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NBA 2K21 Next-Gen Gameplay Blog (Part 1 of 3) - Pro Stick Shooting, Pro Stick Dribbling, Passing & More

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NBA 2K21

NBA 2K21 Next-Gen Gameplay Blog (Part 1 of 3) - Pro Stick Shooting, Pro Stick Dribbling, Passing & More

After revealing the NBA 2K21 next-gen gameplay trailer yesterday, 2K continues pushing out more next-gen details today with the latest Courtside Report. In today’s blog, NBA 2K21 gameplay director, Mike Wang (AKA Beluba), goes over the fundamentals in the game, including details on Pro Stick shooting, Pro Stick dribbling, passing and more.

Pro Stick – Shooting

The Pro Stick is probably the most obvious gameplay difference if you’re familiar with 2K basketball, and it’s been great seeing it being adopted by both pro and casual gamers alike on current-gen. With the next-gen consoles, we were able to take shooting and dribbling with the Pro Stick to even greater heights and give you more tools to score the basketball. Here’s a look at some of the new innovations you can look forward to:

Shot Arc control: Shot Aiming is one of the big changes we’ve introduced this year. Being able to both time and aim your shots is a fresh new skill to master and it’s helped us widen the skill gap with shooting. Aiming works by pulling the Pro Stick down to start a jump shot. The speed of your Pro Stick movement dictates whether the ideal aim point skews to the left or right on the shot meter and then you adjust the aiming marker to the center of the release window. For next-gen, the stick speed also now controls the arc of your jump shot. Slow flicks will give you extra high arcs, while fast flicks will make your shot flat. It feels really good to be able to have that extra bit of control over how you shoot, and also a lot of fun sitting in the practice gym chucking up rainbow 3’s. You also get a small bonus for shooting with an ideal shot arc, so it’s important to be mindful of the tempo of your initial stick throw to make sure you give yourself the best chance at making the shot.

Bank Shot control: Fast flicks (or slightly aiming in the direction of the backboard) will also allow you to control bank shots. So if you want to emulate Dwyane Wade or Tim Duncan, it’s now much easier for you to do that. This works for layups too. It may seem like a tiny detail but I love being able to control whether I drop a layup directly into the hoop vs. put it off the window. It’s a cool control that’s never been in a basketball game before!

Shot Meter: The shot meter is such an important tool for shooting and, for next-gen, gets a new look and plays a bigger role in your makes and misses. The new presentation is much more “readable,” really pops against various court floors, and no longer scales in world space (meaning it won’t be really small if you’re in a far away camera view.) We’ve added an arrowhead to the aiming and timing marker that makes it much easier to see the sweet spot as well. The shot meter’s make window is now blue and will grow and shrink dynamically based on how good the shooter is, the degree of difficulty of the shot, and how well it’s defended. For next-gen, if you miss the window completely, it means you’ll miss the shot. The black notch in the middle of the make window is the ideal timing/aiming point. You must hit it precisely for the coveted green release, which we’ve added some new visual effects for. In the Controller Settings menu, you get to customize which visual effect plays, set it to randomize between the different options, or turn it off if you like a clean screen. The changes that we made here make it much easier for us to help players understand the difference between a good and poor shot, and also allow us to re-tune shooting to accommodate the wide variation of skill levels of the 2K community.

Touch Around the Rim: Layup timing is something that many players have struggled to master. Every layup has a different release point and you must have really good reaction time to nail down the meter. As a result, layup timing was reduced to have a very nominal effect in current-gen to prevent people from getting frustrated. For next-gen, we’ve decided to disable layup timing on the shot button by default so most players can just focus on taking it to the rim with the right players at the right time. But for elite guards who strive to finish at the rim like Steph or Kyrie, or bigs who want to show off their Jokic-like touch on the low block… we’ve redesigned the layup timing and aiming meters to be completely under the control of the player. That means that if you enable timing or aiming for layups and have the stick skills to master it, you’ll have a huge advantage in finishing tough contact/contested layups over those who choose not to use it. But that advantage comes with the risk that if you miss the make window, it’s possible for you to blow easy bunnies if you lose focus. I think it’s a great solution for everybody and I’m happy that we can widen the skill gap for slashers and bigs.

Layups themselves also received several important upgrades. Our engineers spent a lot of time improving layup selection to detect defensive threats and smartly choose the most open spot to lay up when standing under the hoop. And if you want to take full control yourself, we’ve also improved the ability to finish exactly where you want by pushing the Pro Stick in the proper direction. These are great tools for bigs and helps them be much more efficient down low.

You’ll also see fewer “canned” finishes and contact animations pulling you to the wrong side of the hoop. The CPU also does a much better job at recognizing the appropriate spot to finish, so you’ll have to ramp up your paint defense to slow them down. You’ll also see a lot of great new content including new standing layups, advanced hop/euro/spin gathers, quick floaters to beat the buzzer, and more.

Shot Creators: We’ve completely revamped all of the off-dribble jumpers and added new signature packages for key players like LeBron James and Luka Doncic. These new jump shot packages are as beautiful as they are effective and are great weapons for shot creators. Pull-ups have been separated into two categories: controlled and high momentum. Controlled pull-ups set your feet better and are more balanced while high momentum pull-ups (triggered by holding Sprint) create more separation from the defense but are tougher to knock down. So just like real life, it’s important to shoot under control and get your feet underneath you, but skilled players can also pull off tough fading shots over the defense like MJ or Kobe.

3PT Line Recognition: There are some great nuances that we were able to capture thanks to the next-gen hardware. The added computational power allowed our engineers to upgrade our inverse kinematics (IK) and foot planting technology (more on that later) to both make our jump shot gathers feel more grounded and also improve 3PT line recognition. In the past, you’d either slide back for the 3PT shot which looked pretty bad, or step on the line for a long two. But now we adjust your feet placement in real time when you’re near the line to ensure that no longer happens. It looks very natural and a relief for shooters to know that they’ll get credit for the three when taking those deep clutch jumpers.

