O.K. boys and girls, this is the second of three installments in the CoD: BlOps tutorials. This time we’ll be focusing on the Perks, Wildcards, Equipment and various set-ups for certain play-style guaranteed to improve your Kill/Death ratios subsequently increasing your Win/Loss ratios.
I’d first like to make a correction about something I said in the first tutorial. A bit of the information on the SMGs is incorrect. I said the PDW and the MSMC had high rates of fire, and the MP7 and the Chicom didn't. This is actually in reverse. The PDW has the slowest rate of fire for the SMGs with the MSMC right behind it. Surprisingly the Chicom has one of the faster rates of fire. What I meant to say though, was Damage per Second. Given the same amount of time when pulling the trigger the PDW and the MSMC, compared to all other SMGs, have the highest ratio for this stat. This is good, and means these weapons are the best for their niche.
O.K. I’m done apologizing and it’s time for us to get onto the nitty-gritty of this article. Let’s begin with the Perks.
These are the things everyone uses to specialize their FPS gaming avatar. Some combinations of perks work better than others, and we’ll get to that at the end, but I think we’ll begin just by explaining and rating the various perks.
Lightweight: This is one of the more useful perks, and is essential for many specialized classes. I’d say it’s one of the top two perks in the “Perk 1” category. This essentially gives you an extra movement point, allowing you to shave off some of that weight for longer, and quicker runs. The best part of this perk is the lack of fall damage. You could drop from the highest spot on the map, Yemen, and take no damage. That’s pretty handy.
Hardline:This is a middle of the road perk. If you’re having a hard time getting to your 2nd and 3rd level kill-streaks consistently, this might be your ticket, but the lowering of the points required of kill-streaks is kind of low. You’d do better off with something else. I tend to only use this with low-kill classes (at least for me) like a sniper.
Blind Eye: Blind Eye makes you undetectable by things like Choppers, Escort Drones, and the Warthog. If you like to shoot things down out of the sky, then you should probably run this perk. This is a useful perk to have only if the team you play with isn't as cohesive as some of the players who've been running together for years now. Generally this perk is a waste when I play with some of my regular groups of guys because we have a tendency to not allow a lot of kill-streaks by the other team. This isn't because we’re really good individually, but because we talk to each other, and if we’re killed by one person, we can be reasonably sure someone else will clean up our mess. If your team can pull this off, there is no reason you should run a class with this perk all the time. It might be a good idea to have one set-up on the side though just in case someone gets one of those monster kill-streaks out. Just switch classes after you die and you’re immune to the fire from the sky.
Flak Jacket: Tied for the best 1st perk with Lightweight, this perk is incredibly useful. Unless you’re stuck with a crossbow bolt, a sticky grenade, or standing on top of C4, explosives won’t affect you. Since almost everyone uses grenades in this game, and often, you’ll find yourself living a lot longer if you run with this perk. This goes great with Tactical Mask, a perk we’ll talk about later.
Ghost: I’m not a fan of how Treyarch nerfed ghost, but it still has its uses. Ghost essentially makes you invisible to UAVs as long as you’re moving, planting a bomb, or manually using a kill-streak. It shines for run and gunners, but not against any team that has a decent amount of skill and calls out enemy positions. It is extremely useful in Free-for-All games where you’ll see tons of UAVs being spammed into the sky.
Toughness: This is by far the best perk in my opinion. You’re going to get shot at a lot in this game, and unless you’re Casper the Ghost those bullets are going to hit you. When you get hit, your aim is always put off by making your HUD flinch up dramatically. Toughness doesn't stop the flinching, but it does still give you a chance to pull your reticle back to your target. This perk is essential for every class but snipers.
Cold Blooded:This perk takes your name off of your character making it harder for the enemy to spot you. Anything that focuses on locking onto your body now doesn't have the ability to do so. I use this perk a lot in public games. If I were playing against a really good team I wouldn't use it because, like Ghost, they’d know where I was anyway. But against the random rabble in match-making, cold blooded is extremely useful. This goes well with a “Ghosty” SMG class, and is absolutely essential for snipers.
Fast Hands: This perk is fun to use in conjunction with Flak Jacket and Tac Mask. It allows you to pick up grenades thrown at you and reset their timer and throw it back at the other team. It also allows you to switch weapons, and use your equipment faster. Very useful perk, but it’s misunderstood because of how it’s been in previous iterations of CoD. This perk no longer has anything to do with how long it takes you to ADS on a weapon. Typically you’ll see this on sniper classes or classes with the Overkill Wildcard.
