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NBA 2K20 MyTEAM Trailer and Developer Blog

NBA 2K20

NBA 2K20 MyTEAM Trailer and Developer Blog

The NBA 2K20 MyTEAM trailer has arrived, check it out below, along with the developer blog from NBA 2K20 Senior Producer, Erick Boenisch.

Hello out there to all of our current and future MyTEAM community members!  I’m Erick Boenisch, Senior Producer for NBA 2K20.  I’ve got to level with you, I’m feeling privileged having been asked to provide you with a very in-depth look at what the endlessly talented MyTEAM development team has brought to the table this year for NBA 2K20. Spoiler: They brought the kitchen sink as well!

Personally, I spent a lot of time playing NBA 2K19’s MyTEAM mode.  Perhaps more than I’d care to admit.  Having had the full year to reflect on its innovations and improvements, I was left very impressed with the huge step forward from 2K18 to 2K19.  Flash forward: I’ve been playing MyTEAM in 2K20 for some time now, and I can honestly tell you the advances made this year are considerably more impressive thanks to the solid foundation established in 2K19. The feature set this year was very cleverly crafted to address the feedback from the community, while also strengthening the mode’s strongest traits.

Speaking of community, the community itself was at the very center of one of this year’s biggest features.  More on that later.  For now, who’s ready to learn about the all-new MyTEAM experience you’ll be playing when NBA 2K20 releases on September 6th?  Let’s do this.

Philosophy 2K20

In this very developer diary one year ago, I set forth outlining what the team’s philosophy was and how they were going to regain your trust following some missteps in the prior year.  They hit every single point in 2K19.

  • Pack release types were significantly more varied, featuring content that you coveted.
  • The near-monthly Theme pack releases featured easily the best card art the mode has ever seen. Think back to Ultimate, Generation Next, and Madness amongst others.
  • The premiere releases (20thAnniversary Collection/Signature Series) were incredibly compelling content that offered a number of new cards per release, even if the main card may have not been in your team’s wheelhouse. We all remember Amethyst Kristaps Porzingis on Shaq’s 20thAnniversary day, right?  Fun times!
  • Lastly, the content cadence was done beautifully. As a player, I really felt like I was getting new packs when I was hungry and jumping gem tiers when the mode really needed it.

Like last year, you will be pulling Amethyst cards on day 1 at launch.  There will be a pullable Diamond card within the first week of release. There will again be a pullable Pink Diamond planned for the first month of release.  MyTEAM is more fun when you have cards you are excited to get home and play with.  We’re working harder than ever to get those cards into your hands.

At this point in my career, I’ve been developing games for a long time.  I’ve learned a lot over the years, both from my wins as well as my losses.  From personal experience, it’s clear to me that this dev team is just hitting their stride.  They hear your comments, praises, and complaints.  The future is very bright, and 2K20 will benefit the most from that. Let’s talk features.

Card Evolution

Card Evolution is a complete game changer for how you will think about and play MyTEAM. Evolution cards are special cards that allow you to level up both player ratings and badges, as well as the gem color by accomplishing single game and/or career goals with the given Evo card. It is possible for some cards to be upgraded numerous gem color tiers!  We have even added a new Card Evolution menu that allows you to view all of your Evolution cards in one location.  Here, you can track all of your evolution progress and preview the boosts you will get for evolving each of your cards.

One of the key focal points for MyTEAM this year is to ensure that you have a purpose as you play MyTEAM every single day (you will see more of this in the features below).   In previous years, there really wasn’t much you could do to a card once you pulled it. In NBA 2K20, when you obtain an Evolution Card, you will be able to immediately slot that player into your lineup and start working towards improving his attributes!

We will be giving you a free Evo card when you enter MyTEAM this year!  In previous years, starter packs consisted of something known as a “Free Agent” card.  This was usually a high-end player, but one that would disappear from your lineup after being used in a handful of played games.  This year, you are going to be able to choose between a free Derrick Rose, Tracy McGrady, Vince Carter, Dirk Nowitzki, or Hakeem Olajuwon Evo card.  This card is permanent and yours to keep.  In playing the mode this year, I’ve found it to be much easier to become attached to my team and have fun when starting off with a player that is the key focal point of my offense.  Watching that player level up and improve is the icing on the cake. Very satisfying.

Brand new in NBA 2K20, Card Evolution allows you to upgrade your favorite cards by improving their player attributes, badges, and gem colors!

