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access_time October 25, 2012 at 9:04 AM in Features by Alex Co

Black Ops 2 Multiplayer: What You Need to Know

People who hate Call of Duty love to point out the notion that every iteration of the franchise’s multiplayer is a glorified “map pack.” Well, unfortunately for them — and fortunately for Call of Duty fans – Black Ops 2 seems to be shaking things up significantly.

Treyarch is bringing a host of improvements and changes to the franchise’s bread-and-butter formula. And with that in mind, we’ve listed the most significant adjustments players can expect in the game’s multiplayer come November 13.

1) League Play Aims to Make Sure You Compete

Have you ever played a round of Call of Duty that your team was so overmatched that it was a blowout? What if it’s the other way around? You’re so good that you’re just running around and killing everyone in sight? Being blown out or the other way around are part of the game, but it’s not fun when it happens all the damn time. Well, in Black Ops 2, the chances of that happening are even less with the advent of League Play.

League Play has its own selection on the multiplayer menu. Once you pick this, players will be grouped within players in their own “division.” Whenever you’re playing, you either move up or move down the ladder and that dictates which division you’ll be in. Think of it as continuous matchmaking based on skill. In theory, this guarantees that every game of League Play in Black Ops 2 will be highly-competitive.

2) “CoD-casting” is as Integral as Theatre Mode

One of the key things to come to the franchise is Theatre mode. Now with Black Ops 2, Treyarch is introducing Shoutcasting and live-streaming to the franchise. Of course, you need a good internet connection to do this and we have yet to see it implemented aside from controlled demos by the studio. But just the prospect of this feature alone could very well set a precedent for future multiplayer games and not just shooters. From eSports, to hosting live tournaments regardless of location, the sky’s the limit.

3) Prestige and Weapon Prestige Will Amount to Something

I might be one of the few, but I don’t like “Prestiging” in Call of Duty games. You reset your weapons, equipment and whatnot and for what? Just to have an emblem to show off? In Black Ops 2, you’ll still get an emblem, but this time, your weapons, etc. won’t reset. Instead, you’ll want to Prestige to be able to unlock Wild Cards, weapon camos and other goodies.

Also of note, for the first time in the series, you can Prestige weapons in Black Ops 2. Aside from camos, emblems and whatnot, you’ll want to be very familiar with a weapon of your choice since some of the Perks like Sleight of Hand are now tied to the weapon itself and how much you level it up.

4) Create-a-Class is Gone, “Pick 10” is In

Probably one of the biggest changes coming to the franchise’s multiplayer in years, the standard format of creating classes is now gone. Instead, Treyarch is employing a new feature they dub as the “Pick 10” system and it aims to give players more customization more than ever.

Instead of picking a primary weapon, secondary weapon, equipment and Perks, Pick 10 gives you the option of configuring your loadout as you see fit as long as they fit the system.

There are 10 points for you to spend and each weapon, equipment, Perk, etc. has a corresponding point. So now you can mix-and-match to your heart’s content. But what if you want to “break” away from this restriction? Treyarch has you covered in that area too with the game’s introduction of “Wild Cards.”

5) Wild Cards Will Make You Go Wild

Going hand-in-hand with the new Create-a-Class template are the “Wild Cards.” This is a new feature in Call of Duty’s multiplayer that will allow you to customize your character like never before.

Say, you want three attachments in your primary weapon, there’s a Wild Card for that. What about overloading your character with Perks and not sticking to the standard one Perk for each tier? Yep, you guessed it, there’s a Wild Card for that, too. Heck, it’s so flexible that you can now deploy with just a knife and have a multitude of Perks in the process.

Here’s the known list of Wild Cards for Black Ops 2’s multiplayer:

• Primary Gunfighter – 3rd Attachment for your primary weapon.
• Secondary Gunfighter – 2nd Attachment for your secondary weapon.
• Overkill – Equip two primary weapons.
• Danger Close – Secondary lethal grenade.
• Tactician – Equip an extra tactical grenade in place of a lethal grenade.
• Perk 1 Greed, Perk 2 Greed, Perk 3 Greed – These Wildcards allow you to equip more than one perk for the specified tier.

6) Scorestreaks Will Make Objectives Matter More than Your K/D

Undoubtedly (at least for me), the biggest change the Call of Duty franchise’s multiplayer has seen in recent years is the inclusion of Scorestreaks in exchange for Killstreak Rewards. With this, Treyarch is finally pushing for people to go for the objectives instead of just gunning for kills.

This is one of the reasons why most of the people that play Call of Duty chooses Team Deathmatch as their mode of choice. Why cap flags in Domination when killing nets you more points? Also, how will you unleash your Killstreak Reward if you’re not killing enemies left and right?

In Black Ops 2, you don’t need to kill in order to deploy your turrets, air support and whatnot. Okay, let me be a little clearer on that. You can still go for kills in order to call those in, but now, going after objectives will net you more points than killing enemies. This means you can opt to attack objectives, stay alive and have your Killstreak (Scorestreak) rewards, too!

Will this stop all the K/D whores? I wouldn’t bet on it; but at least this time you’ll have someone helping you cap that flag or disarm that bomb…and for objective-minded Call of Duty players, that should be enough.


Well, there you have it. These are but some of the big changes coming to Call of Duty’s multiplayer. Keep in mind we haven’t even touched the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the Zombie Mode, weapon mods replacing Perks and more. We’ll leave that up for you to discover once Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 ships on November 13 for the PC, Xbox 360 and PS3 and then on November 18 for the Nintendo Wii U.


  • Ramon Aranda October 25, 2012 at 9:10 AM

    I don’t know about y’all, but I’m ready to play!

    • eec84 October 25, 2012 at 6:40 PM

      Hell yeah. I can’t wait

  • Sucitta October 26, 2012 at 3:19 PM

    You do realize the ‘change’ people have been asking for has to do with the engine and physics? Not the options and playstyle…

    I can’t believe im even explaining this in 2012 after how many same engine COD’s?

    You can butter it up as much as you want, if the game feels essentially the same as it did 5 years ago, then nothing has changed imo.


    • Alex Co October 26, 2012 at 11:29 PM

      One thing people don’t realize is the reason IW and Treyarch can pump out CoD games with the same level of fidelity year in and year out is due to their familiarity with the engine. Is it in need of an overhaul? I think so, but will it happen? Seeing as we’re near the end of this generation of consoles, I doubt that.

      I’d like to think that the studios will be using Unreal Engine 4 or something similar once next-gen comes around. But to downplay the changes Treyarch is doing with Black Ops 2 is just turning a blind eye to the concerns fans had with the series’ gameplay.

      Treyarch is making an effort to make Black Ops 2 deviate from the K/D structure of the franchise. I’m just addressing that and the changes they’re doing in regards to CoD’s multiplayer.

      I am not buttering anything up, nor do I need to. CoD’s game engine is a different topic altogether when it comes to the content above.

      This write-up is in no way saying Black Ops 2’s MP will be the best ever or whatnot. For those who know me, they know I’m very critical of the CoD franchise as a whole. I’ve only logged in less than a week of playing Black Ops 1 and I’ve only played MW3’s MP for about a few hours. Simply put — I like Battlefield’s MP way more, but that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate it when a studio tries to shake things up.

      Not every CoD piece is fanboy drivel, you know. Sometimes a “What You Need to Know about Black Ops 2’s MP” is just that…an article pointing out the changes that are coming down the pike.

  • Steve Masters October 27, 2012 at 9:53 AM

    Great article Alex!!

    • Alex Co October 27, 2012 at 12:23 PM

      Thanks! Glad you liked it! =)

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