Wednesday, February 29, 2012

MW3 DLC Missions: Black Ice and Negotiator

Black Ice and Negotiator have some information up on the content calendar:

There's a new Rob Riggle video with a little more info on the missions (and the map).

Black Ice looks like the same map as the last Spec Ops mission that comes standard, and the campaign mission where you go down in a  mine save the Russian president.  It looks as if you'll be snowmobiling down into the mine, planting some explosives, and getting out before they blow.

Negotiator has at least 2 slow motion breach-and-clear scenes, which I always enjoy.  It's in India, and the corresponding campaign mission is the one near the beginning where you play as Yuri and escort an injured Soap down to the chopper, using the assault drone along the way.  A lot of Spec Ops missions are run the opposite direction as the campaign, and this looks to be that way.

My impressions of playing these two missions solo.

MW3 DLC Collection 1 Available March 20th - Total DLC Season to Include 22 Pieces of Content

MW3's first publicly available DLC pack will go out March 20th for Xbox, and it will contain 6 pieces of content:

Multiplayer maps Liberation, Piazza, Overwatch and Black Box.
Spec Ops missions Black Ice and Negotiator.

Price, unknown, but probably $15-$20.

Also, the DLC calendar has been updated again and includes 22 pieces of content.  The month of May originally had a MP map and a Spec Ops mission.  Then a "Classified" item was added a month ago or so, and now another "Classified" item has been added to May again.

UPDATE (Mar 12):
A preview video for the collection was just released.

This map pack will likely be available "on or around" April 19th for PS3.

Friday, February 24, 2012

How to Fix the MW3 Season of Content

I'm going to go out on a limb and say the next drop will be available March 20th for Elite premium, and the first DLC pack will be available to everyone else on xbox the end of April.  Because of the Xbox/PS3 disparity and the Elite premium/non-premium disparity this season of content is not going to work out well.

If they release DLC every 4 weeks then Xbox Elite premium will get the last one Sept 4th.  Then PS3 Elite premium will get it October 2 or 9, and that means Xbox non-premium shouldn't get it till Oct 10th at the earliest, and PS3 non-premium the first week of November when no one cares about MW3 and everyone has already put their pennies together for CoD9.  That's called a clusterfuck.

How To Fix It?

First, get rid of the Xbox/PS3 disparity.  There is already an assumed month between when Elite premium members get DLC and regular members get it.  With the Xbox/PS3 thing it means that at minimum 2 months has to go by between the last Xbox premium release and the last PS3 regular release.

Second, work backwards from where you want the DLC releases to end.  You don't want to cannibalize the next CoD title's marketing campaign by trying to hype DLC for the last game.  To me it seems that the big push for a new CoD title release starts in August, and is in full swing by September.  CoD XP was the beginning of September last year, and if they keep doing it that way everything about the current title will be completely drowned out by the upcoming title.  That doesn't mean people don't still play the current game, but it does mean you won't be able to create any kind of buzz for DLC for it.

Activision/IW/Treyarch should aim to have the last DLC for the existing game completely released to everyone by the beginning of September right before the hype for the next game reaches it's zenith.  Add in a month between Elite premium release and general public release and you end up with about 9 months between when the game comes out and when the last DLC should be released to Elite Premium members.

Let's add in 2.5 months at the very beginning of the game's cycle where there is no DLC to let everyone get used to the game (including a large contingent that buys the game at Christmas; this is a major part of sales that they can't ignore), and we have late January through early September, or 6.5 months of available DLC release time.

I think they made a mistake to promise monthly content, and to spread it out over 9 months.  Here's what this year's season of content should have looked like without the Xbox PS3 disparity, and after what it should have looked like with the disparity:

Without Xbox/PS3 Disparity
January 24th - Elite Premium receive pieces 1-2 of DLC
February 21st - Elite Premium receive pieces 3-5 of DLC
March 20th - Elite Premium receive pieces 6-7 of DLC
April 17th - Elite Premium receive pieces 8-10 of DLC
May 15th - Elite Premium receive pieces 11-12 of DLC
June 12th - Elite Premium receive pieces 13-15 of DLC
July 10th - Elite Premium receive pieces 16-18 of DLC
August 7th - Elite Premium receive pieces 19-20 of DLC

March 20th - Regular members can buy pieces 1-5 of DLC as a package
May 15th - Regular members can buy pieces 6-10 of DLC as a package
July 10th - Regular members can buy pieces 11-15 of DLC as a package
September 4th - Regular members can buy pieces 16-20 of DLC as a package

With Xbox/PS3 Disparity
There's no way to do it right.  Don't try.

And to tide over Elite premium members until the first pieces of DLC come out give out something like a prestige token with the game in early November, then again the first of December, then again the first of January (or at Christmas like they actually did 2 months ago).  Something that's not officially part of the promised premium content, but that only premium members get.

Survival Strategies: Overwatch

I'm going to outsource this to TheMilitantPo3t:

Here's the map with the armories marked:

Just thought I'd add that Overwatch doesn't fit into any of the 4 existing tiers for it's starting loadout, or it's wave progression.

