Why Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 Prestige is not a start-over system

Treyarch design director David Treyarch took to the stage at Eurogamer Expo this afternoon to discuss what it’s like to be in charge of the design of Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 and dish the dirt on the game’s new prestige system.

There are 55 levels in the main progression and 10 levels of prestige. As in previous games in the series, when you prestige you can choose to reset your level back down to one, gain a snazzy icon for doing so and do it all over again. But unlike previous COD games, when you prestige you will not lose all of the content you unlocked. Weapon experience, for example, will remain, so when you unlock a weapon again the game remembers the progress you’ve made with it.

“Prestige. PRESTIGE!” Vonderhaar began to laughs from the Expo crowd. “Congratulations. Here’s a new icon. Repeat the entire game. What? What?

“This is a very simple example of how we are damned if we do and damned if we do not. Looking back at these mechanics, play 55 levels, hit a button, get a new rank icon, start over.

“I’ve been thinking about it non-stop, about how to get people to prestige. We kept going about it the wrong way. We kept saying, here are some more rewards if you do it. Here is this extra stuff if you decide to hit the prestige button.

“Then I looked at a graph of the people who play and what happens to them when they hit level 55 or whatever the max level is, and how they drop off, and how few people actually go to max prestige. I know they could go to max prestige because their time play suggests they could have. I have this data. I know this for a fact.

“They just stopped levelling. Maybe it’s because we keep taking away everything. Maybe. Maybe that’s the reason.”

Then Vonderhaar showed the 10 Black Ops 2 prestige icons on the big screen – the first time they’ve been shown publicly.


A snap of the 10 prestige icons in Call of Duty: Black Ops 2.

“In Black Ops 2 prestige is not a start over system,” he continued. “When you prestige in Black Ops I will not reset your weapon levelling. If you are level four on a gun you will still be level four when you cycle back around to that gun. Same with all your cosmetics, any camo you’ve unlocked or emblem, all the personalisation, all the fancy backgrounds you managed to achieve, all of that will still be there.”

“Thank you!” yelled someone from the back of the audience, which sparked a round of applause.

“Damned if you do, and damned if you don’t. In this case I feel damned if we don’t try something new to get you to prestige. PRESTIGE ALREADY! Please, you can do it! Look at the cool icons you get.

“When you finish up the prestige you become the prestige master.”

Unfortunately, Vonderhaar didn’t show the icon you’ll get for becoming the prestige master. You’ll have to play the game yourself to see it.

Meanwhile, during a question and answer session, Vonderhaar addressed concern that the game will be unplayable on this side of the pond when it launches – as was the case for many when Modern Warfare 3 released last year.

“I have a lot of confidence in the launch,” Vonderhaar replied. “There’s a lot of effort that’s going into it. But there are two things that go on: we are not in control of the internet. At all. Yet. And human error. People make mistakes. And it’s possible something could go wrong.

“But I can say this. There’s a lot of commitment here. In fact, while I’m here I see the threads going back and forth as the team prepares for launch. Look, every time we try this we think we got it. Then a couple more billion people show up at our door and we’re not quite ready to hold them for our party. But I’m telling you we’re really committed to doing the best we can so the game’s ready for launch.”

Vonderhaar then deflected a question about the Wii U version and the resolution and frame rate it will run in.

“I can’t get into the Wii U details because the Wii U monster will have my head,” he said. “As a title that’s getting worked on to go with the Wii U at launch, the relationship between Nintendo and Treyarch here is actually nearly sacred, and it’s really important all the information about the Wii U and Black Ops for the Wii U is developed and given to you in tandem.”

He added: “I can tell you though that there’s no lead SKU, and the 360 and the PS3 and the PC versions are all simultaneously developed by the same group of people. And we’re playing all three of those platforms all the time in the studio.”

