Over on the official Call of Duty forums, Treyarch’s Design Director David Vonderhaar has detailed the multiplayer levelling system that will feature in Call of Duty: Black Ops II, providing a breakdown of what players will unlock when, and explaining how the model differs from those in previous games.
Vonderhaar has published this with the intention of educating the CoD community, setting its expectations, and offering an opportunity for people to submit constructive feedback before the game’s November release. We’ve quoted the meat of his post below (there’s quite a lot to take in, so brace yourselves):
Black Ops 2 has 55 levels in it. The total amount of XP is very similar to the amount needed to prestige in World at War and Modern Warfare 1. I’d say it’s easier to level up, because you earn more XP than ever before with our Medals, Challenges we make available to you, as well as the levelling up guns themselves which grant bonus XP.
You unlock Create a Class at level 4, just like our last game. You get 1 unlock token every time you level up. So at level 4, you have 4 tokens.
At level 4, we give you about a dozen things you can equip “for free.” This means you don’t have to spend an unlock token on them. It’s effectively one item from each category.
- 1 Assault Rifle
- 1 SMG
- 1 LMG
- 1 Shotgun
- 1 Sniper Rifle
- 1 Perk from each of the 3 perk categories
- 1 lethal grenade
- 1 tactical grenade/equipment
We also give you about a dozen things you can spend your unlock tokens on. 1 item from each category, plus you can unlock a Wildcard with an unlock token.
You get a perk at level 5. You get equipment at level 6.
At level 7 we unlock Scorestreaks. You get 3 for free and 3 you can optionally spend unlock tokens on.
At level 8 we give you a Perk. At level 9 we give you a new Scorestreak.
At level 10, we start to settle into a pattern. There are exceptions, but the pattern is generally like this. At every major rank change, which is every 3 levels, we give you a gun and usually “something else” as a bonus for reaching a major rank change.
In general, it goes like this.
- Level 10 – Weapon + Something Else
- Level 11 – Equipment (either lethal or tatical).
- Level 12 – Scorestreak
This pattern then repeats through all 55 levels with some minor statistical variations or bonuses when they make sense and because they math can’t be perfect.
I’ll take feedback about where you feel any piece of equipment should be in the progression, but please provide a logical (non-emotional) reason for that. We will do at least one more pass before we finalize this progression system so I’ll take inputs.
Do you approve of the proposed ranking system? Is there anything you would do differently? How do you feel about having to prestige in order to unlock everything Black Ops II’s Create-A-Class has to offer? As always, we welcome any thoughts or opinions you might have, so feel free to leave a comment in the field below.