Ideas For NBA 2K To Evolve: NBA 2K21 and Beyond
The NBA 2K franchise has become a bit stale in its desire to change and innovate. Over the years, the biggest noticeable changes involved microtransactions, more ways to earn in game currencies, and various My Career/MyTeam events and modes. Now that NBA 2K20 has come out, it is time for NBA 2K to evolve.
Multiple MyCareer ‘Story Lines’
Every year the NBA 2K community voices its opinion on the usefulness (or lack) of the story mode in MyCareer. The 2K team always puts together a modest story that involves the acting talents of a few players, celebrities, and even actors to ‘flesh out’ your player’s ‘origin story’. Most of the time this story is relatively complete once your character reaches the NBA and begins progressing through the season. There is just one problem… there are two types of MyCareer players.
There are the competitive players and casual players.
The competitive players are pushing to reach 99 overall as fast as possible so that they can compete against ‘the best online players in the community’ both on the Park and in ProAm. These players ONLY play against the computer in order to grind to get more VC, XP points for badges, and maybe to achieve daily challenges easier.
The casual players are still pushing to get higher ratings, but are doing so simply to enjoy playing through one or more seasons vs. the AI. These players typically avoid ProAm and the Park either because they aren’t high enough in rating or because they just enjoy creating their own legend.
For NBA 2K to evolve, they should consider fleshing out the story lines in different ways for greater player customization. The player should be able to choose their origin. For example, they could choose whether their character is a European or Chinese League star. Maybe their character is a high school grad with high potential. Of course, the other selections could be G-League callup, 1st round draft pick star, or whatever else they can come up with.
This way the storylines (which are at this point just a tutorial) can really be used to craft the personality ‘badges’ or characteristics of your character. That way if you want to use or sim your character in other off line modes (which should be a thing), they will truly be unique in how they operate. In the end, it will just make your character really feel like your own as well as possibly adding a bit more interest in the ‘story’.
Create MyTeam Online Card Type Challenges and Tourneys
NBA 2K’s MyTeam mode tends to quickly make cards earned early in the game worthless. Often times they are filler on the bench of overpowered rosters for certain games and challenges. Everything from emerald on down to bronze player cards are rarely used after a while. For the most part, players are only collecting them in order to fill out team collections for rewards.
Occasionally a multiplayer challenge will call for an all silver roster. Using these squads is quite difficult and requires quite a bit of skill to use. These players do not have a lot of badges and require a bit more discipline when using them in game.
When it comes to pushing NBA 2K to evolve, there should be dedicated areas of the MyTeam mode that regularly call for these lower grade cards to be used. As incentive, the rewards for winning with them should be heightened. Doing so will introduce a healthy bit of competition whether online or against the computer.
Deepen Customization of Card Evolutions
In NBA 2K’s efforts to improve, Card Evolutions were introduced. These cards have in-game challenges requiring the usage of the player to level them up. Once completed, for instance, an emerald card could be upgraded to the sapphire level. At that level the player gains stat increases, badges, and sometimes a new position. NBA 2K can certainly improve this feature in its efforts to evolve.
This Card Evolution feature could get better by becoming deeper. As the card is improved, you could be provided the opportunity to guide which direction the card is improved. Since each player is known for being very good in certain aspects of their game, you could be asked to either improve those areas or even to improve areas they aren’t necessarily known for. By doing so, you can assure that even at maximum ‘evolution’ that every evolved card won’t be the same.
Create Simplified MyLegend Mode
NBA 2K has easily established itself as the premiere basketball simulator on the market. One of the versions that solidified that standpoint was NBA 2K11. In that edition, you were presented Jordan challenges that had you attempt to recreate some of Michael Jordan’s legendary performances. The presentation of that mode was even recreated retro-style in order to enhance the feeling of the simulation.
Another way for NBA 2K to evolve is to expand that idea into its own mode. Called ‘MyLegend’, you could provide it as a full fledged mode within the MyLeague or even MyCareer offline mode. Players and social media influencers often wonder what Kobe’s career would have been like if he had stayed with the Charlotte Hornets rather than being traded to the LA Lakers. Also, there are plenty of other NBA legends where injury cut their career’s short (Penny Hardaway, Yao Ming, Shawn Kemp, etc).
