Can A Website Make You Better At Headshots?

Posted by Jeff (3425 posts) -
A webpage posting a picture of a webpage that features an embedded video on it. And they said the Rapture wasn't real...

Though I always thought that Bungie's website did amazing things with Halo statistics, it was always held back a bit by the fact that I'm just not great at playing Halo against others. So it's always cool to see specifics on my play in Halo: Reach, ODST, Halo 3, and Halo 2, but it always sort of comes back with the same basic idea:

"You're kind of shitty at Halo, man."

That's fine. I can take it. The cycle of getting pretty good at something quickly only to never play it again once the review is written sort of comes with the territory in this job. But with all this data collecting, isn't there some way for the game to tell me what I'm doing wrong? Or what I need to be working on? That's the future potential for this sort of stat tracking, and it's one of the potential differentiators for Activision's similar service for Call of Duty called Call of Duty Elite.

Or, at least, Activision's claiming that Elite can make you a better player. The catch is that it isn't really showing much of this "teach you how to be better" potential. I saw an exhaustive presentation for what is, essentially, Activision's version of Bungie's free stats service, complete with personalized heatmaps, and a Steam-like setup that lets like-minded groups commune. "Improve" is even one of the three pillars of the service, which means it was sort of driven into our heads again and again by the presenters. But short of looking at those maps of levels and seeing where you die a lot, it didn't seem like the service was set up to actually systematically tell you what you're doing wrong. It lacks analysis. Even a basic "you need to work on aiming, your opponents are getting shots off on you 0.3 seconds before you're returning fire" would probably help. Instead, it appears that most of that advice is set to come from the community. The "improve" section of the Elite site currently shows maps of all the levels with a bit of descriptive text, as well as articles on every weapon and attachment in the game, which all strikes me as a little basic for the type of person who might be willing to spend time on a site devoted to Call of Duty stats.

== TEASER ==

Groups and clan support will also be present. Groups look similar to Steam groups in that they can be about anything, so they can be for fans of in-game characters to fans of football or Chevys or whatever. Clan support was talked about, but not really shown. It, along with most of Call of Duty Elite's features, will be integrated into Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 upon its release this November. But the service will also support Black Ops, and the stats that that game has been keeping since its launch last year will be present when Elite rolls out.

Elite will also have support for leagues and tournaments with prizes for top contestants. Some of these challenges won't require top play, though, with different categories like "best screenshot" or "best video clip." Another one listed the "Most Destroys" for Headquarters mode. Hopefully these goals will focus on team-oriented goals over personal goals, as it would be pretty annoying to have everyone on your team going for broke on some specific objective just to win a Jeep--which was one of the placeholder prizes shown on the work-in-progress version of the Elite site we were shown.

Activision's being really cagey about what will cost money and what will be free, and it seems like they actually haven't figured out where to erect the pay wall. Things like stats and groups will, from the sounds of things, probably be free to all players. Considering these services are done for free elsewhere, that's probably a good move. The other potentially interesting thing is that being an Elite member gives you all of the Modern Warfare 3 downloadable add-ons as they're released. That, it's safe to assume, will only be for people with paid accounts. So if we further assume that there will be three map packs released over MW3's lifespan, that's $45 of value right there. How much would you be willing to pay for something like this? Activision will only state that it will be "less than any comparable service." Considering that Bungie does stats for free on its shooters--and that's pretty comparable--I'm having a hard time seeing anything that makes Elite worth more than the raw cost of the map packs alone. Maybe getting all its DLC money up front, while you're still super excited about the game is enough. Activision's claiming that Elite is an evolving service that will grow over time, so maybe it'll have more going on that we were initially shown.

The good news is that nothing is being forced on you. If you want to buy Modern Warfare 3 and buy (or not buy) the map packs, you'll have roughly the same experience you've always had, but with the potential addition of deeper stats. That, of course, all depends on where Activision decides to drop its pay wall. There's nothing wrong with that. And if you're the type of person who absolutely has to have it all and wants in on tournaments and leagues and all that extra stuff, well, Activision will be ready to accept your payment details later this year.

