MLB The Show 24: Season 1 Postmortem

June 7, 2024 by Cory Dell

Diamond Dynasty, MLB The Show 24

MLB The Show 24 marks the second consecutive year that Diamond Dynasty features the Seasons format. With it, some changes were implemented that looked to erase some of the major concerns last year. On top of that, SDS made a noticeable change in how they released content as well.

Let’s take a look back at Season 1 and discuss what could be improved heading into Season 2.


Let’s start with gameplay. Overall, last year’s game featured the best gameplay since I began playing online in 2019. Most of that carried into MLB The Show 24, except for a major glaring issue – excessive foul balls.

No matter what difficulty you play online, foul balls are far too excessive. This leads to extended at-bats which ultimately saps the skill gap that was solidified with the improvements last year. Seeing so many foul balls just results in an annoying experience, especially when it comes to pitches in the dirt or extremely out of the zone. This was persistent during Season 1 and we haven’t seen a tweak to this element of gameplay yet.

If SDS wants to recoup goodwill in Season 2, an easy way is to reduce the foul balls to clean up gameplay.

Powercreep 5000

Last year’s format featured 99 overall players from day one and throughout the entire year. This was an interesting experiment, but ultimately took away a major shine from Diamond Dynasty – power creep.

Starting with lower-rated cards in the beginning of the year that slowly progress has been a staple of ultimate team modes. It creates an organic grind as you’re slowly improving your team. The advent of Captains created a whole new avenue to build teams and SDS vastly improved Captains this year. By limiting each team to a single Hitter Captain and a single Pitcher Captain and making them Core cards, SDS created a way for team specific builds to be relevant each season. As new cards released, theme teams could reshape themselves dynamically in a marriage of the old format with the new format.

The return of the power creep was appreciated, but also created a whole new issue when combined with the Seasons format.

XP Cap

Because the “main” program was the Season 1 XP Reward Path, SDS implemented an XP Cap to prevent players from spamming their way to 99 overall cards. The power creep’s returned forced SDS to limit players progress to pace card overalls. For players like me strapped for time, this made it impossible to keep up with that pace. With a 15,000 XP cap every day, we were hampered from the beginning if we couldn’t max out every day. A handful of games could max you out on a given day, ultimately making it feel pointless to continue playing when your gameplay XP would no longer accrue. SDS advertised the fact that you could earn XP in programs to help you progress, even if your gameplay cap was reached.

This meant nothing because SDS refused to release meaningful programs all season. Despite saying during pre-release that completing all available programs would net players each Season 1 Boss, I completed every program SDS released and only earned a single Boss pack. Considerable XP amounts were scattered across online programs, but that hampered offline-only players in addition to time-strapped players like me. Double XP weekends also didn’t help much because it’s such a tight timeline to take advantage of it. Perhaps a full double XP week each month might help?

If SDS moved to a weekly XP cap, I’d have no complaints as I would be able to really grind on my off days and stay on pace with everyone else. That’s if they need to maintain the 15,000 per day pace. They could always double the amount and maintain a weekly cap – or anything else. If the caps remain the same in Season 2, it’ll be a hugely discouraging example of tone deafness.

Get With the Program

Programs in Season 1 were a sore subject. After years of being treated to fun programs all year that paid out a ton of rewards, we got virtually nothing in Season 1. If you explore the Other Programs tab, you’ll mostly see Season Awards drops which were the exact same content every week – just featuring different cards.

With Captains being in a good place, programs would be a great way for SDS to promote lineup variety. Instead, they turned off the tap to one of Diamond Dynasty’s core components and dried up worthwhile playable content. The Spring Breakout program that launched with the game was a blast and paid out some really fun cards. It was all downhill from there outside of the Egg Hunt program as we got nothing to sink our teeth into.

The reason for that was blatant and disappointing.

Packs and Recreation

There was no subtlety involved here as SDS laid it on thick with premium packs in Season 1. On the surface there’s absolutely nothing wrong with this. SDS is a business and this was a way for them to make money. Perfectly fine – we all know this.

The issue came when they stopped traditional programs on a dime and started posting packs excessively. Packs became the main pipeline for new cards in the game. No longer did we get a program themed around a specific pack that would pay out a free pack. It was just packs in the shop on a regular basis. From there, the cost of these packs were rarely palatable considering the cards within wouldn’t be usable all year. Even with multiple Wild Cards, it really doesn’t benefit you to invest Stubs in a bunch of packs for a chance to pull a card with extremely limited viability. Why spend 40,000 Stubs on a pack early in the season when those cards become obsolete within a couple weeks. That was another factor from the power creep returning. With Seasons limiting the timeline you can use cards, the power creep within that timeline reduced the value even more.

As the power creep pushed into the 94+ overall range, pack cards became more interesting with less time to use them. The system simply doesn’t make sense. I’ll spend money on Stubs whenever I want. There’s no reason for me to do so in a system like this, that ultimately hindered content in general when combined with the lack of programs.

By all means, keep releasing premium packs. Just give us programs back that are worth our time, make the packs a bit cheaper and some of that discourse will go away.

Online Rewards

Another miss was the lackluster online rewards for a second straight year. The payout for making World Series didn’t really seem worth it until the Posada/Arrieta program. Battle Royale rewards felt equally lackluster which is unfortunate considering the nature of BR. Events settled into a stress free XP farm which is perfectly ok. The fact that we went another year without new game modes or playlists contributes to the rewards feeling mediocre most of the time. Considering Ranked is the only real way to use your God Squad online, the payoff just doesn’t feel worth it. It’s going through the motions; the same motions we’ve been going through for years. At a certain point the wheels just fall off and we’re all standing still, staring at each other wondering when the new wheels will arrive so we can move forward.

Season 2 Hopes

Improved and increased XP cap, grindable programs that pay out packs and rewards like we used to get, gameplay patch to address excessive foul balls, better online card rewards, more stat missions in the XP Reward path to help pay out additional XP outside of gameplay, lower pack costs and a healthier balance between packs and programs, make Wild Cards fairly accessible without needing the whole program completed.

With all my issues, I still played a ton of Diamond Dynasty and will continue to do so. This isn’t about pretending I’ll stop, it’s just honest feedback and criticism to improve the game we all love. SDS has shown in the past that they do hear the feedback.

Now is the time to show that it matters.

How did Season 1 go for you? What improvements would you like to see going into Season 2? Let us know in the comments below!



About the Guest Author

Cory Dell

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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