Tier 1 starts you out with a Five Seven.
Tier 2 starts you with a USP45.
Tier 3 starts you with an MP412.
Tier 4 starts you with a Five Seven and an M16.
Overwatch starts out with a Five Seven and an 1887, and Extreme Conditioning, so it's effectively a tier 5 map.  We'll see if Black Box is also tier 5 or something else.

Boss waves:
4 - 1 juggernaut + 1 helicopter + guys and dogs
9 - 2 juggernauts + 1 helicopter + guys and dogs
14 - 2 juggernauts + 2 helicopters + guys and dogs
19 - 2 juggernauts + 2 helicopters + guys and dogs
24 - 2 juggernauts + 3 helicopters + guys and dogs
28 - 2 juggernauts + 3 helicopters + guys and dogs
32 - 2 juggernauts + 3 helicopters + guys and dogs 

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Overwatch Map Outline

Here's the map:

It feels a little different from the other maps because there are a million places where you can fall off the map.  Even though Highrise from MW2 had some places where you could fall off, most of it was safe so it felt different.

It's not playable in survival (yet?), so I can't place the armories anywhere.

20 New Overwatch Images

These are all screenshots from the new Overwatch trailer on youtube.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

MW3 March DLC (for Xbox): March 13th

On the Elite content calendar  there's some new information up and here's a screenshot:

So the map I posted from the Rob Riggle video will be called "Black Box" (it was first speculated as morningwood) and there are two Spec Ops missions in March as well.  Let's CSI these mission thumbnails:

When you roll over the images on the calendar the name comes up as "Black Ice" for the first and "Negotiator" for the second.

Black Ice - can you say MW2 spec ops?  In MW2 the two snowmobile missions were basically races, the first just a race against a countdown, and the second where you have to add time to your countdown by passing between sets of flags.
I have no info outside of what you see here, but my speculation is that Black Ice won't be a time trial; perhaps an obstacle course? with some killing of course.

Negotiator - Sounds like some kind of hostage rescue scenario.  There have been plenty of these in CoD campaigns and special missions in CoD4 and MW2.

Here are the Black Box pictures again:

I'll put money down that you won't be able to go more than 1 room into the airplane.  MP maps never have closed off tubes like that available for camping.

UPDATE:  Elite Premium gets these 3 pieces of DLC March 13th.

Another Black Image from Robert Bowling's twitter:

And larger images have been added to the calendar page along with descriptions for the map and the 2 missions:

My Black Box survival strategy.
My first impressions of the 2 missions.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Survival Strategies: Piazza

Here's what the Piazza Survival map looks like:

Here's how I got to wave 39:

During regular rounds stick claymores on the back stairs going up to the wine cellar, and sit at position 1.  After about wave 15 or so you should have enough money to put a sentry gun and/or a sentry launcher at the far entry to the upper level of the wine cellar at the O.

Before the helo waves you have to bring your sentries back from the doorway or else they'll go offline in a heartbeat.  When you have 1 helicopter left you should leave it in the air and go refill your ammo, get a riot squad (don't call it in until after you kill the helicopter), and get an air strike or predator or just go back to the wine cellar.  Re-claymore the back way and

For the juggernaut waves stay at position 1 until the juggernauts get to you, then run down the back of the cellar and to position 2, where you can flash and kill some more guys.  Then run up to position 3 which gives you another funnel point to flash/C4 or just get a couple rounds off on the enemies.  Then run to position 4 and do the same.  There are plenty of places like these where you can keep some cover while shooting the enemies, so keep doing that till they get to close, then move again.

Bad guys generally don't try to get into the wine cellar's bottom entrance (marked by the x), but congregate at the circled area.

So if you want to, before a round get some C4 and put a bunch in that vicinity, then wait for the enemies to bunch up there and detonate, and you will likely get some rampage/killstreak/quad kill money for it.

I haven't found a very good place for a turret, but these general rules should again be good for getting into the mid 20's in the waves.

Also, Piazza and Liberation both are Tier 2 maps.

Juggernaut/helicopter rounds start at wave 6 and are every 3 waves after that, alternating between juggernauts and helicopters.

TheMilitantPo3t's video strategy.

Survival Strategies: Bakaara

Here's the Bakaara Survival map:

I have one strategy for this map, and it is this:

Stay up in the building with a single staircase entrance by the explosives armory for all regular guy waves (position 1), and then for juggernaut waves I kill some guys while looking down those stairs, and when the juggernaut gets there I run out the open window and up the stairs of the side building (position 2), and that gives  me some leeway to kill guys while backing out of that side building while still avoiding the helicopters.

Using this strategy I easily get up to waves in the mid 20's.  It's not super high, but it's enough for the Unstoppable achievement (reach wave 15 on each map).

Juggernaut, helicopter waves:  6, 11, 16, 19, 22, 25, 28, 31

The MilitantPo3t's co-op strategy.

This map is based on the film Black Hawk Down: