With the news of MyNBA2K17’s release September 8th, MyNBA2K16 is officially nearing its complete and unequivocal death. As a new version of MyNBA is set to arrive in just about a week, I believe it would be helpful to remind everyone of the “life cycle” of MyNBA; that is, patterns that Cat Daddy has followed every year. By analyzing and remembering these patterns we can better prepare ourselves for what’s to come in 2K17. For you visual people out there (myself included) I’ve created a graphic of the cycle, seen below. After the graphic I’ll go into more detail regarding the different cycles. Let’s get started, shall we?
1. App Release (September)
Christmas comes early every year when the newest version of MyNBA is released. All the cards are new, the interface is new, there will be new features, new music that we’ll immediately mute, we don’t know who will be listed in what tier, there will be our Super Rare freebies followed by the Ultra Rare freebies and eventually the Epic freebies. Some people cave and buy an Epic/Legendary pack right away just to get a head start/leg up. It’s a wondrous whirlwind as everyone scampers to download the app and take it all in while grinding as fast as possible. At this point in the app–it’s inception, everyone is happy. It’s new and exciting and even if you don’t like basketball you want to give it a try just to see what you’ll get. For a whole month everything is awesome in the MyNBA utopia; then the RC happens…
2. The First Rivals Clash (October)
Up until this point MyNBA’ers have been playing at their own pace, enjoying the exciting new game without a care in the world. Then it happens: Cat Daddy announces the first Rivals Clash (RC) of the year and we all know it’s about to get real—the grinders will be separated from the… sane people. This is met with mixed feelings as some are thrilled about the fancy new RC cards that are available and the easy opportunity to improve their decks, while others know this is the beginning of many sleepless nights and pissed of significant others. Typically the first RC of the year doesn’t have insane scores, that’s merely because the veterans are shaking off their rust and dreading returning to the grind, and there’s always a large contingent of newbies that have no idea what they’re getting into. Despite those factors the scores are still substantial and it’s clear that the year-long MyNBA grind has officially begun.
3. The First RTTC is Introduced (November)
When the Road to the Championship (RTTC) is released in November the MyNBA community usually greets it positively. By staggering RTTCs every other week it fills in the dead week in-between RCs and it’s another good opportunity to improve your deck. Eventually the RTTC point requirements reach astronomical levels, forcing many to spend real money on the event, but in the beginning the waters are fairly calm, making it a welcome addition. Between the RCs and RTTCs people’s decks are rapidly improving; because many of the top grinders are already working on a full legendary pro deck Cat Daddy throws a wrench in everything with their next move…
4. Record-Setter Packs Are Released (December)
It can be argued this is the first stage where Cat Daddy can be legitimately accused of money grabbing. In an effort to hold back those that have peak decks exclusive packs are created; these packs, be it Record-Setters, MVPs, Proven & Potential, etc, etc, are all formed with the caveat that they can only be obtained by spending money. For many MyNBA gamers this is extremely frustrating because many people have already spent money to get their OP decks, whether it’s buying hot streaks in RTTC or the RC, or buying legendary/epic packs. Once the purchase-only packs are released MyNBA adopts a whole new identity where the very top decks have to grind their guts out for the top RC cards AND spend money to fill out their decks with Record-Setters and other special cards. The MyNBA community is rightfully angry at this point, but it’s a big step for Cat Daddy in terms of profiting enough to make the app financially viable from year-to-year.
5. Christmas Events (December)
Once Christmas rolls around Cat Daddy gets into the holiday spirit and will usually host a special RTTC and RC with exclusive Christmas cards, complete with festive designs and a slight bump in stats. It’s a fun idea and most people are in favor of it, however there are always those that have to miss out because it’s not exactly realistic to be grinding the app while you’re surrounded by family during the holidays. Last Christmas morning we were opening presents at my in-laws house while an RTTC was going on; I tried to inconspicuously grind the event while “fully” participating in the gift-opening; at one point my brother-in-law called me out on it—he wasn’t accusing me so much as showing curiosity (when I said I was playing an event he said, “but you’re not even looking at the screen.” It’s surprisingly hard to explain the RTTC to people that don’t play MyNBA!). Many gamers can navigate around the festivities enough to get a couple good cards and at least improve their decks somewhat. Those cards can be crucial when preparing for what comes next…
6. Star Tier is Released (January)
Every year MyNBA goes through a massive change when the Star tier comes out. The Auction House (AH) goes bananas as some people sell off their freebies at enormous prices because others have saved for a month or more in anticipation of the new tier drop. Many gamers love the new tier because it offers new cards (who doesn’t love getting their freebie?!?!) and if you’re smart you can use the new tier to catch up to others that may have dominated you in the legendary tier; on the other side of that you have grinders that are furious because they’ve spent the last 4 months devoting their lives to RCs and staying up all night/spending on RTTCs but now those “special” legendary tier event cards get rekt by the new Star tier event cards. Someone could grind ZERO legendary events, start grinding at Star tier and quickly have a better deck than those that had to grind the last 4 months on legendary tier. While it doesn’t seem fair I don’t feel sorry for those grinders. This happens every year so they need to be prepared for this to happen, that’s one of the main points of this article, to prepare all of you for stages like this, where all that hard work can go down the drain; remember that next time you’re pulling an all-nighter on an event and use that to further inform yourself while you’re making the decision as to whether or not it’s all worth it.
