Tuesday, March 26, 2019

How to Set Up a Realistic MyLeague Experience in NBA2K


One of the best features in NBA2K is the MyLeague option. A MyLeague gives you complete control of every aspect of your NBA2K experience. The problem is that as good as the MyLeague is, there are some things that happen in MyLeague that aren't realistic.

In this article, I'm going to go through some steps you can take to set up your own realistic MyLeague experience.

I've also included a video down at the bottom of this article.

Decide what kind of league you want


The first step in getting a great MyLeague experience is to envision what kind of league you want.

Are you a regular roster guy that never likes to change anything? Are you a wheeler dealer that likes to take a small market team to the championship?

Or, do you get annoyed when a superstar leaves a big market and goes to a small market team?

Everyone is different. So, you have to have some general idea of what kind of MyLeague you want to have before we can talk about how to set it up.

So, let's brainstorm a few ideas and then talk about how to implement them.

Concept ideas for MyLeague


Here are some conceptual ideas for MyLeague's you might want to try.

  • Regular roster This is my kind of MyLeague. You start with the day one rosters and then work through the regular season. If a transaction happens in real life, it happens in your MyLeague. If it doesn't happen in real life, it doesn't happen in your MyLeague. You play each game of the season using only the guys who actually played in the real life game. I and my friends call this the "box score rule." I usually set my rotations and auto sub settings and play. If a player gets injured and is out for the season, then he is out in your MyLeague. To me, this is the most realistic MyLeague because you are simulating what actually happens in real life in your MyLeague file. The focus here is on playing games and if you do what I'd do, you would play the schedule as it happens in real life. The focus isn't on making moves or trying to rebuild a franchise. You probably will play one season and then wait for the next NBA2K to come out. You'd also need to control all 30 teams manually to make sure that everything went as planned
  • Rebuilding a franchise Here you start with the the regular day one rosters but you set out to rebuild a franchise that is struggling. A good example might be the New York Knicks. It's a franchise that has struggled for a long time. But with you at the helm, the New York Knicks have new life as you make the deals that put together a winner.
  • Multi-team control In addition to focusing on one team, could focus on controlling several teams at one time. I know there are many people who do a 30 team controlled MyLeague where they micromanage the whole league.
  • Historical In this type of MyLeague, you begin years in the past and see if history repeats itself. Will Michael Jordan still be greatest of all time if you go back in time? The real killer idea here would be to start with the roster from the beginning of the league. From there, you would import draft classes that contained the real players drafted that year. You could even incorporate the old ABA teams in this concept.
  • Greatest of all time dream teams In this MyLeague, all of the teams would be comprised of the greatest players to ever play the game. How would Wilt Chamberlin fare against Shaq? You'd be able to see just that kind of cross era matchup. You'd be free to have all of the players represent the same teams they did in real life or you can put them all on different teams using the next idea. Brian Mazique is well known for his Ultimate Legends Roster.
  • Current players mixed with previous era players Not all players in league history were the greatest of all time. You could also combine current players with past players or combine past players into the league by putting them into draft classes.
  • Fictional league This is another one of my favorites. Here you have a MyLeague of totally fictional players who have never played the game. You'd learn all about the players once you started playing games. Complemented with fictional draft classes, you could create a whole new universe of league memories from scratch. You'd also have the option to relocate and rebrand all of the teams in the league around a totally fictional league of completely different identities in completely new arenas wearing completely different uniforms. One of my favorite rosters is Tim's Fictional Roster.
  • High school, college team, international league or hometown teams Want to use all high school players or college players or international players? Want to play your own euro style league based in cities in Europe? Have every player play on a team from where they were from? Chances are someone has worked on a roster and branding that will help you do exactly that. I once created my own team of Indiana allstars made up of players who were born in or who graduated from high school in Indiana. I had my own uniforms and arena I developed.
  • MyPlayer, MyCareer player lock Like MyCareer but hate the story mode that comes with it? The solution is to put yourself on a roster and play as yourself in your very own MyLeague. You'd play each game as you on player lock. Keep in mind that you'd also play the backup player subbed in for you during each game. You could also watch your progress as you sim games if that is what you wanted to do. You could also sprinkle in your friends, family or other people you'd like to add to your MyLeague to see how they compare to you.
  • Fantasy draft Nearly all of the above concepts could also be done by starting the MyLeague with a fantasy draft right from the start. Each team would start with a fresh slate and build its own history from day one.
  • Expansion teams You could also expand on any of these MyLeague concepts by adding expansion teams. League expansion is always exciting. I remember when the Magic and Raptors came into the league.
  • Head to head online Another option that can be combined with any of the above concepts is playing your friends in an online MyLeague. This could be as simple as choosing one other friend who chooses a team in the other conference to a full league.
Those are just a few ideas of I've seen floated around about different ways to play MyLeague.

