The Future of Call of Duty
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Have you had enough of Call of Duty?
Do you find the maps boring?
Are you getting killed in gunfights you know you should be winning?
Are you experiencing technical problems with the game?
If you're disappointed with CoD as we are then you've come to the right place. Activision doesn't listen to the community and each CoD every year seems to be getting more boring. This petition focuses on what has made Call of Duty good and bad over the many years and what we think Activision and the development companies should do when they start planning a new game.
This petition has a long word count and would better viewed from our PDF copy found here
What Is Call of Duty?
Call of Duty is one of the biggest first person shooter franchises in the gaming community and is extremely popular for its fast-paced, explosive and exciting single player campaign, competitive multiplayer and not forgetting the team bonding special ops plus zombies with never-ending waves of endless mayhem.
However, Call of Duty does have its rivals; for instance: Halo, Battlefield, Medal of Honour and Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon. All of these games have their own unique feel and style, but Call of Duty has always held onto its arcade approach. Whereas something like Battlefield, can be considered the more skilful and tactical game.
Although, Call of Duty has become more skilful over the years with players and teams competing with one another in MLG (Major League Gaming) tournaments. Moreover, the introduction of e-sports built right into the multiplayer menu of games allows normal gamers to experience more competitive gaming, first introduced by Treyarch with Black Ops II.
The Purpose of This Petition
Over the years Call of Duty has dramatically plummeted with sales dropping. With the last instalment Advanced Warfare selling less than half that of Modern Warfare 3. This will continue unless the Call of Duty community step up and fight for the game they love. TSN have created this petition to show Treyarch, Infinity Ward, Sledgehammer Games, any other future developers, the publication company Activision and the vast quantity of players demanding a change against the poor direction Call of Duty has taken over the last few years.
Modern Warfare Remastered Has Separated from Infinite Warfare Too Late
It has come to our attention that since the initial launch of Infinite Warfare over nine months ago, bundled with Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare Re-mastered (if you bought the Legacy Edition), they have finally launched an independent release. Activision signed an exclusivity agreement with PlayStation releasing DLC to PlayStation users before everyone else and this has included Modern Warfare Remastered. This means for Xbox players you’ll have to wait nearly a month before you can get your hands on it.
With such a dislike to the futuristic Call of Duty games, this has had an impact on the server player count for Infinite Warfare and will be certainly lower for Modern Warfare Remastered. When Infinite Warfare took off, literally, players were purchasing the Legacy Edition of Infinite Warfare to gain access to Modern Warfare Remastered and quite frankly it goes against our own free will to NOT buy a game and support something we don’t truly believe is successful. This gave Activision misleading statistics on their Infinite Warfare sales, conveying the false belief that Infinite Warfare was selling well, when in fact, players JUST WANT TO PLAY Modern Warfare Remastered. You could say this is blackmail…
Currently, the retail price for Modern Warfare Remastered stands at a whopping £34.99! TSN discussed amongst ourselves a reasonable price before the announcement of the separation and we felt that £25 ($32.21, €29.46) would be more practical considering the Legacy Edition of Infinite Warfare sold at £64.99 ($83.77, €76.61) and the Standard Edition for £42.99 ($55.41, €50.68). If you take the price of the Legacy Edition away from the price of the Standard Edition, it leaves £22 ($28.36, €25.90) left. If Activision sold Modern Warfare Remastered at £25 they would make £3 more profit with each sale. It’s a win-win situation; Activision make an extra turnout of 13.6% and players wouldn’t have been forced into buying two games for the sake of one.
Why Is Call of Duty Struggling?
If you ask most players that have played Call of Duty since Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare (2007) they’ll say they prefer the “old days”, #BootsOnTheGround in comparison to the futuristic setting that has been current for the last four games since Black Ops II. Below we have detailed our reasons why Call of Duty has slacked in certain aspects of the game:-
With the introduction of the pick-10 system in Black Ops II a wider variety of class combinations could be created. For example, a player could drop a secondary weapon and/or primary/secondary grenade leaving only the primary weapon and replacing the available slots with extra perks. If you noticed many of the perks found in the predecessors to Black Ops II such as quick-draw from MW3, they have now become weapon attachments like in Black Ops III. This lead to too many people running heavily customised classes such as a primary weapon containing four or five attachments. With so much flexibility in creating classes, this made it overwhelmingly difficult to set-up the perfect create-a-class with limited create-a-class slots available to the player.
TSN have been lucky enough to play all eight Call of Duty titles in sequence from Modern Warfare (2007) through to Advanced Warfare (2014) on the old generation, but excluding Black Ops III and Infinite Warfare for this is the reason why this petition exists. Over the eight years, we have seen improvements in the graphics with Modern Warfare 3, in our opinion, reaching the peak of the old generation console’s (PlayStation3/Xbox360) capabilities.
