Call of Duty has a wide assortment of weapons catering to many playstyles, but the player base in Modern Warfare 3 is already over one such piece of gear—the Riot Shield. After just two weeks of it taking over multiplayer, the community is calling for massive nerfs to the melee weapon.
Discussion was sparked among the community after a player shared a clip of their experience on the MW3 subreddit today. The clip sees the player spot an enemy with a Riot Shield out behind the gas silos on Scrapyard. They lined up a shot but as the Riot Shield is impenetrable, it wouldn’t amount to anything. In the blink of an eye, the enemy then stowed the shield to throw a knife at the player, instantly killing them.
It wouldn’t be so bad if there was a prolonged animation of the shield going down as the character pulled a knife out to throw, giving ample time for the sniper to react, but as the player pointed out it’s incredibly imbalanced and not fun to encounter. Add on the inclusion of multiple primary weapon loadouts meaning a “Riot Shielder” can be protected by their stowed shield while they shoot and it’s all a bit ridiculous.
One suggestion to nerf the melee weapon is to heavily reduce the speed at which a player moves. “It’s absolutely ridiculous that people are capable of running, sliding, [and] bunny hoping with that thing,” the player said, with another suggesting the player be as slow as the minigun-wielding Juggernaut. There’s got to be a drawback to wielding a bulletproof shield impervious to damage.
Speaking of, another player thinks the shield should break after it takes enough bullets or explosive damage. This would be especially helpful for high-mobility players who run around with a submachine gun or a knife and are invulnerable from behind thanks to the shield. The player pointed out the original Modern Warfare titles had a similar feature which fractured the shield’s viewport and made it impossible to see through.
At least the Riot Shield’s melee damage was reduced. Back in MW2 (2009) days I remember the shield would also one-hit-kill like a knife while protecting the user—today the same attack deals a minuscule amount of damage in comparison with most shielders needing three hits to kill.
While it certainly is a unique way to play, it’s far from balanced. We’ll see if Sledgehammer plans on addressing the Riot Shield with season one’s launch next week on Dec. 6.