Source Article from http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2012-09-28-why-call-of-duty-black-ops-2-prestige-is-not-a-start-over-system

Zombie Modes in Black Ops 2 – Details & Information

Following on from the shorter Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 Zombie trailer released by Treyarch last week. The company has this week released a longer 2 minute version of the trailer that reveals a little more of what you can expect from the game and the Zombie horde.

As well as releasing the new Zombie trailer Treyarch has also unveiled lots of details about the Zombie modes within Black Ops 2. That will include multiple modes, called Tranzit, Survival and Grief which caters for up to 8 players.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 Zombie

The three different gaming modes included in the Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 Zombie game explained:

Tranzit‘ adds scale to the original gametype, and acts as the primary mode for zombie players. Rather than be stuck in one location, players are free to explore a “big, giant, expansive world.” Calling it “significantly bigger than anything [Treyarch has] ever created,” Lamia promises players (playing solo or up to four-players co-op) can traverse on foot or via the bus featured in the zombies world premiere trailer above.

“Because it’s open and because there are multiple locations in this world where you can play and where the infestation is, there’s different strategies about how you can approach it,” he adds. “It’s a much bigger world with much more going on.” Moving through the world in the bus has tactical advantages, such as speed; however, it isolates players and can become very difficult to escape from. Going it on foot “into the fog” – which players can do by themselves or as part of the group – also has its perks, but puts players in the middle of danger.
To aid in their survival, players can collection pieces of items from throughout the world, putting them together to create “buildables”; including weapons, tools and things to help open new areas of the world.

Survival‘ has the “more classic zombies vibe,” where zombie aggressors attack the player within a single area from the “expansive” Tranzit world. From its description, things work relatively the same as they have in the past: hole up, fortify your location and venture out to grab bonuses scattered throughout the environment when you find the right moment.

Survival areas are “carved out” of the Tranzit world and customized by Treyarch to act much like dedicated maps. Though Lamia wouldn’t give an exact number, he promised players will have access to “multiple areas” in Survival that are designed to be played as a standalone section (solo or as a 4-player co-op experience). These areas feature the same gameplay zombie fans are used to, including magic items and ‘Pack-a-Punch’ machines.

Grief‘ is a new mode, available for up to 8 players that takes the concept of Survival and adds a competitive twist. In this mode, two teams of four players are dropped within the zombie-infested Tranzit world and must outlive the opposing team.

“This is what I’ve called in the past ’4z4,’” Lamia says, detailing a mode that breaks down to a simple descriptor of Humans vs. Humans vs. Zombies. “It’s really humans versus zombies, because the zombies don’t care what team you’re on. They just want human flesh and brains.”

In this mode, human players cannot kill each other; however, they can play with the world to put the opposing team in precarious situations – hence the name ‘Grief.’ The last human team standing wins the match.

For even more information about the new Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 Zombie game jump over to the Joystiq website.

Source Article from http://www.geeky-gadgets.com/call-of-duty-black-ops-2-extended-zombie-trailer-and-modes-revealed-video-27-09-2012/

Activision takes Black Ops 2 for Wii U seriously

There seems to be some controversy concerning the Wii U version of Black Ops 2, because it’s said to come in 1080p Full HD, which to us shows that Activision is taking this console seriously. Now while this might sound controversial to you, it’s the reaction from Xbox 360 and PS3 users that has our attention because they don’t seem too pleased.

Activision takes Black Ops 2 for Wii U seriously

We’re not trying to upset anyone here, but this doesn’t come as any surprise because it’s newer technology than the current-gen consoles. Okay, we’re not saying that the Wii U is next-gen tech, but on paper it has more power than the 360 and the PlayStation 3. However, let’s not get too ahead of ourselves and believe that Nintendo’s upcoming console is a much better system than what’s already out there because while the Wii U has 2GB of RAM only 1GB of it is usable because the other GIG is for the OS. And while the GPU is pretty decent, a few developers have said that the PS3 and the Xbox 360 GPUs are still a little ahead.

