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Call of Duty Elite: how it improves multiplayer for both experts AND novices

COMPETE

Winning a match is nice – winning an actual prize for winning a match is nicer. The Compete section of Elite will reward players for succeeding at unique goals, marathons and contests during a specified period of time. The prizes are both digital and real (the biggest item mentioned so far being the Call of Duty jeep.)

What experts will like: Easy – if you’re really that good, you’re about to earn a lot of cool stuff just for being the multiplayer badass that you are. And even if you come up short, “enlisting” in each contest will give you extra goals in Call of Duty’s multiplayer, extending the replay value and encouraging you to try different styles of play.

What novices will love: Not all contests will rely on skill or even perseverance – some will ask for the best theater screenshot or the funniest caption, and will require only your wit and creativity. For most competitions, you won’t even need to be the absolute best, as the top 50 or 100 or 500 will be rewarded. In other words, you can win cool stuff too.


IMPROVE

Consider this section the Wikipedia for Call of Duty multiplayer – you can look up pages of detailed information and advice for every map, every mode, every weapon, every attachment, every perk and more.

What experts will like: You may know a lot, but you don’t know as much as the men and women who created this encyclopedia of strategy – Beachhead, the studio Activision formed exclusively to run Elite, is larger than some entire development companies and meets with the main Call of Duty teams (Infinity Ward, Sledgehammer, Treyarch) on a weekly basis. These people are paid to be experts. And if you’re truly obsessed, to the point that you think through your Call of Duty tactics when away from your console, Elite apps for Android, iPhone and iPad will eventually enable you to switch your custom loadouts from anywhere at any time.

What novices will love: As I admitted in the intro, I’m mediocre at multiplayer shooters, period. Call of Duty, however, adds an additional feeling of confusion and helplessness by featuring real-world weapons with real-world names and real-world appearances. I can easily tell Halo’s bright pink Needler from its bright red Spartan Laser, but trying to memorize the miniscule differences between Call of Duty’s M16 and M14, or PSG1 and L96A1, or HK21 and RPK... ugh, I’m exhausted and ready for a nap already. But hopeful that Elite’s user-friendly Improve section, with instructional videos for every gun and perk recommendations for every type of class, can help me climb the immense learning curve if I really want to. Or, with tips and tricks for enhancing emblems and Theater direction as well, at least help me win some damn t-shirts. 

Are you in the Call of Duty Elite beta? Do you think you’ll use the full Elite service when it releases with Modern Warfare 3 this fall? What can Activision include in the premium part of the package to convince you to pay a fee? Share your thoughts in our comments below.

Jul 14, 2011

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59 comments

  • Berretxz4t4 - July 28, 2011 2:19 p.m.

    @zacharybailey: this, I think, will make sniping BETTER/EASIER not "impossible". @everyone who thinks this is retarded: actually the idea of taking something that is all ready in another game(Halo3 Waypoint) makes sense if it's going to make the game better. Excuse me if I sound like a fanboy, but that's just the idea I get. And halo fans should not feel jealous or as if their game has been ripped off, but rather that activision is admitting that bungie had some better ideas and decided to incorporate them into their own franchise I, for one, know that if it can be used on the 360 I WILL use it. Coming from a so-called halo 'fanboy', who rathers halo (combat evolved at least) better.
  • daz9111972 - July 20, 2011 5:26 p.m.

    If this is half as good as Halo waypoint ill b happy. Will it b on the xbox like waypoint or will u hav 2 use ur pc to access it ?????
  • AlphaAGENT144 - July 18, 2011 10:04 p.m.

    Still not giving any more money to the overblown and overhyped Call of Duty (or should i say "Cut and Paste") series. They havent been deserving of my money since CoDWaW
  • Disturbed1117 - July 18, 2011 7:19 p.m.

    lolz I like how he just seems to be oblivious to the fact that Bungie.net already has this and had had most of this since Halo 3 in 2007!! So yeah total rip off.
  • ChristopherDalley - July 18, 2011 4:27 p.m.

