Call of Duty

CoD pros Scump, Attach & more hit out at SBMM in Black Ops Cold War

Published: 19/Sep/2020 11:48

by Joe Craven

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A host of Call of Duty pro players and prominent content creators have hit out at Black Ops Cold War’s Alpha, over its controversial inclusion of skill-based matchmaking.

There are few topics that have been as prominent and divisive in gaming as skill-based matchmaking. Unfortunately, it does appear to be any closer to a resolution, with a host of new titles including SBMM as a key part of finding lobbies.

While early feedback to the Black Ops Cold War Alpha has been largely positive, criticisms emerged on September 18 as it became clear that players were being put into lobbies with those of very similar skill.

Black Ops Cold War Alpha
Activision
The Alpha went live on September 18, being announced just two days earlier by Treyarch.

SBMM, many argue, should only be present in ranked game modes to ensure casual matches remain casual. However, it appears to have been added to the Black Ops Cold War Alpha, with a host of prominent Call of Duty names hitting out at its inclusion.

Chicago Huntsmen SMG and Call of Duty legend Seth ‘Scump’ Abner commented that the SBMM was “nuts”, and hinted that he wants to see it toned down. As one of the best players to ever touch Call of Duty, we can’t imagine being put in a lobby with players of Scump’s level is very fun.

His feelings were echoed by pro player Attach, who argued that SBMM should only be present in ranked game modes.

“SBMM doesn’t belong in CoD,” the ROKKR pro stated. “Just give us a good Ranked Playlist instead.” Ex-CoD World Champion JKap stated the exact same.

Similarly, content creator and CoD sniper FaZe Bloo hit out at the mechanic for punishing good players; one of the most common complaints about SBMM.

“I’m literally just gonna keep making new accounts to play the Alpha,” he said, “because it makes no sense to me that we’re PUNISHED for being GOOD.”

His fellow FaZe Clan member Pamaj, though, shared a different opinion and encouraged players to “adapt” to “whatever gets thrown” at them.

“Guys I don’t care about SBMM,” he said. “Like I went to play Wagers/GBs last year chasing the cracked players not running from them. I can’t enjoy a game if I’m going into it knowing certain things like that cause then I’ll be bitching 24/7 about it. I always just be adapting to whatever gets thrown our way.”

It seems that, once again, skill-based matchmaking will prove a controversial topic in this year’s Call of Duty.

It’s long been unpopular, but game studios have their reasons for including it and more and more games seem to be using it as a key part of matchmaking. We’ll have to wait and see how Activision plays this one.

Call of Duty

Iconic Call of Duty Raid map spotted in Black Ops Cold War files

Published: 2/Dec/2020 2:24

by Brad Norton

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Eight years after its introduction in the Call of Duty franchise, Black Ops 2’s Raid could finally be returning in a mainline entry as files for the iconic map have been uncovered in Black Ops Cold War.

Treyarch’s fan-favorite Black Ops 2 released in 2012. Since then, we’ve seen eight new titles come and go. In that gap, Raid has only made one other appearance in a global title, that title being Call of Duty Mobile.

While other maps have been rereleased countless times, including seven remakes of Nuketown alone, Raid has been left in the past. However, that’s about to change according to the latest leaks.

After an extended period in the shadows, Raid could finally be thrown back into the spotlight soon. Dataminers have uncovered a line of code relating to the map in Black Ops Cold War, suggesting that we’ll see it return in Season 1.

As a huge influx of Season 1 content slipped through the cracks on December 1, one key line stood out from the pack. ‘S1_map_raid_tu_cairo’ was plucked directly from the latest version of Black Ops Cold War.

Obviously, this doesn’t outright confirm Raid is a guarantee for the next Season. This is the first official reference to the map in quite some time, though, so it’s safe to assume Treyarch has been working to bring it back to life.

Black Ops 2 Raid gameplay
Activision
Raid might finally be back in a mainline CoD title for the first time since 2012.

The original map quickly became a favorite for its unique design. There were distinct sections that paved the way for vast combat opportunities. Both close-range and long-range loadouts could feel right at home on Raid. On one side you had a wide-open area with a high ground advantage for one team next to a  

On the other, you had a circular area perfect for flanking opportunities. Meanwhile, in the middle lane, you’d often catch snipers peeking across from either side in a near-symmetrical layout.

One of the more interesting tidbits from this datamine is the final word. Cairo is the capital of Egypt. The original version of Raid was set in Los Angeles. So when we see this new version, it could have a fresh coat of paint to fit the locale. 

Black Ops 2 Raid gameplay
Activision
Expect to see snipers hanging out across the basketball courts if Raid drops with Season One in Cold War.

It was an extremely popular competitive map throughout the year of its initial release. Given it worked quite well with essentially all objective-based game modes. From Hardpoint to Search and Destroy, Raid was often a favored pick.

Season One of Black Ops Cold War kicks off on December 10. There’s no confirmation we’ll see Raid in-game from this point on, so do take this leak with a grain of salt until then.