Back to the story, having Black Ops 2 running at 1080p should on paper mean that this will be the best version of the latest Call of Duty title according to Nintendo, but are they forgetting one thing, the PC. While console lovers will hate the thought the PC version is the better option when it comes to graphics.

We love in the video below how Rich Masucci shares his opinion on how the PS3 and Xbox 360 fans have been reacting to the news that the Wii U version of Black Ops 2 will be running at 1080p. He finds it surprising that they would be defending their systems when they’re 6 and 7 years old. His greatest point is when he discusses how he finds it strange how certain gamers want to see a system fail, where it’s clear that the more competition is much better for the gamer because we get better games from it.

On a final note, Nintendo will not waste their time and effort developing a new console that was not going to be more powerful than the current systems available. However, for all you PS3 and Xbox 360 fans out there you can feel safe in the knowledge that when their successors are released they will be even more powerful than the Wii U, but for now let’s embrace Nintendo’s latest console and hope it succeeds.

Black Ops Declassified bundle copy is digital

That 4GB Memory Card might not go as far as you thought it did.

declassified1 -

Sony’s official PlayStation Vita Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified bundle will include a voucher to download a digital copy of Nihilistic’s upcoming FPS, not a physical copy, it has emerged.

The bundle was previously listed as containing a PS Vita Wi-Fi System, a copy of Call of Duty: Black Ops: Declassified, and a 4GB Memory Card.

And it still does, but you’ll have to download that copy onto that 4GB Memory Card.

If you’re planning on buying other games, too, like, oh I don’t know, Need For Speed: Most Wanted, you’ll likely have to upgrade that stick.

Retail PlayStation Vita games tend to be fairly large in size. A digital copy of Uncharted: Golden Abyss, for example, required 2777MB.

It’s not yet known how much space a digital copy of Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified will require.

If you do opt for the bundle, though, you’ll also get a Black Ops Declassified case and your Vita will have a Black Ops Declassified decal on its rear touchpad.

A price or release date for the bundle has yet to be confirmed by Sony, but HMV has it available to pre-order for £247.99.


“Black Ops 2″ Features Avenged Sevenfold’s New Single “Carry On”

“Black Ops 2″ Features Avenged Sevenfold’s New Single “Carry On”

Today, the heavy metal band Avenged Sevenfold released their first single since 2011, Carry On. Now, you may be wondering why this news would interest gamers, and that reason is because the new single will be featured in Call of Duty: Black Ops 2.

As you may remember, Avenged Sevenfold was featured in the previous Black Ops game in the Call of the Dead DLC, but now will be featured on the disc of Black Ops 2 for everyone to hear. Details on where the track will appear in-game have not been revealed, however, it’s safe to assume it will be Black Ops 2‘s Zombie gamemode.

To hear the track, head on over to Banana 101.5′s website and stream it all you want. The track will be available for download through Amazon MP3 starting tomorrow, September 25th.

What are your thoughts on the Avenged Sevenfold’s new track, and the inclusion of it in Black Ops 2? Personally, as a huge fan of the band and genre, I love it. Discuss in the comments below or in our forums.

Black Ops 2 zombies hype intensified with visuals

We are just hours away from the world premiere reveal of Treyarch’s new zombie mode in Black Ops 2. So far we have only seen single and multiplayer for the game, but like previous tradition – zombies is being kept until last for one final excitement rush before release.

Treyarch will be officially revealing zombies on Wednesday September 12, but in the meantime two new screenshots have been released showing further teasers for the upcoming mode. This follows on from our previous report, where we told you that the zombies viral campaign had already begun by Treyarch releasing several mysterious video clips on the official Call of Duty YouTube channel.

The screenshots themselves are nothing too special, but it does include one interesting talking point that may become a major feature in one of the new maps. One of the images includes a public bus, which tell us that you’ll be able to use the bus to get to various locations on the map.

This is pretty exciting, as it also gives the impression that Black Ops 2 zombies is going to be more of an open-world affair as opposed to the first game which was largely restricted to indoor maps and close encounters. The other screenshot looks a lot like the underground section from Call of The Dead and the graphics are nothing to get excited about either.

