At this very moment, somewhere on the Internet, a Call of Duty fan is speculating about what will/won’t be available in the upcoming Modern Warfare 3 (MW3) multiplayer.
And why shouldn’t they? Between Modern Warfare 1 and 2 and now Black Ops, fans of the game have come to love – and loathe – a great deal of aspects about the Call of Duty (CoD) online experience. All of these professed pros and cons come out in the hope that one day, there will be a perfectly-created CoD online universe where the word “overpowered” does not exist.
However, until that magical day appears, here is a list of what we think should (and shouldn’t) be in the MW3 Multiplayer, many of them based on past CoD installments:
Bring It On (online necessities)
A BETA Test – I’m sure many of you will agree that this would eliminate several complaints right off the bat for things like balance issues. Opening a BETA to the public would be a huge step for the CoD franchise and stand as almost an act of goodwill by Infinity Ward after the countless hacks and exploits players faced in Modern Warfare 2 (MW2). It would also give players incentive to purchase the full game, knowing that they were able to participate in a way that hopefully bettered the final version of the multiplayer.
Less Killstreak Rewards - Some people may disagree with this, but I am a firm believer in the “less is more” approach to things like online multiplayers. One of the things that eventually turned me (and others) off of MW2 was how many killstreak rewards there were and how a great deal of the gameplay was dominated by them. I yearn for a return to the days of the first Modern Warfare, where you achieve only specific killstreaks instead of choosing them. It made the gameplay so much more fun and didn’t require people to camp or use cheap playing tactics so they could get to that bigger, better killstreak.
Practical perks – This is another one of those that draws its desire from the first Modern Warfare. The practicality of the perks in the first game meant you had to weigh which one was more beneficial. These perks didn’t hold your hand – they aided your game by giving you just a little bit extra: An extra frag grenade here, an extra C4 block there. There was no infinite sprint – only an extended period of sprint time that you had to choose over the likes of things like an increased rate of fire (which has since become an attachment instead of a perk). There was no cold-blooded/cold-blooded pro which shielded you from killstreaks – there was only the UAV Jammer, which protected you from UAVs and that was it. Now there are perks that basically give you unlimited ammunition (One-Man Army, anyone?), give you no falling damage and – everyone’s personal favorite – allow you to kill someone with your knife who is 10 feet away from you by allowing you to go through their gunfire. We don’t need perks that walk us through the gameplay, we need perks that make it a fun challenge and at least offer some semblance of realism.
A Viable Player-Reporting System -This one is particularly close to my heart. Nothing irritates me more than to get into a room with a bunch of mouthy, Internet tough-guys who insists on swearing at everyone else who tries to talk and puts down players who are trying to have a good time. Similarly, I HATE it when I come across a 10-year-old playing this game. Period. These games are made for mature individuals which means (to me, anyway) 1. If you can’t act like a mature individual online, there should be a viable option for players to report your behavior and a handing down of consequences for being a tool, and 2. if you’re a little kid, there should be an option for reporting your information so your handle is banned. Permanently. If you’re not at least 17, you’ve got no business playing this game. I’m confident that if player age limits were enforced and behavior was considered, online gaming would be a lot more fun for people who can’t always play in groups with their friends. Let us also not forget a function for reporting cheaters. In Modern Warfare 2, an in-game voting system to boot someone suspected of cheating would have gone a long way. Instead of having to deal with boosters ruining a match, players could vote to kick those players from the room (akin to what the Socom series does for voting). I’m willing to be the only reason many people don’t use the current systems is because they simply don’t work. And that is very disappointing.
The Riot Shield - This is one of the most polarizing – but incredibly fun – “weapons” in the Call of Duty online universe (at least in my mind). No bullets. No hiding. Only bashing. With this weapon, you’re either good with it and can destroy the competition or you’re terrible with it and wish you were better because you keep getting destroyed by people who are good with it. I spent an entire prestige using only the riot shield and it was quite possibly the most fun I EVER had playing MW2. It takes skill to use it well and strategy to maneuver throughout the maps. If this doesn’t make a return in MW3, Infinity Ward is missing a golden opportunity to do something right.
Wager Matches – The most recent installment of CoD – Black Ops – gave users the ability to finally – and literally – put their money where their mouths are. And I am so glad they did. I spent countless hours going into wager matches (primarily Gun Game and Sticks & Stones) and having a blast in hopes of taking the pot. Other times, I would go into the matches just to screw around (you can have a loooooot of fun messing with people in Gun Game). Whatever the case, it was always a good time and served as a great break from the traditional multiplayer matches if you were looking for something different.
