Thursday, February 26, 2009

MLB 2k9 - Franchise Mode Fixed On Release Day?

According a dev post at Operation Sports (thanks to Jonah in the comments for the link), there will be a patch for franchise mode on release day. This is great, but...

A) Obviously, they knew about the franchise mode before they shipped and elected not to fix it. So long as there's a patch on release day, I guess that doesn't really bother me. No harm no foul for 99.9% of users, right? Not sure how others feel about that.

B) Just because there is a patch doesn't mean franchise mode is a-okay now. I just got done writing about the fact that it's problems are by no means restricted to the free agency issue. I have to wonder how complete of a fix this will be.

C) Um. I don't actually have a C, but I started this whole neat list thing and it doesn't seem right to leave it at just two letters.


Craigsca said...

Todd - can you comment on the use of closers in simmed stats. From what I've seen posted, the league leaders in saves are generally low and their peripheral stats aren't up to snuff. I'd like to see a Papelbon/Nathan/Rivera and see what their season-ending stats look like.

Jayhawker said...

I don't really like how this is playing out at all. I sure would have like to hear them describe the problem they are fixing. Otherwise, who really knows what might be getting fixed, and what might be left in.

However, the roster and line-up issues are not as big of a deal, as every console sports game I have played is plagued with these issues. I just started assuming a long time ago that writing GM AI must be really hard. It's why I never play multi-seasons of games. At some level, they just are not rewarding.

Allowing for the user to easily control all 30 teams helps a lot. It's not a fix, but it was exactly how I played Front Page Sports games.

What I would love to see is a way to use the franchise mode as a multiplayer game. The real fix is having other humans control the teams. I did play in a few multi-season leagues, and having to outbid and outdraft other humans is an engaging pastime.

Baseball can get away with a bit more, as the draft is such a small part of running a baseball franchise. I mean, it is important to get good players, but you are not drafting for need so much. Assessing need seems to be the big problem with GM AI. Just because you can acquire five great catchers, doesn't mean you should.

So, if 2K can just get the economy right, that should be enough to satisfy guys that love to play out several seasons. Because the other issues are the same things they have been living with for years.

todd brakke said...

Craigsca - I just checked one season. Saves are buried so far down the list that I completely forgot to check them. They are low. Top 10 guys are all in the 20-31 range. Nobody close to 40. (Given yearly consistency of other stats, I have to assume these remain in the same general range too.)

The leaders in saves have a save % of around 70-80%, with one outlier (BJ Ryan had a 90%). I don't know my MLB stat norms as well as Bill, so it's tough for me to say if other peripheral stats meet up as they should. Hope this helps!

todd brakke said...

Jayhawker - I agree with most of that, but I just can't give these guys (EA/2k/whateva) a pass on some of this stuff. I mean there are lines. Like I'm okay with the trade AI. It's not good, by any stretch, but it doesn't have every star land on a different team after three seasons, so I don't think it's damaging to the game.

The roster issue just shouldn't be *that* hard to manage. If the one guy writing a text sim can do it, 2k or EA should be able to as well (IMO).

Player development too I just think should be better by now. Yeah, it's very tricky to tackle and I don't expect perfection, but if I can find odd trends in an afternoon of play, surely 2k can find and tweak it too? Hard to say. I mean even the text sim guys have struggled for eons with player development algoritihms. What bothers me about 2k's problems with development is that they just seem behind the curve. But like I posted about that, if it doesn't kill the game's stats, the effect of poor player development is mitigated quite a bit. :

Ah well. I'm just biding my time till I get to play Road to the Show! ;)

Jonah Falcon said...

Jonah, not Johah.

todd brakke said...

Typo. Fixed.

Jayhawker said...

The main feature I am still waiting on is the state of online play. I thought last year's version was close, but there was just a bit too much lag.

Again, I haven't played a baseball game online that was lag-free enough to enjoy the batter/pitcher match-up. So I have relied mostly on solo play.

I'd love to play the game online as much as I have played APFB 2K8 online. But so far it doesn't seem like anyone has had anyone to play online with.

Craigsca said...

Thank Todd, yes it does help. Do you have any examples of those save leaders stats? I'm interested in why their save totals are so low. Are they getting beaten up and blowing saves, are they not coming in during save situations? What is causing them to lead the league with less than 30 saves?

I realize this isn't the most important thing in the world, but it would really shed some light on the sim engine for me.


todd brakke said...

I just shut down the game for the evening. (Started my first game and had it crash the console heading to the 9th inning of a 3-3 game. Joy.) Given where the save percentages are at, I don't think it's a blown save issue (the leaders are saving approx. 7-8 of 10 times). If I had to guess, I'd say the game either isn't using its closers in save situations as much as it should or it's changing up the guys it uses for closers during the season. (The former seems much more likely than the latter.)

cowboys8481 said...

For some reason when i'm in franchise mode and finish the first year all the stuff like injures cpu tradeing and all that stuff turns off and then all the playoff series are only 1 game when i set up all the options before starting the franchise it wasen't like that it just did it by itself