6 changes for Call of Duty: Black Ops 6 that I hope Treyarch Games implements as we wait for the upcoming NEXT showcase

Call of Duty: Black Ops 6 Keyart, no text. A soldier sits in shadow with orange and black accents.
Black Ops 6 key art keeps the orange and black accents. (Image credit: Activision)

Call of Duty: Black Ops 6 is official, and the newest premium entry to the long-running franchise is the first from the lead development team, Treyarch Studios, in 4 long years. Treyarch partnered with the narrative team from Raven Software to create the spy action thriller campaign for this year's blockbuster, with nearly a dozen other studios from the Activision Blizzard King banner providing developmental support for launch and post-launch content. 

While we finally got our first official glimpse of Call of Duty: Black Ops 6 during the 2024 Xbox Summer Showcase, there are still plenty of leaks and rumors floating around about what we might see when Black Ops 6 launches to Xbox Game Pass on October 25. I'm not interested in the leaks and rumors, though. I have a very specific wish list. 

You see, I play Call of Duty a lot. Thousands-of-hours-a-lot. This means I have plenty of thoughts on what I want to see changed as Sledgehammer Games passes the torch to Treyarch. Before the release of 2023's Modern Warfare 3, I made a list of 7 things I hoped Sledgehammer Games would change about Call of Duty while they were holding the baton. Some of those things did improve, but not all of them. Despite what we do know about Black Ops 6, there's more that we don't, and I have a list of things I'll be looking for when we get to the proper multiplayer reveal in August.

Adler rides a dirt bike over a squad car as police take aim in Black Ops 6. (Image credit: Activision)

Bunny hopping

Sigh. Yes, this one is still on my list. Bunny hopping is the act of jumping or hopping around a corner to throw off the aim assist for controller users, leading opposing players to be less accurate with their shots. The justification of some bunny hoppers for their ridiculous use of this maneuver amounts to little more than exploiting the camera system in the game. I had previously hoped to see Sledgehammer put a stop to bunny hopping as they had done in the past by adding a pause penalty that prevents players from being able to aim or sprint immediately after jumping.

They didn't, though.

Instead, Sledgehammer Games added a perk that improved player aim while in a jump. Treyarch has got all in on developing a brand-new directional movement system, dubbed Omnimovement, which could stand to dramatically change the way players approach the Black Ops 6 battlefield. Omnimovement allows players to move, slide, and dive in any direction. In theory, this new movement system could serve as a useful counter to players who try to slide their way through openings or bunny hop around corners. The defending players can more easily add distance between themselves and the attacker by diving back or to the side, something that hasn't been previously viable in COD until Black Ops 6.

Carry Forward

Frank Woods Operator Bundle for Call of Duty: Black Ops 6, Warzone, and Modern Warfare 3. (Image credit: Activision)

When Carry Forward was initially announced for Modern Warfare 3, I fussed about the absence of the "mil-sim" era, where players in multiplayer wouldn't have a smorgasbord of colorful and unusual characters leaping around corners at them. There was no point in Modern Warfare 3's life where it looked or felt exclusively like a military shooter, as there were plenty of operator bundles that were brought into the game via the Carry Forward initiative. While I was iffy about it on its first pass, I have found that the limited options of interesting female character bundles have made me grateful to just keep passing my beloved Raven Witch from game to game. 

Despite being a full standalone game, Call of Duty: Black Ops 6 has been listed as DLC for the Call of Duty launcher on Steam. Much like Modern Warfare 3, the new title will utilize the shared Call of Duty engine for the sake of streamlining the franchise. However, Treyarch Studios has confirmed that Carry Forward will not be available to players in Black Ops 6. This is because, at least at launch, the team would like players to have some time where the characters they're playing with in multiplayer are the ones we are attached to from the campaign. 

There is one exception. Players can unlock a Frank Woods Operator Bundle in Call of Duty: Warzone and Modern Warfare 3 as a preorder bonus for Black Ops 6. This operator skin is now available to use in those respective games, and it will also 'Carry Forward' to Black Ops 6 at launch. While I welcome a reprieve of at least a few weeks from some of the more ridiculous operator bundles that have recently plagued Call of Duty, I will miss the beloved raven-themed Witch skin I've been using for the last few years. 

A toggle switch for weed-themed DLC

Cheech and Chong joined Call of Duty as operator bundles. (Image credit: Activision)

Listen, we're all adults when it comes to the Call of Duty community. Or, we're supposed to all be adults, anyway. Adulthood comes with an understanding that some people enjoy imbibing in the devil's lettuce. By all means, have fun. Call of Duty has always had a bit of history with weed-themed DLC content, including the addition of Snoop Dogg operator bundles and even going back to the original Blunt Ops calling cards. The influx of pot-friendly content has exploded in recent years, however. Stoned sloths, additional Snoop Dogg bundles, and the addition of Cheech and Chong as operator bundles equipped with a death animation that turns the player's corpse into a massive blunt. 