We believe the Modern Warfare titles look more realistic with the high level of detail in the grass, concrete walls and vehicles. This can make the player feel more immersed when playing the game. Whereas with Call of Duty: Black Ops II being set in the future, we felt it looked cartoony/smoothed over. Our reasoning behind this is because we over speculate what the future will look like; everything seems over polished with no imperfections, the interior design of the maps feels clinical and the colours come across too vibrant.
Another example of a Call of Duty game that suffered from bad graphics was Call of Duty: Ghosts. This had poor render distance and washed out colours, which explained why trying to spot enemies at longer distances proved impossible. To top that, Advanced Warfare was released on the old generation consoles with pixelated perk icons in the create-a-classes and we perceived this as unfinished and unprofessional.
Spawns & Map Design
Spawn trap! It’s horrible isn’t it? Well, we’ve all been a victim of it. But some games are just simply unfair. The Black Ops series is renowned for its awful spawn traps and this is mostly blamed towards the poorly implemented spawn flip, something the Modern Warfare games have handled exceptionally well once the patches were rolled out.
What makes a good map is a well thought out three-lane design. Usually, this involves a centre path that is used for rushing along with a left and right path for cutting in and out and flanking. A good example is Scrapyard from Modern Warfare 2 as it has three lanes which enable players to weave in and out and four main buildings to take cover in.
Unfortunately, there are maps that deviate from the classic three-lane layout and can cause issues when an opposition player decides to camp and kills players from the line of site to spawn points, or worse sit in the spawn area of the opposition team and point-blank spray enemies down as they appear. Cough, cough Nuketown!
The Non-existence of Call of Duty: Elite
From the release of Modern Warfare 3 on November 8th 2011, Call of Duty: Elite was launched alongside with incredible new features that allowed players to get involved with one another socially and competitively. Call of Duty: Elite was an online service created by Activision and was the ultimate multiplayer companion for Modern Warfare 3 and Black Ops II.
This well-liked service provided iconic features such as viewing player’s statistics. This included viewing K/D across different weapons, a bird’s eye view of map detailing red and green dots where the player killed or got killed. It also showed the game types that the player played frequently. These features were available to yourself with a bonus feature which allowed create-a-classes to be changed remotely even before you got anywhere near the game.
For players that bought the Hardened Edition, they were exclusively granted access to the Elite one-year premium membership including the season pass for all four DLC releases. This was later revealed during the Call of Duty XP event earlier that year by CEO Eric Hirshberg, where he announced new Spec Ops missions, game modes and map packs over an estimated 20 pieces of downloadable content.
The official application was mobilized on the PlayStore, AppStore, on consoles and also the website giving people the most fulfilled experience. Besides DLC, clan management was another popular aspect which Call of Duty: Elite brought to the table. This enabled your clan’s identity to be customised with a gold clan tag, custom titles with your own moto text inside, unlockable emblems available to players and a workshop to design your own clan logo. This became available as your clan gained XP through one of two methods; Clan challenges and Clan Operations.
Clan Challenges consisted of acquiring accolades during games such as the most throwing knife kills. Daily challenges would have a completion window of 23 hours, 59 minutes and were played every other day. Alongside there would be the occasional weekly Clan Challenge offering a high XP pay-out and these events would last 6 days, 23 hours and 59 minutes. #TalkAboutDatAccuracyDoe
Clan Operations would consist of six premium players and would be scored against other competing clans in three hour long battles. To triumph in Clan Operations you simply had to play the objective of that game-type. The objective in Team Death Match required a player to acquire the most kills, Kill Confirmed required a player to collect the most confirmed dog tags and Domination required a player to acquire the most command-post captures.
As a clan that was using Call of Duty: Elite we risked our K/D for the sake of playing the objective. Our original clan only had three premium members playing at one time, but sometimes the non-premium members would out-perform the premium players. This became frustrating because our non-premium players took most of the kills, sometimes didn’t play the objective and didn’t communicate with premium players.
If Call of Duty were to release a concept that is similar to Elite, then we would like to see equality for all players to compete together without a divide between two groups of players. Of course if players wanted to give themselves a unique flare to differentiate themselves from teammates, Activision could implement mini-transactions for a digital store allowing them to unlock customisable items, a bit like you see in Destiny.
