Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Five things players should know about Call of Duty Elite for Modern Warfare 3

As players lined up last night to pick-up the eighth game in the Call of Duty franchise, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, another Call of Duty product was launched in tandem. Call of Duty Elite, developed by Beachhead Studios and unveiled in full at Call of Duty XP earlier this year, is launching as a platform for Call of Duty players to find new friends and new ways to play. Here are just some of the ways players can use Call of Duty Elite to improve their game.

Compete for rewards and prizes

One of the three features of Call of Duty Elite is the compete option. This option consists of operations and events. Operations allow players to focus on a single stat or goal and become the best at that goal. Whether it’s getting the most flag capture in a match, or staying alive the longest in a game, operations give players the opportunity to show off their skills in a single area of expertise. Events are for players who have a spark of creativity. They include sweepstakes and contents where players can enter for prizes. So maybe you’re the guy who shot a UAV using your tomahawk and you got it all on video. You can submit that video in an event and win prizes. Prizes and rewards for operations and events include badges that show up on your profile for Call of Duty Elite, so players can show off their accomplishments. They also include real-world prizes like Call of Duty hats, shirts, game consoles, and the big bad Modern Warfare 3 Jeep.

Step up your game

For past Call of Duty games, players had to go to sites like YouTube to find the best way to improve their skills, find out what the best weapons are, and how to facilitate perks efficiently. Now with the improve feature of Call of Duty Elite, players don’t have to leave their game to find all of that information. The improve feature breaks down weapons, equipment, perks, killstreaks, maps, and game modes. Players can see how much damage each weapon does so they plan which is best to use for different situations. Maps are detailed down to the minutia of efficient routes to the objectives and heat maps of recent games so players can change their strategy for the next match. Beachhead’s goal with improve is to share the accrued knowledge advanced players have to beginner players.

All you’re DLC in one place

Downloadable content is a staple for the Call of Duty series. Black Ops had four different map packs, and as revealed at Call of Duty XP, Modern Warfare 3 plans to have over 20 pieces of DLC over a nine-month period. Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg explained that downloadable content will include additional maps, Spec Ops missions, and new game modes. The content will become available individually every three months, but Call of Duty Elite subscribers will gain access to the content early. Mark Rubin, Executive Produce of Modern Warfare 3, explained that Elite subscribes will receive new maps every month before they become available as a normal map pack after every three months. “So basically, all the Elite subscribers get the maps two months ahead of time,” Rubin said, “I think it might go two, one, one, and then on that third month the rest of the community will be able to buy the whole pack together.”

Elite won’t be available for PC at launch

Beachhead Studios recently revealed Call of Duty Elite won’t be available for PC on launch day. In an interview with Dan Amrich from OneofSwords, studio head Chacko Sonny said,” We’re as committed as ever to the PC, but the need to ensure a safe PC environment is greater than ever.” He claimed the PC is an insecure platform and when prizes are involved, they need a way to make sure competition is fair and people can’t “cheat their stats.” Because of this the PC version of Elite, when it launches, will have reduction functionality; players will only be able to access their own stats and their friends. Beachhead Product Director Noah Heller noted this is why there is no Hardened Edition of Modern Warfare 3 for PC. The Hardened Edition includes a year’s membership for Elite, but since there is reduced functionality in the PC version of Elite, PC players will not be able to subscribe to the service, access additional content early, or buy DLC at a discounted rate.

Elite is free

Call of Duty Elite is a free service for anyone who purchased Call of Duty: Black Ops or Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. The basic functionally of Elite includes career profiles, synched load outs, access to stat-tracking and interactive maps, clans, and theater mode; all things included in the free standard version. The paid version of Elite, for a yearly $49.99 price tag, includes additional content such as Elite TV, discounted and early access to DLC, enhancements to clan functionality, and premium theater options. The paid version gives lots of bells and whistles, but the standard version of Elite is what players will find the most useful.

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