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NextVG.com Guest editorial

 

Call of Duty, one of the most successful video game franchises in recent years catering to 40 million monthly active players across all of the Call of Duty titles, with 10 million Call of Duty: Elite users and 2 million paying annual members.

With 9 major console/PC releases, an upcoming title ‘Call of Duty: Ghosts’ and an ever increasing audience, what more could the Call of Duty franchise potentially deliver?
Let’s run through some of the bigger ideas from the Call of Duty community:

Engine:

Many Call of Duty players have expressed their desire for an overhaul to the Call of Duty engine as opposed to “refreshes” or “upgrades”. Call of Duty is popular for it’s gameplay and mechanics – it’s one of those games whereby you can pick up the controller at your local game store and get right in to the action.
Get enough practice and you’ll evolve as a player, improve your profile statistics, build upon your arsenal of weapons and earn weapon upgrades.

With each Call of Duty release, refinements and graphical improvements are made across the board from textures and lighting to the detail of your players hand. The question to ask here is – why fix what ain’t broken?
It’s fair to say that a total overhaul of the engine will be due at some point further down the road (and these take years of development by the way!) but until then, the current engine continues to deliver one of the smoothest first person gaming experiences at 60fps!

Standalone Zombies Game:

Zombies, probably one of the biggest success stories of Call of Duty. It’s built a major following, YouTuber’s dedicate to the task of finding easter eggs, and an ever evolving storyline that people enjoy. If DLC releases are anything to go by, Call of Duty fans can’t get enough of Zombies, and would probably go as far as to buy a Zombies only Call of Duty title.

The potential for a Zombies only Call of Duty is, well, huge. With a development team dedicated to constructing the story, maps/world, weapons and easter eggs, it would open the door to limitless possibilities – throw in some community involvement and you’re looking at a game with endless replay value.
Larger worlds, more players in multiplayer, new weapons, an ever evolving world that everyone has an impact on, spaceships, there is so much that could be achieved. Plus, with more system resources and less limitations with upcoming next generation hardware, there really is no excuse to go crazy with an already unique addition to Call of Duty.

Execution is certainly up for debate however, 2 separate Call of Duty titles to buy each year is certainly a dangerous concept, at the very least for your wallet, and Activision wouldn’t want to drive attention away from the main Call of Duty title itself. With next generation consoles on the way including bigger storage capacities, having players download the Zombies addition as “DLC” is certainly a possibility as opposed to selling a completely separate title.

More Guns:

The Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 are 8 years old, yes, 8! The hardware in these machines is considerably outdated, therefore the burden of adding additional weapons and any other extras is simply impossible when trying to deliver a smooth gaming experience at 60fps. It’s been covered numerous times in the past by Call of Duty developers, these systems simply cannot deal with it.

As mentioned earlier in this post, there’s finally light at the end of the tunnel, and by that I mean the Xbox One and Playstation 4. With the upgraded hardware, these issues will be a thing of the past. In fact some developers are saying they don’t know what to do with all the power available – that’s a very good problem to have!

Lag Compensation / Dedicated Servers:

All games lag, it’s the nature of the internet. You may not notice it, you may not experience it, but you’re lagging in every game you play, and so is everyone else. The internet is a wonderful creation where we can communicate with each other from every corner of the earth, but the quality of people’s connections and their distance to you is just a drop in the ocean behind the technicalities of lag.

How this lag impacts players in a Call of Duty match is very much down to the developers and mechanics of the particular game you’re playing – in this instance, Call of Duty. To try and combat the delays in connection between players of a Call of Duty match, they introduce a system called ‘Lag Compensation’.

Here’s an example of just what Lag Compensation does as posted on the Call of Duty Forums:

Lag compensation IS NOT the throttling of a connection so everyone is playing “on the same level”. It’s the prediction of a players location to make up for the time lost during the physical transfer of packets from one’s PS3 to the server(host). For instance:

At 10.5 seconds you shoot someone at point ‘A’ and that information is sent to the server
At 10.6 seconds the information arrives at the server and the information is processed by the server, the target has now moved to point ‘B’
Lag comp kicks in and rewinds the time back to 10.5 seconds when the target is at ‘A’ to determine whether or not the target was hit

Lag Compensation is a complicated system, and due to the hundreds/thousands of variables it’s impossible to solve.

