Credit: David Vonderhaar, Game Design Director

 

As we rolled off of the first Black Ops game, the team was truly inspired by how the Cold War setting of the game really opened up gameplay. Creating a near-future fiction was one that the team gravitated to quickly and one that the multiplayer team found incredibly inspiring when it came to the types of gameplay that could be included.

 

As part of the development process, we looked at gameplay and systems and found ourselves asking, “Why are we doing things this way – is it because it’s how we’ve always done it? Is there a different path we could take? What were the sacred cows?” And from there, really began a very engaging process of challenging assumptions and stripping systems down to their absolute core. 

 

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In fact, in the very beginning, we turned Create-A-Class into a board game, allocating points to different pieces of content and what we arrived at a question that would ultimately re-shape the way people configure their load outs in Black Ops 2: What would happen if you took everything and threw it in one big bucket?

 

And that’s just what we did.

 

We created a “pick-10” point system where everything was worth one point – which is a wholly different approach than the previous slot-driven system where you had to pick content. Now, you can pick a primary weapon, or not – save that point and use it for something else. The net result for players is the ability to configure about a-half-million different load outs, many of which you’ve never been able to create in a Call of Duty game before – the options are amazing.

 

Where things get really interesting are the “Wild Cards” – these are the “rule breakers” in Create-A-Class, costing one point each and allowing players additional slots for things like second perks, additional lethals, tacticals and/or attachments. Want two perks from the first tier? Select Perk 1 Greed to double-up on abilities. Want three attachments on your primary weapon? Equip Primary Gunfighter to fully accessorize your go-to gun. If a player is willing to sacrifice points in certain areas, Wildcards can bring about a new level of freedom in Create-a-Class.

 

Perks themselves have been refined, becoming the simple enhancements that they were originally intended to be. Gone are Pro Perks. All Perks now feature tunables that can be strengthened or weakened, which allows us to ensure that not one Perk overly dominates it tier and that a healthy diversity of Perks can be found on the playing field.

 

All across the board, Create-a-Class has been rebuilt into a more personalized experience. Players now have an unprecedented level of control in how they want to play the game. But with this newfound freedom comes sacrifice, as players will have to assess what they value most in multiplayer like never before. And what was already a fundamental question becomes even more important, as millions around the world will have to answer on November 13th: How will I customize my setup?