Staff
#1 Posted by Jeff (3425 posts) -
A webpage posting a picture of a webpage that features an embedded video on it. And they said the Rapture wasn't real...

Though I always thought that Bungie's website did amazing things with Halo statistics, it was always held back a bit by the fact that I'm just not great at playing Halo against others. So it's always cool to see specifics on my play in Halo: Reach, ODST, Halo 3, and Halo 2, but it always sort of comes back with the same basic idea:

"You're kind of shitty at Halo, man."

That's fine. I can take it. The cycle of getting pretty good at something quickly only to never play it again once the review is written sort of comes with the territory in this job. But with all this data collecting, isn't there some way for the game to tell me what I'm doing wrong? Or what I need to be working on? That's the future potential for this sort of stat tracking, and it's one of the potential differentiators for Activision's similar service for Call of Duty called Call of Duty Elite.

Or, at least, Activision's claiming that Elite can make you a better player. The catch is that it isn't really showing much of this "teach you how to be better" potential. I saw an exhaustive presentation for what is, essentially, Activision's version of Bungie's free stats service, complete with personalized heatmaps, and a Steam-like setup that lets like-minded groups commune. "Improve" is even one of the three pillars of the service, which means it was sort of driven into our heads again and again by the presenters. But short of looking at those maps of levels and seeing where you die a lot, it didn't seem like the service was set up to actually systematically tell you what you're doing wrong. It lacks analysis. Even a basic "you need to work on aiming, your opponents are getting shots off on you 0.3 seconds before you're returning fire" would probably help. Instead, it appears that most of that advice is set to come from the community. The "improve" section of the Elite site currently shows maps of all the levels with a bit of descriptive text, as well as articles on every weapon and attachment in the game, which all strikes me as a little basic for the type of person who might be willing to spend time on a site devoted to Call of Duty stats.

== TEASER ==

Groups and clan support will also be present. Groups look similar to Steam groups in that they can be about anything, so they can be for fans of in-game characters to fans of football or Chevys or whatever. Clan support was talked about, but not really shown. It, along with most of Call of Duty Elite's features, will be integrated into Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 upon its release this November. But the service will also support Black Ops, and the stats that that game has been keeping since its launch last year will be present when Elite rolls out.

Elite will also have support for leagues and tournaments with prizes for top contestants. Some of these challenges won't require top play, though, with different categories like "best screenshot" or "best video clip." Another one listed the "Most Destroys" for Headquarters mode. Hopefully these goals will focus on team-oriented goals over personal goals, as it would be pretty annoying to have everyone on your team going for broke on some specific objective just to win a Jeep--which was one of the placeholder prizes shown on the work-in-progress version of the Elite site we were shown.

Activision's being really cagey about what will cost money and what will be free, and it seems like they actually haven't figured out where to erect the pay wall. Things like stats and groups will, from the sounds of things, probably be free to all players. Considering these services are done for free elsewhere, that's probably a good move. The other potentially interesting thing is that being an Elite member gives you all of the Modern Warfare 3 downloadable add-ons as they're released. That, it's safe to assume, will only be for people with paid accounts. So if we further assume that there will be three map packs released over MW3's lifespan, that's $45 of value right there. How much would you be willing to pay for something like this? Activision will only state that it will be "less than any comparable service." Considering that Bungie does stats for free on its shooters--and that's pretty comparable--I'm having a hard time seeing anything that makes Elite worth more than the raw cost of the map packs alone. Maybe getting all its DLC money up front, while you're still super excited about the game is enough. Activision's claiming that Elite is an evolving service that will grow over time, so maybe it'll have more going on that we were initially shown.