Only select cards during the year will be Evolution Cards, with some being lower tier cards that may go from Gold to Sapphire.  Others may go from Ruby to Pink Diamond.  In fact, the card you get for reaching 750 cards in the Collector Level feature is an Evolution Isaiah Thomas card that starts out as an Amethyst and evolves to Diamond, then Pink Diamond, and finally Galaxy Opal.  I literally can’t wait for this card; a Galaxy Opal Isaiah is going to be incredible in MyTEAM this year (more on why later).

As card tiers rise, it is going to take more and more effort to reach the evolution requirements, as you might expect.  In my personal experience, the effort has been more than worth the reward.  Truth is, I’ve had more fun than ever just playing MyTEAM as it is always in the back of my mind which of my players I am focusing on in the game in order to level them up.  No matter what mode you play in MyTEAM, you are making progress towards leveling up your players.

The last thing I want to talk about on Card Evolution is the micro-economy it has already created in our playthroughs.  There is a section of people on the team who are very much into the concept of purchasing Evolutions Cards in the auction house in their raw, undeveloped form and leveling them up only to flip them back on the auction house for a hefty little profit.  It’s a very enjoyable little side bonus to this whole feature.  For those who really enjoy playing and growing players, this is yet another way to accrue MTP to use for whatever you want.  Love this feature!

Triple Threat

NBA 2K19 saw the introduction of Triple Threat and Triple Threat Online to MyTEAM.  Both modes were very heavily played, particularly Triple Threat Online.  The dynamism in Triple Threat Online last year was incredible.  You could play games and perform ball drops to win some pretty nice prizes.  We had a large number of days last year where those ball drops led to free packs, free Diamond cards, free Pink Diamond cards, and even free Galaxy Opal cards.  The community wants more of that, and we are prepared to deliver.  What about the players who don’t have a passion for playing against other human players?

The single player version of Triple Threat is completely re-designed from the ground up for NBA 2K20. Throw away whatever you know about it from 2K19; it doesn’t apply.  You are still able to select your own 3-player lineup, however, your opponents are randomly determined every single game from the set of player cards that have been released up to the current point in the year (along with some custom creations of our own).  This is done to ensure that you are playing a new team every time you play the all-new Triple Threat.

The prize ladder in Triple Threat gives you some pretty great prizes in your journey towards the top. The prize for win #1 is a pack containing a very high-end Free Agent card.  Win #2 is a Token.  Win #3 is another Token.  See where this is going?  You deserve to be prized for your time.  There are prizes all along the way, but some really nice prizes at the milestone win levels. I’ve personally enjoyed playing with the Desmond Mason card at 100 wins.  He is Triple Threat MyTEAM money.  The big, granddaddy prize, for those willing to earn him, is a Galaxy Opal Dominique Wilkins at 1000 wins.  It’s not meant to be easy, or for everyone.  For those that get him…well, you’ll see.  He’s incredible!

Completely re-designed for NBA 2K20, single player Triple Threat provides limitless entertainment and prizing as you work your way up the mode’s prize ladder.  Spin the reels after every win for a chance to hit the jackpot and walk away with the ultimate prize!

But wait, there’s more! About that dynamism above that I mentioned for the Triple Threat Online users; the team here is bringing some of that flair into this all-new experience.  In addition to the prize ladder I described above, you will have yet another prizing mechanism at-play here.  After every game in which your team pulls out a win, you will find yourself on a 3-reel slot machine with each gem color (Sapphire, Ruby, Amethyst, etc.) represented on each reel.  If you match two gems of the same color, you’ll come away with some extra MTP on top of the MTP you earned from playing the game right beforehand.  If you match all three gems on the reels, you win the Jackpot Prize for that color!  As you might expect, the Emerald jackpot prize will be a smaller (and more common) jackpot prize than the much rarer Diamond and Pink Diamond jackpots.  If you are lucky enough to hit one of those jackpots, you will be taking home some truly elite content.  To keep things fresh all year long, the jackpot prizes will be changing every few weeks to ensure that you always have a reason to come back and play the all-new Triple Threat…even if you have already managed to secure the Galaxy Opal Nique card!

Daily Login Prizes

This one is pretty simple, which is something I can personally appreciate.  In NBA 2K20, every day that you log into MyTEAM, we are going to give you a free, no-strings attached Daily Login bonus.  This can range from anything between MTP, Tokens, Packs (of various types), and more.  After you have accrued enough logged in days during the year, you will tier up and start receiving improved daily bonuses.  Basically, the team wants to reward people who think about us and make us a part of their day, no matter what day of the week it is.

