Here’s what Treyarch is changing thanks to the Black Ops III beta
The point of a beta is for a developer to see what works and what doesn’t. A good beta can be the difference in a happy community at launch, and a disappearing one.
The recent Call of Duty: Black Ops III multiplayer beta was good for a few reasons. It let fans know the franchise was back on track after a pair of less successful iterations. It acted as a demo and an interactive advertisement – and a damn good one at that. And it showed just enough to give people a look at the game while keeping enough back to keep people excited.
Most importantly though, it let Treyarch know what worked and what didn’t.
The groundwork was strong, but there were some rough patches that could only present themselves through a full beta. Something might seem great when you have a handful of testers and developers playing the same levels over and over, but it isn’t until the community tries it that you really get to see what’s what.
Some of the stuff was obvious, some was down to algorithms and technical specs. We pointed out a few things we hoped they changed, and it appears Treyarch saw them too.
So with the beta in the books, here are the changes Treyarch announced that it is making as a direct result of the beta. There are probably more tweaks the developer is making – maybe not so much changes as just expected adjustments – but here are the big ones.
- Some players were dissatisfied that the Black Hat equipment was too powerful. We agree. Our new hacking mechanic scales the hacking speed based on how close you are to the target, and will require precise aim to hack Scorestreaks in a reasonable time. Time-to-hack has been adjusted upwards across the board to make it more challenging to hack, especially at the higher end of rewards. Hackers now also appear as a red dot on the minimap for the duration of the hack, which, along with VO notifications that a Scorestreak is being hacked, provides players the ability to counter by hunting down the attacker.
- Rejack sparked its fair share of controversy during the Beta for a number of reasons, most of which were valid. Included in that list: putting players into Rejack did not count as a kill, and players were using Rejack to stack Scorestreaks. Now, putting a player into Rejack counts as a kill. Players receive kill credit immediately in-game, on the scoreboard and leaderboard, and in persistent stats. Rejack now also resets all Scorestreak progress so that it cannot be used continuously throughout a match to pad progress towards high-level Scorestreaks.
- We’ve talked a lot about the flinch mechanics during the beta — that’s when getting hit causes your weapon to move out of position. Our improved networking code would sometimes cause bullet flinch to stack, so we put a cap on how much you can flinch while ADS. While you will still flinch when shot, it will be within tighter constraints to keep you closer to your aim.
- We improved the feedback that you have downed your target by including the red “kill marker.” This marker will subtly grow in size with each subsequent hit, turning red upon dealing lethal damage as added reinforcement to confirm the kill.
- During the beta, any downward or backward player movement could make the grenade toss distances feel awkwardly short. This has been adjusted so that player velocity never negatively impacts grenade trajectory. We also tweaked grenade speed and distances.
- