Clocking up at least 80 days playing time submersed in the Call Of Duty franchise hopefully makes me eligible to provide you with - what I consider to be - a detailed account of everything you should know before you take the plunge into the addictive, fast paced explosion fest which is Black Ops 2's mutiplayer.
There are many new additions to this installment. The most prominent being the flexible ''pick ten system''. 10 points are allocated to you, and each perk, gun, attachment, and piece of equipment cost 1 point. This allows for some extremely creative classes to be made and prevents the formulaic setups from leaking their way back into the fray. Don't want a secondary weapon? You don't need one. Only want to use a knife and have 6 perks? Easily achievable. It also allows you to fine tune your classes to exactly what you desire. There are now also Wildcards. These allow players to bend the conventional rules of a Call of Duty game, allowing them to have 2 perks in tier 1, 2 or 3 for example. Others enable you to swap out tactical grenades for lethal grenades or vise versa. Previously, you could compose a competitive class in a game lobby in a mere 60 seconds. I recommend backing out and taking your time with this new system, get familiar with it, use the 10 points to their fullest, and 'create a class' that would put your adversaries to shame.
Notice the Wildcard allowing the player to have 3 attachments on his primary weapon.
Score Those Scorestreaks
Forget killstreaks. It's all about scorestreaks now. These are a fantastically versatile new feature. Instead of kills, and only kills contributing to your rewards, score is now the heart and sole of gaining air support. Hop into a match and take note of a bar in the bottom right of your screen, this will raise each time you gain points. For example, getting a kill in Kill Confirmed is worth 50 points, whilst collecting the tag is worth 100. This means your play style may completely change in comparison to other Call of Duty games as you will be drawn towards objectives to inherit a boost towards your VTOL Warship or Stealth Chopper. Treyarch had a stroke of genius with this idea. No longer will you encounter team-mates who decide the B flag is far to dangerous for their taste. It's important to state that kills gained from a scorestreak are worth alot less than a normal kill. This allows players to acquire aid from a Lightning Strike for example, but don't expect it to earn you a set of K9's (Dogs).
Quick Tip: Don't be to optimistic with your scoresteaks. Pick 3 that are catered towards your skill level, and play style. If you're hovering around a 1.1 kill to death ratio (KDR), don't expect to be earning to many swarms in your career.
Quick Tip: Cater your scorestreaks towards your gamemode. In an objective mode such as Domination or Hardpoint I recommend rewards such as the Lightning Strike or Hellstorm Missile as they target a specific location quickly and efficiently to eradicate enemies attempting to steal your flag or hardpoint. In Kill Confirmed you may consider less fatal air support such as the UAV or Orbital VSAT. You can kill as many people in a VTOL Warship as you wish, but that doesn't mean you can snatch those tags.
Take your pick.
New Game Modes
Hardpoint: This gamemode sees two teams competing to control a particular area of the map. After a certain amount of time the 'Hardpoint' will change location. To win your team must have a higher accumulated time on the Hardpoint than the enemy. It's essentially king of the hill.
Quick Tip: Take advantage of the way points work in Hardpoint. If you are the first player on your team to stand on the Hardpoint you get 200 points. If you are the first to stand on the Hardpoint after the enemy has previously controlled it, you get 200 points. If you shoot an enemy whilst inside the Hardpoint you get an extra 25 points, likewise if you kill an enemy who is currently in the Hardpoint. A regular kill is worth 100 points. Keep this in mind when picking scorestreaks as score can accumulate quickly in this game mode if you're fortunate.
Quick Tip: The team's score in the bottom left of the screen will not raise faster if numerous people are packed onto the Hardpoint at one time. This means one player can perch on the Hardpoint while others take advantageous positions around it.
Multi-team: This pitts 3 teams consisting of 3 people against eachother in a moshpit. For those who are unfamiliar, the moshpit is a vast mix of team based matches.
Quick Tip: Players will often spawn close to their team mates here. Be aware that when you shoot someone, an enemy will never be to far.