Receive free bonuses every single day you sign-in to play MyTEAM! Logging in for all seven days in a week will give you a chance at the highly coveted weekly prize.  Here is what you are playing for in Week 1!

The intriguing aspect of the Daily Login is that if you log in all 7 days in the current week, you will unlock access to the week’s grand prize.  The grand prize is something that will change every week. It can be anything from a much larger sum of MTP, Tokens, a Box of Cards, or even a card that is ONLY available via the Daily Login feature.

At the end of the first week of NBA 2K20 (this will be Friday, September 13th), users who have logged in all 7 days will get a chance to win an Amethyst Steve Nash card that will give you a serious advantage in the mode.  And to think, all you have to do is log in!  Personally, I’m very excited for this feature as I’ve seen the outline for some of the weekly grand prize content that will be rolling through this feature as we progress throughout NBA 2K20’s life cycle.

Prize Wheel

Have you picked up yet that the team really spent their entire year focusing on how to better prize you and reward you for your time?  If you are not yet a believer, keep on reading!  New to MyTEAM in NBA 2K20, the Prize Wheel is another opportunity for us to offer you a chance at some of the most fun content in the mode.

New to MyTEAM in NBA 2K20, the Prize Wheel rewards you every spin with MyTEAM Points, Cards, Packs, Tokens, and more!

I think the picture above paints a pretty good picture of what this feature is.  The question becomes, how do you gain access to the Prize Wheel?  There are two primary ways to gain access here.  The first is via a Locker Code.  In addition to Ball Drop locker codes (we’ll cover ball drop changes below!), we now have the ability to provide Prize Wheel spins, and will be doing so at various times throughout the year.  This is easy, free content for you.  The second way to gain access to the Prize Wheel is via the weekly grand prize that I noted up above in the Daily Login Prizes section.

The weekly grand prize will sometimes be a wheel spin affording you the chance at something very special.  In fact, I noted above that Amethyst Steve Nash will be available on September 13thfor those of you who have managed to log in during the 7 days leading up to that Friday.  He will appear on the Prize Wheel alongside some other great items (Diamond Shoe/Contract pack, Token bundle, Free packs, etc.).  All free, just log in and play!

Today In MyTEAM

This feature comes in two flavors, both very welcomed.  The first is Limited Time Events.  This is a brand new feature that allows us to prize you with special bonuses when playing the featured mode on a given day.  Limited Time Events are single-day events for a select number of hours each day. The feature is designed to offer prime time playing hours for users in our North American, European, and Asia-Pacific regions.  The team here didn’t want any segment of users to be excluded here, and I applaud them for that effort.

Users participating in the featured mode will receive bonus MTP, bonus Tokens, and more.  There are a large number of Limited Time Events available to be run during 2K20’s life cycle.  The following are a few examples to help you understand what you can expect:

Token Mania: Win 1 bonus Token for every win in Domination!

Look Out Below: Earn 1 extra ball drop following every win in Triple Threat Online!

Jackpot Time: Earn 1 extra Jackpot Spin after every win in Triple Threat!

You Get MTP, You Get MTP: Earn 250 Bonus MTP after every win in Unlimited/Domination/Triple Threat/etc.!

Ball Drop Madness: Play Triple Threat Online for a chance to earn a (Gem Color) (Player Name) card!  [The team experimented with this one last year a number of times; your excitement for this event inspired the entire Limited Time Events feature.  Go MyTEAM community!]

And so on.  The amounts and quantities will change by events; I just wanted to provide you with some examples of what you can potentially see. If you are anything like me, you don’t always have a plan in regards to what you are going to play in a given day. Limited Time Events will answer those questions and always guide you to the next big event.  Have some fun with this one!

Today in MyTEAM provides you with access to Limited Time Events as well as the Agenda feature to ensure you are always tasked with ways to earn some very helpful bonus prizes!

The second feature within the all-new Today In MyTEAM feature is called The Agenda.  The Agenda is a collection of objectives for you to accomplish over a varied set of timelines.  The MyTEAM landing menu will always show you what your daily Agenda items are.  Selecting the tile will take you to the full Agenda menu where you will find that you also have Weekly, Monthly, Lifetime, and Dynamic objectives.  Daily objectives will always be for various amounts of MTP. Once you get to the Weekly objectives, you will start to see more varied prizing rewards.

One thing I personally like about The Agenda is it will always give me a sense of direction when I want/need it.  I always have very short-term items to accomplish (today’s Agenda items), items for the next many days in my Weekly Agenda, longer term with my Monthly items, and of course the Lifetime Agenda items, which are goals that will take you some time to accomplish (but will grant you some of the better rewards in the game).  I’m a bit of a completionist (as gamers, I suspect many of you are as well!), so this will be right up all of our alleys.