The good news is Call of Duty have revealed Headquarters, a new social interaction for players to talk to one another (when they aren’t killing each other) and play activities together such as shooting at firing range as seen in the Making Call of Duty WWII Multiplayer Livestream. The real question is, will it fulfil the functionality Elite had as a clan management centre, or is it just predominantly a digital social environment? We can only wait and see at the BETA launch on August 25th 2017.
3D Movement System #BootsNotOnTheGround
The most important part of what makes Call of Duty so popular in the first instance is the hard-core fan base that has followed the franchise since it all began. It’s important for Activision to acknowledge the communities’ views. But since the implementation of the exo-jump ability the hard-core fans have not taken a liking to this and there is enough proof to suggest that the exo-jump ability isn’t a fan favourite.
One of the most popular exo-suit based Call of Duty games at present is Black Ops III and we believe this is due to the re-balanced exo-suit that originated with Advanced Warfare’s attempt. Despite AW being the first Call of Duty to risk introducing a new movement system, it became a hype for a short while before eventually getting on everyone’s nerves as players thought it was over the top and wasn’t what players hoped for. After Advanced Warfare’s release, Activision again, didn’t listen to the disapproval of the exo-suits and launched Black Ops III and Infinite Warfare. Following two predecessors you would think a diversion would be taken for 2016’s Call of Duty title. There’s no surprise why BF1 was doing extremely well… Call of Duty continued to follow suit with the unpopular 3D movement system for third year in a row!
Trying to shoot an enemy player while they are in mid-air proved more difficult for players who were used to strafing and moving forward/backwards in the previous conventional titles. In the old Call of Duty style of play, the most effective way to outgun another player was to take cover and reappear at the crucial time e.g. when an enemy is reloading or is caught off guard by another teammate. These original Call of Duty titles were fast paced, yet there was still time to make decisions or call for help from your team. Controversially, today’s Call of Duty games are beyond the fundamental gun-on-gun skills and seems to come down who’s got the better connection, most overpowered class, or highest sensitivity to lock onto enemies quickly to keep up with player’s sharp reactions.
In the exo-jump style of play players would dodge bullets by rapidly moving on the Y-axis, rather than taking cover fire. This worked to their advantage due to the acceleration of the exo-suit being faster than a player’s ability to readjust their aim on low to low-medium sensitivity. The only way for a player on the ground to compensate this was either to jump up in the air too or increase their aim sensitivity settings. This of course has its drawbacks and this reduces aim accuracy and precision shots at longer ranges. For those who wanted to guarantee to escape a death, people chose to exo-jump away, sit in the corner and wait for the enemy to follow before getting shot in the back by a typical camper. Even at the best of times with a drastically reduced time to kill, you might not even make it around the corner.
As a clan we have witnessed excessive hate in forum posts, articles and blogs about how fans were moving on from Call of Duty titles and playing different FPS games. The community clearly like having their player’s boots on the ground and this was ignored by Activision. Developers such as DICE did that correctly by developing Battlefield 1 based on the Great World War. The game has team based mechanics and requires thought and planning from the player(s) to win a match of conquest for instance.
If you’re like us, chances are you’ve kept your old generation games console so that you still have access to your favourite Call of Duty titles. Problem is, this comes with risks and we’re talking about meeting the dreaded hackers.
Now, while some people can grit their teeth and get on with the fact they may come across a hacker and know how to deal with the situation by sensibly leaving the game, not aggravating them and keeping their cool when bad goes to worse. There’s the other portion of people that have fled completely to the new generation of consoles to never look back.
The root to all of this is jailbroken consoles. If you are unfamiliar with jailbreaking, it’s simply bypassing the manufacturer’s security restrictions allowing you to install a custom firmware (operating system) to expose the code from the games and mod to your heart’s content. The other reason why people jailbreak consoles is to pirate games by backing up a physical copy of their disc to the internal hard disk drive. A use of jailbreaking we strongly disagree with… as this is illegal.
The bigger issue is when these jail breakers enter the online world, bypassing security measures and spoofing their console to appear as though it’s unmodified. Specific to Call of Duty is that old generation games are totally vulnerable and will most likely contain some of the following:-
- XP lobbies – These will give the player a ridiculous amount of XP which often leads to boredom with nothing for the player to strive for once everything is unlocked.
- De-ranking – This is the opposite to an XP lobby in the fact that the lobby host strips away all your stats into minus figures and resets you to prestige 1, level 1.
- Aim-bot – Hackers have the ability to snap onto other players and kill them instantly. In extreme cases they can shoot you from anywhere on the map racking up multikills and instant kills on an opposition player’s spawn.
- God Mode – This is one of the hacker’s favourites. This mod allows them to become invincible which takes the fun out the game when the opposing team tries to kill them.
