Modern Warfare 3 Multiplayer Preview - What's New, What's Changed, and What's Gone

Here are some of the biggest updates to the latest Call of Duty.

by

Call of Duty XP is opening up to the public today in Los Angeles, and despite the dizzying number of events and attractions, the real star of the show is the chance for fans to get their hands on Modern Warfare 3's competitive multiplayer mode. If you're not in town for the festivities, though, fear not: We already have a thorough video demo courtesy of executive producer Mark Rubin, and we have the chance to play the game for ourselves. So take a look at the video below, and read on for some news on what's new, what has changed, and what's gone in Modern Warfare 3 multiplayer.

What's New

Perhaps the biggest addition to multiplayer in Modern Warfare 3 is an all-new game mode called Kill Confirmed. This mode uses Team Deathmatch as a template and alters the scoring system in a few clever ways. Basically, if you get killed, you drop a set of dog tags. If you pick up the dog tags from a recently killed enemy player, your team gets points, and if you pick up the dog tags from a fallen teammate, you deny the other team the chance to get the points for that kill. So while you get all the usual XP for killing someone, the act of taking someone down doesn't have any influence over the outcome of the match: it's all about confirming that kill by picking up dog tags.

Get yourself some dog tags in Modern Warfare 3's multiplayer modes.

The scoring system in Kill Confirmed winds up creating some interesting new potential for strategy you wouldn't otherwise see in a standard game of Team Deathmatch. You can create specialized roles, like someone focused purely on killing enemies from afar, complemented by others whose job it is to rush into combat zones and try to snag as many dog tags as they can before falling victim to a flurry of bullets. Or you can just try to grief the other team and only go after the dog tags of your teammates. For a variation on Team Deathmatch, there are a lot of different approaches you can take.

Another new feature is weapon-specific levels that lead to unlockable proficiencies (or perks, basically). Yep, now you're not leveling up just yourself, but your firearm as well. These proficiencies include things like reducing the amount of recoil your gun has, increasing its firing range, and being able to take a deep breath while sniping to steady your aim. Think of it as a benefit of finding one gun you like and sticking with it--a counter to the act of unlocking a weapon attachment that you can just slap onto any old weapon in the game.

What Has Changed

One of the biggest changes in Modern Warfare 3 is the kill streak system. In fact, they're no longer called kill streaks at all. Now they're called points streaks, because in addition to killing enemies, you build up your streak by doing a variety of things to help your team. This includes getting assists, as well as securing objectives in objective-based game modes. So if you're in a game of Domination and you throw a grenade that takes out two enemies and then rush and capture a flag, suddenly you're at a streak of three and ready to call in a UAV.

The other big change is your choice of streaks. You can still pick and choose your preferred trio of streak rewards from a big list, but now there are completely different lists to choose from. These bundles are called strike packages, and they're the developer's attempt to appeal to players who might have different styles as well as different skill levels. For the offensive-minded player, there's the assault strike package, which is like the traditional set of kill streaks in Modern Warfare games of yore. Here you get items like predator strikes, assault choppers, and turret gun placements.

But for the player who might not be as skilled, there's the support strike package. This selection of streak rewards is all about helping out your team, giving you access to things like recon drones and a pile of ballistic vests for any of your buddies to come by and pick up. The kicker with the support strike package is that your streak doesn't reset upon death--you keep building them up and up as the match goes on. And lastly, there's the specialist strike package. This is designed for the lone-wolf player. Basically, you're unlocking new perks from the standard create-a-class screen, but only for yourself. Like with the assault strike package, these reset upon death.

What's Gone

While Infinity Ward certainly hasn't been shy about ramping up the number of unlockable goodies in Modern Warfare's giant bonanza of multiplayer rewards, you can't say the developer hasn't been listening to fans who have cried foul when the features hurt the overall balance. So, yes, the game-ending nuclear bomb kill streak reward has been axed. So has the ability to carry a shotgun as a secondary weapon, which means akimbo shotguns are a thing of the past. A few other things that have been left out of Modern Warfare 3 are perks such as commando and last stand.

In MW3 you can create custom match types and then share them with people on Elite.

And that's the quick rundown of some of the updates to Modern Warfare 3's multiplayer offerings. This is by no means a comprehensive list, because there are plenty of things to cover that we've yet to scratch the surface of. But this should at least give you a good idea of some of the bigger features. For even more information, be sure to watch our Now Playing video demo featuring executive producer Mark Rubin for all the things we didn't cover here.