Dedicated Servers I hear you say? There’s no denying this will improve the overall multiplayer experience and reduce the impact of lag even further, but many people have forgotten the cost element. With hundreds of thousands of people playing Call of Duty at any given time, it’s simply not a sustainable option. Rent-a-Server option anyone?

What are your thoughts?

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  • PHAT PETE

    The lag Compensation in bo2 is bs in mw3 wast to bad,

  • Zorcan1

    Are you kidding? They HAVE the money to put up dedicated servers! They have Hundreds of millions of dollars! Maybe even billions I don’t remember

    • Fozzie Bear

      Well, Call of Duty isn’t Activison’s only game. Not all of that money falls straight into their pockets you know. They have to pay employees, invest in marketing, etc. etc. Also, I think a lot of people underestimate just how many people play Call of Duty, all around the globe. It’s insane, we’re talking millions of fans, across multiple platforms. I’m not saying it’s impossible for them to add dedicated servers, I’m just saying it’s not as a simple as people make it sound is all.

      • DanDustEmOff

        I agree with you to an extent but the same can be said about World of Warcraft, except WoW is only on the PC. But it is huge much bigger that CoD with tons more people playing. Activision should be experts at setting up servers for games.

        To have a game like CoD that grosses 1 Billion dollars every year without having servers is unacceptable. Battlefield, Destiny, Titan Fall and Halo will all have dedicated servers and run at 60 FPS on next gen systems.

        Its now a case of keeping up with the competition to survive. BF has been steadily gaining ground against CoD for a few years. If they do not act then CoD will go the way of MoH. I love CoD and have spent many hours in all titles since CoD 3, but BO2 was the final straw I stopped playing many months ago and haven’t looked back.

        I will not get another until they give us all servers, there are too many great games coming to put up with the p2p BS that goes with CoD. I have great internet so why waste my time becoming increasingly frustrated with shooter when there are games coming that will offer better connectivity?

        • Fozzie Bear

          Well, I can’t really argue much here, because this is where my knowledge is limited. I have to assume that a server for an mmo with mediocre graphics would be a different beast than a modern FPS. You may be right.

          • DanDustEmOff

            The graphics are handled by your console/PC. You would actually need a better server for WoW because of the player count being much higher.

    • Gayarch,fartivision

      they make 4 billion dollars every year

  • DanDustEmOff

    Rent a server is a failure. Giving someone admin often leads to them going power crazy, kicking good players, kicking players to get friends in and blocking them without any good reason.

    With the amount of experience Activision Blizzard have with running servers for WoW they should have no problem setting up servers for CoD. Also with MS offering the Azure cloud to devs there’s no excuses for CoD not having managed servers at all.

    • boneknocker

      sadly that what “need” for most of people. if you not like that server you can just log in another. but use player as a host, you are a duck in a closed farm can’t do anything. run into bad host that offer very bad lag comp, hackers/cheaters, game fail after some one log off, stupid match maker that keep sending you to the wrong place. except you can invent another thing better.

      • DanDustEmOff

        I agree however I do not believe that rent a server is the way to go. Managed dedicated server’s is what is needed for all platform’s.

  • Fetterlein

    i want zombies only game.. now..

    • Fetterlein

      or atleast a bigger world..

  • fsdgasdg

    all the console guys wishing for DD servers.. we on pc have DD servers on cod and tbh they suck. 3arc bought shity servers.
    while on cod 4 servers i can found a eu server with less then 50 ping on bo2 i cant find servers with under then 100 ping.

  • kirby_

    Dedicated servers not being an option is one fucking amazing joke.

  • Dante

    thats funny because they say having two title releases a year would be dangerous on your wallet, but each year when you buy the dlc you end up buying another 60$ game (4 dlcs)

    • PUNK_AND_GOTH

      lrn to season pass

  • OldBrazy on PS4

    wtf is a dedicated server?

