Call of Duty 4


Looks like your garden-variety list of achievements at first glance:  completing campaign objectives, find X amount of item Y, kill a set number of soldiers at once, and finish every story chapter on the hardest difficulty.  But if you read the whole list, you’ll notice something unusual:  there are absolutely no multiplayer achievements.  Infinity Ward, despite the excitement generated by this game’s MP potential, have decided to restrict multiplayer achievements to camouflage styles, weapon attachments, and other in-game rewards.  I, for one, love the decision.

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I think multiplayer achievements ruin more team-based matches than lag.  Restricting MP achievements to ranked matches is a noble but insufficient effort.  I enjoy achievements, but not at the expense of teamwork.  I’ll use the right weapon for the job, not the one that has yet to increase my gamerscore, and too many people are guilty of this selfishness while a team is trying to capture a flag or plant a bomb.  Kudos to Infinity Ward for making this move.

Also a source: Xbox360Rally

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omfg.jpgEveryone’s favorite insider Major Nelson has been updating the status of the recent Xbox Live maintenance and how it’s giving people inaccurate NAT settings for their routers.  However, there may be a connection between the maintenance and the fact that many participants in the Call of Duty 4 beta (myself included) can’t play it at all.  This thread at charlieoscardelta.com is filled with complaints from people now unable to play the beta.  The first three posts are dated Sept 3, but the remaining dozens were posted after the Live maintenance.  Also interesting is the fact that only about half as many people are playing as usual at the time of this writing. 

Here’s what happened to me:  After playing a bit of the amusing game Overlord I felt the urge to squeeze off a few rounds in the Call of Duty 4 beta before getting ready for dreamtime, Mr. B.  After loading up the beta and choosing “Xbox Live” the screen went black momentarily then greeted me with the following:  “Notice:  You must be signed in to Xbox Live to play Xbox Live matches”.  No sh*t.  So I double check.  Yep, signed in, and attempt to start/enter a match.  Although thousands of people are playing, the beta kept me waiting in a room all alone and wouldn’t hook me up with enough people to start a match, except for one attempt out of seven or so.

So there you have it: evidence of some kind of incompatibility between the new and improved Xbox Live and the CoD4 beta.  Hope this gets remedied fast.  I can’t get enough of running around the Vacant map with a shotty.

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I suppose we can do without the standard paraphrasing just this once and simply show the email I received last night regarding the CoD4 MP beta:

Hey Everyone – Straight to the Point: The Level Cap Is Rising!Friday morning at 10 am PDT (1 pm EST) we’re going to be increasing the Rank level cap to Level 16. This is going to allow you to rank up and unlock more weapons, more perks, and more features; including Clan Tags (lv. 12). This is the first of several level increases we’re going to do throughout the beta, so keep playing, and we’ll keep you informed of incoming updates. Thanks to everyone currently playing for the tremendous amount of feedback we’ve been receiving; Keep sending it, and we’ll see you online!”

callofdutyboxmb2.jpgThis is great news for those of us tired of joining 16-player matches where all but three people are at level 11, and have been for quite some time.  You have to admit that this is a well-designed system Infinity Ward has implemented in order to keep players coming back.  I’m sure many people have already grown bored with the shooter’s beta phase given its level cap and three maps.  It’s important to dole out little morsels to maintain interest, after all.  I hope that the next carrot-on-a-stick will be an additional map but it’ll probably be another raising of the level cap to 22…but that unlocks the Dragunov :D!

No, this isn’t the highest eBay bid for a code key.  Seems that remarkably simple action has finally been taken to prevent unauthorized access to the CoD 4 MP Beta.  A photo at The Above Domain shows beta access priced at a slightly-inflated 99,999 MS points, the equivalent of 1,250 American dollars.  So if you don’t mind hitting up Daddy for the cost of twenty games, then I guess there’s no stopping you, theoretically.  Whoever has the money has the power, right?

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callofdutyboxmb2.jpgAt 8:53 PM EDT I received the most exciting news of the week, and I needed it. I was emailed the code to download the Call of Duty 4 Multiplayer Beta, and those who signed up need to check your email now if you haven’t already. I’ll be playing this tonight and quite a bit tomorrow, and should have a rundown of my first impressions this weekend. 

A while back Infinity Ward allowed the humble masses to vote for one of five designs to grace the game’s cover, and the winning image shown (thanks Achievement Junkie) will be the one lined up across New Release sections come November.  I believe that’s the one I voted for, come to think of it.

So why did the beta key cheer me up so? Two enraging things happened to me tonight within an hour’s time: A thunderstorm knocked out power to my house for a couple of hours, and in the middle of a Halo 2 match with my friend and my kid. I only get to do this once a week. Fantastic timing. About 45 minutes later my kid was using my cell phone. As she handed it back it slipped right through my grasp and dropped straight into a glass of iced tea. Hell of an evening.

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