    @smikey1123 free 'shit' isn't good 'shit'. This Elite 'shit' is actually 'shit' that should've been implemented ages ago. Plus, it's 'shit' designed to drain your wallet.
  • HaVoK308 - July 18, 2011 3:28 a.m.

    Games Radar is supporting this shit? Gee, I wonder why that is. Lame...
  • ThatGuyFromTV - July 18, 2011 2:26 a.m.

    Now we're getting somewhere. It might be a glorified Call of Duty Waypoint, but there are quite a few great new ideas in this, especially the grouping aspect of it, and I'm definitely liking the $0 pricetag for everything mentioned. Now what they need is to actually update the franchise graphically and find a way to rework the game. Cmon, Kotick, it's gonna sell whether the changes are good or not, so you might as well try to do something good with it.
  • P0ck3tC1am - July 17, 2011 11:53 p.m.

    LOL Sooooo we're basically paying for the team perks that will make a match one sided? THats bull shit. The name of the game is Modern Warefare, its not Halo. I like how they're role reverseing these 2 games. Stupid people shouldn't make games.
  • IridionSnake - July 17, 2011 7:35 a.m.

    "KielbasaNinja - 2 days 7 hours ago K/D is important because some of us actually care about winning. Those of us that are actually good at the game don't play just because it's fun. Winning is also fun. It's not fair to us that we should suffer losses due to random Johnny-Come-Latelys that can't pull their own weight." It.. is... a VIDEO GAME. Take some time and let that sink in. 'Don't play just for fun', 'its not fair', 'cant pull their own wight'.. tsssh! boo hoo lol!
  • mothbanquet - July 16, 2011 2:04 p.m.

    @D0CCON - Agree totally, KDRs become somthing of a priority for people (even myself) when they really shouldn't be. In BC2 I've constantly not risked going in for an objective because I think I've died a little too much that session and my team suffered as a result. Then you have L4D, where none of that stuff is really taken seriously. Oh well, I might give it a go. I'm no fanboy and the above looks like quite nice. It might reek of Waypoint but isn't that a GOOD thing?
  • ClicheCombinationofExplicitTerms - July 16, 2011 11:19 a.m.

    Some features such as the heat map or the map indicating all of your deaths are already integrated into Black Ops. Many of these features are already integrated and are free. The connecting with similarly skilled players is convenient, however, it really won't change the game. If you don't like the game enough to become good at it, and trust me, it's quite easy to master Call of Duty, then you probably won't really get into it at all.
  • crumbdunky - July 16, 2011 2:04 a.m.