    • DanDustEmOff

      Instead of one Xbox or PS being the master console that makes all the decisions for everyone else a computer in a data centre takes the place of the console to host the game.

  • Name

    Why doesn’t Activision use some of the millions of dollars the make from Call Of Duty and go buy some people from DICE? That would hurt Battlefield and help Call Of Duty. DICE could help with the graphics engine on Call Of Duty not the campaign or multiplayer. DICE would be a separate developer, only for graphics, than Infinity Ward or Treyarch or Sledgehammer. The guys from DICE could help make the next Call Of Duty Engine much better.

    • Kosta

      dude if u want call of duty to have good graphics u dont want people from dice u want people from crytek as the cryengine is FAR and i mean FAR superior to the frostbite is a million ways

    • DanDustEmOff

      Dice really? Those guys couldn’t even get BF3 to run any higher than 30 fps on the console. Graphics are not everything, game play is what makes a game great not graphics. Crysis 3 has the best graphics going but it’s dead.

      • Roxas3510

        That’s because the console is 8 years old. If they wanted BF3 to run 60fps on console, they’d have to take out SO MUCH from the game. The maps would have to be smaller, there’d have to be less players, less vehicles, no destruction, etc. Do some research, BF3 having 30fps had nothing to do with the devs. If you had any knowledge on this subject, you’d know that BF4 is going to run 60fps on the next-gen consoles. Why? Because the new hardware can handle it, unlike 8 year old hardware.

        • DanDustEmOff

          I know BF4 will run at 60 on next gen. BF3 plays at 80-100 fps on my PC. My point is that why put a game out that plays at bellow 60 at all.

          • Roxas3510

            You know the majority of console games run at 30fps right? BF3 gets that many frames on your pc because it’s powerful enough to handle the game. 2-3 years after the next gen consoles are out, hardware is going to advance past it and games are going to get so technologically advanced that most games won’t be able to run 60fps on the 2-3 year old hardware anymore, which is currently what’s happening with current gen consoles. Basically, you’re saying after those 2-3 years, devs should just stop releasing games on consoles unless they can run 60fps, which means only CoD, some racing and fighting games, and whatever other little games that manage to run 60fps will be released, which is a stupid idea. No devs are going to stop making games for console just because it doesn’t run at 60fps, and honestly not a lot of console gamers care. If they did, almost every game out now wouldn’t be making any sales because most of them don’t run 60fps.

          • DanDustEmOff

            I do but most games are not FPS games. Anything below 60 for an FPS is rubbish. You do not need to explain to me why my PC has good frame rates. I fully understand how it works. I built it from the ground up after hours of reasearching all the components.

            How is it stupid to expect a game to run at what to me is a mediocre frame rate anyway? Yes I would expect them to stop releasing, I do not see why people would want to play a game at such a slow frame rate. I have tried playing many shooter games that run at 30 FPS and I have not enjoyed the multiplayer on any of them at all.

            A lot of console players may not know the difference, but any harcore FPS gamer should! So for people to say “oh get Dice to do graphics” is a stupid comment, especially when they are willing to drop 30 frames for the sake of some pretty graphics.

          • Roxas3510

            That’s the thing, hardcore FPS gamers don’t make up the majority of gamers. I’m not disagreeing with you, FPS games SHOULD run at 60fps, it’s a much better experience than ones that runs at 30fps, I’m just being realistic. There’s no way they’re going to stop releasing games on console just because they run at 30fps, they’d lose out on so much money and console gaming would eventually cease to exist since barely anything is released, if it were this way.

            I can tell you’re a frequent PC gamer and I am as well, so we both know the benefits of the higher frame rates, but unlike our PCs, consoles cannot be upgraded. If you had 5 year old tech in your PC, you probably wouldn’t be able to run anything currently out now. Eventually, consoles get the point where they can’t run everything 100%, I’m sure you know this. The only way to put most games on console, this far down the line, would be to limit it enough so that consoles can run it, leading to 30fps, smaller maps, etc.