Once you have come up with your concept, it's time to look closer at the setup of the league to bring your concept into a reality.

The roster - the heart of your MyLeague setup


The place to start when setting up your MyLeague is choosing a roster. This is an easy decision if you are a regular roster person. You'll just use the default roster and go from there.

For many years, I was a default roster player. But with time, I've always found my Indiana Pacers were always somewhat neglected. Some years it takes months to see any roster adjustment and often the team doesn't play as it should. This isn't as much as a concern for teams that get a little more attention like the Lakers so you'll level of tolerance and which team you choose will have some impact on whether the default roster suits you.

The roster you choose for you MyLeague is probably the biggest determining factor in how close to realism your MyLeague will feel and how well you like the experience.

Let's take a look at the types of rosters I've seen created. Depending on when you read this, you'll have to do some research at the time you are starting your MyLeague.

Here are a few types of rosters you'll see:
  • Default roster put out by 2K This is the official roster as seen through the eyes of 2K. It's used by the vast majority of people who play NBA2K and will work well for most people.
  • Custom edited rosters There are many roster editors out there. Many take the official roster and tweak every aspect of the roster from attributes, tendencies, badges and more to more accurately reflect the real life players. This is always subjective and with some research, you'll find roster makers whose ideals work with what your picture of real life is.
  • Period rosters Other roster editors create rosters from different eras like 2000-2001 or other old school seasons.
  • Legends Some roster editors focus on creating the legends of all time. 
  • Other basketball leagues I've seen other roster editors create the ABA, Euroleague, college teams or even high schools. Chances are if you are interested in some type of collection of players, someone else is too. 
  • Fictional roster Usually there is someone who creates a fictional roster that you can use.
  • Create your own roster Many people have a standard that no other roster editor can live up too. In many cases, that might describe you, especially if no one spends time making the kind of rosters you envision for your MyLeague. This gives you the ultimate control of your MyLeague. The downside to creating your own roster is the time it takes. A roster is almost never finished and there is always some way you can improve it. 
Those are some of the types of rosters you may be able to choose from.

A few important notes about rosters. I've tested many rosters and many are not completed. You'll want to make sure that the roster you used is finished. Not only that, you'll also want to test the roster out and see how you like the game play and look at it very carefully. 

It often doesn't take much for me to decide not to use a roster. It might be the Reggie Miller's shot doesn't look like it should or he hasn't been assigned the proper plays. Sometimes, contracts are sometimes out of whack. These are clues that the person who edited that roster didn't put the kind of effort into the roster you'd expect. 

If that's the case, you certainly won't be happy with your MyLeague. So take your time to in choosing a roster by using it. You can both play games with the roster and also sim the roster out a few seasons to see what happens.

It's almost best to wait until the game has been out months before you start your "real" myleague. Most roster editors work all year on their rosters. When the next game is ready to come out is almost the ideal time to start your MyLeague. At the very least, once the season is nearing the end, most of the work has been done.

You can find people promoting their rosters as well as some of the other items below over on Operation Sports NBA2K roster forum.

After your rosters, you'll want to focus next on draft classes.

Draft classes - the future of your MyLeague


The next component to a realistic myleague is what draft classes you'll use. If you are a regular roster type who only plays one season, you won't need to worry about draft classes.

However, in most cases, you'll run your MyLeague out a few years to see how it plays out. In that case, you'll need some draft classes to load into your MyLeague.

