Modern Warfare 3 – Panic Knifing and Extreme Conditioning Are Here To Stay

Not a big fan of being “panic knifed” in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3? Get used to it. Creative Strategist, Robert Bowling, responds to fans’ dislike of the current knifing system and the state of the Extreme Conditioning perk.

If you’re using the standard button layout for Modern Warfare 3, then you know the swing of your blade is only a tiny right thumb click away (on consoles) from downing your enemy in one foul swoop. This reflex tends to be the first reaction of one who finds themselves in a tricky situation all of a sudden. Hence the term, “panic knifing”. This has been a part of the Call of Duty franchise for ages now. But more and more, it seems to be receiving a lot of “hate” from the Call of Duty community. Many see it as a “cheap” and “easy” way to get kills. To add insult to injury, it definitely isn’t fun being knifed after having shot your enemy a couple of times first. In a virtual argument with fans on Twitter, Robert Bowling shares his view on the infamous “panic knife”.

“The lesson here is 1) Get a headshot at that range. – or – 2) Don’t get so close to your enemy,” Bowling argued. He also stresses caution when turning corners to avoid being knifed. “Of course you’ll get stabbed if you run into someone. Thats the risk of not taking your time and not checking your corners.” Obviously, Bowling is ‘for’ the current system of knifing.

Bowling was also recently asked numerous times if anything is going to be done about the Extreme Conditioning perk, which currently allows players to sprint for longer periods of time. Past iterations of this perk allowed players to sprint indefinitely. When asked if Infinity Ward would consider changing the perk back to Marathon, Bowling answered, “No. We purposely used Extreme Conditioning rather than Marathon…” As for any other sort of tweaks, Bowling stated, “nothing planned. Extreme Conditioning is fine as is, in my opinion.”

On a minor note, Bowling was also asked if shotguns would ever be seeing any further tweaks since the recent patch 1.08 as some users declare them to still be underpowered. He replied, “anything’s possible, but no plans currently.”

What are your thoughts on Panic Knifing, Extreme Conditioning and Shotguns? Does Panic Knifing got to go? Should Extreme Conditioning be turned back into Marathon? Do shotguns need more tweaking? Let us know in the comments below!

Could Old CoD Maps be Coming to Modern Warfare 3? – Name Changes of Liberation

  • Stokies2

    PMSL @ Knifing being a cheap kill… its a long way behind the noob tube or start of game Spamnade…. knifing is just quick reactions… so at least it involves a bit of gaming skill. Lobbing an Nade at the opposing spawn or firing an RPG at random involves no skill whatsoever. Before they change knifing they should consider bringing back the 10 second explosive delay

    • Anonymous

      I disagree with this. At least you have to aim with an RPG. My 7 year old cousin can knife people!

  • I always used the AA-12 shotgun as my secondary weapon in MW2 and had marathon enabled.
    I’m disappointed that the shotguns are primary as I don’t want to use the Overkill perk.
    I agree with the comment that the shotguns are under powered.
    In fact, they’re so rubbish that I have a class set up with a shotgun that I switch to before I make kill 30 in FFA just to bug the other players.
    I don’t miss marathon and don’t bother with extreme conditioning either.
    As long as there are no hackers like the knobs who ruined MW2, I’ll be happy.

    • agred but they runed the AA-12 it was better in MW2and looked better

  • Anonymous

    So the answers are NO, NO, NO to things requested by a large amount of the community. If he wasn’t the community director, I’d say he has a noob/casual player’s mentality. 

    • csreynolds

      The community is not God my friend.

      Panic knifing has been prevalent since CoD4; if it was that big a problem, why only now is it a huge problem? Same goes for Extreme Conditioning. We all coped fine without infinite sprint in World at War, we can cope again. I think you’ll find that 9/10 times its the noobs/casual players doing all the whining. To veterans and experienced players, these ‘issues’ are all part and parcel of the Call of Duty experience.

      Today, gamers are lazy. “I want gun X to be stronger”. “I want this perk back because I’m rubbish without it”. Years ago gamers weren’t able to cry to developers until they got what they wanted. They had to learn from mistakes, practice, evolve and improve. Bring back the old days, I say.