Hardwired: This is probably the second worse perk, and is almost totally useless. It makes you, not your kill-streaks, not your teammates, but you only, immune of the effects of Counter-UAVs, and EMPs. If you need the radar on your HUD in order to play, you might consider using this, but if you play with a group of people who know the maps well and make call-outs, there shouldn't be much use for the radar. It’s only a useful crutch.
Scavenger: This is a specialized perk. This allows you to replenish your load-outs by picking up packages from dead enemies who haven’t been killed by explosives. I’ve not had the opportunity to use this very much, but when I did it really only made sense to use it on a class where I had no secondary weapon selected. By doing this I don’t have to worry about running out of ammo. This is a middle of the pack kind of perk.
This is the best collection of useful perks. Only one of these is crap, and we’ll get to it…
Dexterity: This perk allows you to aim faster after sprinting and climb faster. This is essential for “speedy” classes. Top 3 perk in all of the game.
Extreme Conditioning: This makes you run farther. This is also essential for those speedy classes like SMGs and Shotguns. You can do without it because most of the maps are relatively small. Long runs aren't ever really an issue. It’s still very useful all-around.
Engineer: This perk allows you to see enemy equipment on the maps, delay triggering explosives and reroll care packages. Attention all shot-gunners! You need this perk. As a shot gunner, you’re going to be running all over God’s green earth trying to chase down enemies to pop ‘em in the face. Don’t allow those things like shock charges, Betties and claymores get you down. Run with engineer and all will be O.K. You’ll be astonished at how many times you can surprise some sniper who has set-up myriad traps around his location to protect his flanks. You can also call out spots of enemy equipment to your team helping them avoid those trapped areas. You could also run a care package kill-streak and engineer would help tremendously, but I don’t recommend it to shot-gunners because they shouldn't be stopping anywhere to toss and wait for packages.
Tactical Mask: This perk reduces the effects of tactical equipment like concussions and the like. Combined with Flak Jacket and Engineer, you effectively become a tank impervious to all equipment and a few kill-streaks as well. This works well for people who like to hold down rooms or hallways. Eventually someone on the other team will toss in a flash grenade and come charging after it only to find you ready and waiting. This is the camper’s perk of choice, and it isn’t a bad one.
Dead Silence: Limited in scope, all dead silence does is silence your footsteps. This would probably be a more useful perk if everyone on XBOX Live used Headsets. As it is, I like using it on my Shotgun classes with Engineer, but you could get by with never using it.
Awareness: Say hello! This is the worst perk in BlOps II. Awareness allows the other team’s footsteps to become louder so presumably you can tell from where they’re coming. That’s nice in theory, but this perk is dominated by Dead Silence. Someone using Dead Silence is immune to your Awareness perk. Add to the fact that Awareness isn’t totally reliable (I’ve noticed that when I’m ADS on a gun, sounds seem to come from totally different directions than when I’m out of ADS mode), and you’re left with a bunk perk.
Wildcards: These can be fun, and I routinely use at least one wildcard on every class I have, but you must be aware of their most glaring deficiency; they take up a slot on their own. I’ll just assume everyone’s familiar with the various Perk Wildcards which just give you an extra perk from each individual slot. They are the most useful of the wildcards.
There are some rules I have for equipping them. Remember, you are losing a slot when you use one, so you need to prioritize what you’re going to get rid of to make room for that slot, especially if you plan on using more than one of them. I’ve run with 3 before, just for kicks. You have to ditch all attachments to do so, but it can be done.
The first to go should always be any attachment your secondary weapon has. Then you should consider losing one tactical grenade, and then the next. Your secondary weapon should follow (you can always pick one up later) and in turn you should lose the lethal, and then all attachments on your primary weapon.
Overkill: This is the only one besides one of the greed wildcards that I’ll occasionally use. I like to put it on my sniper or shield class; two classes which could use a little help from an extra primary weapon.
The “Gunfighters”- These both give you an extra attachment for your weapons. They’re absolutely useless and doubly a waste of a wildcard. Not Only do you lose a slot, you only get a weapon attachment. Not a good trade off.
Tactician: This is a pointless wildcard. Not only are you wasting a slot by using a wild card, you’re taking away your lethal equipment. No equipment is as important as your lethal. A concussion is nice, but you still have to shoot the guy you hit. With a lethal, you get a kill in exchange for an equipment; not 1 equipment and some bullets! Leave this alone.
Danger Close: Not bad, but you’d be better off just leaving it alone. 2 tactical grenades are better than 2 lethals and the loss of a slot.
No class is complete without some form of equipment. I tend to run with lethals only, preferring to use my slots for wildcard perks, but all equipment has its place in the pantheon of CoD. None of these are particularly bad, but some are better than others. Only one of them strikes me as being weak, but it still has some value.
Frags: These are my lethal of choice. The ability to time, or “cook,” the grenade, and its range, make this the most versatile of all the equipment. You can also bank these around corners or cook them long enough, throw them over some obstacle, and have them explode in mid-air above your target. Talk about a surprise.
Semtex, or Sticky Grenades: Some people like these because they’re throw and forget weapons. They land where you throw them and blow up 2 seconds after they stick to whatever surface you throw at. The problem with this is 2 seconds is enough time for people to move away from them, lessening their effective kill power. Frags are much better because you can cook them, throw them, and have them detonate immediately when they land.
Combat Axe: Some people like this because it’s silent and reusable. It is also extremely difficult to use. It does bounce off of hard objects and has some leeway when aiming vertically, but when your target moves left to right, you’re often just guessing when you throw it.
Bouncing Betty: Besides the grenades, this is probably the most used lethal in the game. It has its weaknesses though. It “bounces” up before it explodes, so better players will always be able to avoid it. It is also hackable by people who run Blackhat equipment, which makes it a threat to your own team as well.
C4: This is the most powerful explosive in the game. In the right hands this can destroy defensive positions. Its range is limited to about 1/3 the throw distance of the regular grenades, but the trade off in power is worth it. It can be planted in place in games like Search and Destroy and Demolition where it would be most useful, or it can be thrown around the map willy-nilly in TDM games.
Claymores If I was to use a planted explosive this would be my choice. If a person with the Engineer perk runs straight at a claymore, they’ll still die. The explosion won’t delay long enough for them to pass it.
Concussion: This slows enemies down when it explodes near them. They have no timer on them and explode whenever they hit the ground. They are probably the most useful tactical grenades in the game. They always have been, and I see no reason why this hasn't changed.
Smoke: Useful for objective games, especially if you have guys running cold-blooded and someone on your team is running with the MMS scope. It does what it says, smokes the joint up…it also lasts a bit longer than previous CoD titles and is quite thicker than those titles.
Sensor Grenades: This is probably the weakest equipment. It only lasts for a few seconds and is limited in scope. You need to throw it into the most open area available, but when you do, it’s quite obvious where, and what it is. I generally just shoot them so they die off even quicker.
EMP Grenades:These have the shortest range of the “thrown” tactical as they explode in less than 2 seconds. They’re good at getting rid of those pesky ground dwelling kill streaks.
Shock Charges: You see these in every game. EVERY GAME!! They’re overused and overvalued. In order for it to be useful at all, you have to watch them. Unfortunately as soon as you stop paying attention, or you’ve lost them as flank cover, you’re vulnerable. Where these do shine is as slow tempo equipment. Use yours to protect not you, but the guy on your flank. If he dies, (hopefully he’ll tell you about it) the shock charge will slow the guy down who killed him and give you time to cover his position until he, or someone else, comes to take that position back over.
Black Hat: I’ll be honest, I don’t use this. I don’t like sitting still in the same position for too long, and any equipment that forces me to stop completely for a few seconds is not my cup of tea. Plus, what need have I of a Black Hat if I’m running Engineer or Flak Jacket? Some people dig it though, and I’m not knocking it. I’m just not fond of it.
Flash Bang: These are kind of like the Concussion Grenades, but are quite limited in scope and range. They do exactly what they say, they “flash,” or blind the person for a couple of seconds making them almost harmless. Notice I said “almost.” When I get flashed I do one of 2 things; If I’m in an enclosed area, I just start wildly firing, and have killed many people who think I’m an easy mark, I also try to remember where I am on the map and try to feel my way to a safer area. Since I know the maps pretty well, this works a lot, and the flash they just used on me becomes a waste. You can still get kills using it, but just recognize your kill percentage drops from the higher plateau of the Concussion Grenade. This tactical also has a severe drawback. It’s on a timer. As soon as it leaves your hand it’s on a timer of about 1.5 to 2 seconds. I’m too lazy to time it exactly, but it’s about that. The concussions can travel as far as you throw them, flashes have limited range.
Trophy System: These are invaluable in Domination, Headquarters, and Demolition games. They stop lethal and tactical grenades from exploding on your position and give you those extra minutes to cap a point or plant a bomb. They are very useful for team play and at least one person on your team should use it. They tend to be useless in TDM and FFA games, so they are game-type specific.
Tactical Insertions: These are probably my favorite. They work well in any game-type effectively allowing you to hold a position longer. They have an element of surprise to them because they allow you to spawn in an area that isn’t a spawn. The draw back to them is an Engineer runner knows where you put them and sometimes you’ll die twice really quickly. Generally people camp out the place where you put the insert and wait for your death, scoring a cheap kill for themselves. This is probably the second most useful Tactical equipment in the game.
