Dan Amrich, community manager at Activision, blogged a bit about Treyarch's upcoming Call of Duty: Black Ops II, which included a little interview with David Vonderhaar, the Game Design Director, and a look into Black Ops II's Combat Training mode.
Combat Training mode isn't new to Call of Duty, but this time, Treyarch really wants to be more aggressive in promoting this mode. More specifically, they want to urge everyone to use this mode as a transition into the multiplayer portion of the game, which is obviously the most popular and well-known aspect of any Call of Duty game. Multiplayer also happens to be the most profitable feature, as they can get the millions of players to shell out $15 per map pack DLC they release.
Despite the overwhelming popularity of the multiplayer mode, several players never touch the multiplayer portion and focus only on the campaign. Let's face it; not everyone wants to play with other people, and if you're a multiplayer newbie, CoD may not be the best one to jump into. We all know how, um, pleasant other CoD players can be. Treyarch is well aware that these people exist, and they don't like it one bit.
"As popular as CoD is, there are a lot of people who don’t play multiplayer,” Vonderhaar said. “And quite frankly, this bugs the shit out of us. They should all play MP. And Combat Training helps us get there.”
Since this bugs them so, they are integrating Combat Training mode into players' progression in multiplayer. In the past, Combat Training had its own progression ranking system, so however high you were in Combat Training, you started at the beginning when you were released into the wild of multiplayer. Now your progression feeds into your multiplayer rankings, so once you're ready to remove the training wheels, so to speak, you won't go into a MP match with nothing to your name.
In addition, Combat Training includes matches that mixes teams of humans and bots, so players can be eased into the MP experience.
That's great that Treyarch wants to help new players ease into multiplayer, and the new Combat Training integration is a great idea for it. However, since it "bugs the shit out of" them so much that some people would dare to only play a portion of a game that they paid for, maybe they should just eliminate the campaign entirely. Keep the Combat Training mode as a tutorial and transition, but get rid of the campaign, which apparently only existed as the multiplayer's tutorial anyway.