Advanced Warfare Is Built Equally For Casual and Competitive Gamers, Says Lead MP Designer

Call of Duty’s community is often seen as a two-sided coin — you’ve got your casual gamers on one side and competitive gamers on the other, and it can be tricky balancing act attempting pleasing the two.

Treyarch’s Black Ops 2 was the first to publicly push eSports features in a Call of Duty title, leaving casual audiences feeling uncared for, according to more vocal members of that community. Infinity Ward’s Ghosts seemingly took a few steps back in the eSports department, leaving the competitive crowd starving for more support.

According to Sledgehammer Games lead multiplayer designer Greg Reisdorf, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is built equally for both audiences.

“Casual gamers are the majority of our audience, and the game is built for them. But the game is also built for eSports,” Reisdorf told Gamasutra in an interview.

“A lot of it is making sure we know what the eSports community is interested in, so we can build features to help them,” he continued. “We listen to their feedback and want to provide them with support, but just as much as anybody else.”

Reisdorf believes that a more competitive shooter, however, leads to a more balanced experience for all parties involved. He says that, “at the end of the day, it has to be a competitive game – if it’s not competitive, that means it’s not balanced. That means no-one’s having fun, and it’s not going to be around for very long.”

Do you agree with Reisdorf’s thoughts? Do you think Sledgehammer can strike a balance between the two sometimes conflicting crowds?

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare arrives November 3. If you haven’t yet, be sure to read our thoughts on Sledgehammer’s shooter after many hours of hands-on time.

  • Ryupyroa

    Don’t care much for ‘balance’. Just please, fucking please make it fun.

    • MegaMan3k

      Fun for who? I consider balanced, high skill gap, rewarding gameplay fun. I consider chaos, skill-leveling game design, and absurdity not-fun.

      • awkenney

        Well said.

    • Merffy

      Unbalance = not fun

      • Ricardo

        Look at M.W 2 people love to bring out how broken it was yet it’s somehow considered the one of the best CODS by some people. I personally do not like that game.

        • Gamefr3akable

          I loved MW2. I don’t understand whats wrong about that game? OMA Danger Close, Commando, the funny part is anyone can go play it back today and enjoy it way more than BO2, Ghosts, and MW3 combined.

          • Steven

            I’ll disagree with that. Oma and danger are still used quite often. I find myself enjoying mw3 and BO2 more

        • Merffy

          In retrospect. only thing I found truly game breaking was OMA.

        • Guest

          MW2 is a horrible game, hated during its lifespan, I’ll give that it has good maps but most people who love it IMO are nostalgic of it or it was their first cod.

          • Merffy

            “most people who love it IMO are nostalgic of it”

            Obviously? I mean, aside from the a-hole quick scoping community during its prime, MW2 was a much more memorable game. Same with CoD 4. After all, they both are simplistic fased paced close quarter modern Marine shooters people can only dream about.

            • Guest

              I wouldn’t call mw2 simplistic as it began the trend of many many unlockables, way more deadly killstreaks. More perks( also added pro) and it had many game breaking things, along with the amount of cheats….

        • Skullking920

          Yeah mw2 is my favorite, noob tubes kind of sucked but i also use them often but only if the other team was using them and commando i had no problem with. Overall i think its the best one (MW2) then MW1, Black Ops 2, MW3, Black Ops, WAW, Ghosts; and this is just for multiplayer zombies on black ops and WAW are freaking awesome not so much on black ops 2.

        • Skullking920

          Another reason that its considered one of the best is that it the last COD with a decent lag compensation system everyone’s connection was peer to peer and the host had a advantage but everyone else was basically on equal footing unless your internet was so shit well then you should quit and try to find a new lobby. So the extra lag comp that you see in COD games was not there yet.

    • RustyFrags

      Balance and fun directly correlate.

      • Guest

        For you, I’m sure it is. For me, too balanced means all the weapons are cookie-cutter versions of one another and perks that don’t do anything interesting. Which is why the team must have had a hell of time trying to make this game. Hopefully they make it work for people on both sides of the fence.

        • RustyFrags

          Balance means every weapon has it’s place and can be effective in certain scenarios without being overpowered. Without balance, there are typically a select few weapons that excel in almost ever situation leaving little to no incentive to use other weapons.

          Take a look at USAS with Frags rounds from BF3.

          • awkenney

            Balance means the best player wins, and the best player can’t be defeated by metagame IMO. The best way to deal with unbalanced weaponry in the game is to remove some of it so that it becomes easier to balance. COD and BF both need to learn this lesson.

    • awkenney

      How do you define fun? How is that definition more important than someone else’s definition?
      I don’t care much for overbalancing – the act of adding more shit to the game for variety and accessibility to the point where everyone can truly be a winner. I’d rather put my money towards a game that is designed where the best player will be the winner.

  • MegaMan3k

    Screw casual.
    Screw eSports.
    Balance it so that it plays well over the internet.

    • Mr. Thuggins

      It is balanced. Everybody gets screwed by shitty spawns and lag.

    • RustyFrags

      And actually invest in some servers instead of that abysmal P2P connection system.

      • Guest

        I know, this system is outdated by 10 years

  • lMattW

    They’ve had more time so hopefully they got both sides done well. Also I disagree that BO2 lacked in the casual department.

    • http://mp1st.com/ David Veselka

      It didn’t necessarily “lack” in that department — I didn’t think so, at least — but there were definitely crowds of casuals claiming that they were being forgotten regardless.

      • http://github.com/dubeg DUBEG

        ok but id like to know. do you have link to back that shit up? because otherwise it doesnt mean ANYTHING

        • http://mp1st.com/ David Veselka

          I really wish I had a link to a solid example, but it’s just one of those things I saw often in comment sections — here and on other websites — and on Twitter. Digging deep in to David Vonderhaar’s Twitter feed two years ago, you’d find some pretty convincing results!