The good news is that nothing is being forced on you. If you want to buy Modern Warfare 3 and buy (or not buy) the map packs, you'll have roughly the same experience you've always had, but with the potential addition of deeper stats. That, of course, all depends on where Activision decides to drop its pay wall. There's nothing wrong with that. And if you're the type of person who absolutely has to have it all and wants in on tournaments and leagues and all that extra stuff, well, Activision will be ready to accept your payment details later this year.

Staff
#2 Posted by Marlowe (33 posts) -

I wonder how many people will actually signup for this?

#3 Posted by WinterSnowblind (7613 posts) -

Anybody who signs up for this is a chump. 
Just saying..

#4 Posted by TurboMan (7417 posts) -
@Marlowe said:
I wonder how many people will actually signup for this?
whether you like it or not, tons.
#5 Posted by Zero_ (1973 posts) -
Bro-verload
#6 Posted by Jadeskye (4367 posts) -

A better idea then i would have expected from activision, i'll give them that. the key will be whats free and whats not and how much they want for it.

#7 Posted by granderojo (1778 posts) -

None of this Call of Duty Elite stuff looks like something I'm interested in. Although I haven't been interested in Call of Duty since the first modern warfare. They just keep trying to one up themselves, instead of trying to strive for any sort of balance in the multiplayer.

#9 Posted by GeekDown (1170 posts) -

Even though I'll probably end up playing a shit ton of MW3, I won't be paying for this.

#10 Posted by endaround (2140 posts) -

The biggest question I think is the timing of map pack releases.  Are individual maps going to come out for subscribers a month at a time and then have a DLC pack 6 months later for $15?  Because that would seem to be a huge way to splinter the audience.  and when new map packs come out people who wait to buy the DLC are going to be facing players who have been on these maps for months and are waiting for the new map to drop.

#11 Posted by CarpetRemnant (369 posts) -

If CoD is like totally your thing and all you ever think about is CoD then this is probably pretty cool. I don't think it's evil or anything like that. Personally I can't stand CoD but if they launched the next...Assassin's Creed game and you could subscribe for a third hidden blade I probably would.

#12 Posted by TheGTAvaccine (2884 posts) -

Nooooope.

#13 Posted by sungahymn (987 posts) -

Hmm.

#14 Edited by Klaimore (945 posts) -

I can see how this was made for the truly "ELITE" players. Get it... Also forget the whole plan itself but that video was funny. I specially like the end. 

#15 Posted by DarkbeatDK (1240 posts) -

It does not surprise me that Call of Duty would cross into the social networking territory, but it is interesting to see that they are willing to get their own entire thing off the ground AND charge money for it. 
 
Pretty ballsy, but considering how they can get away with 15 American Dollars for map packs, I can totally see why they would try getting money for this too.

#16 Posted by Doskias (303 posts) -

So, do we, as an Internet, owe Michael Pachter an apology for doubting him? 

#17 Posted by pot (68 posts) -

No thanks, this is not a freaking MMORPG.

#18 Edited by SomeJerk (3153 posts) -

And the PC version will continue being hacked easily and these things will be made useless..

#19 Edited by Slaker117 (4835 posts) -

My only problem with this is the video.
 
If you don't want it, don't buy it. I know I'm not going to. Not like it detracts from the experience.

#20 Posted by Jimi (1126 posts) -

Nope.

#21 Posted by dexterslu (290 posts) -

Inevitably the question of "How many will sign up for this" will be answered by how the service is supported, if it's actually worth it - it's likely that a lot of people would be willing to fork over the cash to become better COD players. However, as Jeff points out the service doesn't do a great job of making you  a better player, rather it seems to be simply another layer of data for stat freaks to ogle at .

#22 Posted by Branthog (7342 posts) -

Repackage what has been done for free on the PC for fifteen years and charge for it. Got it. Okay.

#23 Posted by MrMuscle (443 posts) -

 

The voice in that video sounded really familiar. Anyone know who it is?

#24 Edited by Hats (360 posts) -

People buy games they never play for hats they never wear, in a world that doesn't exist.
So hows that subscription to battle.net plan coming along guys?
Is this stupid yes, will this make them money yes.
1st world problems :(
 
also cringe at that video

#25 Posted by newblacknoise (29 posts) -

That logo looks awfully similar to the promo posters of The Expendables, except way lamer.

