Raven Software: The Call of Duty Developer No-One is Talking About - Explained
1. Amos Hodge - Trying to live up to @DavidVonderhaar
This is Amos’s words, not mine. Check out the source for yourself - Amos Hodge @wendellwobble pinned tweet on his personal twitter page.
This is the first point, and the reason is largely in relation to Amos Hodge never communicating with his followers over at YouTube. Hey, look buddy, he only has 35,000 followers over at Twitter, and if we are comparing this lost dev soul to David Vonderhaar, then Amos is an unknown entity since David Vonderhaar’s personal Twitter page has over a million followers. My response - living up to David Vonderhaar as a community leader for their Call of Duty ventures would require actually tweets to keep the community up to date, you know… on what Raven Software are up to… what is happening with their MWR game… and exactly when something new is coming out to the game a week in advance.
To begin with, Amos Hodge emerged on Twitter as the lead designer over at Raven Software for the Modern Warfare Remastered game (Raven’s first Call of Duty development venture), and immediately pinned the tweet telling his followers (Modern Warfare Remastered community/players) that he wanted to live up to the reputation of David Vonderhaar.
Not a Call of Duty nerd?... So, who is David Vonderhaar? Well, David Vonderhaar is the lead developer for Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 (the last released Call of Duty title for Treyarch’s development studio). David Vonderhaar is somewhat of an icon for the Call of Duty community, as his Twitter channel has been blowing up ever since it first started, so successful in fact that he has currently got more than a million followers. Granted, these followers are purely those interested in Treyarch’s Call of Duty development activities, but certainly impressive.
Who is Amos Hodge anyway, clearly no one plays MWR? Wrong, the Modern Warfare Remastered game has seen a steady player base, and is still doing well in the present day (October 4th, 2017). Buddy, my friend plays MWR and said that in the present day MWR is dead, and everyone has scattered onto alternate FPS games, and therefore Amos is simply bettering his career by putting his valuable time to better use. Nope, this hurt to even write, as Modern Warfare Remastered, despite the neigh-sayers, is still popular on the PS4 and Xbox One, and will remain supported throughout the rest of 2017 and 2018.
In the past, Modern Warfare Remastered has been given a harsh critique response to unfortunate marketing tactics by Activision. The first being the coupling (or, better put by NerosCinema - a YouTube community leader, handcuffing) of Infinite Warfare to Modern Warfare Remastered, as for the longest time the only way that a person could own MWR was to purchase the Infinite Warfare Deluxe Edition, a special edition for the Infinity Ward 2016 game that came with a free downloadable copy of MWR. This game in its earlier release cycle costed £79.99.
It took until the end of June (in 2017) to release as a standalone copy (for MWR) on the PS4, and released a month later at the end of July (in 2017) as a standalone copy (for MWR) on the Xbox One. This originally retailed at £39.99, but to players utter disgust came out at a time when 3 quarters of the games events and updates had already come and passed. The players purchasing the game in standalone form in June (or July) were met with a sliding online player base (practically dead on the PC), and left with only one big event to look forward to, and this event is still yet to receive official word of from Raven Software regarding a Halloween themed event.
This has all been tied around the neck of Amos Hodge, as players who have committed to the Modern Warfare Remastered game had to commit to the most expensive game that has ever hit the market for the Call of Duty franchise. Is it fair that players who wanted to play MWR had to pay double the retail price back in November (of 2016), and still have to own Infinite Warfare (a game I have never played), or that players who who wanted MWR in standalone form had to wait until the earliest date in June (of 2017) to still have to pay the full retail price of just shy of £40. Of course this isn’t fair, but the game has been jam-packed with surprises, so there is a silver lining in this dark cloud.
No.2 - Weekend Warfare Became Weekly Warfare
This was the transitional point when Raven Software first got lazy when it came down to their games updates on MWR. The weekend warfare brought a unique event to the MWR game that saw a new, unique game mode release every weekend and then go off on the following Monday (at 10AM Pacific time).