Zombies is zombies though and it’s still going to be the main reason why everyone will rush out to pick up Black Ops 2 at a midnight launch. Treyarch are very good at mixing gameplay up to make it a fresh experience, and the new futuristic multiplayer setting actually looks like it could be a lot of fun as well- compared to Modern Warfare 3.

What are you expecting to see from the zombies premiere gameplay trailer? Will you just be happy to see new maps and weapons, or are you hoping to see a complete revamp with a drastic change to the format in which zombies is played? We already know that a zombie campaign is coming, so it’s going to be a big shake up this time around anyway.

Don’t forget to check the official zombies YouTube channel for further teasers until the main reveal.

Black Ops 2: Think you know Call of Duty multiplayer? Think again

“Multiplayer is the lifeblood of the franchise,” says Treyarch’s studio head, Mark Lamia. “Call of Duty multiplayer is played 365 days a year, twenty-four seven, all over the world. But we can do better.”

“Black Ops did everything we wanted it to do. We had the customisation, the theatre, the emblem editor, great maps, great options – but one of the things that it didn’t do is look at the gameplay and say: ‘hey, let’s significantly innovate upon some of these core systems.’ Black Ops II takes the core systems and does something new.”

Black Ops II is CoD’s biggest multiplayer overhaul since Call of Duty 4. For the first time you’ll be able to create a custom class entirely from scratch, play with six teams in one game, livestream games without expensive PC hardware, and even enter games as a commentator with a dedicated e-sports HUD.

But more than that, it’s the first CoD where every mode rewards you for playing it properly, and where every weapon and every perk can be rebalanced on a micro level at Treyarch’s end. The moment a perk proves too powerful it can be nerfed without removing it because CoD, says multiplayer designer David Vonderhaar, has become a sport and sports have to be fair.


Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 Screenshot


“I’ve seen our game on the main stage at MLG with a hundred people in the stands rooting for their team,” says Vonderhaar. “I’ve seen it and I think: ‘I’ve got to a find a way to give this to everybody.’ Idon’t know what will happen but I’m sure as f*ck going to try because I have funwatching those people play, because it’s good for e-sports and because it’s good for this business. If we do it right I hope somebody comes along, copies what we did and finds ways to make it even better. I want this to catch on the way perks did. This can be the nextbig thing.”


For the first time in any console game, a single button click will let you stream your games to the internet. “All you need to livestream is a little bit of upstream bandwidth and a USB camera if you want picture-in-picture,” says Vonderhaar. “Right now, people who livestream have to have a computer with very expensive hardware and lots of cables, and weget rid of all that.”

“You’ll be able to watch streamed games anywhere – your phone, your iPad, your computer…” says Lamia. “We’re demoing it on our own webpage internally, but there’s nothing magical about the feed itself, and nothing to stop you from broadcasting it when and how you want.”


Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 Screenshot


The feed runs with a delay – in part a limitation of the time your console needs to compress and send the video, and in part an artificially-enforced delay to prevent cheating. That’s especially important for Black Ops II’s new Shoutcasting mode – a dedicated commentator’s HUD, with full camera controls, the ability to jump to any players’ view and a picture-in-picture scoreboard and map for tracking even the fastest games. The Shoutcast HUD is built with tournament play in mind and designed to be readable quickly and easily for audiences at Major League Gaming shows and other professional tournaments, and just like everyone else the Shoutcasting commentator can livestream their ownview and become the host oftheir own Call of Duty show.

But none of that would matter if the old Call of Duty gripes threatened to break the game. Those motion sensors, those overpowered killstreaks, those players who play every objective mode like it were Deathmatch, and those players who spoil your game by being too bad / too good are all problems Treyarch have heard, understood, and fixed.

Source Article from http://www.computerandvideogames.com/369451/features/black-ops-2-think-you-know-call-of-duty-multiplayer-think-again/