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Reacting to The Neighborhood and What It Means for NBA 2K18

NBA 2K18

Reacting to The Neighborhood and What It Means for NBA 2K18

Yesterday we got our first glance at 2K Sports’ master plan with NBA 2K18, as they introduced us to The Neighborhood. In what is basically an attempt to combine all of the elements of MyPlayer into one open-world mode, 2K seems to have really tried something ambitious here. Despite the ambition, it seems the community reaction was one of excitement and worry that virtual currency is going to be a forced buy this season.

But don’t take this introduction writer’s word for it, let’s see what OS Staffers have to say about The Neighborhood in NBA 2K18.

Brandon Kosal

At first glance, The Neighborhood concept is really cool. MyCareer has felt fairly closed off in past years. The openness this year should feel refreshing. The details were scarce, but I suspect you’ll work your way up from pick-up games in your neighborhood until you make it to the NBA. By itself, that isn’t all that intriguing. But within the construct of a living, breathing neighborhood, it could become addicting.

2K clearly put a lot of effort into MyCarer this year, which I suspect is likely their most popular and profitable game mode. The key word here is profitable because I can already see and hear the VC coins going cha-ching!

Far be it from me to count someone else’s money. VC works and will continue to work for years to come. But for all the excitement I have for the changes this year, nothing let’s the air out of the balloon like a screenshot that appears to indicate I’ll need to pay VC for a haircut.

That said, I can’t wait to check out the changes for myself. I hope to be pleasantly surprised.

Matt Llewellyn

On the surface, Run the Neighborhood does seem to be a game changer. Combining MyCareer, MyPark, and Pro-Am in a central city hub sounds pretty awesome. Being able to increase your MyPlayer ratings in the neighborhood adds some layers to The Road to 99 meta that the 2K team is touting, and having a living and breathing world to occupy adds immersion on a level that no sports game has ever had.

Once my initial excitement settled, however, I found myself with numerous questions. Beyond the shops and courts, will the city be populated with players in the street, or will there be NPC’s added as window dressing to a more clever loading screen? How much more of a factor will VC be? Will we need to pay for haircuts and tattoos like we would in a real shop? Is this just a fancy new way to present the same modes we’ve had in 2K for years? Was this something that came at the expense of better servers or fixing legacy issues in online modes? While adding immersion to games is never a bad thing, whether or not that immersion adds anything substantial to the overall experience of NBA 2K18 remains to be seen.

Brian O’Neill

Agreed. How much will VC dictate what people can do? How much will alllllll this extra stuff impact an already problematic server situation? And where is Michael B. Jordan? I can’t be the only one still thirsty for a glass of Orange Juice! My fingers are definitely crossed though, because if it all works it could be amazing.

Joel Smith

After watching the trailer I can say, for the first time, that the hype I usually always try to avoid didn’t happen. Instead I was overcome with a feeling of intrigue, quickly replaced by slight anxiety. Marrying MyCareer, MyPark and Pro-Am together in what appears to be a lively city of interaction is a bold step to take the three game modes and cast them in gold for fans to be attracted to. 2K did a good job of making it look darn good too.

I can say for sure that I love the approach that the team has taken, making everything flow in one seamless mode. Building on the innovations that we’ve been witness to since 2K10 and now culminating into Run the Neighborhood, we’re at a place where sociability teamed with playing and now improving your player in all areas at all times is real. This has been something shouted by the fans for a few years now, having the ability to earn and build at all possible times.

One of the other things that I really took in after watching the trailer and live stream was that there was an underlying emphasis on things not being linear. You can do things when you want, and when you’re ready. While the MyCareer portion itself might still have a straightforward story, not having to run through some of it all at once is refreshing. Knowing I can go hoop with the homies at the Park, go train for a bit, and then go play a few career games is wicked.

As mentioned with some of my colleagues already, and the thing that really brought my anxiety and scary flashbacks like the rebuilding years of my Chicago Bulls a la Eddy Curry and Jamal Crawford days, was what is really looking like a repeated and now heavier reliance on VC. VC has always been needed to buy gear, upgrade badges and improve your player.

This year, however, I feel like unless you have copious amounts on hand (which would mean spending real money to increase your VC bank) success will still be there but your “Road to 99” might be a bit of a struggle or will take you longer. I’m also extremely curious to see how the team has integrated loading into everything.

It’s no secret that loading times and server stability have been a problem for 2K in the past. I hope that despite all the resources used to bring us this hood, there was some work done on servers. That is probably the most pivotal part in having this whole thing really be a success.

All in all, I’m ready to dirty my hands on the Blacktop and I’m looking forward to running the neighborhood.

