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Infinity Ward Developer answers community’s burning questions regarding MW3

Forum Moderation and Infinity Ward Developer “G IH A IN ID II” has taken the time over on the official Call of Duty forums to answer users burning questions regarding Modern Warfare 3, from Lag Compensation to more personal things, check out the Q&A below:

Question 1: Do you average pings to determine lag compensation?

Answer 1: Lag varies on an individual basis between each player in the game. The sync disparity differs and is handled on a case by case basis. There is no one size fits all approach applied per lobby if that is what you are asking.


Question 2: You say Matchmaking plays a big role in the lag comp issue, then why does your DLC release structure fragment pool selection. Certainly you’ve realized that separating players into several small groups makes your current matchmaking configuration inefficient thus matching players from all over the planet into one lobby. After lag comp has its say, these players suffer from a horrible experience. Meanwhile your company logo flashes up on every loading screen, reminding us of the responsible party.

Answer 2: Yes we are aware that DLC releases segment the player population as evidenced by the provision of a switch in MW3 which allows players to play the original maps or original maps+DLC.


Question 3: Do you guys play your own game?

Answer 3: Yes we do play our own game.


Question 4: If so, do you ever feel like you’re in god mode or several seconds behind the other players? What side of lag comp do you typically fall on in your games? What is your network’s quality, speed, etc…? Do you play matches against players from thousands of miles away in other countries? How’s that gaming experience?

Answer 4: We play it on a variety of connections that people have at home. These range from FIOS 35/35, through my ADSL 5/1 (more like 4.3/0.6) and lower.

IW members have experienced issues naturally. However, no one at the Studio has experienced these to anywhere near the degree this thread portrays. Speaking for myself personally I have had the odd game when playing in a large party where I have felt the other team, or certain members of the other team have had the jump on me. For myself and extended friend list the game has been performing as well as MW2 and MW1 before that. I’m a 1.5-1.75 KDR player by the time I finish so perhaps I’m not noticing the issues that those with more skill than I possess are. I play on Xbox frequently and PS3 on occasion. I live in LA and tend to play solo so I have rarely been match made with those from thousands of miles away.


Question 5: Are you a gamer or COD fan yourself? Do you have something against gaming or people who like to game in general?

Answer 5: IW is staffed with people passionate about games. Speaking for myself I am a huge CoD fan and gamer. I’m a game developer so I kind of guess that comes with the territory. Regarding CoD I’ve put in around 80 plus days in the retail environment, Prestiged MW 1 and 2 to max level and Prestiged 7 times in other titles. This is in addition to I’d guess 5-10X that time in days spent playing MP, Zombies, Spec-Ops and SP Call of Duty since I’ve been involved in development of the games in various capacities since around 2003.


Question 6: What do the executives at Activision or IW think about sluggish DLC sales and player counts compared to other releases? Are they aware there is an issue with the game? And that is the reason we’re not buying DLC and playing less?

Answer 6: I cannot speak for what the executives at Activision think.


Question 7: Is it reasonable to believe, in your opinion, that this is an issue that is not going to get fixed?

Answer 7: I believe we can improve the situation for players with issues and that is what the team is working on both for MW3 and for the future.


Question 8:  I will not beta test your new offering, Bops2 or any future DLC. Nor will I be the host for your customers on my fast internet while you place me seconds behind everyone else. Nor will I reconfigure my internet; lower my speed and quality just to play your games.

Answer 8: I respect your decision to not reconfigure your Internet as do I your right to chose not to purchase any future game in the series. I’ll be genuinely sorry to lose someone from the community.

From my knowledge of the network code and compensation system window any host that is truly ‘seconds’ behind a competitor will IMO have an advantage unless the competitor is throttling their upstream packet delivery, while maintaining a steady downstream rate to artificially create seconds of latency.


Question 9: Since our man GHANDI has now openly admitted that it is currently better to play on a bad connection, I was wondering exactly how bad my connection needs to be to get the games assistance? I have been fighting against it for 6 months and I would like to have a better experience from here on out. Since it has now been admitted that the game itself is at fault, how can I correct or the games flaws? I have my 25/25 Fios slowed down to 3.5/1.5 to just my PS3 but it isn’t helping like it did about a month ago.

Answer 9: I want to be clear in what I said. I said our roll back investigations have showed us two things to date. One there is an inaccuracy with auto aim in replays. Fixing this is not a high priority since it does not affect the in game experience. Two the smoothing of lagging players onscreen under certain circumstances is under investigation. I also expressed that tweaks to the latter code portion could result in complaints from a different segment of the playing population. I also said I believe people when they report issues with game performance on high quality ISPs. I also believe people who report issues with lower end ISPs.

The nature of lag discrepancy means that there are occasions when this discrepancy will favor the player who is in front in game time and occasions when the discrepancy will favor the player who is behind. It depends on the nature of the encounter in question. We have narrowed the window of discrepancy under which any compensation is applied. This window is far, far smaller than the 1 second delta oft quoted by contributors to this forum.  Lastly I have repeatedly said we have to take care to balance any change so that it makes a net improvement across the player base. Not solely for any one specific group at the expense of another.

The match making change that is arriving imminently we hope will be a fix that meets this criteria. We hope it improves connectivity for parties and solo players alike regardless of ISP quality.

Hopefully the questions you have been wondering have been answered!


Which classic maps do you want brought back to life in a Modern Warfare 3 map pack?

It has become popular for Call of Duty map packs to bring back old classics to their future games because there were always maps on the previous games that everyone loved but they can’t really include the maps with the release of the game since it would seem cheap.