      • Anonymous


        Nicely done.  Gamers these days are whiners…complain about everything instead of adapting and evolving.

        • agree with both i think i cod they should give u the opsion when u create a class perks/profinces OR no perks /profinces

      • F8b10

        I disagree. If developers can improve a game without having to make a sequal we get more for our money. The key to a great competitive online experience is balance. If there r major advantages many players will choose to exploit them. Some people play for the pure ol fun of gaming while others only care about stats such as kdr and will resort to “cheap tactics” which can ruin the experience for others. If developers make a balanced game then players will have to choose a “specialty” and get really good at it, which is much more rewarding anyway.

        • csreynolds

          You have a point, but the areas in question (knifing, Extreme Conditioning) are available to ALL. They’re not advantageous to a minority/majority, such as a geo-glitch or a hack. Everyone can panic knife, and everyone can equip E.C. as a tier one perk.

          As for balance, you have a long wait ahead of you if you’re hanging on for a balanced game. No competitive multiplayer experience is balanced, because balance is a matter of interpretation. Where one person will find something ‘cheap’, someone else won’t. This is where the developer has to know, like a good painter, when to put the brush down. Analogies aside, it’s impossible to moderate a person’s playing style. Camping can be considered a ‘cheap tactic’, but what are you going to do? Suggest IW bans it? C’mon…

          Yes, fix the issues blatantly breaking the game, but complaining about panic knifing – which again, anyone with a pulse can do (and I guarantee has done at least once in their gaming lives) – is pathetic. Re: knifing and E.C. I back Bowling 100%. Re: increasing the fire rate of Akimbos, for example, the guy needs to get his s**t together.

      • Anonymous

        I don’t know how you can feel as if you spoke to all or speak for all “veteran players” but it’s not whining. In any business “the customer is always right” and without the community, what do they have? Where would they be? And the noobs would be the ones benefiting from this. You’re contradicting yourself by saying that noobs whine because they want the changes gone but also saying that veteran players are used to not having these changes. 

        Marathon helps players flank enemies, panic knifing is too powerful. It’s the only 1 hit kill in the game other than kill streaks and it allows players to lunge ridiculous distances. If it wasn’t an  issue why would David V. be looking for feedback to improve/change it? 

        Or are YOU “God”? The know all, end all.

        • csreynolds

          Activision’s FPS will always have a community. 20m+ copies of MW3 have been sold since November. As for the customer ‘always being right’, doesn’t that imply I’m as right as you allegedly are? After all, I am a customer too…

          E.C. forces players to be strategic when flanking, because sprint can run out. Tell me why that’s a bad thing. And are you about to tell me you’ve never knifed someone? Because panic-knifing is no different to normal knifing; both are a one-hit kill. If you’ve done it, you’ve no grounds for complaint. Hypocrisy rules, huh?

          As for David V, he can say what he wants. This is the guy that vowed to remove Commando with Black Ops, only to allow lunging when Marathon and Lightweight were equipped together. ’nuff said.

  • Anonymous

    Can someone test to see if the shotgun attachment on assault rifles shoots nine pellets per shell? I read in the patch 1.08 notes that all shotguns except the striker shoot nine pellets. I’m working on the shotgun attachment challenge on the weapons and noticed it only shoots six pellets. I’m on the PS3 and still waiting on the patch.  If someone could test this out for me that would be awesome.

  • csreynolds

    Panic knifing: not cheap. It’s purely a luck thing.
    Extreme Conditioning: I agree, there’s nothing wrong with it. Actually prefer it to Marathon.
    Shotguns: not too fussed. However, when 1.08 hits PS3 it is going to result in anarchy. From Xbox feedback it sounds like the shotguns are balanced better, but word is Akimbos have been buffed, not nerfed as we were lead to believe by Bowling (!/fourzerotwo/status/162367852203085826). Post-patch, all mach pistols fire anywhere between 32-48% faster ( FMG9 noobs will be in their element…

    • holdon holdon now i use the FMG9’s only when i run out of ammo on prim so and if u run E.C like i do it takes time to shoot and it gets me killed every now and then so trie it bet ya i would kill u in 1v1

      • csreynolds

        Ha, you’re 1v1-ing me? My Win Ratio is 4.89, my K/D 2.48. Post your PSN ID and come at me bro…

