This is an open letter to Activision regarding the Call of Duty series. Action needs to be taken and we hope you agree with our sediments. Do we expect the nerfing, buffing and tweaking to stop or slow down? No, however there is a much more logical, smarter and respectful way of doing it.
This issue is about the constant updates to the Call of Duty games. You know the ones. Those tweaks, nerfing, balancing, buffing updates. As most everyone knows, water is wet. Just like we know that when a new Call of Duty game comes out, there will be constant tweaking of weapons and gameplay in the months following the release.
It’s pretty clear at this point. The programmers cannot leave well enough alone and good is NEVER good enough. We have a word for it. It’s called madness. Here is a novel concept. How about get it right in the first place. Imagine that! Imagine programmers being able to balance weapons and living by what they decide. That’s some old school thinking right there though. Back in the GoldenEye N64 days or Perfect Dark N64 days you didn’t have the internet in the same way you do today. As a result, whatever was decided before the game shipped is what you got. I don’t recall a lot of grumbling about GoldenEye weapons, aside from maybe the Klobb, which was for all intents and purposes just a mocking gun. The programmers owned what they did. When it shipped, it better be correct. Are we now in the era of laziness?
So can it just be laziness? It’s so easy to ship the game out, let all of us essentially beta test online, have them collect the data, and then they start tweaking endlessly the weapons and perks. It’s a never ending process. Have you noticed that? There is never a “we’re done now” feeling. That is really on the programmers. They need to consider the consequences or ramifications to their customers.
Consequences of Endless Tweaking, Nerfing and Buffing
Here is where I get the most frustrated. This is where Activision needs to put a couple brain cells together and see the big picture. I’m sure they have used the internet and they have used YouTube. However, have they used the internet or YouTube to say, find articles or videos regarding the best weapons to use in the game?
I’ll tell you this. You’re going to have zero clue whether that video or article you are reading/watching is showing you a weapon that has since been nerfed. So was that the best weapon today? Or was that from before the latest update? Was there an update since that article or video was made?
Essentially these endless updates to the Call of Duty games create mountains and mountains of inaccurate articles and videos. Call it internet waste or clutter. The best weapon articles are relevant to a certain version of that game. You can spend hours trying to find videos on YouTube about the best weapon but of course you won’t know exactly if that applies to the version of the game you’re playing. You can guess, but unless you are so into the game that you check every update and know every detail of the versions, you are going to get lost in the piles of junk articles that have next to no value in helping you win more.
How about the lack of consideration for the gamers out there who are trying to help of people win more? With each update Call of Duty rolls out, they nullify, outdate and clutter the internet with incorrect tips and articles. Some of the nerfing is drastic and if you wrote an article making recommendations, you may in fact be misleading your readers because your tips may apply to a previous “non nerfed” version.
The gamers cannot keep up and it’s really madness. It’s hard to say whether Activision actually cares or not. I would say as consumers of the product, we should care and we should expect more respect from video game companies.
This is not complicated. Activision owes the customers and gamers of the Call of Duty series some respect. This is my call to action.
CREATE SIMPLE, SHORT, VERSION NUMBERS FOR EACH AND EVERY UPDATE/PATCH FOLLOWING THE RELEASE
If you go on the official Call of Duty website for Advance Warfare, they list the updates according to date. There is no simplistic version numbers being shown. There is a release date, and that’s it. It’s a bit irresponsible based on the point made above. Google figured this out with Android updates. Those are given names. Simple to know, simple to understand. Then Android updates will be something like Android 5.1. That’s it! Android 5.0, and when that gets tweaked, it becomes Android 5.1. This is proven to be responsible and a smart way to treat Android users. Activision you’re waiting for what exactly?
So, how about existing version numbers like this:
[Author’s Note: You can’t actually find version numbers/releases. Only dates of releases]
Official game notes are dated and that’s it. Sure, when you turn on your console or PC you might see a greyed out version number placed in the corner of the screen somewhere. But having no actual version listings and just using 9/15/2015 as a reference point? That’s pathetic. Non user friendly and obviously not internet friendly. If you seek tips or help articles, we say good luck figuring it out.
Note to Activision… Make it simple. Make it short. That’s the most important!
- Version 1.10 – followed by Version 1.11, etc.
- Version 1.01 – followed by Version 1.02, etc.
- Version 1.0 – followed by Version 2.0, etc.
- v1.0 – followed by v2.0, etc.
- v1.01 – followed by v1.01, etc.
- v1 – followed by v2, etc.
Obviously the most simplistic and best numbering system would simply be v1, v2, v3, etc. I cannot come up with any reason why it needs to be more nerdy or more difficult than that. Is calling it v1 too uneducated for programmers to consider? It would appear that user friendly takes a back seat to practical more times than not.
There needs to be a simple, easy to understand, easy to track, easy to use version system on Call of Duty games. At that point, people can tell you the best gun for v1.0 or v1.1 and it will makes sense. At that point, the burden of responsibility will be on the gamers writing the articles or making the videos. We know that you can’t say what the best gun in Call of Duty AW is unless you preface that with the version number. So articles or videos can be labeled or titled like this:
- COD AW v1 Best Gun
- Advanced Warfare v1 Best Weapons
There would be a lot less confusion and it would be easier for gamers to figure out if the article or information is relevant to the current version update.
Solution #2 (I wish this could be the chosen solution)
How about this. How about you leave some popular or good guns alone? Imagine that! I’m in dreamland unfortunately and the idea that guns at release will be left well enough alone is simply not realistic in this era of the easy rolling out of updates to games. In other words, when a games ships, it doesn’t need to be perfect or close to perfect. As long as the dart hits the dart board, who cares if those darts are near the bulls-eye or not. The idea of perfection doesn’t seem to fit with games today, especially when we supply companies with mountains of data from playing online.
It almost seems like the programmers of Call of Duty are sensitive and they need to have every gun to be popular at some point. Oh, this is sad, nobody likes that gun, so let’s buff it, nerf that other gun, and that lonely gun can finally get some love. It’s like no gun can suck! Or rather, it seems like updates need to happen so that every gun in the game has its own chance to be popular. It appears on the surface that it’s self serving to the programmers themselves. Do I care if some guns get forgotten about?
I tell you this. I would rather know that my gun of choice isn’t going to suck in a month. I would like to be able to stick with a gun. However, the Call of Duty franchise is proving that they don’t want you to settle on one gun. If you do, then you may be playing with a nerfed gun which means you will in fact be losing more than ever. So then it’s a burden on you to figure out if your preferred weapon has been nerfed or not. That in of itself is lame. The gun needed to be changed why?
Perhaps we should be asking Call of Duty why it is they have the need to nerf and buff guns in the first place. All it does is create a hassle for casual COD players. Sure the hardcore players will know what shifted in each update, for people who liked a gun 2 months ago, they may very well be using a nerfed gun the next time they head online to play.
Activision, deal with this now. When Black Ops 3 comes out, make it v1. Then when we all beta test (my cynical perspective) the multiplayer online and you start tweaking everything, you can update with v2. Then people who have contributed to writing articles and making videos on how to win more, can communicate to their readers or viewers about tips for BO3 v2. In fact, those initial articles or videos might actually start off with v1 to begin with. Imagine that! Go onto YouTube and you can figure out from the title if content is accurate and based on the current version of the game! Wow, how smart!
This simply needs to change. If you guys cannot stop fiddling, then at the very least be responsible about it. Treat gamers with a bit more consideration and respect. If you don’t think this is an issue, go ahead and search Google or YouTube for best gun articles. Largely you’re going to find inaccurate information and it’s because you guys didn’t bother to simplify and communicate the update process.