I never bought 2020. First time in about a decade that I didn't buy the new version. Was just too much going on in life with COVID and whatnot. Normally I've had a pre-order waiting at GameStop each year. That said, I'm currently reinstalling 2019.
I'm extremely frustrated with this year's version of the game, and, along with others who have expressed similar sentiment, I am very concerned with the direction and design decisions SDS is headed in.
I have four major concerns regarding what SDS has decided to do with our beloved game.
First, I think the idea of a Universal Profile for RTTS is just flat-out boneheaded. If I want to build a toon who is a fleet-footed, base-stealing, contact hitting CF who can chase down fly balls like a greyhound, that character is going to have a much different look and physique than my power-hitting 1B who crushes balls 450+ feet and runs a 40 yard dash in about 2 minutes. Those two guys are not, in my mind's eye, the exact same guy with the exact same physical appearance with two different "loads".
Second, removing or severely nerfing aspects of the game of baseball for the purpose of online play and forcing players of all other modes to "take the hit" is unfair at the very least. Two examples which I know of: the Knuckleball and the check swing. In the 2021 version of the game, the Knuckleball simply doesn't exist and the ability to check swings when initially fooled by a ball has been nerfed to be nearly obsolete. That's NOT baseball.
Third, the idea and implementation of "archetypes" seems to me to be clearly inferior as compared to the previous method of player progression. If a player can run like Rickey Henderson on Monday, he's not going to transform on Tuesday to a Miguel Cabrera and then again on Wednesday to a Clayton Kershaw. IRL players don't simply forget how to hit a baseball because today they are wearing their "pitcher hat" as compared to their "slugger hat".
Fourth, at one point RTTS could be played and enjoyed entirely offline. You didn't need a persistent, or even a particularly good Internet connection once you had installed and patched the game. In the 2021 version of the game this is no longer the case as Program Progression is entirely dependent on Internet connection.
None of the above reflects my disgust with current state of the game with all the bugs and whatnot. That definitely impacts my overall satisfaction with the game. But the issue I'm trying to call out in this thread are about larger game-design issues which are, at the very least, perplexing to me.