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What does $100 get you in Call of Duty Black Ops 4 Reserve Crates? We find out



43 Common, 111 Rare, 21 Legendary, 17 Epic, and 3 Ultra Items.

On February 19, Treyarch added Reserves into Call of Duty Black Ops 4. Reserves come in two formats: Reserves Cases and Reserve Crates. A Reserve Case contains one item that can be used in-game and is earned through time spent playing Blackout or Multiplayer. Reserve Crates contain three Cases and can only be obtained by using real world money to purchase CoD points.

Right now, Reserve Crates are priced at 200 CoD Points. The price for CoD points equates to 1 point per USD cent, although the more points you buy, the more bonus points you get. At the $10 level you get 100 Bonus Points, $20 gets you 400 Bonus Points, $40 gets you 1,000 Bonus Points, and $100 gets you 3,000 Bonus Points.

To see if these Crates were worth the dough, I did some testing and spent $100 USD on CoD points which left me with 13,000 CoD Points, enough to buy 65 Reserves Crates.

Three Duplicates, with the 3rd item re-rolling to a Rare Outfit.

At 3 items per Crate, I was left with 195 items with 62 of them being Duplicates. Thanks to the the Reserve Guarantee, every 3rd Duplicate get’s re-rolled into a new item I didn’t already have. Since I had 21 re-rolls, only 41 of my items from the Crates were true Duplicates, meaning they had no value. Doing the math on that, it makes 21% of my $100 useless.

The good thing about re-rolled items is that duplicates that get re-rolled, can’t be of lesser rarity. For example, if I get a duplicate Legendary Outfit as my third duplicate, the re-rolled item will either be a Legendary or Epic.

The third item was a Duplicate Epic that re-rolled into a new Epic.
# of DuplicatesNoneOneTwoThree
# of Reserve Crates2129123

Since the re-roll guarantee is based on how many duplicates the player already has (I started this whole process already with two duplicates), I considered any duplicate, re-rolled or not, to be a duplicate when making the chart above.

After opening 65 crates, over 67% of them included at least one duplicate with 23% of them consisting of only one new item. These numbers are important to look at if you are considering only buying one Crate because you only have a 1 in 3 chance that you will get only new items.

While Duplicates are definitely a huge issue, looking at the the contents of the Crates also appears to be shocking. Including duplicate items and sorted by rarity levels, here’s everything I unlocked from $100 worth of Reserve Crates:

Weapon Camos119
Signature Weapons1

Nearly 80% of all items in 65 crates are Rare or Common, with the most prevalent item type being Rare Specialist Outfits. Ultra items, which are the rarest, only appear in .01% of Cases. So if you open an Ultra item in a Case earned through gameplay, consider yourself very lucky.

The Ultra items I earned with my $100 were the Jane and John Doe Blackout Character Skins, and the Daemon 3XB Signature Weapon. There are still several Ultra items I have yet to unlock, such as Vacation Hudson, SWAT-RFT and KAP-45 Signature Weapons, and a plethora of Mastercrafts.

One of the three Ultra items I got from my $100 spent.

The four Epic Specialist Outfit I unlocked are definitely cool and some could even pass as separate Blackout Character Skins, but their drop rate was still ludicrously low at .02% when opening 195 Cases.

With all that said, my biggest issue with the items from reserves is that too many of them are just useless. This is understandable as their needs to be lower quality items to make the the rarer items truly rare, but I just feel cheated when a majority of the Epic items I unlocked where just the same Weapon Camo but just for different guns. With over 25 weapons in Black Ops 4, you’re bound to get the Street Race and Splatter Camos many times for guns you will never use.

The same goes for Specialist Outfits. With a dozen Rare outfits for a dozen specialists that all look nearly identical, they might as well just appear as duplicates. I don’t see why anyone would use a Rare outfit on a Specialist if they already have a Legendary or higher on that character.

Two duplicates and an Outfit that looks identical to the Duplicate…

The major takeaway from this experiment is that spending $100 will not get you everything the Reserves have to offer. Not even close. The data shows that you’re guaranteed at least several Ultra items and a whole lot of duplicates. While there were some Crates that proved to be worth their asking price, nearly all of them felt like a waste of money.

Check the video below to see me opening all 65 Reserve Crates:

Here are the 7 best things I unlocked from the $100 I spent. Click to enlarge:

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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.



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

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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.



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

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Leaker claims Activision is considering changing Call of Duty’s annual release schedule

A leaker has suggested that Activision’s annual CoD release may be coming to an end with extended cycles being considered.



lucas riggs and other characters with activision logo over them

A new Call of Duty title is released every year, with multiple studios taking it in turns to bring out a new game. A new leak however has made the bold claim that Activision may be thinking about changing its release schedule and model.

It’s become a given that a new CoD game will be released in November of each year, with the likes of Treyarch, Sledgehammer Games, and Infinity Ward all taking it in turns to develop a new game.

2019 saw the release of IW’s Modern Warfare reboot, 2020 was Treyarch’s Black Ops Cold War, and this year has seen the release of Sledgehammer Games’ Vanguard.

It’s already rumored that Modern Warfare 2 is in the works for 2022, but depending on Activision’s approach, they may opt to change their release policy, starting with MW2.

player sniping in modern warfare 2019

Leaks seem to happen left, right, and center these days, with people able to learn a great deal of information about projects and plans, many of which turn out to be true.

The new Call of Duty rumor comes from leaker Ralph, who recently claimed that the reported Modern Warfare 2 Multiplayer remaster has been canceled, and thinks that annual releases are being reconsidered.

A recent Tweet from them quite simply said: “Activision are reportedly in discussion for extending Call of Duty’s annual releases.”

As with any leak, this should be taken with a major pinch of salt. RalphsValve has recently come under scrutiny from fellow leakers regarding the accuracy of his claims.

With the rumored 2022 Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 title still potentially a year out, maybe two now, things can always change, and we’d recommend taking these claims with a pinch of salt.

Furthermore, given how much this could change the Call of Duty landscape going forward, we’d also strongly recommend waiting for official confirmation from Activision before assuming this is the direction CoD will be going in the future.

For more Call of Duty news, take a look at when Vanguard and Warzone Season 1 starts.

Image Credit: Activision / Infinity Ward / Sledgehammer Games

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