Connect with us

Call of Duty

Call of Duty Black Ops 4 Update – February 26th – Swordfish Nerf, Engineer Fix, Blackout Quick Equip 2.0, and more

Published

on

Treyarch released a playlist update and a Reddit post on February 26th with some keys changes to the game as well as the release of Grand Heist on Xbox and PC platforms.

February 26th’s update includes all Grand Heist content for Xbox and PC along with bug fixes and minor balance tweaks. Today’s update is a playlist update and no out-of-game download is required.

The Swordfish has received a slight nerf to its ADS strafing speed, the Engineer perk now once again properly marks K9-Units and Strike Teams through walls, and Blackout’s Quick Equip system will now stack items vertically for less clutter.

The full patch notes for today’s update as well as Grand Heist content can be found below:

From Treyarch:

Feb. 26 Update: Operation Grand Heist arrives on all platforms!

Operation Grand Heist Now Live on All Platforms

With today’s updates on Xbox One and PC, Operation Grand Heist has now arrived on all platforms, delivering the initial wave of a full season of content across all modes! New content for Xbox One and PC includes:

  • New Specialist in MP and Blackout: Outrider
  • New Party Game MP mode: One in the Chamber
  • 2 new Multiplayer maps for Black Ops Pass holders: Lockup and Casino
  • New Blackout destination: Ghost Town
  • Blackout Prestige System with 10 Prestige levels and 1,000 Echelons
  • Cosmic Silverback character in Blackout for Black Ops Pass holders
  • New “Death-Con Five” Gauntlet in Zombies
  • New Ethereal Razor Perk in Zombies
  • New Contraband stream with 3 new earnable weapons, new Blackout character, Mastercraft Weapon, Reactive Camos, Epic Outfits, new Jump Pack item type, and more
  • Revamped Black Market featuring the return of Blackjack

League Play and the World League Hub will launch this Thursday on Xbox One and PC, with our new Hot Pursuit game mode rolling out on Friday in Blackout on those platforms. One in the Chamber, League Play, and Hot Pursuit continue this week on PS4, along with the additions of Hardcore Map Pack Moshpit and Mercenary Objective Moshpit to the MP Featured Playlist category on all platforms. We’ve also implemented some bug fixes and quality-of-life improvements, including…

Blackout Quick Equip 2.0

Live today in Blackout, we’ve upgraded the Quick Equip interface to stack items of similar types vertically for easier access and less clutter. For example, healing items will appear in a single stack that allows players to quickly scroll through First Aid, Med Kits, and Trauma Kits in one column when the Quick Equip menu is open. Players can toggle this new setting in the Controls section of the Options menu. Give it a shot and let us know what you think after a few matches!

PC Curated Playlists

As we mentioned yesterday from /u/TreyarchPC, we’ve updated the PC playlists in Multiplayer and Zombies to provide faster matchmaking across all game mode types. Check out the PC patch notes below for all the details on our new-and-improved curated playlists.

Here’s what’s new today in Black Ops 4:

  • Multiplayer
    • New Specialist: Outrider (Xbox One/PC)
    • 3 new weapons earnable in the Black Market (Xbox One/PC)
    • 2 new Multiplayer maps for Black Ops Pass holders: Lockup and Casino (Xbox One/PC)
    • Featured Playlist: One in the Chamber (Xbox One/PC)
    • Map Pack Moshpit, Hardcore Map Pack Moshpit, Pro Series Moshpit, and Mercenary Objective Moshpit added to Featured category (Xbox One/PC)
  • Blackout
    • Quality of life improvements to Quick Equip menu
    • New destination: Ghost Town (Xbox One/PC)
    • Two new locations inspired by fan-favorite maps, “Buried” and “Outlaw” (Xbox One/PC)
    • Prestige System with 10 Prestige levels and 1,000 Echelons (Xbox One/PC)
    • New Specialist: Outrider (Xbox One/PC)
    • Cosmic Silverback character for Black Ops Pass holders (Xbox One/PC)
  • Zombies
    • New “Death-Con Five” Gauntlet on “Classified” (Xbox One/PC)
    • New Ethereal Razor Perk (Xbox One/PC)
  • Black Market
    • New 100-Tier Contraband stream (Xbox One/PC)
    • Revamped Black Market featuring the return of Blackjack (Xbox One/PC)
  • PC curated playlist updates