Discussion

106 comments
nate3031
nate3031

To each his own I always say. its never about what is better, but a matter of personal prefs and the fact that we all have a peticular genre, title or style to suit all our gaming joys. who the F* honestly cares what FPS is statistically or even realistically more enjoyable, hard core or not. we're all here to have fun and play til our fingers bleed right? so to hate versus the majority of us that could give a flying rats a$$ what you think is to hate your own life for a lack thereof, be it as it may. Happy Gaming!!! >.

nate3031
nate3031

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thegodatgames
thegodatgames

its pretty simple, if you dont like CoD then dont BUY IT!!!!!

darth_goonis
darth_goonis

looks like the noob tube is back... guess i wont be buying it then

Mazeka
Mazeka

For the people who have being playing CoD for the last 4 years or more I understand you would be tired of this game. Any shooter will eventually get old because doesn't matter how many new features get added the core is still that same old formula. So if you want something new, sure go play Battlefield but what you need to understand is that their are people who haven't been playing CoD for that long. For those people this game is still fresh and exiting. So hold off on the hating until the game comes out when we can really tell if it's terrible or not :)

Mazeka
Mazeka

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Mazeka
Mazeka

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

TheCrazedHawaii
TheCrazedHawaii

MW2 and BO killed COD for me i know if i spend 60$ of my hard earned money on a multiplayer experience thats only going to piss me off over and over again, ill probly have a stroke i might try BF3 until i here anything good about MW3 and not from COD fanboys .

Hodge996
Hodge996

The hardcore gamers seem to be really bashing COD at the moment (some of which is justified) but it's still a bigger seller than anything else which proves the point I'm making - the mass market/casual gamer IS more important to the developers than the hardcore.

Hodge996
Hodge996

@ MEDzZ3RO I don't agree with all of your opinions or comments (which of course you ARE entitled to) but I do see where you're coming from. Yearly installments is BS - only the EA sports games are as bad for this and it's blatant money grabbing. I don't mind DLC as such because it keeps the interest going in the game (and COD games/Activision are not the only ones at this now) and paying £10 or so 2 or 3 times a year is not that big a deal when you think of how much time you actually spend playing the game. Personally I enjoy playing the campaign and I'd guess that well over half of the buyers of the game would also play the campaign. My biggest disagreement though is your comment about ignoring the casual market..... seriously?! I consider myself somewhere between casual and hardcore - I have played games since I was 10 (that's longer ago than I care to admit) and spend many hours a week playing various games but you have to remember gaming is a BUSINESS, and the casual gamers FAR outnumber the hardcore and that's a fact. As much as it frustrates many hardcore games (and me) games will always steer towards the market that will make them more money. It's nice to think that developers love us all and just want to make us happy, but they will always have to make sure they make money first.

Hodge996
Hodge996

@ yyhreigan - Couldn't have put it better myself! BF3 looks great and I probably will get it but it's so different in style to COD that you can enjoy both. Personally, I love the instant pick up and play style of COD, I find BF3 very realistic but not as much sheer fun - but I understand why people would prefer BF. LOVE the way BF fans b*tch about lack of innovation in the COD series - apart from the campaign's graphics (which are blatantly PC videos!), is BF3 THAT different from BF2? On both counts, if it aint broke....

Hodge996
Hodge996

@ Scorchstar Couldn't have put it better myself! Stop the hate people!

Bearmonsta1
Bearmonsta1

Ill never stop scoping, never. And what randy weapon modeller puts the usp style iron sights on the desert eagle, Americans fail at weapon modelling.

Scorchstar
Scorchstar

Im so pissed off cause everyone is saying that 'MW3 is Better' or 'BF3 Is WAY Better' Both of them are gonna have pros and cons. For instance, BF3 has very realistic graphics and an accurate destruction system, MW3 has good stuff too so stop everybody. I wanna get both. BF3 and MW3 are on the top of my list. And Skyrim =)

lowercaseT
lowercaseT

the executive producer doesn't sound very excited about the improvements they have made... i guess its hard to get excited over a repackaged version of the same exact game...how about i just play BO and save my money

Mastiff
Mastiff

'Confimred kill will stop snipers, so instant win.' No it won't. You still get full personal XP for every kill, and a lot of people still don't care about objectives, team play or even winning. They will continue to snipe, and use friendly dog tags as bait.

aamir69
aamir69

@beinss Well get ready to buy BF3 cause people easily use cheats and hacks on steam, e,g,. MW2. Writing in game that using cheats will cause a permanent ban(steam/activision) is waay different than actually using a software to catch those who cheat and implementing permanent ban (punkbuster). I have no true eternal love for BF series and hatred for COD, i have bought all there games till black ops. But what i hate is users cheating, 8 vs 8 matches at most, tiny maps (like you are playing hide and seek in your home), repeating the same things since MW1 and GS over selling this game by giving an over rated 8.5+ to all their games.