#26 Posted by Bremmy (15 posts) -
@MrMuscle: It's T.J. Miller. 
#27 Posted by XenoNick (1390 posts) -

Even though I know that I will play alot of MW3. No interest in this what so ever.

#28 Posted by sonicrift (293 posts) -

I think I would have preferred to see the out-of-touch 50-something who wrote the dialogue in that video stand in front of a camera to read off the bullet points. 

#29 Posted by Stupot (177 posts) -

I would have paid for guaranteed balancing, regular patches and maybe a new map every other month. Or something along those lines. I'd pay for longevity in a shooter not heat maps -.-.

#30 Posted by Swish (83 posts) -

I kind of un-ironically like that video, just nothing it is selling me.

#31 Posted by Wuddel (2079 posts) -

Is it just me or does the stats part looks REALLY similar to the Killzone Website? 
 
The video had a few funny moments though, I give them that.

#32 Posted by boylie (305 posts) -

Cool story, bro. 
 
Also, pass.

#33 Posted by Leptok (942 posts) -

Instead, it appears that most of that advice is set to come from the community. 
 
LOL

#34 Posted by megalowho (960 posts) -

I'm sure the always supportive and mature Call of Duty community can't wait to help me improve my play using this service.

#35 Posted by PhatSeeJay (3322 posts) -

Yeah... No.

#36 Posted by ArtelinaRose (1843 posts) -

I hope nobody is stupid enough to actually pay for this.

#37 Posted by drag (1223 posts) -

wonder if they'll actually put accurate gun stats up on this thing 
no? okay ... i guess that kind of information isn't really that helpful 

#38 Edited by SpartanAmbrose (832 posts) -

Haha. Hahaha. HAHAHAHA.  
 
No. 
 
EDIT: Oh God, I'm not sure what's worse: This entire idea or the video explaining it.

#39 Posted by brocool (701 posts) -

I'm not liking this trend.

#40 Edited by Cirdain (2997 posts) -

As much as I hate Call of Duty games on the PC. That's fucking amazingly designed website.... jesus...

#41 Posted by Morris (106 posts) -

This is really weak, I was hoping for a very different service. 

#42 Posted by cooljammer00 (1564 posts) -

Community based improvement tips? 
 
So they'll all just call me a fag and insult my mother, then?

#43 Edited by Blair (2501 posts) -
@brocool said:

I'm not liking this trend.

Not quite a trend yet, but still equally disgusting.
#44 Posted by davidjohnkeen (62 posts) -

This is really gross.

#45 Posted by kerse (2102 posts) -
@Blair said:
@brocool said:
I'm not liking this trend.
#46 Posted by PenguinDust (12455 posts) -

The question I have is if you are a subscriber and you get your DLC map packs for MW3, if you later cancel your subscription do you lose access to the map packs?  Are you just renting them through the subscription service?  Or do you own them as much as anyone who didn't subscribe but bought the same map packs? 
 
As for the video, it's Poochie approved.  I found it to be outrageous and totally in my face to the extreme. 

#47 Posted by Brendan (7696 posts) -

I really want to join a group of like minded peanut allergic people, but I don't want to pay for it.  What to do, what to do...

#48 Posted by Sammo21 (3214 posts) -

lol, this is completely ridiculous.  Bungie already goes above and beyond in terms of stat tracking on their website.  This is just a money grab from Activision and them try to inch towards "You us for separately, and expensively, for both single and multiplayer".  Though I'd say I wish they'd fail I don't buy COD games anymore so I couldn't care less.  

#49 Posted by leejunfan83 (949 posts) -

they can go eat a dick 

Online
#50 Posted by MachoFantastico (4509 posts) -

Not offering a great deal of content for that monthly fee, can't see much of a reason to pay for it when other games do it for free. 

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