The most exciting item (to me) about The Agenda that will be rolling out later this Fall is the logic sub-system used to choose what Agenda items to give you (everyone will be getting different objectives).  The system will be able to analyze your playing style and customize objectives just for you based on how you play and what you are currently playing.  If we can see that you are only 9 games away from completely finishing Domination, your Weekly objective will be centered towards pushing you to the finish line.  If we see that you are yet to even try the all-new Triple Threat I described above (shame on you), you might get a Daily objective tasking you with winning your first game in that mode.  It’s an ambitious project that will make the mode smarter and smarter as the year goes on. My reason for writing this entire section is to remind you that the team treats MyTEAM as a 365-day project; though it may not be obvious to you at the surface level, the team is always working on behind-the-scenes features and logic that are aimed towards ever-improving your user experience within the mode.

The last item I want to cover here was my usage of ‘Dynamic’ Agenda items above.  Specific player cards in the game have Dynamic objectives tied to them.  When you pull these cards from a pack, you will have a chance of being given their Dynamic Agenda objective.  These are stat-based objectives that encourage you to play with the player you just pulled.  Prizing will be MTP; I have found these to be very enjoyable side endeavors that result in easy MTP for completing the requirements!

All-New Ball Drop Prizing

Introduced in NBA 2K19, the ball drop mechanic was an instant success.  Used in both Triple Threat Online and in Locker Codes, the response we received was overwhelming.  In NBA 2K20, the team kept their centric theme of prizing and really blew this one out of the water.  Last year, there was only one ball drop board used, all year long.  This year, there will be 10 uniquely different ball drop boards available for use.  Not all 10 boards are going to be available at launch, but rather will be introduced during the course of the year.

Returning COMPLETELY re-designed for NBA 2K20, our Ball Drop prizing feature is back with 10 uniquely designed boards that will make earning prizes more fun than ever before!

As you can see from the image above, the boards have a lot more going on with them this year. For starters, some of them are much larger/taller.  Any of the 10 designed boards can feature 360 degree rotating ‘propeller’ spinners than will alter the direction of the ball, 360 degree rotating crosses that spin at a high rate of speed and can kick the ball pretty far in another direction, and triangle shifters that move on the board, effectively changing the potential paths for the ball.  In addition to this, some board layouts feature ball warps that will warp the ball back to the top of the board for another trip down.  My favorite part are the MTP spinners in the middle of the board in the screenshot above.  Each time your ball lands in one of those, you win the designated amount of MTP before your ball falls out and continues towards the prize bins.  It’s possible to land in many of those in a single drop, racking up the MTP.  The ball drop is significantly more enjoyable this year, and I find myself looking forward to it at the end of every played Triple Threat Online game!

Not a Triple Threat Online player?  Don’t worry, we will be using the all-new Ball Drop Prizing boards in locker codes this year as well!

Before I move on to our next feature, I want to take a step back and discuss an issue the team set out to fix this year, based on your feedback.  When you were playing Triple Threat Online in 2K19, you were getting the same ball drop board chances regardless of the win tier you were at. In 2K20, there will be a few different board layouts in use as you climb the ladders towards 10 wins.  Each progressively better board layout will have prizes more in line with the win tier you are at.  To put it simply, you have a much better chance of getting the best prizes on the board at 10 wins than you do at 1 win.  This feels right to us, based on the effort you have put in towards achieving that high rank.

Community Hub

Finally, a feature where we don’t prize you something.  Actually, scratch that; we give you free stuff here too!  Ever wonder what cards everyone else is playing with?  Have you ever wanted to ask the dev team a question and actually get an answer? What about being able to provide input on what MyTEAM card is released next?  This very creative new addition to MyTEAM provides you with the latest news about MyTEAM, Leaderboards, and so much more.  Read on to learn about this fantastic new addition to the game…

Tips & Tricks Videos:  My personal favorite section is the Tips & Tricks video section.  Here you will find a steady stream of custom-made for MyTEAM videos featuring the development team as they provide overviews of the new features in 2K20, talk about the most recent content releases, strategies that members of the community are employing in the various game modes, and tips videos catered towards your playing level (are you a new or experienced MyTEAMer?).  New videos will be provided all year long!

Leaderboards: But not the type of Leaderboard you are envisioning.  This section highlights the users in the community who have achieved the greatest heights.  Get your name called out in lights if you have the most cards collected globally, the most 12-0 records in Unlimited, the most cards evolved, the most Diamond cards pulled out of packs, and so on.  This is a really cool way to see what your fellow community members are up to.

