How Modern Warfare 3’s Spawn Logic Works, Face Off Weekends, July Content, and Much More

It’s been another good week for Modern Warfare 3 news; with the upcoming July drops for both PS3 and Xbox 360 scheduled to be released imminently, Terminal making its re-appearance in the Modern Warfare series next week, and another new game mode for Face Off this weekend.

Last week, I reported on more Terminal information, further Matchmaking updates and Infinity Ward’s position on the controversial discounted Content Collections which you can read all, plus more, here.

July Content Drops

The Executive Producer at Infinity Ward – Mark Rubin – tweeted out earlier this week that he will be announcing the date and content for this month’s DLC Drops “this Thur[sday]” roughly “10am PST”.  As we reported here, two multiplayer maps and one Spec Ops Mission – Vertigo – will be arriving for Xbox 360, while PS3 will be getting three Face Off maps – Vortex, U-Turn & Intersection – and Artic Recon this month. You can read more details on the latter maps and Spec Ops Mission over here.

The recent PS3 matchmaking patch also silently added the trophies for Artic Recon, so we expect PS3 to get these drops in a few weeks. The popular Modern Warfare 2 map – Terminal – is still scheduled as a “separate drop” for Xbox 360 players to arrive July 17th for Elite subscribers, 18th for everyone else. We expect Terminal news for PS3/PC players to arrive sometime after the map releases on Microsoft’s console platform.

How the Spawning System Works – Simple Clarification

Spawning has been a fiercely hot subject for a number of games – and it’s not just limited to Call of Duty.  Battlefield, Uncharted, GTAIV, racing games and many other games have their own fair share of issues regarding spawning, but while spawning affects universally, Call of Duty remains as the most controversial game regarding its spawn logic.  From spawning no where near captured objectives to spawning in a fire fight, how exactly does the system work? Mark Rubin answered the question in basic terms:

So yea Spawning. There are X number of spawns per map. Each one gets weighted depending on based on enemy locations, friendly locations and visibility to any killstreaks. It has to spawn you when you hit the button. So it looks at all the values for those spawn points and puts at the one with best number. The system is really simplistic and definitely needs work. But when you spawn at a given point it’s the spawn that the logic felt was safest. Which relative to other spawns it may be even if it doesn’t feel like it. Also many times the spawn check and spawning in happens a split second before the KS appears/launches. So I could launch a predator pointing somewhere else on the map, you spawn and I slew the predator on you at that same second. There is no way for the code to know that 1 sec from now that is going to happen. Anyway hope that little insight on how spawning works helps.

While acknowledging that the spawn system requires more extensive work, Rubin makes the valid point that the system has to decide factors, which in turn would spawn you in a split second. Having so many variables to decide, it’s bound to spawn you somewhere you didn’t want to be spawned, but the system logically thought it wouldn’t be dangerous for you. As mentioned in previous articles, the spawning system is one of the three main things that are being worked on for improvements in future updates, behind matchmaking and lag compensation.

Face Off Weekend Game Mode

After the successful début of Search & Destroy and Team Defender on the 2v2 and 3v3 Face Off playlists, the next game mode is expected to be Domination.  However, I asked Candice Capen – the Infinity Ward Community Coordinator – last week regarding why Domination wouldn’t make an appearance for that weekend despite being the second voted-for mode, and I got a response saying “we tested it [Domination] and it wasn’t too good. [We] need to rearrange some flags before we push it to live [for Face Off].”

Mark Rubin responded to a question this week on the same subject to see if they managed to refine Domination, and whether it would be released for this weekend. He stated, “I think Dom[ination for this weekend]. But not sure yet,” and continued that the mode requires more playtests. “Have to sit with the peeps here [multiplayer designers] and chat about it,” he concluded.

Other News and Remarks

Infinity Ward tweeted out that a minor hot fix has been implemented to fix an out-of-the-map exploit on the Face Off map Vortex for the Xbox 360 platform, stating “Hot fix released this morning to Vortex for players being able to get into unintended cornfield.”

I asked the Exec Producer regarding more game modes for the Team Tactical playlist, such as Headquarters. While not the most populous playlist, its 4v4 Mosh Pit-styled intense-action on most maps have a select few game modes, some requiring tactics like Domination and Capture the Flag, while others do not like Team Deathmatch. However, Headquarters, Sabotage, Team Defender and Drop Zone are excluded out of Team Tactical.  He mentions that it’s “possible” but he’s “not sure at all though” and again citing that they will be “do[ing] a review of the playlists [soon].”

