Changing MW2’s Multiplayer

26 Jan

If my constant gushing on this blog didn’t give it away, Modern Warfare 2 is a fantastic game. But it could be better. Most discussions around what we, the humble player, would do given free reign over Modern Warfare 2 are based on the mantra “I was killed by it several times, so I’d remove it”. Nuts to that, I say!

Personally I’d tinker with the values and behaviours of in-game items and weaponry ‘Patch-for-Team-Fortress-2’-style, so that the interesting asymmetrical gameplay remains intact, hopefully with less of the text-chat moaning. Starting with:

Unexploded grenade launcher rounds do damage but don’t one-hit-kill

Despite being a thorn in my side for nigh-on two years now, I can’t entirely condemn the under-barrel grenade launcher. I can, however, loathe the fact that its time-delayed rounds are being ignored for it’s useful purpose of clearing out campy sniper nests in favour of it simply being a massive fucking bullet. The problem with people who instantly switch to their launcher then go close-range hunting is that there’s no trade off for using it inappropriately – even when the shot doesn’t explode it’ll still murder me if it clips my hitbox. On top of that, the aiming reticle doesn’t expand when moving, so scoring a body shot in close-quarters is child’s play.

I’d prefer it if, instead, the dud grenade did damage – about the same, maybe slightly more, than having a regular ‘nade thrown at your face – but didn’t kill outright. Ergo, there’s the reward of damage for a hit, but they’re not given a kill for using the launcher all wrong like. Of course, if they’re genuinely skilled they can switch to their actual gun and finish the job – unless the victim has got their position and has to fight for his life. Surely a more interesting player interaction than “I shot him once and he fell over”.

I was considering headshots still being OHKs, but the rarity of that situation would probably just have fuelled the (understandable) resultant fury of the sod with a grenade where his nose should be.

Players under the effects of Painkiller have a warm red glow

I hate that there’s no visual indication of someone having a huge health boost until you start shooting them, especially if they’re in a group – in a game with such a relentless pace as this, picking targets from a crowd is hard enough without being ignorant of the one with twice as much health. One of the areas in which MW2 frequently fails (this just being one example) is that major game-changing variables (how injured someone is, what weapon an enemy is holding etc.) aren’t always made instantly clear.

Obviously the red glow thing is just one possible way of communicating the player’s advantage – a symbol floating over his head would function, though might be even worse for advertising him (specifically, his juicy noggin) to snipers.

The flares from air support must be deployed by the player himself

My Most Horrifying Gaming Moment of 2009 came when I managed to leave a building and not only avoided being instantly killed by a baddy AC-130 gunship but to get missile lock onto it as well. There had been no loading screen hint or pop-up warning that my rocket would actually drift away uselessly, chasing some flares that the plane had automatically dropped. Then it killed me.

Granted, it’s rare (at what the matchmaking decides to be ‘my level) to see an AC-130 at all – this very post was delayed by nearly a week as I tried and – as you can see – ultimately failed to get an appropriate screenshot. It’s also understandable that the best airbourne killstreak reward in the game does massive damage, but for it to automatically and effortlessly defeat the one counter-tactic with no player input is just outright lame. Is it so much to ask that the dude shooting the multiple-centimetre-wide guns a thousand feet in the air at the helpless insects below has to press a button to avoid his mighty reign coming to an end? Is it such a bad thing introducing a little human fallibilty to something which from the ground, no joke, actually looks like God himself is going for MVP?

If so, then highlight the guys carrying launchers or something, jeez.

Tactical Insertion flares can be destroyed much easier by grenades

Admittedly this could lead to some unintentional (i.e. lucky) demolitions of the flare that someone happened to be stood next to when a grenade came in the window. However, people seem to be using Tactical Insertion to create camping spots from which they never have to leave. No matter how many shots they don’t duck quick enough or how many frags land at their feet, they’ll have repawned in the exact same place in less time (in most game modes, at least) than it takes to run to their hidey-hole and smash the flare manually. Making them destroyable from range means a good throw will end the camper’s fun for good. At the moment you can attack them, but unless you know no-one’s around it’s inefficient to line up the shot on such a small target rather than running over and pressing a a button. Grenades could have an extended range that only affects the flares (i.e. the effective radius is slightly bigger than it would take to inflict minium damage on a person), so a well-aimed toss is much more likely to end the camper’s fun for good.


One Response to “Changing MW2’s Multiplayer”


  1. Offcuts: Fixing Modern Warfare 3 « The Talking Stove - January 19, 2012

    […] The sequel! […]

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