Call of Duty on PS4: Top 3 Community Ideas

  • Posted April 30th, 2013 at 16:44 EDT by Steve Chaffin

Call of Duty, first released in 2003, has held true to its well-received, formulaic multiplayer mode for the past six years. It started in 2007 with Infinity Ward's massive hit, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, and since then each successive release has witnessed only minor changes from its predecessors.

What if the next generation were to change that? Suppose Activision decided to reach out to the community for new, innovative ideas that would alter, or even dismantle, the moneymaking formula that it has clung to for so long? What would you ask for?

While many Call of Duty fans would love to see the game continue down its current path, there is a large share of gamers who think differently, and would love to see a next-generation Call of Duty that strays from monotony and tries something new. Those are the gamers I've been searching for over the past several days. I've scavenged the web and asked our community what they'd enjoy seeing in the series.

Some of the changes below may never see the light of day, despite their feasibility, but these are the changes that long-time Call of Duty fans are demanding. If the franchise wants to keep its bandwagon in the coming generation, it should:

1. Add Dedicated Servers

Any long-time Call of Duty fan knows that the franchise has struggled, especially near launch, with matchmaking issues. Despite continued efforts by fans to convince Activision and developers to implement dedicated servers, each game has released absent of any such feature, albeit with "new and improved" servers and matchmaking.

Unfortunately, the most recent installment--Black Ops II--launched with countless matchmaking errors that made the game unplayable for some. Often times, online matches wouldn't initiate because the server failed to realize a lobby was full, displaying the "Waiting for one more player..." notice indefinitely. Considering the gravity of any Call of Duty release (Black Ops II sold 7.5 million copies on launch day, an industry record), these brief periods of unplayability ignited widespread criticism.

How would dedicated servers solve this? For those who don't know, a dedicated server is much like adding an invisible, inactive player to a lobby that serves as the host. This means that instances of a user with poor connecting hosting a lobby, a host leaving the ground out of rage, and other such issues experienced frequently by Call of Duty fans would be eliminated. In their place would be more reliable servers and therefore the potential for an effective matchmaking system.

I'm inclined to agree with the portion of the community who claim that dedicated servers are not impractical for the series to adopt. Many popular FPS titles have already made the leap, most notably Call of Duty's main competitor Battlefield.

2. Make Call of Duty a Massively Multiplayer Online title (MMO)

Let's face it--console gamers have been given the shaft as far as MMOFPSs are concerned. Sony and Zipper Interactive's MAG generated a considerable amount of hype through a splendid advertising campaign, and even received generally positive reviews in early 2010, but the anticipation quickly turned to disappointment, and the hype quickly declined in light of November 2010's impending release of Call of Duty: Black Ops.

Gamers have a variety of theories on why MAG failed to retain a large, thriving community. Some claim that the idea for the game, while brimming with potential, ultimately failed because the environment failed to foster an MMO experience. While there might have been 256 players in a match, these gamers argue that it often didn't feel that way, especially given the disregard many players had toward any sort of strategy. Other players believe that MAG's rapid decline was spurred by the existence of the three game factions: SVER, Valor, and Raven. Because the three factions were placed in global competition with one another, players would often join the winning faction (SVER) to reap the rewards of victory. Consequently, match variety was sorely lacking.

Many of the issues that plagued MAG could easily be overcome by the Call of Duty franchise, however. To start, the expectations of a Call of Duty MMO would be vastly different from the expectations of a MAG MMO. MAG made a great many promises, depicting a game that was strategy-heavy and epic in scale. When the strategy element couldn't hold its ground, factions ... (continued on next page) ----

Steven is a contributor for PlayStation Universe studying Journalism and Economics at the University of Missouri-Columbia.
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