As Black Ops 4’s lifespan has moved along, a meta has surfaced among its many Specialists.
A “meta” within a game refers to a set of popular & powerful picks which win out over others. This phenomenon happens due to balancing differences, gameplay changes, and player preference.
Black Ops 4 has been out for a while now and its players have slowly carved out the game’s meta. Today, we take a look at the current tier listings of Specialists as of patch v.1.11.
The Specialists are divided into four tiers: God Tier, Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3. God Tier contains Specialists which dominate the current gameplay meta in public multiplayer and Tier 3 contains any lackluster Specialists.
Explanations and reasoning for each tier listing will also be given with each tier section. All tier listing are based on public multiplayer usage of the average player, not on top level optimal usage.
- Seraph – Though originally a mid-tier pick, Seraph has risen due to the recent balance changes. Seraph’s Annihilator packs one hit kills, can be used to destroy scorestreaks, and mitigate other Specialists’ abilities like Torque’s Barricade. Additionally, her Tac Deploy can be easily used to quickly provide team wide support and respawns close to objectives.
- Prophet – The combined power of Prophet’s Tempest and Seeker Drones gives him control over wide areas of the map. The Tempest includes a tight hipfire reticle for close range and a scope for long range. The electricity also attaches to enemies in a mighty range. The Seeker Drone provides near-perfect intel on enemy movements.
- Ajax – The Ballistic Shield can be easily used to break objectives and rack up kills due to its machine pistol. Nothing can penetrate the shield and Ajax can heal safely behind the shield. A single Ajax shield play can often lead to a victory. Ajax’s 9-Bangs provide immense utility, recharge quickly, and are only partially countered by Tactical Mask.
- Battery – The Cluster Grenade quick recharge and high damage place Battery in Tier 1. With Flak Jacket buffs, the Specialist has seen a bit less use. Flak Jacket is a less used perk in public multiplayer, though if it continues to rise in popularity among casual players, Battery may be downgraded to Tier 2.
- Firebreak – While the Purifier is a finicky weapon due to glitches with its hit detection, it can pack a punch when it works properly. Deep fuel reserves allow for multiple objective clears before running out. The Reactor Core may have a longer cooldown than some other equipment, but it’s huge area of effect and ability to force enemies out of objectives keeps Firebreak at Tier 1.
- Nomad – Mesh Mines are a common occurrence in Multiplayer. The red line which denotes a deadly trip wire charge can be hard to see against many of the game’s lighter surfaces. Nomad can also place the mines at separate entry-points to maximize zone control. El Doge aka the K9-Unit still continues to have a presence in Black Ops 4 due to her fast movements, no aim assist hitbox, and the tracking of a Javelin missile.
- Recon – Recon’s Vision Pulse is an extremely powerful tool that allows for information to be relayed to teammates without the need for voice comms. This comes in handy when playing public matches. The Sensor Dart acts in much the same way and provides compact intel to all teammates.
- Zero – While Zero can be used ineffectively from time to time, her ability to steal enemy scorestreaks earns her a Tier 1 spot. Many players tend to use EMP grenades as ineffective flashbangs, but due to their wide area of effect, the grenade still disable key equipment oftentimes. Her Ice Pick can be used from complete safety and destroy/steals all current enemy scorestreaks. A powerful ability to say the least.
- Torque – The Barricade began life as a fairly effective piece of equipment, but with the addition of EMP grenades, Torque usefulness has taken a hit. With the Barricade easily disabled by a grenade, Razor Wire is Torque’s best crowd control option. The wire poses as a key annoyance and requires several clips of ammo or an explosive to take out. This saves Torque from the Tier 3 positioning.
- Crash – While Crash’s Assault Pack helps teammates get scorestreaks and abilities more quickly, the bonus +25 points is minimal and often times makes little difference. Crash’s Tak-5 health boost provides a powerful tool, but timing the boost in coordination with teammates can be extremely tricky in a public environment with minimal communication.
- Ruin – Ruin’s Grav Slam and Grapple Gun work great when used in conjunction with one another. This also becomes Ruin’s weakness due to the Grapple Gun’s minimal use while Grav Slam is charging. The Grapple can be used to cover distance, but outputs a loud sound cue that gives away his position. The very essence of high risk-high reward gameplay.
As of the current patch, no Specialists fall into this “near useless” category. This tier is specifically reserved for Specialists that could be considered significantly under-powered. Due Treyarch’s balancing efforts, we will leave this tier blank for now.
This tier listing naturally may differ from your own experiences. Tell us if you agree or disagree and why. You can give your opinions of the rankings here in the comments or on Twitter at @CharlieIntel.
Black Ops 4 assets appear in Black Ops Cold War
Weapon icons and symbols from Black Ops 4 have been appearing in Black Ops Cold War.
Weapon icons and symbols from Black Ops 4 have been appearing in Black Ops Cold War.
Black Ops Cold War has had a rough launch, as is somewhat expected with a major new release, with widespread crashes and game-breaking bugs being reported.
While a game is in the development process, developers often use assets from previous games as placeholder images. Until the game has been fully developed, they’ll add images from previous games to take up space until the new image can be inserted.
Some of these placeholder images have been appearing in Black Ops Cold War.
The Dual Wield attachment icon in Cold War appears as the Saug’s dual wield icon from Black Ops 4.
While hovering over weapons, the game can show weapons from Black Ops 4 instead. When u/Metoaga hovered over an M82 Sniper Rifle in the campaign, the image for it displayed BO4’s SDM Sniper Rifle. Also, while in Zombies, u/IronClooch69‘s RPD was displayed as the Hades Light Machine Gun from Black Ops 4.