            As for that guy’s comment, yes, it is stupid. DICE could make the graphics better, but it wouldn’t mean much for consoles because they’d have to limit the frame rate to 30fps just to get the game to run.

            All I’m saying is obviously higher frame rates are better, but not every game on console can be 60fps since the hardware is so old/can’t be upgraded. It would be great, but it’s unrealistic. If people don’t like 30fps on console, they can game on PC (which is exactly why I built my PC). Majority of gamers are casuals or people who just don’t care that much for gaming to spend the money for a decent gaming PC instead of a cheap console. 30fps means nothing to them, that’s just how the game runs and they’re fine with it.

          • DanDustEmOff

            Dice could have easily wound back the graphics to increase the frame rate, they chose not to so that the game looked better than the competition. The reality is that yes it looked good until you actually played the game.

            A friend of mine passed his controller over, telling me “have a go, its just like your version”. I looked at him like he was brain dead. I played for a match shuddered as I passed him back his controller and went home to cleanse myself, seek councilling to get over the whole ordeal and to pray for my friends soul.

            BF should IMO remain largely on the PC. Its the only platform that does it any justice. I know next gen will run at 60 for a while but i find it doesn’t loan its self to a controller too well. It just feels wrong without a mouse and keyboard. CoD on the other hand plays really well on a console. Its smooth, responsive and it plays at a decent frame rate.

            I know that I am in the minority, but still the devs are in the know and they should have higher principles.

    • boneknocker

      ahhh BF3 today also well known as “the worst unregistered shots” and “WTF hit box” bugs too. so you should think twice before try to take in their tech. and it end up sell its digital key in my country for just “5$” ! it very hard to sell the game that keep making your shot do zero damage time to time. even play on a dedicate server in your own country. and that including the game let hackers cheat this game since day one with out be ban.

  • Camo

    i am getting to hate Call of Duty a little bit, only because of the freaking lag compensation that they have since Black Ops.. just go back to the old way, the Lag Compensation makes me hate call of duty.

    • ben wills

      At least BO was only host (and none on PC), and it was still a phenomenal game. It’s really MW3 and BO2 that screwed everything up (of course they also made terrible decisions that even without the net code issues made it a terrible game).

  • xx420xx

    misleading title

  • Am I the only one that’s really curious to what the third mode in the game (COD Ghosts) is?

    • Emrah Avvurur

      No

  • Chris

    If they had rent-a-server with customizable rules like BF3, I’d buy one. Nuketown 24/7 all day long.

    • ben wills

      get a pc… those exist. for bo1 anyway.

  • Roxas3510

    Here’s the thing I don’t understand about lag compensation. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think any other multiplayer FPS uses a system like that. If a game like Battlefield or Halo can keep their MP experience, when it comes to lag, seamless, then how come CoD needs to use “lag compensation” to handle their lag? I’ve heard that lag compensation was in use from the very beginning, but why is it that lag wasn’t as bad in games like CoD4 and MW2 but it gradually gets worse from BO1 on?

    • gallp13

      Both BF3 and Halo use lag comp. The dynamics of these games make the effects less obvious than a 60fps twitcher like CoD.

      The interesting test will be Titanfall – 60fps FPS twitcher by CoD inventors, new engine, dedis….interesting times.

      • Roxas3510

        There has to be some way they can get the lag compensation to work as well as it did in the older CoDs. I don’t see how it gets worse with every new release and it seems like they aren’t making it their number 1 priority. I’d rather have this issue fixed than get a new map pack so I can get shot around corners and lose gunfights because my bullet didn’t register yet on a different set of maps.

        • ben wills

          It got worse and worse because they are creating less and less skill based games. Black Ops gave hosts advantage because… well I guess it slowed their net or something. It was a bad decision, but the game was still great and very skill based.

          Enter Modern Warfare 3, and it gave half the bloody server an advantage for god knows why. But Modern Warfare 3 was all in all a terrible game. Death streaks, spawning behind people if you’re doing doing terrible, having people spawn behind you if you’re doing good, akimbos etc. It was better to have bad internet.