Pro Stick – Dribbling

On the ball handling front, a lot of dribble heads were very excited about the new moves and improved combo-chaining in current-gen. I architected the system and even I am amazed at what some of you are able to pull off on the sticks! You’ll be happy to know that the moves you’ve worked so hard to master are also available in next-gen, but to an even greater degree. So you’re going to want to get in the lab to hone your skills and try out these exciting additions:

Size-Up Speed Control: Next-gen has given us the opportunity to add an interesting feature to ball handling that we never had before: the ability to control the speed of your size-up moves based on how slowly or quickly you flick the Pro Stick. Great ball handlers don’t just have one gear. They have the ability to change speeds and give defenders so many different looks that it makes it difficult to stay in front of them. Now you have that ability too. It’s so cool to be able to slowly rock the stick back and forth for a slow rhythm size-up and then quickly change pace with some rapid crossover chains. Mixing these together with the signature size-ups (hold RS up) and new signature escape moves gives dribblers an insane number of combos to pull off in NBA 2K21 next gen. And wait till you see some of the new anklebreaker animations we’ve added this year. They’re going to make for some very entertaining videos that I’m sure will make the Top Plays on 2KTV!

Sauce [Signature Moves]: There’s a whole lot of new signature dribble move content for next-gen. LeBron gets the suspended dribble that works oddly well in real life and James Harden gets a quicker between-legs sequence, among others. And if you check out the Stepback signature moves, you can now equip signature quick stops (performed by tapping L2/LT) as well as several new lateral stepbacks. These are probably my favorite moves to use this year as you see them all the time in the NBA.

Park Handles: Park dribble moves, now pulled off by clicking L3, are now tied to the Hall of Fame Tight Handles badge. So if you find yourself accidentally rolling on the floor while breaking down the defense in the park, try dropping Tight Handles down a tier.

Triple Threat: One of the first things you’re coached on when learning how to play basketball is the use of the triple threat. It’s a fundamental skill that all players need to have but for players like Carmelo Anthony, it’s also their bread-and-butter for scoring in 1-on-1 situations. NBA 2K21’s triple threat game got some serious upgrades for next-gen. There’s a host of new moves and first step launches at your disposal. Hesitations, escapes, stepbacks, hard go’s and crosses… if you’ve seen it pulled off in the NBA, chances are you can pull it off in the game. And just like the size-ups, Pro Stick speed control works in the triple threat too. So you have full control of both the direction and speed of your rocker steps and jab fakes by how slowly or quickly you flick the stick.

Passing

Passing received some great improvements in the jump to next-gen as well. For starters, our physics guru engineer rewrote our ball physics code to improve bounce passes. The bounce location, especially on long passes, looks much more accurate to real life and the ball can respect spin and floor friction in a more realistic manner. To add to this, our physics improvements now allow players to throw bounce alley-oops like Curry did to Giannis in the All-Star game a couple years back. Our ball physics rewrite also gave us a marked improvement in throwing alley-oops off the glass to teammates, as well as the addition of bounce touch passes for the first time in 2K basketball. These are definitely going to be some of the most entertaining highlights from our Park and Blacktop fans!

NBA 2K21 introduces a slightly different Lead Pass mechanic for you playmakers. Now simply tapping Triangle/Y will lead a teammate to the hoop or around the perimeter to get behind the 3PT line based on their court position and current movement. If you see a teammate flash to the hoop, you can quickly feed them the ball for a quick dunk with a simple button press. Holding the Lead Pass button works like the regular pass button now, allowing you to target farther away receivers for a skip pass lead to basket. Perfect for long outlet passes to finish the break.

Pass accuracy and transitions into passes and catches from general movement are also much smoother now. Similarly, catch reliability is greatly improved across the board, especially in tricky situations like catching near the sidelines or in the corner of the court. We’ve also implemented a new catch launch system for better response time and a smoother look when transitioning from a catch to a drive. Passing and catching feel fantastic in next-gen, and it’s definitely going to open up the floor and reward teams that move the ball effectively.

That about covers it for this week… but don’t worry, we’re just getting started. Stay tuned for the next Courtside Report where we’ll talk about some of the great tech that we built for 2K21 next-gen gameplay.

See you soon!

Mike Wang @Beluba (NBA 2K Gameplay Director)

NBA 2K21 will be available on November 10 for Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, globally. As for PlayStation 5, the release date is set for November 12 in the US, Japan, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand and South Korea, and on November 19 for PlayStation 5 in all other regions.

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Discussion
  1. In terms of stick shooting, in a way, I feel like a dinosaur and miss just pushing a button to shoot. In another way, it does sound cool on paper to control whether I bank a shot or not.
    Personally, I've just never been a fan of stick shooting. I love using the stick for freestyle dribbling but to also use it to pull up a shot or dunk just feels convoluted.
    Looking more forward to hear about defense really. In particular about if whether or not the defensive A.I. is more reactive in transition or whether or not the help defense is any better.
    A lot of stuff to take in here though, I've got to read over the 'passing' section again
    "When standing under the basket, you can now choose what side of the rim you want to finish on by holding the Shot Button (or Pro Stick Up) and using the left stick to choose a side. Pro Stick users can still hold left or right to choose a side, but the left stick option makes it easier if you’re struggling to aim layups."

    God I've been waiting for this for so long.
    I’m hoping these new standing layups are quicker and have a lot more verticality.
    So many times I want to go straight up and finish with touch or throw out a baby hook and I’ll get dragged into an awkward layup animation that looks like you’re seeking out contact or that off balance flailing fading hook that looks awful
    https://cdn.2kgames.com/nba/nba2k20/video/2KVID_NBA2K21_CourtsideReports_BankShot_1920x1080_V2.mp4
    The ball physics here is marvellouse, notice when the ball hits the board and changes his spin direction
    https://cdn.2kgames.com/nba/nba2k20/video/2KVID_NBA2K21_CourtsideReports_ShotMeter_1920x1080_V2.mp4
    Here we have a better and natural defense behaviour of the player who guarding (or try to do it) Curry. He chases Curry from behind trying to slow down him.
    Better that Hardaway jr vs Thompson
    Pass accuracy and transitions into passes and catches from general movement are also much smoother now. Similarly, catch reliability is greatly improved across the board, especially in tricky situations like catching near the sidelines or in the corner of the court. We’ve also implemented a new catch launch system for better response time and a smoother look when transitioning from a catch to a drive. Passing and catching feel fantastic in next-gen, and it’s definitely going to open up the floor and reward teams that move the ball effectively.

