When NBA 2K11 released back in October, it was hailed as quite possibly the greatest sports game to date by myself and others. The game was not without a few issues, but on the whole it delivered the most authentic and enjoyable experience I have ever gotten from a sports game. For me that is big since I am a serious Madden fan, but the truth was the truth. The game had a few glitches (long socks glitch) and while some took away from actual gameplay, the majority of them were just aesthetic and were more an annoyance than anything. I definitely expected 2K Sports to eventually put out a patch to address those things but I never expected them to put out a patch as drastic and devastating as patch 1.2 that came out right before Thanksgiving. This patch not only fixed the minor things, it has dramatically altered several core gameplay mechanics and not for the better. The truth of the matter is that you can’t make these kind of major changes this far after release, people have gotten use to the game playing a certain way and it’s ridiculous to mess with it at this point. If they had wanted to adjust things for NBA 2K12 then so be it, but they should have left all the core gameplay mechanics in this year’s game alone. Nowhere are the negatives effects more obvious than in my favorite game mode in this year’s game “My Player”.
My Player mode has been completely ruined after this patch in my opinion. In My Player mode players haven’t spent dozens if not hundreds of hours customizing every aspect of their player and with one mandatory update 2K managed to screw it all up. Let’s just go over a few things from the patch notes, what 2K said would happen and what gamers really feel like happened.
- Improved Shot Stick shot release timing and consistency across offline and online games.
- What really happened is that 2K screwed with shot timing so bad that it dramatically affects a player’s shooting percentage and decreases your overall scoring ability.
- Addressed a playcalling issue where non-stars are getting a bulk of the plays run for them during specific situations.
o From a realism standpoint I understand this one, but this mode is called “My Player” and I can’t make him better if they don’t run any plays for him or give him the ball.
- Long range passes have been re-tuned to fix a gameplay exploit. Also, improved defender reactions on such passes so that they are properly contested.
o This one is only a problem online and maybe in head to head contest, but in offline gameplay against the computer I don’t see why 2K should care, if that’s how gamers want to play then let them.
There are tons more changes made that you can find in the patch notes, but the bottom line is that a lot of them were not needed. Specifically, in My Player mode they now let the computer call the plays for you and force you to go to a spot on the court and then run the specific play. I agree this is more realistic but it’s not how people have become accustomed to playing and they shouldn’t force people to do that this late in the game’s release cycle. I used to be able to come up the court and have my PG pass me the ball and then create off the dribble by driving or dishing as I pleased. Now thanks to the update, I am forced to literally run over to a corner and stand there while the play is going on the opposite side of the court from me. Not only is this frustrating, it affects my ability to win games by taking me out of the play at critical points in the game. I don’t care if there is a player on the team with a higher rating than me, if I lead the team in points, shooting percentage and several other categories then I am the star of the team and should be treated as such. With this patch, 2K has effectively taken a lot of control out of the player’s hands which negatively affects gameplay. While the adjustments may not be that apparent in other game modes, they are quickly recognizable in My Player mode and turn one of the game’s most enjoyable game modes and makes it frustrating and unpleasant. The changes so negatively affect the mode in fact that I am considering not playing it anymore which would mean that I won’t be playing NBA 2K11 anymore because I am not about to put that much time into another game mode.
Judging from the response on the official 2K forums, the community does NOT love this updates and didn’t really ask for them. In fact, the majority of questions relate to if it’s possible to roll the patch back or delete it. The bottom line is that 2K Sports screwed the pooch on this one and they need to get it fixed ASAP. What makes even less sense about this update is the timing, as the patch was released during the long Thanksgiving break. Somebody there thought it was a great idea to put out a drastic title update right before going on a long break and make gamers just deal with it, it’s downright ludicrous. All I know is that 2K should have made this patch optional, if gamers liked the game the way it was they should have been allowed to keep it that way. I for one think they should allow players who want to rollback the update if they like or put out an update that effectively cancels this latest one. Here’s a thought, why don’t devs figure out how to break updates up into sections and allow gamers to apply patches in a specific category such as Association, Gameplay, My Player, Presentation, etc. This way you don’t have to worry about issues like this.
My question to 2K is what are they going to do to fix this and how long is it going to take? If you feel my pain, vote in our poll and leave your thoughts in the comments. What the heck was 2K Sports thinking?
For the full list of patch notes, click here.
Update: Sent the post link to @Ronnie2K, 2K Sports lead social guru guy and he said he would pass this article link on to the devs for review, so we will see what happens from there. This goes to show that the world ain’t as big as you think, and when done the right way you can make things happen. I will keep everyone updated.
Note: We just wrote our article about things we want to see improved in NBA 2K12, make sure you check that post and add anything you think we missed.