          Finally Black Ops II. This game tried to make the game incredibly fast. They increased gun speed, made every map very small, and made every engagement close quarters. This game didn’t have what Black Ops or Modern Warfare 3 did. Instead it increased the value on split screen lag (so what you already have as a ping before your ping is even counted). This value was made to 250 ms, 5x what Modern Warfare 2 (which everyone claims was perfect) was. This made the game even faster, but also put everyone on an even playing ground. Also works to stop campers (since they’ll be dead before they see a guy fly around the corner). That being said it was an awful decision, and basically made the game just for casuals. It’s the least skill based game ever, and all you do is run around with an SMG and spray. The game was designed for people who aren’t good at Call of Duty so they could be on par with everyone else, like Modern Warfare 3. Worst part is it might stay like this for a long time if they keep making the game for casuals.

          • Roxas3510

            This is exactly what I tell people, but everyone acts like this isn’t the reason. I’m glad I’m not the only one who sees it this way. They’re making the games easier for casuals and bad players and making it harder for good players, mainly because they don’t want bad players to get owned and have to work to become better, they just want them to think they are good so they continue to buy the games. If we went back to CoD4 days, this game probably wouldn’t be so popular because bad players would get owned and only a few of them would stick around to try and improve, like me and many others who don’t like the newer CoDs. I agree that it will be like this for a while as well, that’s why I’m not so excited for Ghosts.

  • killzoner

    Up until now with only 1 DLC to go, BOP 2 lag compensation is still seriously fcked up. I have good connection and it is frustrating to play long hours as I used to because of the retarded Treyarch lag logic. The last game I had no complains was MW2, BOP 1 started this lag comp crap, perfected by MW3 at launch (probably the same retarded trayarch developers helped out) and now the same sht with BOP 2.

    • ben wills

      Not really.

      BO: Gives host ONLY a blatant advantage (not existent on PC). Still a great game.

      MW3: Took what BO did, and made it so half of players had a blatent advantage, and the other half couldn’t see shit before they died. It was better to have bad internet.

      BO2: Removed what BO and MW3 had, and made is so split screen lag was set to 250 ms This is 5x what MW2 had (which was perfect). Thus, when you run around a corner, you have a 0.250 second advantage over your opponent. Since kill speeds are so stupidly fast in the game (a major issue with it), you can kill someone without them ever seeing you. However, unlike MW3, everyone gets the same shit happening to them.

  • Alex | FamousIsLIVE

    They act like because they have more people, the servers would be more expensive. But since you have more people, you are making more money. If a small company has the money to have dedicated servers for less than 100k people, there is no reason THE BIGGEST company doesn’t have the money for more than 100k people. IDK I’m sure there is more to it than I know. Other than ATVI’s greed.

  • Jack S.

    Battlefield has 1/4 of the fanbase of call of duty and they have dedicated servers. I dont see why ghosts cant do the same.

  • Boomboom

    They better not ever put in rent a server. Then it would be just like battlefeilds servers, which suck and would be extreamly annoying to play. Also, what do you mean it cost to much IW and 3ARC have so much money it makes me sick.

    • RdJokr

      Correction: Activision has so much money. Game devs don’t make as much money as you think.

  • Silvan Elf

    Could you seriously be any much of mindless drone. Too add more guns is IMPOSSIBLE, really. As far as the engine you do not think it has been long enough for an overhaul, it has been the same engine since COD 4. As far as servers DICE has dedicated servers, and more people are online for battlefield than COD.

  • 99Contour

    Black ops 2 grossed 500 million the first day of sales! With map packs, season passes, and all of the add – ons that can be purchased. They have raked in billions and will continue to do so. I say if you want us the consumer to continue to support and purchase your products things like lag should be addresses first. I guess what I am trying to say is you have made more than enough money to have dedicated servers to Improve multiplayer online gaming and being in the IT field myself with your kind of money it wouldn’t take long. But we know you won’t address the issue but you will start thinking how you can get more money from your continued supporters.

  • VersaType

    They better use the xbox ones cloud servers. I’m getting tired of host advantage.

