So, by now, I think it is safe to assume that a good 95% of Call of Duty fans have already managed to get their hands on a copy of the highly anticipated and latest instalment within the iconic franchise; Advanced Ware. Whether you pre-ordered it for Day Zero Edition or ran out straight after school on Monday to collect it, there is no doubt that this 95% of CoD fans have become hermits since the game came out on the 4th of November – but it’s our routine, surely?
To start off - I have almost nothing negative to mention about Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. The jump boosts, the variable grenades, the maps – are all a mile high improvement since Ghosts. However, I do believe the game requires a batch of minor alterations in order to improve our overall gaming experience. I’m not quite sure about the rest of you, but when I look at the Ranked playlist, it baffles me as to how this current game mode will shape itself around the competitive scene.
The first thing that I (personally) believe needs to be modified is the functions of the Ranked playlist. At this moment in time, players can voluntarily join gams halfway through completion and back out with no consequences.
Sure if this was Black Ops 2, we would be ecstatic at the fact that we could leave games with no probation and jump straight into another one. However, this isn’t Black Ops 2, this is Advanced Warfare, and we have been dealing with the problem of being forced into games with people who clearly are not at our skill level for 2 years… so much so that we’ve grown accustomed to it.
Personally, I am not a fan of the removal of probation from the Ranked playlist as I believe it is only encourages players to boost their ranks, resulting in their stats not accurately reflecting their skill level. Previously, the potential consequence of facing probation taught players to deal with whomever they got put into a lobby with and as a result it helped them learn from their mistakes and improve their overall knowledge and skill level. Now, when a team is losing, they simply quit the game.
On top of this, there is now also the (for lack of a better word) irritation that we can be involuntarily put into losing games, consequently bringing down our own rank. James 'Pugster' Lilley (Gfinity Content Writer) told me a short anecdote about how he was “one match away from [his] platinum placement game and it put [him] straight into an already lost game! The rage was real”. When I asked him about his thoughts on the Ranked Playlist, I think he summed a lot of our opinions up by saying 'Sledgehammer, wtffffff'.
Next on the list is again a feature that has been disabled – but I demand it to be brought back. It’s fairly petty, but I have become too accustomed to hammering the back button once we’ve (hopefully) completed a victorious game, in order to confirm our placement at the top of the leader boards.
After my first multiplayer game on Advanced Warfare (which I believe was Team Deathmatch on Detroit), I instantly repeatedly clicked the back button, hoping to see my score. Originally, I thought my Xbox had frozen and I had a brief panic attack as I couldn’t see my Gamertag and K/D pop up. However, I slowly came to the realisation that Sledgehammer, for some unknown reason, felt it would be best to disable this function. Although it is a seemingly pointless modification, much like Infinity Ward’s repositioning of the killfeed in Call of Duty: Ghosts, I find it annoying and unnecessary and therefore I would like it to be restored to its normality ASAP.
Now let’s talk about the BAL-27. The new fully automatic assault rifle that fires faster over time. With the damage capability ranging from 25-40 HP (horsepower), this gun immediately became a favourite amongst Call of Duty fans. Yet with every positive, comes a negative, as many fans (including myself) believe the gun may be slightly over-powered. With several tweets from the community portraying an overwhelming reaction regarding the BAL-27 being OP, it has left us wondering whether there is going to be an update for what one member of the community named as ‘the most OP gun in CoD history’. So, in the words of @Gouldee, maybe try BALancing out the guns a bit more, Sledgehammer.
However, with this being said, Sledgehammer may have already completed their part of the deal by presenting every player with initial access to the BAL, as it is currently available within the default Custom Class 1 slot. As a result, this means the option is open for everyone to voluntarily use the BAL-27; unfortunately it also consequently eliminates any chance of variety.
Nevertheless, it is currently rumoured that Sledgehammer are in the works of releasing a patch that will nerf the BAL-27 significantly. As TmarTn demonstrates in his recent video, the updated BAL (currently live on Xbox 360) has received a drastic increase in its visible recoil, decreasing its apparent accuracy from 100% to 25%.
Advanced Warfare is the first Call of Duty to truly allow individual customisation – from head to toe, you get the pick your characters sexuality, hairstyle, helmet, boots, exo-suit etc. This was a very good move from Sledgehammer, as it’s something that I, as well as the majority of the community, have been hoping the Call of Duty franchise would buy into for a while.
However, being a female myself, I couldn’t help but notice that when I choose to use a female character there is a distinct lack of features available for customisation. For example, when choosing a male character, there is easily a selection of over 7 different characters. Yet, when selecting a female, there is only a choice of 3…
Within Call of Duty: Ghosts, female characters had finally caught up with the mainstream male dominant first person shooter stereotype. However, I can’t help but feel like Advanced Warfare has taken a step backwards in this regard and presented male gamers with precedence once again. I do not want to get too feminist here, but I know there are a few people out there that will agree with me on this. Where’s the equality, Sledgehammer?
