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Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 January 17 Game Settings Update: PC Patch, Blackout Trial, And More

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Treyarch has released the latest game settings update for Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, alongside releasing Patch Update 1.11 for PC Players.

UPDATE – 12:30PM PT: Treyarch has released additional updates to Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 on PS4 and Xbox One, with PC to follow.

Blackout

  • Gameplay
    • Resolved an issue in the looting interface with Stash items being reordered when the player looted items from a Stash.
    • Resolved an issue with hit detection on ARAV passengers hanging out of the window.

Multiplayer

  • Game Modes
    • Heist
      • Resolved an issue that resulted in items being purchased multiple times automatically.
  • Specialists
    • Seraph
      • Tac-Deploy now properly expires after intended duration in the field.
    • Zero
      • Replaced missing voiceover lines for Zero.
  • Perks
    • Tactical Mask
      • Using an EMP Disruptor on an enemy with Tactical Mask equipped will now display the Tactical Mask icon on-screen.

Zombies

  • Blood of the Dead
    • Closed an exploit where the player could use the Ragnarok DG-5 to reach an exploitable area on the Docks Bridge.
  • Stability
    • Fixed a crash that could occur when a player disconnected before a Wonder Weapon charged shot was cleared.

From Treyarch:

Our Blackout Free Trial is now live for everyone on PS4, Xbox One, and PC! We’ve also launched our newest limited-time mode in Blackout on PS4 with Down But Not Out, and our PC 1.11 update arrives today with PC-specific improvements. Here’s the rundown:

Blackout Free Trial (PS4, Xbox One, PC)

For those who still haven’t experienced the thrill of the hunt in Blackout, our Free Trial is now live and runs through 10AM PT Jan. 24 on PS4, Xbox One, and PC! Grab your friends (and enemies) and jump in for free – it’s going to be a wild ride.

After downloading and installing the Blackout Free Trial from your platform’s store, you’ll be able to party up with players who have the Free Trial and with friends who already own Black Ops 4, so everyone in the Call of Duty community can play together. Free Trial players will also earn Echelon progression and unlock Black Market Tiers and loot during the trial period, with no limits on playtime or player progression.

Xbox One players will need an Xbox Live account to play in the Free Trial, and PC players will require a Battle.net account. PS Plus is not required for PlayStation 4 players to play in the trial. Here’s how to download the Blackout Free Trial:

  • All Platforms: Register for a free My Call of Duty account if you haven’t already.
  • PS4 and Xbox One: In the console store, search for and download the Blackout Free Trial. When the download completes, start up the game and jump in.
  • PC: Go to Battle.net and log in with your account, or register if you haven’t already. Find “Call of Duty®: Black Ops 4”, and click the “Try For Free” button. Once the download is complete, click “Play” to launch the game.

1.11 Update (PC)

Our PC 1.11 update is live today with several PC-specific improvements listed below, in addition to the details laid out in our console 1.11 patch notes. Our PC team is also investigating community feedback regarding shotguns in Blackout and sniper rifle performance in Multiplayer. As always, thanks for your feedback while we examine the data – the team is dedicated to maintaining weapon balance on PC for fair and consistent gunplay, especially as new weapons are added to the game.

Down But Not Out – Blackout (PS4)

To celebrate the launch of the Blackout Free Trial, we’ve introduced Down But Not Out this week in Blackout on PS4! In our newest limited-time mode, fallen teammates redeploy with each new Collapse as long as one player in the squad remains alive. This new gameplay mechanic completely changes the tactical approach of the game – if you’re the last surviving member of your squad, you’ll need to make damn sure you can stay in the fight until your teammates redeploy, and plot a new course of action with your reunited squad to take on the other survivors. Remember, other squads will be parachuting in with you through the match, as well.

Players redeploy with a pistol, a handful of 9mm rounds, and five bandages, so you won’t be left empty-handed when you drop back in for revenge against the squad that took you out. Players can no longer redeploy once the countdown to the final Collapse begins, so strategize accordingly if you want to be the last squad standing. By the way, Collapses also happen more frequently this time around.

If this all sounds like a recipe for an insane final circle, you’d be correct – be prepared for some of the craziest game-ending fights you’ve seen in Blackout to date. Jump into the new mode on PS4 and let us know what you think in the comments! We’re planning to run Down But Not Out for two weeks on each platform, so everyone will have plenty of time to drop in and try it out.

