Treyarch hopes the changes it’s made for the multiplayer portion of Black Ops 2 will make Call of Duty a team game again.
The developer has replaced Kill Streaks with Score Streaks, and to unlock them you need to gain score, granted for kills and team-benefiting actions.
It’s also implemented a new skill-based matchmaking system called League Play that will see players promoted and relegated into divisions for competitive play.
“When we play you really start caring again,” game design director David Vonderhaar told Eurogamer. “We’re back at the studio and we’re forming up teams, and you start to take on a role. It’s no joke. I was the goal tender. I stayed back and protected our C Domination flag. That was the entirety of my job. I focused on doing that job and doing it well. And even though I wasn’t in every single fight all the time and running out to my death, I was setting up strategic defensive positions and thinking about it a lot. It was just an incredibly fun way to play.
“I think players are going to start caring about winning and losing again, and are going to go out of their way to work together. That to me is what I found now we’re coming into the home stretch. All these places in the game where we subconsciously did that: the League Play feature does it. Multi-team does the same thing. I just think this can be a team game again.”
We asked Vonderhaar if Call of Duty had lost the feeling of team play – perhaps rival Battlefield’s greatest attraction – following its incredible growth in popularity since the release of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare.
“There’s a lot of people, right?” he said. “There are a lot of people who like to play. Now you can spread this out. You can get players trained up in combat training. You can get guys who just want to go out and wreck in the public matchmaking. You can get guys who want to try hard and work as a team over in League Play. I think that’s a great thing.”
Score Streaks were highlighted by Treyarch during a Gamescom press conference as one of the chief changes made to multiplayer. But some have said they are nothing more than Kill Streaks with a different name.