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Interviews

Call of Duty: Black Ops Pt. 1

Treyarch on gambling, video sharing and more

Last week we went chicken oriental at the Call of Duty: Black Ops multiplayer reveal event in Los Angeles, and part of our mega reporting included the event's first epic interview with Treyarch community man, Josh Olin.

Coming straight out of the presentation and into the interview room, we were naturally full of questions about the new CoD instalment (unfortunately the nine other journalists in the room weren't so active - just their Dictaphones).

In part one of our chat the Treyarch man offers more details on gambling, video sharing and the difficult challenges it faces in balancing Black Ops. Here's what he had to say...

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What didn't you have time to tell us about in the presentation today?

There are lot of things that we didn't really tell you about. Wager match was the biggest part of the presentation and the highlight of the evening, just because this is the brand new game mode we've introduced. All the traditional game modes have returned, so you're going to see Team Deathmatch, Demolition, Capture the Flag, Domination and all that good stuff.

The Wager Matches are built around this new economy and so CoD points are also such a fundamental, brand new introduction to multiplayer that it is really important for players to grasp the importance of it. I've been reading Twitter all through that presentation and already there are misunderstandings about what CoD points are so I'm going to rely on you guys to clear the water.

CoD points do unlock weapons, you do need to buy weapons, upgrades, attachments, face paints, camos, whatever you want to spend it on really. However, things still do unlock over time, so there is still the concept of XP, levelling and ranking up. Once you go through the ranks you'll unlock broader features now, so you'll unlock Killstreaks, which will unlock at a certain level. You can buy whichever one you want, if you want to buy the 11 Killstreak right away that's fine, go ahead and do that.

Additionally, once a weapon unlocks, if you unlock a couple of assault rifles you get to pick which one you want to buy and furthermore you don't have to worry about completing challenges to unlock attachments and upgrades, all of those are going to be available once you purchase it and ranked up to a certain level.

Is there anything you can only get through experience, or likewise with CoD Points?

Prestige is still something that is relegated to levels, you don't pay money to prestige. Things are still unlocked via rank but then you have to choose if you want to use the money to purchase them.

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Do you think, potentially, that the CoD points earned in this game could carry over into future games?

It's definitely a possibility but we're honed in on making Black Ops the best it can. We've really only thought about as far as where we're going to vacation come December once we've shipped this game (laughs). The team is working so hard on this, we haven't even thought ahead to DLC plans.

We wanted to create this concept of gambling, it is a core competitive form, the ultimate form of competition. We knew we wanted to do that for Black Ops and originally we were thinking of gambling XP but that wouldn't make sense because we can't de-level you, so after all that stuff we did we realised we needed to have a form of currency.

Is there any flexibility in the gambling? When we enter a match can we bet money on placing first in the match or is it just a blanket bet?

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