Sniper-friendly Maps - If there is anything we have learned from Black Ops, it is that sniping maps are a necessity and offering one or two out of however many maps you have on release just isn’t going to cut it. Shortly after the release of Black Ops, the PlayStation forums were clamoring with players upset with the lack of sniping options (and the lack of a good sniper rifle) within the game. While I was able to do what I could with what I had, the maps in Black Ops were a far cry from the sniper-friendly maps of MW1 and 2. Now, I don’t mean to give them impression that every map must have some sniping spots, but considering how everyone who plays wants to be a sniper (they might deny it, but everyone wants to be the guy that no one can seem to find), it doesn’t hurt to at least indulge us a bit more. I certainly wouldn’t upset with another map like Wasteland.
Earnable Titles/Emblems - If you played MW2, you know how proud you were of that 8-bit Captain Price emblem (looked like Mario) you earned for getting 10 kills in a row with no killstreaks equipped. Or when you unlocked the gold weapon emblem and title for the headshot and kill count marks (respectively). It enhances the gameplay when you have something like that to work for and challenge yourself with. Maybe it’s earning a specific title/emblem within a set frame. I, for example, earned all of the Assault Rifle mastery titles in one prestige. It was hard to do, but it was fun, because it allowed me to challenge myself with the different ARs, including ones I didn’t typically – if ever – use.
Get Rid of It (game-killer)
Quickscoping - Quite possibly one of the stupidest things I’ve ever experienced while playing a video game. Ever. And maybe I just don’t “get it.” Maybe I’m not cool enough to understand how using a sniper rifle as a run-and-gun weapon is fun – that is very possible. However, I like to think it’s the fact that running around with a sniper rifle trying to be “1337” is done because you have no actual ability when it comes to using the sniper rifle. The moment you start to quickscope is the moment that gun stops being a sniper rifle and becomes a semi-automatic, short/medium range rifle. The addition of quickscoping to the next MW means those of us who actually know how to snipe (you know, lead/anticipate the target and use our surroundings to be heard and not seen?) are going to have to with more idiots than usual.
The Killcam - One of the reasons I tend to stick to the hardcore gamemodes is because of the killcam. While I understand some people (ok, a lot of people) really enjoy recording and posting videos of gnarly kills or funny kills where you sneak up behind someone and send them a message to turn around so you can shoot them, I think it ruins the gameplay for many people. Sniping, for example, is a lot harder to do in the core gamemodes for the simple fact that once you shoot someone, they know exactly where you shot them from and if you don’t move within 30 seconds of having killed them, it’s not out of the question for them to come back and get you. There are ways to circumvent this by having your scope up for an extended period before and after you shoot them, but that’s a bit much, don’t you think? At the very least, there should be a perk that allows you to block the other player from viewing your killcam. Something called “see no evil,” would be perfect (I hope you read this, Infinity Ward/Sledgehammer).
Stacking Killstreak Rewards - This is an area I believe Black Ops did very well: Removing the ability to use killstreaks to earn your next killstreak reward. While the details have yet to be revealed, my fear is that Infinity Ward (IW) will employ some of the same characteristics they did from MW2 in the MW3 multiplayer and that one of them will be stacking killstreak rewards. I really, REALLY hope they don’t. I enjoyed not having to worry about cowardly players who would camp for seven kills and let their harrier/chopper gunner do the rest of the work for them. Instead, Black Ops made you earn it yourself, making it much harder to get to the higher-level killstreak rewards – just the way it should be.
Unlocking with CoD Points - I was a little bit excited about this idea when I first started Black Ops. It meant I was in control of my own upgrades and when (or at least when I reached the level they became available). But after a while, it got tiresome and I found myself sitting in the same routine of “use this weapon until this point with these attachments.” It sounds strange, but I really prefer knowing that I might only have the ability to use this or that weapon until a certain point, so I have to get good with it.
Poor Hit Detection – This one drove me crazy to no end with Modern Warfare 2. Time after time, match after match, I would pump rounds into an enemy and (and see the hitmarkers to acknowledge this) only to have that same enemy kill me in fewer shots. Those of you who have never experienced this (which I wager are very few), I’m sure what I’ve just said makes no sense. However, those of us who HAVE had this lovely experience can assure you how incredibly frustrating it is. Now granted, I’m not game maker. I don’t know all of what goes into creating a good detection system. But you would think it would be high on the list of priorities for a game that relies upon hit detection to award points. But that’s just me. And after all, what would I know? I’m just the guy shelling out $60 (not including DLC) to buy the game and spend time playing it (see: Public Beta above)
For as long as this entry has become, there are (I’m confident) many more things that could be added to this list. In my personal opinion, MW2 had so many glaring flaws, the fact that it was considered a full game is insulting to people who play video games.
I can only hope Infinity Ward has learned from their mistakes and can put forth an effort that at least embraces what the hardcore and casual gamers alike are looking for in a multiplayer experience.
If you have something you believe should be added to the list LET US KNOW! We’ll add the best ones to the list as we hope this will be an ongoing discussion until the multiplayer details of MW3 are released.