Reddit user u/Lorenso0 reported getting Black Ops 4’s Prestige Master screen after completing a match of Free for All in Cold War. Other players confirmed they were also receiving the Prestige Master screen at around level 94.
Black Ops Cold War has seen multiple game-breaking bugs and crashes, such as the PlayStation 4 controller disconnecting. With those bugs, it’s likely that fixing reused assets appearing in Cold War will be far down on Treyarch’s agenda.
We will probably have to wait for the launch of Season 1 on December 10, where a large patch will be available to download.
How Nuketown has changed over the years
We take a look at Nuketown throughout the years.
Call of Duty revealed that classic map Nuketown will be coming to Black Ops Cold War on November 24.
Nuketown has been in every iteration of the Black Ops franchise and Cold War will be no different. It will feature a brand new version of Nuketown called Nuketown ’84. We’re taking a look at how the classic map has evolved throughout the years.
Call of Duty: Black Ops (2010)
Where it started. This small map started as a project by level designer Adam Hoggatt. It wasn’t intended to be in the full game but after playtests, it quickly became a favorite among the developers.
Inspired by the 2008 movie Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull, the map is designed to be a nuclear testing facility modeled after 1950s suburban America.
Nuketown is a small map, capitalizing on the popularity of Shipment in CoD 4: Modern Warfare (2007) and Rust in Modern Warfare 2 (2009). With its yellow school bus in the center and picket-fenced gardens, it instantly became one of CoD’s most memorable maps.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 (2012)
Nuketown returned in the next installment of the Black Ops franchise. With the exact same layout, this updated version brought Nuketown to the 21st century.
Nuketown 2025 came as a pre-order bonus with Black Ops 2 but could also be purchased as DLC. This version of Nuketown swapped the classic 1950s look for a blend of retro 60s with Black Ops 2’s futuristic aesthetic.
This updated version fixed the spawn issues from the original Nuketown, leading to many believing this to be the best iteration.
Nuketown was also included in Black Ops 2’s Zombies mode. It was basically the original Nuketown map designed for Zombies.
This version of Nuketown is the aftermath of the nuclear bomb that goes off at the end of every Nuketown round.
In this version, the map has been damaged by the Nuclear Bomb and smoke and ash blotting out the sun. Zombies spawn in all the usual ways but the Pack-A-Punch and Perk-A-Cola machines spawn after killing certain numbers of zombies.
Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified (2012)
This is a version of Nuketown most will be unfamiliar with. Activision released a stripped-back version of Black Ops for the PS Vita called Black Ops Declassified. The single-player took place between the original Black Ops and Black Ops 2 and also included multiplayer.
A smaller version of Nuketown which only featured the yellow house and the truck on the street was included. This map was extremely small with players often spawning right next to each other.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 (2015)
Black Ops 3 recreated Nuketown in a science-fiction style. With bright colors, futuristic cars, and digital confetti rising from the buses, this was a very different looking Nuketown. The layout of the map stayed much the same, however.
This map wasn’t available for the Xbox 360 or Playstation 3 as this game released during the transition between console generation.
Apart from the aesthetic changes, this version also had high walls to take advantage of ‘wall-running’ which was part of Call of Duty’s movement system at the time.
There were also Easter Eggs included in Nuk3town such as shooting mannequins in a certain sequence which would start a zombie-esque outbreak.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 (2018)
Nuketown 2018 received a mixed reception. This version took on a Soviet aesthetic, being set in the winter with a muted color palette. Although less of a change compared to Nuk3town, players were underwhelmed by the map’s design.
The specialist abilities such as the Grapple Gun drastically altered the flow of the map. Players felt that Nuketown 2018 played too differently to the original.
An addition some liked was the RC-XD tunnel system, in which the remote car could be driven beneath the map past missile silos, and come out the other side.
Nuketown Island (Blackout)
Black Ops 4’s battle royale mode Blackout featured many classic Black Ops maps. Nuketown was included in a location of the map called Nuketown Island.
Nuketown Island includes the whole town that Nuketown is part of, taking heavy inspiration from the classic Nuketown map as well as Nuketown Zombies. The area is heavily damaged similar to how it is in Nuketown Zombies and contains the original cul-de-sac from Nuketown.
Brand new to Nuketown, the area has a nuclear bunker and tunnel system underneath that players can access.
Call of Duty Mobile (2019)
Call of Duty Mobile contains classic maps from both the Black Ops and Modern Warfare franchises and Nuketown is no exception.
This brought it back to the very original Nuketown map we had in Call of Duty Black Ops. Although played on mobile devices, the map plays much the same as it did in the very first Black Ops.
With Nuketown returning in Black Ops Cold War, expect it to have a 1980s theme.
COD 2020 Teasers: Black Ops 4 Summit map, Treyarch social profile
As we opened our new crates that Activision sent through, Black Ops 4’s Summit map got an update.
The screens in the center of the map in Black Ops 4 turned on which seem to match to what some of our slides show:
There’s also a look at clocks of 4 out of the 5 locations that some of us got as part of the slides to see:
These changes do appear to be new, especially the screens with the targets on them. Analyzing older images of the maps showcase that the screens were not showing the same thing.
In addition, Treyarch has updated their cover photo on social channels.
It’s getting cold out there…
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Black Ops Cold War Nov 24 Update: Nuketown & 2XP
Nuketown '84 has arrived. Free for everyone. Let the mayhem begin!