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San Diego Studios Shows Off Online Franchise Mode for MLB 14: The Show

March 5, 2014 Written by Louis Edwards

MLB-14-The-Show-preview-header

Franchise Mode has been an MLB The Show staple for quite some time now, and this year, San Diego Studios is excited to introduce into MLB 14 its long-awaited online version. They’ve taken the team-building aspects of Franchise, such as scouting and off-season contract negotiations, and merged them with the customizable schedules and divisional alignments of Online Leagues. They’ve also continued to refine the game logic that governs trade values, lineups, player generation, and more.

Here are some of the main features in more detail.

 CREATE FRANCHISE

Create Franchise

When you create an Online Franchise, you automatically become the league’s Commissioner. You’ll get to choose the divisional alignment, schedule type, Designated Hitter preference and whether or not to upload a custom roster, among other things. Once you’re happy with your settings, you’ll need to invite other players to the league, and also determine what teams will be controlled by the CPU (if any at all).

 AMATEUR DRAFT

Amateur Draft

Building a successful team in Online Franchise is as much about what happens on the field, as about what happens off the field. One of the most important things you can do to remain competitive is to draft amateur players effectively, in order to keep replenishing your major league roster with top-tier talent. To do this, you’ll need to scout players throughout the regular season so that you don’t go into your live online draft unprepared. Without proper scouting reports, you’ll have a much tougher time trying to distinguish between future superstars and draft-day busts.

 MANAGE ROSTER

Manage Roster

The vast majority of your drafted players will need some seasoning in the minors before they’re ready for The Show, so we’ve given you access to full minor league rosters. You’ll be able to move players up and down from Class-A all the way to the Majors, set training assignments, and also pull-off trades with other teams. The game’s trade logic has been greatly improved as well, so forget about lopsided trades involving three top prospects for an average major league middle reliever.

 CONTRACT RENEWALS

This brings us to the off-season, which has been divided into two parts. In Part 1, you will handle all of your contract renewable players, arbitration cases and draft pick signings. The player contract logic has received a much needed overhaul, as MLB service time is now more of a factor when determining player interest and ideal salary. One example where this is really noticeable is when trying to offer contract extensions to your young players. In the past, you were able to sign young superstar players to extremely cheap long-term contracts, which is unrealistic in today’s MLB. Now, you’ll still be able to lock these players up early in their careers, but you’ll have to pay something much closer to their market value. This type of contract is becoming much more common in real-life lately, with teams like the Rays and Braves leading the way, and it was important for that to be incorporated into the game.

 Free Agent Rounds

Free agent signings happen in Part 2 of the offseason, which is divided into an adjustable number of rounds, or advancement periods. Every team gets a chance to make their best offer, and then the commissioner advances to the next round.

 FREE AGENT CONTRACTS

Free Agent Contracts

Players will either sign with a team, or they will remain on the market for the next round. The bidding wars that occur in this part of the off-season can become pretty intense, coupled with the fact that you’re competing against other human opponents makes the bidding all the more entertaining.

 RETIREMENT

Rounding out the whole package is the expanded record keeping, as it now stores draft classes, retired players, and additional career stats and awards on the Player Card. In addition, League Events and Notifications will keep you up to date on what’s happening around the league, and what tasks you need to perform to manage your team properly.

Online Franchise Mode has really been reworked to add quite a bit of depth and should allow friends and rivals a chance to take their rivalries online.

Have you pre-ordered your copy of MLB 14: The Show yet?