    Welp, they're talking the talk re: fixing my biggest complaint with 2K the last few years. I can't wait to see it in action.
    goma76

    Here we have a better and natural defense behaviour of the player who guarding (or try to do it) Curry. He chases Curry from behind trying to slow down him.
    Better that Hardaway jr vs Thompson

    Jarrett Allen is a pretty big issue in the clip on the right though. He's in perfect help position and magically slides out of the way to allow Steph's layup animation to take place. Not good.
    ehh
    Jarrett Allen is a pretty big issue in the clip on the right though. He's in perfect help position and magically slides out of the way to allow Steph's layup animation to take place. Not good.

    Collision trouble? I see in general positive things apart this.
    well it obvious that this next gen 2k is where the love was shown....they seem to be hitting most if not all of the legacy issues and then some when it comes to gameplay
    only thing left is to hear that AI improvements to the legacy issues that played us like being wide open and run towards defenders as soon as the pass is initiated to them....
    in all honesty am sure most of the AI legacy issues will be alleviated...cant wait to read the next blog post next week
    That seems like a lot of details going in to taking a shot. I hope it’s not too complicated for an old guy like me. I hope we have multiple options to choose from as far as shooting controls go. I don’t like that we have to get timing, aiming and shot arc correct
    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    kolanji
    well it obvious that this next gen 2k is where the love was shown....they seem to be hitting most if not all of the legacy issues and then some when it comes to gameplay
    only thing left is to hear that AI improvements to the legacy issues that played us like being wide open and run towards defenders as soon as the pass is initiated to them....
    in all honesty am sure most of the AI legacy issues will be alleviated...cant wait to read the next blog post next week

    That's a whole lot of talking which happened in every other iterations they released starting current gen NBA2k, and mostly after 2k16 none they talk has been completely delivered or delivered but regressed with patches right after.
    I'm sorry to be the guy but i'm not really feeling it at all. Very very short period of time has passed with current gen blog, all we need is to remember some, that's all. Just a bit of memory is the solution.
    This started with current gen gameplay blog, all that promise none delivered or regressed with the first patch and now it seems like a bluh bluh and more gimmicky bluh bluh. :)
    3PT Line Recognition: There are some great nuances that we were able to capture thanks to the next-gen hardware. The added computational power allowed our engineers to upgrade our inverse kinematics (IK) and foot planting technology (more on that later) to both make our jump shot gathers feel more grounded and also improve 3PT line recognition. In the past, you’d either slide back for the 3PT shot which looked pretty bad, or step on the line for a long two. But now we adjust your feet placement in real time when you’re near the line to ensure that no longer happens. It looks very natural and a relief for shooters to know that they’ll get credit for the three when taking those deep clutch jumpers.

    Finally lmao. I hope more legacy issues like this get cleaned up for next-gen.
    Excellent blog. The passing and catching changes sound fantastic. Can’t wait to see it in action.
    I hope they drop the blog about changes to movement next week. I’m hoping for huge strides in that area!
    Haven't read the entire blog yet, really only got through the shooting section , but my initial impression is that shooting seems to be getting to a point where it's a bit more complicated than it needs to be. On the one hand it's cool to have that much control over your shot but on the other hand it's a lot to process everytime you go to take a shot (was I fast or slow on the stick? Is the aim spot on the left or right? Do I want a high arc or not? Do I want to attempt to bank it in?  I'm not even think that much when I shoot in real life. In fact I feel like most shooters shoot best when they aren't thinking and they are just letting it fly and come natural. 
    Of course I know we have the tools and settings to adjust to our liking I just worry that in the future innovation in these games will come from making things more complex and more complicated. Maybe I'm just reaching that age where I prefer my games to be more on the simpler side. 
    "There are some great nuances that we were able to capture thanks to the next-gen hardware. The added computational power allowed our engineers to upgrade our inverse kinematics (IK) and foot planting technology (more on that later) to both make our jump shot gathers feel more grounded and also improve 3PT line recognition. In the past, you’d either slide back for the 3PT shot which looked pretty bad, or step on the line for a long two. But now we adjust your feet placement in real time when you’re near the line to ensure that no longer happens. It looks very natural and a relief for shooters to know that they’ll get credit for the three when taking those deep clutch jumpers."
    This is music to my ears!  I've been harping on players constantly sliding & gliding into position to receive passes for years!  This has been my biggest gripe with 2K.  It's a huge immersion breaking eyesore.  If this has been fixed, I'll be so happy lol.  
    Love everything else I read too!  Can't wait to get my hands on the game!
    Mintsa
    Meter, aim and arc to just take a jump shot.
    Seems like a lot to do for an OG player like myself......lol

    That's what I'm saying man. More complicated than taking a jump shot in real life.
    Maybe with practice it will become second nature but I was struggling with aiming in the current gen demo and this seems to have another layer of complexity to it. I'll give it a try but have a feeling I'll go back to simply timing on the sticks as long as it doesn't put me at some kind of disadvantage.
    scottyp180
    Haven't read the entire blog yet, really only got through the shooting section , but my initial impression is that shooting seems to be getting to a point where it's a bit more complicated than it needs to be. On the one hand it's cool to have that much control over your shot but on the other hand it's a lot to process everytime you go to take a shot (was I fast or slow on the stick? Is the aim spot on the left or right? Do I want a high arc or not? Do I want to attempt to bank it in?* I'm not even think that much when I shoot in real life. In fact I feel like most shooters shoot best when they aren't thinking and they are just letting it fly and come natural.*
    Of course I know we have the tools and settings to adjust to our liking I just worry that in the future innovation in these games will come from making things more complex and more complicated. Maybe I'm just reaching that age where I prefer my games to be more on the simpler side.*

