Or, as I pre-emptively titled it: Why Black Ops II Innovation Won’t Change A Thing.
The following is not meant to describe the COD community as a whole, but, instead, those who seem intent on lowering its standards and giving it a bad name.
You’ve seen it already with the huge reveal of Black Ops II multiplayer: the “Pick-10” system allowing for a vastly diverse and different – compared to previous Call of Duty titles – play style. Pro Perks are no longer and regular perks no longer effect your weapons. Sleight of Hand, Quickdraw, Steady Aim and such perks are now weapon attachments. You can take a Specialist-like class by having multiple same-tier perks. Weapons have a Select Fire attachment to allow switching to and from full-auto, burst and semi-automatic. You can take a “Wildcard” and put three attachments on a weapon. Treyarch introduced CODCasting and Livestreaming. The list is pretty substantial.
Treyarch have some mighty big balls to be implementing so much new and innovative features to a game series despite what many people consider is “dying”; considering pre-orders and sales have declined since Blacks Ops for each respective pre-launch title and the hugely competitive gaming market. I personally think it looks like a really interesting move from the traditional Create-a-Class set-up in previous games; and if I recall correctly, that the game offers a total of 5 million (or was that billion?) combinations with the “Pick-10” system. Basically you’ve got a helluva lot of class set-ups you could utilize in the battlefield.
The Zombie-fied Community
Does this mean people will actually use these endless amount of combinations? The answer to that question, my dear Call of Duty fans, is a big fat no. Disclaimer alert: I’m not some little other-game-that-is-not-COD fanboy spurting his mind here, I’ve been playing Call of Duty since the early years. I love Call of Duty games, but I hate the vile and disgusting community that comes free with it. Quickscopers/trickshotters, cheap weapon users, YouTube sheep, YouTube commentators, exploiters, cheaters, hackers, trollers.. you name it, Call of Duty has it all. Every Call of Duty game I have endured with the same bullshit, but in no way did it stop my basic enjoyment of the games. In my previous article, regarding Modern Warfare 3, I still lovingly enjoy that game by playing with an awesome posse of friends – but it hurts all of our hearts to see how a perfectly good game – in its core element, disregarding connectivity issues – can be drowned out by such nonsense; people using YouTube set-ups and imitating those big YouTubers without thinking for themselves and not using their own set-ups.
But I mentioned how it’s not affecting my basic enjoyment of the games. That is true, but it definitely is disturbing my tolerance I have with the general community and gaming spirit. Modern Warfare 2 probably started it all, and it’s only gotten worse from game-to-game. With MW3 being the most recent, and with Black Ops II fast approaching, I can only assume the same dickery that we see on a daily basis will transpire to the next COD game, and to the next and the one after that and so on and so forth.
This is why I labelled this article what it is. Having innovation out there is all well and good, but it won’t do squat if the damn community won’t use it. And they won’t – because every game has delivered a different way to play: MW2 with the in-game class changer One Many Army went all awry to be a morons tool to cheaply kill the masses; Black Ops with an abundance of different weapons turned into everyone using one to two weapons in the same category; MW3 removing the cheap MW2 tomfoolery and implementing a much better weapons balance turned into, again, everyone using a weapon with no skill to use. It’s been the same year-in-year-out, and I will eat all of these words if Black Ops II somehow manages to fill up the loophole.
Disregard Innovation & Originality
And you know what? With all of these “innovative” systems being implemented, it’s only going to be easier for the masses of YouTube sheep to just follow the most powerful set-up with no deviation. In previous games, it was easy to differentiate between who was using a certain set-up but could not fully utilize the full ‘power’ of such amazingly awesome Commentator-recommended class set-up. In Black Ops II, they have cut out Pro Perks, gun-effecting Perks, the traditional system of pick-‘n’-choose and just filled it with direct out-of-the-box powerhouse. It will be so easy for the Call of Duty commentators – that control the respective community with an iron fist – to exploit the “Pick 10” to their liking. “Here is the best set-up to use, and no-one uses or knows about it!” Bullshit they do. You’re telling your many hundred-thousand subscribers this!
