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Modern Warfare 3 first beta recap: poor visibility, inconsistent TTK, and huffing a gas that makes you stronger

Modern Warfare 3's first-go beta has run into some predictable, and few interesting, issues as players went hands-on with it.

Modern Warfare 3
Image credit: Activision

The first session of the Modern Warfare 3 beta continues to be live (until tomorrow, October 10), but most players interested probably already jumped in over the weekend.

Despite only just being open to players without a pre-order/early access code on Sunday, the tone for the sentiment around the beta was pretty much established on Friday.

One of the more common complaints among players is the game's muted colour palette. While aesthetics are subjective, the problem that creates affects gameplay. Enemies do not stand out in Modern Warfare 3 as they do in Modern Warfare 2, or even Modern Warfare 2019.

In particular, enemies do not have preferential lighting over them, or any sort of highlight around their 3D model. The beta, so far at least, also does not show dots above enemy players, or red nametags. This is one of the biggest problems with visuals I ran into, and so many players on Reddit agree.

The term visibility has been one of the most common across the Modern Warfare 3 subreddit. Most players agree that name tags need to return, but some are just happy to see some sort of adjustment made so that enemies stand out more from the scenery/teammates.

The Modern Warfare 2 beta actually ran into a similar problem, and Infinity Ward ended up adjusting how enemies are lit, and adding dots above enemy players that took care of the problem. Sledgehammer Games will likely change that as well, if not during the beta, then certainly at launch.

A helmeted soldier surveys an armory of the best guns in MW3
Not a lot of weapons in the beta, but the new perk system is certainly divisive. | Image credit: Activision Blizzard

Time-to-kill (TTK) discussion is one of those inescapable topics that pops up during every Call of Duty beta, and even persists to launch. Things are a little more interesting in Modern Warfare 3, however, because the game - despite leaning so much on Modern Warfare 2 fundamentals - gives players 150HP, compared to 100.

That automatically makes most encounters take longer, but it's common to run into situations where you feel melted, even as it takes you a lot longer to kill players. Ping, packet loss, and how the game handles damage stacking are all things that contribute to that problem, but it's especially relevant here because of the base longer TTK.

Many Reddit users agree that the TTK can feel inconsistent, while others are happy with the way it currently is. Players being bullet sponges is not new to Modern Warfare 3, and it's always affected by more factors than what players typically take into account.

It's also worth keeping in mind that damage multipliers for the different body parts are not immediately clear. As this Reddit user explains, that would cause encounters to feel inconsistent, depending on where your shots/enemy shots land.

Did you try out Ground War in this beta? | Image credit: Activision

But no other problem garnered more criticism than Battle Rage. What was once a Field Upgrade in Modern Warfare 2, got turned into a more powerful (and more frequently available) tactical equipment. Battle Rage is supposed make health regeneration faster, and protect from damage somewhat. But the way it worked during the first day of the beta made it so players using it were nigh unkillable.

This was actually a problem content creators highlighted at Call of Duty: Next, when they went hands-on with the beta build ahead of everyone else. Beta players later found out just how powerful Battle Rage is when the beta went live, and it was by far the most common complaint on the subreddit, to the point that many suggested it should be locked while Sledgehammer nerfs it.

The good news came quickly, however, when the developer nerfed Battle Rage, practically to the ground, in an update. As revealed on Twitter, Battle Rage had its max duration reduced, and it no longer increases health regeneration speed.

The health regeneration effect itself now only begins after killing an enemy, and killing enemies will no longer increase the duration of that effect. The biggest change, however, is that incoming damage will now interrupt health regeneration - which likely was the biggest cause for all those clips we've seen of enemies using it simply refusing to die.

There's still time to play the Modern Warfare 3 beta on PlayStation. The beta will return on Friday for another round on all platforms, with support for cross-play.

If you don't have a PlayStation, you can still win some in-game rewards for watching Modern Warfare 3 on Twitch. The rewards will only be available in the full game, however.

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