      • Yethal

        Well, adding League Play was the best move treyarch could’ve pulled. I personally enjoyed every hour of BO2 multi

      • awkenney

        Send them back to COD4 or WaW and see how long they last.

    • Guest

      Yeah mms, target finder, c4 throwing, riot shield, quickscoping ,

  • RustyFrags

    lol eSports.

    Such a farce.

    • Guest

      Omg terribad

    • Primey_

      Hate it all you want but the pros probably make more money and are more successful than you.

      • RustyFrags

        I honestly couldn’t care less how much they make. People who sit in a room all day playing video games with an overly-solemn attitude are genuinely hilarious,

        Playing video games is not a sport, nor a job.

        • awkenney

          Twitch.tv would disagree with you. I’m sure they were gaming all the way to the bank when they got their cut from Google.

        • Primey_

          Ehhh. I disagree. Nadeshot for example has made it his job. He lives off his earnings from events/Streaming/youtube. He basically does the same hours as a typical job.

      • Enochrewt

        LOL. I don’t know about FPS players, but I know what some top fighting game players make and they could definitely go manage a McDonalds and make more. Nevermind the fact that eSports is much like sports and once a pro is over a certain age, he doesn’t have the physical ability to compete at a high level. If that player hasn’t worked on studying for a “real” job they are going to end up managing that McDonalds anyway.

        I wouldn’t trade my career for playing video games professionally, it sounds like a great way to make a mediocre living and screw yourself later in life.

        • Primey_

          Sure it might not be a good idea later on in life you never know but if you manage your money correctly the career can keep you going for quite a while. It all depends on how you spend your money and how much money is in coming. Some pros are screwed for later but some are fine.

          You know of optic nadeshot right? His income was leaked a while ago and he is making some serious cash from youtube and streaming. He will be pretty well later on especially since they keep milking call of duty games (which he’s famous for playing).

  • theSupremeVishnu

    As long at it has a ranking system similar to counter strike or league play I’m good.

  • ROCKMONEY

    Can’t wait to see how they “balance” 350 weapon loadout combinations…

  • Guest

    Casual fans feel being uncared for? I’ve never heard of that. Just make the game cater to skill, if people can’t handle it then get better,

  • cwatz

    BO2 was one of the most casual friendly games in the entire series. They may have promoted professional play, but the skill gap was smaller there than pretty much any other call of duty.

    • MegaMan3k

      Except MW3 and Ghosts.

      But compared to them Black Ops 2 must seem like Game of the Century.

      • cwatz

        Ghosts actually has a higher skill cap than BO2. Largely due to the longer distance gunfights that can happen (though some of those maps are too big).

        BO2 is actually my least favorite in the series. Its netcode gave the game like 150 or 250 ping higher than any other cod, for all players. Makes the game feel laggy, sloppy, and screws with gameplay.

        The higher the ping, the bigger advantage rounding corners before the enemy can see you. Factor in the tiny ass maps and non existent ranged combat (where reflexes/ping are more important than accuracy or gun control) and ya… BO2 was an absolute disaster.

      • MrMultiPlatform

        Worst game maybe.

  • BRUCE LEEROY
  • Ryan Schulze

    “No, trust me, whatever you like, it’s there. Really. We appeal to absolutely everyone and our game does everything. You’re casual? We got you. You’re a pro? We got you. You like double jumps like Halo? We got you. You liked Titanfall? We’re this close to that game, plus…we have a campaign you’re gonna love and…did I mention, we got basketball in your shooter now too. We appeal to everybody!”

    • Skullking920

      first of all uplink looks nothing like basketball if anything they looked at halo 4′s oddball and mixed it with the bomb game mode from previous halos and instead of putting it on the ground to score they put it in the air; now i am not bashing it i actually think it looks hell a fun but it looks nothing like basketball. IMO

      • Guest

        You’d get called a lot for traveling if this was basketball hahahaha

      • Ryan Schulze

        Just humor. What Marketing rep wouldn’t represent their game as “something for everyone?”
        I’m actually interested in the game myself. For the first time in many years.

  • J4MES

    Couldn’t give a toss about eSports as it’s not really a sport and the population only represents about 0.1% of overall sales. I’m glad Sledgehammer have not bowed to their gameplay demands and that AW is largely a casual game where fun is all that matters. eSports rules and regulations are just weak and no fun to play.

    • Guest

      Pubs are just terrible IMO

      • Skullking920

        MW2 best COD there is IMO.

        • Guest

          Not mine IMO, too many problems, mw2 began the downfall of the series IMO.

        • awkenney

          MW2 was the game that IMO set accessibility as far too high of a priority. It took a shit on core fans of the series up to that point and replaced them with the masses, Metallica style.

          • Guest

            Yup. This is where the series started going downhill. Black ops and mw2 attracted a whole new fanbase

  • MrMultiPlatform

    Attention PlayStation gamers. This is the reason you can’t login.

    They were DDoS attacked by lizard squad.

    https://twitter.com/LizardSquad

  • SubXero

    Part of the problem is that there’s a large portion of the “community” that believes they’re competitive when in reality they are not.

  • Skullking920

    Does anyone know if the competitive modes have skill ranks like the old halos?

  • roland0811

    But…..games?

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  • Terry

    casuals is just a nicer way for saying people who are bad at the game… and making the game for them means low skill gap and easy bullshit kills on people who have spent time improving. but as he said they are their biggest audience so ye they don’t care as long as they get their $$$. COD4=Best imo coz if ur pro u can fuck noobs up… no bs (xept martyrdom/ last stand) manageable tho.

    • Guest

      3x frags can get annoying as well

      • Terry

        yeh true..

  • teo2cry

    No such thing.

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