YouTube anecdote: since when did re-uploading Call of Duty – or, in fact, any game pre-launch/announce – disregarding if your a media channel (e.g. Gamerspawn) – trailers become a norm? I mean, fair enough if you’re going to do some breakdown. I love analytical videos. But a straight re-upload with nothing more than a “here’s the brand new Call of Duty trailer Treyarch/Infinity Ward/whomever just released!” Eh, hello? You do realize Activision released it on the official Call of Duty channel, no? That type of cheap value infuriates me because I know for the fact they only do it for two things: to keep subscribers from vacating (psychologically making them believe these YouTubers they follow blindly are still active), and for ze moneyz!
Just take Modern Warfare 3 as a current example. Every other evening I go play with some friends and we run into the same combo from the majority of players: MP7 or ACR with whatever attachments: Blind Eye, Assassin, and most likely Dead Silence (because Sit Rep Pro is so overpowered that no-one uses it). Perhaps not a YouTube effect, but more-so the community exploiting the fact that that gun and that set-up is the easiest way to kill people and is the most frustrating class to try defeat. Why? MP7 and ACR have a finite amount of recoil and the douchebaggery of a Perk set-up is a powerhouse of being invisible to everything. It’s not the simple case of “but it’s easily counter-able” or “stop complaining/crying” when the fact of the matter is I struggle to have any form of fun if all everyone uses is the most cheap set-up in the game. Sure, every game has the same problem, but because the COD community is just so relentless, it’s so much more frustrating in comparison to other games.
I congratulate you if you play games like Call of Duty and you enjoy challenging yourself. I make a point that I respect more and more the less and less of people that decide to use a very drastic class set-up with unorthodox weapons. And in no way am I saying the Black Ops sequel will not have that – of course a small population will prefer to use different weapons and derivatives than the masses, because they obviously get satisfaction defeating enemies who would rather take the cheesy tactics with them into the war field.
Going For Them Montage Kills
This article wouldn’t be fittingly suitable without a little touch on the quickscoping/trickshotting area that has plagued Call of Duty since the M40A3 days in COD4.
Trickshotting, fakies, 360-no scopes, tryharding, and many more terminology – these are the tricks players seem to use that I just have no idea what they’re talking about. I can reveal that I have and will never do such obnoxiousness “play styles” ever in a FPS game. Never in a million years. But the argument here isn’t strictly about debate on what is and what isn’t [insert terminology here] – or how skillful or lucky one can be to do whatever it is (perhaps for another article, but a quick opinion: I believe it’s all luck and the skill of exploiting the system) they are doing.
No, it’s more so about the actual person doing this and why they choose to do this. Do they believe they are God; or do they think millions will drop their controllers and watch their “awesome” montage video? Every time I witness or am killed by someone using such abhorrent and loathsome set-up, I just think to myself “why?” and “how can anyone find this fun?” They clearly aren’t doing it for challenges, or bets, or entertainment, or any form of fun. So why do they do it? Where is the motivation behind going 5 kills and 39 deaths in a game of Domination with zero flag captures in every game? If they are not playing to neither have fun or to win, what are they doing? People enlighten me, because I struggle to comprehend the incentive to do so poorly.
Now, this subject is a broad one and I obviously don’t want this to hijack the main point of this article or show my true intentions and feelings for these.. players.. but I will make the point that I am only referring to those who go into full objective-based games, without changing classes, doing trickshots and all that jazz. Those who actually do well – by means of objective-whoring – or decide to change classes respectfully are exempt from my ramblings of the “montage” plague. Congratulations to you if you do do this type of tomfoolery and do well!
Not Playing The Objectives
And we come conveniently on to the next topic! Every game suffers this horror: people not playing the objective. Or shall I alliterate further: people thinking game modes like Search & Destroy and Domination is synonymous for “Team Deathmatch” or otherwise a place to not search and destroy bomb targets, or dominate the flags.
Black Ops II is implementing further improvements to what Infinity Ward started; refinements to the pointstreak system and making going for objectives more awarding for objective players. This is perhaps the only light at the end of the otherwise bleak and depressing Call of Duty community tunnel because pre-MW3, going for objectives in an objective game mode in a objective-driven play style didn’t award you squat. Treyarch may have finally broken the sturdy glass in this area because this makes for far more fast-paced gameplay because players will have more incentive to capture an objective, or plant the bomb, or defend the HQ.
