Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 League Play Release Date Set for Mid-February, and Here’s What to Expect

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As part of today’s meaty Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 update, Treyarch has also spilled the beans on the Black Ops 4 League Play release date, and what the studio has planned for it.

Set to arrive first on PS4, the Black Ops 4 League Play release date is pegged at mid-February to coincide with the game’s big February patch, though there’s no specific date yet, as Treyarch mentions that there’s “a lot of moving pieces between developer, publisher, and first-party platforms.”

As to what to expect in it, Treyarch has listed some of the added changes implemented in the CWL (Call of Duty World League) which should also be implemented in ranked play.

Updating the CWL Ruleset

First, we’ve huddled with the Call of Duty World League team as well as pro players and some members of team management to evolve the CWL ruleset. Our goal is to more closely match how the pros play, while embracing the diverse toolset of Black Ops 4 that allows for those big, exciting plays that make the game so damn fun to watch. We believe these carefully-considered updates will improve the future of competitive play for the pros on stage, and more widely, for our ranked players at home.

This updated CWL ruleset will go live in Black Ops 4 later this week, and includes the following new restrictions (with all previous restrictions listed here still in place, including the full restriction of Nomad):

  • Ajax
    • Fully restricted
  • Torque
    • Fully restricted
  • Prophet
    • Seeker
  • Firebreak
    • Reactor Core
  • Seraph
    • Tac-Deploy
  • Scorestreaks
    • Dart
    • RC-XD

Additionally, Zero’s Ice Pick and EMP Disruptor, and any new Specialist content that we release in the future, will remain out of competitive play by default until or unless deemed viable through the CWL organization.

With these new restrictions in place, players who choose Prophet, Firebreak, or Seraph will still be able to equip the Trophy System, Combat Axe, Frag, Molotov, or Concussion in their Equipment slot. These changes are a direct result of feedback and coordination with the competitive community, and we can’t wait to see how it all plays out in ranked play and at future CWL 2019 events.

There are also changes coming to how League Play is implemented, with Treyarch now pushing for more activities and events due to community feedback.

  • At roughly one-month intervals, League Play seasons were too long, resulting in a high volume of inactive players and “dead ladders”, watering down the feeling of competition.
  • Players who missed out on significant portions of seasons felt like there was no way for them to catch up to other players in their ladders, leading many to stop playing and thus exacerbating the “dead ladder” problem.
  • League Play is a lower-population playlist relative to the rest of Multiplayer, and it’s the only portion of Multiplayer that relies on skill-based matchmaking. As such, time to find matches can be lengthy with the League Play population subdivided by skill ranges.
  • Ladder groupings were too large, leaving many participants feeling disconnected from most of the players they were competing with for position.
  • League Play Division ranks were directly tied to each player’s skill rating under the hood, which meant that most players “settled” into a rank early on, and it was frustrating not being able to change that skill rating over time.

 

With every new design of a system, we start by identifying the problems to solve from previous iterations, and the League Play system in Black Ops 4 has been designed to avoid these shortcomings and accomplish some new key goals:

  • Running League Play events more frequently and in shorter duration makes ladders feel like meaningful competitions with constant movement against a smaller pool of competitors.
  • Events are condensed and timed to drive the highest player counts and achieve healthy matchmaking with faster time to find matches.
  • Shorter-duration events more closely match how pros compete in weekend tournaments, like 2Ks. Our intent is for events in the World League Hub to feel closer to how the pros compete.
  • Ladder competition will feel familiar – climb the ladder by winning ladder points, but lose ladder points and you may drop position. The goal with each League Play event is always to end as high on the ladder as possible.

Changes are also planned for the League Play progression and here’s how it’ll work:

  • Over the course of your competitive career, you’ll advance a permanent rank that reflects your performance across all events. Performing better in events and participating more often will result in faster rank progression.
  • Final placement in ladders determines how you advance your overall rank, giving ladder events a competitive tournament feel with the most credit given for reaching 1st Place and winning a League Play event.
  • Place 1st in a League Play event, and your rank will be upgraded to permanently reflect your victory. Further upgrades are possible for multiple 1st Place finishes over time, and a streak indicator that is displayed when you place 1st in back-to-back events.
  • Matchmaking in the World League Hub will always be prioritized by skill, so competitors will always feel competitive at their skill level.

There’s a lot more details which you can read about here.

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