Hobbes444
Hobbes444

Quoting dalua360 "OH look, MW3 is everywhere here on Gamespot. Activision must have bought this website! And even after that HUGE amount of money spent on marketing, BF3 will be the best game! Pathetic !" Now, i don't agree that bf3 will be the BEST game, i think it will be more realistic and cool, but mw3 will be close.

nahuel95
nahuel95

How come Africans have dog tags???

CASwim1111
CASwim1111

I tend to play more conservatively (something much more easily allowed in BFBC2), so I often get annoyed by the non-strategic run and gun action of CoD. It looks like they are trying to remedy that a bit. I'm sure BF3 will still have a more rewarding and open multiplayer than CoD just because of who the franchises have attracted in the past. I expect to still see a bunch of 11 year olds running and gunning in CoD.

Dima2000
Dima2000

Oh man no more akimbo shotguns or last stand. Those were life savers in some games for me.

beinss
beinss

Im having trouble deciding on BF3 or MW3. Ive always been a MW person but Ive decided, if MW3 still has Noob Tubes I will not buy it. Anyone know if it does?

filmboy85
filmboy85

A lot of people complain that the changes since CoD 4 have ruined the game. I disliked MW2's multiplayer and found it a broken, unbalanced mess of people easily cheating the system with a complete disregard for co-operative, team-based gameplay or even any kind of respect for people who just want to enjoy the game. The unbalanced perks, camping, quickscoping and unsatisfying gunplay killed my ability to get into the online portion. All though far from popular opinion I found that Black Ops fixed a lot of my issues with a game and I enjoy with friends from time to time, particularly the often hysterical wager matches. But my problem is, if you don't want a "changed" game, then either continue playing CoD 4 (although the amount of cheating amongst the small community there, particularly on XBL is extremely disappointing) or, when playing one of the newer games (I know for sure that BO has this, and I think they patched it into MW2) use the various 'barebones' options. BO has a 'classic' option which restores the game to a rough facsimile of CoD 4's MP, and there are other options which entirely remove perks, kill streaks, and attachments to restore the game as far back as the original's mutliplayer, only with the new guns and maps. Obviously it's questionable value buying a brand new game to play it without the marginal changes made the the game, but if you also want the game for other modes or to occasionally play the changed multiplayer then it's something to think about.

dalua360
dalua360

OH look, MW3 is everywhere here on Gamespot. Activision must have bought this website! And even after that HUGE amount of money spent on marketing, BF3 will be the best game! Pathetic !

abompro
abompro

Ouch, the fact that they will not have dedicated servers just made MW3 a no go for me even when Steam Summer Sale arrives. One thing I really appreciate about Black Ops is that they had servers.

madgame23
madgame23

MW3 looks cool, it looks like a better done up version of black ops though. Are they using the game engine from MW2 or BLOPS? The Deagle detail looks crappy, hopefully they improve that. As for game play, Im hopeful that they do a better job at removing hackers than MW2, and from what I have seen, they are still going to use the host system and ditch the dedicated servers again. Hopefully the host will be someone here in the US and not across the country.

voldo25
voldo25

MW3 will be a good game but i am going to put my money on Battlefield for this years best FPS. Call of Duty fans should be happy that Battlefield set the bar so high because its only going to make Call of Duty better in the future. I say in 2 years, you'll see a completely overhauled Call of Duty with a new game engine.....I like fps's so i am going to get both games but MW3 will be for my Xbox and Battlefield will be for my PC

sar1995
sar1995

"whats here,whats same and whats already here" is what i see

X-TOR-DEN-AIR
X-TOR-DEN-AIR

i mainly want to catch up with what happened to captain price and here`s hoping that they make it like the first modern warfare were the insane difficulty drove you insane. As for battlefield 3 what story are they telling that i don't know, any one here know what happened in battlefield 2 back in 2005, they did say that it will be about six hours single player campaign. The bigger they are the harder they fall.

darckdeth
darckdeth

Must be nice to just be able to copy and paste everything from a previous game only adding 3 or 4 new things and somehow have people excited for it. -.- COD fail just let it go Activison start something new and fresh they dont give the development team a long enough cycle to make anything new and worth our money. Can't believe I actually thought this would be a decent new addition everything I see is just like the 4 that came before it sad.

Tsuchikage
Tsuchikage

Custom match types are a cool new addition; how do they work? Kill confirmed is basically a wholesale ripoff of Crysis 2's multiplayer. It's a great way to play, though I wish it wasn't just a new mode but the way of playing every game mode. It prevents campers and snipers from dominating too much. Points streaks are taken from last year's (dreadful) Medal of Honor. At least Activision stole something good, though. Still, I don't think there are enough upgrades to Call of Duty to really be competitive with Battlefield 3 on a quality standpoint. The ultimate factor will be balancing, of course, but Battlefield 3 surely seems to offer the more promising multiplayer package.

