Thursday, October 1, 2009

Modern Warfare 2 Callsign Editor Explained


Thanks to the crew over at IGN, we now have a better understanding of the callsign system in Modern Warfare 2.  Take a look at our Unlockables page for a look at the confirmed Callsigns thus far (LINK).

Here's what IGN has to say about Callsigns from what they've seen with hands-on time and viewing released footage....

The Title

First off, there are 594 pre-made "titles" within the game, not counting any potential secret ones or additional downloadable content that could come out post-launch. The titles are broken up into 22 pages of 27 tags each, and every tag is made up of both a background and text piece that go hand-in-hand as one unique option. From what we've seen there is no way to swap in different text or backdrops, or combine different titles with other color themes and so on. The text and visual backdrop go hand-in-hand.

As the backdrop of your whole in-game persona, the titles are not only your color theme and background, but also the first thing players read when you pull off amazing in-game actions (like destroying helicopters or getting multi-kills) or putting a bullet in you. Thus far we've seen things like Suppressor (pic of a silencer as the background), FNG (which is a military term for "effing new guy" -- complimented by desert camo), SSDD ("Same… Stuff, Different Day"), Silent Veteran (skulls), Surgical (red cross icons), Armed and Dangerous (magnum), SGT (military rank with what looks like urban or arctic camo), The Specialist, Boom Headshot (with blood splatter), and 402's own "Hello My Name Is" tag with the classic nametag background.

These tags, while not shown how to unlock on the actual selection page itself, are gained through general play. Whether some are single player or not is still up for grabs, but during multiplayer matches at the hands-on event accolades were handed out after matches based on player performance, and along with level-ups and gun challenges these tags were also handed out as rewards for your hard work in-game. For that reason -- and since it's linked in with all the other unlock pieces -- I'd put money on all titles and emblems unlocked due to online-only play. Maybe IW will surprise us on that one, but there are 70 levels per prestige now, and that's a whole lot of room for unlocking content.

While we can only speculate so far with what some of these tags take to unlock it's pretty obvious that Suppressor is awarded to those that use silenced weapons, Boom Headshot is used for noggin kill rewards, and the like. There have been talks online about what Surgical is used for, but I'd place money on that working as a reward for doing medic assists in the game, as it looks like a paramedic backdrop.

During the multiplayer session I was also awarded one title for payback kills. After completing a match where I killed players that killed me (essentially taking out rivals) I earned a title. I can't remember the exact name, but it was handed out after the match during the accolades process, and then became available in the title select menu.

As another note on titles, the final page or so is all flag-themed tags, and they were unlocked during our event (and presumably at the start of the final version too, for that matter). For those that just
love to rep their region online, all major countries seemed to be represented; perhaps ideal for clans to use as a way of unifying them all on the field.

The Emblems
As for the emblems, players have 294 to look forward to, and these seem to unlock in the same manner. Though more subtle than the titles, emblems are another way to distinguish yourself (or your full clan) with a specific icon to team with your new call-sign/tag name. The starting group of rank emblems unlock with each level gained (the first time through), and I'd assume then that each prestige will also unlock a new emblem as well that can be assigned. It'd be awesome (if IW doesn't decide to use the gold cross as a prestige level in MW2) to actually have the classic cross icon unlocked for those players that got a gold cross in COD4; I know I'd use that indefinitely until getting whatever the new max prestige emblem is. Note, however, that the emblems only effect your in-game callsign and not your actual lobby icon; that pic is always locked to your current level.

As for other emblems we've seen in the wild, you've got dogtags, dual pistols, a shark face, shotgun shells, different soldier faces (both generic and in-game characters, such as Ghost), and also animated icons such as the rotating skull seen in the first multiplayer gameplay trailer. Since the emblems are also part of the customization/unlocks system I'd assume all icons will be unlocked during multiplayer play as well, but that's just speculation thus far. For those clans out there that want to get synchronized as well (and those good enough to all have specific emblems unlocked) I could see teams running around with everyone matching up their emblems to one main icon across the team. If there's an attack dog icon you can bet your ass that my clan -- The "Up Dogs" (or UPDG) -- will all run with that as our emblem across every member. We've also seen an IW emblem as well, which could either be locked for IW only players (like the IW clan tag is in COD4) or as a way for people to suck up to 402.

Oh, and call it wild speculation, but I think there's something to the whole "animated emblem" we saw in the multiplayer footage. Will those be extra difficult to unlock, or a reward for completing a certain prestige or challenge? Seeing as it's the only animated emblem I can recall thus far, I'd say there's bragging rights behind having one.

That wraps up this debut of the Gold Cross Corner. If you've got your own thoughts on the title or emblem system in Modern Warfare 2, or have something you want us to go in-depth with based on our time with the game just sound off in our comments section below. And yes, we'll get to the guns... 

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