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MLB 09 The Show Online Season Leagues and Improvements

Jason Villa's Avatar + Posted by Jason Villa on Feb 23, 2009 // Producer, MLB 10 THE SHOW

Hey there, Jason here again, this time to relay some information on new features and improvements to the Online/SportsConnect area of MLB 09 The Show. Along with improving the league system and layout, this year we focused on two major components of the Online League System…A) Draft System; B) Flex Schedules (with new Schedule screen). We truly believe that the additions of these two components are what the Online Leagues needed. The goal is to allow users to customize as much as possible and to ensure that these league games get played!

Online League Draft System:
While online leagues are fun, there’s nothing like hand picking the team of your team. And taking it one step further than Fantasy Sports, you can actually take your team on the field and play with them yourself.

The draft system rivals that of any fantasy sports system. It allows from 6-30 players to hold a FULL LIVE Draft, with the ability to set your draft day/time, pick timer/length, chat (and harass), view the Player Card/stats of available players, view the Player Card stats of other users in your league drafting. Another integral part of the draft system is the ability to set you draft queue. No matter how much planning you do, there’s always a chance you can’t physically be at your draft, or you may not be able to stay for the entire draft. That’s when the Draft Queue becomes essential. Simply queue up all the players you’d like to be on your team, place them in order of preference, turn off your PS3 system and walk away. The server will handle the rest. Not only will it put priority on the picks you have queued, but it will make certain you have a logical team…25 players, equally balanced between starters, relievers, infielders and outfielders.

Once the draft is over, set your lineup, have the commissioner activate the league and start playing your league games!

MLB 09 The Show League Draft

Online League Flex Schedule:
Finding opponents and playing games should be much easier this year. We’ve incorporated a Flex Schedule for all leagues (Draft or non-Draft leagues). No longer do you only get one series and opponent to play when you log into your league. Depending on the size and length of your league you can play ahead in the schedule. The Flex schedule is never smaller than 3 series/opponents, or never larger than 15 series/opponents (that’s right, 15!).

Not only are we offering the Flex Schedule, but we’re also offering a far easier Schedule Screen. The new online Season League Schedule screen has the same look and feel of the offline season schedule screen. We’ve added a Series countdown in schedule screen. This lets the league know when the current series expires and how much time they have before the Commissioner can resolve games. Get those games played!

MLB 09 The Show League Schedule

We’ve also added a true League Lobby. Upon entering the League Office, you will automatically be given a seat in the League Lobby of that particular league. It’s called a persistent Lobby, and we’re very excited about it. Now you can hold a seat in a lobby, but navigate around the lobby. You’ll see a new Lobby Icon in the hot bar this year. It’s the text bubble with three dots. Once you see that blink, you know that chat is taking place in the lobby/game room you have a seat in.

MLB 09 The Show League Lobby

There is also now the Draft Day and Time in My Leagues and League Office, which helps ensure league members won’t miss the draft.

Online Improvements:
Along with the major changes to The Show League system, we’ve made a number of general online improvements. Each year we listen to community feedback and do our best to address every issue. Since most of these are relatively self-explanatory, I figured the best thing to do would be to create a bullet point list:

  • SportsCast Live now with Live Play-by-play audio while viewing a game (fka View Game Status)
  • Set Lineups in Online Season Leagues (vs. RHP, LHP)
  • Ping indicator in Team Select screen, before entering an online game
  • New Legend skill level, requiring a user to reach 4500 points
  • 4 options for Guess Pitch settings (Default, Classic 1/4, Classic 1/6, No Feedback)
  • Addition of 30 sec for each extra inning
  • Square to forfeit opponent instead of X (not allowing accidental forfeit)
  • Ability to select a jersey in an online game
  • Ability to mound visit
  • Access to Quick menu (up on D-pad)
  • Online steals addressed
  • Quick pitch exploit addressed with a delay
  • Allow both players to view the replay when one player enters replay mode via pause menu
  • No pausing when ball is hit in play
  • Persistent Chat – ability to maintain a seat and interaction in a game room, even after leaving. This is perfect for League Chat rooms
  • Online Player Options in far more areas in the SportConnect Lobby. This is the pop-up that allows for a Challenge, Send IM, Invite to Buddy, SportCast Live, etc.

