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MLB The Show

19 Feb 2020

MLB The Show 20 Franchise Mode: New features the game needs

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Owner Option

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Customizable draft classes

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Variable rotations

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Updating visuals

MLB The Show 20 is just a month away as pitchers and catchers are reporting to get 2020 Spring Training underway!

Considering pitchers and catchers report even sooner than the game releases, the MLB community is buzzing with excitement over the arrival of everything new in baseball.

MLB The Show has made many advancements as it remains the unrivaled MLB game available. One of its biggest areas of growth is Diamond Dynasty, as the mode has risen to be the go-to mode for many gamers.

However, Franchise Mode has suffered as a result as its improvement has slowed, and its biggest fans feel left out.

San Diego Studios (SDS) have already teased big changes coming to the mode, such as relocation and rebranding – something fans have been craving for years – but there are still some other changes we’d love to see.  

Owner Option

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TOTAL CONTROL: Taking control off the field would be the next step in Franchise Mode

An owner mode is something that is no stranger to sports simulation titles or MLB games.

MVP Baseball 2005 from EA Sports had this feature and it was widely loved. Madden NFL currently has it, too, and lets you take (albeit limited) control of your coaches, roster, stadium, marketing and media relations among other features.

Franchise Mode is currently good for those
who want to focus just on the on-field portion of baseball, but without an
owner mode it slips behind other sports sim titles and leaves a lot of fans
missing that extra bit of control and personalization to the experience.

As part of the trailer release, SDS released their developer livestream schedule which revealed new features, like relocation, which suggests an owner mode/role may be coming.

Customizable draft classes

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REALISM: Customizable draft classes is a feature in other sport simulation titles

One of the best ways to entice gamers and
keep fans happy, if not the best way, is to offer customization. We have seen
it take over franchises like Call of Duty, NBA 2K, Fortnite and many more,
where visual and gameplay based customization broadens and personalizes the
gaming experience.

MLB The Show Franchise Mode is lacking it.

Customizable draft classes is something we’ve seen before, in Madden NFL for example, and enables the player to not only personalize the game, but bring even more realism as they draft their favorite real prospects into the game.

As of now the game doesn’t have official MiLB players nor prospects – though that seems to be another feature coming – so after a few seasons the league can be filled with randomly generated players.

This isn’t necessarily bad nor something
that bothers lots of gamers, but the option to personalize this would please a
whole lot of dedicated fans.

Variable rotations

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FLEXIBLE: Roster control is too rigid in previous MLB The Show editions

While much of baseball can be seen as being formulaic with all of its stats, the numbering of formations, various rotations and changes to the lineup based on opponents and tendencies. But, that by no means makes it uniform nor fixed.

Through a season there can be injuries, or the composition of a team’s roster may be in a way that forces the team to change their lineups and rotations accordingly. For example, four-man or six-man pitching rotations are not abnormal.

Currently, you have to use a five-man
pitching rotation. Admittedly this is the norm, but it becomes repetitive and
is an unrealistic burden when injuries happen or you have your own roster
style.

Bringing in the ability to change your
rotations according to your managerial style and requirements would bring a
level of roster freedom and personalization to Franchise Mode which is
currently missing.

Updating visuals

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RECOGNITION: Celebrate your in-game success with stadium updates

While this would be a visual/surface level
update, it is one that would allow for even more immersion into the game while
keeping it fresh and giving tangible rewards for in-game accomplishments.

Throughout the playoffs in the MLB, team uniforms and hats are adorned with playoff patches. Adding this to the visuals of the game would be a cool addition.

Taking this even further would be adding
World Series banners or AL/NL Pennant banners to stadiums the following season.

Winning a World Series can be a mission and having something to remind you of this every time you play would be great. Currently there isn’t anything. You continue to play in stadiums with banners, but nothing to recognize your recent achievements.

It doesn’t affect the gameplay much, and is a relatively small addition, but it’s one that is missing from most sports games, and one which would be greatly appreciated by many.

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NEW FEATURES: Updates are coming thick and fast from SDS