I'm about as pro-weed as one can be, but that doesn't mean I want to be inundated with it while playing Call of Duty. A toggle to replace marijuana-themed content with generic mil-sims or to disable those animations on my end would be great. I'm not asking anybody who likes that content to give it up; I just want to be able to nix it on my side. 

As I previously mentioned, Carry Forward isn't going to be a part of Black Ops 6 at launch, so at least for a little while, there won't be as many pot-laced bundles floating around. Their return to the multiplayer storefront is inevitable, however. Just let us turn them off.

Bring back blackhats

We're going back to Black Ops, so it's time for me to stand up and formally request the return of the Blackhat. The Blackhat was a tactical equipment item that could be used in Black Ops 2 to capture care packages, hack enemy equipment, and even steal kill streaks by hacking them to work for your team. The blackhats disappeared after Black Ops 2, but we desperately need these useful handheld units back. While it was originally a replacement for tactical equipment, I'd be happy even if it returned as a field upgrade.

Modern Warfare 3 introduced a mechanic similar to the ACS field upgrade, which can be used to hack enemy equipment or capture hardpoints and flags in Domination. The ACS can not be used to hack helicopters, sentry guns, or most killstreaks, unfortunately. The Blackhat did have an extra benefit over the ACS, along with the fact that it could hack kill streaks. Blackhats could help secure care packages that had dropped outside the borders of a map. Enemy care package stuck on a roof? A blackhat can capture that even if the team that originally called it in can't reach it, possibly turning the tide for your team. The Blackhat has historically been one of the more unique methods of Call of Duty for shaking up gameplay, and its continued absence is unacceptable as far as I'm concerned.

Less blueprints with lasers

Trey Marshall is a new character introduced in Call of Duty: Black Ops 6. (Image credit: Activision)

Modern Warfare 3 loved its lasers. A large portion of the weapon blueprints that could be unlocked through challenges or events or purchased in the Call of Duty store were created with a laser attachment. Lasers serve a purpose in Call of Duty, typically for increasing hip-fire accuracy. However, they’re highly visible, sometimes even across the entire map. The addition of a laser on a blueprint dissuades me from purchasing the blueprint every time, no matter how much I love the other items included. If you prefer to play so that you’re often attacking from behind or flanking around enemies carefully, you don’t want a neon green or red laser giving away your position. 

It is possible to remove lasers from a weapon, even a paid blueprint, and replace it with another item from your armory. However, the replacement item you added is unlikely to have a variant with the same blueprint skin you had purchased. So the lovely weapon camo you just paid cash for is going to have large stock parts jutting out of it with no relevance. Nobody likes that. Ditch the lasers, please.

Danger Close

I can already hear the complaints about this particular request. With the launch of Season 4 for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Sledgehammer Games opted to reduce the damage of the RGL (grenade launcher secondary) by 80% in hardcore modes. The RGL was a popular go-to for small map mayhem, allowing players to launch grenades at enemy spawn points to rack up massive kill chains. There were plenty of ways to counter the onslaught, like trophy systems and blast-resistant perks. Still, Sledgehammer Games must have heard enough complaints about the “noob tubes” to see fit to nerf it so dramatically. It should not take three grenades to eliminate an enemy in hardcore, especially when there are so many other techniques to balance out the explosives.

Treyarch has historically not been particularly supportive of explosive loadouts and gameplay, preferring players to utilize bullets over grenades. It would still be nice to see them balance back out explosives so that they’re viable on the battlefield, or — dare I say it? Imagine if they brought back Danger Close to make explosives even more lethal. It’s unlikely, but hey! This is my daydream, and I’m shooting for the stars with a war machine. What can I say?

Final thoughts

Call of Duty: Black Ops 6's not-so-subtle messaging is all over its teasers. (Image credit: Activision Publishing)

Call of Duty: Black Ops 6 has the potential to be a major step into the future of the franchise. There are so many firsts wrapped up in this game. The first release to have a 4-year development cycle. A major partnership between Treyarch and Raven Software as co-leads on the campaign could hopefully open the door to seeing the team at Raven Software getting the chance to headline their own entry into the series at some point. The first Call of Duty that is not shackled to a PlayStation marketing agreement. 

We don't even have a clue what Treyarch and Raven Software have up their sleeves to be unveiled during the multiplayer reveal during the Call of Duty NEXT showcase in August. The potential for Black Ops 6 to revitalize the franchise is palpable. I, for one, am very hype about the future of Call of Duty, but I'll be even more happy if it includes blackhats.

Cole Martin

Cole is the resident Call of Duty know-it-all and indie game enthusiast for Windows Central. She's a lifelong artist with two decades of experience in digital painting, and she will happily talk your ear off about budget pen displays.