//Add Your Own

90 Comments   38 Replies

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1

+ Neil on February 23rd, 2009 at 5:03 pm said:

Swell.


2

+ bigbadbros on February 23rd, 2009 at 5:05 pm said:

Cant wait! The demo was superb!


3

+ Ftwrthtx on February 23rd, 2009 at 5:18 pm said:

Great Info! Thanks


4

+ acerazer1 on February 23rd, 2009 at 5:22 pm said:

Man I can’t wait, only another week, right guys?


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    + Troy Mack on February 23rd, 2009 at 8:14 pm said:

    Tic toc, tic toc… one more week. And if you\’re looking for some additional tracks, you can still pre-order today at GameStop to grab a $25 card from EMusic to load up your personal soundtrack.


5

+ LilRick110 on February 23rd, 2009 at 5:25 pm said:

Will there be any downloadable content this year, maybe Home Run Derby for PS3? I have asked about this multiple times with no reply. PLEASE RESPOND.


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    + Troy Mack on February 23rd, 2009 at 8:12 pm said:

    Hey LilRick, we do have some downloadable content this year. There will be a few different d/l packages sent out via the PSN with themes for MLB 09 The Show along with those for each of your favorite MLB teams. Unfortunately, no HR Derby this year. However, you do have a great practice mode in there this year which includes Batting Practice. Enjoy.


6

+ Gomez81 on February 23rd, 2009 at 5:27 pm said:

Thanks Jason and team for all the blogs. I cant wait to next tuesday !! one question , are we able to listen to home or away play by play broadcasters ??


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    + Jason Villa on February 24th, 2009 at 11:46 am said:

    That\’s a great idea Gomez, but if you consider the fact that we have about 4gb of data for just play-by-play and color commentary, you can imagine the variety that will be comprised by adding home/away specific commentary.

    You\’ll be happy with all the audio additions this year!


7

+ Thrasher20 on February 23rd, 2009 at 5:39 pm said:

Nice nice!


8

+ AwRy108 on February 23rd, 2009 at 5:43 pm said:

I don’t even play sports games, but I gotta say: Wow, MLB ’09 is pretty much gonna be the best sports game ever.


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    + Troy Mack on February 23rd, 2009 at 8:16 pm said:

    Shooting for third straight year as Sports Game Of The Year. Glad to see you\’re diggin it.


9

+ nymph3ta on February 23rd, 2009 at 5:59 pm said:

I’m loving these Show updates. Can’t wait to try it out!


10

+ pl02pl on February 23rd, 2009 at 6:17 pm said:

Has the notorious lag been adressed as well? That would not just be the icing on the cake of this game but like a hot fudge sundae to go with it.


11

+ backbreaker65 on February 23rd, 2009 at 6:17 pm said:

Who cares about online play when you’re not showing online play. Features don’t mean ish if you don’t show anyone playing on the god awful netcode. So you should have spent your time playing the game making a video showing us oh yeah not only is online on the box as a feature you can actually play it online now.

This blog is garbage. We are a week away from release and haven’t seen no game play vids yet. You guys made a blog about comm. day. And we haven’t seen one video yet. The Demo is boring borders on mlb 08 you guys are quickly becoming madden of boring sports games.


12

+ Lakermania on February 23rd, 2009 at 6:23 pm said:

The delay to elimitate quick pitching is such great news for me!!


13

+ AlabamaRollTide8 on February 23rd, 2009 at 6:36 pm said:

Awesome Blog!! Im so happy that yall added chat this year! And I have to agree with backbreaker65. We need some gameplay videos. The game releases in only a week!


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    + Troy Mack on February 23rd, 2009 at 8:20 pm said:

    http://www.gametrailers.com/game/10744.html

    You can also check on the PSN for some downloadable HD vids. Beyond that, there were a couple new vids for PS2 and PSP posted yesterday. Also, keep an eye out for more vids to post about everyday this week. Enjoy.


14

+ cvan5504 on February 23rd, 2009 at 6:56 pm said:

so is this a 162 game season schedule?


