2K has released its final Courtside Report coinciding with the next gen release of NBA 2K21. The game is due to launch alongside the consoles in November. Mike Wang discusses the changes to the popular game modes in the series along with the AI changes. For starters, the MyPLAYER Builder will be all about customizing your character as the team has considered a ton of feedback over the past few years. For one, there will be no more pie charts. There will be much more control over the the exact type of player you are creating. This starts by granting control over setting each individual rating to the cap you prefer. Restrictions exist based on your vitals and you won’t be able to max everything out.
Badges were given a ton of thought for the re-design for next gen. There are some new ones and some revived ones. The goal will still be to perform well in various categories and apply those points to the ones you choose. Quite a few were retired, as well. You can view the new and returning badges below along with the retired ones.
● Fearless Finisher – Boosts contact layups and decreases fatigue● Heat Seeker – Boosts takeover progress on inside shots● Highlight Film – Boosts teammate takeover progress on flashy dunks● Hook Specialist – Boosts hook shot ability● Revived Posterizer – Contact dunks!● Rise Up – Boosts ability to do standing dunks in traffic● Anti-Freeze – Harder to get cold and lose takeover meter progress● Blinders – Less affected by peripheral defenders when shooting jumpers● Circus Threes – Improved ability to hit pull-up and stepback 3’s● Fade Ace – Boosts all post fadeaways● Hot Shot – Increases takeover meter faster when knocking down jumpers● Deep Threes – Dame and Curry range 3 balls● Rhythm Shooter – Boosts shot %’s out of size-ups as well as 1-step pull-ups● Set Shooter – Shooting ability gets better the longer you set and wait before pulling● Sniper – Boosts the ability to hit shots when using Pro Stick aiming● Stop & Pop Three – for the JJ Redicks who want to pull-up for threes in transition● Bullet Passer – Gives you the ability to throw laser dots like LeBron● Relay Passer – Boosts the shooter on pass to assist situations● Special Delivery – Boosts takeover progress for the passer and receiver off a flashy pass assist● Ankle Braces – Makes it tougher for ball handlers to break your ankles● Clutch Defender – Boosts your defensive ratings in clutch moments● Hot Stopper – Boosts takeover meter for good defensive plays like steals, blocks, and goodcontests
● Advanced Gathers – Unlocks more effective spin, euro, hop step, cradle gathers● Finishing Moves – Able to absorb contact and finish at the rim● Easy Blowbys – Enhances ability for slashers to beat defenders off the dribble● Pull-Up Precision – Boosts well timed/aimed shots off the dribble● Anklebreaking Shots – More anklebreakers off of spin and stepback jumpers● Negative Impact – Reduces defensive impact against pull-ups and other skill shots● Limitless Range – Extends your shooting range out to the logos● Spot-Up Precision – Boosts well timed/aimed stationary jump shots● Team Ratings Boost – Playmakers boost their teammates’ offensive ratings● Team Takeover Boost – Boost your teammates’ takeover meter progress● Team Badge Boost – Boosts your teammates’ badges up a tier● Extreme Clamps – More stone wall and lost dribble body-up resolutions for locks● Perimeter Badge Drop – Knocks shooting badges down a tier when you get close● Enhanced Jump Shot Contests – Boosts your ability to contest jumpers● Stuff Blocks –Unlocks more swat, backboard pins, and grab blocks● Paint Intimidation – Boosts your ability to affect shots around the rim● Interior Badge Drop – Drops opposition’s scoring badges down a tier in the paint● Boxout Wall – Improves ability to seal off opponents for easy boards● See the Future – Shows where missed shots are going to end up● Glass Clearing Dimes – After rebounds, kick out passes boost your teammate’s shooting● Power Backdowns – Easier to push defenders around when posting up● Post Playmaking – Boost your teammates’ offensive abilities when passing out of post● Advanced Post Moves – Easier to beat defenders with post moves● Post Shot Daggers – Increased scoring ability with hooks, fades, shimmy shots, etc.
Defense● New switching logic update: Both on-ball and off-ball screen logic has been rewritten and theauto-switching logic was refined to reduce bad switching instances. So expect to see fewer casesof the AI calling for a switch without a screen and leaving a player open.● Adaptive Coaching Engine (ACE) now has the ability to recognize and adapt to different types ofoff-ball actions including: Flare screens, Down screens, Back screens, and Handoffs.● Improved logic for CPU defenders to get in position to take charges.● Several improvements to transition defense.● Overhauled the Hedge defensive system for better screen positioning and angle targeting.● The player can now call for help defense by holding L1/LB instead of just calling for a doubleteam. This is a great mechanic that you can use when guarding the ball; instead of hoping the AIselects the right time to send help, it’s now under your control with a simple press and hold of thebutton.● Improved logic for defenders in avoiding each other when moving around obstacles. This workshand–in-hand with the off-ball movement changes I detailed in last week’s blog.Offense● Next-Gen Game Planning: This is a great new feature that allows players and AI to have morespecific game plans for their teams. In the past, you could choose to run pick & rolls with LeBron,but the new system allows the AI to target a team’s best players. So for the Lakers, not only willthey run pick & rolls, but you can have them run exclusively with LeBron and Anthony Davis.There’s a new game plan option in the pause menu. Here, players can select between 8 pre-selected game plans that they can access in game through the On-The-Fly-Coaching panel(OTFC). Each game plan has default options already set up for them, so the player can pick asingle option and have all the important details for that game plan ready to go. Here are twoexamples of game plans you can choose:○ Play Through Star: This game plan will have ACE automatically select the best scorer onthe team and only run scoring actions for them, both via plays and freelance actions. Italso sets the tempo and rebounding choices automatically to accommodate your star’splaying style.○ Pound the Ball Inside: ACE auto selects the best post scorer on the team and willexclusively run post scoring actions and plays for them.●Double team counter intelligence: You’llsee the AI using less movement and create morespacing for shooters spotting up behind the three point line to punish excessive double teaming.● End of game logic: Improved the AI’s ability to time plays with the shot clock for buzzer beatersituations.● Starters and Bench Favorite Plays: This year we expanded the favorite plays to allow players toset up one group of plays for their starting unit and another group of plays for the bench units.● Moved player-specific plays and player-specific ball screens back to the L1/LB button. This wassomething many people were requesting so they could get quick access to icon pick controlagain. Favorite plays are now mapped to the DPAD.● Play and freelance flow: As we have done every year, the play and freelance offensive flow hasbeen greatly improved moving to next-gen. There are several actions that we just had a hard timegetting to run smoothly in past 2K games, but thanks to the logic upgrades and vastly improvedmotion engine, everything flows extremely well in NBA 2K21 for next-gen.● Fixed AI players accidentally positioning themselves out of bounds.● New pick & roll spacing: New spacing code gives some of our pick & roll and isolation sets thatextra adjustment on dribble penetration. It’s much more solid now but expect continuedexpansion on this module as the year goes along with our in-season play and AI updates.