The release of the Black Ops 2 about six weeks away, David Vonderhaar, Treyarch's Multiplayer Design Director, hooked me up with a ton of info on the upcoming changes to multiplayer. Here's the rundown (and some chicken scratch notes) as well as my initial impressions below after getting my hands on the game:
Black Ops II Multiplayer Details
Create a Class
Create a Class now has a "Pick 10" system
- can use 10 points on any 10 pieces of content like guns, grenades, perks, etc in custom load outs
- can trade out perks. don't want perk 3? add an attachment to your gun
- "Wildcards" modifies how Create a class works
- you can take 2 perks from same category.
Score Streaks (use to be called Kill Streaks)
- the game ships with 22.
- must earn them within a single life (like in previous CoD games)
- can earn some without shooting a bullet but will earn more points for doing things based around shooting like saving "point b" on a game of Domination.
Leveling, Ranking, Unlocks
- 55 levels, 10 levels of prestige
- David noted that it's not hard to go through the progression. "Level 4 should be accomplished in about a game and a half or two"
- receive medals that gives extra experience and are earned by "doing something cool"
- 100+ medals
- 1 unlock token is given per level
- content like guns, scopes, etc are gated by ranks
- there's more content than levels in the game
- the screen has a "score panel" on it like traditional sports on TV that shows off what teams are playing, time left, score, etc. It also shows the player info in the corner like a jersey.
- Full screen maps showing where everyone is at
- Picture in Picture mode shows:
- shows player in game on the side (names)
- the ability to can cut to any player at any time and listen to the players.
1) Core include TDM, FFA, Dom, Demolition, Kill Confirmed, Hardpoint, Headquarters, CTF, Search and Destroy
-TDM, KC, Hardpoint - available in multi-team at launch. 3 teams with 3 players each or 3 with 4.
- Hardpoint is new. One objective, everyone going after it. Think "King of the Hill"
2) Party games (used to the called Wager Matches) can play and gain XP
- Gun Game, One in the Chamber, Sharpshooter, Sticks and Stones
3) Combat Training (Think of this as pre-school for Multiplayer) has three modes:
- player can gain full regular XP by playing up to level 10
- 1 player with 3 bots players vs 4 bots
- can play past level 10 but only get half XP
- all objective except Search and Destroy
- "Bot Stomp"
- gain no XP
- 6 humans vs 6 bots
- the whole purpose is that it allows you to feel good about yourself.
- good place for teams to practice their team tactics
4) Custom Games ("You can play game designer")
- Supports all modes
- Can Build Default/Custom Classes
- everyone starts with a rocket launcher
- Add Bots
- use as fill in when someone on your team isn't there. When the player is available they will boot the bot and join in.
- Ability to restrict content like removing claymores if you don't want them
- Modify "Pick 10". Can make it where you can pick anywhere between 3 - 17.
- Can change the competitive rules
- Get cosmetic and personalization feature by accomplishing them
- 1000+ challenges
- Get XP
- every weapon has camo. 10 basic camos to start. More unlocked. Special ones that can be unlocked.
Reticules can be customized by completing challenges
- can unlock funny/special ones like a Curly Q mustache.
- emblems (something you create)
- 32 layers
- flip move, rotate
new features in BO2 include:
- RGB Color mixer
- the ability to unlock more emblems through challenges
- Backgrounds (have to complete challenges to get)
- 150+ BGs
- 150+ shapes
- New Social Features added include:
- The ability to bookmark games when you complete them to look at them later.
- Enhances Meta-Data including time/date stamp, game modes, etc. Captures, scores, defends
- Saving of recent victories
- A Community tab which features an activity feed that tells you what your friends are doing with theater
- Up/Down voting so you can find the popular video
- A "Highlight Reel" button which is a one touch button that has BO2 takes best moments by the game you played and create a highlight reel.
- Returning Features include the "Dolly Camera", theater parties and viewing the first person of any player in the game
New Features include the ability to have 20 Clips in a film (only 10 in BO1) and the ability to merge clips together so if you had 15 you can make them 1. This would technically allow for an infinite amount of clips used for a movie. The camera can also be attached to object now like the RCXD Car or ariel drone.
Prestige Mode. This is a "total reboot" of the way prestige was done previously.
- Does not reset Weapon XP
- Does not reset challenge progress
When you prestige you are given an unlock token that allows you to ignore level gates for perks, weapons, etc. Since you can prestige 10 times you can get up to 10 unlock tokens. When used they unlock the item permanently.
- In addition you also get to choose between:
- Extra Create a Class Slow (Max of 5)
- Reset Stats like in previous CoD games (just like wiping the slate clean). There is a confirmation box that defaults to "no" if you accidentally hit it.
- A "Refund" that gives you all unlocked tokens. If you've prestiged and level 44, get all 44 tokens back to restart your character. This need a little more clarity
When you have prestiged 10 times and are level 55 you receive a "Master" icon and all content is unlocked (if it's not already).
Initial First Impressions
After getting about a half dozen or so games in, here are some initial impressions of Black Ops 2 Multiplayer:
- I REALLY enjoyed the new Shock Charge secondary grenade. You throw it like a knife but it will stick to a wall and when an enemy player gets closed to it it will electrocute them allow for easy hits. You can also pick it up if it doesn't hit anyone.
- Domination now has a halftime mode. Apparently that's similar to how pro players play the game.
- There is a perk that serves as an electrical "microwave" (their words, not mine) that when place can cause havoc in objective based games like Domination or Hardpoint. It essentially sends out a fairly big electric shield that when opponents come close to will shock and ultimately kill them. I thought it was fairly overpowering and a bit too early on the point rewards (only in the 700 point rage).
- Some of the points for doing things were nerfed like getting a kill with an RC car now only gives you 25 points as opposed to the 100 you get for a regular kill (and in previous CoD games). This would discourage me from using that perk as it doesn't allow for the most amount of points to get to other perks. Shooting down an UAV is also 75 (previously as good as a kill as well).
- I enjoyed tinkering with some of the new scopes. One allows you to see a red outline of your target so it's easier to shoot as well as allow see a silhouette of an enemy if they're camping or hiding behind a wall. This definitely encourages movement and less camping.
- There is a new "lighting strike" perk that just DOMINATES if it's anywhere near you. Think of calling in a bomb drop but WAY more accurate and deadly.
- The way theater is built out, I can see more people casually watching games. It's actually pretty cool.
- As someone who's never chosen to prestige simply because I didn't want to lose all the guns and perks that I earned, I'm actually genuinely excited to prestige in BO2. I know some people see the level cap at 55 as a negative but the way I see it being the able to keep you weapons while still being able to prestige and earning the unlock tokens it's like having 550 levels (55 cap and can prestige 10 times).
- David Vonderhaar, who is the lead MP Director, eluded to possible adding more "party games" (previous wager matches). I LOVED them in the previous CoD games and would totally be on board with that idea. I would guess they would come via DLC.
- One map that takes place in LA has a train that comes through it a few times during the game. Another map has a few cranes in the middle of it that can be moved. These "interactive elements" can be turned off if you want to take the randomness out of your matches.
- Changing the name from "Kill Streak" to "Score Streak" isn't actually a PC cop out as I initially thought. It actually makes a lot of sense considering you don't earn as many points for getting a kill using a "prop" like the RC car, turret, etc.
- When speaking of the CoDCasting they mentioned something about "streaming conditions" and "locations to watch". This was something legal folks wanted to point out. I dunno. I imagine it has something to do with geographic streaming limitations.
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