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Opinion: Compared to other Call of Duty titles, Black Ops 4’s reward system lacks player choice

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With no avenues to earn loot outside of Contraband Streams and Cases, Black Ops 4’s rewards feel empty and inconsistent.

Call of Duty Black Ops 4 has severe loot issues. Between the lack of enticing items offered in paid Reserve Cases, to the absence of challenges that reward character cosmetics, the way most things are unlocked doesn’t feel earned.

None of these Outfits were earned by actually playing as Torque. (Black Ops 4)

The loot system in Call of Duty Black Ops 4’s feels bare. From the launch of the game, something didn’t sit right with me. Coming from Black Ops 3, Infinite Warfare, and WWII, I was surprised to see that I had no choice in how I was earning items aside from the traditional weapon camo challenges. There was only Tiers and randomized lootboxes.

Black Ops 3 offered Specialist Personalization in the form of challenges. Infinite Warfare introduced a Salvage and Collection system that showed you direct paths towards unlocking specific items, and WWII let players choose Contracts and Orders that had a variety of rewards. Black Ops 4 has the Contraband Stream and real money purchases. That’s it.

There are three major systems from past Call of Duty’s that are missing in Black Ops 4’s Multiplayer:

  • Challenge-based Character Cosmetics
  • Collections
  • Contracts/Orders/Missions

Breaking down each of these, challenge-based cosmetics have been around since Modern Warfare. Get enough headshots with a gun, you unlock a camo for that gun.

When Ghosts introduced the Create-a-Soldier system, those character cosmetics followed the weapon model and were also unlocked through challenges. While direct purchase cosmetics were later offered, there was always a handful of character skins you knew you could unlock by performing specific actions.

If you played as Outrider, you earned Outrider items. Makes sense. (Black Ops 3)

Advanced Warfare, Black Ops 3, and Infinite Warfare all kept that system intact because it’s a great way to make the player feel like they have control over what they are earning rather than feel like they’re scratching lottery tickets.

In Black Ops 4 the only cosmetic challenges that are present are weapon camos and calling cards. Character Cosmetics are all in the Contraband Stream which doesn’t require any specific actions.

Spent an hour getting 5 Kills and 100 Deaths in Multiplayer? You earn a tier. Spent an hour with Ruin getting 30 Grav Slam kills? Here’s the same tier. There’s no more player agency when these challenges are stripped from the game. The incentive to play well is lost when everyone is rewarded equally.

The challenge based system made sense because you were rewarded with new character items for the character you were playing as, rather than a random lootbox or a tier that gave you a skin for a character you weren’t using.

Clear paths to your desired rewards using currency earned from doing specific actions. (Infinite Warfare)

The Prototype Lab introduced in Infinite Warfare fixes Black Ops 3’s biggest lootbox issue. While BO3 restricted new guns to the luck of the draw, IW gave all players access to the base models of new weapons, while offering direct avenues to earn upgraded versions of every gun.

Salvage, the currency used to unlock upgraded guns, was given to players frequently through login bonuses, Mission Teams, and lootboxes. Players could see the prices of better guns and what it took to get them. This system evolved into Collections in Modern Warfare Remastered and WWII that showed players exactly what was needed to unlock the best items.

If I want an Epic NV4 in IW, I know I need to buy the Rare and Legendary versions first. I can see what the prices are for those and know how much Salvage I need to save up. If I want the Rangers shotgun in MWR, I know I need to save up enough parts to buy the Camos and Calling Cards that lead up to it.

This idea of seeing what I need to do to unlock something, then doing that, is what Black Ops 4 lacks. I can tell you exactly how many Parts or Salvage I need to unlock something in MWR and IW, I can not tell you how much money I need to spend to unlock a specific item in Black Ops 4. That’s a problem.

The lack of any clear path to specific rewards in BO4 means that players feel absolutely zero control over the items they receive.

No guessing here. If I get 100 LMG Kills, I get an LMG. Simple as that. (WWII)

However, the system that gives players the most control and agency over how they go about unlocking things in recent Call of Duty’s is WWII’s Contracts and Orders. Between Daily and Weekly Orders, I can choose what I need to do to earn what I want.

If I want the Epic Variant of the Lewis LMG, I can accept the Order to get 100 LMG kills, get the LMG kills because I’m an LMG player, and get the reward. Simple. Rather than playing for an hour to unlock a lootbox, I can choose an Order that I personally can complete in less than an hour and be rewarded with a lootbox.

While there are issues here, like the fact that there are only 6 daily orders and 3 weekly, the idea is in the right place. Player choice is completely absent in BO4. You spend time in the game or you don’t. That’s about as much choice you have when it comes to what rewards you earn.