    The huge problem is, why the h.. we're still talking about this much and investing this much about shooting? (And beside it's the worst part of the game atm. after all, LOL)
    Haven't we had all this much sources implemented or wasted the times game after game, game after game to shooting?
    When won't we hear anything about shooting but a lot more on other fundamentals?
    That's why this is all became bluh bluh to me as the year after year talking about shooting but nothing else.
    ataman5
    That's a whole lot of talking which happened in every other iterations they released starting current gen NBA2k, and mostly after 2k16 none they talk has been completely delivered or delivered but regressed with patches right after.
    I'm sorry to be the guy but i'm not really feeling it at all. Very very short period of time has passed with current gen blog, all we need is to remember some, that's all. Just a bit of memory is the solution.
    This started with current gen gameplay blog, all that promise none delivered or regressed with the first patch and now it seems like a bluh bluh and more gimmicky bluh bluh. :)

    I cant even argue with your point because that is the solid truth.....
    good points
    MattyIce
    That seems like a lot of details going in to taking a shot. I hope it’s not too complicated for an old guy like me. I hope we have multiple options to choose from as far as shooting controls go. I don’t like that we have to get timing, aiming and shot arc correct
    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    It's nice to have options but these should all be for more difficult shots like runners, floaters, or fadeaways. No good NBA shooter is thinking about his arc/aim/timing on a wide open jumper. That's like the last thing you would want going through your head lol
    If you've been following the series and blogs long enough it starts to feel like deja vu with some of this stuff: "Better foot planting!", "Better animations and physics, less canned animations!", "more control, better responsiveness" etc. I'm looking forward to the changes and improvements just hope they fix the issues they're suppose to, don't present any new problems, and don't become broken after a patch or two
    That finishing with aiming bit is already in the current gen game. I finish a lot better than button users only drawback is if I’m off the mark I miss “bunnies”. Good to see they doubled down on aiming.
    I love the control that's been added. It's long over due and I'm interested to play with the functionality. Also, I hope the ability to choose arch is for lays ups as well. Too many times I've seen the defender on a drive, but the layup was put low on the glass, and served on a platter for a block.
    Dislikes:
    - That's not Harden's size up, and as Rockets fan it bothers me that he's been on the cover and they've never gotten his Euros, size up or stepbacks right.
    - that off the backboard pass looked unnatural. The animation had a soft, lob look to the pass, but the ball ricocheted off the ( high!) glass with some spice.
    - That step back by Booker has the same 'arms too short' look to it
    HOPEFULLY THE CHANGES TO PASSING ELIMINATES VEERING PASS RECIPIENTS TO DEFENDERS SO THEY CAN INTERCEPT IT OR GIVING A SLOW, EXAGGERATED PASS ANIMATION TO TO SYNC WITH A STEAL !!! IT PUNISHES SIM-BALL AND REWARDS STEAL SPAMMING. #SKILLGAPLOL
    scottyp180
    That's what I'm saying man. More complicated than taking a jump shot in real life.
    Maybe with practice it will become second nature but I was struggling with aiming in the current gen demo and this seems to have another layer of complexity to it. I'll give it a try but have a feeling I'll go back to simply timing on the sticks as long as it doesn't put me at some kind of disadvantage.

    I’ll give it a chance but in all likelyhood I’m going to use original shot stick timing with all meters and green flashes off.
    BluFu
    It's nice to have options but these should all be for more difficult shots like runners, floaters, or fadeaways. No good NBA shooter is thinking about his arc/aim/timing on a wide open jumper. That's like the last thing you would want going through your head lol

    Forget NBA shooter, I don't think anyone that would consider themselves an experienced basketball player thinks much about shooting. When I go down to a court to shoot around I'm not think this much about my jump shot unless maybe there is wind or I am intentionally practicing bank shots and have to consider angle and aiming to a degree. And even then the thought process is usually quick (well for bank shots. Dealing with wind is a whole nother issue). It's usually a bad thing if a player is putting this much thought into each jump shot.
    This was my issue while playing the current gen demo. I could get comfortable in 2KU but once I was in a game almost every shot became a chore. For me it made the game harder and more complicated than it needed to be. I'm all for more control with shooting but it shouldn't make shooting an open jumpshot with a good shooter harder and more complicated than it needs to be.
    But like I said I know we will have the option to go back to more traditional mechanics so I don't want to sound overly negative it just seems like a case of trying to fix/improve an area of the game in an unnecessary way, especially when there are other areas of the game in more need of changes.
    Mintsa
    Meter, aim and arc to just take a jump shot.
    Seems like a lot to do for an OG player like myself......lol

    I feel the same but I'm going to keep an open mind and give it "the old college try".
    During the PS3 days, I played was MLB The Show every year. I decided to switch over to MLB 2K12 just for a change of pace. I always used meter pitching in The Show but decided to give Pure Analog Pitching a try and it was the most fun I ever had pitching in a baseball game.
    I'm hoping that this will be the same but at least we have the button as an option to fall back on.
    Hustle Westbrook
    Yeah, I’m just gonna stick with the button for shooting lol. I appreciate the ambition but they’re turning a 2+2 problem into an entire calculus equation lol.

