MLB The Show 24’s Content Structure Punishes Busy Gamers

May 16, 2024 by Cory Dell

Diamond Dynasty, MLB The Show 24

With about three weeks left in Season 1 of Diamond Dynasty, it seemed like a good time to reflect on SDS’ newfound approach to content. I wrote previously about the conundrum created by the change, despite being hopeful everything would fall into place.

At this point, things haven’t exactly worked out and time-strapped folks like me are firmly in no man’s land.


Dedicated Casual

Not that labels are necessary, but I’ve found myself floating from “hardcore player” toward “casual” the last couple years. This is strictly due to life circumstances and less free time to game. With MLB The Show 21I was working 40 hours a week and had a ton of free time. I spent most of that free time grinding The Show and completed pretty much every Event and was able to complete all the offline content with ease. Even then, I struggled to find the time to grind Ranked consistently and almost never touched Battle Royale outside of boredom.

Since then, I’ve accepted two promotions that completely engulfed my life. My free time has dwindled as my work weeks border on 60 hours per week with travel included. Naturally, this limits the amount of time I have for anything – especially gaming.

MLB The Show 24’s content structure has made it nearly impossible for me to keep pace with the pack. The Show is the only game I’ve played since it launched and I still can’t keep up.

While hardcore players and those with more time have breezed through the Season 1 XP Reward Path, knocked out each Team Affinity and amassed a growing collection; I’ve struggled to even keep up with offline content.

Yes, the content structure itself plays a role but the biggest villain is the XP cap.

Content Ceiling

No matter how you choose to play MLB The Show 24, the daily XP cap is 15,000 XP from gameplay. Simply put, you only earn in-game XP up to the 15,000 mark and cease to earn anything beyond that. You can still accrue XP from programs and other means, but you’re no longer rewarded for your gameplay.

Not only has this killed my progress, but it’s killed my desire to play the game.

With essentially all content locked behind program progress, it simply doesn’t make sense to play the game if I’m not earning XP. Conquest map payouts aren’t nearly as generous as they used to be and there’s less programs in the game in general. So even though I can earn additional XP through completing programs, there aren’t any programs to grind.

We used to get random programs throughout the year that rewarded us handsomely. We’d get the usual packs, Stubs and the like but we’d get XP and we’d get good cards for free. Part of the reason many have rebelled against The Show this year is the stark and blatant shift toward more packs and less free content. Good cards being locked behind the paywall of packs is a separate conversation but relevant to the topic. The problem for me is that I can’t make up for lost time by mass-grinding on an off day. It makes the packs feel even worse to me. It feels as though SDS is trying to capitalize on those that can’t stay on track with content by offering up all the shiny cards behind packs.

Progress, Bloody Progress

Coming out of early access and launch week, I was sitting around 100-150K XP. I took a vacation week, pounded out as much as I could and felt like I was in good shape as I returned to work.

It’s the middle of May, Season 1 ends in three weeks and I just now reached 660K in the program pathThat’s right, I just unlocked a sweet 92 overall Billy Williams!

Which would have been exciting had Team Affinity Chapter 3 not just dropped with all 99 overall cards. I’m still nearly 400K XP away from my first Boss pack!

My lack of time is obviously a big factor here, but it’s impossible to catch up when I only have two days a week I can reliably grind. Once I hit the XP cap, there’s no point in playing because I’m not really progressing anything to keep pace. Mother’s Day weekend featured another Double XP period, but I didn’t have a chance to play…because of Mother’s Day. My job doesn’t have a set schedule and I work weekends and holidays all the time, but aside from that actually celebrating a holiday cuts into grinding as well.

I bring this up because the Double XP weekends don’t necessarily help the time-strapped amongst us catch up. Am I speaking for everyone? Absolutely not. For those of us with busy lives that love The Show, the daily XP cap is killing our progress and making it impossible to enjoy the game this year.

It’s been difficult to play lately so I just got around to the Digging For K’s Conquest map that pays out Kendall Graveman. I got approximately halfway through the map before reaching the daily cap.

Then I stopped playing.

I wasn’t playing on Rookie, scoring 30 runs a game and punishing the CPU. I was playing on All-Star, averaging close to 10 runs a game and I couldn’t even finish the entire map in a single session.

This is a huge problem.

Modern Problems, Modern Solutions

The solution seems pretty simple, though SDS hasn’t appeared interested in adjusting anything.

Instead of a daily cap of 15,000, why not make it a weekly cap of 105,000? That’s keeping the 15k a day pace spread out over an entire week. To me, this seems like a healthy change that enables folks like me to mass-grind when we can and keep a better pace without “endangering” the intended balance with content.

I honestly could not care less if people are reaching the 99 overall cards before me. The veterans among us already know that you can hold your own with lower-rated cards against god squads if you have the stick skills. I just want to be able to keep pace and upping the XP cap to a weekly allotment would do wonders. Hardcore players will still be ahead, as they should be, but the rest of us still have a chance to be in the ballpark content-wise. Instead, I’m a long way from my first Boss pack and I’m not even sure I’ll reach it before the season ends. At this point, it doesn’t even matter when I reach the Bosses because they’ll rotate out soon.

With the current daily cap, there’s no incentive to even try to grind to earn the top-flight rewards at this point because I won’t even be able to use them in a couple weeks.

I dig the seasonal structure within Diamond Dynasty. I don’t mind cards being rotated out with multiple Wild Cards available.

Things still don’t feel right, though. Without a change to the XP cap, MLB The Show 24 will fall in line with other franchises and lose part of the shine that made it so unique.

How do you feel about the daily XP cap? Have you been able to keep up with content or would you like to see a change? Let us know in the comments!

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.

This post was submitted by a guest author. If you would like to be featured as a guest author on ShowZone, reach out to us at with your ideas.

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