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MLB The Show 22 Road to the Show and Ballplayer Updates

Less than two weeks from the release of MLB The Show 22, San Diego Studios hosted another Feature Premiere live stream on their Twitch and YouTube channels. This time SDS discussed additions and changes to Road to the Show (RTTS) and Ballplayer.

MLB The Show 22 Updates

Road to the Show Narrative

The half-hour live stream began with an update on the RTTS narrative portions. These show up as video podcast segments at different times throughout a player’s career. Several new faces will now be showing up during these short videos. Former AL MVP and two-time MLB The Show Cover Athlete, Joe Mauer, will be joining the rotation of Ben Gellman’s guests. Rachel Balkovec will also be a recurring guest throughout a player’s experience. Balkovec is the manager of the Tampa Tarpons, a Class A minor league affiliate of the New York Yankees. Finally, Kellen Lee, a mental skills coach for the San Francisco Giants, will be brought on occasionally to discuss the mental health struggles that go along with a player’s rise through the minor leagues. Several faces from last year’s video segments will also be returning this year, such as Robert Flores, Lauren Shehadi, Carlos Pena, and Ken Griffey Jr. to name a few.

Ballplayer Updates

The second half of the live stream discussed actual features and additions for RTTS and ballplayer. Tony Morton, game systems designer for SDS, said that it was the feedback from the community on last year’s implementation of the ballplayer system that drove their focus for MLB The Show 22. The first change is that players can now have multiple ballplayers. Players can now manage up to 10 ballplayers in MLB The Show 22, each with different appearances, positions, ratings, etc.

The first step in creating a new ballplayer now lets players choose between being a pitcher, position player, or a two-way player. This is an improvement over last year where players were forced to start as two-way players. This was another big piece of community feedback that fans are certain to be happy about. From there, players will choose which archetype they want to use. A new pitching archetype, Knucksie, has been introduced for those who want to drive batters crazy like Tim Wakefield. However, ballplayers with this archetype will not be allowed in online PVP. SDS made it clear there would be no knuckleball use in online play. Players that play as pitchers will now be able to change their pitches in between games. Each pitch will track progression individually, so if you drop a pitch from your arsenal for a bit, the attributes on that pitch will be the same when you add it back in.

Progression

SDS has adjusted the progression system for RTTS going into MLB The Show 22. Last year, there were both RTTS and Diamond Dynasty goals for progression for ballplayers. This year, all ballplayer missions will be inside RTTS. Players are no longer forced to play Diamond Dynasty to make their players better. This is a huge victory for fans of RTTS. These goals will progress the player’s program similar to last year. Morton also said that the progression would be faster and more rewarding this year. Another change is now players will receive items from multiple archetypes for complete programs this year. Last year, if you wanted to switch archetypes, you basically had to start over with your player. Now players will be free to experiment with their items more freely.

The equipment and perks systems have also returned to MLB The Show 22. New dynamic perks have been added that are similar to the personality trait perks from previous MLB The Show titles. For example, the new Jump Start perk gives a player significant contact boosts on the first two pitches of an at-bat. The perks from last year that just give attribute upgrades have also returned. This system will give players plenty of options when creating their player.

Replayability Concerns

The thing about the equipment and archetype systems is some players feel they hurt the replayability of the mode. If you restart a new RTTS save file, you begin with all of the equipment, perks, and archetype items you already unlocked. This is good that you do not have to unlock items multiple times. However, some players feel it ruins the grind of the mode when you start as an 80+ overall in the minor leagues. Some prefer the old XP system where the rating of your player was based solely on gameplay. However, with equipment, perks, and archetype items being sold in the marketplace for stubs, which can be bought with real money, I don’t see this changing anytime soon. Perhaps SDS could add a New Game+ option in the future. This could serve as a happy medium between those who want to replay the grind and those who want to keep the items they have already unlocked.

Balancing and New Legend

The stream wrapped up with Morton ensuring that all Ballplayer items got a balance tuning for this year. This will be important for those who carry them over into Diamond Dynasty. As always, SDS introduced a new legend. This time it was World Series champion and 3-time All-Star closing pitcher Brian Wilson.

SDS has one final Feature Premiere live stream scheduled for March 31, where they will discuss updates to Diamond Dynasty, Live Content and Esports. MLB The Show 22 is available April 5 for PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and for the first time Nintendo Switch.


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Brandon Satterwhite
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