The "Call of Duty" franchise as a whole works because players often feel a sense of reward for performing well in a multiplayer match. These "rewards" are called Kill Streaks, and include things like attack dogs, helicopters, an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that highlights enemies on the map and other assorted goodies. Treyarch, the developer of the "Black Ops" entries of the series (as well as previous entries when the franchise was WW2-based) has elected to shift the dynamic of Kill Streaks, renaming the system "Score Streaks."
The general concept of Score Streaks is to place an emphasis on player actions that affect the entire team, as well as through performing well on the battlefield by eliminating enemy soldiers. Performing actions that benefit your team like scoring assists, capturing flags, stopping bomb carriers, etc., are all surely going to be taken into consideration in landing Score Streaks.
David Vonderhaar, game design director, told Eurogamer "I think players are going to start caring about winning and losing again, and are going to go out of their way to work together. That to me is what I found now we're coming into the home stretch. All these places in the game where we subconsciously did that: the League Play feature does it. Multi-team does the same thing. I just think this can be a team game again."
The idea of teamwork has been lost for the "Call of Duty" franchise, while other team-centric games like the "Battlefield" series and "Left 4 Dead" series have scratched the itch of teamwork-centric play. Introducing a new score system this late in the series' life might be see some growing pains from those used to playing the game the old way. Vonderhaar said "It's pretty easy to take something for granted just in life, right? You have a car, you take it for granted. You take Kill Streaks for granted too as a designer. That's really the ultimate way to reward players. But in fact, there are probably a lot of different ways to reward players."
Score Streaks certainly aim to level the playing field with most gamers, as some might not excel at landing dozens of kills for the higher-tier Kill Streak rewards, Vonderhaar mentioned "Grabbing flags and capping them can give you score. And then you can get a guy who maybe can't necessarily go on a big kill streak invested in the system and give him some rewards. Why doesn't he deserve rewards? He probably deserves them more than some guy just standing off somewhere just generating kills, and that's all he's doing."
Vonderhaar added, "People are people and they enjoy the game the way they enjoy it. But if you like to participate in the reward system then you probably will participate because you're going to get more score. Even if you're a big KD guy, even if you can go on a big kill streak or get lots of kills without dying, even you are going to get lots more score when you're putting targets down because you're protecting the flag carrier or you are the flag carrier."
"Call of Duty: Black Ops 2" releases November 13, 2012 for all major game consoles and on PC.