A source of much disgruntlement amongst Call of Duty 4 fans in the Oceania region (as well as our forums) has been the lack of a “Local Search” option. Such an option allows you to limit your search to hosts in your territory, thus dramatically reducing lag. Due to our location we get lumped with a fair amount of lag when matched with American players regardless of our internet speeds. Many rejoiced when COD: World at War included local search functionality, and many assumed that it was a no brainer that it would be included in COD: Modern Warfare 2, easily one of the most anticipated games of this year. But much salty fanboy tears were spilt when Infinity Ward community Manager Robert Bowling (aka FourZero Two) posting the following tweets:
There isn’t an option to search specific regions / countries when matchmaking, but there is improved matchmaking to auto-assist
We’ll monitor community feedback closely post launch to see if the improved matchmaking benefits international users or not
After some alleged torch and pitchfork activity, he posted some clarification on the Infinity Ward forums (the post begging for local search is now VERY long and his response can be found HERE) :
Alright, let me attempt to clarify as much as possible as its clear that there is some misunderstanding on how matchmaking works in Modern Warfare 2 for international users.
The functionality you’re asking for, the ability to connect to BEST connection rather than first available game aka quickest match, is already built into the matchmaking.
There is no need to include an additional toggle where you manually have to ask it to put you in the game best suited for your connection, that should all be done automatically without requiring you, the player, to go through an extra step to request it.
That’s what I was referring to in the tweet of, “you don’t select a region or country, it is auto-assist”. Meaning, matchmaking will automatically put you in the best game for YOUR connection.
My statement was NOT to be taken as, “its the same as COD4”. Just because there isn’t a menu option doesn’t mean the same functionality isn’t being done on the backend.
We’re doing extensive beta testing of Modern Warfare 2 internally, including with our Activision partners worldwide to test instances JUST LIKE THIS. Which is why I assure you a lot of your concerns will be unfounded come launch. However, we’ll still continue to monitor activity and performance for our international users post-launch and address anything that may arise.
So I encourage you, put away the pitchforks and torches for the moment until you see it in action. Then feel free to raise any concerns you may have, for now I stand behind our matchmaking for US AND international users.
If there are any other concerns you think we’re not aware of, I encourage you to let me know. This kind of response is good, shows you guys are passionate about the game, and I want to ensure you we’re just as passionate about making sure you’re heard and concerns are addressed.
So, it would appear that local search is built into matchmaking, but we’ll have to see how this all pans out