The weekend warfare saw the release of some great new game modes unique to the weekend occasion, including such game modes as:
- Prop Hunt (now permanent)
In prop hunt, on one team there are the props, and on the other team there are the soldiers. On the props side, there aim is to hide from the enemy team of soldiers, and they can move around/run for the entire duration of the match, or they can try to blend in with the environment, or play with the minds of the enemy players by flashing (only 1 flash available) and changing props to be something different (can be done a max of 3 times. On the soldiers side, the hunters must find the player props and destroy them either with bullets (P90 weapon, unlimited ammunition) or with a knife attack.
In slasher, on one team there is the singular hunter, and on the other team there is the chickens (not literally, but this give the gist). The hunter must hunt down all of the enemy team (who are defenceless), and kill them with a spade.
- Capture the Flag
In capture the flag, there are two opposing teams, and the objective is to steal the enemies flag and bring it back to the ally’s flag position. This must be done a total of 3 times to win the round.
In demolition, there are two opposing teams, and the objective is either as the attacker (must plant at the two bomb sites, and destroy them) or as the defender (protect the two bomb sites from attacking planters).
- Mad Prop Hunt
In mad prop hunt, on one team there are the props (and there task is to kill the opposing team of soldiers) and they are rigged with C4 explosives, and on the other team there are the soldiers, and the players on this team can use any class set-up to counter hunt the player props.
- RPG’s Only
In RPG’s only, there are two opposing teams, and on each team the objective is to blow up the enemy team with unlimited RPG ammunition, and the first team to hit the top score wins.
Then, weekend warfare was turned into weekly warfare, an idea that was proposed by some members of the MWR community, and what this basically means is that the weekly warfare event still starts on the Friday, but instead of finishing on the following Monday the event remains active until the next Friday when a new game mode would replace the old one.
What is wrong with a weekly warfare? The problem with a weekly warfare is that is gave too much control to Raven Software as developers, as no one from the MWR community would complain since they would always have a game mode to play that would reward them with double XP. But, thankfully, Raven Software recently (earlier this week, to be exact) changed weekly warfare back to weekend warfare.
To further stain the reputation of Amos Hodge, an earlier tweet of his on his personal Twitter page hinted to the MWR community that Raven Software had more weekly/weekend warfare events in the future to get pumped for. This was posted on the launch day for Mad Prop Hunts, but since we have only received rehashed out game modes for the weekly/weekend warfare event. Amos Hodge is not a man of his word, but then again how many words has he actually written on his Twitter page (not enough, that’s for sure).
3. Raven Software are not Community Friendly
What we mean here, is that Raven Software have been ill-connected with the Modern Warfare Remastered community since the launch of the game back in November (of 2016), and this has been largely blamed on Amos Hodge, who clearly introduced himself as the community leader on his Twitter page.
Sure, Raven Software is a games developer and have lots of projects happening that cross over with one another, but this does not dismiss Raven Software from their poor approach in giving news to the community over what is actually happening in the current and future for the MWR game.
So far, Activision has been the sole problem behind Raven’s lack of communication with the MWR community, since they will be putting immense pressure on Raven to help in preparations for the Call of Duty: WW2 release that comes out in a little over a months time.
But, exactly how difficult would it be for Amos Hodge to post a tweet on Twitter every now and then, especially at times when the community is split in half, with some holding out hopes for an autumn event for October (of 2017), and those who are abandoning MWR in the wait for Sledgehammer Games WW2 in November (of 2017).
Yesterday, on Tuesday 3rd October Raven Software have hit an all time low in terms of their communication with the MWR community, as the entire game was lit with people discussing the autumn event starting at 10AM (Pacific time) yesterday, and the best we got was a leak for Infinite Warfare almost certainly receiving a Halloween event this month. This has led to clear expectations for an MWR Halloween event, but there is a code of silence happening amongst Raven Software, so who knows.