    Not to beat the dead horse but it's like trying to teach someone how to shoot for the first time. You can see them over thinking the process and being worried about their mechanics and how they're shooting, aiming, how much power they need, etc.
    I feel like their should be a way to have a level of control of the shots (like controlling bank shots and arc) without making it too complicated. I want to feel like I'm controlling an NBA player, not a random kid at the play ground trying to mimic an NBA player by attempting shots that are too difficult.
    Shooting is a skill, and I'm glad they're attempting to capture it's nuances...
    2k can't win.
    Change something: you're over complicating things, change it back.
    Keep it the same : it's the same game, why should I buy this?
    Basketball is basically dribbling, shooting and passing. If they can't change two of the three then they're hands are really tied.
    scottyp180

    If you've been following the series and blogs long enough it starts to feel like deja vu with some of this stuff: "Better foot planting!", "Better animations and physics, less canned animations!", "more control, better responsiveness" etc. I'm looking forward to the changes and improvements just hope they fix the issues they're suppose to, don't present any new problems, and don't become broken after a patch or two

    Normally I feel the same way, pretty much with every sports game lead up tour so I understand the skepticism.
    For me though, I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt this year because of the new hardware.
    At the very least I believe they deserve that for their effort. Madden and Fifa are both basically being recognized as mostly mailing it in for current gen this year and unless they are keeping the world's best secret, nothing but graphical improvements for the first next gen installment. You could say the same for 2k current gen but at least they are going for it and if it goes how it's looking it might, forgiveness will be easy for many.
    Given the fact that I would think the smartest business decision probably should have been to really worry about this last version on current gen and start new next year on new gen.(selling to a customer base of around 30-40 million consoles compared to probably 2 million ps5/xbox sold by march) I gotta give them the benefit of the doubt for going for it.
    Honestly, and this is just conjecture, it feels like the NBA 2k crew just couldnt wait to get working on a new console and finally being able to do things they couldnt last gen. Say what you will about the parent company but that's the impression I get from the actual developers.
    If any of that is at all true then I have great hope that this isnt just going to be broken promises this year.
    I don't disagree and I will give them the benefit of the doubt but I'm not going to let me expectations go wild. I would say I'm more cautiously optimistic than skeptical.
    I'm excited either way because I skipped current gen for the next-gen version so I'm happy knowing there was plenty of effort put into the game. I just don't want to assume that because they said they fixed or improved things that it means any problems or issues in those areas are solved and we don't have to worry about them.
    A random note for the #CleanScreenGang since I couldn't find a place to put it in the blog... we added a setting called "Gameplay Indicators" just for you that you can toggle off and it will hide all UI screen elements, including the player indicator. :woot:
    @beluba
    Will you be able to talk about the Substitution patterns/logic for next-gen? Currently unless you set-up Advanced Rotations, you will often see the AI (CPU) sub in 5 players at once instead of how NBA Coaches normally sub players.
    I loved the blog. The shooting signature animations sound fantastic. 3 point awareness is a huge improvement too.
    My one request for shooting is if I choose to remain a button shooter I would love the 2K20 meter back as an option. It’s contoured to the players and less of an eye sore. I understand the need for a horizontal bar for stick shooting but it’s not necessary for timing only.
    2_headedmonster
    Shooting is a skill, and I'm glad they're attempting to capture it's nuances...
    2k can't win.
    Change something: you're over complicating things, change it back.
    Keep it the same : it's the same game, why should I buy this?
    Basketball is basically dribbling, shooting and passing. If they can't change two of the three then they're hands are really tied.

    I disagree with you wholeheartedly, sorry no offense but the game of basketball is about movement, time and space, sorry.
    What viewers watch may be shooting and passing as the last(end) of all possesions but it's nowhere near close or entitled to those 3 w/o time and space. And both are way off for 2k.
    That's why i keep telling for years that 2k needs to get better on footplanting, speed and natural reactions which they never seem to really bother other than shooting and shooting and more shooting with some more gimmicking shooting etc.
    Beluba
    A random note for the #CleanScreenGang since I couldn't find a place to put it in the blog... we added a setting called "Gameplay Indicators" just for you that you can toggle off and it will hide all UI screen elements, including the player indicator. :woot:

    That is incredible news. That's the first mod I make every year on PC. Lol
    There is nothing worse than that video gamey stuff ruining a beautiful looking game.
    Just to contradict myself though, Is there an option to have it all off but the aim stick? Not sure if I will ever be good enough to not use that.
    2_headedmonster
    Shooting is a skill, and I'm glad they're attempting to capture it's nuances...
    2k can't win.
    Change something: you're over complicating things, change it back.
    Keep it the same : it's the same game, why should I buy this?
    Basketball is basically dribbling, shooting and passing. If they can't change two of the three then they're hands are really tied.

    Sorry but that's such a cop out. I'm all for changes that makes sense but this isn't one of them.
    Like I said before, modifiers only on more difficult shots is a welcome addition that helps to establish the ever coveted "skill gap". On open shots it's a bit nonsensical for an NBA game. Guys like Kawhi inherently have a much lower arc on their jumpshot than a guy like Curry because that's just what their specific forms lead to (which leads me to question how the "ideal shot arc" is even going to be determined). Having said that, if a player wants to recreate the Kawhi Game 7 buzzer beater by arcing a fadeaway over a taller defender that's where the modifier makes sense.
    And back to your point on change... there are still a whole bunch of controls and choices that the defensive side of the ball is lacking in. Basketball is more than just dribbling and shooting.
    Beluba
    A random note for the #CleanScreenGang since I couldn't find a place to put it in the blog... we added a setting called "Gameplay Indicators" just for you that you can toggle off and it will hide all UI screen elements, including the player indicator. :woot:

    #CLEANSCREENGANG Rejoice! Hug your significant others the battle has been won. Well done soldiers
    Justonepost
    Really don't like this direction at all.
    The game is meant to be fun, not requiring street fighter controls just to shoot a jumper.

    It doesn't "require" that at all. You can tune the controls how you want.
    Justonepost
    Really don't like this direction at all.
    The game is meant to be fun, not requiring street fighter controls just to shoot a jumper.

    You can still do everything with the buttons brother
    I'm so use to pulling down full force on the shot stick its going to take some time to get use to using different pressures, especially when the defense is all over you.
    pjt8405
    @beluba
    Will you be able to talk about the Substitution patterns/logic for next-gen? Currently unless you set-up Advanced Rotations, you will often see the AI (CPU) sub in 5 players at once instead of how NBA Coaches normally sub players.