Ask A Developer: Quite simply, this is a place where you can ask us any question you want.  The MyTEAM devs will answer select questions in the above Tips & Tricks Videos section!  Interact with us, we can’t wait!

– CommunityPolls:  During the year, you will see questions asked by the MyTEAM dev team pop up in here. They may ask questions about what your most desired card is.  Or they may ask you what your favorite mode is in MyTEAM 2K20.  Or they may even ask you what card you want them to release next! After you have placed your vote, you will immediately see the up-to-date results of the community voting.  We think this is going to be a great feature for the community to give us feedback in a very helpful and exciting manner!

– Featured Information: This next section is a rotating smorgasbord of information.  In it, you will find:

Team of the Week: Head here to find out who the most popular cards in MyTEAM are.  We’ll show you the five most used cards in the previous seven days, by position.

Moments: Here, the team will highlight select Moments cards and go into detail on the player’s performance and what we think they did to be Moments-worthy.  I’ve found this brings me a little closer to the some of the cards, as the ‘backstory’ on them is now much clearer.

Featured Pack/Theme: For select releases, the development team is going to provide you with a little insight into the pack and how some of the players were chosen.  As someone on this side of the wall, I can tell you I’m always amazed at how much thought goes into creating a collection; it’s just so easy to gloss right past the details considered when building a set.  This will really pull the curtain back and let you inside on the thought process.

Dynamic Duos: Ever wonder why Player A and Player B are a duo? Similar to the above Moments and Featured Packs, this section will tell the story of how two players came to be a Dynamic Duo within the game.

Heat Check: Released once the season starts, Heat Check cards activate and receive ratings boots when the player performs exceptionally well in real life.  When a player is on fire, his card can receive significant boosts.  This section will show you who the best activated Heat Check players are, by position.

I know what you are thinking, I said there would be prizing, even here.  There indeed is!  There will often (but not always) be a Locker Code available for your participation in the Community Polls.  Vote in the poll and we will whisk you away to your Locker Code reward.  You won’t even have to type in the code in this case!

Positional Restrictions

Of all the features the team has added this year, I strongly believe this one will have the best quality-of-life improvement for the longevity of the mode as a whole. This feature request was heard loud and clear from the community.  And the dev team agrees.  In NBA 2K20’s MyTEAM, you will no longer see Diamond Andrei Kirilenko lining up against you as the opposing team’s starting point guard.  Personally, a very welcomed change!

This year, players will only be able to start or be substituted into their Primary or Secondary Position, as shown on their player card.  I know, take in what that means.  The immediate advantage to this is no more goofy lineups, like the Kirilenko example I gave above.  What we have found internally is that you REALLY have to put a lot of thought into building your lineup.  Don’t worry, we have basic rules in place to ensure you have a sufficient number of players at each position in your lineup (to account for injuries and fatigue). The lineups we are seeing this year due to this are much more varied and realistic.  You will see more Chris Paul and Isiah Thomas cards out there this year, as you would expect.  Players like them have never had a higher value than they will now.

This addition brings me full circle to what I noted above was my favorite addition to the mode this year, Card Evolution.  And I saved this detail for this very moment.  In addition to being able to level up the gem color and player ratings of your card via evolution, some Evolution Cards will have the ability to add Secondary positions to their skillset!  This will be invaluable as some players will absolutely have a large advantage this year when playing down a position (due to the overall Positional Restrictions feature).  In my playing, I’ve found the ability to add secondary positions to some of my cards has been more valuable to me than the ability to upgrade the color tier of a given card.  Buckle up folks, we aren’t done yet.  Not even close!

PRIME Series Collection

At this point, I want to switch gears and give you a sneak peek at some of the amazing collections the team has planned for MyTEAM 2K20.  The 20thAnniversary Collection was a well-loved set of cards in NBA 2K19. I enjoyed collecting them, but I could see the team had that trapped feeling where they were restricted on which cards could be released (limited to the cover athletes).  In 2K20, the cream of the crop premium collection will be known as the PRIME Series.

The PRIME Series will feature some of the biggest names in NBA history, with bonus points given to players who have proven to be fan favorites and/or those players who always have a tendency to be “video game good.”  While J.R. Smith is not a PRIME Series player this year, he is the type of player I am talking about that always feels like he plays above his ratings, and is just a generally fun card to own.

Starting shortly after launch and continuing all throughout the upcoming season, we will be releasing new PRIME Series cards every few weeks.

