MLB The Show 18 revealed its first gameplay trailer yesterday, but San Diego Studio teased that there were behind-the-scenes changes to make this year's title even better. Now, in conversation with GameInformer, the dev team revealed that part of those under-the-hood changes include a closed alpha which helped the team fix and hopefully avoid the online problems that's plagued previous MLB The Show games at launch.
"Really for us it was breaking down all those pain points we saw last year at launch," said senior producer Jason Villa. "There were certain numbers, there were certain gameplay situations that we knew were slower than desired. Something that comes to mind is game processing." By that Villa is referring to how the servers registered stats upon the completion of a game, something that caused problems with MLB The Show 17.
While the closed alpha tightened up the development schedule, this was something the team felt was necessary so as to not repeat one of big launch problems that followed previous games.
In addition to the alpha, the team plans on stress testing the game by 10,000 concurrent numbers over last year before launch. "One of the things in the pursuit of making the launch more successful is making the problems we may encounter at launch more visible, more solveable, more understandable," explained Villa. "There's less moving parts with our approach this year. Problems should be solved and understood a lot quicker than in the last few years."
Among other changes the dev team is making with the closed alpha is to help gather feedback on player's hitting, which hopefully with the data gathered will mean that it will not only feel more accurate but earned as well. "If I have end up having more hits than you or doubles or triples or home runs, it's explicitly because I am a more skilled player," said senior designer Lance Lahey.
Hopefully all the data from the alpha helps make MLB The Show 18 as smooth a launch as possible when the game launches on the PS4 on March 27.