I didn't like everything I experienced in the Medal of Honor multiplayer beta, but there'd be no point in having a beta if everyone thought the game was perfect. The giant focus group and I had a lot to say, and EA isn't brushing it off. Community Manager Matthew Pruitt responded yesterday on the PlayStation Blog with a list of adjustments and improvements that are underway. Hey, we do have a voice! Here's what multiplayer developer DICE has been working on, in Pruitt's words:
Improved Hit Detection
This was a very big issue and came up many times in the forums. We are glad to say that hit detection has been vastly improved. We really tightened up the mechanics and essentially, wherever the bullet hits on the body — that is where the hit registers. It is even possible to shoot and have the bullet go between someone’s legs – it is that precise!
Out of ammo? No longer do you need to find an ammo crate. Find the nearest dead enemy/friendly and pick up their weapon. And remember, the knife knows no ammunition, so if you really want to be Tier 1 — pull out that bad boy and start slashing your way to victory.
Support Actions Balanced
We heard the outcry and we have made adjustments. The support actions were tweaked and are now more difficult to achieve. There is always a fine line between what is too hard and what is too easy, but we think we have balanced it pretty well. It is just not fun when you are getting nailed with rocket and mortar attacks every 20 seconds.
Unlock Tree Expanded and Balanced
Your ascension to Tier 1 status will now be even more eventful. The unlock tree has been expanded for every weapon, providing an extensive series of choices.
Every beta has its crashes and the Medal of Honor beta was no different. We know it is frustrating, but it is all part of the beta process. The good news is that we have fixed the crashes and resolved a number of connectivity issues.
Major Graphic Overhaul
The graphics have been overhauled and upgraded. We are happy to report that the game looks even more spectacular than before.
The weapons are essential to gameplay, obviously, and we made sure to concentrate on getting them right. The list is long and the changes are many. From zoom spread to damage inflicted, rest assured that every weapon has been modified.
These changes and fixes are just the tip of the iceberg. As we move toward the game’s release, we continue to improve the game every single day.
So they're working on... everything. You could take the jaded gamer stance and say that all of these issues were apparent regardless of the beta, and that EA is just pretending that we're involved, but then you'd be a really tiresome person. I trust that DICE fully cares about the quality of their games. They must, or they probably wouldn't have produced such great games.
The most important adjustments, as I see it, regard the game's balance. Based on their previous successes, it's clear that DICE understands that unlocking new weapons and using devastating special attacks (support actions) is fun, but that being constantly reduced to creamed corn because other players are working the system is not so fun. A little restraint from Infinity Ward might have helped Modern Warfare 2 in that respect (by the way, psst... Activision... this is why you do open betas... just sayin').
I've just started playing Battlefield: Bad Company 2 (I'm a little behind, okay?), and I love the hell out of it. DICE's large-scale, tactically-minded shooter isn't exactly what Medal of Honor traditionally is, but it's full of good ideas. Even more so than in previous Battlefield games, DICE offers a wealth of methods for players to contribute and feel rewarded, and that's their greatest achievement. I never feel frustrated in BC2, even if my team is losing and I'm at the bottom of the rankings, because I'm always looking for a new tactic to make a big game-changing push, and I never feel entirely outmatched. It's not an endless cycle of run forward, shoot, and hope the other guy doesn't aim faster than you, or have a better weapon. That becomes frustrating quickly, especially when you throw in rewards for good players that make it even more difficult for weaker players to enjoy the game. I'm not saying skill shouldn't be rewarded, but there has to be some way for players who can't quick scope as well to have fun. No one likes rage quitting.
Above all, BC2 always feels fair, and that's what I hope for in Medal of Honor.
Aug 24, 2010