One Gameplay Mechanic Will Fuel This Year’s Greatest 2K Debate
September 8, 2020
The NBA 2K21 current-generation demo was released on Monday, and it didn’t take long for the first major point of contention to emerge. Without a question, the shot stick has caused a ton of debate.
For those who are unaware, 2K added a layer to shot-stick shooting. Players can use the right analog stick to shoot jump shots. This has been in place for years in 2K, but in NBA 2K21, shot-stick users have something else to consider.
Button-shooters are simply trying to master the right timing, while shot-stick shooters have to master aim. When you shoot with the shot stick, you’re essentially controlling the shot meter with your right stick. The timing is always going to be perfect, but you have until the end of the specific shot animation to line up the meter with the sweet section of the meter.
Nelson Blake II of At Me Bro Show on YouTube perfectly explains and conveys this concept in the video below:
To put it plainly, shooting with the stick is more challenging, and that in itself is a benefit to some. In addition to that, there’s another possible benefit.
Removing the timing component eliminates, or greatly reduces the penalty many online gamers deal with due to latency. That could have a major impact on online leagues, which is what the NBA 2K League has become due to the pandemic.
The shot stick also creates an obvious skill gap and it would encourage users who have been shooting with the buttons to learn a new wrinkle.
Well, if there is one thing I’ve learned about sports gamers it’s that they say they want innovation, but when they get it, if said innovation is too far of a departure from what they’ve grown used to, they flip out.
Case in point:
There are tons of these kinds of tweets, but there are also several people who are saying they embrace the challenge, or have already mastered using the stick to shoot.
It’s important to remember, even if you don’t like the shot stick, 2K hasn’t taken away your ability to use the buttons to shoot. That’s a good thing. Imagine what the social media response would be if this was the only way to shoot the ball moving forward.
I like the challenge using the shot-stick creates, and I also like that there is a boost for those who use this mechanic. Even further, there is a bigger boost for those who use it without a meter on the screen as a guide.
Ultimately, people will adapt after they complain. The real question is, will 2K react to the complaints or maintain a perfectly good gameplay change because of the cries of the section of the community that doesn’t embrace a challenge.