Tokugawa77
Tokugawa77

Confimred kill will stop snipers, so instant win.

GamerLegend10
GamerLegend10

i hope the perks are a bit like black ops...i think thats one thing they got right on that game...especially taking away stopping power.

GamerLegend10
GamerLegend10

one problem i have with dogtags is that it discourages sniping, whats the point in sniping from a distance and then having to risk your life running across the whole map only to get killed on the way or have a teammate steal before you get there? most people will probably use sub-machine guns and shotguns, which is fine but its a shame that it wont work for sniping which is my preferred weapon choice. but the main problem is probably that i would find it very annoying if people took credit for my kills by stealing the dog tags before i could get to them. i can see the good side of this game-type but i think it may lead to further frustration. if i get this game im going to stick with S&D and FFA, IMO the least frustrating game types.

feature83
feature83

You want to know why people hate Call of Duty so much? It's b/c you console idiots turned this once great franchise into a 2 year old shooter, where anybody can get massive kills and endless killstreaks. There was once a time (probably before any of you people were born) when Call of Duty was a game that took skill and you didnt have any of this double gun wielding crap and stupid hacking chopper/killstreaks. Only killstreak (if u want to call it that) was when you recieve arty for killing 5 people. Thats it. Nothing else. All skill. generation today is killing gaming.

Achilles194
Achilles194

guys team deathmatch is still gonna be in the game. So if ur a sniper just play that.

Ares360
Ares360

The tag system looks almost identical to crysis 2, excluding them involving killstreaks.

Real720
Real720

This game doesn't sound too bad. One would have to be a fool to disagree.

mkdoomfan2
mkdoomfan2

@yyhreigan very true! They make it seem people have a gun pointed at their head to buy call of duty games. If you guys dont like it, dont buy it! :D

rigzzsy
rigzzsy

if choppers and turrets etc. still add to your 'point' streak i'll definitely give this a miss

felipe_k3
felipe_k3

no shotguns as secondaries and no akimbo? WTF IS THIS?????

bezerk114
bezerk114

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bezerk114
bezerk114

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

nealarora96
nealarora96

I really like the changes that have been made except the fact that you have to collect a players dog tag after killing him though the concept seems very interesting it will be manipulated a lot. Like when I play with my friends in a party we wont be collecting dog tags but we will be killing every body as soon as they spawn this way the game wont end until the time runs out and by the end of it all of us will have so many kills thus we will get more experience points.

SgtStrungOut
SgtStrungOut

Wow screw anyone who uses sales and popularity to defend a product. That is basically saying that you don't think for yourself and you are a sheep who goes with the trends. Backstreet Boys, Justin Bieber and My Chemical Romance makes alot of sales and they are popular. Does that make them quality and good? HELL NO. They are nothing more than crappy teenybopper bubblegum pop boy bands. COD is the Justin Bieber of FPS games. Popular, trendy and appealing to the lowest common denominator, YET lacks substance, relevance and effort put into it. Plus COD is routine and is WAY too easy. I rarely ever lose. Like 5% of the time do I ever lose. Too easy.

yyhreigan
yyhreigan

Eh. Seems like the people who comment on here are bigger haters than at IGN. It's funny that you read so many hateful comments about Call of Duty yet it already has more pre-orders than Battlefield, shows you how little the Internet community matters in the greater scale of things. As for the whole "just 'cause it sells better doesn't mean it's the better game", well, that's pretty irrelevant. It all boils down to personal opinion and preference. I tried to play Battlefield, but it bored me. Doesn't mean it's a bad game. And it certainly doesn't mean I am going to be pathetic enough to click on Battlefield articles just to type idiotic comments bashing the game, so it's quite funny when people choose to troll CoD articles instead, thinking their desire for the franchise to die already is somehow gonna come true by them posting comments like, "HAHAHAH COD SUX, REHASHED PIECE OF CRAP, ILL BE BUYING BATTLEFIELD!" Lol. Really? You mad? Hahaha. If you like Battlefield, cool. I hope you have fun playing it when it comes out. But stop thinking you're a "real gamer" just because you choose it over CoD or stating that it is the "better game" when they are completely different types of shooters. You might not like MW3 because it's not groundbreaking in anyway, but a game doesn't have to be innovative to be fun. The formula is not broken, no need to fix it. To most Call of Duty players, a few fun tweaks and new maps is all we need. So chill. ;)