Improve Call of Duty With This One Weird Trick

Call of Duty has quietly changed in a lot of ways since the release of the initial Modern Warfare. Namely, a lot of bad perks have been gutted, repurposed, or cut entirely. Stopping Power is largely gone, Juggernaut is now the much more interesting Ballistics Vest item, Martyrdom, Last Stand, Commando, and 3x Frag Grenades are gone. But one perk remains that holds the game back. Steady Aim.

An innocuous sounding perk, reduced hipfire spread, Steady Aim is a thorn in the side of Call of Duty’s primary gameplay loop. In Call of Duty the primary concerns of the player are shooting and not being shot. To liven up this dynamic, the game has the ability to aim down the sights of your weapon. Doing so greatly improves the accuracy of the weapon, at the cost of a slightly more narrow FOV, and reduced movement – sometimes drastically reduced. It always takes a moment to aim down sights, but the resulting accuracy is vastly superior to what you experience firing from the hip.t6mp 2014-05-29 19-33-44-12

Steady Aim reduces the cost of hip firing, and thus reduces the incentive of aiming down your sights. To further the damage, every weapon in Call of Duty has a different recoil profile, you need some experience with a weapon to master it. But that recoil pattern is only noteworthy when aiming down sights. When hip firing, it is basically a simple random sample inside of a circle. With that, the higher sample rate (i.e., fire rate of the weapon) has an advantage, and with Steady Aim, the shots are grouped into a smaller circle. Steady Aim reduces the benefits of aiming down the sights in battles closer than Medium-Long distances.

As a result, many of the game spaces lend themselves not to the cost-benefit analysis of the primary mechanic loop, but of fire rate and magazine size. Removing Steady Aim keeps this consideration alive throughout the scenarios available, and enlivens weapon choice. As long as it remains then fire rate and magazine size will have an exaggerated importance in the scale of the game world.

t6mp 2014-05-29 19-23-07-09Remove Steady Aim, and make room for perks which facilitate more decisions and broader play styles, rather than the most basic default one having a wider berth than others. Keep the perks away from the primary mechanics and leave those up to individual player skill, let the players express and customize through perks which modify secondary and tertiary mechanics.