Moving away from personalisation and into the game modes within the title itself, the resurrection of Hardpoint raised a lot of questions for me, as well as the community. It’s absolutely fantastic to see the classic and popular Hardpoint making its way back into the franchise and it’s well known across the community that Ghosts made an enormous error by opting to exclude it from multiplayer. Yet, as much as I love playing this beloved game mode, I can’t help but feel that there are a few mistakes that could easily be corrected.
For example, currently, there are a multiple maps in which the Hardpoints are less than 5 metres away from each other, and they are consecutive – therefore if a team has control over one of them, there is an extremely small chance that they will lose control of the following hill. This can go both ways – sure, it gives the leading team a huge advantage and potentially takes over the game – but on the other hand, it means that the opposition can lose massively, as a result of something that is completely out of the players’ control. Alternatively, rather than moving the hardpoints themselves, the spawns could be shifted slightly, just to counterbalance this effect and even out the game.
On the 4/12/14, exactly a month since its release, Sledgehammer launched their largest patch to date within Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare upon the PS4 and XB1, addressing several issues mentioned above. A full list of the patch details will be listed below, alternatively you can click this link to be direct to the official forum post.
Game Update 4th December 2014: PS4, XB1. Multiplayer Improvements:
Security and Anti-Cheat Updates:
- Multiple fixes for invalid player data, which allowed custom "super" classes
- Added offensive emblem policy message to emblem editor main page and save pop-up.
- Added additional enforcement for offensive player-created emblems.
- Polish and fan requested improvements.
- General Emblem Editor polish and fan requested improvements. Including colors, layers, etc.
- Added ability to set an emblem as your clan emblem.
- Added support for new upcoming AE4 weapon, including challenges.
- Fixed issues with invites between Multiplayer and Exo Survival modes that would exclude Splitscreen party leader is unable to invite anyone to their party.
- Fixed issue where newly unlocked items were not showing up in the new items list.
- Safe Area adjustments for Spectator HUD.
- Added categories to Armory. (All Loot, Redeemable Loot, Time Limited Loot, and Permanent Loot)
-Fixed issue where Armory Page Count displays incorrectly and added time remaining information for all Time Limited Loot Items.
- Fixed an issue where the scoreboard on the after action report was not highlighting the active player.
- Added indication of how many modules a Scorestreak can have based on player’s rank level.
- Updated lobby status info for System Link games while in the firing range.
- Fixed an issue where the “Completed” text would show up on locked calling cards, after scrolling over an unlocked/completed calling card.
- Updated Multiplayer Main Menu to include Friends list option by default.
- Updated Prestige menu flow experience and information displayed.
- Added the ability to customize Scorestreaks within the Scorestreaks selection menu.
- Fixed Momentum mantle prompt overlapping with 2X indicator
- Fixed issue with the “Taking” icon overlapping the flag icons in Momentum Splitscreen.
- Fixed issue with the Reinforcement icon overlapping HUD while playing in Splitscreen.
- Added “RELOAD”, “LOW AMMO”, and “NO AMMO” HUD notifications on all Weapon Loot.
- Fixed stretched weapon loot icon in Killcam feeds.
- Fixed issue where 1st players progress in Exo Survival would be lost when signing into a Splitscreen local play.
- Fixed Lynx ammo count issue.
- Fixed Care Package trap module exploit.
- Fixed threat indicator issue with friendly MDL projectiles and the Crossbow Bolts
- Fixed Goliath pod down on planted bomb.
- Fixed Goliath getting stuck issues.
- Fixed Goliath players out of world exploit.
- Fixed issue where the Ameli - Chicanery Elite variant would remain locked after permanent unlock via Prestige.
- Fixed rare issue where MDL projectiles would not explode.
- Fixed an exploit where the Minimap would be visible when you paused during a Killcam, Fixed issue where players being invited into a bonus playlist while the game is still installing, which would cause a crash when loading Atlas Gorge.
- Fixed issue when rapid supply package from a supply drop appear locked and expired.
- Fixed rare visual affect issue when ADS with the Sniper, ACOG, Variable Zoom, and Ballistic scopes would not appear correctly.
- Widened the Clan Invite Details window to accommodate long clan names.
- Added warning message when transferring ownership of Clan.
- Added Clan member position display label to the Clan Roster
- Fixed Far Sighted” challenge requiring four long shot medals instead of the three to complete
- Fixed an issue with the “Super Star” challenge, where it did not prompt the player that 6 or more people are needed to complete the challenge.
- Fixed an issue with the “Crushing Victory” challenge where it would not track properly when there are less than 6 players in the match.
Weapon Balancing Updates (Note: Adjustments affect base weapon and all loot variants):
- Bal27: damage reduced, max damage range decreased, recoil adjusted
- HBRa3: max damage range decreased
- ASM1: max damage range increased
- MP11: max damage range increased
- EM1: damage increased
- EPM3: damage increased, ads time decreased
- XMG: damage increased, lockdown mode increased
- Ameli: damage increased
- Pytaek: damage increased
- Fixed an issue where the System Hack Graphic would remain on Broadcaster’s Screen, even after system hack event was over.
- Fixed issue with Care package drone delivery if System Hack is activated at beginning of delivery.
- Fixed issue with not being able to kill care package drone.
- Fixed issue where all medals earned while operating a Scorestreak would not appear on players screen.
