The lights are on
MLB the Show 17 is almost out (March 28), and developer San Diego Studio has been saving some tantalizing new details about this year's Road to the Show mode until the end. This year gamers make important decisions for their created player through dialog interactions with GMs, advisors, coaches, and the media in new locations such as the team clubhouse and lockerroom. This journey from the minors to The Show is called Pave Your Path, and even has narration to give it some context and gravitas.
This week's Sports Desk not only discusses Pave Your Path, but also new details about Franchise mode, and includes a conversation with San Diego Studio community manager and game designer, Ramone Russell. Brian Shea and I grill Russell about Road to the Show, Franchise mode's player quirks, and much more in a special Sports Desk video.
During a recent Twitch livestream, the crew at San Diego Studio showed examples of some of the different conversations players encounter and the consequences they create. One such important moment takes place after you're drafted and you're talking to your new GM. Throw around some attitude, and the GM may reconsider not only drafting you, but refuse to sign you. This means you may go back to a junior college for a year, get older, and possibly affecting your standing in next year's draft. On the flip side, you'll end up with a new organization and some training points earned in the interim.
Apart from the different places Pave Your Path can take you, there are no blind alleys. In the livestream the team showed off a situation where their Road to the Show player had pissed off the brass with his general bad attitude, but after some conciliatory talk and the intervention of the players' college coach, the player was back on the opening day roster. However, this wasn't before he had a sitdown with the team manager, and it was clear the team was going to keep an eye on him. Some situations in the mode are more passive but just as important. A rousing speech by the manager, for example, may give your RTS player a double XP boost for that day.
Not to be left out, the game's Franchise mode (offline) also has a big addition of its own: player quirks. Quirks are player labels that not only let gamers know what he's capable of, but some of them even effect that player's PCI (plate coverage indicator), giving them a little bigger sweet spot. There are 20+ quirks in the game, such as Breaking Ball Hitter, Fighter (the player plays better in the ninth inning and beyond), Platoon (the player excels against a particular handed pitcher), Knee Buckler (that pitcher has a good breaking ball), Control Artist (this pitcher can limit his walks), and more. Some quirks turn on/off based on that player reaching certain attribute thresholds, but others have been applied directly by the development team.
Between Franchise mode's quirks and Road to the Show's Pave Your Path, this year's MLB the Show has some tentpole features that should elevate the game and make it stand out.
For more on MLB the Show 17 – including gameplay details and more on Franchise mode's quick manage and critical situations features – check out our Franchise mode tour with Shea and Ramone Russell, as well as this previous Sports Desk entry.
We Discuss MLB The Show 17's Road to the Show and Much More With Game Designer Ramone Russell
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