An example of the points gain from getting to the Hardpoint first.
What A Strange Weapon
Some weapons found in Black Ops 2's arsenal do not conform to the usual conventions of that particular class.
KSG-12: This weapon can also be found in MW2, however, in Black Ops 2 it behaves completely different to every other shotgun. Instead of a wide spread, the KSG fires a single deadly slug. Within a certain range a one-shot kill is almost imminent to any part of the body. It effectively becomes a short range sniper, for want of a better term.
Quick Tip: I encourage aiming down sight with this weapon. Due to the single slug, hip fire becomes unreliable in comparison to the other shotguns.
Chicom QCB: A submachine gun has never before been burst fire in Call Of Duty. Burst fire weapons are normally known for their effectiveness at mid to long ranges and are normally Assault Rifles. The Chicom, however, is different. It fires extremely fast for a burst weapon, making it excel at short to mid range.
Quick Tip: Laser Sight is like an extra limb to this weapon. Strafe and hip-fire with this and even the occasional shotgun user will struggle to fire through your onslaught.
Ballista: The Ballista in all honesty is not strange in the slightest. It's more to do with a particular attachment available only for this weapon. Remember World at War? The Bolt Action Rifles were great fun. Well, just stick the iron sight attachment on this sniper and away you go.
M1216: This shotgun is another that fails to conform with the norm. Full-auto shotguns are not strangers to Call of Duty. This shotgun is most definitely fully automatic, however, must re-chamber after every 4 shots. Think of it as pumping a Pump Action Shotgun.
Quick Tip: Try to cater towards this weapons apparent strengths. The 4 round 'burst' is deadly when aimed at a single enemy, but against 2 or 3 it starts to struggle. Try to keep encounters one on one, mano-a-mano.
Quick Tips: This goes for all shotguns. Stick to the small parts of the map. It is not wise to run down the middle with a weapon which fires as far as you can wee. After taking a shot, duck in cover to perform the pump animation, then pop out again if you failed to kill the target with the first shot.
The R870 Shotgun is no stranger to getting one hit kills.
What Does This Do?
Black Ops 2 plays host to a few new attachments and it may not be fully apparent what they do.
Millimeter Scanner: This sight is quite bizarre, it can see through walls, but only if your opponent is stood still behind said wall or object. Good for scouting out those who lurk in corners. But don't expect to become Batman with his detective vision.
Select Fire: It's in the name really. You can change the weapon from burst to fully automatic. However, this attachment is not available for Snipers or Shotguns.
Quick Tip: Don't use this attachment solely as a way to turn a burst fire/single fire weapon into fully automatic death machine. Cater it towards your situation. Going into a building? Fully auto is the way to go. Firing across the map? Burst it.
Prestige Isn't Only For The Player
You can now prestige guns as well. This may seem rather pointless at first, however, prestiging a weapon allows you to unlock a host of challenges which will soon have you on your way to getting gold camouflage for that particular gun. Although not incredibly exciting, prestiged guns can also equip a clan tag and emblem. Yey.
Quick Tip: Upon prestiging a weapon you will lose all attachments for that gun. However, your well earned camo will remain. If you hate grinding, don't prestige your weapon.
Did somebody say diamond crusted guns? Well, if you earn gold camo for every gun in that particular class, you will earn diamond camo for all those respective weapons.
As for prestige itself, you unlock challenges, player cards, and have the ability to permanently unlock anything in the game. Ghost for me, thankyou. You also gain the ability to either; reset your stats, refund any earned unlock tokens, or unlock a create a class slot.
Quick Tip: Resetting stats - as far as I'm concerned - is not wise. If your statistics are not up to much by the time you have prestiged, they won't get much better after you reset them. Spend your well earned token on a create a class slot, or refunding unlock tokens if you over spent in your excitement.
There is probably a heap of valuable information I have missed. But there is a lot of tips to help you on your way to becoming a decent Call of Duty player. For those newer to the franchise I hope you learn't a lot. For those invested already, you will probably be to busy playing COD to read this.