This is the part of the article I know you’re all anxious to see. What are some useful load-outs to run, and why would you run them? Do they fit your play-style? I’ll post three different classes for three different kinds of players.
This is the class I use. I’m too impatient to sit still in BlOps 2. In the past I used to be a “hold-line- type of player, but I’ve found that this game needs a different style of play for players to be effective. Generally I run an SMG with this type of class.
I’m partial, as you know, to the MSMC with long barrel and fast-mags. I use the Tac-45 as my secondary weapon. My first perk is Lightweight and the second is Toughness. I use a wildcard for an extra perk #3, and add Dexterity and Extreme Conditioning. For my last slot I use the Frag grenade, or C4 as my lethal, generally the latter.
Generally these guys don’t run around as much. They like to be as versatile as possible, so they won’t sit still, but they like to keep the spawns as static as they can. They’ll use assault rifles and here is one of the easier classes to use.
Use the M27 Assault rifle with Quickdraw and a scope of some kind (red dot for this weapon, it doesn’t have the greatest range). Use any easy to use, up close pistol as a secondary. The KAP-40 is probably the best choice. You’re going to want Flak Jacket as your first perk, so you can keep holing your position if you need to. You’ll want to use a wildcard for your second perk giving you toughness and cold-blooded. You need the Toughness for those medium range battles and the Cold-Blooded to help not be an obvious target for snipers at longer ranges. Dexterity should be your third perk allowing you the ability to aim even quicker on the run from one position to the next. As a lethal you’ll need a Frag or Sticky Grenade, or maybe even a Tac-Insert, depending on how important it is for your team to hold that position.
Generally these guys, and there’s no shame if you’re this type of player, camp the hell out of a position. Every team needs one of these guys who make sure a flank is protected properly and allows his team to focus elsewhere. Generally these guys are machine-gunners who either lie prone a lot in a semi-open position, or choke-point. Here’s the easiest set-up.
You’ll want to run with an MK-48 with a sight of some sort or FMJ. No other attachment is needed. Your first perk absolutely must be Flak Jacket. You have no choice in the matter. The second perk has to be Toughness as well. No choice. You want to rule an area; you need to be able to shoot well when being shot at. As a third perk you must have Tactical Mask. You need to limit the effect tactical grenades will have on you. Semtex is the lethal to use. The two seconds it gives you when you throw it to close off an area is priceless when on the reload. That grenade acts as a barrier and keeps the other team from rushing you. You now only have 7 slots chosen. You could go any number of ways with the final 3, but instead of loading up on attachments, I’m going to show you another way to go. One way is to address how slow this class is. It’ll take you FOREVER to get where you’re going as is. So fix it. Use a perk 1 Wildcard and give yourself Lightweight. Then use the Overkill Wildcard and give yourself a secondary LMG like the LSAT.
Congratulations, you’re now a powerhouse tank with some mobility. You have the ability to use a grenade to reload if you have to, and if you don’t have the time, you can switch weapons and keep up 200 rounds of uninterrupted fire. Just NASTY
I’ve been doing some research on the Web, specifically YouTube, and I found a couple of videos saying the Fore-grip attachment is essentially useless and only has a placebo effect. I decided I’d do as some of the videos suggested and try this out on my own. I found this is true for a few weapons, but it does have some uses for other guns. The Fore-grip doesn't really improve un-aimed accuracy. You can fire against a wall with unassisted aim (not trying to keep your weapon on target) and there generally seems to be no difference in the spread of the weapon. But if you look at the videos, you’ll notice something I don’t think they noticed with quite a few of the weapons. The grip didn’t change the accuracy, but it did change the action of the weapon. A weapon like the PDW always kicked up and to the right or left. The spread was always the same, a generally straight line either way. But when you add the fore-grip, the gun reliably keeps the same spread but goes more vertical, effectively making adjusting the aim easier. The reason this makes it easier to aim is because now all you have to do is pull down on your right thumb-stick (up for me because I play inverted). Just pulling down to adjust aim is much easier than holding left or right. This is because the shape of a body is vertical. Generally vertical shots have a greater chance of hitting their target than horizontal shots. With horizontal fire you’re going to miss a significant amount of shots trying to get that kill. This isn’t true with all of the weapons, but with some it has a significant improvement, much like the laser sight.
O.K. We’re done with another installment of my tutorial on CoD: BlOps. Next week will be the final installment and it will deal with various ways to play the game and win, with, or without a team. Others have done this with various games (our own F1R3 has done this for Halo. Excellent article, I highly recommend people read it), and the same rules generally apply but I think it needs to be said again. I’ll also answer any questions you might have. So until next week, Too-da-loo, M#th$f&ck*rs!
In case you missed Part 1, don't forget to check it out! Stay tuned for Part 3