        • Jonathon k

          i have a question for you reynolds if ure an avid gamer then what is you take on the 2 most pathetic gameing methods invented so far? those being dorp shoting and modded controllers. the whole e.c or marathon is irelavent mw3 maps were basicly made around the fact that there so damn small u dont need unlimited sprint to get where u need to go. but i dont think camping is a noobs way some people truly noob camp but thats in a diffrent catigory. I see camping or staying in the same small area for more than one kill as that play just got there before you. so if you didnt see him not moving to know its an enemy then i guess he deserve the kill he waiting for. bf3 and mw3 i have put over 5 days in both and in my eyes bf3 is supirior in the end because it has very elabrit large maps and 12v12 on console and 32v32 on pc. cods got at most 9v9. bf3 balences out any overpowed weapons by the use of vehicles. the only problem with bf3 is that there is no one shot kills with the sniper unless its a head shot. because i know if i got shot with a 7.62x54mm in the chest i would pray that the first shot killed me. mw3 is more of a game anyone can pick up and play and do good in a very short amount of time. where as bf3 is more of a practice makes you better game and is unfathimably more realistic that mw3. okay so the maps for mw2 like quarry and favela where gold imo. cuz you could jump on stuff and actuly find a good sniping position. if no one has noticed already in mw3 you cant jump on anything above your knee hight. it is really annoying when that big old juggernaut comes barrling around the cornor flanking you with the absolut worst pistol in the game the usp.45 ,and you try to take off runing and you get blocked by a defiyant invisi-wall that in mw2 your player would have happly jumped unhinderd. there is no verticle gameplay in mw3 its a flat plane of play. touching on the panick knifing argument i think its more of a rottenapple that came with the bushel. its fine untell it gets excesive and happens over and over again time after time in the same match by the same player. now the lunge is a double eged sword in the fact that it has to be present but is a pain in the ass of realism. there are cases that i have experience that i could lunge an incredable distance and then others therewas just a swing at red cross hairs where a lunge was suposta be. will the enemy happly mowed my knife flailing body down. i found my self in the all to often feeling of WTF!!! that happens alot with all the cods it just comes with the teritory i guess. i have learnd that if u wanna play games now adays you just have to go with the flow and abopt a difrent method or even play style if nessisary to do good and do it fairly. just to have fun and to be happy to play such engrosing things made by invisble waves and a little spinning disc. to recap bf3 vs mw3 it comes down to what do u what from a game a more fast paced close corters game with a sacrafice of less realism or doy you want a slower paced team play game with massive realism and accuracy to real life. i personaly have no problem with ethier there both fun in there own uniqe way. its all up to you no one is forcing you to buy and play only one game. now i must go see a orthipedic hand specalist to see how advance my carpal tunnel is now.
          P.S. sorry for no indentations.

          • Jonathon k

            typo    drop shoting not dorp shoting

  • Room

    lol ppl crying about panic knifing?! seriously!? i mean come on the system is not flawed, run up on someone expect to be knifed. just another excuse for someone who snipes all day and worries about k/d every match. 

  • Guest

    The problem with knifing in this game is that they’ve enabled “commando” permanently and people can get knife kills from yards away now.  The knife should not teleport you, you should still need skill to use the knife.  One of the most broken parts of this game IMO.

    • GamerKNIFE!

      love the IMO at the end. 🙂
      even tho I didn’t completely agree with your opinion, im glad you shared

  • Mko

    Knifing is way better than in MW2 (more balanced), and same with Extreme Conditioning (more balanced than Marathon).

  • hmm well fuck you bowling im going treyarch only  b*tch! 😛

    • csreynolds

      Lol at censoring ‘bitch’ and writing ‘f**k’ in full 🙂

  • Anonymous

    This is why I love Dice so much. They change a game and tweak things that the buyers have requested be fixed. Even if the developers at Dice thought something we wanted didn’t need changing, they would still do it if enough people requested that they wanted it changed. It seems like Mr Bowling here just wanted to make a game that he really enjoys

    • Anonymous

      Actually, that’s the problem with DICE.

      • Anonymous

        How is it a problem?

        • becuase it is

          • Anonymous

            You present a VERY unconvincing argument.