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    + Troy Mack on February 23rd, 2009 at 8:22 pm said:

    It\’s customizable.


15

+ sscoolChea on February 23rd, 2009 at 6:57 pm said:

@backbreaker
hey tool try downloading the demo at the ps store ..maybe you don’t have to see vids , you can actually play the game


16

+ kofilaate74 on February 23rd, 2009 at 6:58 pm said:

Where are the game play videos?!?!? You guys are making me nervous over here!


17

+ backbreaker65 on February 23rd, 2009 at 6:59 pm said:

@15 sscoolChea, if you read my comment you will see I have already played the demo hence the 08 reference.


18

+ Exodus_Lang on February 23rd, 2009 at 7:03 pm said:

I’m a little disappointed that you can’t have four team leagues, but oh well.

For online leagues, can two people play their game offline? A friend of mine and his roommate are going to be in our league (hopefully) but only have one PS3.


19

+ G-Bugle on February 23rd, 2009 at 7:29 pm said:

“Addition of 30 sec for each extra inning”

This is certainly an improvement, as long games (especially in the National League) always run out on time.

However, I was hoping that the 15 second minimum time loss when paused would go away. As it stands, it takes nearly a minute to hit for your pitcher (5+15 seconds to get someone warming up in the bullpen, 5+15 to pinch hit for the pitcher, and 5+15 seconds to bring in the reliever).

This leaves virtually zero time for actions like bringing the infield in, or going to double play depth (assuming you don’t want the action the game automatically chooses for you).

It also makes it difficult to see how fast the runner on first is. You have to pause the game, even just a quick one second check of his speed caused you to lose about 16 seconds off your clock.

Are there any further improvements besides the 30 sec per extra inning?


20

+ Jdurg on February 23rd, 2009 at 7:30 pm said:

If any SCEA dev is EVER in my area, let me know. I will buy you a few drinks and a hooker. (Drinks might be quesitonable though). :-)


21

+ cLOLe on February 23rd, 2009 at 7:48 pm said:

Can I get any word on the voice chat features in the new online modes?

Does it use the same push to talk key, L3? I had so much trouble with that, as it would constantly come undone causing massive problems when I was playing with friends.

The voice quality in 08 was also TERRIBLE, if you ask me. Any chance that’s been improved?


22

+ liketoski on February 23rd, 2009 at 7:54 pm said:

Amazing I loved this game since the demo! Sony You are going to kick Microsoft’s and Nintendo’s @$$ this year starting Friday!


23

+ cvan5504 on February 23rd, 2009 at 8:27 pm said:

Is one of the customizable part of the 162 scheduled the default schedule or do we have to make it?


24

+ cvan5504 on February 23rd, 2009 at 8:28 pm said:

My bad…what I meant was do we have a default 162 schedule or do we have to customize that?


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    + Jason Villa on February 24th, 2009 at 10:22 am said:

    You can just select the number of games you\’d like to play per opponent, which can equal up to about 162games. The number of games will be based on the number of teams/players in your league. It wouldn\’t make much sense to allow for 162 games in a 6 man league, as you\’ll be playing the same opponents over and over again.


25

+ backbreaker65 on February 23rd, 2009 at 8:32 pm said:

those are not gameplay videos, those are little set up pieces. I mean gameplay to see how it flows like a fulling inning or something. I don’t want no set up trailer with all kinds of unplayable camera angles. I would like to see 6 outs. And for the record I’ve seen all those videos and its not game play.


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    + Troy Mack on February 23rd, 2009 at 8:38 pm said:

    We\’ve got a crew working on some of the straight edit \”gameplay\” videos you\’re referring to as we speak. But in reference to the linnk and for the record – they are actual gameplay.


26

+ LilRick110 on February 23rd, 2009 at 8:36 pm said:

I saw on the playstation MLB 09 website under features that king of the diamond is gonna be in online play this year, Is this PS2 exclusive or is it on the PS3 as well or could it have been a typeo


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    + Troy Mack on February 23rd, 2009 at 8:38 pm said:

    It is not. That would have been a typo.


