It looks like Treyarch is ready to stop playing second fiddle to Infinity Ward on the Call of Duty series. A massive amount of changes are coming to Black Ops 2’s multiplayer, such as the removal of killstreaks, a point-based class customization system and an integrated livestreaming feature, that could give the Call of Duty series a revitalization that so many people have hoped for.
Much more after the break.
Livestreaming and Shoutcasting
Perhaps the most interesting addition to Black Ops 2’s feature set is the new ability to instantly livestream gameplay on any platform without owning any extra hardware. If you aren’t familiar with livestreaming, it’s when gamers stream feeds of their live play sessions to sites such as Twitch TV, except sites like this usually require powerful PC hardware. There is also the addition for players who don’t feel like streaming their play to “shoutcast” (ie. commentate) on another player’s gameplay feed. This could be a big game changer if Treyarch pulls it off correctly.
Score Streaks Replacing Killstreaks
Treyarch is swapping out the old familiar Killstreak system in favor of the new Score Streaks. Basically, earning points will now unlock bonuses to use during matches, like drones or the powerful ARG mech, and while kills are still worth points, they count for much less than performing an objective, such as capturing a flag. The new Score Streaks are trying to emphasize the teamwork that the multiplayer has sorely lacked, although kills are extra in modes such as Team Deathmatch.
Custom classes are receiving a giant overhaul in the form of a new points system. Instead of selecting items to fill out a class in the previous games, players will be given 10 points, lovingly named by Treyarch as Pick-10, to spend on weapons, attachments, perks and grenades, without being required to fill out every individual category. That means that players that don’t want to waste a point choosing a secondary weapon can spend the points on that suppressor for their rifle instead. There are also the new Wildcard options to choose from that breaks the rules of the old multiplayer by allowing for a third weapon attachment or extra grenades. But remember, you’ll only have ten points and there is apparently around 100 items to unlock.
Other Multiplayer Tidbits
We also already know that there will only be ten prestige rankings in Black Ops 2 with a respectable 55 levels per prestige. Each prestige ranking will have benefits as players will not be able to unlock all 100 items in their first go. Rather, to have access to everything, players will have to gain a multiple prestige ranks first.
There will also be an eSports element to Black Ops 2 with a new skill based matchmaking system with league play. Instead of the previous matchmaking that pitted players against anyone available, Treyarch is trying to create a series of divisions to place different skilled players into to keep them in more competitive matches. But this seems to be an optional feature at this moment.
A notable absence so far is the Treyarch staple Zombie mode as Activision is still privy to keeping some secrets.
Expect to hear much more about Black Ops 2 over the next few weeks as Activision has a presentation for the game coming up at Gamescom this week in Germany.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 will be released November 13, 2012, on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC.