League Play released on Thursday, February 21st and has gotten a positive-leaning reaction from competitive players and a majority of the Call of Duty community.
The current League Play system doesn’t display all of the information to players that one might expect and this has led to some misconceptions about the game mode and its design.
Black Ops 4’s League Play overall event ranking system (leveled by placing 25th or higher) is meant to track long-term performance of players. It will take greater effect as a display of skill after 10-15 events have been played in a few months time. Treyarch wanted this as a way to replicate pro level play where there are no certain ranks and prowess is tracked by event wins.
This has led to some confusion as all players are currently Rank 1. This rank is not the rank which is used in the skill-based matchmaking algorithm. Rather, a hidden MMR or similar skill system is used to determine opponents for each game. This MMR is determined through the 5 placement matches which are played before being placed into a division (it is unknown if the MMR is modified after this however).
With that explained, let’s take a look at a few ways League Play could be improved.
Active Visible MMR Ranking
The current hidden MMR which determines opponents cannot be seen to players at all. This should be changed to a secondary ranking shown next to the overall World League Hub rank with a division ranking system similar to Black Ops 2. Iron to Masters depending on your current MMR.
This would give players the best of both League Play experiences with the long term prowess shown through the World League Rank and short-term success within each event shown with the MMR ranking.
Additional Class Slots/Sets
Competitive Call of Duty is an intricate eSport where each game mode requires something a little different. SnD requires Dead Silence while respawn game modes can ask for Stuns and other equipment choices.
The current six classes given to players for League Play is very limited and forces players to constantly change classes in-between games. There is very little time to do so when you see which game mode and map will be played.
This problem could be alleviated by allowing players to setup sets of six classes. For example, a set of SnD, a set of Control, and a set for Hardpoint. Additionally, many players prefer to play Flex roles which means they need to setup classes for several different roles. Six classes could be increased to 10 or 12 in order to allow for more variety in class choices.
Case Prizes for Wins
The newly released Case system has gotten some well deserved heat including from us at CharlieIntel: Opinion: Supply Drops are back in Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, and they’re awful.
The time it takes to receive Cases and reserves items falls in at about 2.5 hours per Case. This is ridiculous compared other games with loot boxes and the Cases often times include items like stickers and decals which are lackluster at best.
A way to help steer the Case situation in the right direction could be to reward League Play players who win matches (perhaps consecutive matches) with Cases. Each certain number of wins (3-5) would land you a new Case. This would also incentivize players who have not tried out League Play to give it go.
At the very least, it would be a nice olive-branch from Activision to the fans after a rather negative reaction to the current Case system.
Tell us your ideas on how to improve League Play or why you currently love/like the mode in the comments or on Twitter at @CharlieIntel.
CoD dev responds to calls for Zombies Chronicles 2 release
Black Ops 3’s Zombies Chronicles DLC was a huge success, and now a Treyarch dev has finally responded to community support for its return.
Zombies Chronicles first released all the way back in 2017 and fans have been begging for its return ever since. Finally, a Call of Duty developer has responded to the community support for its return.
It’s been four years since Treyarch introduced fans to Chronicles, a fan-favorite DLC that offered eight maps from previous titles.
Unsurprisingly, it was an instant hit with the die-hard community around the mode, letting them play their favorite maps from the Black Ops series on newer, more powerful hardware.
The mode was so popular, that players have been begging for Treyarch to bring it back, however, the developers have never publicly commented on that matter until December 4, 2021.
Treyarch Lead Game Designer Kevin Drew finally broke the silence around Zombies Chronicles 2 with a new tweet about the DLC, and the possibility of a second offering down the road.
While he didn’t confirm its return, Drew thanked the community for their love for Chronicles, and said that their support helped keep the idea alive.
“Let me be clear, keep asking for [Zombies Chronicles 2],” he tweeted. “That passion and demand is what keeps the door open to the possibility of it!”
While this doesn’t offer any clear pathway to a second DLC pack, it at least confirms that there is a possibility of a second iteration of Zombies Chronicles, as Drew didn’t move to completely shut down the idea of its return.
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Unfortunately, Treyarch are not due to launch a CoD title until 2023, so even if this idea came to fruition, fans would have to wait two full years to get their hands on it.
Zombies has returned in Vanguard, but some players have not been impressed with the “embarrassing lack of content” the mode launched with. If you have been enjoying the mode though, check out our best weapons and whether there is a Wonder Weapon or not.
Image Credits: Treyarch / Activision
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.
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.
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.”
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
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.
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
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.
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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
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
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
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
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.
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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)
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.
Image Credit: Activision
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