February 25, 2012

Call of Duty Elite = EPIC FAIL

I've been clear that I like playing with my friends on Xbox.  I also like playing Call of Duty, which shouldn't be a surprise either.

You would think that a combination Xbox app and online tracking service that helps connect you to other gamers would be full of win, right?

The folks at Activision put together a service called Call of Duty Elite.  They've been pushing Elite since the game went live on November 12th.  They had some issues bringing the service online when everybody started playing in November and their servers were kind of messed up.  It seemed like the notification of Elite coming online was made over and over again, just getting the "We've got it fixed now" message repeated ad nauseum.

These delays really didn't matter because it wasn't affecting our gaming any.  Being able to go online to track game stats was a bonus, not a requirement.  This lasted until last month when Elite allegedly went online as a worthwhile paid experience.  You could get basic Elite "stuff" for free, but they launched a premium service which runs $50 a year.  Everyone in my normal CoD group bought into premium because if you got premium you got the new maps early and on a regular schedule.  As of today there are three new maps that you can only play if you are an Elite Premium player.  I bought in using points which I was able to get for less than $50.

I did the math and figured it would actually be cheaper to buy Elite for points at a discount than it would be to wait several additional months to buy the maps individually.  The thing with playing CoD online is if you are trying to play with a group and they all have the new maps, or your opponents have the new maps, while you don't, you'll be limiting the group's ability to get into games.  It can almost be as bad as playing with a Strict NAT type.

So here we are months into a premium service and pretty much nothing works worth a damn.  Simply navigating the app or the website is buggy.  You can get the stats ok, and you get the new maps, but that's about it.  Having weapons stats is pretty "meh".  For the most part I get all the stats I care about in the barracks section in the game.  My overall accuracy is 11.87% and my kill/death ratio is .635.  I'm just an OK player.  Being able to go online and see that my accuracy with my new favorite weapon is 14%.  The clan operations are totally nerfed.  My clan has been stuck at the same place for over a month.

A Good Article About the Elite Issue
All these little issues wouldn't be a big deal if they hadn't been making a big deal about Elite and pushing the program with a premium service.  If they had simply left Elite offline until they could get it working and then introduced it, it would be a welcome addition to the game.  As-is, they've been pushing these individual and group competitions and nothing comes of them.  They had some initial events which ended a month ago.  No winners announced and no new events.

If you can't deliver then don't offer....and for eff's sake don't charge for these lackluster services!

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