E32011 had a lot of Modern Warfare 3 information released. But fans still asked for more. There are still questions left hanging, and still in the air. Over the weekend Reddit asked Mr. Bowling to do an Q&A session with the greater MW3 community. 500 conversations took place in the Reddit AMA comments.
For those of you who do not know who Robert Bowling is, he’s currently Infinity Ward’s Creative Strategist. He broke into the team as Infinity Ward’s Community Manager, and has been giving valuable feedback to the team at Infinity Ward for quite some time. He uses social media, and community forums to track what players want from Call of Duty, and using Reddit as a “forum” for questions, comments and whatnot brought us some nice information. Just keep in mind, I am only going to use the top 200 Q&A’s. Ready?
First we have t3hb4tman asking what is being done about players who do not “complete” the objectives, but racks up kills. He was concerned that Call of Duty is a series that’s supposed to be focused around team-work. Yet team-based modes favors selfish players who racks up the kills and end up on top because of his score. Robert Bowling answered:
I completely agree and we have changed a lot of how XP, match bonus, challenges, rewards, and other incentives are distributed in objective gameplay, much on how we are encouraging gun on gun gameplay in TDM modes, in objective modes we are making it so being an objective focused player in objective gametypes.
Furthermore, we have focused a lot of the new equipment additions in multiplayer to make sure were giving the objective player just as many tools to be better at playing the objective focused gametypes as we do a TDM player.
Its not all about kills, we have to reward the defender of a bomb site, the flag runner, and the guy covering the flag runner, more so than the guy just getting kills and never going near the objective points.
I read you loud and clear and while I can’t go into further detail, this has been addressed.
I’m a hardcore SnD player and a Dom player after that.
I disagree with one of the ideas because us players do not want any help with being better at playing objective games. I’m an objective player, when I am in an objective team-based game like Search and Destroy, or Sabotage I expect to be rewarded for what I have done to contribute to the objective. I often see players running around, killing players left and right, and STILL rank higher, yet when I defuse the bomb, or plant the bomb – I hear players bragging about how they’re better than me because they’re right on the top. Even though that I defused or planted their bomb. Other players camp throughout the entire game, and not even contribute to either objective, killing or whatever the multiplayer mode asks you to do. That was t3hb4tman’s concern.
Moving on; CRIP4LIFE asked if customized controls are in MW3, Rob answered:
Yes sir, and this is something I’ve sat down and talked with our control programmers about early on when you request came in.
We worked with N0M4D as well as got a full list of “ideal” controls from several disabled members of our community to try and make sure that the game controls were as accessible as possible for our community.
I’m afraid we never got to the point of fully remapping of controls, but have taken every step to make it as accommodating as possible. I just met up with N0M4D yesterday at E3 to talk about this very thing.
Next up, masonvd asked what is the story in MW3, and also asked what MW3 is going to do to differentiate itself from other COD games, Rob answered:
From a story stand point, Modern Warfare 3 is a direct sequel – picking up just hours after Modern Warfare 2 ended.
the big difference, from a single player campaign standpoint, in Modern Warfare 3 is the scale of the levels you’re fighting in. Like going through the streets of Manhattan both on foot and in-air, or Paris, or London, or parts of Africa. The sizes of the campaign levels are massive, which required a lot of work in terms of advancing the streaming tech to not only get to that level of scale but to maintain the game running above 60 fps at all times.
From a multiplayer stand point its all about polish and balance. Taking all the feedback from Modern Warfare 2, building up from the core design philosophy of Call of Duty 4 (the simplistic beauty of fast paced gun on gun focused gameplay), keeping what we loved, losing stuff we (including you) didn’t, and adding in stuff that will change up the way we play.
ProbablyHittingOnYou also chimed in about story, and how “open” the campaign is, Rob went into detail:
The single player campaign is all about delivering a cinematic experience with set piece moments and massive action. However, we know you want open (let me decide how to tackle this) gameplay and that is where we’ve really expanded on Spec Ops in allowing you to play out missions with objectives in more open areas that are not tied to the story. Furthermore, you can play every Spec Ops survival mission on ALL multiplayer maps that are completely open.
milesabove asked what are the hated or liked things that are probably be removed from MW3, Rob laid it out:
Loved: High gun damage, gun on gun focus, depth of features but simplistic in design.
Less-loved / removed: OMA, Commando, Overpowered Explosives, Nukes, Last Stand aka Second Chance perk.
Nathan-NL knows that Electronic Arts is trying to take on Activision for FPS supremacy, so he asked why he should buy MW3 instead of BF3, Rob went neutral by saying the following:
You should be buying both because they both will be stellar games. I refuse to say one ill word of Battlefield 3 or DICE because I think they’re both fantastic and am good friends with several of the guys on the team.
If you are a shooter fan, they are both fantastic games to own because of one reason. They are different.
Each do their own thing in a fantastic way and it is refreshing to have the option for both styles.
loladelrio had just seen the BF3 tank demo that shows a dinosaur toy at the beginning of the trailer, Rob joked:
The severe and insulting lack of dinosaurs in Modern Warfare 2 was embarrassing and a black mark on my career. The addition of Dinosaurs and turtles (the modern day dinosaur) are a high priority on the feature list of Modern Warfare 3.
Jimmythejet asked Rob if he was surprised with the reactions to CODElite, and also what he felt about the similar service offered by EA, Rob answered:
I was not surprised at all, because it positioned poorly and misunderstood.
If I thought I had to pay for stats, groups, clans, the ability to change my class on the fly online or on my phone, and all the other features they announced. I’d want it for free too.
Luckily, all that IS free for everyone, but people didn’t know that.
I think these are services that all shooters should eventually have one day, and I’m stoked we’ll have them free to everyone for MW3 and am glad that DICE is doing the same.