    I will NEVER understand the need some people have for what they call "metagame" these days and though it kind of irks me to say it I'm totally as non plussed by it as Jaffe is. I guess the nears=est I've ever come to caring about anything so trivial in gaming is when I actuall bothered looking for every feather in SC2 just because I happened to be close to a platinum trophy and I felt totally conned when I'd done it and a bbit anoyed at myself for bothering. What I'd always imagihned to have no worth actually did have no worth ajnd I would have been way better of just finishing the game rather than bowing to false replay reasons around it. While not being quite the same thing i'd always felt the same about caring about your KDR and other main stats in a shooter as caringa bit too much about so,mething I play totally to enjoy myself. Fair enough, if looking at and perfecting your stats is where you get your kicks and you just want to win FOR YOU all the time and only play non objective gametypes(as in team based modes you often HAVE to so things unhealthy for those stats just to win/help the team win/avoid defeatbut therwise I just don't understand why anyione would care this much and , more, to pay for some on top of even this or what Bungie have always offered. It's fun to see what you average but beyond that I can't see how it alters anything except, IDK, maybe your confidence if you need bolstering in your virtual travails. Ad I said, if it's your bag then I guess more of it is cool for you ut I'll just never see the worth or the joy in it at all. If I was [laying competitively, properly wanting tio win or gaming for cash then, sure, anything you can learn is possibly going t help youget that edge and, by all means, do your research but I just think it's taking normal, fun, gaming a bit too seriously if you don't play with that edge all the time and if you do doesn't it take the gloss off knowing most people, like me, couldn't care less about this stuff and play for kicks? Sure, none of us like to lose and will always try to win but I know i've got extra gears to go to that I don't use in everyday gaming and nearly everyone I know is the same-nobody brings their "A game" 24/7, do they? And if not what's the real point of any of this except to make us care and buy into the parts thy can sell? Honestly,I just don't believe that high a percentage of COD players are poring over their stats and even of those that do I can't see all of them playing at the very highest intensity all the time and if you don't then the stats are meaningless, aren't they? Yu'd be admitting to messing with a buig variable that renders the whole thing meaningless and as I said some game types aren't great for all stat types and as a result could this lead to some modes becoming less popular and team gaming getting more rare?I think ,most stats encourage a selfish, or more selfish attitude and when you game primarily because it's fun(and fun to win but not life or death)would we want that? I'm not griping about what Activision are giving as the free part of Elite but do worry about this trend in gaming AND think they're trying to bolster the importance of this side of things purely because they can monetise it further along if they can get enough of us to care about what I see as almost nothing. I'm also of the mind that it's prolly a thing which a lot of younger gamers, brought up more around MP gaming as a big part of their gaming, really like and care about and not ,like a lot of older gamers(who gamed a long time before stats like these were really cared about and, indeed, before online MP at all)who really don't-in the main. As such, ignore me, as the nurse will be round with my meds again soon.
  • rpatel1995 - July 15, 2011 8:30 p.m.

    For everyone who says they're not buying it, all of this is free... It's just if you pay for a premium account, you get all future DLC's for future games incl. games after MW3 and you can be involved in competitions to win real prizes... and a lot of extra things. All of this is just a more advanced way of what they were already doing in Black Ops.
  • RuBIX - July 15, 2011 6:08 p.m.

    Meh, whatever. This might be cool and all, if I even bother to buy the game. I just dont see anything yet that really differentiates it from MW2 or the other recent COD games.
  • Shforteenteen14 - July 15, 2011 5:59 p.m.

    Holy hell. This sounds exactly the same as Bungie.net. The worst part is that most of this stuff, like the heat maps and groups, are availible for Halo 3. The game that came out in 2007. Way to go, CoD! Truly, your quality is never equaled. Surpassed, often, but never equaled.
  • BrianDowns - July 15, 2011 5:54 p.m.

    I can honestly say that I have never cared about stats in a video game. I appreciate that the service will be free and everything, but I play games for fun, not for a higher K/D ratio.
  • Axcleblade - July 15, 2011 3:44 p.m.

    This is the free part? Looks like Bungie.net. Almost exactly, they even copied the same donut chart for games played. I guess it'll be useful but I can't see myself spending much time on here. Unless I want to find some laughably bad stats that I have and tell people about them. I wonder what the paid features are. I could either start WoW again or get them, so they'd have to be pretty awesome.
  • CitizenWolfie - July 15, 2011 1:50 p.m.

    *insert generic CoD/Activision hate in the hope it makes me look cool here* Looks great - I especially like the fact you can search for other players by area code, friend list, interests, shoe size, whatever. The "heat spots" feature seems quite cool to me as well since sometimes I'll just get annihilated by a particular player or in a certain area so that will come in useful. All in all it seems promising. I hope EA's Battlelog will be equally as good. Hopefully the premium stuff won't be essential or give any advantages in gameplay and it's a win for me.
  • zacharybailey - July 15, 2011 12:45 p.m.

    I guess this makes sniping completely impossible now.
  • insertdisk - July 15, 2011 10:53 a.m.

    There is absolutelly nothing wrong in copying what is a great idea. This should come standard with all multiplayer games to be honest as should theater modes. Stop bitching about getting more features.

Showing 1-20 of 59 comments

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