RamboRay Column: Our biggest threat is ourselves - Dexerto
Call of Duty

RamboRay Column: Our biggest threat is ourselves

Published: 27/Aug/2020 16:43 Updated: 28/Aug/2020 11:42

by Raymond Lussier

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Raymond ‘RamboRay’ Labussiere is the head coach of the Dallas Empire, the No. 2 seed for the Call of Duty League Playoffs and one of four remaining teams for Championship Weekend. In his Dexerto column, he discusses what it will take for the Empire to come away with first place’s $1.5 million at Champs. 

At this point in the year, the difference between the better teams and the middle-of-the-pack teams isn’t as great as it was at the start because everyone has a general understanding of how to play the game at a high level.

Dallas Empire
RamboRay and the Empire have their ears pinned back and eyes set forward on the CDL 2020 trophy.

During Champs, it’s really a matter of who performs best each day. That’s why it’s super important to be consistent and be in a place both mentally and physically where you show up to play and are ready to go. 

This could be a little biased, but I strongly feel that we are the best team in the game when we’re playing at our best. I don’t feel like there are teams out there that can really take us out consistently, besides FaZe. FaZe is probably our closest rival right now — if we were to play 50 times when we’re both at our best, it’d be pretty close, I feel like we’d win roughly 60 percent of the time.

It’s a little cliche, but I feel like our biggest threat, at this point in the year, is ourselves.

A lot of people can say that, but more so in our case because when we’ve played at our best, we’ve looked unbeatable. Still, there are a few things we, the Dallas Empire, need to clean up to make sure we are at our best and put ourselves in the best position we can be to win Champs. 

Communication

Number one is communication. I feel that’s the biggest issue we had in the last event: the hecticness of communication and scrambled voice comms. When things aren’t going our way, when we’re in bad situations or just getting out-slayed, our comms aren’t at their peak, which makes it more difficult to manage ourselves out of those situations.

Instead of just calling out enemy locations when we’re dying, we should be focusing on the grander scheme of the game. We know this, but executing this in the moment isn’t as easy as it sounds.

If a player repeatedly calls out a play he’s making or an enemy’s position, that blocks the communication line for something else happening somewhere else on the map. So one of the things we try to do is make sure that we’re amplifying things that need to be amplified. For example, the minimap already shows an enemy shooting so we try not to amplify callouts for that player’s position, unless it’s really important in that moment. 

And this isn’t me saying our comms are bad, but when they’re not at their best they can affect our play. That’s why we try and maintain our communications at a level where things are digestible and consistent, even when the game isn’t going our way. When our communication is on, I feel like it’s by far the best in the league.

Routing

The second thing that to me, as a coach, we’ve been struggling with is consistency in routing, and that is the hardest thing to solve. As much as we try and have everyone thinking the same way, each player has their own way of seeing things and certain players feel like certain plays at certain times are more correct than others.

For example, five players may be in specific positions and we make a really good play where everything went perfectly as planned. But then we encounter that same play, same scenario, in a second rotation of that map or in a different game, but different players are in those five positions — there will be sometimes differences in the decisions made. Certain players just have tendencies, whether it’s to be aggressive, take long flanking routes, or play the front part of the engagement pattern, which makes it difficult  to be consistent.

But it’s really important that players make similar decisions on what we feel is right, so that the players around them know what to expect. That’s why we try to buckle down and make sure that we’re doing those small things right, so that the bigger pieces we need to win the game kind of just fall into place. Those tendencies also play a role on the good side of things to ensure we aren’t predictable, so again, this isn’t all bad, just sometimes doesn’t cater to consistency.

That’s where small talk and communication come into play, ensuring that we’re on the same page and are maneuvering, routing around the map the way we need to be to play our best.. If you’re communicating well then typically the routing mistakes you make aren’t as impactful, and vice versa. 

Putting it all together during Champs

There is a difference this year in the game we play and how this game affects decision-making and how playing the game the optimal way isn’t really what everyone perceives it as based on past Call of Duty titles. “Brainless” is the wrong word because there is a lot of thought that goes into it, but, often, shutting off, gunning forward, and winning your gunfights is the best way to play.

Every player needs to show up to play their best at the same time. This is really where, typically, the team that shows up and wins an event is a team that has the most players play at a level that is higher than what they were expected to play at. 

That’s the difference at this time of year when teams are so close on the decision-making front and game understanding. There are a few things that we do better than other teams, but not really enough to make a huge difference. It’s really a matter of whoever’s shooting really well can typically win.

