Connect with us

Call of Duty

Black Ops 4: Updated CWL Rule Set + New Info on League Play Release announced

Published

on

Treyarch has announced new details on the World League Hub, CWL Rule Set, and League Play for Call of Duty: Black Ops 4.

League Play is the MP ranked mode allowing players that want more competitive play style to compete in ranked matches with matchmaking based on skill. League Play for Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 was originally announced during the game’s reveal event in May 2018, where Treyarch stated that League Play would bring back fan favorite features from Black Ops 2. 

Treyarch shared a new blog post detailing what they’re changing with League Play based on feedback to some of the announcements so far, alongside how the World League Hub will become a fourth pillar for Call of Duty: Black Ops 4.

Read on below for the full details, directly from Treyarch!

From Treyarch:

After wrapping up the recent CWL Pro League Qualifiers in Columbus and taking in additional Call of Duty World League feedback regarding the upcoming launch of League Play, we’re updating our game plan to make the Black Ops 4 competitive experience even better. Our goal has always been to help make the CWL as exciting as possible, and we’re adapting some core gameplay mechanics to set the stage for an incredible 2019 season for players and fans alike.

Updating the CWL Ruleset

First, we’ve huddled with the Call of Duty World League team as well as pro players and some members of team management to evolve the CWL ruleset. Our goal is to more closely match how the pros play, while embracing the diverse toolset of Black Ops 4 that allows for those big, exciting plays that make the game so damn fun to watch. We believe these carefully-considered updates will improve the future of competitive play for the pros on stage, and more widely, for our ranked players at home.

This updated CWL ruleset will go live in Black Ops 4 later this week, and includes the following new restrictions (with all previous restrictions listed here still in place, including the full restriction of Nomad):

  • Ajax
    • Fully restricted
  • Torque
    • Fully restricted
  • Prophet
    • Seeker
  • Firebreak
    • Reactor Core
  • Seraph
    • Tac-Deploy
  • Scorestreaks
    • Dart
    • RC-XD

Additionally, Zero’s Ice Pick and EMP Disruptor, and any new Specialist content that we release in the future, will remain out of competitive play by default until or unless deemed viable through the CWL organization.

With these new restrictions in place, players who choose Prophet, Firebreak, or Seraph will still be able to equip the Trophy System, Combat Axe, Frag, Molotov, or Concussion in their Equipment slot. These changes are a direct result of feedback and coordination with the competitive community, and we can’t wait to see how it all plays out in ranked play and at future CWL 2019 events.

The Evolution of League Play

Aside from the new CWL ruleset, we’re also making fundamental changes to how we’re approaching League Play and the World League Hub based on feedback from the competitive community – particularly the ranked fans at home who gave us detailed responses on what they enjoyed about previous iterations of League Play, and how Black Ops 4’s competitive offering could change for the better.

We know many of our competitive players loved League Play in Black Ops 2, and some still consider it to be the gold standard. We’re big fans, too. However, we’re also aware of the problems that were inherent in the design of our very first in-game competitive feature set that launched back in 2012:

  • At roughly one-month intervals, League Play seasons were too long, resulting in a high volume of inactive players and “dead ladders”, watering down the feeling of competition.
  • Players who missed out on significant portions of seasons felt like there was no way for them to catch up to other players in their ladders, leading many to stop playing and thus exacerbating the “dead ladder” problem.
  • League Play is a lower-population playlist relative to the rest of Multiplayer, and it’s the only portion of Multiplayer that relies on skill-based matchmaking. As such, time to find matches can be lengthy with the League Play population subdivided by skill ranges.
  • Ladder groupings were too large, leaving many participants feeling disconnected from most of the players they were competing with for position.
  • League Play Division ranks were directly tied to each player’s skill rating under the hood, which meant that most players “settled” into a rank early on, and it was frustrating not being able to change that skill rating over time.

