Today Erick Boenisch, Producer for NBA 2K12, laid out what’s new in My Player mode this year. My Player mode is actually becoming my favorite mode in the NBA 2K franchise so this one really grabbed my attention. With no rookies in NBA 2K12 until the NBA Lockout is resolved I’m sure that a lot of players are going to discover and love My Player mode. According to Boenisch all the improvements come from ideas the NBA 2K community has brought to the development team. Get comfortable folks there is a lot of GREAT info here to digest. This year’s game has a revamped draft, contract negotiations, new endorsements and much more!!
Rookie Showcase + Pre-Draft Interviews
The road to the NBA has changed a lot this year, they have completely gotten rid of the Draft Combine and Summer League which a lot of folks thought started to get monotonous after a while. This year, you are immediately thrust into the Rookie Showcase after creating your player. The rookie showcase is held in Madison Square Garden and is an exhibition featuring all of the top prospects in the draft competing against each other. The Rookie Showcase is a big event; every scout and GM in the league will be on-hand to assess your performance. Your play in this game plays a significant role in where you get drafted in the NBA Draft.
While your performance does indeed play a significant role in where you get drafted, it doesn’t play the ONLY role. The first new feature this year is Pre-Draft Interviews. After the Rookie Showcase game is over, a number of GMs will come visit you in the locker room for a sequence of interviews. Each GM will ask you a couple of unique questions. Their questions are going to be very specific to the current makeup of their team with respect to the position you play. For example, if you are a point guard and the Bulls choose to interview you, they are likely going to tell you that Derrick Rose is their guy and they are only looking for some energy off the bench. Are you comfortable with that role? If you’re not, be honest and tell them. Or don’t. The choice is ultimately yours. How you answer these questions definitely plays a big role in where you end up getting drafted. If your answers are music to the ears of the GMs, word will spread that you are an easy going personality who would gel with just about any team. On the other hand, if you answer negatively or arrogantly to all of the questions, teams will start to develop character concerns that could cause you to plummet in the draft. The important thing is to be honest and let them know how you really feel. If this is done as well as they describe this could be really awesome and add a lot of depth to the game this year.
2011 NBA Draft
You have it everything you had in the Rookie Showcase and now its time for the draft. Upon entering the draft room, you’ll be met by another new feature this year, the Mock Draft. The Mock Draft is dynamically created for you based on the type of player you created, how you performed in the Rookie Showcase, and how you chose to answer your Pre-Draft Interview questions. Every player in the draft has a full scouting report available so, should you be so inclined, you can read up on all the other prospects who are vying to be a top pick. The important thing to note is the Mock Draft is NOT how the draft is going to play out, it’s merely a prognostication by a draft pundit who has done his homework.
Once you continue past the Mock Draft, the NBA Draft will finally commence. To make things even more authentic, NBA Commisioner David Stern will announced the entire 1st round. When the 2nd Round of the draft rolls around, Adam Silver, NBA Deputy Commissioner will walk onto the stage and call out the remainder of the draft. When your player is drafted you will get to pose with Mr. Stern for a picture just like in real life.
Contract Negotiations + Spending
In NBA 2K12’s My Player, you will get the chance to negotiate for every last penny when it comes time to sign a contract. Keep in mind thought that rookie contracts in the NBA are more or less slotted, so you won’t be doing any real negotiating immediately after getting drafted. Once your rookie contract is up though, you will have the chance to negotiate the best deal possible based on your current standing in the league. At this point, a number of teams interested in your talents will approach you with an opening offer. From there, you can choose to do a number of things including accepting the offer, negotiating a better deal, or simply ignoring the offer altogether. One important note on negotiating is that you have to know your limits. If you press your luck at the negotiating table, teams will start to become frustrated, and will eventually walk away if you push too hard. It’s a game of give and take. Like any negotiation, you’re going to have to make concessions on something they want in order to get something you want.