Multiplayer

  • Game Modes
    • One in the Chamber now live as the Featured Playlist.
      • Players are given three lives and a pistol with one bullet.
      • Land a shot or melee enemies to gain another bullet and 100 points.
      • Keep an eye on the UAV sweep and earn the most points to win.
    • Map Pack Moshpit, Hardcore Map Pack Moshpit, Pro Series Moshpit, and Mercenary Objective Moshpit added to Featured category.
  • Weapon Tuning
    • Swordfish
      • Reduced ADS move speed slightly.
  • Perks
    • Engineer
      • Players now properly see K9-Unit and Strike Team Scorestreaks through walls with the Engineer Perk equipped.
  • Specialists
    • Outrider
      • Addressed an issue where Outrider would not respawn until her Hawk was destroyed, if she was killed during the last frame of her deploy animation.
  • World League Hub
    • Fixed a crash that could occur while trying to load into a Search and Destroy match.

Blackout

  • Gameplay
    • Quick Equip 2.0
      • Items of similar types are now stacked vertically in the Quick Equip menu for quick cycling and less clutter.
      • Players can toggle this new setting in the Controls section of the Options menu.
  • Prestige
    • Prestige icon now displays in the After Action Report after Blackout matches.

Multiplayer

  • New Specialist
    • Outrider playable in Multiplayer after unlocking Tier 1 in the Black Market.
    • Special Issue Weapon: Sparrow
      • Fire explosive-tipped arrows with deadly accuracy.
    • Special Issue Equipment: Hawk
      • Pilotable drone that can be parked at strategic overwatch positions. Automatically tags enemies in its view.
  • New Weapons
    • Three new weapons now earnable in the Black Market to use in Multiplayer:
      • Switchblade X9 folding SMG
      • Rampage full-auto shotgun
      • Cha-Ching! money bag melee weapon
  • New Multiplayer Maps
    • Lockup and Casino maps now available for Black Ops Pass holders.
    • Available in standard map rotation (Core and Hardcore) and in the Map Pack Moshpit playlist.

Blackout

  • New Destination: Ghost Town
    • Drop into a new Western-themed destination in the southeast desert featuring two new locations inspired by fan-favorite maps: “Outlaw” above ground and “Buried” below.
  • Prestige System
    • Prestige up to 10 times on your way to Prestige Master and conquer 1,000 Echelons.
    • Unlock unique Prestige icons, Calling Cards, Victory Coins, and Echelon Characters as you rise through the ranks.
  • New Characters
    • Outrider playable in Blackout after unlocking Tier 1 in the Black Market.
      • Outrider’s Outfit Unlock mission now available to find and complete.
    • Cosmic Silverback now available for Black Ops Pass holders.

Zombies

  • New Gauntlet: “Death-Con Five”
    • 30 rounds of challenges on “Classified” with unique rules for each round.
    • Players earn medals and tiered rewards for completing rounds 10, 20, and 30, as well as a cosmetic reward for completing round 30 without failing a round.
    • Players are issued a Strike by failing a round, with the game ending after three Strikes.
    • All matches are timed for competitive speed-run support.
  • New Perk: Ethereal Razor
    • Provides health gain and greatly increased damage to melee attacks.

Black Market

  • Contraband Stream
    • New 100-Tier Contraband stream including:
      • 3 new earnable weapons
      • New Blackout character
      • New Mastercraft Weapon
      • New Reactive Camos
      • New Epic Outfits
      • New cosmetic Jump Pack item type + more
    • Newly revamped Black Market featuring the return of Blackjack.
  • Progression System Updates
    • Reserve Cases earnable at every Tier after 100 in the Contraband stream.
    • Daily Tier Skips apply to Tiers after the 100-Tier mark through play in all modes.
    • Players earn new Cases in addition to unlocking Contraband Tiers through gameplay time.

Multiplayer

  • New Core Playlists
    • Deathmatch Moshpit
      • Team Deathmatch
      • Kill Confirmed
    • Objective Moshpit
      • Domination
      • Hardpoint
      • Safeguard
    • Limited Lives Moshpit
      • Control
      • Search & Destroy
      • Heist
    • Free-for-All
  • New Hardcore Playlists
    • Hardcore Deathmatch Moshpit
      • Hardcore Team Deathmatch
      • Hardcore Kill Confirmed
    • Hardcore Objective Moshpit
      • Hardcore Domination
      • Hardcore Search & Destroy

Zombies

  • New Public Playlists
    • Featured Gauntlet
    • Latest Released Map
    • Chaos Maps
    • Aether Maps
    • Rush

-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.

Published

on

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

Continue Reading

Call of Duty

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.

Published

on

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

Continue Reading

Activision

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.

Published

on

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

Continue Reading