Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Beta’s Armor, Balance, and Framerate Issues Addressed by Treyarch

This past weekend, PS4 players got a first taste of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 multiplayer via the game’s private beta, and the reaction seems to have been somewhat mixed. Some weren’t thrilled with Black Ops 4’s new Overwatch-flavored take on multiplayer, but looking beyond those subjective criticisms, the game also had problems with performance, weapons tuning, and its new armor system.

Of course, a beta is all about smoothing out kinks, and in a post on Reddit, Treyrach promised to focus on the following issues:

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Framerate: Overall, the general framerate in the game has been solid for the majority of players. However, we have identified specific cases where a player will experience a bug that causes the game to get into a bad state where framerate is severely impacted. We’re working with our QA and Player Support teams to zero in on steps to reproduce this issue so that we can engineer a fix. Additionally, there are some known performance shortfalls in Gridlock that we’re working to improve for our next big update.

Load Times: We’ve also identified a bug that’s causing maps to load too slowly for some players in a lobby relative to others in the same lobby (which results in those players missing out on the pre-match specialist selection stage). Again, we’re working with QA and Player Support to identify a repro case so that we can implement a fix.

Weapons Tuning: For anyone getting rekt by SMGs right now(!), rest assured that we’re looking at the performance stats of all weapons in the game with the flood of new data that we now have from the Beta, and we will be tuning gameplay content throughout the Beta period and beyond based on performance metrics. Look out for an update Saturday morning (PST).

Special Issue Equipment/Weaponry: Some players have shared feedback about Specialist weapons or equipment that feel OP. We’re actively looking through the data to make sure that we strike the right balance between fun and pacing. As with weapons tuning, balancing this will be actively updated during the Beta.

Bunny Hopping: We see you out there…clearly, your jump game is on point! Jumping in combat is a perfectly valid technique, but we may have let a few tweaks slip by that makes it a little… too valid. This one is high on our list of tuning tasks to address this week. (We also see you in your slide game, don’t think anything slides by us… see what I did there?)

Spawns: We’re looking at the data on spawns and are tuning this actively alongside other gameplay systems. Spawn systems are always in constant need of fine-tuning throughout the life of a game, because there are always new and evolving player behaviors and trends that impact it. We have designers dedicated to watching the spawn system and constantly working to improve it for a better overall player experience.

Free Cursor UI: Yes, this is a big change – which is why we knew it would be controversial. There are benefits to free cursor that make it faster to navigate once you get the feel for it and once we’ve tuned it effectively (which like all things is ongoing through Beta and beyond) – for example, you can travel from a selection in one corner of a grid to a selection in the opposite corner of the grid several times faster than you can with standard d-pad navigation. That said, we understand how off-putting a change like this can be for many players, so we’re investigating alternative approaches that bring more familiarity into the system while still maintaining the option of free cursor for those who want it.

Armor: We hear what you’re saying about Armor. We want to proceed thoughtfully and carefully here. We’re less than 24 hours into the Beta at this point, and not all content has been earned or had enough time to settle into the meta of the game. We know that the Gear category is new and has a lot of content that sits above the normal power band of Perks. Because of that, it’s really important that we see the full range of Create-a-Class content in play with a lot of data about player performance with this content before we rush into any changes with it. From our stats so far, other pieces of Gear are showing up as more effective than Armor. That said, we know that it can feel frustrating to fight against, and that feel is where we want to start. But let’s give this one a few more days to breathe.

Treyarch already made some changes over the course of the weekend. Weapons have been rebalanced, with SMGs having their range reduced, while other weapons like the Auger DMR, Titan, MOG 12, and GKS have been buffed. Some special equipment, including the Barricade, Ballistic Shield, 9-Bang, and Combat Axe have also been improved.

Looking ahead, Treyarch is promising further additions and improvements for the next round of Black Ops 4 beta testing, including Scorestreak buffs, more weapon tuning, performance optimizations, and changes to movement that should reduce the amount of bunny hopping and sliding. It also sounds like a fairly major rethink of the armor system may be in the works.

The next round of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 beta testing kicks off next weekend, and this time PC and Xbox One players are invited. Here’s the remaining schedule:

  • PlayStation 4 and Xbox One (Starts: August 10 at 10am/PT – Ends: August 13 at 10am/PT)
  • PC Beta Early Access (Starts: August 10 at 10am/PT) *PC exclusively on Battle.Net
  • PC Open Beta (Starts: August 11 at 10am/PT – Ends: August 13 at 10am/PT)

Following this round of testing, the Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Blackout beta arrives sometime in September. Like the multiplayer beta, it will be available on PS4 first.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 hits PC, Xbox One, and PS4 on October 12.

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