Call of Duty: Black Ops multiplayer will be different to Modern Warfare 2. How? There won't be any drop-shotting. Instead, you'll be diving to prone.

"Another [change] is this whole new core movement mechanic called diving to prone. It's something that we found was very interesting; it's used best for evasive defensive manoeuvres, but we needed to make sure we balanced that because we understand that drop-shotting is frustrating for some people," community manager Josh Olin told Inside Xbox.

"So we wanted to make sure that this thing wasn't going to be used aggressively to grief - to frustrate players. There is a sort of a recovery time after you land and you'll have to take a half-second to pull your gun back up, so it's actually a penalty if you try to use it as an offensive manoeuvre."

Treyarch implemented 'diving to prone' because the community asked for it. Other examples of requested features are icons that fade from the HUD to clear your view; shotgun returning to primary weapon status and grid coordinates on the overhead map: "It's going to be very easy for you to call out exactly where action is happening," declared Olin.

He said all of these are "little subtle things" that "fans are really going to like".

In Call of Duty: Black Ops, killstreaks don't count towards other killstreaks. Online director Dan Bunting said there were "a lot" of complains about "how the rich get richer and it becomes a griefing mechanic and it encourages people to camp".

"We wanted to clean that up a bit," Bunting said.

Black Ops killstreaks will be "interactive", not "fire and forget". So, if you order the attack chopper in you have to pick a spot on the map where it hovers rather than let it circle around the map. Or there's the mortar team that you can pick up to three locations on the map and get "a really fast targeted strike to those places".

Perks have changed too.

"The perk design philosophy is we want every perk to feel like it supports a specific gameplay style," Bunting explained. "We want to beef up this characterisation of if I select a perk this represents me and how I play the game.

"One of the big changes we're making in Black Ops multiplayer is that the Perk 1 slot determines what your character model is. For instance, Flak Jacket decreases explosive damage, so the character model is all beefed up - he's inspired by that bomb disposer guy with the padding and extra elbow-pads and knee-pads and helmet. So you can tell from a distance and at a glance that that guy has Flak Jacket as his Perk 1 slot selection, and if you throw a grenade he's probably not going to die from it."

Bunting said there is another perk called Hacker that let's you not only see enemy-deployed equipment but also to hack it and claim it for your team without the original owner knowing.

The Inside Xbox video coincides with a leak of what appear to be the 14 maps playable in Call of Duty: Black Ops multiplayer.

According to cod7blackops, these are the snowy Array (large), the Vietnam streets of Cracked (large), the Cuban base of Crisis (medium), the military facility of Firing Range (small), the Russian electrical plant of Grid (medium), the NVA prison camp of Hanoi (medium), the Cuban city of Havana (medium), the jungle of Jungle (large), the spaceship launch facility of Launch (large), the nuclear testing grounds of Nuketown (small), the nuclear plant of Radiation (medium), the snowy research facility of Summit (medium), the urban estate of Villa (medium) and the old Soviet base of WMD (medium).

Eurogamer went hands-on with the Call of Duty: Black Ops multiplayer at the start of September.

Call of Duty: Black Ops will be released on 9th November.

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Robert Purchese

Robert Purchese

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Bertie is senior staff writer and Eurogamer's Poland-and-dragons correspondent. He's part of the furniture here, a friendly chair, and reports on all kinds of things, the stranger the better.

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