MLB The Show 22 just received one of its biggest content updates of the year. I feel like I have said that several times at the start of these articles, but this one really is a huge update. The All-Star break is a huge time for MLB The Show. New players are more likely to pick up the game due to the increase attention MLB gets surrounding the midsummer classic. The All-Star Game, Home Run Derby, and new events like Home Run Derby X are perfect opportunities for SDS to put out great content to pad out the player base heading into the second half of the game’s life cycle.
SDS clearly knows this, as this past week they offered free trials and stub sales for MLB The Show 22 on all platforms. So it is curious why the developers continue to say and do things that seem to push players away, either intentionally or unintentionally. Whether it be the design of their increasingly stingy Featured Programs, or off-handed comments on live streams, it is not a question of if SDS is going the direction of EA and 2K anymore, it’s how long do we have until they get there.
All-Stars of the Franchise Featured Program
The new Featured Program, All-Stars of the Franchise, has finally arrived in MLB The Show 22. This program features 30 bosses, one from each of the 30 MLB teams. These bosses are based on the players selected to the 2022 MLB All-Star Game. The overall structure of this program is similar to the Faces of the Franchise and Future of the Franchise programs from earlier in the year.
The biggest difference between this program and those earlier ones is this time players will be able to earn… 18 of the 30 bosses. Now while SDS may think this is exciting as they showed on today’s livestream, this is not a big improvement. Yes, being able to earn 18 of the bosses instead of 12 is an improvement. However, last year’s All-Star Team Affinity Program allowed players to earn all 30 bosses by just grinding and playing the game. Those 30 bosses from last year’s program were also higher rated, and included several 99 OVR cards. None of this year’s All-Star program cards are 99 OVR, with the higher end cards being 97 OVR.
Grind to 99?
For a game who’s motto is “Grind to 99”, which Ramone Russell said several times this week and on today’s stream, the fact that the grind is being cranked up and the rewards being taken away turns a lot of players off from this year’s version of Diamond Dynasty. It also does not help when the developers of the game make snide comment regarding player feedback.
This exact type of comment seemed to happen today when the developers were talking about Tim Anderson’s card in the program. One member of the team made some jokes about how the card “hits a home run every swing,” “never gets thrown out when stealing bases,” and “it seems to be working as intended.” Now, these comments could be written off a just jokes about how this card is the best in the game. It helps that the team member that made the jokes is a Chicago White Sox fan. However, these comments seem to line up with specific points of criticism MLB The Show 22 has received from fans this year.
The main gripe players have had with MLB The Show 22 has been the hitting system. Many players feel like hitting is unrewarding and at times absolutely broken in the game. It can feel like most perfect and good hits end up as lazy fly balls. This makes it feel like sometimes there is nothing you can do to get a hit. Stealing bases has also been criticized. Players with high speed and steal ratings still get thrown out at very high rates. Defenders of the current gameplay on sites like Twitter and Reddit often use similar language to today’s comments, like “Do you expect to hit a home run every time you swing?”
Laughing at the Players?
The most offensive of these comments today was the “working as intended” remark. For those unaware, a few weeks ago SDS announced they had no plans to make any changes to the criticized gameplay. In this announcement, they said they felt the game was “working as intended.” The phrase has become a meme in the MLB The Show community, often used when one of the mentioned gripes with the game occurs.
The fact that the exact phrase was used and garnered tons of laughter from those on stream shows just what SDS thinks of player feedback. They are laughing at the fact that players do not believe the game is working as intended, and they are laughing at the players who expect better from the only major MLB game on the market.
Live All-Star Content
On top of the 30 bosses in the new Featured Program, MLB The Show 22 will also be getting live content throughout the All-Star festivities. The first of these will be tonight, when the MLB Home Run Derby takes place. The Home Run Derby Choice Pack will be available in The Show Shop shortly after the event. Players will get two players form the pack, which will cost 30,000 stubs.
Jackie Robinson Collection
This year’s All-Star Program also comes with its own major collection. Collecting 44 2022 All-Star Series and Home Run Derby player cards will earn player a 99 OVR Jackie Robinson. This card is very impressive with amazing hitting, fielding, and baserunning attributes.
The Featured Program will get players 18 cards, which leaves 26 that will need to be gained in other ways. The upcoming schedule for MLB The Show 22 shows a new Other Program for All-Star items and packs. This will likely include Home Run Derby and All-Star Game packs. That being said, players will likely either have to do some work on the marketplace or wait for more opportunities to earn these players later in the year.
Moonshot Week Event
The Moonshot Event returns yet again in MLB The Show 22, but this time it is for an entire week. Again, any hitters are allowed, 64 OVR and lower pitchers, this time at Dodgers Stadium. 15 wins in the program will earn you Classics 2021 Finest Franmil Reyers. 20 program wins will get you Retro Finest Adam Dunn.
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