The Modern Warfare 2 beta will keep its minimap despite complaints from Call of Duty fans, with developer Infinity Ward explaining that other controversial changes to the multiplayer FPS, including the Dead Silence field upgrade, will remain also.
Modern Warfare 2 multiplayer uses an altered version of the on-screen minimap whereby enemies who are firing their weapons do not appear as visible red dots. In the past, if someone was using a gun without a suppressor, and was within a certain range, you would be able to spot their location using the minimap. Now, you have to rely on triangulating the sound of their gun yourself, with the killstreak UAV award being the only way to make enemies show on your map. Naturally, this makes finding and killing opponents more challenging, but Infinity Ward says this is intentional, and offers no plans to change the minimap despite continuing to “gather feedback” from the beta.
“Currently in the MW2 Beta, we only show enemy player dots when a UAV is active,” Infinity Ward says. “The design reason for this is that we do not want to punish players for firing their weapons. We also want players to actively search out the origin of a gunshot versus just travelling directly to where the dot is on the minimap. We continue to gather feedback on how the game is playing in regards to this topic.”
Another method players can use to detect opponents is the sound of their footsteps, but one of Modern Warfare 2’s new field upgrades, which can be added to your loadout alongside perks and attachments, negates this possibility. Dead Silence makes your footsteps silent, meaning that you can sneak up on enemies or run right by their position without being heard. Again, Infinity Ward says it has no plans to alter Dead Silence’s functionality, and that it will remain as a field upgrade rather than a perk.
“Dead Silence is another hot topic as many players have expressed that they would like to see it as a perk instead of a field upgrade,” the developer explains. “We believe it is important to game health that rushers are not able to move at high speeds without consequence. Dead Silence as a Field Upgrade creates a balance between freedom of movement and predictability of combat.”
The trade off, then, is between equipping Dead Silence to mute your footsteps, or using another field upgrade with the risk of being heard. Without the red dots on the minimap, footsteps may become one of the fundamental methods of detecting nearby enemies in Modern Warfare 2, and Infinity Ward plans to tweak the game’s system in order to make this simpler and more accessible both during the beta and the future game.
“Footstep audio in week one of the MP beta was very high,” the developer continues, “giving players long-distance directional information about enemies. For weekend two we have some changes coming in. We are reducing the range of footstep audio for the various player movement states (jog, sprint and tactical sprint). This will help soften the cost of moving around the map. The second change is that enemy and friendly footsteps are now distinct. This should help players better understand what’s going on as things move around on the battlefield.” Infinity Ward says that more details about changes to footstep noise will follow.
If you want to know more about Modern Warfare 2 and how to get ahead in the current beta, check out our guide to the new, much-expanded gunsmith system. You might also want to scrutinise the full Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 system requirements to make sure your PC is up to speed. Alternatively, if you’re still embroiled in Warzone, try some of the best loadout drops for season 5.