Black Ops implemented something new, for players to train on against bots, called Combat Training.  When asked about whether or not MW3 could have bots to train against, Rubin responded “Not going to happen for MW3,” but also elaborated saying that “It’s not something that could be added with a simple patch. Patches are limited on what they can do.”

The “balance pass” is still scheduled to take place within the next couple of weeks. The aforementioned mid-cycle ‘refresh’ will be looking at buffing and nerfing weapons, deathstreaks, pointstreaks, equipment and anything else deemed appropriate. Mark Rubin has stated previously that “they [Candice, Tina, multiplayer designers have been monitoring the [Call of Duty] forums [for potential weapon buffs and nerfs]” and will be “sitting down” soon to discuss changes sometime “next week.”

Another week of MW3 news round-up complete. We’ll add more if relevant but if you have any questions or comments please leave it below!

  • TriPpKinGs


  • Yes, there’s a problem with the formatting with this piece. We’re working on it. How’s everyone liking the new MP1st, except for this problem? 🙂

    Edit: We’ve fixed the issue. Wordpress bug, not related to MP1st 2.8, that’s what I’m calling the new site. 😀

  • Cod lover1254

    So the spawns system spawns you in the safest place. Not near the objective. Not close to your teammates. The safest place…

    Pu$$y Game

    • Spawns where it deems safest, but it takes objectives and flags into consideration as well. They are working on it, so expect some news on that soon.

  • Like a Boss

    Nice site update guys. Usually I loathe these updates, but it’s pretty good. Lol, you guys do realize the cornfield is patched because techtakedown posted a video about it and IW is subbed to him.

  • Like a Boss

    Honestly everyone, I love the fast paced Call of Duty gameplay, but we need bigger maps so we can have better spawns. I hate the spawns now, but there’re only so many spawns you can fit on a puny map. Maybe they could increase the player count to compensate, like making ground war standard?

    • This is pretty much the problem right here. You hit the nail on the head. The maps are so small, it’s nearly impossible to put you in an actually safe spot half the time. With all the players and killstreaks crammed into a clusterfuck box, it’s just not going to work. The maps need to be bigger, or they need a squad system with squad spawns.

      With the map being only so big, you only have maybe a couple safe areas to spawn, then you actually spawn and a killstreak kills you or a player rounds the corner just afterwards because the map is so small. If it’s bigger, you have more options for safe areas to spawn, and less chance that something dangerous will occur the second after you spawn that the game couldn’t have possibly predicted.

    • Joe

      The spawns fucking suck on big maps like Foundation, Oasis, Fallen, Overwatch & Village too. The spawn system is just broken, no excuses, it’s fucking broken. Bigger maps than we already have just lead to more camping & fuck me, there’s already too much of that.

      • Like a Boss

        Honestly, now that I think about it, those spawns are horrible. I refused to play foundation when it 1st dopped due to the horrible spawns. Small maps are a problem though, but they seriously have no excuses on these bigger maps. Thank you for making me realize now much more fail IW is.

  • Stef Man

    How modern is Modern Warfare 3? That is the question.

  • Laser0pz

    “…for players to train on against bits, called Combat Training.”
    A ‘bit’ of a spelling mistake there 😉

    • Haha, I see what you did there. It’s been fixed. 😉

  • PlatinumSoldier

    The spawn sysyem works with troll physics 😀

    • Joe

      As far as I can tell, the only enemy spawn on any given map is my asshole. Enemies constantly spawn behind me — I move, check my corners, we’re good, move up, BAM! enemy spawned in the corner that was empty a second ago.

  • Another good article. What game modes are currently in Face-off?

    • Just TDM and KC now. TD and S&D only lasted a few days at the weekend.

  • bobshi

    The spawn weighting is wrong then. The payback spawns still exist.

    I mean sometimes I’ll spawn around the corner from someone when half the map is unoccupied.

    It needs Black Ops’ spawn system. Spawn you are far away as darn possible from anybody and ignore that fact that it might be near an enemy Dom point.

    Take Interchange and that horrid A spawn trap. You get the A flag and they get B & C and you can’t get out.

    It needs to switch the spawns to the other side of the map so you stand a chance.

    I also think they need more spawn points.

    As for Face Off, Domination is going to be terrible on Getaway 😀

    • I assume that’s what they are working on when the talk about “fixing spawning issues”. Revenge spawning is still pretty bad, but how they ‘fixed’ Demolition spawns wasn’t my cup of tea. They spawn you no where near the bombs you’re supposed to be defending (i.e. attackers side) and have barely any chance to stop them planting.