The entirety of the PRIME Series will be spread across 15 releases.  We are breaking these 15 releases down into Series I (5 cards), Series II (5 cards), and Series III (5 cards).  When you collect all 5 cards in a given series, you will receive a very powerful card that will benefit your team greatly.  We all remember the rewards from last season’s 20thAnniversary Collection, right?  You want these cards.  In fact, I’ll go ahead and tell you who the collection complete reward is for completing Series I.  If you manage to collect the 5 required cards, you will be rewarded with a Galaxy Opal Ray Allen!  This will be the very first Galaxy Opal card in the game to come from a pack/pack completion reward.  And with the new positional restrictions and tighter gameplay (you will see soon what I mean here!), this card will be lights out.  I’m excited for everyone to start collecting these cards; these will be the best cards MyTEAM has to offer.  When you see these release, do everything in your power to obtain one!

Spotlight Collection

Ok, I’m absolutely loving what the team did with this design.  It’s very different from anything we have done before, so I will do my best to explain.  The Spotlight Collection is a series of releases (replaces Throwbacks, which have been retired) where we pick a different ‘Spotlight’ player to focus on in each release.  Our very first Spotlight release will be on launch day, September 6th, and will feature cover athlete Dwyane Wade.

Known officially as ‘Spotlight Series I: Dwyane Wade’, this pack will feature a number of players that all played a part in key moments of Wade’s career.  There is actually no pullable Dwyane Wade in this set. Wait, what?  This is the part I love.  Every Spotlight Series pack release features a full set of Challenges tied to the pack.  These Challenges effectively tell the story of the highlighted player’s NBA career. With 17 Challenges available for play, the Dwyane Wade Spotlight is an epic one.  When you play and complete the first Challenge (no specific cards required), you will earn an Evolution Dwyane Wade card.  This Evo Wade card will be required to play the second game of the Challenge set.  This second Challenge recreates Dwyane Wade’s NBA debut.  Your lineup, featuring Wade, will take on the 2003 76ers featuring Allen Iverson, Derrick Coleman, Eric Snow, and so on.

As you play through the Challenges, more and more cards from the Spotlight pack will be required in your lineup to progress to the next Challenge.  Your team will play in some of Wade’s most memorable games spanning from regular season games, playoff games, and even the 2010 All-Star game, which Dwyane Wade brought home the MVP honors.  Personally, I absolutely loved playing that last game, as I found myself playing against the likes of Carmelo Anthony, Dirk Nowitzki, Tim Duncan, Kevin Durant, Steve Nash, and more.

Along the way, you will earn Reward cards for completing various milestones in the Challenges. Playing in the last and final game in the Wade Spotlight Challenges will require you to have the entire Wade Spotlight set in your lineup.  If you can manage to win this last challenge, you will unlock the grand prize for this pack, Diamond Alonzo Mourning.  Do I even need to tell you how overpowered Diamond Zo will be on day 1 of NBA 2K20? And there you have it.  The first available Diamond card will be there for the taking on the first day of release this year!  It’s like I said above, the team here is working incredibly hard to give you opportunities to field incredibly fun lineups as quickly as possible.

The astute reader of this section may have noted the pack title had a “Series I” in it.  Much like the PRIME Series described above, if you can manage to collect the grand prize players for all of the Series I releases, you will earn an elite set completion reward that will give you a very large leg up on your competition.  In all, I think the fans are going to love reliving the careers of the players the team has chosen to highlight in this Spotlight series.  It’s such a fresh and creative take on the inclusion of classic players.  I cannot wait for you all to get your hands on them!

Legacy Showcase Collection

There is one more premium collection type that I want to briefly discuss.  Many of you know my penchant for franchise modes and basketball history.  It’s no secret, I love retro NBA basketball!  The team here really emphasized to me how they feel the history of some of the NBA’s greatest stars are being lost in time.  We aren’t talking about Kareem, or Wilt, or Jerry West.  Their legends are cemented.  We’re talking about players like Earl “The Pearl” Monroe, Bernard King, Nate “Tiny” Archibald, and more.  These players were once the kings of the NBA, and deserve to have their accomplishments celebrated and taught to a new generation of NBA fans.

Much like how the PRIME Series works, The Legacy Showcase series will receive a new release every few weeks highlighting an NBA legend that we feel needs to be re-introduced to the limelight.  Collect all of the Legacy Showcase players in each Series, and yes, you guessed it, even more tremendous rewards!