- Fixed rare issue of players losing the ability to activate Scorestreaks when killed while moving a turret.
- Fixed an issue where the player could have his weapon dropped after returning from controlling a Scorestreak.
- Fixed issue where player wouldn’t be able to trigger game objects while using the ripped turret.
- Fixed an issue with the Paladin where Friend or Foe overlay would remain on if you joined a Paladin Scorestreak and immediately exited Scorestreak.
- Fixed issue where the player would get credited with assault drone challenges when they used a Map Based Scorestreak
Broadcaster UI Updates:
- Added the bomb planting/defusing UI to the Broadcaster UI.
- Adjusted scoreboard placement when viewing through Broadcaster.
- Fixed issue where the bomb icon in the Broadcaster UI wouldn’t disappear when the bomb carrier planted the bomb.
- Fixed issue where the match summary in the After Action Report wouldn’t update with Scoreboard for the broadcaster.
- Updated HUD outlines for Broadcaster.
- Fixed issue where Aim Down Sights overlays weren’t being displayed for Sniper Scopes.
- Removed player rank information from being displayed in the Fullscreen scoreboard and the overhead names.
- Added objective information to the Broadcaster scoreboard. This information appears in the gray bar beneath the teams’ scores.
- CODVision is now brighter and easier to see. Added Broadcaster HUD UI elements including active player info, in-game scoreboard/status, mini-map highlights player with satellite (Uplink), persistent weapon info, and objective information in First Person Mode.
- Added functionality for broadcaster settings to be remembered between rounds.
- Added a subtitle to the broadcaster scoreboard that displays the current Hardpoint’s timer; or the current round number in Capture the Flag, Search & Destroy, and Uplink.
- The primary timer in the broadcaster scoreboard is now yellow once the bomb has been planted. Will switch to red when timer reaches 10 seconds.
eSports Settings Changes:
- Search and Destroy Silent Plant = Enabled
- Spectating POV = First Person Only
- Battle Chatter = Disabled
- Uplink Respawn Delay = 5 Seconds
- Hardpoint Respawn Delay = 2.5 Seconds
- Team Kill Penalty = None
- Friendly Fire = Enabled
- Explosive Delay = None
Ranked Play Updates:
- Remove Join in Progress.
- Turning on Skill Based Matchmaking.
- Turning off friendly fire.
- Fixed issue where the player wouldn’t lose division points from abandoning the match by using the system close application option.
- Initialize disconnect penalty as soon as the match starts.
- Utilize latest eSports rule set:
- Primary Weapons - All Special
- Secondary Weapons - All Launchers
- Attachments - Tracker, Grenade Launcher, Akimbo
- Wildcards - Bombardier
- Exo Ability - Ping
- Exo Launcher - Tracking Drone, Explosive Drone
- Scorestreaks - UAV, Orbital Care Package, System Hack
- Scorestreaks Modules - Bombing Run Care Package Upgrade, XS1 Goliath Recon, and All Support Modules.
Game Mode Specific Updates (Note: Adjusted score amounts for various events and objective modes.)
- Search & Destroy:
- Fixed rare Search & Destroy Killcam issue.
- [Broadcaster] Added various Search & Destroy UI improvements.
- [Broadcaster] Fixed the bug where the “Target A” and “Target B” in-world icons wouldn’t disappear when the bomb was planted.
- Capture the Flag:
- Removed the text that duplicates the information presented by the flag icons.
- Adjusted spawn logic in Capture the Flag to make it less likely for players to spawn near their own flag.
- [Broadcaster] Added a timer that displays the time remaining until the flag automatically resets when the flag is on the ground.
- [Broadcaster] Added various Uplink UI improvements.
- Added distance limitation to passing the Satellite Drone in Uplink. This prevents the players from passing it across the entire map. Also adjusted the required throw angle.
- Fixed spawn points issue in uplink.
- [Broadcaster] Added various Hardpoint UI improvements.
- Altered Spawn logic to prevent cluster spawning near the Hardpoint.
- Fixed rare Hardpoint location disappearing issue in Private Match.
- [Broadcaster] Adjusted so that the broadcaster will now see a “Defend” icon appear on the HUD when the spectated player is standing in the Hardpoint.
- [Broadcaster] Changed the team scores to display a list of flags with the current state of the flags.
- [Broadcaster] The objective bar now displays the current state of the contested flag, and displays a bar that illustrates the current capture progress.
- Map Specific Updates
Note: Many of the following updates apply to all maps, and are directly improved based on the findings of our security team and via community response to exploits.
- Fixed player out of world exploits throughout. [Applies to Exo Survival.]
- Fixed Aerial Assault Drone and Recon Drone out of world exploits throughout.
- Fixed rare spectate cam issue.
- Fixed rare Tactical Insertion exploit in Infected.
- Fixed Warbird out-of-bounds exploit.
- Fixed various clipping issues with the Goliath.
- Exo Survival Global Updates:
- Fixed issues with the score number in the Exo survival after action report.
- Fixed an issue where players would get “Share Package” medals using a partners Goliath Scorestreak.
- Fixed automatic revive issues at the start of the next round.
Until next time!