NEW IN GAME SINCE TUESDAY:

  • Blackout Free Trial now live on PS4, Xbox One, and PC.
  • PC 1.11 update now live.
  • Down But Not Out limited-time mode live in Blackout (PS4).
  • Improvements to Zombies Gauntlets (PS4).
  • “Clear all New item markers” button now clears “New” notifications in Personalization menu (PS4 and Xbox One).
  • Fix for Gunship camera resetting when switching ammo types.
  • Misc. stability and bug fixes in Multiplayer and Blackout.

ALL PLATFORMS:

Blackout

  • Blackout Free Trial
    • Play Blackout for free through 10AM PT Jan. 24 on PS4, Xbox One, and PC.
    • Free Trial players earn Echelon progression and unlock Tiers and loot through the Black Market, with no limit on playtime or player progression.
    • Download and install the Blackout Free Trial from the store on PS4/Xbox One, and from Battle.net on PC.
  • Stability
    • Fixed crashes that could occur in certain cases when joining a lobby and during infiltration at the start of a match.

Multiplayer

  • Scorestreaks
    • Gunship
      • Resolved an issue with the Gunship camera resetting when switching ammo types.
  • Black Market
    • Fixed a UI error tied to purchasing items in Blackjack’s Shop.
  • Stability
    • Fixed a crash that could occur when a Zero player hacked Torque’s Barricade.
    • Fixed a crash that could occur when using Prophet’s Tempest.
  • Miscellaneous
    • Resolved an issue where a red triangle would appear on the Armory button after leaving a CWL Custom Game.

General

  • UI
    • “Clear all New item markers” button now clears “New” notifications in Personalization menu. (Live on PS4 and Xbox One; incoming on PC.)

PS4:

Blackout

  • Limited-Time Mode
    • Down But Not Out
    • Playlist now live in Blackout on PS4 through Jan. 30.
    • Fallen teammates redeploy with each new Collapse as long as one player in the squad is still alive.
    • Players redeploy with a pistol, 30x 9mm rounds, and 5x First Aid bandages.
    • Players can no longer redeploy once the final Collapse begins.
    • Collapses occur more frequently than in standard Blackout game modes.
    • Play in squads up to 4 players with a maximum total of 100 players per match.

Zombies

  • Gauntlets
    • Resolved an issue with players not being able to purchase wall-buys in certain situations.
    • Resolved an issue where the player would not have their Mule Kick weapon returned to them after round 14, if Mule Kick was acquired via the Perk Up elixir.
    • Updated the weapon descriptions in the rules for three rounds.
    • Replaced a thumbnail in local play to properly display “Unsinkable” for the new Gauntlet.
  • Stability
    • Fixed a crash that could occur when players were downed during Gauntlets.

In addition to the details listed under “PS4 and Xbox One” across all three modes in our 1.11 patch notes, the following PC-specific updates are included in today’s PC 1.11 update:

Blackout

  • Gameplay
    • Added a new Gameplay option to allow using “Repair Armor” as a toggle instead of a hold.
    • Added Gamepad option that allows tweaking Reload behavior in Blackout.
  • Miscellaneous
    • Resolved an issue where the weapon slot could change between Primary and Secondary when picking up attachments.

Multiplayer

  • Miscellaneous
    • Improved prompt visibility on Zero’s Ice Pick.
    • Resolved an issue where the player could not use “Change Class” shortcuts while the Change Class panel was opened.

General

  • Gameplay
    • Added “Change Class” keybind shortcuts for slots 7 to 12.
    • Added “Steady Aim (Toggle)” keybind.
    • “Center View” keybind will no longer instantly snap the camera to center position.
  • Miscellaneous
    • Resolved an issue where the player could not swim up with the “Jump Button Also Mantles” option set to “Off”.

SOURCE: Treyarch

Call of Duty

Call of Duty dev finally confirms that games have had SBMM all along

A former Call of Duty developer has confirmed that the series has used skill-based matching since 2007’s Modern Warfare.

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Helicopter flying in Call of Duty

Skill-based matchmaking has been a hugely controversial issue among Call of Duty fans for years, and former developer Josh Menke has finally confirmed that CoD titles have had SBMM as far back as 2007’s Modern Warfare.

In the early days of online multiplayer gaming, players would have to select a server to join by themselves. As time went on, developers started to automate that process, eventually introducing skill-based matchmaking in an attempt to keep matches competitive.

While this seems logical, it’s been a highly contentious issue among gamers who claim it has ruined games and made them less fun.