27

+ LilRick110 on February 23rd, 2009 at 8:39 pm said:

For real gameplay videos go to IGN.com they at least 2 or 3


28

+ BadFlounder on February 23rd, 2009 at 8:40 pm said:

Nice work guys. This is my all-time favorite sports game (and real life sport!). Just keeps getting better.


29

+ LilRick110 on February 23rd, 2009 at 8:44 pm said:

One more thing, will the limit for in game music be more than 53 songs? I have over 200+ on my hard drive. Thanks for your replies.


30

+ xiiego on February 23rd, 2009 at 9:06 pm said:

thats just what i needed to read. now the wait gets even worse, so to speak. eh what the heck its only a week or two.


31

+ backbreaker65 on February 23rd, 2009 at 9:10 pm said:

I think you guys are not understanding what we are saying we want to see the flow of the actual game like the bottom of the ninth or a full inning. So we can grasp how the game actually plays. See hit variety, see the OF take those so called new routes ect…


32

+ skynidas on February 23rd, 2009 at 9:26 pm said:

This is awesome guys, this will definitely be Sports GOTY


33

+ NSSJ-SHARK-408 on February 23rd, 2009 at 9:35 pm said:

Great, some major online expolits have been addressed. the addition of the much needed extra inning online time and ping test are very appreciated, can’t wait!


35

+ SURGE_2 on February 23rd, 2009 at 10:34 pm said:

cant wait for 09 hit me up wen it comes out guys for a game


36

+ Jdurg on February 23rd, 2009 at 10:35 pm said:

@31: There is no way you will see all of the variety in one video of one inning of a ballgame. It’s simply not possible.


37

+ buggs1a on February 23rd, 2009 at 10:42 pm said:

please respond to our question here if online play will be smooth framerate and lag free. that’s all i care about as i’ve never tried online since everyone says its laggy.


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    + Jason Villa on February 24th, 2009 at 10:27 am said:

    I can assure you, framerate and handling lag has been worked on all year and improved. The online game is locked at 60fps. We have added code to ensure that any packet loss that may occur is handled. Bat ball connection in both real-time and replay has had a lot of attention.


38

+ NEXTYEARNOW on February 23rd, 2009 at 10:58 pm said:

Can someone please answer these questions!

Im not trying to be rude, but I want to know some more that wasnt mentioned above

Thanks guys, and keep up the good work!

Question 1: In the online leagues, will there be a waiting period (14 days, 10 games, 3* rating) like last year before we can start making leagues?

Question 2: If I start a league and I have to drop someone, can I drop him and add a new player to fill his spot?

Question 3: If I drop someone, will it take the league wins away from the standings so that we can add new members? They do this in some video games like NHL09. When you drop a guy, it takes away the wins and losses vs the dropped guy in the standings so that you can add another player.

Question 4: Can I make more than one League?

Question 5: Can I delete my league if it fails?


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    + Jason Villa on February 24th, 2009 at 11:24 am said:

    1. It\’s up to us. We can turn it on or off at the server with the click of a button. The purpose of it initially was to prevent hundreds of leagues from being created by users, just because they can :-). The goal was to prevent a clutter of stale league by deadbeat commissioners. Depending on what the community says, we can have it on or off at ship, or even turn it off down the road. YOU TELL ME! :-)

    2/3. You can drop someone as a commissioner. Those dropped players result in a drop game result, meaning those games are now resolved. So, no a player cannot fill in that spot.

    4. The goal is to have each commissioner focus on one league. We know there are some dedicated folks out there, but just one League per commissioner.

    5. If your league fails, sent a feedback with the subject of \”please disband league\” and the league name. It should be disband within 24hrs. You must be the commissioner of the league to request this.


39

+ gaipontiff2 on February 24th, 2009 at 6:19 am said:

Could someone tell me if Classic stadiums well be available for the PS3 as they were for the PS2? I really would like to know.

Thank You


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    + Jason Villa on February 24th, 2009 at 11:25 am said:

    Classic Yankee and Shea stadium will be available on the PS3 version.

    Old timer stadiums for ps3, down the road….


40

+ Sweet-T310 on February 24th, 2009 at 7:25 am said:

I can’t wait for The Show! I have one question about Online Leagues though: If I only have a couple of friends in my league (3-4), will the other 26 teams be AI controlled (ala NCAA Football 09) or will there only be 4 teams in my league that we have play each other all the time?