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Discussion
  1. Yupp, I feel the same. I should be hyped for this but all I can think about is the VC money grab that lies behind it. 2K know they'll be raking in the cash but I'm refusing to buy virtual cash for a game that costs 70 euro.
    sheehy83
    Yupp, I feel the same. I should be hyped for this but all I can think about is the VC money grab that lies behind it. 2K know they'll be raking in the cash but I'm refusing to buy virtual cash for a game that costs 70 euro.

    Good thing you don't have to buy VC. Play any game mode and you earn VC.
    Solid takes. The mode is absolutely ambitious and packed with content, but the reliance on VC (looks like it's everywhere) and the server issues (long the weakest aspect of any 2K game) will be the deciding factors.
    I really hope 2K understands how heavy the load on the servers is going to be with this move -- the numbers of people online at once are going to be very, very high all season long.
    Since 2k14, we've seen a reduction in the ability to earn VC from playing games. In 14, a key career game on HoF with a social media challenge, and some POE's met, I could earn between 4500 and 5500 vc, whereas first year career games in 17, the max I earned was abut 1800.
    I hate that haircuts and god knows what else are on sale this year, but give us the chance to earn real amounts of VC again and I can begrudgingly live with it. It is a kick in the balls when you need more and more vc each year, and they stealthily cut down the amount you can earn in-game.
    The more you have to purchase in the game with VC doesn't that also hamper those that buy VC? More choosy on what they purchase?
    And also I get the haircut purchase complaint but you have to buy haircuts and accessories in a litany of other games as well so it's not uncommon lol
    Yesh2k
    Since 2k14, we've seen a reduction in the ability to earn VC from playing games. In 14, a key career game on HoF with a social media challenge, and some POE's met, I could earn between 4500 and 5500 vc, whereas first year career games in 17, the max I earned was abut 1800.
    I hate that haircuts and god knows what else are on sale this year, but give us the chance to earn real amounts of VC again and I can begrudgingly live with it. It is a kick in the balls when you need more and more vc each year, and they stealthily cut down the amount you can earn in-game.

    Agreed, last year's VC earnings relative to cost of things was, in my opinion, unfair. With how prevalent VC is, I'm hoping the amount earned is also upped. I want a basic game of pickup to be enough to get me a new haircut. Give me money for everything I do, don't be stingy -- attribute upgrades (rightfully) should cost more and demand more money at a certain point, I get that.
    But if I'm only making 500 VC for a pickup game, that's whack.
    Also interested to know what this neighbourhood actually means within the game itself; as a Brit, will I be thrown on to the dodgy eastern European servers, or could I end up in American servers? What happens if you end up in Chris Smooves neighbourhood when he wants to get a haircut and it becomes a lagfest because of all the kids that want to follow him round asking him to be their friends and play park?
    Definitely impressed with what I saw, but we all remember park after dark events and how the servers died instantly. I'm pretty sure 2k or any company) wouldn't attempt something so ambitious as this if they didn't have their house in order first.
    trekfan
    Agreed, last year's VC earnings relative to cost of things was, in my opinion, unfair. With how prevalent VC is, I'm hoping the amount earned is also upped. I want a basic game of pickup to be enough to get me a new haircut. Give me money for everything I do, don't be stingy -- attribute upgrades (rightfully) should cost more and demand more money at a certain point, I get that.
    But if I'm only making 500 VC for a pickup game, that's whack.

    See I'm on the other end of the discussion. I want them to be stingy, because of people really are going to pay-to-play, I want it to seriously hurt their wallet lol. The less their is to spend VC on, the faster they'll get to 99 overalls because their won't be much else to spend it on so it goes straight to attributes only as opposed to spreading it out over hair, clothes, tattoos, shoes, etc.
    Each his own.
    People complain about having to buy VC but to be honest..... Enough VC can be had for free by either playing games, of couse or using the free app on a daily basis. I've always reached mid to high 90's without spending real cash for VC. It can be done, sure it does take time and you have to actually earn your way to 99 but its more refreshing, to me at least, when done this way.
    MoodMuzik
    See I'm on the other end of the discussion. I want them to be stingy, because of people really are going to pay-to-play, I want it to seriously hurt their wallet lol.
    Each his own.