    • csreynolds

      The good people at DICE constantly tweak their games because they’re fundamentally broken – at least, this is the case with Battlefield 3.

      • Anonymous

        In what way is Battlefield 3 broken?

        • csreynolds

          In what way is it not? The game’s been patched to resolve problems more times than Clinton’s been accused of banging Lewinsky. Multiplayer was a mess at launch, especially on the PS3 (which, incidentally, is about to have more ongoing issues patched). Christ, Google “Battlefield 3 problems”. You won’t struggle to find material on the subject.

          • Anonymous

            Just because it has issues doesn’t mean it’s broken. The game still plays fine and it seems that the only issues that you know of are isolated to the ps3 or they have been patched by now.

          • Cyborg6971

            Reynolds you have no idea what your talking about. There has been one patch so far and even with some of the short comings, Bf3 is above and beyond the call.

            Pick any cod and its the same as the last. This tired franchise hasn’t changed since four. The latest iteration of cod is the worst, and yet sold the most. This is clearly a case of millions of parents making a bad purchasing decision.

            You obviously haven’t played Bf3 and sound like a cod kiddie. That’s ok leave the big boys to the big boy game and you can keep the panic knife in your back. Now go back to the kids table.

            • csreynolds

              Funny that – I own Battlefield 3 for PS3. Oh, AND I reviewed it, so rest assured I’ve accumulated enough online game time to justify my OPINION. Moreover, I know how many times I’ve installed a patch for it. Just saying.

              Stevie Wonder can see that CoD has evolved – not at it’s core, but in its inclusion/removal of gameplay features. Saying I have no idea what I’m on about when, clearly, neither do you, makes you the ‘pot’ in this kettle/black scenario.

              And making ‘kid’ jokes only weakens your ability to sustain your argument.  That’s the sort of thing a twellve-year-old would do. Are you 12, Mr Cyborg?

            • csreynolds

              Ugh, damn typos. *its core / twelve

            • Cyborg6971

              So how many times have you updated the game? Let’s see there was the zero day patch and the other one in Nov. Doesn’t sound like like the Kenneth Star report on Clinton to me. And whoopty doo about you reviewing the game. Where was that at? Let me guess the comment section of YouTube?

              The game isn’t as bad as you make it out to be.

            • csreynolds

              For PS3. You’re discounting the countless PC/Xbox patches, and the only reason PS3 has only seen two (interesting how earlier you stated one) is becasue DICE bundled them together in bulk to reduce delays PS3 certification would cause – an approval process which, as I’m sure you’ll know, takes anywhere between 1-3 weeks, per patch.

              Oh, and here’s my review wise-ass:


              Notice the score I gave it? I didn’t say it was a bad game. I said that t was fundamentally broken upon release.

            • Steve142

              What’s it like to be a full-time moron?

            • Cyborg6971

              I’ll let you know only if you tell me what its like being a full time douche bag.

            • csreynolds

              It’s actually awesome. Helps me keep the morons in check.

            • Cyborg6971

              What is fundamentally wrong with battlefield 3?

            • csreynolds

              My goodness, you really are a moron. Google “Battlefield 3 problems”. Then, move on. This conversation is getting really boring…

            • Matthew McDole

              That you? I would argue that 16 hours of game time isn’t even enough to know all the maps, let alone the intricacies of the game… And you wrote that review nearly 2 months ago…

            • Ben Bourjois

               16 hours?! that can’t seriously be your only account! I wouldnt review a game until I’d played at least double that. You’ve barely even scraped the surface of the game!

            • csreynolds


              The game was released two months ago, which is why the
              review was written two months ago. Your point?

              As for the 16 hours quip, I have another account. The 16
              hours on this account has been amassed making gameplay videos with a friend. Oops,
              argument broken.

            • Cyborg6971

              It’s not getting boring, you just can’t give me a real answer because your a cod fanboi. And the fact that your lame ass response to the fact that cod hasn’t changed since four just validated all of my thoughts about you being a troll.

              Cod has been using the same engine FOREVER. No matter how you tweek it its still an old quake engine. At least admit to me that cod is a cash grab, then I’ll leave you alone. But to say Bf is fundamentally unplayable while only giving me a Google search as your answer, shows how little you play it and your loyalties to Activision.