    This! How's the current gen version, any improvement yet?
    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Beluba
    A random note for the #CleanScreenGang since I couldn't find a place to put it in the blog... we added a setting called "Gameplay Indicators" just for you that you can toggle off and it will hide all UI screen elements, including the player indicator. :woot:

    I know what I'm about to ask is probably super low on the list of things to correct. However, Is it possible that you guys fixed swishes when playing on real play FG%? For a few years now i haven't been able to swish anything when using the real FG% option to shoot. Would like to know if it's at least being looked at. Thank you.
    Justonepost
    Really don't like this direction at all.
    The game is meant to be fun, not requiring street fighter controls just to shoot a jumper.

    I agree 100%
    I'm not entirely sure why they are so hyper focus on making this shot stick a thing. If I were to guess, I would say it's for the casual player for now because there isn't really a way for this to be consistent at the competitive level yet.
    Beluba
    A random note for the #CleanScreenGang since I couldn't find a place to put it in the blog... we added a setting called "Gameplay Indicators" just for you that you can toggle off and it will hide all UI screen elements, including the player indicator. :woot:

    Damn, here I was hoping you meant making it easier to navigate our defenders around screens / picks until I read the second sentence :34:
    scottyp180
    Haven't read the entire blog yet, really only got through the shooting section , but my initial impression is that shooting seems to be getting to a point where it's a bit more complicated than it needs to be. On the one hand it's cool to have that much control over your shot but on the other hand it's a lot to process everytime you go to take a shot (was I fast or slow on the stick? Is the aim spot on the left or right? Do I want a high arc or not? Do I want to attempt to bank it in?* I'm not even think that much when I shoot in real life. In fact I feel like most shooters shoot best when they aren't thinking and they are just letting it fly and come natural.*
    Of course I know we have the tools and settings to adjust to our liking I just worry that in the future innovation in these games will come from making things more complex and more complicated. Maybe I'm just reaching that age where I prefer my games to be more on the simpler side.*

    I agree with this but you have to consider that in real life shooters put into thousands of hours to commit their shot to muscle memory, so it makes it seem effortless but there was a process behind the scenes to get there. Same goes for this game if you play and practice it often with a particular jump shot I’m sure it’ll become pretty easy to use. I used to play 2k heavily so I knew dribble combos off my head and it just seemed effortless, now I struggle to dribble with my guard because I don’t play that often.
    Mbunn1993
    Crowd seems more interested in watching the opposite side of the court in most of these clips

    I mentioned this earlier, this is one of the the main things bugging me, it really kills the immersion.
    Beluba
    A random note for the #CleanScreenGang since I couldn't find a place to put it in the blog... we added a setting called "Gameplay Indicators" just for you that you can toggle off and it will hide all UI screen elements, including the player indicator. :woot:

    Great news. on other hand i know this is just the 1st of 3 blogs... and im hoping that FOULS FOULS FOULS, TIMEOUT TIMEOUT TIMEOUT, SUBS, HEADBAND ISSUE, PLAYER LIKENESS will be discuss in the following blogs.
    No_Shortcuts
    I agree 100%
    I'm not entirely sure why they are so hyper focus on making this shot stick a thing. If I were to guess, I would say it's for the casual player for now because there isn't really a way for this to be consistent at the competitive level yet.

    No casual player is using aiming over the button lol
    CujoMatty
    It doesn't "require" that at all. You can tune the controls how you want.

    All that options for just one element of the game kill a lot of tuning of the other parts of the game which ends as an unbalanced game. (FE. boost that option, nerf that option, give %5 to one option for an ambigious skill gap notion.)
    Be careful about what you wish for is exact fit for this situation.
    loso_34
    No casual player is using aiming over the button lol

    Wrong! Nobody is using the shot stick except casual players because it's only useful in a casual setting at this point
    Smirkin Dirk
    I really hope that is Curry's pull up jumper animation.
    They need more 'float forward' animations on pull ups.

    They can't even get shooting down. You think they're focusing on more "float forward" of his animation lol
    It seems kind of weird that a slow pullback would give you extra arc, and a fast pullback would give you a flat arc. Shouldn't that be reversed? I'm just thinking you're probably more likely to pull the trigger down quickly when there's a defender closing out on you, which is a situation where shooting the ball with more arc might be helpful. On the other hand, at least for me in real life, sometimes wide open shots were harder because I would take an extra second to look at the rim and not get the lift from my legs that I normally would on a jumper. It just seems like the inverse of the arc control they described would be more intuitive.
    Pokes404
    It seems kind of weird that a slow pullback would give you extra arc, and a fast pullback would give you a flat arc. Shouldn't that be reversed? I'm just thinking you're probably more likely to pull the trigger down quickly when there's a defender closing out on you, which is a situation where shooting the ball with more arc might be helpful. On the other hand, at least for me in real life, sometimes wide open shots were harder because I would take an extra second to look at the rim and not get the lift from my legs that I normally would on a jumper. It just seems like the inverse of the arc control they described would be more intuitive.

    I disagree on this. I think a better arc, which is better in general, should be slow. The better shot option shouldn’t be the faster one. And I think it takes a little more time to shoot properly. If I rush a shot it’s more likely to be flat. A rushed, high arcing shot is going to be a miss 95% of the time imo.
    rudyjuly2
    I disagree on this. I think a better arc, which is better in general, should be slow. The better shot option shouldn’t be the faster one. And I think it takes a little more time to shoot properly. If I rush a shot it’s more likely to be flat. A rushed, high arcing shot is going to be a miss 95% of the time imo.

