Modern Warfare 3 multiplayer features and modes announced

In what has arguably been one of the biggest Call of Duty events ever, Call of Duty XP in Los Angeles, Infinity Ward creative strategist Robert Bowling and Sledgehammer Games COO Michael Condrey outlined some of the new features and modes that will be introduced in Modern Warfare 3. Unfortunately, they didn’t go into any specifics (except for the new killstreak system), but they most likely will be at some point between now and the game’s release. Nonetheless, some highlights were:

• A “universal player card” which will track your career status.
• The introduction of a “Prestige Shop” which will reward you in different ways of your choosing for going the rounds time and again.
• In-game “loyalty rewards” for having played Call of Duty games in the past, including Modern WarfareWorld At War, Modern Warfare 2Black Ops.
• Dual scopes, which will give you the possibility to attach two different scopes on a weapon.
• 16 multiplayer maps on disc, all of which will also be available in the Modern Warfare series’ Spec Ops survival mode.
• 28 different kinds of “point streak rewards.”
• Team Defender and Kill Confirmed multiplayer modes, the former of which will be a CTF (Capture the Flag) type of mode in which once a team has gotten hold of the one and only flag of the map, it will have to shift into defense mode and make sure the enemy does not steal it back. The latter will focus on retrieving the dog tags of a fallen enemy to “confirm” the kill rather than the killing itself, hopefully obliterating any campers seeking to up their kill/death ratio as it will, literally, be pointless.

The keynote offered not only what’s new, but what’s gone as well. As Bowling and Condrey took the stage, the former rapidly mentioned what has been taken away from the prequel. MW3 will try to focus more on team play rather than one-man armies running and gunning; no more apocalyptic tactical nukes; shotguns as secondary weapons are gone and the Commando perk, by which the player gained a significant distance when melee striking an enemy, is as whacked as the Last Stand perk, which would give you a second shot at life, or ending someone else’s for that matter.

In addition to all of the above, Bowling and Condrey talked about how they have changed and revamped the killstreaks system for MW3, now called Strike Packages instead. When monitoring how the players used their killstreaks throughout the game (on maps and in both objective and non-objective based modes primarily), TDM (Team Deathmatch) seemed to be the only mode the kill streak system was ideally optimized for. But, in the spirit of balance and giving both veterans a challenge and the new guys a more “fun” entry to the franchise, three Strike Packages have been introduced (assault, support and specialist) which will eventually lead up to “point streak rewards” for use to upgrade said packages.

• Assault – This package is for those who want to rack up the body count with the likes of enemy-killing assault drones and Osprey gunners as a reward. It’s the familiar killstreak system featured in previous iterations of the franchise and players will know how it works from the get-go.
• Support – This package is for those who focus on the team winning rather than just oneself. Killing enemies one after one, all the while staying alive, will be rewarded with SAM turrets to shoot down aircrafts, RC reckon drones to spot the enemies and reckon juggernauts. In addition, the kill streak does not reset upon sudden death.
• Specialist – This one’s for the lone wolf in you and rewards for being a good shot with this package strapped to your back will come in the form of perks. In MW2, up to three perks could be added to any given class. With MW3‘s Specialist Strike Package, you will be given access to all perks available once you’ve gotten that 8th kill in a row. But it comes at a cost; you get killed, the streak ends and you’ll have to start all over again.

New to MW3 are Weapon Proficiencies, which basically mean the weapons will upgrade much like you do as a soldier. The more you use any given weapon, the better it’ll be with greater rewards becoming available for it as you fire more and more bullets with it. While Condrey spilled his guts on that, Bowling spilled his on the customization available when playing private matches, which is greater than ever before. Time limit, score limit, number of lives, max health and regeneration, damage multiplier, steal health, spectating, killcams, radar, [wave] respawn delays, perks, hardcore mode, 3rd person view, headshots only, killstreaks and weapon loadouts (individual or team-based) are all options subject to change depending on who’s hosting the match. Once the settings are done, they can be synced with Call of Duty Elite for others to play, rate, comment and share.

Also, for all you Facebook stalkers out there, the popular social network has been integrated into Elite and MW3.

Modern Warfare 3 hits stores on November 8th for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC. In the meantime, check out Elite, or these new screenshots, or this trailer, or this MW3branded Xbox 360…