  • “The question to ask here is – why fix what ain’t broken?”

    The coding in Blops Deus, Camera angles?

  • Grant Cooper

    its not impossible to add weapons. lol

  • Jayanthony Carballo

    Or instead of two separate Call Of Duty’s Treyarch should just stop trying and failing at multiplayer and release a zombies only title

  • zachammo

    they should put some really large maps in call of duty ghosts it actually would be pretty fun ive been getting into bf lately n i love there tdm map sizes 😀

  • tushar

    We need dedicated server hosting for Call OF Duty Ghost same we host in Call Of Duty 4 Modern Warfare.

  • boneknocker

    *sigh* in the end every games stay alive or not. it depend on the
    player’s rental server. there is none game company out there will keep
    their server alive so long. especially after they gonna release a new
    game. but dedicate server still better than use player as a host that
    clearly unreliable. cause game will fail after host log out, very easy
    to cheat on pc, or even some player suppose to not be the host with the
    type of their internet. however it also many bad hosts out there that be
    a bad host (while left others suffer from horrible lag comp) on their
    own will too. it easy to slaughter ducks more that fight a human isn’t
    it ?

  • leetsnail

    predator missle is useless with lag compensation.

  • Nadt Boonmee

    rent a server ? at least this game should have it. honestly i not expected any thing about server from game dev at all. look at some game like csgo that game should be great but as soon as your jump into their mm server “especially when your ping >60” you will get the worst possible of lag to the point that make all hit box you see on your side seem really not exist at all. help from community also useless and full of insulting from who get advantage from that lag that not hesitate to call whoever getting problem from it as a “noob”. thanks to the cheap server for more profit on our game dev today.

    oh…for me the real problem of lag comp is not from high ping (as long as it not >300) but from bad connection. ping only tell you what distance from that player and host but it tell nothing about the quality of their internet at all. this is where many people blame who have high ping cause the bad lag. that come with the question then why cod is get bad lag even play in the small network like play in the network in the same building or even play among players that no one have ping over 60 ? and why choking upload speed on internet can make that player get a lot of lag advantage ? honestly countless times i found high ping player also suffer from bad lag too. not all of them get advantage of it except they choke their internet speed. and yes time to time i found the cause of bad lag come from some random fool with low ping (just because they online close to the host) gain a lot of advantage from lag but left bad lag on others. thanks to their school dome internet and home multi share internet or even a random wireless that we all knew it have the worst choke on download and upload speed.

  • Hyena

    Just run it like HL2: DM with the player community running their OWN servers. The community is so big and some players would be interested in renting servers of their own volition. The minority supports the majority.

    Go with dedicated servers, because all they have to do is choose the servers closest to them. Not get face-TRUCKED with an automatic host half away around the world.

    Yes toxicity exists with noobs who think that .75 kda is AMAZING. They’ll get admin and kick all the pros, but here’s the deal: That already happens with p2p hosting and the MW3:sA kick tool. So, tell me: “what’s the difference?” The cons are virtually the same while the pro is that you can CHOOSE a good server near you regardless of what connection you can afford.

    Admins of their servers have more control even. Let’s say this power is used right. You favorite this server. You COME BACK to this server. You find 5 of these servers. GAMING IS GOOD. This means being able to kick:

    1.Noobs with bad attitudes that think they’re THE BEST in the world. Influenced by actual hackers who spoil the reputations of those with legitimately high KDAs.
    2.Laggers who voluntarily join your server and win because for some reason lag is providing them with an advantage (namely teleporting aroudn corners). No one wants to play with that guy. He has aids.
    3. ACTUAL HACKERS.

    Owning/renting individual servers you can update the anti hacking features to block newly written scripts. I saw next to NO hacking in HL2:DM… because all the admins kept updating their security. This will cut down on baseline hackers using free hacks who can’t afford to pay someone to write a new script (namely broke children barely out of diapers [a majority of the CoD player base?] )

    HL2 DM had a huge community for… 6 years? 6 years… 1 game. [Dedicated Servers] Just sayin. No hacking.