This is probably the only area of this article that I won’t harp on about the subject. We all know the frustrations of people taking the bomb in S&D and then sitting back in spawn, or that the enemy team have flanked you on Domination but aren’t going for the flag objectives, or players not picking up tags in Kill Confirmed – so we can all just hope for a more objective-driven Call of Duty.
Cheaters & Hackers Ruin Nostalgia
We’ve all had it across any Call of Duty game. You’ve wondered into a “modded” or “hacked” lobby and have no clue what is going on, or you’ve realized you’ve joined the 10th playground in your gaming session dedicated to the little scum of the community: the so-called ‘gamers’ that tailor the game to suit their needs.
But it’s an insult to even call them hackers or modders. The former actually work endlessly for the good and bad to test security firewalls and such while the latter are normally gamers hoping to extend an old game’s life for the better good – adding textures, new modes and even re-inventing these games for a brand new audience or generation.
These folk I can only describe as complete morons ruining the fun and nostalgia for others. Take a look at Call of Duty 4, World at War and Modern Warfare 2: endless speed/jump, unlimited ammo/killstreaks, aimbots and so on. It’s a paradise for those little douchebags who think they are leet at ‘hacking’.
It’s a huge shame to see my beloved Call of Duty 4 just fall into the pit of despair. You cannot enjoy a clean, unmodded public match, catching up with friends without running into some idiot running around thinking he is God. Count the amount of skill and respect of this person between 0 and negative 0. Correct: zero. Every time I go back and play COD4 and run into hacked lobbies, I just say to myself and my friends “why did we bother?” and “this is becoming more irritating and less nostalgic.”
Perhaps a huge flaw with Treyarch’s and Infinity Ward’s programming: Games before Black Ops had very limited post-release and anti-hacking support, and while games after Black Ops have been getting tremendous post-release support and have very decent anti-cheating methods, it doesn’t help to wonder that the games that created the Call of Duty series have been taken over by people just plugging in whatever tool or using methods to obtain malicious hacker keys. It must bring a tear to the eyes of programmers that made the original new-generation Call of Duty games and to see it hacked beyond repair.
Am I angry at these so-called ‘fans’ of Call of Duty that instead of playing the game for what it is, they twist the rules and find ways to ruin the fun for others? No. It’s more pity and sympathy.
The Future is.. the Same
I commend Treyarch and the Multiplayer team having a go at drastically changing things up. But I fear it’s a pointless folly. People complain that the series needs innovation, but the same people protest that it’s too a big of a change. Then the same people whine that the games don’t have multiplayer diversity, or a different array of fans groan that a weapon is being nerfed because that means having to use a different, untested and unused, weapon.
This time next year, everyone will be hyping the next Call of Duty game. Denouncing that Black Ops II was a failure, and previous games rule the roost, most likely MW3 being the best recent game – the same cycle every annum. Like I mentioned earlier, I am looking forward to the actual game of Black Ops II. But the frustrations and annoyances I have with the community actions I have described above pretty much voids any excitement I have for for it because I know it’s just going to be the same as usual: being overpowered by the same set-up while I have to struggle on by using different set-ups, because that’s the way I play. Sticking to the same class gets boring and so unchallenging for me after a while, hence why I refuse to kneel to the “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” phrase.
I see it all the time and it’s been like this since the first Modern Warfare wow’d us all into contentment – that the community suddenly block out the current game because it’s became too mainstream, or it’s becoming hacked, or it’s now “noob-friendly”, or boring and repetitive and get themselves hyped up for the next “huge innovative CoD” because the current one sucks. The educated minds that are the sheep of Call of Duty claim that the current game is horrible because it’s full of people like themselves using the same overpowered set-ups that lack originality, yet they are happy to announce their “huge excitment” for the next Call of Duty game which will add many more new inventions. Eh, hello? You do realize that you don’t need to buy another game to have fun? Mix it up a little bit, no?
But it doesn’t matter, because the more things change the more they stay the same.