- DDoS Attack – This vulnerability isn’t a manipulation of game code or the console itself, but a networking tool that acquires the internet connection information of a player which is used to attack a remote user’s connection by overpowering it with more bandwidth than their broadband can handle, forcing the player offline.
Over the years we have played on the PlayStation Network, we have come across lobbies where the hacker (host) has disabled the start menu giving you no option to leave the game. Fortunately we found a way of leaving the match without powering off the console or quitting the game. This is done by signing out on the XMB menu tricking the game into thinking that you have lost connection to the server. Luckily, forcefully leaving the game doesn’t affect the statistics on the leaderboard.
Even though this petition only addresses Call of Duty, we are in the process of making a separate petition that focuses on why backwards compatibility isn’t fully implemented and/or why there hasn’t been a stop to hacking on the old generation consoles. We would like to stress the point that the Xbox One has a fully functional Xbox and Xbox 360 emulator. There are currently nearly 400 games made compatible for the Xbox One and this will continue to expand over time.
Unfortunately for us PlayStation players, Sony have not grasped the whole concept of ‘backwards compatibility’ and instead released a cloud based alternative service called PlayStation Now. Unlike Xbox, that allows you to play your old Xbox and Xbox 360 games for free with access to them offline, PlayStation Now requires a £12.99 monthly subscription and an active internet connection as there is no offline play. This is a problem with today’s society, lots of people assume we’re always connected to the internet and having access to it at our fingertips. While most of this is true, for the small portion of people that have slow or no internet at all, Sony’s PlayStation Now would be highly impractical.
In terms of Call of Duty, PlayStation Now would be inadequate as it is best suited with as little latency as possible, especially in multiplayer. If you think about this logically, how you could play an FPS that requires a responsive connection under normal circumstances to be then streamed and not expect lag?
As you can see Sony is not on par with Microsoft and this is worrying knowing that Sony haven’t given us the chance to move forward but also re-live the past. As the saying goes, ‘we’re stuck between a rock and a hard place’. Sony have a couple options; either they rethink the concept of backward compatibility or provide support to the PlayStation 3 and put a stop to jailbreakers breaching the online services.
Keep an eye out for our next petition which will focus on this area closely.
Where Does Call of Duty Stand?
Day in, day out we see mass amounts of hate comments scattered across social networking sites complaining about how awful Call of Duty is. You could argue that people are just being fussy and shouldn't buy the game to begin with. But there is so much negative talk it makes you think maybe the community have a point and Activision need to listen.
The issues that have been stated within this petition will take time to resolve and with the release of Call of Duty: WW II around the corner, Activision have now taken this opportunity to try and salvage the wreckage of a once loved franchise. This new title will hopefully be the stepping stone to a better future with Call of Duty and reward the community that has tried so desperately to cling on. With this being said the community have spoken and it’s time for a change! No more hacked lobbies, overpowered and broken player movement mechanics, poor map designs, poor graphics and an over complex create-a-class system.
The community is the soul of the game and is also the reason why in the last ten years all of these Call of Duty titles have either sold so well or badly. We need you back to make the franchise great again and we also understand that with great work comes great responsibility which is what Activision should be telling its developers.
The Surge Network believe they can shape the future of Call of Duty by asking you fellow Call of Duty players to join and support our petition to bring back the favourite first person shooter. Comments on social networking sites are simply not enough for Activision to care about, as they just think of us as another unhappy customer and wouldn't jeopardize their sales figures. However, joining our petition and fighting as a larger body of people has a far greater chance of being heard than lots of individuals.
An advantage of using a petition with a gigantic support following, is that Activision can gather feedback far more efficiently by taking it in bulk. For example, if 20,000 people were to support this petition, Activision will be able to simply take those 20,000 people's opinions as a whole. On the other hand trying to collect and sort through 20,000 individual’s feedback would take a far greater amount of time, as those 20,000 people might have entirely different opinions.
Activision’s best approach for shaping the future of their top title Call of Duty is to utilise the community and get them involved from the start. The fans know what they want and the developers behind these games also have great ideas and know how to make them happen.
However, at times there has been awful ideas from the developers which they don’t want to veer away from because they believe a new, unthought-of idea like #BootsOffTheGround was a good approach with Advanced Warfare. The fact they made another two following games with the 3D movement system really makes you wonder what they were thinking, especially with such a hate to it across social media. Sooner or later, people realised it was an over-hyped concept but nobody slated SledgeHammer Games for experimenting. We just wish they took the idea to a steering group of players to receive feedback in an early stage release before developing the game further.
