Will This Be the Norm for Infinity Ward Update Livestreams?
When it was announced that Infinity Ward was going to have a multiplayer update livestream at 2 p.m. EST on Friday, I, as well as many other Call of Duty community members, tuned in to hopefully see IW take a page from Treyarch's livestreams.
What we got instead was something far from the community's expectation.
I get that Infinity Ward is going for a chill vibe of the developers playing on couches while discussing changes to their game. I get that they have their hands tied behind their back, and cannot reveal so much about upcoming features in their game. And to that, I give a lot of credit to the three members of Infinity Ward who streamed today and had to answer to a very divided community.
However, this was an opportunity for them to bounce back after putting microtransactions (CoD Points) into Infinite Warfare before fixing and adding in several key features. With the amount of content that still does not have an estimated time of arrival, today's livestream was a bit underwhelming.
Specifically, the community still has several burning questions after the livestream was over: Where are the leaderboards? Full combat records? Challenges like the Ping calling card challenge functioning correctly? Fixing the Hardpoint spawns on maps not named Precinct? Or the big ticket item that the community has been begging for: where is League Play?
I'm aware that it is all coming to the game eventually, and might be included as that "secret stuff" the trio hinted at, but at the very least, they should throw the community a few more bones and get an official date of when to expect some of this content.
So I'm extremely sorry to Ashton Williams, but the general community will continue to hit Infinity Ward with these questions until they know exactly when these features and fixes are coming.
As another constructive criticism, I'm not a fan of the hosts playing and talking about updates at the same time, as it seemed like it was a distraction both for the viewers and for the hosts. They did mention that they will be getting players to come on the official Infinite Warfare streams in the future, so why not have a popular YouTuber play while everyone discusses upcoming changes?
No offense to either of the designers, but it would probably make their time on a future livestream a bit easier if they didn't have to focus on playing and reading through the updates planned for Infinite Warfare.
However, not all was exactly lost with this livestream. Instead of making this an overwhelmingly negative piece, which is completely unfair to the developers, let's see what went right with this livestream. Specifically, the changes that are coming to Infinite Warfare, while not the giant Nintendo 64 under our Christmas tree, are at the very least the stocking stuffers that the community asked for on its wish list.
First and foremost, the Search and Destroy bomb site updates are signs that IW is listening to its pro community, and even bringing in pros to give insight of where the most balanced spots for objective placements are. For objective-based esport modes, putting limitations and nerfs on certain payloads, like Cloak and Rewind, are another treat, and also show the potential for more fine tunes to meet the needs of the pro community.
Hardcore FFA truly is a treat for those in the hardcore crowd, since it's a game mode seen in older Call of Duty's that most of them loved. That mode coming back, along with Infected soon being fixed and a tease for a new game mode that "those who love the classic Call of Duty will love," are a few cool playlist updates that the community will enjoy.
And finally, removing ricochet on energy weapons is the biggest sigh of relief I had to this stream. I'm not a fan of an AK47 that has bouncing bullets being used with hundreds of thousands of dollars on the line, so taking that element out of the game for competitive play is massive.
Oh and I almost forgot, this weekend's Double XP session. Thank you, Infinity Ward.
Individually, these changes are great, but when an official livestream is announced, it brings a certain expecation with it, and even these announcements stacked together just leaves the community wanting more. Yes, it's great that the Type-2 is getting a nuke killstreak on a future weapon variant, but I don't believe this stream did enough justice to the community in answering its burning needs.
I'm not going to rip into a studio for saying that they are fixing features in its game, but I will hope that future livestreams can be more in-depth, more focused, and can finally tend to the needs of a community who is still kicking and screaming for what should be in a annual Call of Duty game.
I have no connections whatsoever to Infinity Ward or Activision. I do not mean to write this piece with malicious intent, but rather to start a dialogue as to how the studio can improve its connection to the community, who just simply wants a better game than what was released initially.
I am openly encouraging anyone from IW to participate in this conversation, and I fully and truly respect the work that they do. I also hope that the community, in turn, respects IW for the work they've done, and that the Call of Duty community as a whole can move forward towards a better game.
What did you think of the Infinity Ward Multiplayer livestream?
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James Mattone is a journalist for GAMURS and can be contacted on Twitter -@TheJamesMattone.