Weapon balance in a first-person shooter is incredibly important. This is a fact that any semi-serious FPS player understands. In a lot of modern shooters however, it's only a matter of time until the most powerful weapons or perks are discovered by the community, becoming the rampant weapon of choice used by savvy players in most matches. Guns like the M-16 in Modern Warfare 2, the FAMAS in Black Ops, or perhaps the Type-95 in Modern Warfare 3, the one thing in common they share among themselves is that they are very powerful weapons in Call of Duty.
The most powerful weapons in most Call of Duty games usually end up being discovered within the first few days of the game and the recent Modern Warfare 3 is no exception. Prior to some patches, weapons like akimbo FMG-9s were growing in popularity thanks to their advantageous ability to mow down enemies. Certain weapons still remain unbalanced, like the Striker or Type-95, but Infinty Ward will be continuing its campaign of patching the game through their series of "hot fixes". The most recent hot fix nerfing the power of akimbo FMG-9s. But it's not just the guns that require balancing, it's the perks.
David Vonderhaar, Treyarch lead gameplay designer took to the Twitter world a few days ago and postulated a simple true/false about multiplayer weapon balance in the current structure of Call of Duty games:
“True or False. Perks/ Proficiencies (like Steady Aim/ Quickdraw/ Kick) interfere with gun balance; get in the way of making game competitive."
Following this, Vonderhaar posted his thoughts regarding gun balance and how it's not being minded after in Modern Warfare 3 (OP means "overpowered"):
"[I] feel like we could see greater gun diversity & less ‘OP’ weapons, if [he] could reserve those ‘properties’ to be part of the base gun.
Of course you have OP weapons if you can take any of the guns and make them fire faster, reload faster, be more accurate, and have less kick.
If every gun had the 1 or 2 things it did well and the 1 or 2 things it did poorly, you’d have better gun balance.
The guns don’t need Perks to be diverse. They can be diverse. Perks ensure they all have to be similar, so that the Perks don’t OP any one of the properties of the gun.”
It's hard not to agree with Vonderhaar. The weapons in Modern Warfare 3 often embody very specific attributes and when combined with specific proficiencies. Guns can transform into something much more powerful than originally intended and it's easy to see a lot of that just playing the game and seeing what other people are using. Inevitably, a running theme will be discovered, and that weapon will be the new overpowered weapon.
Modern Warfare 3 will be getting its first release of DLC on January 24, which we've already had a sneak peek at through the first image released online. Between now and then, there could be some more patches released to address weapon issues or any other issues that have been plaguing players. Some players might look at the inclusion of the weapon proficiencies as an unnecessary thing, a sort of crutch, and it doesn't look like Treyarch will be including something similar in any way in their own Call of Duty game, whether it be a sequel to Black Ops or another thing entirely.
What's your opinion on the weapon balance in Modern Warfare 3? Better? Worse? Don't care? Let us know in the comments below.
Modern Warfare 3 is available now for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC.
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