The "New" Stuff
So taking part in the COD XP 2011 tournament, and doing a few gauntlet runs in the event has given me a decent amount of time in multiplayer for MW3. So here's my take on it. All the accounts were capped at level 30 at the event, and looks like there will be 80 levels total in multiplayer, thus a lot of weapons weren't available for use.
The biggest thing with MW3 multiplayer is the new strike packages. Strike packages is something that is class specific, and each package determines what type of killstreaks you'll be earning while using that class. There are three strike packages to choose from; Assault, Support and Specialist.
Assault Strike Package
The Assault strike package is what we've all grown acustom to since the introduction of killstreaks in the series. Kill X amount of players without dying, earn Y streak. Die, the streak resets. Most of the offensive killstreaks appear in this package. I did not get to try out this strike package too much as I was the support player in all my matches, so I am unable to confirm if the killstreaks stack or not like it did in MW2, or if they are solely based on kills by the non killstreak rewards manners like in Black Ops. Word around the web is that they do stack though.
Support Strike Package
The Support strike package is the new twist on killstreaks. Now instead of being kills based, you get the streaks through points streaks. Points could be gathered from kills, or capturing/defending/doing objectives. Most of the rewards in this strike package are exactly what its named for, Support. This is for the team player who is defending objectives, or always shooting down enemy air support. Thus, to futher help this player, they made it so the kill/pointstreak does not reset when you die. It will keep going to the next killstreak in your stack, and will cycle back once you've reached the third killstreak reward. This is interesting because if you select larger killstreaks, it will be a while before you are able to call in another lower killstreak after your first. So on a team, you'll probably want one support player with lower killstreaks, and the second with the one bigger one, since intel is everything in this game.
Specialist Strike Package
The last strike package is the Specialist package, this one is the most interesting one. This strike package contains no killstreak rewards at all, instead, the more you kill without dying, the more perks you get. You start off with the regular three perks in your class slot, and (based on screen shots and trailers) you unlock your fourth perk after 2 kills, a fifth perk on 4 kills, and a sixth perk on 6 kills. Also, I am pretty sure I heard in the keynote that after 8 kills, you get all the perks. These all go away once you die. This is really geared for the lone-wolf type player. I would start off with "blind eye", "assassin", and "stalker" (more on perks later in Part 2 of this blog), set first perk to activate as scavenger, next would be quickdraw, and last would be extreme conditioning. But there's so many other combinations that would work depending on the map, and your own playstyle. Definitely an interesting twist on how the game would be played.
A New Game Type: Kill Confirmed
Also annoucned at the event was the new game mode, kill confirmed. It was one of the game types played in the tournaments and in the gauntlet setups. To win in this mode, you have to pick up enemy dog tags that are dropped when you kill them, and you have to make sure you pick up more than the other team. The catch is, the enemy can pick up their teams dog tags to deny you the kill and points. At the event, we played this mode 4v4, and I don't see this going beyond the 6v6 playlist. Once the details were explained to us, I already knew that this will be a highly strategic game mode, given the importance of picking up the dog tags. Kills confirmed or not, still count towards killstreak rewards, but as a team, you need the dog tags to win.
My first go at this game mode would be right in the tournament, and we got picked apart by the other team and couldn't recover. Our initial game plan was to pair up, but in later attempts in this game mode in the gauntlet, we found that keeping all four team members close together worked better. I'm sure if its 6v6, you can probably split up in two teams of three, but 4v4, the box formation seemed to work better. At least for the map we were playing on. We had one person designated as the dog tag pick up, and one as secondary. You also can't just run after a dog tag without clearing the area since baiting with a dog tag is a useful tactic. I think things like tactical insertion would be very useful as well, being able to respawn back near the hotzone instead of somewhere across the map.
.... to be continued.