Published on September 16th, 2011 | by Tatterr
Community Beat #4: Anxiously Waiting
The Call of Duty XP 2011 event has come and gone. For 48 hours we were bombarded by constant updates about the new Call of Duty Elite service, and of course the up coming Modern Warfare 3 multiplayer. With all the details released and more gameplay footage being released it makes November 8th seem that much further away.
Those who followed the Call of Duty Elite and Modern Warfare 3 keynotes at the opening of the Call of Duty XP 2011 event know this will truly be a different experience. There are strike packages instead of killstreaks, two new game types Kill Confirmed and Team Defender. An improved theater mode, private match customization similar if not more advanced than Treyarch’s, a new zombie, or horde like Survival Mode. Along with a slew of new Call of Duty Elite features.
In community beat #1 I touched on how Activision had no desire, nor were they concerned about joining other publishers like EA on the Facebook games front. Maybe because they knew they were about to reveal the Call Of Duty equivalent of Facebook. Then they include a Facebook integration to make it easy for you and all your friends to transfer a large chunk of time spent on Facebook and move it right on over to Elite. Not only will the Elite service be like a Call of Duty social network, it seems with the clan and clan ranking system, we may have some competition for sites like Gamebattles.com and with the Elite service running tournaments, and giveaways for real and virtual prizes other play to win tournament sites like, Beyondgaming.com and Paybackgaming.com may have some stiff competition.
One of the details about this game revealed by Executive Producer Mark Rubin is that Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer Games will be able to tweak and update Modern Warfare 3 post-release without the need for the user to download a patch. Now to some that may not sound like a big deal. Why not just release a patch? According to Mark Rubin in an interview with the Guardian, you can patch some things, but for others, it’s a significant deal, patching is not broad enough to do everything in the game.
This back door feature will allow Sledgehammer Games and Infinity Ward to update files, without the lengthy patch process. If memory serves me right this is a feature they tried implementing back during Modern Warfare 2’s release. I’m not sure if they were able to do it, and perhaps Microsoft said heck no not before we run our security checks on it etc. Which would’ve slowed the process down or perhaps the framework was laid but the finer details were not fleshed out before release.
Now with this ability to do small tweaks, say on a guns damage or range, in the real time without having to wait for a patch to go through approval could be a great feature to the design team but it also raises security concerns for many players. The belief is if someone finds a way to exploit this feature we could be running into matches where guns do 10,000 points of damage, etc. Security was a big problem in Modern Warfare 2 Rubin stated and the Sledge Hammer and Infinity Ward team have learned a lot from Treyarch on how to deal with hackers and cheaters we plan on being more pro-active and aggressive on banning, watching the leader boards, and using theater mode and the Call of Duty Elite’s real time stat tracking to capture and ban hackers in game.
Modern Warfare 2 was reported by Robert Bowling and other Infinity Ward staffers to be an “unhackable” game. Post release we learned just how foolish a statement like “unhackable” can be. Granted it is a debatable point as to whether the JTAG exploit which led to all the Infection lobby hacks, was more a Microsoft security concern than a developer one. Either way it appears the Infinity Ward / Sledge Hammer collaboration has addressed this issue head on and is actively going to prevent an Infection lobby glitch fest which made Modern Warfare 2 unplayable at times. Hopefully Modern Warfare 3 will be a perfect marriage of everything Modern Warfare, Modern Warfare 2 and Black Ops. We can only wait, with baited breath until 12:01 A.M. 11-8-11.