4. Popular Call of Duty Content Creating YouTube Channels Have Strayed from the Modern Warfare Remastered Game
Modern Warfare Remastered is treated like a disease amongst the larger community of Call of Duty players, and many have simply given Call of Duty’s 2016 life-cycle of games a wide berth. The popular YouTube channels that feature Call of Duty content like Ali-A (9 million subscribers) have not featured Modern Warfare Remastered news or gameplay videos since Christmas. This is a sign that the community is not screaming for more MWR, but stands as one of the biggest fallbacks for what may have been one of the greatest games ever made for the Call of Duty franchise, and not just because it is the remaster of Call of Duty 4, notably seen as a great-great video-game.
The social video-streaming-sharing medium aside, the overall consensus online from the wider MWR community is that the game is dying, or in fact dead. This is a terrible allegation since the game is just going through its rough spots, since many who have played the game simply believe that there is not enough additional content to keep the game fresh. Those who have committed to this game fall into a figure that is above the million person marker, but at least half of these gamers want to see a Halloween event, and they simply will not accept anything that MWR offers until it happens.
The Twitter following for Amos Hodges channel means nothing, as players are taking their opinions online to complain about the communication between Raven Software and their MWR player base community, but most advocates for the MWR game will not even know who Amos is. This is the sad truth, and this is in large due to Amos’s lack in communication with their fans. The more Amos tweets about MWR, the more the hardened community for MWR will speak up, and the more traction that MWR will get from interested players who may not have been given a good enough reason to hop on the game. Modern Warfare Remastered is a very hopp-able game.
It is also a shame that YouTube channels like Ali-A (9 million subscribers) and TheSyndicateProject (10 million subscribers) have left MWR out to die. This is not in anyway there faults, in that if a game does not appeal, then it is a game that you are not going to want to play. MWR is a powerful entity for Activision, in that it has a brilliant gaming engine, and would be a game that could easily compare to the gaming engine used for Sledgehammer Games WW2 title.
5. Raven Software Have Not Given Any Indication to as to Whether or not they are Going to Support MWR’s Online Past the Launch of WW2
This is a very worrying consideration for new buyers of the Modern Warfare Remastered standalone game, since no one wants to buy a game to play the online mode when the online mode is not going to see considerable support in just over a months time when the next Call of Duty game launches.
Without giving clarification, these newcomers to the community may never become newcomers to the community because forum members on sites like Reddit are telling these individuals that there is no point in buying MWR at this point because the player base for the online mode in the game is going to be dead once the WW2 game drops. Nonsense.
Raven Software have clearly been given the lead on the remastering of all Modern Warfare titles in the future, and since the Modern Warfare Remastered game has seen substantial community support over the past year, they are going to want to keep the MWR community happy so that they can keep the options open for a second Modern Warfare Remastered title.
Infinity Ward’s Modern Warfare 2 was the peaking point for online excitement within the Call of Duty community, and this was largely due to the gaming mechanics online that revolutionised the online FPS gaming industry, including such additions as the nuclear kill streak, the quick-scoping/no-scoping with sniper rifles, the grenade-launching (noob tubing), and the camping. It all started with Modern Warfare 2, and for this reason it is almost certainly green-lit for a Modern Warfare 2 Remastered. Raven Software did a sublime job with the first remaster, and it would only make logical sense for Raven Software to do the second Modern Warfare remaster. Anyone remember the easer egg hint on the summer event Beach Bog map with the poster saying something along the lines of “coming in 2019”. This could have been a weird way of Raven telling the MWR fans that there is a sequel coming in 2019.
If there is a Modern Warfare Remastered 2 (or, MW 2 Remastered) coming in 2019, then Activision will be forced to contract Raven Software with supporting the online mode for MWR throughout the rest of 2017, 2018, and for the most part of 2019, as this was they can reassure the fans that the same level of support will be given for the next Modern Warfare title that is to be remastered.