Home Games Game Previews What Infinity Ward Learned from the Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Beta

What Infinity Ward Learned from the Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Beta

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Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare
Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare developer Infinity Ward has outlined the changes it’s making to the game following the game’s two multiplayer betas. Infinity Ward talked about changes to weapons, modes, and more. In terms of weapons, the consistency of shotgun damage has been increased, while shotgun damage at longer range has also been increased. Here is the expected changelog:

WEAPONS

We received a ton of great data from the Beta, allowing us to take a hard look at all of the guns and we will make changes as needed. Here are some of the immediate tweaks we will be implementing.

Shotguns

  • Increased the consistency of shotgun damage.
  • Shotgun damage at longer range has been increased.
  • Slightly increased the one shot kill range.
  • Both the Reaver and Banshee have received a slight bonus to their 1 trigger pull kill range.

Snipers

  • Bullet spread at the hip no longer gets smaller as the player ADS’s. Once the scope reaches the player’s eye, the bullet spread goes instantly to zero.
  • Sniper aim assist was reduced slightly for the KBS Longbow and the other bolt action snipers. Our turn rate while Aimed Down Sights is still slowed to help with precision aiming.
  • Sniper-class weapons no longer have any Aim Assist until the optic fully reaches the player’s eye.
  • For the ELO and Scout optics on snipers, the idle sway while ADS has been increased along with the player’s view bounce when moving. Because these optics are less zoomed in, the view bounce and the sway are felt less. These changes are to promote more stationary aiming and firing with these optics.
  • The Tracking Chip optic’s visuals have been improved.
  • Reduced bonus of the Quickdraw attachment on snipers.
  • Updated snipers to have more flinch when getting shot.

Launchers

  • The Howitzer Grenade launcher can now be fired from the hip instead of requiring full ADS

SMGs

  • The RPR Evo epic variant (Ripper) has had a tuning pass to increase recoil given its bonus fire rate

PERKS & RIG TRAITS

  • Marksman – We fixed a bug where, in addition to reducing flinch, it was also reducing recoil. This would then stack with Gun Perks and the Foregrip Attachment. This bonus reduction has been removed.
  • Momentum – Fixed issues with speed not being retained
  • Marked Target – The temporary red marker on the victim has been toned down

HEALTH REGEN AND SPAWNING

  • Health Regen time has been reduced.
  • Infusion bonus reduced.
  • Continuing to refine spawn system on beta maps, will assess remaining launch maps in live environment.

ECONOMY

  • Increased salvage gain in mission teams.
  • Changed currency value in supply drops.
  • Increased drop rate of keys in round-based modes.

SCORESTREAKS AND RIGS

Scorestreaks

  • AP-3X
    • Increased health, bullet damage, and weapon accuracy up close to help with target acquisition
  • RC-8
    • Increased health, increased weapon accuracy to help with target acquisition, slight increase in fire rate, and slight damage increase on splash damage
  • T.H.O.R
    • Increased speed of tracking rockets
    • Increase damage of both tracking and straight fire rockets
  • Bombardment
    • Slight decrease in both time to the initial drop and the time between each subsequent drop
    • Updated area damage to be consistent inner to outer

Rigs

  • Refining payload balance
  • Slight tweaks to gameplay balance across rigs

MODES

  • Defender: When carrying the Drone, the score-per-second bonus has been bumped from 5 score per second to 10 score per second. Scorestreak carrier bonus is unaffected.
  • Gun Game: Now features all classic weapons. In future updates, weapons with alternate functions will retain their state upon spawn.
  • Domination: When you step off a flag, the current capture bar progress starts to decay. The rate of this decay has been halved from the Beta. This allows players to hop off a flag to defend it and then get back on the flag with less progress loss

MATCHMAKING

  • Potential player evaluation was too strict. We were doing some very thorough testing of your connection to other players before placing you in a lobby with those players. This turned out to be a bit too thorough, and eventually was relaxed, leading to shorter matching times.
  • Incorrect geographic categorization. There was an issue in our geolocation system which was causing some players to be incorrectly categorized. This was also resolved during the beta, improving matchmaking times.
  • Dead lobby cleanup. The process which cleans up unused or dead lobby information from our back end was taking too long. This was causing a number of slowdowns when searching for a match.
  • The matchmaker was always quite good at generating new lobbies, but one thing we noticed was that queueing into a join in progress situation was taking much longer. This was due to some issues in the way we track information about the lobbies that are currently playing a match. These issues were also addressed during the beta, and sped up the join in progress case immensely.

TTK (TIME TO KILL / ENGAGEMENT)

  • We know a lot of you had different experiences with TTK during the Beta. With the above adjustments to dedicated servers, matchmaking, and weapon tuning, we think you’ll find that the TTK will be more balanced at launch, both on the attacking and receiving end. We’ll continue to monitor and balance throughout the year as need and would love your feedback in the process.
  • We’re always looking at TTK and will continue to balance and monitor

DEDICATED SERVERS

  • One of the major infrastructure changes we made this project was how dedicated server allocations work. We’re using a new load balancing system on the servers themselves, as well as pretty heavily changed how the game chooses a datacenter to use, and requests a dedicated server from that datacenter.
  • At the start of the Beta, you may have noticed some host migrations and some poorer quality matches. We discovered some issues where the new system was dropping our dedicated server utilization numbers way below target. After some tweaks and fixes we were able dramatically improve our dedicated server utilization for the second weekend and beyond.

What we think about the changes

Gameplay

The franchise continues to deliver one of the most refined and polished gunplay of all the FPS out there. It is fast, fun, exciting and frenetic. It is true that it shares some similarities with previous iterations, but I can’t blame them: It is a known formula that works. Plus points for leaving behind the cartoonish aesthetics too.

There’s also a new crafting system which allows you to use in-game currency to upgrade your arsenal bit by bit, slowly improving your favorite guns as you play. It gives you one more thing to do between matches, but I’m unsure about the final balance in the field.

Maps

By far the most exciting map was Frontier. The map takes place on a floating space station, and is comprised of two levels of cramped, twisting corridors. Death results in bodies floating off in the low gravity, which is a nice effect. There’s also too many potential spots where enemies can suddenly be right behind you, so you are expected to never let your guard down.

Frost is, as the name suggests, a frozen map. It has two outdoor lanes and an indoor lane. The former are covered in snow, with mostly tight spaces—ice mounds, containers and other obstacles obscuring your view. The inside lane is similarly obfuscating, with winding corridors and other obstructions. Bits of the map make use of movement systems like wall-running, but like Frontier this is not at the forefront of its design.

The third map, Precinct, is something of an urban maze. Streets thread their way between high buildings. There are a number of spots to wall-run and the map makes better use than most of the game’s movement system. Sniper spots, tight alleys, branching indoor sections and hedged in lots make for plenty of encounter variety.

Finally, there’s the Farmer’s Market map (actually called Throwback) which is a much more open, almost surreal space colony that appears to be built on a massive space base (which does, indeed, look like a Halo ring.) This is the only map that makes use of anything resembling long distance, though even here the map often feels a bit cramped. None of the beta’s maps feel particularly open.

Verdict

The faster, more frenetic mechanics of Infinite Warfare are here to stay, and I love it.

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