With every new design of a system, we start by identifying the problems to solve from previous iterations, and the League Play system in Black Ops 4 has been designed to avoid these shortcomings and accomplish some new key goals:

  • Running League Play events more frequently and in shorter duration makes ladders feel like meaningful competitions with constant movement against a smaller pool of competitors.
  • Events are condensed and timed to drive the highest player counts and achieve healthy matchmaking with faster time to find matches.
  • Shorter-duration events more closely match how pros compete in weekend tournaments, like 2Ks. Our intent is for events in the World League Hub to feel closer to how the pros compete.
  • Ladder competition will feel familiar – climb the ladder by winning ladder points, but lose ladder points and you may drop position. The goal with each League Play event is always to end as high on the ladder as possible.

We’re also introducing a new progressive rank system that persists across all individual League Play and other World League Hub events. Here’s how it will work:

  • Over the course of your competitive career, you’ll advance a permanent rank that reflects your performance across all events. Performing better in events and participating more often will result in faster rank progression.
  • Final placement in ladders determines how you advance your overall rank, giving ladder events a competitive tournament feel with the most credit given for reaching 1st Place and winning a League Play event.
  • Place 1st in a League Play event, and your rank will be upgraded to permanently reflect your victory. Further upgrades are possible for multiple 1st Place finishes over time, and a streak indicator that is displayed when you place 1st in back-to-back events. 
  • Matchmaking in the World League Hub will always be prioritized by skill, so competitors will always feel competitive at their skill level.

Against this backdrop, we want our fans to know that we’ve heard them loud and clear on the desire to have ranked play available all the time, as opposed to having 3-4 day events with downtime in between. This is a good time to mention that the intervals between League Play events were designed to be filled with a different type of ranked play called World League Gauntlets, a feature which will not be ready to launch alongside the World League Hub, hence the reason for the initial announcement of a “Scrims” period of downtime during these breaks to fill the gaps.

Due to popular demand, League Play at launch will now include events that span across the full weekremoving Scrims from the ranked schedule until we’re ready to go live with World League Gauntlets, which will also allow you to contribute to rank by completing a longer series of wins before striking out with three losses.

You’ll also earn Multiplayer XP and Black Market Tier progression as you play ranked matches, so there’s never a moment lost as you compete for rank. Support for Teams and Clans will also follow later in the 2019 season as feature additions to the World League Hub.

World League Hub: The Fourth Pillar

Because we’re investing the additional time and development into making Black Ops 4 competitive play as robust as possible, the World League Hub will serve as the fourth pillar of Black Ops 4’s core gameplay offerings going forward. This means you’ll see a new main menu when you boot up the game, with “World League” as its own showcased mode between Multiplayer and Blackout when it launches.

We’re also moving CWL Custom Games over from Multiplayer to the World League Hub, so that players won’t need to go into Multiplayer Custom Games and change settings to play with the new official ruleset. This means competitive games will be faster and easier to play, and it consolidates all Pro Series competitive gameplay into one location. This feature will go live alongside the launch of World League Hub.

Given these changes to the League Play structure, we’re taking a few extra weeks to implement and test the new changes, and the launch of the World League Hub and League Play is now slated for our next major game update planned for mid-February, first on PS4. Because this is a part of a larger game update with a lot of moving pieces between developer, publisher, and first-party platforms, the specific day of the release is still being finalized with all parties in the release process and will be announced as we get closer to it. League Play will be an even better experience for ranked play and pro players with the new competitive ruleset, the addition of CWL Custom Games, and ranked play progression for every day of the week.

To get everyone prepped for League Play until then, we’re planning to launch a limited-time Pro Series Moshpit public match playlist later this week, where all players use the updated competitive ruleset. Restrictions on Specialists, maps, modes, weapons, Equipment, Attachments, Perks, Scorestreaks, Wildcards, and Gear will reflect the rules governing League Play, so this is the perfect time to set up your favorite new competitive classes before our first League Play event kicks off.

Because this is a playlist for public matches and not a part of the World League Hub, it will use public matchmaking rules: it will be unranked, will not support skill-based matchmaking, and will allow players to join matches in progress.

Stay tuned for the latest news on League Play and the CWL Hub as we get closer to the launch.

SOURCE: Treyarch  

Call of Duty

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.

Published

on

Zombies Chronicles logo and a Zombie

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.

Black Ops 2 Origin Zombies map

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.

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

Continue Reading

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