            • csreynolds

              To end this nonsense:


              I’m not a CoD fanboy (imaginative comeback, btw). I’m just
              sick of people complaining. I’ve invested more than 500 hours in Bad Company 2
              and B3 collectively across two accounts. I like Battlefield. I even gave B3 a
              good review. BUT, I stand by my point: B3’s multiplayer is fundamentally broken
              (not ‘unplayable’ as you stated. READ MY WORDS). I gave you the keywords so
              that you could Google what I’m talking about, but to appease your simple mind:
              VoIP issues, squad problems, bricking, loss of sound, server failures, weapon modifications
              (continual), geo-glitches, boosting by exploiting classes, Battlelog
              unavailability, poor vehicle balancing, stat jumbling… I could go on, but it’d
              be quicker for you to GOOGLE it. The evidence is there. You can’t just denounce
              my view because you’re too lazy to research it. Oh, before you throw the
              anti-EA/DICE book at me, I loved Bad Company 2. Still play it – OVER B3.


              CoD reuses the same Quake engine because it works. It’s the
              only FPS engine that can run 60fps. It has the most user-intuitive control
              scheme (which most other FPSs adopt in full or in part, incidentally). If it
              isn’t broken, why fix it? Yes, Activision milks the series – I’m not questioning
              that, but considering EA plans to churn out Battlefield/Medal of Honor games in
              yearly cycles now, not to mention that so many EA franchises already kick out a
              new game annually (FIFA, NFS, TWG etc.), I fail to see how Activision and EA
              are different in that respect.


              I’m sorry your butt hurts because I refuse to moan like a
              noob about MW3. There are days where I hate the game, but instead of crying
              myself to sleep I take a break, or play something else. It’s just a game FCOL…

            • Cyborg6971

              Thanks for that now I don’t have to Google it. J/k. All of those problems I have but does not make the game fundamentally broken. In fact everything you listed I could incorporate into any other online mp game. The thing you need to change is your terminology.
              As far as the cod controls are considered, they feel generic and outdated like the game itself. Ice skating around the map is lame and feel lifeless. Other games don’t copy it, they get condemned for not being like the noob friendly cod by all of the kids.

            • csreynolds
        • well it shouldnt take 5 knifes to kill a person on the front 2  or 3 knifes to the front of a enemy should kill him besides that nothing is wrong with it the knifing in bf3 but thats just what i think 🙂

          • i agree but u wouldent kill someone in one knife unless u cut the windpipe or stab in the neck

    • the voip and input lag and all the other things are still her we Hand VOIP PROBZ on PS3 sence the beta 

      • Anonymous

        I only understand VOIP problems, input lag, and ps3 from that sentence but Dice is about to patch three problems with VOIP but has yet to comment on the input lag

  • smh

    ignorant robert trolling strikes again….. -_-

  • Michael Kelley

    Perhaps it’s time for CoD to reinvent its melee system?

  • Dave

    Has nothing to do with evolving or adapting. I’ve been playing since 4 (changed to BF3 at launch) and really started hating knifing at MW2. It’s frustrating to be lighting someone up at 15 ft away, head or not, and instantly die. There is no possible way to justify that. Keep the knifing in the game that’s fine, but make the effective range 1′ to compensate for the gap between the players because of lag, or give a delay to simulate actually pulling the knife out. Of the 25, there wasn’t 1 person in the clan I was in that thought the knifing was fair, and we are all adults. Maybe it’s the kids that like it but you can’t make me believe at one time or another you haven’t been crazy pissed when you got knifed and you know you should have killed the Guy.

    Make a game mode with no knifing and watch how many people flock to it. They are slowly heading towards self destruction and will continue to if they don’t listen to the people. 6 of us either play BF3 now or have traded MW3 in already.

    • true

    • Anonymous

       Sounds like you’re whining Dave…adapt or evolve.  That’s what real man do…life isn’t fair…and it isn’t Burger King.  So you traded in MW3.  What’s your point?  Why are you complaining?  You made the switch…so be quiet.  I just don’t understand…guys these days whine more than their female counterparts.

