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- "Good job squad, didn't even break a sweat!"
- — Wallcroft on the current Call of Duty multiplayer's difficulty
As the title suggests, this blog is about the multiplayer of Call of Duty losing what remained of it's difficulty. Now before you go saying things like "It's been going downhill since CoD 4/WaW/MW2/Black Ops/MW3!" or "It was never fun/hard", I would like to point out why I actually believe Multiplayer has just lost everything that once made it so great.
Back in Call of Duty 4 and Call of Duty: World at War, the modern multiplayer system we all know and love was introduced. The whole system of getting weapons as you rank up was superb. The perk system, too, was fantastic. And it is very hard to rank up on Call of Duty 4 and World at War, making it very satisfying to unlock that gun/perk you wanted so badly.
We move onto Modern Warfare 2, which is the first installment to feature the multiplayer most people will know. Things like Pro Perks are introduced. A new feature is introduced, forcing you to go into Game Chat (for Xbox players only) on some game modes like Search and Destroy. Everything is fine, and leveling is made a tad easier to compensate for the increased rank.
Further along we reach Black Ops, which changes many features of MW2 and introduces it's own. It tweaks the game chat feature (because why the f**k would you need to go into game chat for Domination?) to let more game modes allow Party Chat. It brings in the CoD Point System, changing the game to force you to play more games and use guns you don't particularly like in order to obtain what you want. It makes obtaining Pro Perks harder to obtain with three challenges (as opposed to repeating the same challenge four times) and makes them expensive.
Now we have reached Modern Warfare 3, and this is where I believe multiplayer has lost anything which made it special or difficult at all.
In CoD 4 and WaW, it was very hard to level and required your time and effort to pull through. If you saw somebody who was Fourth Prestige you would be like "Wow, that guy's a pro" (or "That guy's a goddamn hermit") because more often than not, that Fourth Prestiger was a pro who had put the time into the game and was rewarded for it. Now, Prestige means nothing, you can pretty much do one in a week or two if you concentrate on it, and a month casually. I stand at Fourth Prestige on MW3 (Due to addiction of Face Off), and I have ranked up over 130 times since 17th June 2012.
That is the main source of multiplayer's cheapening. The fact that you level so easily makes it so you can unlock the other major thing which cheapens the multiplayer, the Prestige Token. For those who do not know what it does, it essentially gives you a wide variety of things to buy, but let's face it, near enough everyone will use it to take through a weapon, perk or lethal/tactical equipment to their next prestige. The charm of every modern CoD before MW3 was that you were rewarded for leveling. What's the point of leveling when by the sixth prestige, you could essentially have two primaries (or one primary and an FMG9), three perks and a lethal equipment?
Perhaps what is most insulting about the Prestige Token is that it practically laughs at your previous accomplishments in CoD 4, WaW, MW2 and Black Ops, as it only gives you one token for prestiging in each.
A third, minor problem I have with the multiplayer is the Specialist and Support Strike Chains. Don't get me wrong, I use either one as opposed to Assault, but I feel as if they were designed for a specific audience.
- Support features the Remote Sentry and the Stealth Bomber, both of which can get a lot of kills and they are inevitably unlocked. Support is intended to provide Support to the team, not give the player kills. It also features the EMP which essentially nullifies the Assault Strike Chain completely, people who have worked for their kills are just not rewarded by the person they have been killing.
- Specialist clearly focuses only on the people who go for MOABs. Although technically it was previously featured in Black Ops through the Sharpshooter game mode, it has been "buffed" so to speak to essentially allow the player to be invincible after 8 kills, much similair to a buffed One Man Army. It essentially laughs at Assault and Support because while the person may start with say Scavenger, Hardline and Steady Aim, they can become immune to Support by running Assassin and they can become immune to Assault by running Blind Eye and Assassin, with Extreme Conditioning to make a fast getaway from the hail of rage-induced bullets.
I'm not saying don't play Modern Warfare 3, MW3 is not even my most hated CoD, I'm saying that I believe that it has essentially took any difficulty out of the multiplayer to satisfy even the noobiest of players and allow them to become powerful through two weeks of gameplay.
TL;DR version: I believe MW3 has cheapened Multiplayer and taken out any remaining difficulty because of it's insanely easy leveling, the Prestige Token allowing you to have an OP weapon at level 4 and Special and Support essentially giving the player a massive dominance over Assault runners.
What is your opinion on how multiplayer has changed since Call of Duty 4?