Drop Zone is hilariously awesome!

We’ve been playing the Modern Warfares in multiplayer for several months now.  This is generally the part of the cycle where things start to drag.  The single player is just a memory, SpecOps are all Opped out, and the thought of another prestige is sigh-worthy instead of exciting.  New maps are on the horizon, and with them, the promise of potentially more fun things to do, but for now, we’ve got to deal with what’s available.

Luckily, the MW3 team has graced us with a new playlist: Drop Zone.  What a refreshing experience this has been!  At first I was a bit skeptical, since it sounds quite a bit like they’d cribbed the idea from Halo.  There’s a “drop zone” in a particular part of the map, and you have to hold it for points.  After a certain amount of time elapses in the zone, you’ll get a care package drop.  Reach’s Invasion Slayer mode sounds pretty similar to this, but there are some important differences:

  1. You’re still playing for points – not kills.  Staying in the zone gives you +20 points per second, and everyone in the zone earns this bonus.  If you have 3 or 4 players on the team in the zone, your score could go up by 100 every couple of seconds.  The way scoring works, this is like getting 2 kills a second, constantly.
  2. The smoke grenade that marks the point partially obscures it, and there’s generally so much action (and player smoke grenades) on the point that the whole area turns into one giant free for all.  It’s not uncommon to be standing between several players on the opposite team, often to hilarious results when you realize you’re supposed to be shooting each other.
  3. The care packages run the gamut, and they drop early and drop often.  It’s not unusual to get 3 or 4 on the point at the same time, and some will be enemy packages and some will be yours.  While you may only get one AC-130 per 3 or 4 rounds in other game modes, here, you will see one almost every game.
  4. Occasionally the packages are trapped!  Although nothing feels better than getting Juggernaut armor and going to town, watching several members of the opposite team fight over the opportunity to be blown sky high comes pretty close.
  5. With the various classes you can bring in, you never really feel like you’re out of options.  If the enemy has choppers and AC-130s, roll up with Blind Eye and get some free launcher XP.  We’ve pulled off some crazy reversals, even when the odds were stacked against us.

It seems like we’ve stumbled upon a pretty good formula for good classes, which I’ll share:

  • Focus on the point, since staying on the point is the  #1 way to earn points in this mode.  Find someplace quiet to lay down.  Ignore most packages, unless things are quiet and the package is worth sticking your neck out for.  Many times you can build a little “package fort” of UAVs and Vest packages, which block bullets and obscure you from the enemy.  This can give you the time you need to capture better packages.
  • but realize that everyone else is doing this as well.  Having several people on the point can mean mega points, but having one or two people camping an area where you know they’ll be running (ie, in the path between  where they’re spawning and the zone) and you can get some easy, free kills and keep the enemy at bay.
  • Blast Shield is a must.  Explosives and tac grenades are flying fast and flying everywhere, and this perk levels up fast in this mode and protects you the best.
  • Short range weapons are king – change it up sometimes to get some easy XP.  There’s not really a clear winner in this mode, since you’re generally on the point and at such close range that almost any weapon is almost instantly a kill.  SMGs with Rapid Fire are popular, and the silencer attachment might give you a few more milliseconds in your favorite camp spot.

In this mode you can pretty easily get some of the more challenging Emblems and Titles.  For instance, dropping a care package on an enemy to kill them is virtually guaranteed, and doing “10 kills with no deaths and no killstreaks” is also surprisingly straightforward.  The XP gains from this mode tend to outstrip most other modes that I’ve played, and the playlist is just fun and funny to boot.  Kudos to whoever came up with this idea, and if you’ve not tried it yet, go go go!