One of the biggest names in Call of Duty esports, Matthew “Nadeshot” Haag, has some ideas about what needs to appear in the next installment of the Call of Duty franchise.
Nadeshot released a YouTube video last night, in which he outlines many changes he wants to see in the upcoming Call of Duty title. Despite saying he was somewhat optimistic about Infinite Warfare back in 2016, the retired-competitive-player-turned-YouTube-star said he hasn’t played Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare since Nov. 7—three days after the game was publicly released.
The 24-year-old former captain of OpTic Gaming saw on Twitter that the emblem editor, an in-game feature that allows players to create their own custom emblem, was just added to Infinite Warfare. Nadeshot was motivated to make his wish list after seeing that this feature, which has been a part of the franchise since 2010 in Call of Duty: Black Ops, was just implemented into the game four months after it was launched to the public.
The first item on the wish list: An improved ranking system. Nadeshot doesn’t understand why Call of Duty lacks a competitive ranking system that is a mainstay in other prominent esports titles, such as Overwatch, League of Legends, and Counter-Strike: Global Offensive.
Call of Duty is known for its ability to cater to casual players, but Nadeshot believes that “it’s time to do away with that mindset.” He thinks it’s essential for Call of Duty to add a competitive ranking system that can show players where they stand. “A ranking system is so important to keep every single player engaged so that they have a concrete way of understanding how well they are progressing in the game compared to other players across the world,” Nadeshot said.
Nadeshot doesn’t think prestiging (the current public match ranking system) is bad. But he admits that this way of leveling up essentially only shows how long someone has played the game.
“I think this is single-handedly the most pivotal change that we need to make to Call of Duty to make this a successful and addictive franchise once again,” he added.
Nadeshot believes that Sledgehammer Games did a fantastic job with character customization in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, but he wants to see more cosmetic features added in next year’s title.
“What makes me unique compared to the other millions of players playing this game?” he asked. To him, it’s the in-game add-ons, such as additional gear, skins, and stickers, that have helped make the game more enjoyable. He believes that Call of Duty has only scratched the surface with the concept of character customization.
Nadeshot didn’t want to give Sledgehammer Games—the developers who first added weapon variants to Call of Duty—a hard time. But he still didn’t hold back any punches when talking about the need for weapon consistency in next year’s game. “Introducing weapon variants was one of the worst things [the developers] could’ve done for any video game,” he said.
Some casual players may disagree with this. But Nadeshot used two great analogies to support his claim. He compared weapon variants to the MLB giving Kris Bryant, third baseman and outfielder for the Chicago Cubs, a baseball bat that hits farther than the other team’s bat. His second example juxtaposed weapon variants with the NBA, comparing Stephen Curry, point guard of the Golden State Warriors, with a basketball that increases only his three-point shooting accuracy.
These examples perfectly illustrate the flawed logic behind weapon variants: It’s ludicrous for enhanced weaponry to only be accessible for some players. Overall, the majority of the competitive Call of Duty community agrees with Nadeshot that weapon variants add an inconsistency to the game that needs to be fixed.
Finally, Nadeshot asked for a complete and simplistic game. He said he was baffled that a game could be launched without all of the necessary in-game features. “If this game is released in November, it has to be finished,” Nadeshot said. “It can’t be missing anything.”
With the one-year life span of Call of Duty games, Nadeshot said it’s important to include all of the essential features on release date. He also wants Call of Duty to go back to its roots. “We don’t need all these fancy things,” Nadeshot said. “Why try to re-invent the wheel? Just keep it simple.”
On the other hand, there are also deal-breakers: in-game features that would prevent Nadeshot from buying the next Call of Duty game. The franchise’s next title shouldn’t include any robots, character limbs turning into weapons, laser guns, or jet packs. If any of these items appear in the next title, Nadeshot vowed that he won’t buy the game.
Nadeshot is right on with many of these points. Infinite Warfare has divided the Call of Duty community, and Sledgehammer should take these ideas seriously before it releases the franchise’s next game toward the end of 2017.