IT’S both surprising and not so surprising that we’ve received even more updates about next-gen NBA 2K21 as tomorrow is the big day. Xbox Series X|S is launching in less than 24 hours but Visual Concepts and 2K have even more to reveal.
MyCAREER will be expanded upon in next gen more so in the way you control your journey. How you make it to the League this time around is completely up to you. Little has mentioned about the changes in MyCAREER but a plethora of information about changes to MyGM, MyLEAGUE and MyLEAGEU Online have been revealed.
In short, they’ve all been replaced and rebranded as MyNBA. Similar to the WNBA League in The W, this gives you much wider control over all aspects of the league. A plethora of information sent to us from 2K can be found in full below covering multiple changes to existing components, new features and the return of tattoos.
MyNBA Setup Options
The first box you’ll see when you start a new MyNBA save will be the MyNBA Setup Options. Each of these, when enabled, will add new steps to the setup flow that will allow you to further customize the mode on a much deeper level. These options include: Fantasy Draft, Customize League Rules, Custom Roster, Customize League, Customize Salary Cap, Customize Simple Settings, and Customize Advanced Settings.
Fantasy Draft is pretty straightforward. You can turn this on if you want to start the mode with a fantasy draft of all the players instead of having all the players start on the teams they’ve been assigned to in the roster. It has all the customizable settings that we’ve had in the game in previous years.
Customize League Rules is the completely new feature in this batch and lets you go through and pick all the rules that the mode will start with without having to wait for the League Meetings in the offseason where you are limited to five rule changes per year. Now, you can go through and set all of the rules in each of the categories – Lottery, Standings, All-Star, Shot Clock, Foul Out, Lane Violation, Eight-Second Violation, Backcourt Violation, Playoffs, Possession Arrow, Bonus, Goaltending, Back to the Basket, Sudden Death Overtime, Free Throws, Salary Cap, Trades, Draft, Contracts, and Elam Ending (more on this later) – however you want them from the jump.
Custom Roster lets you pick between the official 2K Sports roster, 2K Sports Injury-Free rosters, or one of the countless custom rosters designed by members of the 2K community.
Customize League is where you can re-align teams, replace existing teams, or add new classic, all-time, or custom teams to the league, and – new to NBA 2K21 – remove teams from the league. Yes, that’s right – for the first time, we’re allowing you to reduce the league size from the current 30 and now you can bring it down to as low as 12. This means that instead of the 30 to 36 range of league sizes we’ve supported in the past, this year you can now have leagues that range from 12 to 36 teams. This makes it possible for users to try and recreate past seasons where the NBA didn’t have 30 teams or just have a smaller league to support a more concise MyNBA Online experience.
The last three – Customize Salary Cap, Customize Simple Settings, and Customize Advanced Settings – will add more setup option menus to the flow that will allow you to dig deeper into the intricacies of how you’d like to start the mode.
Advanced CBA Rules
This next box is something that we decided to include because we felt it was something that could be turned on or off as a group that would greatly change the overall franchise experience. Over the years, we’ve added a slew of some of the CBA’s more complex rules to the game to try and create a completely authentic NBA user experience.
While these new features have all been asked for by hardcore members of our community and have greatly-enhanced the mode, we decided that it would make sense to give users an easy way to turn all or some of these off if they felt that it made the game too difficult, as many of these rules make signing players, completing trades, and just dealing with team management a lot more complex.
When you come into the setup options for the first time, these will all be defaulted to ON because that’s the way we want most users to experience the mode, but if you want an easier time, you can quickly turn off these options as a group or individually – Dead Cap (released players counting against your salary cap if not picked up on waivers), Stepien Rule (limit on trading away 1st round picks in consecutive years), 30/60/90 Day Rules (limits on trading away recently-signed players), Restricted Free Agents (ability for teams to match offers on RFAs), Trade Finances (requirements to match salaries on trades), and Waiver Rules (requirement for 48-hour waiver period).
The next setup group could also have been called “MyGM Options,” but we opted to refer to it as Role-Playing Elements. This is actually an area of the game that really took a lot of the work in developing MyNBA as a whole because getting the MyGM options to play nicely with the fully-customizable and multi-team MyLEAGUE stuff took a tremendous amount of development and design work (or else we would’ve just never made MyLEAGUE and just added all the customization and up to 30-team control to MyGM back in year 2 for NBA 2K15).
