Tuesday, December 6, 2011

A COD White Paper -- Taking it to the next level

I love Treyarch and how they "unofficially" seek feedback. Since they are seeking it for COD 2012, why not give them my whole enchilada? I took a stab over a year ago but my thoughts about a number of things on that post have evolved.

This is what I want from a COD game.

In General

This will be expanded on but at its core:

  • It should be fluid and fast -- fast engagements not run all over the place. 
  • Focus on gun encounters versus explosives and tubes. 
  • No perk should be infinite -- sprint, fall damage. 
  • Situational awareness is the emphasis versus reliance on the mini-map. 
  • Perks need counters and balance within themselves. 
  • Tailor risk reward to the playlist (differ it between TDM, SnD, etc.). 
  • Make all playlists available as Hardcore. 
  • Fundamentally change weapon unlock system and what it means to prestige.
  • Streamline point streaks.
  • Make a true weapon enhancement system.
  • Personal customization is a must.
  • Selective Rate of Fire (ROF).

There should a wide variety of weapons in each class of SMG, AR, LMG, Sniper, Shotgun, Pistol. Selective ROF should be available for SMGs and ARs as they would be with their real life counterparts.

Weapons will no longer be unlocked at certain ranks. Instead, a weapon unlock will be available at certain ranks to be used on any weapon a player chooses.

Similar to weapons, all attachments should be available to be chosen when an unlock is available. Multiple attachments are always available but limited to a sight and one other attachment. Also, you cannot suppress a weapon with an undermounted attachment. The options below are examples and may not be available to all weapons:
  • Grenade Launcher
  • Smoke Launcher
  • Master Key
  • RDS
  • Holographic
  • ACOG
  • Variable Scope
  • Hybrid Scope
  • Suppresor
  • Grip
Weapons should be balanced within themselves and not against other weapons. One with a high ROF may have lower damage or significant kick. A weapon with great range accuracy might have wide bullet spread when hip fired.

Enable user created camos for the weapon. Layers and patterns would be available as players prestige. You must prestige at least once to enable this option.

Allow players to improve the weapon through how it is used. This is not through an attachment or proficiency rather a incremental increase in performance in specific aspects over time. It is specific to a given weapon.
  • CQC encounters might reduce bullet spread
  • Kills at range might improve distance accuracy or decrease weapon sway.
  • Enhancements should take prestiges to make significant changes.
  • It does not reset upon prestige.

All perks are available right away. They are not unlocked. Break up the perks into three areas of focus -- weapon, person, awareness. Perks should have an opposite perk to counter it. Example, you can stay off the radar but someone might hear you move/reload. No perk should be infinite

The following are examples but they show how to structure perks with counters for a true risk/reward system.

  1. FMJ -- Increased bullet penetration.
    • PRO: Tracer rounds.
  2. Gunner -- 2x fire rate.
    • PRO: Increased magazine capacity (does not increase number of rounds).
  3. Fast Swap -- quick reload.
    • PRO: quicker weapon swap.
  4. Scavenger -- Replenish primary ammo from any weapon.
    • PRO: Replenish equipment ammo.
  5. Technician -- quick equipment plants and throws
    • PRO: Recover faster from equipment plants and throws.
  1. Extreme Conditioning -- extended sprint.
    • PRO: quicker recovery from sprint and injury (red screen only, does not increase health).
  2. Ranger -- faster movement while ADS.
    • PRO: Quicker ADS.
  3. Camouflage -- hidden from the "radar" and support (except briefly when firing a non-silenced weapon).
    • PRO: No red name visible to enemy.
  4. Climber -- climb obstacles faster.
    • PRO: Get in/out of prone faster.
  5. Deep Breath-- Able to hold breath longer while ADS.
    • PRO: Recover from holding breath faster.
  1. Ninja -- silent footfalls.
    • PRO: cross chatter discipline, hidden from rabbit ears.
  2. Saboteur -- identify enemy explosives and rewire to friendly.
    • PRO: booby trap dropped weapons to explode when picked up by an enemy.
  3. Rabbit Ears -- all enemy movement is louder.
    • PRO: enemies briefly appear as red dots on map when close if they make sounds (fire, reload, move, etc.).
  4. Sherpa -- able to track recent enemy movement.
    • PRO: able to hide your movement.
Point Streaks

Streak rewards are based on points earned and not just kills. Points are earned from kills, assists, objectives, and enemy equipment/streak destruction.
  • Streaks are tailored to different playlists.
    • What it takes to get 3 point streak in TDM may be 5 points in Domination.
  • Kills by streaks do not count as team kills in Hardcore modes.
  • They are stackable and selectable.
  • They do not chain.
  • Do not carry over between rounds in round based modes.
  • Take multiple hits from a launcher to be destroyed
They are broken out into two distinct types and are not tied to classes. Once a match starts, they are what they are and cannot be changed.
  • Support
    • Does not reset on death.
    • Can achieve final streak once per life.
    • Team support streaks only (they cannot generate kills).
  • Assault
    • Reset on death.
    • Can be cycled through multiple times per life.
    • Only generate kills (does not include a UAV) and includes streaks that can take out other streaks.
Class Loadouts

Focus needs to be on gunplay with the ability to take down streaks when the enemy calls them in. Sidearms are limited to pistols (no more machine pistols). Also, the more a player focuses on explosives, the more they have to sacrifice. As such, each class will have:
  • Primary Weapon
    • AR
    • SMG
    • LMG
    • Sniper
    • Shotgun
  • Sidearm
    • Pistol
  • Launcher
    • Single round, streak lock-on only
  • Equipment
    • Explosive
      • Grenade Launcher (if attached)
      • Grenades (variety to choose from)
      • Placed explosives (variety to choose from)
      • RPG
    • Tactical
      • Smoke
      • Flash
      • Stun
      • Tear

Currently, it is a disincentive to prestige in COD. By changing how weapons and perks are accessible as you progress through ranks, it makes it less of grind or risk to do it. However, an incentive is still needed. While still not an indication of skill in game, it is something for dedicated players to show to others.
  • Enable custom camo creation only after first prestige.
  • Add layers some prestige ranks.
  • Add color options at certain prestige ranks.
  • Do not reset weapon totals or enhancements.
  • Offer different stylized attachments at higher prestiges.
  • Allow different character skins at higher prestiges.
This would make prestige about cosmetic things versus bragging rights. It might even be time to call it something else like "Veteran". Prestige has developed too nasty a reputation. 


All playlists need to be in hardcore. There is no reason for them not to be. Also, how teamkillers are punished both in game and and post game needs to be addressed.

In game punishment
  • Multiple TK's in the first 30 seconds of a game results in an instant kick of the offender and the match to be restarted.
  • Three friendly fire kills gives you a 30 second time out.
  • 5 friendly fire kills gives you a 2 minute time out.
Post game punishment
  • Automatic 24 hour ban for offenders who are kicked out of three games in a one hour period.
  • Automatic 72 hour ban for offenders who receive three 24 hour bans.
  • Possible permanent ban for offenders who receive three 72 hour bans.
This is it... how much we'll see is an open question.

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