Dear 402, JD2020, Vahn, 3Arch, IW and Activision
WARNING: THESE ARE MY OPINIONS, AND IT WILL LARGELY BE ME RAMBLING ON ABOUT MY TROUBLES, MY NOSTALGIA AND MY FRUSTRATION.
I'd like to share my story from COD4 up to MW3 on PC, the troubles, the hardships, and the beautiful moments.
I was 13 when COD4 was released, and I bought it when I was 14. I am by no means the traditional, older PC gamer, coming from the CS community, but rather a consolegamer moving into new grounds, as the KB+M was something I felt more comfortable with, and I only owned a PS2 at the time. In the beginning I had not heard of promod, configs and patches, so I played happily on 1.0, usually on the chaotic 64-man servers. I boasted a red tiger M4, my pride and joy, but my most common tactic was to sit quietly in some hidden room and snipe across the map. Soon I learned that the fun, skill and excitement was more prevalent on smaller servers, so I focused on "32 players or less". I updated to 1.7, my tactics changed, I played faster, usually with a 74u, or as a more mobile sniper. No quickscopes yet, though. My main point however, is that I had fun. Sure, I faced the dreaded 3X nades and the terrible martyrdom, but they did not ruin my joy. I played for hours, barely ever raging at all.
WaW launched, but I did not buy it at the time. I had plenty of fun and enjoyment in COD4, and WW2 felt like a step backwards. I have had the chance to play it at a later time, and it's all "tactical" crouch servers (I mean, wtf?) and easy-xp-servers now...
As they announced MW2, my excitement grew and grew. A continuation of my favorite game? Surely, this will be awesome! I was wrong. The game launched, and I quickly started missing my dedicated servers. Don't get me wrong, MW2 was a lot of fun, I have almost 700 hours played, according to Steam, but it was nowhere near my dear COD4. The lobby system made it easy to play in parties, and some weapons led to amazingly fun experiences with my friends. I picked up quickscoping, like so many others, and I had fun. The maps, both colors and layout, were great and the game was extremely addicting. However, the connection uses were EVERYWHERE, tubes could be heard in every game, corner-campers flourished, hackers were everywhere and imbalanced weapons ruled. G18 akimbo. Who thought of that? ACR with no recoil? The UMP being the best choice for long range engagements? And deathstreaks.. WTF? In February, four months after release, I briefly returned to COD4, quick scoping like a boss, before Bad Company 2 ruled my world for a month or two. I then played a mix of MW2, COD4 and BC2, all dependent on what my friends played. MW2 ruled for parties of 6, COD4 and BC2 for everything else. Classic FFA sniper lobbies with my friends was always fun, but the online experience was not really enjoyable anymore. Also, as a PC game without dedicated servers, the playerbase quickly diminished and made finding games hard. MW2 frustrated me. A lot.
As Black Ops was announced, the hype grew in me again. Supposedly the game to fix MW2s mistakes, it did so much wrong. Dedicated servers? HA, you have to pay for them. Gun-balance? HA, FAMAS and the 74u send their regards. No more frustration? Second chance, guns didn't "feel right" (I'm looking at you L96), camping galore (Pride rock, wood in Fire Range, every single window on every single map), and hackers. Again. VAC just doesn't cut it for these games. And the maps were horrible. Bland, they played badly and simply felt boring. The game did not offer the sheer enjoyment of MW2 (yes, MW2) or the simple, awesome fun of COD4. In January I abandoned BO, as the last of my friends. We tried to go back to MW2, but there were no games to be found, so BC2 and COD4 became our haven. Some of my friends even hopped on their consoles, just to play MW2 again. For the fun of it. I started playing promod on COD4, I started playing with configs, and I started learning BC2 as well as I knew COD4. I had fun again. To this day, COD4 promod is the only game that can't make me rage when I die. The Galactic Warfare mod was launched, and I was ecstatic. It's a game of it's own. Sadly, the playerbase is dying... I played BF3 from release, then MW3 came along...
Back to the gun-to-gun action? Dedicated servers? Balance, fun and skill? Sounds great. We all know how that went. Yet another set of broken promises, back to the locked config, 65 FOV, no "proper" dedicated servers.. Gun-to-gun action? Then ******* drop the Ospreys, juggernaughts, and who the **** added FMG9s with AKIMBO? You didn't learn anything from MW2? The FMG9s have an even longer range! And they kill helis AND juggernaughts faster than anything else. Long story short, I dropped MW3 and went back to BF3 in the middle of December. Notice a trend? One month less every time.