In addition to the Legacy Showcase player for that given release, we will also be showcasing other players in the pack who made a lasting impact on the NBA.  A couple players from the first release that I had a ton of fun playing with were Jerry Sloan (he wasn’t always the Jazz coach!) and the legendary Rik Smits.  This is a very affordable collection, and one that will be available to start collecting within the first week of release!

Other Highlights

There are so many more additions the team has made this year.  I’ve picked out a select few that I really felt needed to be brought to the surface.  Let’s dive into them.

Re-Designed Domination

The stalwart of MyTEAM, Domination mode has undergone a bit of a re-design for NBA 2K20.  And let me tell you right up front, it has an incredible reward this year for completing it!

I liken Domination this year to a choose your own adventure story.  The structure is familiar in that you are on a path to defeat all 2019-20 NBA teams, a selection of Historic teams, and the all-time teams. The first main change this year is you can now choose your difficulty level for the games.  The lowest difficulty level available will earn you 1 Star if you meet the win requirements.  The next difficulty level up will earn you 2 Stars if you meet the win requirements.  And finally, the higher difficulty will be required to be played to earn 3 Stars, which will ‘dominate’ that team.  This is a great quality-of-life addition to MyTEAM as it allows new users to win some games on Rookie difficulty while building their team up.  I’ve found the sense of progression to be very satisfying in that I can feel the power of my team increasing as I’m able to defeat teams on higher difficulty levels than I could prior.  And really, I can play and have fun at whatever difficulty I want. At the end of the day, that’s what it is all about, right?

Like in previous years, you will receive high-end cards for fully dominating each tier of Domination. Dominating the final tier of Domination this year will earn you a Pink Diamond Shawn Kemp.  Having played with the card a fair bit already, I can tell you that this card is a problem when playing against other users.  It’s pretty tough to defend against.  At the top of this section, I told you the reward was incredible.  That incredible award is NOT this Shawn Kemp card (though the Kemp card IS incredible, in my opinion).

As you play through Domination mode this year, you are going to earn a number of lower-tier Evolution Cards along the way.  These aren’t cards that are meant to be in your lineup for very long, but they serve a very important purpose.  When you have Dominated all three tiers AND have Evolved every Reward card earned in Domination, you will unlock Domination’s grand prize this year: Pink Diamond Jason Richardson that evolves into Galaxy Opal Jason Richardson!  While Shawn Kemp is A problem, Jason Richardson is THE problem.  Get this card and level it up to a Galaxy Opal as quickly as possible.  Welcome to the new Domination!

Re-designed for NBA 2K20, Heat Check returns better than ever with even larger attributes boosts and four levels of ‘Heat’ to make it easier to understand just how HOT your players are!

Re-Designed Heat Check

NBA 2K19 saw the introduction of Heat Check into MyTEAM.  I really enjoy the concept of Heat Check cards.  When a player gets hot in real life, his Heat Check card activates in-game and he gets meaningful rating boosts for a couple days in-game. In hindsight, I think our implementation last year was solid on paper, but in reality, came off as wrong sometimes. One particular instance that stands out to me, and I can’t shake it from my mind, is when Klay Thompson shot 14 for 24 from downtown (52 points total) against the Bulls back on October 29thof last year.  He wasn’t ‘on-fire’ in the game the next day.  Why?  In taking a closer look, Klay was ice cold (to put it kindly) in ALL games leading up to that one (he was 5 for 36 in the preceding 7 games).  Still, it didn’t feel right to the team.  He just had a career defining performance.

In NBA 2K20’s MyTEAM, a player’s Heat Check is activated based solely on his previous game performance (against his expected statistical output).  We feel this will really make the system simpler to understand and help you to understand when players will heat up.

Another major change to Heat Check this year is one you can actually see in the screenshot up above. Heat Check cards now animate differently based on how Hot a player actually is.  A player can move between his not-on-fire look, low heat, medium heat, and high heat.  This will make it much easier for you to visually assess how hot (or not) your team is at any one given time.  The other change made this year to Heat Check that I applauded was that Heat Check card attribute increases have been increased this year, which will make them more viable all season long!

Improved Online Matchmaking

This one has been a long time in the making.  MyTEAM can sometimes be a bit unfair for new users when they enter into the online fray. New users would sometimes find themselves matching up against users who had sufficiently better lineups.  This was neither fun for the new user, nor for the veteran who essentially had to go through the motions of grinding out the win. NBA 2K20 employs some pretty sophisticated matchmaking algorithms that will make every reasonable attempt to ensure that like-skilled players are matched up against each other.  At the end of the day, it all boils down to how many users are simultaneously trying to join an online game.  In any given instant, that is the universe of players to choose from.  MyTEAM is significantly smarter this year when matching those users.

