older cards down. I’ve been waiting to try players that are just too expensive right now. Opal T-Mac is pushing 500K, still, months after its release. MJ and Vince are still around 300K, probably because there are so few elite wing (SG/SF) options right now. It seems like every new card is either a PG/SG, a SF/PF or a center. Can we please get an opal Jimmy Butler, 2K? Or a Drexler maybe?
Or again, let’s think outside the box here, an opal Andrew Wiggins or Joe Johnson or Latrell Sprewell or Stephen Jackson or Gordon Hayward or Gerald Green could be really interesting. They’ve barely got any cards available right now, let alone good ones.
Spotlight Sim Challenges, Cards To Try
Speaking of cards to try, here are some recent gems that I’ve really enjoyed. Starting, of course, with an honorable mention for just about every diamond I’ve earned from the Spotlight Sim series.
First of all, a free card is a great card. But these diamonds are loaded with HOF badges and all seem to outperform their diamond status. My personal favorite so far is Daniel Theis. Yes, he’s a bit undersized (6-foot-8) for a center, but he’s a beast who can shoot the lights out.
Here are some other great cards to give a look:
- Amethyst Dan Majerle – A rare SG/SF, Thunder Dan is a 3-and-D stud with 20 HOF badges. And he can be easily picked up for under 2K MT.
- Diamond Jabari Parker – This dude is a scoring machine. He’s 6-foot-8, loves to dunk and has every HOF badge you could want to attack the rim or shoot daggers. It’s just a really fun card to play with.
- Pink Diamond Dino Radja – This is a player I’d personally never heard of, but he’s a 6-foot-11 center with crazy playmaking ability who can shoot. His HOF badges (out of 33 total) include Dimer, Unpluckable, Acrobat, Quick First Step, Downhill and just about every defensive badge you’d ever want. I love this card, and he’s relatively cheap (30-35K).
- Galaxy Opal Dirk Nowitzki – I love a good Dirk card, and this might be one of the best in recent 2K memory. I wasn’t planning on keeping him so long, but I got Dirk for under 200K and have been using him to work through the Spotlight Sim challenges as he’s a matchup nightmare. Some of those games (on HOF difficultly) are actually pretty hard, and when the going gets tough, a Dirk fade or pick-and-pop 3 usually wins the day.
Dirk is my main guy for now, until another reasonably priced opal comes along to replace him. And tweaking his rotating cast of supporting players (depending on which Spotlight Sim challenge I’m working on and need relevant players for) has been really fun for me.
I just started the Hornets, and this is my Charlotte-centric lineup:
I really, really, REALLY hope that the Spotlight Sim challenges can become a consistent feature in MyTeam.
In an ideal world, we would get a new set of these games (or something similar) every month, with rewards (and opponents) that keep up with the meta. I think overall engagement with the game would be more consistent as a result, and I know personally that I would feel more like I’m getting my money’s worth.