Call of Duty

Black Ops Cold War preorder guide: Editions, bonuses, cross-gen, more

Published: 27/Oct/2020 5:49 Updated: 27/Oct/2020 6:11

by Brad Norton

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Black Ops Cold War is almost upon us and if you’re struggling to keep on top of the many different versions, early in-game bonuses, and even cross-gen features, we’ve got you covered.

Treyarch’s next mainline entry in the Call of Duty series is fast approaching. After a record-shattering Alpha, followed by an equally impressive Beta, it’s clear that we’re in store for one of the biggest releases in franchise history.

More players are eager to drop into the action than ever before, but preordering can be a bit confusing. There are multiple unique versions of the game that span across five platforms. For veterans and newcomers alike, it can be easy to lose track of what’s included with each edition.

If you’re wondering which to preorder, we’ve got you covered. Below is a complete rundown of every version of Black Ops Cold War.

When does Black Ops Cold War release?

Treyarch’s next big release is launching on Friday, November 13, 2020. Black Ops Cold War will be available across more platforms than many previous releases. Current-gen players can hop in on day one across the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

Meanwhile, those with next-gen consoles from day one can access the game on the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X + S. Of course, PC gamers will also be getting in on the fun as well.

Regardless of where you’re playing or where your friends are playing, everyone can still team up. Treyarch has confirmed that Black Ops Cold War will feature cross-platform and cross-generation play for all multiplayer modes as well as Zombies.

Digital Black Ops Cold War editions

It can be easy to lose track of what content and which features are included with the many different versions of Black Ops Cold War. Some come with weapon Blueprints while others come with the ability to play across multiple platforms.

To keep things simple, it’s worth bearing in mind that there are three main versions of the game. If you’re playing on PC, it couldn’t be simpler. Though if you’re a console gamer, things get a bit muddled due to the new generation of hardware.

Below is a full table of what you need to know. From preorder bonuses to the exact features and content provided with each version, use this as a guide before putting your money down.

PlayStation Digital Preorders

Standard Edition Cross-Gen Bundle Ultimate Edition
PS4 version of the game Included Included Included
PS5 version of the game PS4 version playable through backwards compatibility Included Included
Woods Operator Pack (available now in Warzone and Modern Warfare) Included Included Included
Confrontation Weapons Pack Included Included Included
Land, Sea, and Air Pack Included
Battle Pass Bundle (1 Season Battle Pass + 20 Tier Skips) Included

Xbox Digital Preorders

Standard Edition Cross-Gen Bundle Ultimate Edition
Xbox One version of the game Included Included Included
Xbox Series X + S versions of the game Xbox One version playable through backwards compatibility Included Included
Woods Operator Pack (available now in Warzone and Modern Warfare) Included Included Included
Confrontation Weapons Pack Included Included Included
Land, Sea, and Air Pack Included
Battle Pass Bundle (1 Season Battle Pass + 20 Tier Skips) Included

PC Digital Preorders

Standard Edition Ultimate Edition
PC version of the game Included Included
Woods Operator Pack (available now in Warzone and Modern Warfare) Included Included
Confrontation Weapons Pack Included Included
Land, Sea, and Air Pack Included
Battle Pass Bundle (1 Season Battle Pass + 20 Tier Skips) Included

Physical Black Ops Cold War editions

If you prefer to snag a physical copy of Black Ops Cold War, there are some unique details to keep in mind. With many digital versions of the game, cross-platform functionality is built-in. If you opt for a disc, however, an extra cost is associated with unlocking this cross-gen feature.

For example, if you buy a physical copy for the PS4 but want to play on PS5 in 2021, you’ll have to pay $10. It gets even more complicated if you purchase a physical copy for next-gen and want to revert back for whatever reason.

Below is a complete list of details to be wary of before buying a physical copy of Black Ops Cold War.

  • PS4 Standard Physical edition can upgrade to PS5 for $10.
  • PS5 Standard Physical edition only comes with the PS5 version. 
  • Xbox One Physical Standard edition cannot upgrade to Xbox Series X
  • Xbox Series X Standard Physical edition includes Xbox One copy
Black Ops Cold War gameplay
Activision
Black Ops Cold War has three unique versions across five different platforms.

So there you have it, everything there is to know about the various editions of Black Ops Cold War. Options are almost always a good thing and there’s plenty to choose from to fit your ideal CoD experience.