Easier Auction House Access

For many users, the Auction House is the place they head to build their teams.  In previous years, getting access to the Auction House often required jumping through a lot of hoops, or required too many complex steps, that would ultimately discourage newer users from even continuing to play MyTEAM.  The team has listened to community feedback on this topic, and I am pleased to announce that unlocking the Auction House is significantly easier in NBA 2K20.  All you need to do this year is collect 30 cards (you get 20 alone from the Starter Pack!), and you are in the auctioning business. Buy low, sell high.  Good luck!

MyTEAM Unlimited Resets

Introduced in NBA 2K19, MyTEAM Unlimited quickly rose as a go-to mode for many in the MyTEAM community as it provided an incredible opportunity to earn some very high-end cards via its Player of the Month feature.  In this feature, you receive said high-end card if you have the skills to go 12-0 in a single run.  It’s not an easy feat, but you all proved last year that it can certainly be accomplished!  In NBA 2K20, MyTEAM Unlimited records are going to reset on the first day of every month. When the reset occurs, you will be rewarded with the appropriate prizes based on your number of wins the next time you log in.  This ensures that when new Player of the Month cards are introduced, everyone will be on the same playing field when attempting to earn them.

Play With Friends Customization

If there ever was a feature that came about based on requests from the community, here it is! In NBA 2K20, you now have the ability to customize the difficulty level and quarter length when playing games against your friends.  Enjoy!

New Team Overall Formula

In the department of REALLY needed fixes, we have re-written the formulas used to calculate team overall ratings.  No longer will a team of Rubies with some Sapphires mixed in get you a team overall of 97-99.  While a lineup of that stature may warrant those ratings in offline modes, MyTEAM is an entirely different beast.  The Team Overall is an important metric used in many places within MyTEAM.  The optimizations made to this formula will make for a better end-user experience for everyone out there reading this that plays MyTEAM.  I really don’t really want to delve more into this subject, but I felt it to be an important item to discuss since so much was made of it in the community last year. We see you out there!

Server Optimizations

One area that was a major focus for the team heading into NBA 2K20 was server stability and optimization. There were a number of times last year where the servers became incredibly sluggish during major pack releases, in addition to users earlier in the summer who reported issues redeeming their auctions.  What I can tell you, watching this first-hand, is the dev team takes this issue critically serious.  A complete new set of hardware is in-place and prepared for NBA 2K20, along with a myriad of improvements to the server code.  MyTEAM experienced a significant volume of growth in NBA 2K19, and this is an area that needed to grow with the growth.  Understand I’m not promising you there won’t be issues on occasion, but I am promising you the team is working tirelessly to minimize the number of interruptions you will experience during your time playing MyTEAM.

On-Fire Basketball

I saved this bit for last, because it is one of the coolest things I have seen in the game in a while.  And no, I’m not going to provide you with a screenshot of it; it just doesn’t do it justice!  In NBA 2K20 MyTEAM, you can earn a basketball that is literally on FIRE!  It both looks very cool and is incredibly fun to play with. Not to mention, it will be quite the status symbol when you match up against an opponent using the Fire Ball. He’s on fire!  Literally.

Closing Thoughts

I wrote in this space last year about the unique vision we have for MyTEAM and how it could evolve over the coming years.  NBA 2K20 fully represents that growth both in the mode, as well as in the development team behind it.

The focus this year was very clear.  That focus is to build upon the foundation laid in NBA 2K19 by creating create rich and engaging experiences.  Prizing you for your time spent playing MyTEAM was a pillar of the design this year. Having read the above, I think it would be hard to argue that the dev team missed that mark.

One valuable tool that I have come to realize this development team has is a very supportive and passionate community that is always providing feedback on what they would like to see in the game.  We listen to your feedback very in-depth.  There is a phrase I often here spoken on this team when a design discussion is taking place. This game is not ours, we just make it. This game is yours.  It’s powerful for the team to think like that.  It tells me, and it should tell you, that they are always thinking about the best interest of the end user.

The development team here at Visual Concepts has done a fabulous job this year with MyTEAM, and I want to take this moment to congratulate each and every one of them on their accomplishments.  Your hard work is about to be realized.  Enjoy it, but never stop grinding!  We got this!

Until next time, my friends.  NBA 2K20 is only a few short weeks away.  We simply can’t wait for you to play it!

Erick Boenisch

aka SimBaller

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