    I'm not a fan of having people buy themselves a rating -- if that's what they want, they can, and let them do it. But it should only apply to a certain point. Cost for attribute upgrades should get steeper the higher your overall.
    I mean, right now I have a solid 85K of VC racked up in 2K17 that I have earned strictly as a MyLeague guy. I was nearly 100K in 2K16.
    (The lack of rollover is understandable, but counter-intuitive: if this is "currency" how does it not rollover? But whatever, side-tangent.)
    The prohibitive costs of using my VC to get my garbage 55 overall MyPlayer up to fringe rotation level guy (70-73 rating, IMO) wasn't worth it to me. I gave up on the mode early and didn't look back.
    I feel like they should make attribute upgrades up to a certain overall cheap -- say, that 70-73 range -- and then spike it hard if you want to get higher. Frankly, we shouldn't be a 55 overall player or even a 60 overall, IMO -- I'd prefer the rating, at minimum, to be 65-67.
    If people want to buy themselves to 80, 85, 90, 95, okay -- do it, but make that cost really high. I'd just like not to be garbage and not to be punished by high costs of VC to make my player not be garbage. Let me upgrade easily to 70-73 and then charge me big after that, and I'll be fine.
    I seem to be in the minority, but as a long time 2k fan (since the original 2k on Dreamcast), I don't really see what the big deal is here. It essentially just seems like they changed how we access certain modes visually and called it a brand new robust feature. Some of the new events they discussed were on Park After Dark last year and the rest just sounds like much of the same to me. I am intrigued by the idea of improving MyPlayer in more than just the traditional MyCareer mode, but other than that it seems to be just a visual upgrade on how we access certain things that were already in the game. I almost wish they just bring back "The Crib" from 2K5 lol.
    rudeworld
    People complain about having to buy VC but to be honest..... Enough VC can be had for free by either playing games, of couse or using the free app on a daily basis. I've always reached mid to high 90's without spending real cash for VC. It can be done, sure it does take time and you have to actually earn your way to 99 but its more refreshing, to me at least, when done this way.

    Glad you brought the app up. In 14, you could earn 3k vc with 3 500vc cards and getting the x2. 17 it's dropped to a max of 1500 with 3 250vc cards and the x2.
    trekfan
    I'm not a fan of having people buy themselves a rating -- if that's what they want, they can, and let them do it. But it should only apply to a certain point. Cost for attribute upgrades should get steeper the higher your overall.
    I mean, right now I have a solid 85K of VC racked up in 2K17 that I have earned strictly as a MyLeague guy. I was nearly 100K in 2K16.
    (The lack of rollover is understandable, but counter-intuitive: if this is "currency" how does it not rollover? But whatever, side-tangent.)
    The prohibitive costs of using my VC to get my garbage 55 overall MyPlayer up to fringe rotation level guy (70-73 rating, IMO) wasn't worth it to me. I gave up on the mode early and didn't look back.
    I feel like they should make attribute upgrades up to a certain overall cheap -- say, that 70-73 range -- and then spike it hard if you want to get higher. Frankly, we shouldn't be a 55 overall player or even a 60 overall, IMO -- I'd prefer the rating, at minimum, to be 65-67.
    If people want to buy themselves to 80, 85, 90, 95, okay -- do it, but make that cost really high. I'd just like not to be garbage and not to be punished by high costs of VC to make my player not be garbage. Let me upgrade easily to 70-73 and then charge me big after that, and I'll be fine.

    They had to make us 55's because our true max ovr's were mid 80's when we maxed our players out to 96. Hopefully this year with true 99's back, they could start us off back at 63's as they did before.
    I'm not so worried about VC, what concerns me the most is loading times. After last Decembers update, 2K17 loading times became the worst of any game I have played, ever. And I'm 43.
    I love all the content. I love the ambition and drive. But the execution of making it work properly, has not been 2K's strength.
    Waiting 25+ minutes to load the game up, finally start a game only to then get "Update available, return to the main menu to get rid of this message" is unacceptable. Even more unacceptable was the way 2K reacted to complaints, they flat-out ignored them or tried to blame the user and their internet connection. Their support after asking for my internet speeds with an image from speedtest.net went silent, because it was clear it was not my internet.
    It's wonderful to see the dev team so active and engaging the community NOW. But will that continue for the next 6 or 7 months? Because for the last 10 to 15 years, unless it's a comment or question that basically heaps praise, they've ignored it post launch.
    I'm excited for 2K18, I have hope. But I'm also skeptical. 2K has made a lot of money from game sales and even more from selling VC. The back-end support throughout the games life needs to reflect that.
    I've been let down by NBA 2K the last few years, I truly hope 2K18 is the game that lives up to and even surpasses the hype.
    I have no problem with VC. It's what keeps 2k innovating and improving massively from year to year. It can still be played without paying a dime so no problem with me.
    IM a offline only guy, and someone who cares only for Association mode. Ive never really been intrigue with online, but this run the neighborhood, honestly sounds kind of neat. Not sure I will even try it, likley not, but you know if I was much younger, I would probably enjoy it.
    So I many not even give it a 2nd thought, but kudos to the dev team for putting some thought and imagination into something like this. Now if this took away from MyLeague and My GM, then Im not going to be al too happy, but from the sound of it, they have made huge strides there as well, so only time will tell if they were being truthful, but Im thinking NBA2k18, might be a special game, and the dev team over the past couple years have been getting closer and closer to more realistic gameplay, so Im extremely excited to get this game.

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