Modern Warfare 2 is not working and maybe we should stop playing it

Modern Warfare 2 is not working and maybe we should stop playing it

I'll get my hands on it right away, because I want to be clear: Modern Warfare 2, the latest iteration of Call of Duty, is a really good game. The gunplay is truly wonderful, the weapons available to users too, as are obviously the customization possibilities. It is a masterpiece from every point of view, even that of support, from which many other teams such as DICE and 343 Industries should learn, which with their Battlefield 2042 and Halo Infinite are stumbling before departure. I'll say it again: MW2, as it's called in Internet slang, is a good game. Yet I'm here to tell you that we should immediately put down the pad or mouse and keyboard and move on to something else.

I know, it seems counterintuitive. Yet, after accumulating over a hundred hours of gameplay, I realized only one thing: Activision does not like us very much . Who am I referring to in the plural? Simple: to us players who have fun and were, at least in the past, slightly above average. Yes, because if you too are with me, that is, unfamiliar with tactical online shooters and more interested in the casual side and not the competitive one, you will immediately notice that Modern Warfare 2 does not reward you, not even for a single moment and indeed, that that you have in your hands is simply one of the worst online games that a slightly above average user could decide to play.

Modern Warfare 2 was killed by the SBMM

I immediately put my hands forward: I'm not a professional, I've never played Call of Duty continuously. My latest approach to the Activision series dates back to the first lockdown, when a friend decided to share his copy of the Modern Warfare reboot with me. We are in quarantine, unable to go out and I buy a PS Plus subscription to start playing online. I like it, but I die often, I don't enjoy it: I want to win. I book a coaching session and start to improve, about fifteen euros well spent for the results I was getting. The matches were always balanced and it often happened that I dominated the lobbies, finishing in first position, obviously also sweating the well-deserved podium in a free-for-all or in a Team Deathmatch or Domination, my favorite mode when I played Call of Duty with a little more light-heartedness, obviously free from work and love commitments. Strengthened by that positive approach and driven a bit by the idea of ​​returning to playing online after a long time, I bought Modern Warfare 2. And I immediately regretted it.

If you browse Reddit , Facebook groups or forums dedicated to the series, you will have noticed that there is a word that has been dominating the web since the game was released. That word (or rather, that acronym actually) is SBMM, which stands for Skill Based Matchmaking. It is, in simple terms, a system that should search for matches based on the player's skill, in order to provide increasingly balanced lobbies. There is nothing wrong with all of this, but it is a pity that Infinity Ward has decided to take this matchmaking system and tighten the shirts. The result has been there for all to see, for over two months now, that is having made an excellent game practically unplayable for most of the average user.

For the drafting of this article I made use of a series of screenshots and clips captured directly from my game sessions. The first image, which you can find a little further down, shows a result well above the average of a random player: 35 kills and 5 deaths, with a score over 4,000 points. Also note the matchmaking balance: we're talking about a Hardpoint match won 250 to 54. This is not a balance.

That result got me, just two successive matches the next day , to get a slew of bad streaks to make even bots envious, who could hardly do worse. Sure, someone could talk about a very rare episode, but no, it's not like that, also because the highest series of kills achieved is equal to 12, while the record is around 36, still higher than the match mentioned above. To fill any doubts, however, I took a series of screenshots on the Modern Warfare 2 statistics page, which you can find here and which demonstrate, unequivocally, how in reality there is a deterioration, an improvement and a deterioration again. An infinite loop, impossible to break.

Mine is not an isolated testimony: out there is full of users who complain about this loop, as if we ended up in Deathloop. But why is all this happening? The responsible party is the SBMM, or rather, its parameters. Already the presence of this tool in casual games is pure madness, but Infinity Ward has tightened the shirts, making it very severe. The exact functioning is impossible to know (I assume it is copyrighted), but the general feeling is that the system looks at the last 5 games. And this is leading to other problems.

The reverse boosting danger

To overcome the SBMM there are some small tricks, which obviously should go against the code of conduct, but which are not a actual "crime". The most used one is reverse boosting: in practice, a series of games are intentionally played badly, so that the game recognizes the player's inability and lowers the matchmaking parameters. Once that's done, after a set number of games, lobbies will inevitably be easier to deal with. Then there are other little tricks, such as buying two versions of the game for two different consoles and using a secondary account with bad statistics to host the games, in such a way as to always find much easier lobbies. I repeat once again: these are not normal lobbies, but easier lobbies, than for players who have a K/D ratio greater than 1.00 (it is, if I am not mistaken, 20% of the Call of Duty player base) they become real walks.

The first game of the day...

...and the one immediately following. Reverse boosting pollutes Modern Warfare 2 even more, with the risk of being faced with much stronger players in each game. At the moment my rate fluctuates between 0.92 and 0.93 and it is practically impossible for me to be able to raise it. Of course, surely the more we go on with the Seasons, the more new maps will come out and the more there will be balances it will be possible to improve, but let's face it: the writer is a thirty-year-old who at the end of the fair would just like to have fun, without having to concentrate as if it were a final of the Call of Duty League.

The problems at the base of the game

In addition to matchmaking, there are other parameters to take into consideration. The maps, being literally pieces of the Warzone 2 playing field, reward movement little and slowness more. It wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing, except that every corner remains insidious and lethal. The time to kill is too low, without forgetting the spawns, completely broken, as evidenced by this little clip of mine captured in a game on Shoot House. And it is not an isolated case: it happens over and over again that the game gives a "free kill", with respawn behind the enemies' backs or vice versa.

Weapons are another problem , given that there is, at least currently, no real balance: some rifles look like machine guns (like the Kastov family, for example) and the system devised for leveling is simply unthinkable, because it forces the player to grind even with non- just ideal in certain ways. All of this obviously leads to even heavier defeats and a general sense of frustration.

We are not the problem casual

At a certain point, probably to better understand if it was my problem or not, I've decided to do a little experiment, obviously not conclusive, but which can give us a little idea of ​​how times have really changed. As I mentioned at the beginning of the article, the last Call of Duty I was able to play was the first Modern Warfare, thanks to a copy shared with a friend. Unable to access it, I invested around twenty euros to buy the Xbox version. After about six hours of play, without the classes I was using at the time, without the correct perks and setups (including commands), the metrics speak for themselves, with a K/D of 1.00 and a W/L of 1.65.

These metrics will obviously not be precise and cannot be taken at face value. But let's remember that this is a fresh account and presumably, if the game has not been abandoned (hard to say for sure), it is very probable that there is clear evidence of how Skill Based Matchmaking is decidedly more severe and difficult to counter in Modern Warfare 2. The numbers, after all, are these.

What should we do with Modern Warfare 2?

Now, this article is more of a vent from a person who paid 80 Euros for not being able to have fun. The truth is that the game cannot be abandoned: beyond the many problems, if you love first person shooters like me, Infinity Ward has created a complete package, full of fun for practically everyone. The arrival of the competitive modes could have some interesting effects and perhaps gradually reduce the effect of the SBMM and the balances that afflict the more casual gaming experience. Most likely, however, for all those who had more than excellent (and not discounted) results in the previous chapters of the series, they will have to get used to the idea of ​​going down a rank.

So long, Modern Warfare, and thank you for all the good times.

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