Rumor: Modern Warfare 3 Will Support 32 Players Online


New member
Mar 1, 2009
5t3v0 said:
Cowabungaa said:
That being said, 32 players is probably too much knowing how small the maps in CoD have become. Why there is only a 24 player cap on consoles for BF3 is beyond me, other than the fact that all the console battlefield games (BF2: Modern combat right up to Bad Company 2) have been 24 players maximum.
They actually explained this awhile ago.

Originally Posted by HONK-DICE/Henrik
My name is Henrik and I'm one of the programmers on Frostbite,

First of all you are of course right when it comes to games being made on a first generation engine. There are allways things that you don't manage to fix before launch (or even notice until after launch even though you've had hundreds of testers playing the game for months)

These are the reasons why we only have 24 players in BC/1943
* Performance - making a game with so much destruction, vehicles and with that scale and still trying to keep it good looking is hard. 33ms/frame is disappearing pretty fast... if we removed the destruction and instead precalculated stuff I'm sure we could have squeezed in many more players performance-wise. We are of course always working on performance

* Network bandwidth restrictions - There are pretty tough restrictions on how much data that is allowed to be sent to the client on 360/ps3, the destruction and the vehicles steal _lots_ of bandwidth, a vehicle is much more expensive than a soldier. Every object that is moved by simulation and is gameplay affecting need to be at the same place on all clients at the same time and therefore need to be networked, the destructable state also need to be networked. And as you know we have vehicles and lots of destruction in bc/1943.

We are actually running about ~12 game servers on each physical server, meaning that each physical server can handle about ~300 players. We could easily switch so we had less game servers running 32 or more players but then every client would need to receive much more data over the network which might break the rules microsoft and sony have put up. The reason why they've put up these rules is to ensure the quality of the game for all players, maybe we could someday implement matchmaking (or server browsing) that would let the player join servers with more players if his/her internet connection bandwidth allows it.

There will of course also be lots of optimizations on the network protocol which will make it easier to squeeze in more players on a server without violating bandwidth recommendations.

* Design - I can't remember how we ended up with the limit of 24 players but I guess it was a compromise in order to get the destruction and visual quality that we wanted. It is also harder to balance gameplay on levels with more players, since we're doing lots of play testing to make the levels fun you can imagine how hard it would be to tweak if the level supported 200 players (even though it would be really cool )

There is nothing (that I know of) that limits the number of players in frostbite, and if there is, it is probably a bug. I've tested running over 80 players locally (client-server) on the consoles when measuring performance and it works just fine (except framerate).

I hope I covered most of it

The tl;dr versions is that X-Box Live and PSN set bandwidth limits on their networks that game developers can't exceed when making multiplayer games. Battlefield 3 has fully destructible environments and fully controllable vehicles which eat up a ton of bandwidth. So DICE's choices for consoles were, have 64 players but get rid of vehicles, destructible environments, and make the game look like crap. Or limit player size to 24, have vehicles, destructible environments, and make the game look awesome. I'm pretty sure 24 people can have fun driving tanks and blowing up buildings.


New member
Jan 15, 2011
believer258 said:
Everyone saying the maps on CoD games are too small - how do you know that these aren't going to be a bit bigger?

In the meantime, I'm teetering on which one I'd like to buy. At first BF3 seems great, but then you hear about something MW3 is doing and that makes it seem better and... well, yeah, I haven't heard anything about BF3 that sounds like it's going to outdo MW3. In fact, I'd say MW3 is starting to sound a little better now.

Meanwhile, what if MW3 has implemented dedicated servers and then decides to throw in campaign co-op, both split screen and online like World at War did? Then BF3 will be thoroughly fucked over more than it is now. There isn't much else going for it.

And then Activision is playing the role of the bigger man, which might be decency or a cold form of "We know we're going to outsell you, so we're not even going to make ourselves look like idiots". Probably the latter.

Honestly? I hope both turn out amazing. Then we all win and everyone goes home happy. Well, at least those of us that are old enough to hold jobs. The kids will keep on bickering because they had to choose.
Well just remember we are all speculating. In my opinion, I believe maps are going to be small again, Due to recent CoD trends. Also, Things like Dedicated servers and the 32 player count honestly look to me like panic additions (though they were in previous CoDs so they wouldn't be hard to work back in).

Also, the whole " At first BF3 seems great, but then you hear about something MW3 is doing and that makes it seem better" thing is all perspective. You ask a battlefield fanboy such as myself, and they would say the vice versa of that.

Activision playing "the bigger men" thing is disputable. Sure, they have said so, but those are only PUBLIC WORDS. Also, pasts can come back to haunt them. Not defending EA's comments (though I will say, its pretty Naive to say that Competitors shouldn't make derogatory comments, especially when your CEO has said some pretty contentious things recently.) but EA are just more open about their defiance of the competition. For all we know, Infinity ward may have daily DICE game burnings and hired shamans to put curses on all of the DICE employees households, but we don't know because they don't talk (Again, Being open about it is barely better than that).


I basically wanted to point out that we are all speculating here, and that we shouldn't get worked up over basic opinions. Though I may have gotten a little off track...


New member
Dec 24, 2010
I think seeing as this was obviously at CoD XP this is probably a stress test more than anything...I wouldn't hold your breath for it.


New member
Dec 3, 2009
But the maps for Call of Duty are best suited for small skirmish than big battles, it often results in too may people in one area or spawning from all directions.

James Crook

New member
Jul 15, 2011
Wow, it seems Infinity Ward is actually trying to make this game good. Good, like the older games, back when 32 players was pretty standard player count for PC games (BF2, Crysis 1, Unreal Tournament, Quake, Counter-Strike, etc).

OneBig Man

New member
Jul 23, 2008
They must be making some pretty big maps, otherwise there wont be enough places for everyone to camp. Oh well, still not buying MW3