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    + Jason Villa on February 24th, 2009 at 11:27 am said:

    The smallest league is 6. No matter what size of league you create and begin to play, the other teams will NOT be AI controlled. It will be those 6 teams playing one another in the league.


41

+ pistolpete294 on February 24th, 2009 at 8:28 am said:

You guys need to add online fatigue. It’ll make online leagues more realistic and its a major step toward online franchises.


42

+ pistolpete294 on February 24th, 2009 at 8:30 am said:

Online fatigue, mainly for the pitching rotation. to force players to use more than just their #1 guy.


43

+ timbofry1 on February 24th, 2009 at 8:59 am said:

I agree with the online fatigue comments above. Definitely need realistic fatigue to have good league play.

How will the flex schedule work as far as pitching rotations and the like?


44

+ timbofry1 on February 24th, 2009 at 9:03 am said:

I have a general game play question. I just got a PS3 and love baseball….so this game promted me to pick up a PS3, this game plus Blu-Ray. Anyway, I downloaded the demo and have played maybe 7-8 demo games. And, since I’m new to this game, I must admit my timing on hitting isn’t great yet, so not a great hitter to this point. But, in one instance, I hit a line drive down the left field line and it rolled to the wall in the corner. I went for a double and got thrown out fairly handily. This concerns me as a liner that rolls to the LF corner should be a double, unless you have a really slow baserunner. I just feel like many of my hits so far are either singles or home runs, and want to make sure there are a realistic number of doubles and triples in the game as well. I just feel like a ball that rolls to the corner of LF or RF should be a double. Is it just me or is this an issue? Thanks!


45

+ SA12 on February 24th, 2009 at 9:15 am said:

Can someone explain how the online in game chatting works? Is it L3 again? Is there a in game mic indicator? Is it open mic? Thanks in advance.


46

+ G-Bugle on February 24th, 2009 at 9:29 am said:

“Square to forfeit opponent instead of X (not allowing accidental forfeit)”

While this is better than using the X, you can still easily forfeit somebody on accident. All it takes is for a player to decide to pinch hit, right before you choose your “square” pitch.

I believe the ideal solution would to put up a confirmation box, so that after you hit your square button, you have to hit a different button after (with an option to cancel).

If nothing else, it will let you know that your opponent didn’t forfeit you on accident, and you can make a decision on whether to put him on your ignore list after that.


47

+ candiria on February 24th, 2009 at 11:37 am said:

i’ll definitely have to join a league.


48

+ cLOLe on February 24th, 2009 at 11:54 am said:

I hate to be annoying, but I’m hoping my question was accidentally skipped over…

Can I get any word on the voice chat features in the new online modes?

Does it use the same push to talk key, L3? I had so much trouble with that, as it would constantly come undone causing massive problems when I was playing with friends.

The voice quality in 08 was also TERRIBLE, if you ask me. Any chance that’s been improved?


49

+ TheGameV30 on February 24th, 2009 at 12:23 pm said:

had a question not dealing w/ this stuff (sorry). i was wondering since there’s only 2 classic stadiums this year (w/ more to come at a later date) would it ever work for you guys to do something similar to a “Map Pack” for other games except for The Show you would have classic stadiums and (for other ppl that want it) HR derby? don’t know exactly how these work so i don’t know if it WOULD work for a baseball game or do you feel it wouldn’t be a big enough success to do it? thanks!


50

+ Randiesel on February 24th, 2009 at 12:49 pm said:

Jason, in regards to online leagues and your comments as far as allowing league creation 14-days from the game drop date. Perhaps this should be brought up by Russell in the OS forums so that we can get a consensus of what the majority vote it. If those factors you state can or may impede gameplay online, then by all means we should wait it out so as not to interfere. However, if the amount of stale leagues created by deadbeat Commissioners that have no ability to control their league teams will do no harm, then perhaps holding the league creation from game drop date is a non-issue.


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    + Jason Villa on February 24th, 2009 at 1:54 pm said:

    Good idea Randiesel, and Russell is already on it. Thanks for the suggestion.


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