7. Playoff Tier Drops (April)
January-March is typically my favorite period to play MyNBA. They stick with the Star tier for a long stretch and nothing extreme happens, with the exception of maybe an All-Star pack drop. However once April hits we all know it’s time for Playoff tier to arrive. The AH goes crazy again and players have all kinds of points to spend on cards. Everyone excitedly shares screenshots of their freebies (unless they pull a trash card like Luis Scola) and events feature cool new Playoff cards; but same as the arrival of the Star tier Playoff tier nullifies all the hard-earned Star event cards. Once again months and months of work is negated as grinders are forced to either start over or call it quits. This is the first stage where a sizable amount of MyNBA’ers quit playing for the season. Discouraged grinders will claim their freebie and then ride off into the sunset, some of their doing it in style by giving away all their auctionable cards (much to the delight of those with lesser decks). For those that stay with it the grind is as crazy as ever as RC numbers spike in order to earn the hottest new cards and RTTC requirements go bonkers. At this point those still grinding will stick with MyNBA until the death stage…
8. The Greats Pack is Released (May)
This is what I’ve dubbed MyNBA’s ‘death stage.’ When the ‘Greats’ pack is released Cat Daddy unabashedly makes one more major push to maximize the app’s profits. ‘Greats’ cards are made better than hard-earned event cards and can only be obtained by purchasing exorbitantly-priced packs that only give you a chance of obtaining an OP ‘Greats’ card. Last May I watched a video where one poor (or stupid, depending on how you look at it) guy spent $180 on packs until he finally pulled one ‘Greats’ card (keep in mind all the other cards he got in those packs were of zero value to him). By making ‘Greats’ cards the best in the game and only obtainable through a real-money purchase, Cat Daddy is surrendering all MyNBA power to the spenders for the rest of the season—this is why I call it the ‘death stage.’ Massive amounts of MyNBA’ers realize additional efforts are futile and without the hope of having a top deck without taking out a second mortgage most of them quit playing the game. Clearly I’m not a big fan of the ‘Greats’ pack drop but I will say, I’m okay with the ‘Greats’ pack as long as it’s released way late in the life of the game. Those packs should be dropped a month before the game is over to give spenders one last chance to spend away and have a glorious, OP team; by then heavy grinders have accomplished most everything they set out to do and it would sting less to give up power to the spenders. By far the biggest mistake Cat Daddy made in 2K16 was releasing the ‘Greats’ pack too early. By dropping the packs in May the community experienced a mass exodus with another 4 whole months that could have been enjoyably played.
9. Finals Champions RTTC (June)
Every year CD hosts an RTTC featuring the players from the newly crowned NBA championship team. The remaining MyNBA’ers limp into the event and gladly accept a large amount of Playoff cards that are easy for the taking. At this point Playoff cards aren’t super special but if you’re still playing the game you probably don’t much care at this point, you’re either filling out your catalog or you got a late start and Playoff cards actually help you. This is the first in a series of events that give Playoff cards away like candy.
10. The Final Stage (July/August)
In the tenth and final stage MyNBA begins to wrap up. Honestly this stage begins the same time as Stage 8 but it’s at its height by July. MyNBA talk on Twitter and Facebook has almost completely died off, with the only dialogue about the game coming in the form of retirement manifestos penned by formerly-loyal MyNBA grinders hoping to impart some advice for CD before swearing off the app for good. A handful of others (like myself and DNICE) will continue to live stream the game until there’s little to no interest from viewers, at this stage you’re hard-pressed to find anyone excited about the game. At this point it’s easy to be bitter about the game and what’s transpired over the last few months but I always find myself at peace with it for one major reason: It’s all a cycle. We knew this was coming. I’m not telling you not to play the app, or even that it’s a waste of time to grind it for hours and hours (Lord knows I have, it really is a fun game); I simply ask that you keep in mind the finite nature of the game, that the strength and awesomeness of your deck can only last so long, and that it’s truly only meant to provide temporary satisfaction. Crave and claim that satisfaction all you want, just know that this time next year you’ll have no excuse for being upset because it was all prophesied here, in The Life Cycle of MyNBA.