    I'm assuming that neither the flat arc or high arc are better than the other. What you really want is the perfect arc, because that's the arc that will give you the bonus. So to me, it just seems like the fast pullback should result in the higher arc. Typically, when someone is rushing to get the ball out of their hands, they tend to shoot the ball with more arc. Conversely, sometimes guys have too much time to line up a shot and end up "guiding" the ball instead of shooting it. Again, it just seems like that system would be more intuitive to me.
    Here are a bunch of game-winners. Yes, a lot of these aren't traditional jumpshots, but I think these help illustrate how guys usually have pretty high arcs on shots when they're rushing to get it off (or at least they aren't flat arcs). Especially those "quick flick" kind of shots.
    https://youtu.be/AMIzIDbclZQ?t=613
    https://youtu.be/AMIzIDbclZQ?t=637
    https://youtu.be/AMIzIDbclZQ?t=706
    https://youtu.be/AMIzIDbclZQ?t=723
    https://youtu.be/AMIzIDbclZQ?t=767
    https://youtu.be/AMIzIDbclZQ?t=899
    https://youtu.be/AMIzIDbclZQ?t=913
    https://youtu.be/AMIzIDbclZQ?t=989
    Now, if the high arc shots go in more than flat arc shots, then I agree you. The more effective shot should be the slower one because you'll have to be more open to have the time to activate it. But that isn't the impression I got from the blog. It sounded to me like getting a perfect arc would give you a slight bonus, but that's all. If that's the case, then I feel like flipping the configuration would feel much more satisfying.
    jaityla
    I agree with this but you have to consider that in real life shooters put into thousands of hours to commit their shot to muscle memory, so it makes it seem effortless but there was a process behind the scenes to get there. Same goes for this game if you play and practice it often with a particular jump shot I’m sure it’ll become pretty easy to use. I used to play 2k heavily so I knew dribble combos off my head and it just seemed effortless, now I struggle to dribble with my guard because I don’t play that often.

    I guess this makes sense for my career and the park but if I'm controlling an NBA player that means I am controlling someone that has already put in those thousands of hours and has the muscle memory down. Shooting with some like Steph Curry should feel effortless. Part of the appeal of playing an NBA game is being able to control the best players in the world and, to a degree, put yourself in their shoes. When Curry shoots it's reactive, it's intinct, it's nearly thoughtless (in a good way). He doesn't go to take a shot and think "how do I need to aim, how much arc do I need, how fast do I need to shoot, what's the perfect release point." All of that takes place in his subconscious.
    Aiming with the stick, even with someone like Curry, sounds like the opposite of how real life Curry shoots. I'm sure with enough time and practice stick aiming could eventually become more natural and instinctual but for me, at this point in my life, I'm not sure I want to dedicate that much time and energy to be able shoot and make shots confidently in a videogame. I want to be able to jump in this game day 1 and have fun. I don't want to spend days, weeks, or perhaps even months to get to the point where shot aiming comes as natural as shot timing.
    Luckily we will have options to adjust shooting to our liking whether it's stick aiming, stick timing, or button timing so all my criticism over shot aiming is moot.
    scottyp180
    I guess this makes sense for my career and the park but if I'm controlling an NBA player that means I am controlling someone that has already put in those thousands of hours and has the muscle memory down. Shooting with some like Steph Curry should feel effortless. Part of the appeal of playing an NBA game is being able to control the best players in the world and, to a degree, put yourself in their shoes. When Curry shoots it's reactive, it's intinct, it's nearly thoughtless (in a good way). He doesn't go to take a shot and think "how do I need to aim, how much arc do I need, how fast do I need to shoot, what's the perfect release point." All of that takes place in his subconscious.
    Aiming with the stick, even with someone like Curry, sounds like the opposite of how real life Curry shoots. I'm sure with enough time and practice stick aiming could eventually become more natural and instinctual but for me, at this point in my life, I'm not sure I want to dedicate that much time and energy to be able shoot and make shots confidently in a videogame. I want to be able to jump in this game day 1 and have fun. I don't want to spend days, weeks, or perhaps even months to get to the point where shot aiming comes as natural as shot timing.
    Luckily we will have options to adjust shooting to our liking whether it's stick aiming, stick timing, or button timing so all my criticism over shot aiming is moot.

    You can remove aiming from your argument and all that you’ve said also applies to button shooting. Sounds like you should be using real fg percentage
    loso_34
    You can remove aiming from your argument and all that you’ve said also applies to button shooting. Sounds like you should be using real fg percentage

    So I never really messed with real fg% because I like to know that my user input has some factor into whether or not a shot goes in.
    With real fg% does user input have zero effect on shot and it is based entirely on who you are shooting with, where you are shooting from, how you are being defended, etc? Or is it something like real fg% + user aiming/timing?
    Timing is easy enough for me to figure but aiming is just too much for me to think about just to take a shot.
    Dione2014
    I know what I'm about to ask is probably super low on the list of things to correct. However, Is it possible that you guys fixed swishes when playing on real play FG%? For a few years now i haven't been able to swish anything when using the real FG% option to shoot. Would like to know if it's at least being looked at. Thank you.

    Will get this fixed for next gen
    Beluba
    Will get this fixed for next gen

    thanks for your active participation - one thing I've been wondering/hoping for for a while now are those swishes that just dart down from the back rim - not sure what to call those, the mesh doesn't move much and it has it's own distinct sound (irl), In person those are more satisfying to me than a full swish, not sure why I've just always loved the feel of those, something about that just screams 'pro'
    Beluba
    Will get this fixed for next gen