In an ideal perfect release, developers would receive their feedback from game testers, go back to the drawing board, make changes and re-release it again to achieve a win-win; the developers can implement their new ideas but also the players get what they want. To get the ball rolling for a fresh Call of Duty title, Activision could host a questionnaire on their website and with the information gathered this can help formulate a new game. With the intention of keeping the community close-by through the development stages they should showcase early releases and make improvements from feedback. Dispersing multiple, periodic ALPHA releases would be perfect as they could implement changes between each patch. Controversially, after a certain number of ALPHA releases over a set duration, a line has to be drawn so that developers can take a break before launching a BETA and concluding with a final release. Nevertheless, Activision must start releasing the BETA to everyone, whether customers have pre-ordered the game or not. Yes the BETA is used for the developers to make final changes, but lots of players are now taking this opportunity to try the new Call of Duty before its final release. Unfortunately they’re also being conned into buying the game to acquire BETA codes because if they decide they don’t like the game, they’ve then got to go through the hassle of cancelling their pre-order.
When Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Re-mastered was released alongside Infinite Warfare, players were excited to see the launch of a classic Call of Duty game. But weren’t pleased they had to buy Infinite Warfare to access Modern Warfare Remastered. As soon as Activision singularly released Modern Warfare Remastered, players were thrilled, but those who bought the Infinite Warfare Legacy edition felt ripped off paying for the price of two games, when they only wanted to play Modern Warfare Remastered in the first instance. With this being said, will Activision be re-mastering other iconic Call of Duty titles as standalone games? This is something we hope Activision will consider if they expect to re-gain their large fan base.
Even though we have been predominantly talking about Multiplayer within this petition, gathering feedback on other aspects of Call of Duty would be a great help. When multiplayer and single player isn’t enough, there will always be a third game mode that will enable players to become more indulged in, such as the extremely popular Call of Duty Zombies.
Call of Duty Zombies was first introduced in Call of Duty: World at War after an unbelievably favourable result. Treyarch have kept this going strong over each one of their games; the Black Ops series. The Call of Duty: Black Ops series has had multiple DLC for zombies, all of which build the story behind the zombies and the element 115 we hear so much about in countless easter eggs. The game mode has grown so much since its debut that we believe a campaign could be created, basing each part of the story around a map and being able to travel between each one. Call of Duty Zombies has the potential to be its own game and so much could be built upon this if it went ahead. Just remember how amazing Call of Duty: World at War’s campaign was, particularly on veteran difficulty. Now imagine if the Nazi soldiers were replaced with zombies and you had to complete an entire story campaign around that. It would be epic right?! This is all possible, but we’re only throwing the idea out there hoping Activision may recognise the idea one day.
The Surge Network have brainstormed a new game-mode idea based around the free-roam style you see in Grand Theft Auto. The concept of the game is for a player to build safe accommodation against zombies and other players, collect recourses, build weapons and contraptions and work their way towards a cure deep within the map. Depending on where the player first spawns, e.g. a shed, house, gas station, middle of open-land or a city, the player will have to adapt those surroundings and survive at all costs. Additionally having an in-game currency system to use on customising and upgrading almost anything will keep players coming back.
Once the player begins exploring the world, they will trigger nearby events which they can choose to play or skip depending how desperate they are for resources. For example trying to collect wood to board-up the windows for night, a player could seek a timber yard. However, zombies might be surrounding the area, so after entering close proximity the player will be asked if the wish to take on a limited amount of waves against the undead, or risk going home with nothing. As soon as they’re in the clear they will return back to free-roam to carry on their adventure.
After an area has been explored it becomes unlocked for you to play over and over again, this time on an unlimited number of waves; more similar to what we’re all used to. This could mean we wouldn’t need any DLC for a while because lots of maps will already be included. It will just be a matter of encountering them on the free-roam map and unlocking them. When playing over the individual maps again they will consist of their own easter eggs, which in turn will count towards the final easter egg near the end of the game and will include a huge mass of zombies, complex maps and tough boss rounds. However, that’s not all. Besides the zombies, introducing factions will allow teams to steal or trade resources from one another. This will encourage players to fight alongside or against each other within the open-world.
What the Community Can Do
If you have made it this far, on behalf of The Surge Network we would like to thank you for taking time to read this petition. We feel very strongly about the areas of Call of Duty that have been discussed here in great detail. If you feel the same way and would like your opinions to mean something, then we need you on board with us to bring this matter to Activision’s attention.
We can only do this with your help and you can do this by signing this petition and it would be hugely appreciated if you guys could share this with your friends, gaming buddies or anyone that has interest in Call of Duty.
It’s about time we got the Call of Duty back on its feet, literally!! #BootsOnTheGround
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