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!