MW3 dev confirms upcoming AR nerfs with SMGs ‘underperforming’ comparatively

Modern Warfare 3’s assault rifles will be getting a nerf in this week’s Season Three Reloaded update, Sledgehammer Games confirmed today.

Sledgehammer and Treyarch recently ran a Weapon Evaluation test period in MW3’s Ranked Play, allowing new weapons and previously banned ones into the playlist. And it revealed some important information.

Sledgehammer Games K/D ratio per weapon in weapon test period in ranked play for MW3
K/D per gun during MW3 Ranked Play’s evaluation test. Image via Sledgehammer Games

MW3’s lead developer shared its findings in a detailed thread on Twitter/X, revealing that ARs are a bit too strong and SMGs are underperforming by comparison.

“Looking at the bigger picture, we recognize that SMGs are underperforming compared to ARs,” Sledgehammer said. “One of the first changes from this observation is reducing hipfire accuracy for ARs in the Season Three Reloaded update, weakening their close-range viability where we intend for SMGs to excel.”

Additionally, the popular MCW AR was the biggest offender. Even with new weapons to use, the gun was still used at a pick rate of 25 percent during the week-long evaluation period, but it performed best in the hands of better players.

“During our evaluation of individual weapons, the MCW stood out uniquely, with a significantly increased K/D ratio for high-skill players versus low-skill players,” Sledgehammer said. “This observation is one of the reasons for the recent headshot damage multiplier reduction. The MCW is highly dependent on the player’s skill. By bringing it down a notch and introducing more options to the meta, we create a smoother experience for players of all skill levels.”

The Twitter thread is refreshingly open and full of information, so it’s worth checking out to see what a welcome change this kind of line of communication between the CoD developer and player base is.

MW3’s Season Three Reloaded update is scheduled to go live tomorrow, May 1, at 11am CT.

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