November 10, 2023 by Cory Dell
The final segment of the 2023 Postseason content has reached Diamond Dynasty in the form of the World Series Program. With how staggered the Postseason content was, getting the World Series content roughly nine days after the World Series actually ended certainly saps the potential excitement. Then again – considering several of the best cards in this content drop are more 99 overall repeats from earlier in the year; I’m not sure timing is the most disappointing aspect.
After SDS made the Team Affinity 5 grind much quicker than previous seasons, I was holding out hope that the World Series program would also be truncated. With how content has been released all year, the Postseason content being delayed by a full week simply made the programs unexciting throughout the entire Postseason. The fact that the World Series ended more than a week ago makes this program almost feel pointless. Not just because of the timing, but because Team Affinity 5 has been a much more enjoyable grind than most of the content released this year.
Instead of making the World Series Program a quicker grind, we’ve been treated to the exact same program structure we’ve been playing all year. I suppose the expectation was always that the program would be structured the same, but surely we wouldn’t have the same monotonous grind in front of us?
Nope. That’s exactly what we got.
You still need to grind out 100 program stars to complete the program. You also still have to do this the same way you’ve been doing it all year. You have Moments that will pay out roughly a quarter of the program stars needed. You have the PXP missions you’ve been doing all year. You also have the mix of online and offline stat missions with the added options of grinding the Event to do the collection or playing Mini Seasons for vouchers.
For me, the fact that the stat missions require the same amount of grinding as all other programs makes this a huge whiff. Everyone has moved on from the World Series and Postseason altogether, yet this program wants us to acquire a bunch of useless cards in the program path and then repeatedly grind with them.
Even with the addition of online stat grinds, Event rewards have been mediocre all year. There’s plenty of Stubs to be made from grinding out the Events, selling the rewards and then taking previous rewards in the Rewind packs. That’s all perfectly fine.
Until you see the Event rewards for the World Series Event.
I recently shared my thoughts on the Sets and Seasons model introduced in MLB The Show 23. While I ultimately believe that Sets and Seasons has a ton of potential, one of the main detractions is the amount of duplicate 99 overall cards we’ve seen. We were treated to plenty of variety in terms of the quantity of 99 overall cards, highlighted by players that typically don’t receive them. What we didn’t get nearly enough of is impactful Legends as the steady diet of current day players overwhelmed every content drop.
On one hand, this can be seen as a nice change of pace. For the most part, we barely got exciting or usable versions of current day players until the very end of each content cycle. Most of those cards were seen in Finest or Postseason drops, leading to those two sets being some of the most popular each year. However, when you’re releasing nothing but current day players all season – the end of year Finest and Postseason drops just aren’t exciting. Because they aren’t new.
The 2023 World Series MVP was Corey Seager. Seager is one of the community’s absolute favorite players, as his cards always play well above their attributes and his swing is legendary. I think it’s safe to say that Diamond Dynasty players salivate every year at the mere thought of a 99 overall Corey Seager card. That is what made the Core Collection Kaiju version released earlier this year so damn special. We didn’t have to wait for a Finest version or a Postseason version. He just showed up one day as part of a relatively unexpected collection. While the attributes on that card weren’t otherworldly impressive, they were plenty good enough and featured on a Seager card made it feel exciting.
Now, here we are a couple months later with another 99 overall Corey Seager. Core cards were Ranked eligible all year, so now we have two 99 overall versions of Corey Seager eligible at the same time. Yes, the Postseason version is a better overall card. The attributes are improved enough across the board that you can safely say one card is better than the other. In fact, according to Meta Overall the two cards aren’t even in the same universe. The problem persists – we’ve already gotten a 99 overall Corey Seager. With content most likely coming to a halt by the end of December, going through another grind of Moments, PXP and stat missions just to get our second 99 overall of the same guy feels bad.
That’s just Corey Seager we’re talking about. Marcus Semien is the 20-win reward in the Event and Corbin Carroll is the 12-win entry reward. This is Semien’s second 99 overall card and Carroll’s third. Then there’s Ketel Marte who received his third 99 overall card in the program. One of which was part of the Extreme Program, which required a ton of hardcore grinding and time spent only to see that card rotate out with the launch of Season 5.
The same taxing grind for the same players we’ve gotten all year.
Realistically, the content cycle for MLB The Show 23 is done. There’s a whole new season coming next month that will carry stragglers into MLB The Show 24. The chance that SDS changes anything about programs or cards being released is practically zero. For those of us that will still be playing, it now feels pretty certain we’re just going to get more of the same over these last couple weeks.
Part of what made Team Affinity 5 so fun was the glut of Legends we received. There’s so many juiced cards that it’s almost impossible to choose from. That’s a great problem to have, as it means there’s meaningful content to grind and earn.
Yet, I find myself absolutely baffled that we can earn our third Corbin Carroll or Ketel Marte with this content. Or perhaps we’ll settle for our second Corey Seager or Marcus Semien.
Meanwhile, we only ever got one 99 overall of Hank Aaron as part of a Set collection. He rotated out and not another whisper was heard. Willie Mays got a singular 99 overall that wasn’t even that impressive of a card and then we never saw him again. If we’re going to throw multiples out, why not include the biggest names in the history of the game?
I can appreciate the content team delivering really good versions of community favorites. In fact, I want to make sure I acknowledge that aspect because I don’t think it’s a coincidence. In years past, we’ve lamented having to wait so long to use guys like Seager or Marte in 99 overall form. The fact that we’re even discussing the multiple versions is because SDS wanted to represent these players with good cards and Sets and Seasons allowed them to do that.
But this has just been absolute overkill. With the lack of balance in regards to Legends, it just feels like so much wasted opportunity with content in MLB The Show 23. There was considerable positive response and momentum to Season 5.
Then in the last week, we got the newest Battle Royale program that featured three players receiving a duplicate 99 overall. Now, the World Series Program drops a week after the series ended and delivers a handful of duplicates.
There’s nothing special about Sets and Seasons when the same players are featured every single season.
The World Series content might look pretty with all the 99 overall cards, but it’s just lipstick on a pig with all the duplicates. At this point, there’s no expectation that SDS is radically going to change how they structure the remaining content. However, the World Series Program itself highlights how content went astray this year. Loads of duplicate 99 overalls for current players with an alarming gap between impactful Legend releases. Added together, it just resulted in each season practically feeling identical to the previous when some of the “main” rewards are the same thing we got a month or two previous.
I want Sets and Seasons to return next year. I just hope that SDS has their ears to the ground and understand where things went wrong.
How do you feel about the World Series content? Do the repeat 99 overalls turn you away or will you grind the content regardless? Let us know in the comments!
Cory is a freelance writer that currently features for Operation Sports and ShowZone and has dabbled in streaming from time to time. Cory has been a diehard Atlanta Braves fan since birth and has tortured neighbors and family alike with avid guitar playing for the last twenty years.
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