  • KiLLaMaNiLLa81

    i have no problem with panic knifing shit happens like someone said its mostly about luck and doesnt happen everytime you knife someone.But i do have a problem with the knifing all together i mean the knifing was perfect in cod 4 got a lil worse in MW2 and MW3’s knifing is completely fucked.Like a prime example is when i sneak up behind someone and knife them twice and get 2 hit markers then finally kill them the third swipe i mean thats is what needs to be fixed. But lets face it im a hardcore COD fan and have been a loyal fan since the original Call of Duty and i had such high expectations for MW3 and they completely ruined the Cod Experience buy adding the support killstreaks this game is loaded with noobs who completely suck so if your the guy who has no friends i suggest not playing it as you usually get paired up with a shitty team 90% of the time just wish they would make different modes that eliminate support killstreaks cod is made for competitive multiplayer not noobs throwing up emps going 18-35 etc just wish they would listen to the community and change what everyone wants changed not what robert bowling likes this game is the way it is because he made all he decisions when west and zampella wouldnt let this shit fly cant wait for Respawns new game gonna be sick since everyone who made the Best Cod games work for them now

  • zpoc

    the phrase is ‘fell swoop’ not ‘foul swoop’.

  • Guest

    i just love how youre able to shoot somebody with a gun 2 or 3 times and they survive, but if you get stabbed somewhere like in the foot, you die instantly… -_- hey bowling if youre not going to get off of your lazy ass to change the knifing system, then at least make it so that you need to stab somebody twice for the kill

  • HumanFaceOnMyFace

    Knifing is fine. The guy who says it still teleports you doesn´t know anything about the game. In MW3 you need to be at less than 1.5 meters from your target to knife him, check it on split screen (the best way to play CoD). In online multiplayer lag makes appear some knife kills as if they happened at longer range. Now it takes skill to get close enough to your enemy to knife him. 
    People complain against knifers but they have an advantage over them: a gun. If a knifer gets close enough to you to knife you and you can’t kill him or knife him (you also have a knife, derp) then he deserves to get the kill. Anyone with a gun can check corners.
    Knifing is fair because EVERYONE HAS A KNIFE and it only works up close. 
    The Type-95 on the other hand, that’s OP. 

  • MrFuzzypants

    Everyone: Knifing is fine. You can knife back someone that tries to knife you simply take a step back to avoid their knife and knife back. Everyone has a knife in MW3 and a brain to know to regularly check their back. I bet people complaining are those that complain about everything in their lives and the world AND think their whining is “enlightening the world with their warm and protective wisdom”. Complainers (and to some extent mass murderer kids) are what make gamers look like antisocial and obsessive losers (a false clishé, only a half of gamers are like that). 

  • Sds

    Bowling is idiot… enough said

  • ThatBaldBloke

    im sick of being accused of cheating, just because my knifing skill was faster than the opponents shotgun
    obviously, it CAN be done !

  • “some users declare them to still be underpowered.” – Underpowered my ass, learn how to aim…noobs

    i can say the fire rate of the fmg9 is still slow…not that i use it, im just saying

  • Uriain

    The real issue with CoD is the fact that you cant get a reliable connection half the time, so when you think you have someone dead to rights, and they suddenly rush you (while your shooting them) and knife you, THAT is the rage trigger.

    Well that, horrible hit detection, general lag, lack of dedicated servers, and extremely poor spawning logic…

  • Anon

    I Heard In BO2 It Will Take Two Knifes To Kill Your Enemy Unless You Get The Pro Perk Which Allows You To Kill Your Enemy In One Single Knife

  • Rango

    Why do I find this man an idiot? I get cornering….but you can’t truly cover corners in a game with no cover system. The only difference between running around the corner and crouch/walking around it is the speed….you’re still fully exposed and prone to being panic knifed. The only way to cover corners effectively is to go at them like a semi making a wide turn…and then you’re not in knife range.

  • Greg

    Make it a two knife kill plz cuz u have body armor and change the shotguns this is the kind of stuff that caused me to switch to BF3 which is way more realistic

  • Naw

    Here wanty clamp it man, sont you think you have a little too much time on your hands to be arguing on this thing. Get A grip. Battlefield, cod , potato, poteto, who cares? Seriously , do us a favour and wheest!