Games like Black Ops Cold War and Warzone have been criticized for using skill-based matchmaking too much, with players comparing them to older Call of Duty titles. However, former Activision Senior Systems Designer Josh Menke has revealed that SBMM has been in CoD games since 2007.

vanguard operators in combat in warzone pacific

The idea behind skill-based matchmaking is to place you in lobbies with players of a similar skill level. While many believe that older Call of Duty titles didn’t do this, Menke states it’s been used as far back as the original Modern Warfare.

“[Call of Duty 4] did have some skill-based match-making, all of them always have,” he told GDC. “It’s just the math and science have gotten better over the years. If you grew up on it back then, your expectations are very different than if you have it now.”

“The same thing happens in Fortnite, even today. When the game first started, I believe they had very little skill-based matchmaking, then over the years they’ve experimented with different levels of SBMM and using bots.”

“You’ll have players who play Call of Duty that will be like, ‘I don’t like skill-based matchmaking,’ but then they go play Valorant and it’s fine.”

A sniper in Modern Warfare Remastered

One of the biggest complaints about skill-based matchmaking is that while it should be used in ranked modes, public or casual matches have become too difficult because of the system.

Menke does feel that developers are making one major error with current matchmaking systems, saying that when a game can’t find a good match for a player, it just “settles” for a bad one. Instead, he suggests using “real-time stats” on the player base to create the best games possible.

Whether you like SBMM or not, the system isn’t going anywhere. At least the long-running debate over CoD’s historical matchmaking system can finally be put to rest.

For more Call of Duty, check out everything you need to know about Warzone’s new Pacific Caldera map.

Image Credits: Activision

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Top 5 hardest Call of Duty campaigns of all time

Call of Duty has produced some of the most memorable campaigns in FPS history, but we’re counting down the top 5 hardest ever.

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world at war's heart of the reich level with CI logo

As well as delivering epic narratives and creating iconic characters, plenty of CoD campaigns have also offered a nice challenge down the years. So we’ve picked out the top 5 hardest CoD campaigns ever, and ranked them.

Whilst it’s Call of Duty’s multiplayer that understandably gets all the plaudits, the franchise has produced some incredibly good single-player experiences too – with Vanguard being the latest one. After all, before online gaming really got going in the mid-late 2000s, campaigns were the main selling point of FPS games.

Many games have since overlooked this aspect in favor of keeping players hooked to live service models. However, barring Call of Duty: Black Ops IIII, every major CoD title has had a campaign, and we’ve sifted through them all to rank the top five hardest of all time.

Hardest CoD campaigns ever ranked

player fighting through Paris in MW3

We can confirm that we’ve played and beaten all these campaigns on the Veteran difficulty setting – apart from BLOPS III which we did on its debuting Realistic difficulty.

As most players will know, Veteran can turn a simple corridor into a test of patience that can take a long time. This separates the weak from the strong and is a perfect way to differentiate campaigns.

Recent years have phased out repsawning enemies and grenade spam, and as a result, have been a lot easier. But a trip down memory lane will dig up some of the most frustrating levels and sections in the series.

5. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

soap looking at gulag in MW2

Definitely not as tough as the later entries on our list, but Infinity Ward’s second installment of the Modern Warfare saga had the odd mean level that will bring out the veins in your head.

The game actually starts out fairly generously for the first few levels, and then dumps a harsh one-two punch of Takedown on you, a nerve-inducing push through the Favela, and the extremely open nature of Wolverines.

You’re allowed your breath back for a bit, and then you’re plunged into the infested depths of the Gulag that has some positively vile checkpoints to clear. Through Whiskey Hotel and Loose Ends you have a ton of enemies to contend with and these are the levels that test your Veteran instincts, especially the survive and escape formula of Loose Ends.

Modern Warfare 2 doesn’t have a defining level or section that stands out, it’s just packed with lots of solid fights that will test your mettle.

4. Call of Duty 2

player fighting across bridge in COD2

The early Call of Duty games set the standard for some of the difficulty that was going to be featured down the line.

CoD2 feels a bit more streamlined and thought-out compared to the first game, but it’s still rife with grenades flying in from every angle and Germans that have had their skills honed by the Matrix.

There’s definitely a sense that the levels get harder towards the end, as a natural difficulty curve should do. The German respawn factory never ceases production, even until the very end. The only thing that lessens the difficulty a tad is the fact that Call of Duty 2 introduced regenerating health for the first time, meaning players had time to recover.

3. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

player looking at chernobyl wheel in cod4

We consider CoD4 to be the best Call of Duty game, and its characters, set-pieces, that nuclear explosion scene, and so much more make this campaign memorable, not least the punishing difficulty.

