In preparation for tomorrow’s release of the First Strike Map Pack for Call of Duty: Black Ops, Treyarch's Josh Olin and David Vonderhaar took to Microsoft’s Major Nelson's podcast to announce that this upcoming weekend will earn players double the XP for all online play. On top of that, the developers have cleared up any confusion as to how the maps will be worked into the grander scheme of the multiplayer.
The thinking with this double XP weekend is quite ingenious: if players hop into the Black Ops online play to reap the benefits of the event, they're going to be seeing plenty of their friends playing the new maps. And that may be all it will take to get others to pick up the DLC as well. It’s a smart strategy on Microsoft’s part, but for most gamers who are spending countless hours on Black Ops daily, it’s a reason to log even more time over the weekend.
With the release of the First Strike Map Pack getting closer by the day, gamers might be wondering how compatible the pack will be with other players. Luckily, Treyarch has explained what priority the maps will have, how they will interact in parties, and what will happen to players who do not own them.
For now, the First Strike maps will have a slightly higher priority than any of the multiplayer maps that shipped with the retail version of Black Ops. As with Modern Warfare 2, players will be notified when members of their party do not possess the necessary map pack, and those maps will not be part of the rotation. Similarly, if gamers are playing with a party who votes for a First Strike map, the player will then be sent back to the lobby. Treyarch has stated that this isn't their ideal solution, but will sometimes be unavoidable.
Treyarch is also considering adding a First Strike playlist, and will make their final decision based on feedback from the community over the next few days. So if you're planning on picking up the DLC and hopping into the online play for the double XP, it would be in your best interest to get vocal fast in any Black Ops location you can.
Coming in at $15, the First Strike Map Pack is, like all previous packs a heavy hit to gamers’ wallets, but one that they have proven to be willing to endure. From the look of the the content, they seem to be bringing some much needed variety to a multiplayer that has sure to have worn out its welcome for a vast majority of level 10 prestige players. Be on the lookout for the pack, as it releases at 2:00 A.M. PST on February 1st.
Will you be picking up the First Strike Map Pack when it releases tomorrow? Does the double XP weekend do anything to call you back to Black Ops or get you interested in the maps?
Call of Duty: Black Ops’ First Strike Map Pack releases for the Xbox 360 on February 1. The double XP weekend will run from February 4-6 on all platforms.