Why Traditional Call of Duty Multiplayer is Suffering

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 released near the end of 2022 as the latest game in the blockbuster FPS franchise. Even though the multiplayer service has delivered sizable content updates on a regular basis, players have been seeing critical defects in the experience. It’s a problem that’s not unique to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, as the annual release pattern has routinely caused frustrations for the wider playerbase, and it is unfortunate that the series continues to repeat mistakes instead of reassessing how these projects can reach their full potential.


Past titles have tested just about every theater throughout recent military history, some even taking creative liberties in alternate settings, and Call of Duty has covered all manner of technologies and backdrops. One might expect with this broad range of elements there would be a consistent standard for quality maps and modes. Instead, recent discussions are flooded with fans suggesting Modern Warfare 2 map improvements while other 6v6 opportunities fall by the wayside. Many would argue that the core multiplayer is solid, though there certainly have been deficiencies that prevent it from retaining long-term interest.

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Why Call of Duty 6v6 is Lacking


Modern Warfare 2 succeeds in agile, responsive gunplay that is mostly iterative rather than derivative. Its free-to-play companion, Warzone 2, delivers large-scale action with battle royale and extraction-style modes drawn from the base game’s feature set. All in all, it’s an extensive yet dizzying multiplayer suite that attracts casual, competitive, as well as progression-based mindsets. The feel of combat remains visceral, having an immense arsenal that celebrates spectacle, but these explosive mechanics are undermined by Call of Duty‘s lasting meta problems.

To some, debatable game balance becomes most pronounced in traditional multiplayer where players are forced into close-range engagements. While Activision builds an audience around open warfare and live events, the premium experience falters as Warzone 2 takes precedence. The offshoot’s mass appeal is understandable, and there is business sense in supporting the most popular modes, but it potentially puts the team’s focus into question. In all fairness, a clear effort is being made in the new Call of Duty season spotlighting fan-favorite content; nevertheless, several anticipated additions fail to address matchmaking issues and map selection — features that are fundamental, not additive.

The Future of Call of Duty Multiplayer

call of duty modern warfare 2 season 2 promo art

Realistically, any AAA production cycle fixed on a yearly pattern must make compromises. Quality-versus-quantity is a central topic in gaming franchises, not just Call of Duty, therefore it’s commendable that developers manage to find ways to keep such a prolific IP in a healthy state. What is worrying, however, is quality control regarding maps like Taraq and Santa Sena Border Crossing — not that the selection is unworkable as tastes often vary with stark differences in level design. There is also ongoing uncertainty around returning beta maps in Modern Warfare 2, indicating indecision in a series with an established game flow.

An arguable lack of reliability in Call of Duty‘s newest layouts demonstrates that there’s room for improvement. Ideally, 6v6 multiplayer should still assemble diverse maps that serve all playstyles. Snipers and assault rifles will always be in the military shooter mix, and future entries could embrace situational solutions while also avoiding formulaic sight lines. Smaller maps are inherently constrained to more compact spaces that may split corridors using verticality, openings, or controlled branches. The best Call of Duty maps stretch the limits of these structures, presenting fun navigational loops for countering and direct exchanges.

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How Call of Duty Can Approach Balance

Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 - Cargo ship map

Besides maps, there is a multitude of other factors that affect the player experience in a multiplayer FPS. Call of Duty has long used a ranking scheme to handle skill gaps within matchmaking, and Modern Warfare 2‘s skill-based matchmaking is criticized for being overly punishing. The solution isn’t clear and may not please the whole audience, but this divisive system would probably serve players better if it had greater leniency. The prevailing sentiment describes a difficulty curve that swings too far; some parties almost rely on luck with their match-ups. Developers will undoubtedly have to be careful about tweaks to the games’ online infrastructure, as there are plenty of risks for unwanted exploits as well.

Going a bit further into gameplay, weaponry is another important area that might be addressed. Unlocks happen to be in a strange spot, and overpowered guns regularly upset the community whether it is earned or not. Maintaining tension between divergent loadouts should be the goal — progression providing a path toward a wider array of specializations — although weapon balance in Modern Warfare 2 seems to prioritize raw firepower over function. Alternatively, Call of Duty can attempt to equalize its guns by giving each a unique tradeoff that exposes fresh strategies on the battlefield.

The series’ 6v6 modes have been a quintessential part of multiplayer for a while now, and it could enjoy a more positive reception as long as there is sincere support. Popularity is not a major issue for Call of Duty, yet at the same time, uneven commitments don’t necessarily bode well in considering the IP’s future. A massive franchise may become vulnerable if it is spread too thin, as Activision’s talent requires focus in order to sustain its goals. The immediate future promises additional 6v6 maps in Modern Warfare 2‘s Season 2 update, and despite a few shortcomings, fans might appreciate what’s coming in the content pipeline.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is available on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.

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