Just like rosters, draft classes have their own world of creators. Here are a few types of draft classes you'll see.
  • Auto generated draft classes NBA2K allows you to generate draft classes for each year that goes by. These draft classes are all computer generated. Some people are extremely picky about draft classes. Some draft classes aren't very strong and the league gets less superstars. Or too many. Further, other people don't like the how draft classes progress because of peak start and end dates. Still others are default players where the surprise is part of the process.
  • Historical draft classes This year 2K put out historical draft classes with old school players in them so you could incorporate them in your MyLeague. Other draft class creators set up their own historical draft classes for certain years.
  • Fictional draft classes Other creators focus on draft classes of totally fictional players. Many of these creators take such pride in their work, they create draft reports to go along with them. Recently, I found one guy who created 10 draft classes which is awesome.
  • Actual real life draft classes There are still other draft classes that focus on the real life prospects of the next two or three years. They spend time on actual faces and try and get a 2K version of the real life player. The most common real life draft class is the off season draft class. People often like to use this once the season ends and use it to play during the time before the next game is released.
  • Custom draft classes you create Again the ultimate is to create your own draft classes for the full experience and control.
You'll also want to make sure the draft classes you choose are up to the standard you want. The other thing is that if you find someone who makes draft classes you like, you'll hope they create multiple classes to get you through several seasons.

Developing talent through draft classes is probably the most unique part of the MyLeague experience for the multi-season MyLeague player. 

I've seen many discussions surrounding sleepers, draft busts and the like that make these draft classes a lot of fun. 

Customizing settings and sliders - Making it all work smoother


Once you've set up your MyLeague roster and draft classes, it's time to dig a little deeper into the things that affect what happens inside your MyLeague 

Certainly, you can run your MyLeague on default. But, for more realism and control, there are basically four areas of focus for these sliders and settings that you'll want to consider looking at.
  • Gameplay Aside from the basic settings for number of games, quarter length and difficulty, there's also a number of sliders you can adjust that affect gameplay for both you and the CPU.
  • MyLeague These are things like trade deadlines, salary cap, injuries and more. There are also sliders that set the difficulty of the simulation and a whole myriad of other activities that occur on a daily basis.
  • Progression Progression is how players talents develop and fade. This is controlled a lot by the peak age start and end dates of each of the individual players. But also, there are a ton of sliders that control progression that can be adjusted.
  • Training Players can be trained according to how you'd like them to be trained and you can set and control how training works.
Just like rosters and draft classes, you can find users who have taken the time to develop unique and customized settings and sliders you might want to use.

Or, if you prefer, you can develop your own sets of sliders and customized settings by simming several seasons ahead to see what your league looks like a few years in the future.

You'll likely discover unintended things like too many great players, not enough great players or a league of outstanding three point shooters.

Once you see what the league looks like in the future, you can see what your league will look like and where you might want to adjust any of the above settings and sliders.

Once you've set these up, there's probably one additional area you'll want to consider controlling for greater realism.

That's control of every team in the league.

30 (or more) Team Control - MyLeague micromanagement


The final step in your MyLeague setup is deciding whether you will control just one team, more than one team or all of the teams.

Most of time, controlling all of the teams is a little too daunting of a task for me. For that reason, I put many of the functions of each team on auto while keeping other functions on manual. Having control of each team allows you to control many other factors that have a huge impact on realism.

Let's walk through some of these areas that are important.
  • Transactions Trades and other transactions that don't make sense can be stopped before they take place. You can decide where you want players you want to be or not be.
  • Coaching settings You can set up rotations for players along with defensive game plans for opponents. If you like to sim games, you can set the focus of how your team plays while simming games.
  • Playbooks You can add and remove plays from each team playbooks and adjust player playtypes based on that teams personnel.
Those are just a few of the items you'll be able to control when you control more than one team. 

You'll want to take a look at each of these items you have control over and make a decision on what you want for your MyLeague.

How have you set up your MyLeague for realism?


Those are a few of the top areas that will help you MyLeague be way more realistic to the vision that you have when you start.

What tips do you have that you can share in the comments about how you made your MyLeague more realistic?

I'd love to hear from you below.

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