In this article we’ll take a first-look at competitive play on local unranked dedicated Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 servers. The article will obviously include some speculation as the title has just released.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 gets some things right. Most importantly it has support for dedicated servers, which means that it can be played at a LAN Championship without Internet.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 will be played in the 2012 Do Gaming League. A total of R60 000 has already been secured for the competition after Megaromsponsored R50 000 and Monster Energy sponsored R10 000 along with branded clothing and a year’s supply of Monster Energy drinks for each player. The R60 000 will be given away at the DGL Championships which are the culmination of the DGL online legs which are played through the year.
Having prizes of that magnitude to play for are an obvious advantage for the title which will give it a lot of momentum and improves the chances of its success in a South African context.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 also allows for competitive scripts, which means that the gameplay can be structured to be more fair and balanced. I played around a bit on one of these dedicated servers with a competitive script and while it was far from ProMOD, it was a lot better than a normal public server. The hit registration felt very crisp, as good as Call of Duty 4 (CoD4) with ProMOD.
There is a cool cinema function, which allows players to watch replays in their vault. You can also watch games from friend’s vaults, which is nifty. It’s very early to tell, but it also seems like there are quite a few maps which would be suitable for competitive play.
There are no mod tools as of yet for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, which means it will be a lot harder to fundamentally change the game in the fashion ProMOD has done for CoD4. If gamers struggle understand to what this means, then think of it like this: You can change a lot with a script but you can’t fundamentally change the game like you can with Mod Tools. The developers of ProMOD were able to remove things like ambient sound and weather effects for CoD4, which are improvements we take for granted. Sledgehammer games have said that they “are continually evaluating features to support post launch and this is one requiring further discussion”. So it’s possible they might release mod tools.
You can’t show your frames per second (FPS) and the game is limited to 91FPS. This is just annoying if you are used to Call of Duty 4. Apparently the eye cannot see over 60FPS but there is no doubt that in CoD4 125FPS and 250FPS feel a lot smoother, as well allowing players to jump further and higher etc. There is also no lean, which isn’t essential to a competitive title but is an important part of CoD4 and it feels weird not having it.
The developer console forces the command “rcon”. This means you can’t change a huge amount of settings from the console like you can with CoD4. For example, you cannot set your mouse sensitivity to a numerical value (you have to use the slider in the menu).
Jayden “Phatnoob” Schroder is very hopeful. While he does acknowledge that Modern Warfare 3 is not “as advanced” as CoD4, he thinks it’s going to be at that level “soon”. He thinks the most important thing is that the game is extremely fun because of the new maps and that it will have good prizes.
Rynier “Cranky” Schoeman is still making up his mind. He says he enjoyed playing the game and that the hit registration was amazing. He also spoke about its easy for a player to just pick up and start playing. He says for him the choice between games comes down to which game is “the most competitive” and that the prizes don’t matter to him.
Steyn ‘Vindicator” Grobler has not bought Modern Warfare 3 and does not plan to do so. He is fed up with the fact that it is missing several of the key features that CoD4 has. He thinks CoD4 is the way forward.
Clearly the biggest selling point of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is that it is new. It has new guns, new maps and a new community. The main reason why you would move to Modern Warfare 3 is because it’s a new game and you are tired of CoD4. That and the possibility of a bigger community and better prizes. Obviously Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is not as competitively streamlined as CoD4 is, in its current state, but that is to be expected for a new title.
Could Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 get to the level of CoD4? The answer is yes it could, but with a lot of time and support from the developers, as was the case with CoD4.
It’s too early to call, we’ll have to see how it turns out. The fact that it could draw the Black Ops Player and Modern Warfare 2 players into one new league will be a huge positive.