Every 14 days during the season, your team is going to drop that next paycheck on you. Using the new ‘My Purchases’ menu, you’ll be able to spend your hard earned money on a number of things including: Purchasing skill points, increasing your attribute caps, purchasing signature animations (Kobe’s jumper, Jordan’s dunk package, etc.), hosting Youth Basketball Clinics (that raise your Local Fan Support), and much more. These items can give you a distinct advantage in your career, so you’ll definitely want to squeeze every dollar from a team when contract time rolls around. Get your money folks!!
Hall of Fame
For this one, 2K Sports set out to answer the biggest burning question of My Player mode, “What is the goal of My Player?’ I always felt it was an open book. We gave you the tools to do what you wanted with your career. In past year’s you had the chance to do a lot of different things and you still do but your goal this year is clear, make it to the Hall Of Fame. Based on your position and play style, you will have 15 goals at the outset of your career. In order to make the Hall of Fame, you will need to accomplish 10 of those goals before you retire. The goals range from ‘Win the MVP award’ to ‘Score 20,000 career points’ to ‘Get 50 A+ teammate grades’ (this one is much harder this year!). Throughout your career, you’re constantly going to be striving for that next goal that gets you one step closer to your induction ceremony.
Making it to the NBA Hall Of Fame will not be an easy task, but if you make it you won’t get a simple pat on the back with a ‘Congratulations’ dialog. When you make the Hall of Fame, you’ll be constructing your very own hall of fame speech. In NBA 2K12, you get to decide how you want your speech to play out. Are you thankful to your teammate and fans, or is it all about you? The Hall of Fame speeches are tailored to your My Player based on how his career played out. If you never managed to get that elusive NBA championship, you can lament about that during your speech. You can thank your teammates and the fans for getting you where you are. You can pat yourself on the back and talk about how everyone tried to hold you back from achieving your goals. The choices are entirely yours. This is all about your career; go out however you want.
Play Next Key Game
At this point, you’re probably telling yourself, ‘I don’t have the time to play through an entire career and make the Hall of Fame.’ I hear you, loud and clear. New to NBA 2K12’s My Player is the ability to play only the ‘Key Games’ in your schedule. We’ve taken the liberty of highlighting the most important games during the season (these may be Rival games, or Key Player matchups, or games that have playoff implications). With this option, you’ll be able to play through an entire season in a fraction of the time it took you to play through a season in previous years. Don’t worry though, your simulated stats for the games you choose to not play will still count towards your Hall of Fame goals!
For those of you who want to control every single step of your career (like me), they will still offer you the ability to play every game on the schedule. You can even do a little of both.
NBA 2K11 introduced the concept of endorsements to My Player mode. NBA 2K12 significantly increases the quantity and quality of endorsements this year. In total, they have FIVE TIMES as many endorsements this year over last. Endorsements are earned by being the best player you can be on the court. If you dominate on the floor and carry yourself well in the press conferences, good things will come. They didn’t give us too much info about this section but they did say that you will get the chance to star in your own commercials, how sick is that? If you are good enough, the NBA might even use you in a ‘Where Amazing Happens’ commercial.
With 2K12, the 2K Sports team is giving us a whole new way to upgrade our My Player. Your player now has a number of skill ‘Abilities’, in addition to his existing attributes, that you will be able to upgrade throughout his career. These Abilities are broken down into the following categories: Shooting, Layups/Dunks, Dribbling, and Post Moves. Within each category is a set of specific skills/moves. For example, in the Dribbling section you will find Sizeup, Hesitation, Crossover, In and Out, Spin, Behind Back, and Stepback. Each skill is rated on four skill levels: Poor, Average, Good, and Great. Continuing with the dribbling example above, in previous years, your player did not have a proficiency level with each individual skill. As he crossed certain rating thresholds, he would simply gain access to new animations and ultimately, his success rates for the moves would increase as well. With 2K12, you will need to upgrade the skills individually for your player. It’s entirely possible for your player to have an incredible Crossover skill only to have a poor Spin move or Stepback. To play the way you want, you are going to need to upgrade specific skills and develop go-to moves. No longer will you be able to be a master of every move unless you invest the skill points required to develop these and apparently that won’t be easy or cheap. Upgrades cost a LOT of skill points.
