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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 Has “Normalized” Its Time to Kill

Time to kill in Modern Warfare 3 has undergone a big change. Find out how here.

Dying in Call of Duty sucks. It’s worse when it feels like there’s nothing you can do about it. Modern Warfare 3 looks to remedy that particular issue. How so? By addressing the problem at the source: the game’s time-to-kill. CoD has always had a fast TTK, with many weapons in some classic games killing in as few as two bullets from any distance (UMP?). That’s changing in a big way come MW3. Not only to make counterplay more possible but to help multiplayer synergize with Warzone.

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Modern Warfare 3 Has a Much Longer Time to Kill

One of the biggest changes coming to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is the move from players having 100 to 150 health. It’s a change not seen since Black Ops 4. That means most guns will need at least two extra bullets to kill. It also brings multiplayer and Warzone together from an HP perspective.

Additionally, to further “normalize” MW3 time to kill, different body parts now have different damage modifiers. Headshots still do bonus damage, as you’d expect. But now, Call of Duty has limb damage. Shooting someone in the leg or the arm won’t deal as much damage as hitting center mass.

Shotguns Aren’t Pea Shooters

That said, the shotguns in MW3 seem passable from a damage perspective. Don’t go in expecting the Modern Warfare 2 (2009) Spas-12, mind. But they don’t appear to be the pea-shooters of some other Call of Duty titles. The one-shot potential is solid out to a fair distance for shotguns. And while I didn’t catch much sniper gameplay in the October 5 CoD NEXT, I don’t imagine getting one-hit-killed to the pinky toe is possible (if you take the meme literally).

Concerns About Health and Damage Multipliers

My main concerns for the increased health and new damage multipliers are two-fold. First, for the new system to work as intended, online connections need to be rock solid. Introducing significant lag into a game with a long time to kill makes an inconsistent experience more so. Without widespread broadband internet available everywhere it’s played, a certain percentage of the playerbase will always be laggy. That forces the game to overcompensate.

Second, it doesn’t seem to me like MW3 guns have that much recoil, even on mouse and keyboard. Time to kill is actually shorter because it’s easier to stay on target. You’ll need six hits to kill in MW3 from anything before long-range. Up close insta-kills are probably still a thing.

That Call of Duty might finally give the ability to react to being shot is nice, but I do hope it doesn’t turn the game into something completely different. Stay tuned for more as we get closer to the release of MW3 on November 10 for PC, PlayStation, and Xbox platforms.


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John Schutt
John Schutt has been playing games for almost 25 years, starting with Super Mario 64 and progressing to every genre under the sun. He spent almost 4 years writing for strategy and satire site TopTierTactics under the moniker Xiant, and somehow managed to find time to get an MFA in Creative Writing in between all the gaming. His specialty is action games, but his first love will always be the RPG. Oh, and his avatar is, was, and will always be a squirrel, a trend he's carried as long as he's had a Steam account, and for some time before that.