    • Joe

      The problem isn’t w/ the spawn trap (it’s been there since cod4). The problem is Dom needs to be broken up into two 6 minute halves where each team gets each spawn once & the total score of the two halves win, not the first to 200.

  • Michael Kelley

    Wait, there’s logic in CoD’s spawn system?

    • DoYouReallyWant2Know?

      Noooooo! I was gonna trash that.

      Ill do it anyway since idk u.
      Spawn? Logic? Call of duty!?… Im retiring from the internet.

  • reggie

    how about when i run around a corner in hardhat and then someone spawns and shoots me in the back. the predator is a bad example and someone people dont care about as much as the example i gave

  • Lots of good info here. Thanks.

  • JustinD

    Where am I? I play battlefield

  • To me it seems a large part of the spawns problem could be solved by adding more spawn points. If I were to create my own video game I would probably put a spawn point in every square meter of standing room. I suppose that could add too much complexity for the current gen consoles, though.

  • killzone 3 spawn system was the best when you got baseraped it switched sides

  • blade

    When will the only sniper game mode come out?

  • PertAndPopular

    -Goes and plays battlefield 3-

  • Mike

    I havent played MW3 in months but I think Battlefield 3’s spawn system is worse. I never seen a worse system. BF3 is my favorite but its a shame that I have to quit playing it for weeks at a time because the system is broken. They better have this shit figured out by time MoH releases. I messaged DICE about the spawning and they just play dumb. “Oh did you download the patch?” Duh otherwise I couldnt go online. CQC is a great concept, especially when you have good clean players but on the real small maps its not fun killing a guy in front of you and then get shot in the back from the same guy. Tactics, thrown out the window.

    • Apollo

      The Majority of the ‘bad spawns’ for Battlefield 3 are on TDM, all the other game modes have better spawning points.

    • The only time “bad spawns” happen in BF3 are 1. If you play tdm (which is not what BF is made for) or 2. You spawn on a flag in CQ that’s in the process of being uncapped, which is an unavoidable downfall that you shouldn’t expect to work out. You’re spawning in the area they’re sitting in.

  • AScaryGhost

    Fuck that shit. I’m not even gonna read that. The spawns are bullshit and they don’t want to fix it. How the fuck does it make sense that I spawn LITERALLY inside a guy on FFA on fucking Village. THE BIGGEST FUCKING MAP IN THE GAME. And how is it that whenever there’s an airstrike, I ALWAYS SPAWN IN THE WAY OF IT? How is it they can’t add spawns like DICE did with BF3? Remember how fucking horrid the spawns were in TDM for BF3? Yeah they fixed that(somewhat). There’s still some bad spawns, but at least we don’t spawn with the entire enemy team. Honestly man, I give up on IW. I’ve playing Black Ops and I’ve actually been enjoying. And I fucking hate Black Ops. But I don’t hate it as much as I hate MW3. Frankly, I don’t even know why I still keep MW3. I guess it’s just to say I own the damn game.

  • JK Monroe

    Wow. Looking at the content drop calender there will be a total of 12 Multiplayer maps(no I’m not counting the Spec Ops or Face-off maps) released from Jan. to Sept. ’12. So Elite Premium members paid $49.99 for one year and get only 12 multiplayer maps! Meanwhile the MW3 Collection 1 & 2 map packs were on special for half price.

    I think Elite Premium is a joke for the map content being offered. They’re in for a surprise if they think fans will pay for another year of Elite Premium when BLOPS 2 is released.

    • Joe

      Yeap. Anyone who buys Elite next year is a fucking moron.

  • they should add more match types to mercenary. There’s only tdm, kill confirmed and domination. And let’s be honest: tdm and kc is basically the same match type. They should at least add demolition, snd and sabotage to mercenary.

    • I want them to add more game modes for many playlists. They talk about the lack of space for separate playlists, yet they can implement modes into collective playlists. I think they forget people do enjoy playing multiple game modes without having to back out (Mosh Pit, Team Tactical).

  • KaorHD

    I’d rather play MW2 with their spawns than this game…

  • Faraz

    Didn’t I tell you this game SuX!

    (I wasted $64 on this game. Anybody wants to buy my steam account?)

  • One thing I would love to know is why is it that xbox gets differnt game modes on face off and ps3 only gets teamdeath match and kill confirmed