So on 1st February (2008) Infinty Ward released Patch 1.5 for Call of Duty 4.
Whilst this fixed some bugs and did improve the in-game server browser at the official IW ForumÂ we have had four months of PC gamers posting please for fixes and features for the game.
Some of these may be nitpicking (changing weapon realism etc) but for many of the oldschool CoD players things like their Clan tags in colour (or even having enough characters available to put their name in) are an important aspect of gameplay. A whole host of other bugs and features have also been listed to be brought to the attention of the IW Community Manager – fourzerotwo. So has he and, more importantly the programmers and developers at IW, listed ?
Well apparently not.
The much-hyped Patch 1.6 was announced for release on 5th June. When I say announced, this was not on the official IW Forum like all previous patches. Oh no, fourzerotwo chose to announce it on his own personal blog site (what an ego !).
Still at least we knew the patch was coming. More importantly PC gamers were also to get the map-pack that console gamers had previously had released. Given the number of maps that the community have developed themselves I am not convinced that this was such a bargain. Console gamers had to buy their map-pack but in a deal bewteen IW and nVidia, it was agreed that nVidia would sponsor the map-pack release.
Â And therein liesÂ the start of the latest round of moans, gripes and whinges. Having stated the patch would be released on 5th June it appeared a couple of days before to people signed up on an nVidia forum. This prompted much discussion about whether it was the the full patch or just the new maps. Oh the confusion !
To this day, there has still been no official announcement on the IW forums that the patch has been released !
Oh well, at least we have it.
And there’s all those bug fixes and features we’ve been waiting 4 months for aren’t there ?Â Err, actually, no.
According to fourzerotwo :
“the 1.6 Patch for the PC version of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare that will add support for the new maps, fix a server crash exploit recently reported by the community, and a few additional features / bug fixes. I will post a full patch notes list next week”
Well it seems he has been too busy playing on his Xbox as he never has posted the patch notes. More worrying is the fact that the patch had a serious bug in it allowing a major game exploit.
According to his latest blog (13th June) :
I also wanted to note for our PC players, weâ€™re currently working on a fix for the PC cheat exploit that many of you reported to us after the 1.6 patch. Thanks to everyone for their quick response in getting us information on it. The programmers are currently addressing it and Iâ€™ll update you when you can expect the fix to hit servers as soon as I know
Gee, thanks. Given that it’s been four months in development you would have thought they would have picked up on this.
So, where does that leave the CoD4 PC playing community ? In comments to his blog I spotted this one from the man himself :
At this time everything weâ€™re working on is underwraps. I can say that weâ€™re not planning any new weapons, prestiges, etc. for COD4 at this time, all those rumors are just rumors
and also, in response to a comment about clipping on the Pipeline map :
As for the Pipeline clippings, yes the LDâ€™s are aware, but donâ€™t think weâ€™ll be doing any clipping updates
Now call me cynical but from the tone of these plus the rumour mill about CoD5 already being in production, I am tempted to suggest that it may be a case of “that’s all folks” as far as CoD 4 is concerned. Maybe a fix for the exploit but it certainly doesn’t sound like any more major patches and the fixes/features requested are probably going to leave PC gamers whistling in the wind.
So, does a developer have a duty to continually work on patches for a game ? If so, for how long ? It ties up developers and programmers and will not in itself generate more income. Look at the MoH Airborne disaster. maybe it’s just time to accept the game with all its faults and move on to the next new game out.
What’s your view ?