Infinity Ward is has been developing the Call of Duty franchise for the longest period of time than any other CoD developers, to date they have released 5 Call of Duty titles since Call of Duty debuted in October 2003. So this is the company that has the most experience and a huge number of maps available to their disposal to bring back to life in Modern Warfare 3.

Infinity Ward has been known for bringing back its classic maps from previous games in their map packs for the original Modern Warfare and Modern Warfare 2. In the original modern warfare, the variety map pack included everyone’s favourite from the hugely popular Call of Duty: 2 known as Carentan. It was just a fantastic map that was always the most popular. They put a twist on the map though to make it a bit more quirky and different because you wouldn’t be fighting in a small town in France with a WW2 settings in a Modern Warfare game so they kept the basic outline and geometry of the map but completely re-skinned it, dubbing it “China Town“.

In the two images below you can see the same area in the two maps and how different they are. The same was done for the Wasteland map in Modern Warfare 2 which resembled the Brecourt map in the original Call of Duty.

Incidentally, the original Carentan map was based off one of the scenes in the 10 part mini-series Band of Brothers when they take the small town of Carentan. A lot of the original Call of Duty’s seemed to resemble a lot of the mini-series, with even characters names being identical to that of Band of Brothers. The two bottom images of the picture above show the similarities betwen the two.

In the second Modern Warfare 2 map pack (Resurgence), two maps from Modern Warfare were brought back to life: Vacant and Strike. Two fantastic maps that were definitely worthy of being given a second chance in a future Call of Duty, it’s unlikely these will be given a third appearance so unfortunately we probably won’t see these. So instead let’s take a pick of one map from each Infinity Ward Call of Duty game that we’d like to see brought back to life in Modern Warfare 3. Obviously the map packs that will be released will have original content in them but it is always nice to bring back a fan favourite and classic map.

Let’s start with the original Call of Duty which was first released in 2003, their maps will look a little dated as of today’s standards but with a little TLC they could be fantastic. So for the original I have chosen the map called “Pavlov”, named after one of the characters in the campaign, Pavlov is set in a snow environment around a large apartment complex surrounded by other buildings and other forms of entrance, it’s a fantastic map because you can have close quarters combat inside the buildings and epic sniper battle between them.


For the next Call of Duty which was released in 2005, “Call of Duty 2” was a massive step for the game in terms of quality and graphics. The map I’ve chosen from this one is called “Burgundy”, it is a small French village but it was one that I will always remember from the game because it is a fairly small map but has a great sniper vs. sniper area and the rest is just fantastic for combat.


Infinity Wards next game was the original Modern Warfare(2007), until this release Call of Duty had always been WW2 themed so it was a huge leap forward for the franchise and allowed for some great new content and maps. Deciding which map to pick here was definitely one of the hardest since there are so many great maps such as Pipeline, Crossfire, Ambush, Countdown and Broadcast from the DLC but in the end, the map I’d most like to see in Modern Warfare 3 would be Countdown because it is a map that is extremely different from any others, the main  thing hiding you from the enemies is the smoke from the missiles so a thermal scope would work wonders and it’s just generally a well put together map.


Last but not least we have the famous, Modern Warfare 2. With two DLC’s available there is an absolutely massive choice of maps available for this game. The two maps that really stuck out for me from this game were Terminal and Highrise, two brilliant maps that appeal to all kinds of player. Each being set in a truly unique environment. I think I’d have to go for Highrise though, the awesome secrets to get on top of the buildings and the secret passages to get the enemy are great.


We hope to definitely see at least a few of these maps rejuvenated and brought back to life in some of the Modern Warfare 3 map packs. We really hope though that they’ll take a look back into their much earlier WW2 games because it would be great to see another Carentan/Brecourt map brought up to scratch.

Those who have played the original Call of Duty or Call of Duty: 2 will know that there are definitely some memorable maps there that would be a real treat to see again. Of course we’d expect some brand new maps included in a DLC/map pack release because that’s the idea of them and new maps are always welcome as they add a breath of fresh air to the game. Since Modern Warfare 3 has made a habit already of shaking things up and adding new things to their game, we may even see our first map pack that includes extra Spec Ops missions as well as multiplayer maps.

What do you think:
What maps would you like to see brought back to live in Modern Warfare 3 from the previous Call of Duty series? Maybe you have played some community created maps that would be worthy of integration into the actual game. If your playing Modern Warfare 3 and haven’t played the previous two you should check them out since the story continues throughout them all.

For those who havent played some of the earlier Call of Duty’s you should definatley check them out, you can get them really cheap now, check out some of the links below:


Possible Modern Warfare Map Pack maps found amongst files

A source here, has revealed some details which could indicate some possible maps that will be included in future Modern Warfare 3 map packs.

Like with previous versions of modern warfare, certain folk have dug deep into the files included on the Modern Warfare 3 installation disk to reveal some interesting findings. The files that have been found on the Modern Warfare 3 disk indicate 5 possible maps. 4 which are from Call of Duty: 4 and 1 from Modern Warfare 2. The maps from Call of Duty 4 have already been brought back to life once in Modern Warfare 2 so it wouldn’t be such a big shock if they were brought back. Especially since the 4 maps are all brilliant and would definitely be welcomed.

Files relating to the map Highrise from Modern Warfare 2 have also been found. We recently had a look back at the Call of Duty games to decide which maps we’d like to see brought back to life in Modern Warfare 3 here.

The proof image below was posted from Mp1st.com :

Just a reminder that these files don’t indicated anything definite although similar files found in Black Ops turned out to be true. We have mentioned these map files being included on the disk previous here regarding the price of Call of Duty map here, take a look and tell us what you think.