Other Important Stuff
New to My Player 2K12 is the concept of Dynamic Goals. These are in-game objectives that contextually trigger, with respect to what is currently happening in the game. For example, if the man you are guarding runs down the court and drains two buckets in your face, you might get a Dynamic Goal telling you to shut down said player the next time down the court on defense. Dynamic Goals are designed to help your My Player achieve success. There is no penalty for failing a Dynamic Goal, but should you complete one, a handsome Skill Point reward awaits. To help give you a better idea of what other types of goals you can expect to see during the course of a game, here are a few examples:
- Starting Out Strong: Make 3 of your first 4 shots.
- Finish Strong: Raise your FG% to 50% before the end of the game.
- Foul Trouble: Don’t pick up another foul for the remainder of the quarter.
- The Essence of Clutch: Score the go-ahead points and win the game.
Drills in My Player have been completely revamped . This year features a more diverse set of drills that will offer you a greater challenge, while ultimately making you a better player at the same time. Here are the drills you will be playing this year:
- Dribble Course (all-new)
- Around the World
- 2 Man Rebound & Post-Up
- Screen and Read
- Sign Out
- Full Court Pressure
NBA 2K11 saw the introduction of our Press Conference feature. Due to the extremely positive feedback they received on this, they decided to blow it out this year. In total, they ended up with over four times as many questions as they had in the game last year. What this means for you is a LOT more categories and specific events that the reporters will be asking you about. You will be seeing a lot fewer generic questions and a lot more specific questions about the game that was just played, the current state of the team, and your thoughts on…just about everything. New this year, you will be selecting short answer descriptions instead of simply choosing ‘Answer with Arrogance’ type answers. This will help you more easily express how you are truly feeling. The new options should allow you to answer with how you really feel about whats going on. The end result is a much more organic press conference where there isn’t a ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answer…most of the time…
In My Player 2K12, you will be able to easily track the current state of your League-Wide Popularity, Teammate Chemistry, and Local Fan Support in the new easy-to-read My Buzz menu. Your values are simply shown on a 0 to 100 scale. If you have treated your teammates poorly in the press conferences and you feel like they are shutting you out on the court, drop by this menu and take a closer look to see what they think about you.
Things are a little more expensive this year. Attributes cost a little more to upgrade, and the above-mentioned Abilities are VERY expensive to upgrade. To compensate for this, they tripled the amount of milestones in the game this year. Milestones are the stepping stones on your path to the Hall of Fame. Every time you achieve a milestone, you will be rewarded with skill points.
One major change to the mode this year based on the overwhelming feedback from the community is the starting rating of the My Player. Last year, your player started out in the 37-41rating range. This was definitely very low, but left you a lot of room for improvement. Unfortunately, it also meant you were quite inept at many fundamental basketball skills. This year, your player is coming out of the gate in the low 60s. Upgrading your player isn’t going to come any easier this year with the rating change. Attribute upgrades have become a little more costly across the board to keep things balanced.
Users who are interested in running plays / having plays ran will be able turn this option ON at any time in-game or in the menus (thank you for goodness sakes this absolutely ruined My Player mode for me last year when the added it with the update). For those users who enjoy freelancing in the game and don’t want to follow set plays, you can simply keep this option turned OFF and play however you want.
There you have it folks, NBA 2K12 is shaping up to be one of the deepest and perhaps most satisfying sports simulations in history and we thought that was the case last year. I mean seriously how much better can this game get. The only that worries me is that they seem like they added a LOT of stuff this year and you just hope they weren’t too ambitious. In any case, we only have a few more weeks to wait since NBA 2K12 is in stores October 4th. My only question for all you My Player addicts like myself is, who got next?