    Hey Beluba, never asked you a question before so hopefully this gets answered. Stat overlays! Will there be more stat overlays during games? I'm really talking about for myleague/mygm. They pop up so rare. They make the game more immersive. Sometimes you have no idea what other players are scoring, rebounding, assist ect on the other team. Sometimes its like playing play now games.
    The game needs a massive amount of Stat overlays for myleague/mygm. Tv broadcast lets you know everything. Stat overlays can mimick what tv broadcast does. We need to know what other players are doing on the other team not just mine. Would be great for next generation.
    It sounds like one of my annoyances is being looked at. One thing that always drives me up the wall is how the game pulls me into defenders to get my shot blocked by them. I'll be under the rim, flick one way or the other and the animation is this flailing, awkward deal that just so happens to bring the ball WAY over to the nearest under arm of a defender. Like I'll want to make a layup on the other side of the rim, use the basket to shield the ball...and nope, go straight up with the wrong hand on the wrong side.
    But that never happens for the defense. Let me get beat on My Career, the CPU makes the right call every time and my teammates just gawk. I'll see Jarrett Allen stare at the guy laying it in like the ballhandler got cooties.
    As for the new controls for arcing it...er. Yeah. I'll give this a go. But if it isn't very, very intuitive, I'll stick with legacy controls. I do applaud the attempt.
    Never stop trying to do something new.
    The other things will come in time, I'm sure. I'm anxious to learn what's in store for MyCareer. How in-depth that CAP system is. That's literally the only thing I play along with the occasional NBA Today game when the season starts. So I'm also curious how unique the bodies of different players are. I mean, they've made strides...but Brandon Ingram doesn't look right. And it's because he has that Jack Skellington body. All arms and legs. Is that going to be accurately captured? Or have they still used the same base template under all the bodies that hunches up their shoulders when standing idle?
    I actually find the shot arc addition pretty interesting. It's like they're trying to include everything that actually matters when taking a shot in real life. I do hope it won't be too difficult though, but I'm quite sure it'll make jump shots feel more realistic. I never was so big on timing jump shots in the first place anyway, so adding new layers to jump shooting suits me just fine.
    One thing I hope 2K improves for next gen is that player contest system. I want contested step backs and layups, even 100%, to occasionally go in. Rarely of course, but there should always be a chance, even with difficult shots. It's nice that they make open shots stand out as way more efficient like it's the case in real life, but to me there should also be an effort to make contested shots less of a challenge to hit (even with no badges, it should be possible occasionally). When I iso with guys like Lou Will, Harden, or other iso heavy players, I miss more often than not on jump shots, because if your jump shot is a bit contested, you're immediately punished. So I tend to force attacking the paint with players that would not do it so often... And I actually rarely iso anymore because of how inefficient that is on jump shots.
    Beluba
    Will get this fixed for next gen

    Hi Beluba,
    Can you fix the clock when it hits the 1:00 mark too?
    I have brought this up many times before.
    Just watch NBA2K clock and Real life clock when it hits the 1:00 mark and you can see that NBA2K's clock is faster or it seems to be anyway.
    In real life NBA games there is a slight pause when the clock hits the 1:00 mark where as in NBA 2K games it shows the 1:00 mark for a split second before you see the seconds counting down.
    EA Sports NBA Live got it right so why can't 2K?
    I realize I am nitpicking here but why not make your game more accurate right? :)
    You can see a clear difference in these 2 videos below
    Real Life https://youtu.be/2nn-umdCxXo?t=1152
    NBA 2K21 https://youtu.be/Ua60PuA-Hng?t=985
    haloofduty
    Hey Beluba, never asked you a question before so hopefully this gets answered. Stat overlays! Will there be more stat overlays during games? I'm really talking about for myleague/mygm. They pop up so rare. They make the game more immersive. Sometimes you have no idea what other players are scoring, rebounding, assist ect on the other team. Sometimes its like playing play now games.
    The game needs a massive amount of Stat overlays for myleague/mygm. Tv broadcast lets you know everything. Stat overlays can mimick what tv broadcast does. We need to know what other players are doing on the other team not just mine. Would be great for next generation.

    i am also very very frustrated about this cuz i am kind of statistic maniac....and lack of it really frustrates me...
    i think nba live did a lot better job there
    2_headedmonster
    What about the moving of pass recipients to defenders?

    Yeah, hopefully artificial shifting and warping of players and the ball to produce certain outcomes can be greatly reduced in sports games in this new gen.
    Mike......Beluba......sir of sirs.....
    Throw us a little PNO next gen bone old friend.....
    Anything, even make it a riddle and have us crack the code......
    Mintsa
    Mike......Beluba......sir of sirs.....
    Throw us a little PNO next gen none old friend.....
    Anything, even make it a riddle and have us crack the code......

    Lol...you know PNO is an afterthought.
    ksuttonjr76
    Lol...you know PNO is an afterthought.

    I’d be happy with them trashing the current mode and just doing good old school ranked matches.....
    Mintsa
    I’d be happy with them trashing the current mode and just doing good old school ranked matches.....

    Plus a little groveling never hurt anyone....lol. I am about to cash out like $800
    on next gen in like 5 weeks...
    On another note, I hope they give us the option to edit players full body types. They still don't have James Harden right. We need the option to edit lower torsos, back sides, legs, etc.
    It's also time for a custom create our own gameplay camera view. Long overdue...
    JKSportsGamer1984
    On another note, I hope they give us the option to edit players full body types. They still don't have James Harden right. We need the option to edit lower torsos, back sides, legs, etc.
    It's also time for a custom create our own gameplay camera view. Long overdue...

    The camera options are still excellent. WAY better than Madden which is embarrassing in the lack of options and customization. Why can’t I create a Tecmo Bowl camera option? I do think there is a gap in the zoom options between nosebleed and skybox in 2K (skybox jumps out a lot further).
    JKSportsGamer1984
    On another note, I hope they give us the option to edit players full body types. They still don't have James Harden right. We need the option to edit lower torsos, back sides, legs, etc.
    It's also time for a custom create our own gameplay camera view. Long overdue...

    Ive been waiting on the custom camera on Madden since NFL2K5 had it!
    WaddupCouzin
    Ive been waiting on the custom camera on Madden since NFL2K5 had it!

    The funny thing is Madden 05 on PS2 had a custom cam. I know you could customize angles based on play type iirc. Then Madden decided to remove features over the years.
    ch46647
    Has 2K announced when the Courtside Report #2 will be released?
    I’m looking forward to learning about the new tech.

    I suppose it should be today cause they announced one per week I believe

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