JohnSmith11 asked what Bowling was thinking when the Xbox 360 controller was disconnected during the Microsoft conference, Rob answered:
I thought it was hilarious. We had been rehearsing everyday, all day, all weekend long. It was something that happened the first day on the first rehearsal, my mark on stage was exactly out of the range of the console. They brought in new hardware that extended the range and we never had the problem again all weekend it went flawless.
My rule of thumb is, if your last three rehearsals go flawless, then the live demo will go wrong. My theory holds true.
needhelponatest asks about the new engine, I wrote an article going deep into this subject, and so Rob confirmed exactly what I said:
This runs on the MW3 engine, which would typically be named IW5 but out of respect of our co-development partners at Sledgehammer games we are simply referring to it as the MW3 engine. It is upgraded from the engine we used in Modern Warfare 2. There have been a lot of advances, mostly in streaming tech to allow us to get the scale of levels we’re doing in Modern Warfare 3 and maintain gameplay consistency with the framerate and smoothness. We’ve got a lot of audio stuff mostly adding situational awareness like bullet wizzbys and other subtle upgrades. A lot of lighting stuff updates as well.
There you have it, its called the “MW3 Engine” ladies and gentlemen.
tkupsick asked if there’s going to be a MW3 beta, and Robert responded with a resounding maybe:
There will definitely be an internal one, but we haven’t decided or confirmed if there will be a public one. A public multiplayer beta is a give / take in terms of development schedule. It takes a good month out of your schedule to prepare it for public consumption and actually have time to incorporate the feedback.
In the meantime, while that’s decided, I’ve been flying community members out to Infinity Ward to see the game (not play yet) but to see and discuss it and give feedback. Furthermore, we will fly out members of our glitcher community to give the MP a run through its paces later in development to try to find map holes, glitches, and other exploits prior to release. We also have a full-time QA department.
BlueInq asked what changes are there going to be between MW2 and MW3 multiplayer, Rob tells it like it is:
From a design philosophy point of view, we are building up from Call of Duty 4, bringing the stuff we liked from Modern Warfare 2, losing the stuff we (and you) universally did not but overall focusing more on the gun-on-gun fast paced infantry combat, less relying on air support, but still using it as its intended (to aid in your fight, not supplement it).
I can’t give too many hard facts on multiplayer at this time due to the fact that we’re very much still balancing, tweaking, and adding to it daily.
For sure things I have confirmed is the fact that we removed One Man Army, Commando, re-balanced all explosives, maintained high gun damage without relying on Stopping Power to keep firefights fast paced but closer to COD4′s balance.
bennihana123 asks a similar question, and it’s about looking at the competition, Rob responds:
I personally play everything and am always looking at how other games implement a feature and think about how that could work in our series. No feature is typically universal, to where it could work exactly the same in another game, but you can typically boil it down to it’s core value. What does this feature add and what problem does it solve? Okay, lets figure out how we can take that aspect, and incorporate it differently to work in ours.
I was just having this same conversation with Cliff Bleszinski the other night about this very thing. Particularly crediting them on the LB “show all team mate” feature in their multiplayer games. In a game that relies so heavily on team oriented gameplay to win, being able to quickly and subtly keep tabs on your team mate general position is essential.
compliments1 asks what’s the best improvement in MW3 so far, Rob responds:
Spec Ops by far. Adding in the matchmaking, progressive ranking, killstreaks and unlocks, and wave based modes have made Spec Ops everything we always wanted it to be when we first introduced it.
Also, returning to gun on gun focused multiplayer is a big thing for me.
Primey0 asks if there’s longer after-launch support for MW3, Rob answers:
Yes. This has been an extremely major focus for us after MW2 and we’ve spent the last two years building our infrastructure in a way that will allow us to extend our post launch support. Increasing not only frequency (if needed) but speed of them as well as how we can expand the ability to hot fix and playlist updates to address concerns when possible while an full patch goes through the certification process.
Rotaz asks a similar question, and Rob goes into detail:
Spec Ops Survival mode, solely because it brings a lot of stuff to the game that we’ve never done before, plus you get to use a lot of Multiplayer features without worrying about them being over powered (since its co-op and not competitive MP), so you get to do shit like have an awesomely powered ACR and take on bomb dogs with Juggernaut and it doesn’t matter if its completely ludicrous since it all takes place outside the story mode. Its all about just having fun.
mattryanharris asks if there’s quickscoping, Rob confirms it:
Currently, you can still quick scope in Modern Warfare 3. Keep in mind though, multiplayer is always changing at this stage (new perks, new balancing, new everything all the time based on feedback), however our philosophy on that hasn’t changed since MW2.
nmpraveen asks when we can expect a multiplayer reveal, Rob says that there will be more information in the coming weeks and months:
There is no date yet for Modern Warfare 3 multiplayer reveal yet. I hope, starting today with this thread, to start addressing hardcore community questions regarding the direction multiplayer is taking, and hopefully start revealing things that won’t change (like certain weapons, features, etc), however we can’t start showing multiplayer until we get a little later and have it in its final iteration.
To be fair, a MW2 Multiplayer Event took place in September, at that point there were a lot of trailers uploaded to youtube, and then in October, Infinity Ward released both the teaser trailer and the reveal trailer in October.
DavidFlannagan asks a similar question, but this time for Spec Ops survival mode, and Robert goes deeper:
Soon. Now that E3 is wrapped I’m working on getting a Spec Ops gameplay trailer made for you guys, as well as have some planned TV appearances where I hope to show it off. Follow my Twitter to keep updated on WHEN that stuff gets confirmed.
And so, there you have it, we’re going to see some new gameplay soon, very, very soon. Are you ready!?