2K could basically do a low-rent, text based cinematic mode where you begin as a rookie for your desired legend. Then, as you play through games (just as is done in MyCareer), you could choose how to grow that legend from season to season in an attempt to win championships. To make things even more interesting, you could choose what era or year you want that legend to be a rookie too.
The benefit of doing this could be a chance to showcase more legends and their amazing abilities and talents. Also, NBA 2K could introduce a MyLegend mode specific currency to allow you to spend the currency to improve your legend without having to use VC to do so. Of course, you could be given the opportunity to boost your progression in the mode with VC if you choose to do so.
Expand MyGM/MyTeam to allow for WNBA
The addition of the WNBA in NBA 2K20 was superb. For years the idea of having them was pitched and it only makes sense. This is especially relevant when NBA 2k was deciding to add European teams to the roster of the game as well.
As a result, the next logical step for NBA 2K to evolve their franchise is to make current and historical WNBA players available in other modes as well. Players like Lisa Leslie, Sheryl Swoopes, Tina Thompson and Cynthia Cooper should be allowed to shine just like the current stars.
This would make these modes more interesting by exposing the NBA 2k community to WNBA legends as well.
Put Female Players in MyCareer Mode
With the introduction of the WNBA in NBA 2K20, putting female players in MyCareer mode is a surefire way for NBA 2k to evolve. In street ball, women play alongside men all the time. MyCareer mode should finally be given the option to create female players as well. Before you know it, there could be WNBA players on the cover of NBA 2K alongside (or even instead of) their male counterparts. This would be the ultimate stage of inclusion in a game that probably should have had the option years ago.
Probably the best way for NBA 2K to evolve is to add a robust coaching sim mode. There are some people that would argue that the MyGM mode is basically a coaching sim for NBA 2K, but it doesn’t really feel like it. The GM mode seems to be a bit broken and dull given that there are action points, skill upgrades, and other things that really don’t push the understanding of the game of basketball. Instead, there should be a more interactive mode that focuses on coaching.
The difference that there would be from the GM mode is that you would actually have to participate in simulated games and practices in a way that is more than just a point allocation bar. There should be some real effort put into making ‘being the coach’ a new mode that pushes the limits of your understanding of the game of basketball.
For example, NBA 2K puts a decent amount of emphasis on coaching styles for each team in the MyLeague, MyGM, and MyTeam modes. If you have a player style that doesn’t fit the coaches gameplan, then their bonuses are lessened and the team’s overall rating drops. The team chemistry changes throughout the year and as you go into the offseason, players in that system actually get better. The better the team’s success in that year, the better they play in that system. The other systems then decline a bit based on the time played in that system and their skill set.
In this new mode, 2K could expand on this concept by putting some kind of mini game or sequence within the in-game simulations that have you call plays, focus on players (on offense and defense), encourage or discourage player performance, and make other decisions that could boost your team’s performance in-game. Once the game is done, your successes and failures could be graded just like in MyCareer allowing for you to become a better coach.
The interesting addition could be customizing training and practices could be a mini game as well. You would have to plan for you next opponent, set up a gameplan, and then craft your practices to get the bonuses you need to minimize your weaknesses and maximize your strengths. A good example of this was NFL Head Coach. While this game wasn’t much fun and was poorly executed, the ideas were certainly ones that could be improved upon.
To expand on the mentor concept from MyGM, this mode could have you gain rep and ask retired players to come and mentor your players or rookies in the off season or even in season.
There could even be a possible way to integrate this into the MyCareer mode with online coaches for the ProAm teams or maybe even Rec Center (for practicing and improvements). If that doesn’t work then it would surely be easy to make a MyCoach Online mode similar to the MyTeam mode where you collect current and historical players and coach against other online players.
With the new generation of consoles coming out, there is certainly a need for a new generation of games to match. With these changes, NBA 2K would certainly evolve.
Read Bunneh 3000s ideas for how to expand the Ghostbusters gaming franchise right here on ForAllNerds.com!