But it’s a handful of missions and sections that will get you used to the death screen. Charlie Don’t Surf’s push through the Broadcast area is painful, the Hunted is littered with large space and tight areas packed with enemies, and even scaling the hill in Safehouse can take a while.

But it’s some of the game’s final missions where things are turned up to 100. The iconic One Shot, One Kill mission is a supreme test of skill, patience, and luck on Veteran, No Fighting in the War Room is a timed slog through steam, claustrophobic corridors teeming with foes, and of course – Mile High Club.

A one-minute sprint through about 50 enemies in the tightest fighting area yet, going up a floor, demanding absolute precision and excellence on your part. You’ll find that if you check many gamer’s Trophies and Achievements for CoD4, they’ll be missing this one on Veteran.

2. Call of Duty: World at War

a squad advancing in world at war mission

Call of Duty: Grenade would’ve been a more apt title for Treyarch’s 2008 World War II shooter and many players to this day still see grenade indicators appearing in their vision.

Every mission is an exercise in patience and bravery thanks to unlimited enemy respawns and the germans owning every grenade in existence.

The game is a brutal journey for its first 14 missions on Veteran, and then you get to what is probably the most difficult FPS mission ever created – Heart of the Reich. The act of taking down four AA guns can take literally hours as you have little cover, enemies are attacking (infinitely) from all sides, and you’re having to constantly retreat from grenades every two seconds.

World at War is one of the last true tests of outrageous CoD difficulty.

1. Call of Duty 1 (Call of Duty: Classic)

player making their way to eder dam in cod 1

Anyone who thinks World at War or CoD4 are the hardest campaigns only say that because they haven’t the arduous task of completing the first-ever Call of Duty campaign on Veteran.

Why’s it the hardest? It’s very simple. No health regeneration, no health packs, the checkpoints are utterly unforgiving as you need to have a certain amount of health to trigger them, otherwise, you get diddly squat, checkpoints can be awarded as you’re getting shot, enemies can regularly appear behind you, and they have an immaculate aim.

Then when you start to factor in Chateau, POW Camp, Eder Dam, Truck Ride, Battleship Tirpitz, and the absolutely mind-bogglingly difficult Pavlov’s House, then it’s easy to see why Call of Duty 1 has the hardest campaign ever.

Don’t believe us? Go and play it on Veteran, then get back to us.


So that’s our top 5 list of the hardest Call of Duty campaigns of all time. Even if your list has one or two slightly different entries, we can all agree that Call of Duty has done a great job of serving up some fiendishly tough treats.

If you enjoyed our list and want more original content, then check out the best CoD Zombies maps ranked, every gun in Vanguard ranked, or even the 10 best FPS weapons of all time!

Image Credit: Activision

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Leaker claims Activision is considering changing Call of Duty’s annual release schedule

A leaker has suggested that Activision’s annual CoD release may be coming to an end with extended cycles being considered.

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lucas riggs and other characters with activision logo over them

A new Call of Duty title is released every year, with multiple studios taking it in turns to bring out a new game. A new leak however has made the bold claim that Activision may be thinking about changing its release schedule and model.

It’s become a given that a new CoD game will be released in November of each year, with the likes of Treyarch, Sledgehammer Games, and Infinity Ward all taking it in turns to develop a new game.

2019 saw the release of IW’s Modern Warfare reboot, 2020 was Treyarch’s Black Ops Cold War, and this year has seen the release of Sledgehammer Games’ Vanguard.

It’s already rumored that Modern Warfare 2 is in the works for 2022, but depending on Activision’s approach, they may opt to change their release policy, starting with MW2.

player sniping in modern warfare 2019

Leaks seem to happen left, right, and center these days, with people able to learn a great deal of information about projects and plans, many of which turn out to be true.

The new Call of Duty rumor comes from leaker Ralph, who recently claimed that the reported Modern Warfare 2 Multiplayer remaster has been canceled, and thinks that annual releases are being reconsidered.

A recent Tweet from them quite simply said: “Activision are reportedly in discussion for extending Call of Duty’s annual releases.”

As with any leak, this should be taken with a major pinch of salt. RalphsValve has recently come under scrutiny from fellow leakers regarding the accuracy of his claims.

With the rumored 2022 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 title still potentially a year out, maybe two now, things can always change, and we’d recommend taking these claims with a pinch of salt.

Furthermore, given how much this could change the Call of Duty landscape going forward, we’d also strongly recommend waiting for official confirmation from Activision before assuming this is the direction CoD will be going in the future.


For more Call of Duty news, take a look at when Vanguard and Warzone Season 1 starts.

Image Credit: Activision / Infinity Ward / Sledgehammer Games

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