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Friday, March 1, 2024

CoD Modern Warfare 3: Everyone is longing for the Shipment, but I suspect something terrible

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In the new playlist Rustment, an old acquaintance returns that fans are rightly looking forward to. But is MW3 ready for it?

Shipment is coming, don’t worry. The most eagerly awaited map in the whole of Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3 will be released this week. Its appeal is quickly explained: On the tiny map Shipment, twelve people fight in a confined space and shoot bullets at each other between a few containers. No annoying trappings such as walkways, routes and the like. In short: there is no better map for leveling up weapons and grinding challenges

Shipment is chaos. The map always has been, always will be and, to a certain extent, that’s the way it should be. Balancing plays just as little of a role as putting a stop to some little scoundrels who stand in the corner with a rocket launcher and just shoot blindly. If you load into a match with an allergy to shotgun spam and knife ninjas, it’s your own fault: then don’t play a shipment!

But as I’m scrolling through Reddit today, I get stuck on a post. Suddenly, the realization falls from my eyes like scales, I’m gripped by naked horror, because this internet-shaped prophecy predicts a catastrophe that I haven’t even thought of yet:

Shipment is about to be unplayable
byu/lilphiya inModernWarfareIII

The grenade launcher could make Shipment an absolute nightmare, even for fans, to the point of unplayability. And this is connected to another realization that makes me worry: I currently don’t trust Sledgehammer Games to proactively think of such problems.

Let’s put the cart before the horse

The construction sites of Modern Warfare 3

But Sledgehammer Games urgently needs to take care of some construction sites where frighteningly little is happening. The incredibly annoying wooden boy has been plaguing all the servers since the last season of MW2, i.e. for months, we were promised changes, but absolutely nothing has happened since the announcement. How long can it take to deactivate a skin?

Another construction site: the spawns. Since the release at the beginning of November, many maps have suffered from broken spawn points. So much so that certain maps in certain modes have had to be deactivated to this day. And even with these restrictions, it still happens that I’m playing a round of Rust in Hardcore and an opponent can blithely empty his LMG magazine into our spawn to farm six kills in two seconds because we spawn completely unprotected in a hail of bullets

How could such obvious problem areas be overlooked during playtesting?

Refuse the grenade launcher

And now: the grenade launcher. A weapon that already existed theoretically in MW2 (for example in the single player), but was deliberately not included as a regular weapon in the multiplayer by Infinity Ward. Why? Because a grenade launcher causes chaos. It is the epitome of disruptive multiplayer balance. You need absolutely no talent to stand in a corner with this thing and – flump, flump, flump – lob grenades into the field.

(Shipment deliberately ignores any balance. But even chaos needs limits.
(Shipment deliberately ignores any balance. But even chaos needs limits.

Of course, this used to happen with rocket launchers, but they’re empty after two or three rounds. If only two thirds of ten players throw themselves into the ring with grenade launchers, then a tiny map like Shipment probably stops working altogether. I only had one guy like that on my team in a round of Scrapyard yesterday and the match turned into an annoying disaster because there’s friendly fire in Hardcore.

And that’s not all: there are currently weapon challenges in Modern Warfare 3 that can only be completed agonizingly slowly in regular multiplayer. First and foremost: shooting enemies that I have previously caught with stun or stun grenades. I already know what people will do to master this challenge: There will be so many stun grenades flying through the air on Shipment that every strobe disco will close its doors in envy

These crises are easy to avoid. The developers can lock the grenade launcher for Shipment – just like the wooden boy everywhere. But at least the Groot debate shows me that Sledgehammer Games may not have decided for themselves how much chaos they want to allow in their own game. And they should change that. At the latest by the launch of the next Warzone.


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