Although, I will give credit to Blackout Character Unlocks which is exactly the system we should see but in MP and Zombies. Direct avenues of earning specific items is what’s best for players and makes them feel ownership over the loot they earn.

Since all loot in Black Ops 4 is funneled into one stream of content, I feel like I am being rewarded less often and less relevantly. My actions aren’t tied to my rewards. When someone sees a skin I’m wearing in Multiplayer and asks how I got it, my answer should demonstrate my skill or choices, not just randomization. Call of Duty has always had the right idea with Weapon Camos being earned through proficiency with a specific gun, now that philosophy has to be applied everywhere else in Black Ops 4.

Battlefield

Call of Duty players want a Battlefield Portal inspired mode in the future

After FPS fans were blown away by Battlefield Portal’s reveal, Call of Duty fans want to see a similar mode in the future.

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Battlefield Portal and Modern Warfare 2

Battlefield 2042’s REDACTED mode was finally announced at EA Play: Battlefield Portal. This is a hub for content from previous Battlefield games, and Call of Duty players want to see a similar mode in the future.

Like Battlefield, Call of Duty has depicted various theatres of war over the years, both real and fictional. Although Battlefield 2042 is set in the near future, as a throwback for long-time fans of the franchise, they’ve included Battlefield Portal.

This brings weapons, maps, vehicles, and more from Battlefield 1942, Bad Company 2, and Battlefield 3 into one, ultimate sandbox experience. Impressed with the new mode, Call of Duty fans have been asking for a similar experience.

Battlefield Portal vehicles

Call of Duty fans have been desperate for remasters of their favorite games from the franchise, with Modern Warfare 2’s multiplayer being the most prominent. Black Ops Cold War is chock-full of maps from Black Ops 2, but players still want to see more content from the games they grew up with.

Battlefield 2042 found the solution to this with their new Portal mode. With access to a ton of content from previous Battlefield games, players can create almost any custom game mode they can dream up.

“And that’s how you incorporate remastered content into your game,” said renowned industry insider Tom Henderson after seeing the reveal. He followed this by theorizing that Call of Duty will create something similar in the “next 5 years.”

His theory was met with resounding excitement, with many Call of Duty players wanting to see their favorite multiplayer and Zombies experiences return in the same way.

Battlefield Portal “truly could be the next BIG THING for creators,” said popular YouTuber Chaosxsilencer. “Imagine a Call of Duty Portal with BO2, BO3, WaW, MW2, MW3 assets all usable and customizable.”

“The custom game options available with #BATTLEFIELD2042 and the Battlefield Portal are amazing. So many options and ways to be creative and have fun,” said Call of Duty news account ModernWarzone. “@RavenSoftware we need things like this in Warzone, especially with Battlefield announcing this today.”

With how extensive of a backlog Call of Duty has, it’s very likely that Activision will take inspiration from Battlefield’s exciting new mode – and the demand for it is certainly there.

If you can’t wait to play Battlefield 2042, you can check out how to get access to the Open Beta in September.

Image Credit: Activision / EA

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Call of Duty

Zombies World Record beaten after nearly 300 hours of Call of Duty: Black Ops 3

It took one Twitch streamer nearly 300 hours of gameplay to beat the World Record for Black Ops 3’s Nacht Der Untoten Zombies.

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black ops 3 nacht der untoten

One player has done the unthinkable and beaten the Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 Nacht Der Untoten Zombies World Record by reaching round 255.

Zombies has a storied history dating all the way back to 2008 when Call of Duty: World at War came bundled with a bonus mini-game called ‘Nacht der Untoten.’ The legendary Nazi Zombies mode would go on to reach ridiculous levels of popularity to the point that Treyarch had to make extra Zombies maps.

Since then, virtually every single CoD title has included new versions and variations of the Zombies formula. Black Ops Cold War is currently enjoying the launch of Mauer Der Toten, the freshest Zombies experience.

However, one Twitch streamer has overlooked modern Zombies in favor of a previous game – Black Ops 3. After 20 days of playing the same game of Nacht Der Untoten on and off, a new World Record was set.

The feat was accomplished by CoD Zombies Twitch streamer TomPhantasy as he smashed the previous record by a staggering 40 rounds to reach Round 255.

Beginning his run on July 2, he spent the next 20 days clocking up nearly 300 hours of game time to obliterate the previous Nacht Der Untoten record.

Remarkably, he was only downed twice, and they both came once he’d surpassed the record figure anyway.

The final seconds of the footage are of the streamer clearing up the last few dregs of Zombies until the round icon in the bottom-left changes to 255.

This absolutely smashes the previous record of 216 rounds set by user Chihiro-516, and may never be beaten.

Dexerto was even able to secure an exclusive word with the streamer to get more reaction to his feat: “The Zombies community has been supporting me for months when I have been attempting this record through the highs and lows,” he said.