I find myself to be a part of the growing PC-elitist community. I don't want to play FPS games on a console. I don't want people I don't know screaming down their mics, I don't want to be locked at 60 FPS, I don't want to use a controller. I want games that require skill to excel, but still are fun. Battlefield 3 is pretty close, but it's kind of a different category. CS, CS:S an TF2 are all extremely skill-based, but I just can't get into them. They don't give the same enjoyment as COD4.
I'm also one of those who prefer to stick with the traditional weapons. AK47 is the weapon of choice for assault in COD4, but the only "newer" AK that is anywhere close to packing it's punch is the one from MW2. I want to use the deagle, but no game has a deagle anywhere close to the one from COD4.
I also prefer to choose the weapons that are not overpowered. I don't like using the FMG9s for easy kills, I want to use pistols. The gameplay in MW3 however, forces you to run MPs to compete. In MW2 I would usually run a single pistol with a tac knife, but I could not compete with the SPAS. In Black Ops there were NO good secondaries. None. I like to run normal weapons, not the one that requires no skill. I didn't run the ACR in MW2, I chose the TAR or the AK. I was forced to run UMP for rushing, as it was the only viable option. I did not like to use the FAMAS, I preferred the Commando, but the Commando was unavailable for most of the prestige.
The levelling aspect of the game has always been addicting to me, and probably most of us, and adding overpowered weapons that are available from the early levels makes it worse. FMG9 from lvl 1. Now people have them available for 80 more lvls, then they prestige and have them available again... FAMAS from lvl 14, UMP from lvl 1, the list goes on. In COD4 you levelled up, and you didn't acquire the deagle until lvl 40-something. I usually play my best in the first days of a new game. No one knows the maps, no one knows the guns, it's a fair fight, and I excel. As the game gets older, I do steadily worse. People learn crazy class combinations they've seen online, and my honor and pride takes a blow. How can I compete? The community is also a big reason for CODs demise on PC. MW2 made it more accessible, and the newbies brought annoying, frustrating setups with them. This increased with every new game.
In short, I want, like so many others, a new COD4. e-Sports friendly, simple maps, moddable, configurable, balanced and fun. No one wants deathstreaks, I can live with the classic 3-5-7 killstreaks, and I simply want perks that don't do stupid ****. I don't care if I can't prestige, I just want a secondary pistol with power, assault rifles with recoil and SMGs that don't work across the map. I'm not asking for realism, I'm asking for simple balance. Right now, there is no reason not to use an SMG in MW2 or MW3. Effective at all ranges. Vahn's recent tweets are looking good in the case of gun balance, but knowing them, they'll add something else. I want dedicated servers, that are ranked, and easily controlled and administrated. I'll even settle for a map-pack for COD4. Free of course.
What do you think? Do you have a similar story?
PS. When it comes to balance, my ideas are:
- Keep weapon modifying perks in one group.
- Movement or visibility type perks in another group (Ninja, Marathon, Ghost, LW)
- "Novelty" perks in third group (Scavenger, Overkill, etc)
- No need for all the extensive equipment.
- C4, Claymores, Frag, Semtex, RPG in "Lethal"
- Stun, Flash, TK in "Tactical"
- Make helis die from bullets.
- Weapons need more balance (duh)
- Only pistol secondaries, no akimbo.
- No akimbo on anything.
- Make the differences in weapons more... balanced? Change modifiers, so that each weapon has two pros and two cons or something. Low recoil and high fire rate don't go together though...
- Give us a reason to stay with the primary, but still have a viable secondary weapon. COD4 did this right, MW2 and MW3 have too powerful secondaries, BO the opposite.
- Bring back the classics. A powerful AK47 with recoil, the M40, etc.
Extra content on PC will probably never be free again, but beef it up. 15$ is a lot of money for what we have been seeing. Weapons can be added without messing up balance, just stick to the "two pros, two cons" formula or similar... I don't care much for new gamemodes, but I'll admit Kill Confirmed is nice.
For connection and servers, go back to the good old dedicated servers, but add a party function. Let us join each other, and then join the same server together, or at least add a "join game" option for players in dedicated servers.
This was my semi-constructive rant, please don't turn this into a flame war.