Friday, September 25, 2015

NBA 2K16: New Player Rating and Layout Explanation

Editing players finally got a needed overhaul in NBA 2K16.  Earlier in the year I was consulted by 2K Sports on what changes should be made to make the lives of roster editors easier, and it seems most of that has come to fruition.

The biggest change in the overlay that roster editors should appreciate is subdivisions of Attribute menus.  Instead of scrolling all the way to the bottom of a list to get to a specific attribute or tendency, many are just a few presses of R2 away.  This was especially problematic with Tendencies and Badges, as there were as many as 80 on a list. Finding a specific one was very cumbersome and time consuming, and this should expedite the process.

The other significant overlay change in the overlay is the Overall Rating is now visible at all times when editing ratings.  Being able to see the affect an editor is actively having on a player's rating while adjusting ratings is paramount.

Kobe Bryant: 85 Overall (NC)

85 S.Layup (+5)
86 D.Layup (+2)
89 Post Fade (NC)
68 Post Hook (NC)
78 Post Control (+3)
82 Draw Foul (NEW)
80 S.Close (+2)
82 M.Close (+4)
75 S.Mid (+3)
74 M.Mid (-1)
77 S.3PT (+3)
70 M.3PT (-2)
81 FT (NC)
83 Ball Control (-5)
74 Pass Vision (+4)
88 Pass IQ (+8)
84 Pass Acc (NC)
36 O.Reb (-14)
45 Standing Dunk (NC)
45 Driving Dunk (+5)
25 Contact Dunk (NEW)
97 Shot IQ (+2)
98 Hands (-1)

Draw Foul used to be a tendency, but due to popular demand is now an attribute.  It dictates how good the player is at drawing fouls on their shots.  One way to think about it is as the return of the "Shoot in Traffic" rating.

Contact Dunk seems to be a compromise rating to distinguish an elite clear path dunker like Zach LaVine from the likes of... Standing Dunk, it was rated in increments of five, and doesn't appear to have any effect on the OVR rating.  The ratings are generally low across the board (PF averaging 46, Centers averaging 45), so only a handful of players will be able to finish dunks through a lot of contact.

I personally would have preferred even more specificity on the Offense menu.  Inside Scoring, Shooting, Ball Control, and Dunking have all been consolidated into one list.  Conversely, the Potential rating sits all by itself on it's own menu (MISC).

Rebound ratings did not get their own menu; you will find Offensive Rebound, Defensive Rebound, and Boxout each on three separate menu screens.  They ideally should have their own because most editors adjust these simultaneously.

67 D.Reb (+5)
37 Block (-2)
79 S.Contest (NC)
65 Steal (-4)
85 On-Ball Def (NC)
64 Low-Post Def (+4)
79 Reaction Time (NEW)

This is the first time in 13 years I found a player with offensive and defensive rebound ratings accurately rated to 2K's own scale.  Hopefully it's not a coincidence.

Reaction Time is a new attribute.  I believe the explanation of exactly what it does is located somewhere within Scott O'Gallagher's extensive Gameplay Blog.  My best guess without any testing:

ANTICIPATION REACTIONS – Whether it's a signature size up or a simple hesitation, the CPU defenders will react and drop correctly to put themselves in the best defensive position.
NEW – Off-ball player perceptions - Defensive IQ means more to the game than ever before. The defensive players on the floor now have their own “perceptions” of what they can or cannot see. Expect players with lower IQs to be late, or at times, completely miss their rotation assignments.

67 Boxout (+7)
74 Lateral Quickness (-6)
70 Speed (-4)
72 Acceleration (-8, or NEW)
72 Vertical (NC)
66 Strength (+2)
75 Stamina (-24)
80 Hustle (+5)
86 Head Durability (NC)
84 Neck Durability (NC)
85 Back Durability (NC)
84 L.Shoulder Durability (NC)
85 R. Shoulder Durability (NC)
86 L.Elbow Durability (NC)
86 R. Elbow Durability (NC)
89 L. Hip Durability (NC)
88 R. Hip Durability (NC)
68 L. Knee Durability (NC)
74 R. Knee Durability (NC)
60 L. Ankle Durability (NC)
77 R. Ankle Durability (NC)
84 L. Foot Durability (NC)
85 R. Foot Durability (NC)
81 Miscellaneous Durability (NEW)

Acceleration appears to be the new name for Quickness.  With last year's inclusion of "Lateral Quickness", the difference between the two attributes wasn't abundantly clear.  For those who have been studying the game's mechanics over time "Acceleration" is a bit more indicative of how the rating actually functioned.

Speed and Quickness ratings were lowered across the board.
Only eight NBA players have a 90+ Speed rating.
97 John Wall
96 Russell Westbrook
95 Shane Larkin
94 Derrick Rose
92 Brandon Knight
91 Nate Robinson
90 Jerryd Bayless
90 Brian Roberts

The non-cheese direction Da_Czar and Scott O'Gallagher wanted to take the game required many athletic ratings to be re-scaled on a non-cheese spectrum.   Players before were too fast and many times as soon as they got that step on the defender you were back to playing a video game and not NBA basketball.   Lowering individual speed gives CPU defenders a higher chance to recover and consequently helps deliver methodical and strategic play to your TV screen.

Now for some bad.  To be quite honest, the Durability ratings should all be on a separate menu, with Misc Durability (the important one) up top instead of at the bottom.

It doesn't come as a surprise to me that none of these were edited across the board - even though 2K had NINE MONTHS to recognize Kobe would miss that exact amount of time following surgery to his right shoulder.

Last season the main Durability rating that most long-term players are familiar with was removed from the menus in 2K15 in favor of all the body part specific Durability attributes, relegating Misc to a non-editable aggregate of the other 16 attributes.  It's return gives enhanced control over injury frequency now that players can have multiple injuries at a given time.

76 Pass Perception (+6)
80 D.Consistency (+5)
84 Pick & Roll Def (+4)
78 Help Def (+15)
98 O.Consistency (-1)
99 Emotion (+39)

P&R and Help Defense belonging to Mental rather than Defense is kinda weird, at least on paper.  To my understanding these ratings function as "Awareness" type ratings which is why you'll find them here.  Conversely, the On-Ball and Post Defense attributes have physical (non-mental) results.

Kobe getting -1 Offensive Consistency is a bit odd given that every other player is rated on a scale of five.  A quick glance also shows Carmelo Anthony go from 99 to 98.  I suppose they want 99 reserved for the "greats" like Jordan with this hyped up "Hall of Fame rating scale" (of which I saw little evidence while writing this up), but a 1-point difference for an attribute normally scaled by five isn't exactly anything to hang a hat on.

99 Potential (NC)

The picture is worth 1,000 words.  Opportunity loss notwithstanding, the new interface is overall an improvement that everyone from roster editors to casual fans should appreciate.

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