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.
Activision reportedly committed to releasing next three Call of Duty games on PlayStation
A new report claims that Call of Duty will remain on PlayStation for at least the next three releases, including Warzone 2.
Activision Blizzard have committed to releasing the next three Call of Duty games on PlayStation, according to a new report from Bloomberg.
The gaming world was rocked on January 18 when Microsoft announced it was set to acquire Activision Blizzard in a deal nearing $70 billion. While 54% of Call of Duty fans polled are happy at the news, there has been some concerns about whether Microsoft would make the franchise exclusive to Xbox consoles.
Now, a new report claims that Activision’s flagship FPS will stay on PlayStation for at least the next three releases.
Bloomberg‘s Jason Schreier claims that “Activision had already committed to making the next few CoD games available on Sony’s console,” before news of Microsoft’s purchases broke.
That means Infinity Ward’s Modern Warfare sequel, which is set to release later this year, Treyarch’s next entry in 2023, and a planned “new iteration of Call of Duty: Warzone” will all be playable on PlayStation consoles.
- Read More: Best Warzone guns: Every weapon ranked
While Activision haven’t confirmed this publicly, Schreier states that he spoke to “four people with knowledge of the deal,” who have asked to remain anonymous.
While this is good news for Sony fans. the future of CoD on PlayStation is still difficult to predict. Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer previously stated that they “intended to honor all existing agreements” after the Activision Blizzard deal is complete, but didn’t mention what would happen once those agreements have ended.
Taking away Call of Duty from PlayStation would mark a seismic shift in the gaming industry, and for the franchise. It seems Call of Duty could change forever under Microsoft’s ownership, with talks ongoing about ending the franchise’s annual release schedule.
Image Credits: Activision Blizzard / Sony
Activision executives reportedly discussing end of Call of Duty annual releases
A new report claims Activision are considering scrapping the series’ annual release schedule following Microsoft’s buyout.
Activision Blizzard executives are reportedly considering ending the Call of Duty franchise’s annual release schedule, with Bloomberg claiming discussions are ongoing.
For years, fans have become accustomed to receiving a new Call of Duty game every year. Without fail, Activision have published the latest entry in the legendary FPS franchise in October or November, giving players a new game to grind into the holiday seasons.
Some players have suggested this isn’t always a good thing, as this cycle gives CoD’s three developers a limited time to work on games, which can sometimes lead to issues when they launch. Sledgehammer Games have already delayed Vanguard Season 2 to try and address the problems plaguing the game.
Now, it appears that Activision’s higher-ups may be coming around to the idea of ending yearly releases for good.
According to a new report from Bloomberg, high-level employees at Activision “have discussed moving away from the annual release schedule.”
Jason Schreier reports that these plans haven’t been finalized yet, but there is a belief among the franchise’s development teams that this would “please players and help bolster the franchise” by lightening the intense workloads they currently face.
- Read More: Warzone January 20 update patch notes
This debate has been sparked after the lackluster reception to Vanguard, although Schreier states any change is unlikely to happen for at least a year or two, with Activision banking on 2022’s rumored Modern Warfare II to boost the franchise.
The move away from yearly releases would certainly offer developers more time to tweak and polish the game, and avoid many of the criticisms leveled at their games in the early days. Halo fans had to wait 6 years for Infinite, but the game was met with widespread acclaim at launch.
With the Microsoft acquisition of Activision, it’s expected that we could see some major changes to the publisher’s titles, although Phil Spencer has moved to calm fears that CoD could become an Xbox exclusive title.
For more on what could happen, check out how Microsoft and Xbox Studios could change Call of Duty forever.
Image Credits: Activision Blizzard
Here’s why 54% of CoD fans are happy about Microsoft’s Activision buyout
A recent poll revealed that 54% of Call of Duty fans were positive about Microsoft’s Activision buyout, and here’s their reasoning.
It was revealed in a Charlie INTEL poll that the majority of Call of Duty fans were glad of Microsoft’s planned Activision Blizzard takeover, with 54% agreeing it’s a good thing.
The game’s industry was shocked when Microsoft announced they’re planning to buy Activision Blizzard King for almost $70 billion. This gives them exclusive rights to some of the biggest gaming franchises in the world such as Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, and Overwatch.
We asked the Call of Duty community their thoughts, and the majority were excited about the franchise’s future under Microsoft. However, some were more hesitant to celebrate the news.
54% of CoD players say Microsoft’s Activision buyout is a good thing
Charlie INTEL conducted a poll on January 19, roughly 24 hours after the monumental news broke, asking Call of Duty fans: “What’s your reaction to the Microsoft buyout of Activision Blizzard?”
Over half of the 28,000 votes believed it will be a good thing. Just over 12% think it will be bad for the industry, and 33% aren’t sure yet.
Unfortunately, Microsoft’s plans for Activision’s properties are as clear as mud. They sound hopeful that Activision titles will hit Xbox Game Pass, but we’ll likely need to wait until the acquisition goes through to know more.
Why CoD players are happy with Microsoft’s Activision buyout
Several players explained why they think Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard takeover is a good thing.
“For worker culture at Activision Blizzard it seems like things will likely improve,” said popular Call of Duty leaker TheGhostOfHope. “COD will likely see a much more healthy developer ecosystem as well. Microsoft being able to buy the competition like they are is a slippery slope long term though. Overall I’d say it’s good.”
One player was extremely positive about the acquisition, saying that “if anyone thinks this is a bad thing” then “you need to think again.” They believe that “Microsoft has come a long way and isn’t spending 70 billion to make CoD worse. It can only get better. But it will take time.”
Many were hopeful that Microsoft would scrap Call of Duty’s yearly release cycle. Both Black Ops Cold War and Vanguard were released with broken and missing features, and many players believe these developers should be given much more time to perfect the game.
“I overall see this as a good thing and can hope that xbox will stop the yearly cod cycle and fix warzone,” said one player. TangoCheeseball echoed their statement, saying they hope that Microsoft supports CoD 2022 for two years, and then Treyarch returns with a new title in 2024 or 2025.
Xbox players were obviously glad, expecting to receive exclusive content and Call of Duty on Game Pass. “I’m on Xbox so game pass bouta be blessed but not sure if it’ll be a upgrade for Cod or if it will just stay the same. Either way a positive for xbox,” said LiLbotboi.
But of course, not every player was happy about the acquisition. Many had doubts over Microsoft’s monopoly over the games industry, with them already owning Bethesda, and worried that Call of Duty would go Xbox/PC exclusive.
“If they choose to make all of Activision’s future games exclusive to Xbox/PC, it’s doing a disservice to all gamers,” said Elkucuy.
Newbro101_ was more open-minded, saying: “It’s way too early to tell if it’s a good thing or not, once I notice an actual change in games it’s good [I guess].”
There’s no way of knowing what Microsoft has in store for Call of Duty and its development teams. We can only hope the change is positive for both Activision staff and the CoD community.
However, we have some thoughts on what may change, so check out the five ways Microsoft buying Activision could change Call of Duty forever.
Image Credits: Activision Blizzard / Microsoft
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