Call of Duty

Clayster explains why Modern Warfare isn't fit for CoD franchising

by Brad Norton

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Competitive Call of Duty veteran James ‘Clayster’ Eubanks has weighed in on the current state of Modern Warfare and outlined how he believes the latest Infinity Ward title isn’t quite fit for the first season of franchising.

Marking a new era in competitive Call of Duty, the inaugural season of Activision’s Call of Duty League is set to kick off on January 24 with the first slate of matchups taking place in Minnesota.

Dallas Empire’s Clayster recently sat down with Chicago Huntsmen CEO Hector ‘H3CZ’ Rodriguez to discuss the current state of Modern Warfare. Throughout the latest episode of The Eavesdrop Podcast, the CoD veteran explained why Modern Warfare is not an ideal title to begin the new league with, and why he has little faith in Infinity Ward to turn things around.

Activision
Activision
Clayster was crowned world champion in 2019 after a 1400+ day drought between major victories.

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Starting out the particular topic, H3CZ addressed his own experience with 2019’s Modern Warfare and outlined how there’s a number of pivotal issues plaguing the game months after release.

“As much as I love playing the game, there’s sh** that shouldn’t be in there, there’s sh** that’s not fixed and we’re a week away,” he outlined, stressing the fact that the game is not at all in a state ready for the new league.

Offering his own take, Clayster joked that he’s “walking on eggshells” by criticizing the game in a public manner. Yet he continued and emphasized that the root of most issues stems from Infinity Ward themselves.

“I don’t think anybody expected franchising to happen this quick. The game was made by the time franchising was announced. They’ve already been working on it two and a half years at that point.”

Infinity Ward - Modern Warfare
Infinity Ward - Modern Warfare
2019's Modern Warfare marks Infinity Ward's latest release since 2016's Infinite Warfare.

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“It’s Infinity Ward. I’m probably gonna get yelled at for saying this, but I haven’t trusted Infinity Ward since Call of Duty 4.” Exposing a clear divide between Infinity Ward and everyone else involved, Clayster indicated that there’s very little chance much changes throughout the course of the year.

“The teams are on board, the players are on board, the publisher - Activision - is on board, it’s just a matter of getting the developers and meeting them in the middle.”

Referring to issues in previous Infinity Ward releases, Clayster brought up the likes of ‘snaking,’ One Man Army exploits, akimbo shotguns in Modern Warfare 2, and so much more that bogged down the competitive experience over the years. 

“There’s always been stuff like that in Infinity Ward games and they never really fix it. I just don’t have the faith that anything drastic is going to change.”

For mobile readers, the related segment in the video below begins at 53:00.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KqbYTVr1n-E

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Addressing how the Call of Duty franchise could avoid these kinds of problems moving forward, Clayster outlined how members of the community should be involved in early testing in order to really fine-tune the experience.

“To get to a point that everybody is happy with, it’s gonna take pre-finished development input from not only the pros, but the community. We should already be flying out to Treyarch, helping them develop this thing, helping them get it to a competitive level.”

“We don’t even have a ranked playlist in the game right now, we genuinely don’t have anything,” he added. “So what are the ranked players supposed to play? How are they supposed to be incentivized to play, what are their rewards?”

“All of these basic things that make ranked play successful in other games where ranked is a default form of play, it’s stuff that’s missing in CoD and has been missing forever.” Despite highlighting an “aggressive post-launch plan,” Infinity Ward is yet to implement any form of competitive playlist throughout Modern Warfare and there’s no indicating when such a mode might see the light of day.

Twitter: DallasEmpire
Twitter: DallasEmpire
Clayster (left) alongside his starting teammates in the Dallas Empire.

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Despite his issues, Clayster underscored how “storylines will always drive Call of Duty.” Regardless of game-breaking issues, “the games have kind of been secondary. Even if the game isn’t where it wants to be, I think this year will still be solid just because we’re all still here.” 

Clayster will be taking to the stage to kick off the Call of Duty League against H3CZ’s very own Chicago Huntsmen on January 24 in Minnesota.