Here is where you can choose to turn on or off the following – Conversations, Scoring, Skills, Tasks, and Morale & Chemistry. The conversations will determine whether or not you have the face-to-face conversations with the governor, staff, and players. This year, you can have these on or off no matter whether you’re controlling just one team or up to 36 teams – and you can even have 36 team control with conversations on for only a subset of the teams you’re controlling.
Scoring, Skills, Tasks, and Morale and Chemistry are all core components of the previous MyGM experience that can be turned on or off as a group or separately. For instance, if you didn’t like all the reading you had to do in the conversations but did like getting Tasks from the governor, staff, and players and liked being able to upgrade your GM’s skill tree, in NBA 2K21’s MyNBA, you can just turn off Conversations and turn on Skills and Tasks to get that experience. It’s all up to however you want to play!
Budget and Finances
In Budget and Finances, we have some simple options like whether or not the Salary Cap, Hard Cap, and Luxury Tax options are turned on or off, plus Price Changes and User-Controlled Budgets, which for the last generation were features that we had kept exclusive to the MyGM experience and didn’t allow for MyLEAGUE or MyLEAGUE Online.
As MyNBA is all about giving you complete control over what features are available, this year you will be able to set a team’s prices for tickets and concessions, or a team’s budgets, whether or not you’re playing the game with any GM features on.
Play With Friends
This option is pretty straightforward. When you enable this option, it means you’ll be making a MyNBA Online league, and it will have all of your customization options available to you. So, if you don’t think you can find 29 other players to fill out a 30-team league and would rather not have any teams under the management of the CPU, you can cut the league size down to as low as 12, so it’ll take less friends to fill out the league. I’ll go a little deeper into what’s new for former MyLEAGUE Online players a little later in this blog.
Automate Offseason Time Periods
The next box is for Automate Offseason Time Periods. This is really just an easy way to turn off the offseason (and have it be simulated) for users that want to keep playing regular seasons and playoffs without having to deal with the offseason. And while it can be turned on or off as a group, we also let you pick and choose to automate the periods – Retirements, League Business, Staff Signing, Drafting, Free Agency, and Player Progression – each individually.
This next one lets you determine whether the league starts from the beginning of the Regular Season or the previous Offseason. It works pretty much like it has in the past. It’s worth noting that Start from Today won’t be available at launch, as there isn’t an official start date yet for the next NBA season.
G League w/Playable Games
A subset of our franchise fan base has been clamoring for this for years and with MyNBA in NBA 2K21, we’re finally able to bring back playable G League games! If you want to include the G League in your mode, you can leave this option turned on. Otherwise, if you don’t care for the G League games, you can turn it off.
When turned on, the G League teams will play a schedule of games, and if you look at the Daily View, you’ll see the G League games interspersed with the NBA games. Or you can check out the Daily View (G League) to just see that day’s scheduled G League games that you can play or simulate with regular sim, SimCast, or SimCast Live.
Last up is Ranked, which got us some critical feedback in the early going. This is the one option that will limit what can be customized because we’re still trying to create an experience that allows us to compare players worldwide on a level playing field.
While it’s still limited, we have expanded on the things that can be customized compared to last year, so you can tailor it to your liking more than you could before. For instance, we decided to take Actions out of the mandatory part of the Ranked experience, based on the strong response from some users. We welcome all feedback and would love to hear more about what the community would like to see out of the Ranked mode in future years.
What Are the New Features?
One of the challenges of going down this path of merging MyGM, MyLEAGUE, and MyLEAGUE Online into a single, fully-customizable MyNBA is that it took a tremendous amount of work to get all the MyGM features working with more than one team, getting things like Tasks to work without Conversations, and getting all of it to work Online.
Nevertheless, here are some of the completely brand-new features coming to NBA 2K21.
Playable G League Games
I’ve already talked about this one as part of the setup options. You can now play a full schedule of G League games in MyNBA in NBA 2K21. All the games are fully playable, but can also be simulated via quick sim, SimCast, or the interactive SimCast Live, and with all the jump-in and jump-out capabilities that you get with NBA games.
Revamped Boom/Bust System
We introduced a simple Boom/Bust system to the game last year that added a little randomness to the potential of the prospects, but have given it a major facelift this year and completely revamped it.
Younger players in the league will now have a more dynamic growth path using the Boom/Bust system. Players can have low and high-potential floors, low and high-potential ceilings, and a probability to boom, bust, or hit somewhere in between.