He continued: “I knew I had to keep going, because after 24.8 days the game freezes, This meant I had to play 13+ hours per day for those 25 days.”

Massive congratulations need to go to the player who was able to gut his way through an arduous three weeks of Zombies. With Mauer Der Toten very much the new Zombies craze, we wonder if he will one day attempt to set the record for it.

Also, for some more incredible accomplishments, check out the Cold War player who reached 10th Prestige without killing a single player.

Image Credit: Activision / TomPhantasy

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Call of Duty

How much are COD Points? How to buy, price, how to spend & more

COD Points are the currency of Call of Duty. Here’s a guide on their price, how you can buy them, where to spend them, and what you can buy.

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cod points cold war warzone

COD Points have become an integral part of Call of Duty games as they can buy some great cosmetics and other items to show off. So here’s a quick guide to tell you how much points cost, how you can buy them, where you can spend them, and what you can get.

The gaming landscape has changed over the years with the incorporation of microtransactions and live-gaming services. Many games offer extra content – with cosmetics being a big proponent of this. With Cold War and Warzone offering special Rambo and John McClane skins and bringing back legendary Operators like Soap and Captain Price, it becomes easy to see why players would want to spend COD Points.

Call of Duty offers a huge palette of extra goodies you can add to your game and requires COD Points to do so.

So with our detailed guide today, we’re going to run through the basics of COD Points to help you understand them, tell you what they do, and more.

cod points store in call of duty

What is the price of COD Points?

There are different amounts and bundles you can opt for when buying COD Points that are tailored to different needs.

Some players just need to top up their account with a few hundred points to get the latest bundle. Whereas some need a big restock with the intention of spending many points. The more points you want, the bigger the discounts grow.

Here are the different prices for the various COD Points bundles:

  • 200 COD Points for $1.99 or £1.79
  • 500 COD Points for $4.99 or £4.31
  • 1,000 (+100 Bonus) COD Points for $9.99 or £8.49
  • 2,000 (+400 Bonus) COD Points for $19.99 or £16.79
  • 4,000 (+1,000 Bonus) COD Points for $39.99 or £34.99
  • 7,000 (+2,500 Bonus) COD Points for $74.99 or £69.99
  • 10,000 (+3,000 Bonus) COD Points for $99.99 or £84.99

How do I buy COD Points?

cod points coins

You can be very flexible with how you buy COD Points as there are a few different ways to do so. To make sure you’re buying them for the right platform, just double-check with our guide on transferring COD Points across platforms.

These are the various ways you can procure COD Points.

Official website

This method is only for PC players.

A quick visit to the Battle.net shop will take you to the aforementioned COD Points bundles, and you can take your pick.

PlayStation Store

This method is only for PlayStation players.

Head to the PlayStation Store either on your PS4, PS5, or on the Official website and you’ll find the same selection of COD Points bundles.

You will be able to purchase them using money or PSN credit.

Xbox Microsoft Store

This method is only for Xbox players.

Head to the Microsoft Store either on your Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, or on the Official website and you’ll find the same selection of COD Points bundles.

You will be able to purchase them using money or Xbox Gift cards.

Retailers

Online or select physical retailers will have copious amounts of COD Points vouchers and gift cards for you to purchase. There will be no difference between official sales and retails sales as they will all sell the same bundles.

Where do I spend my COD Points?

Now that you have a nice bundle of COD Points, where do you actually go to spend them? Well, the answer is rather simple: head to the in-game store for the game you’re playing, browse, and buy.

What can I buy with COD Points?

Call of Duty’s currency is used to primarily buy two things: the Battle Pass for the current season and Bundles containing a variety of items.

Battle Pass

cod cold war battle pass

A Battle Pass is a paid Tier system that allows regular players to earn dozens of extra rewards and cosmetics for essentially playing the game.

Black Ops Cold War and Warzone are currently in Season Two of their respective lifecycles at the moment. Both titles are currently running in tandem with each other and share the same Battle Pass.

It features 100 Tiers for players to smash their way through the course of Season 2, and if players are committed enough, they can actually earn enough COD Points, through leveling up the pass, to get the next one for free.

You can buy the Cold War & Warzone Season 4 Battle Pass via a couple of different methods:

Bundles

cod modern warfare bundles

The other main content you can buy is a wide range of Bundles and Operator Bundles. These special bundles vary in price, and each comes with its own unique items.

The collectibles you can expect to find are Calling Cards, Emblems, Operator Skins, Weapon Blueprints, Weapon Charms, and more.

Also, check out when Black Ops Cold War Season 5 and Warzone Season 5 are set to begin.

Image credits: Activision / Treyarch / Raven Software

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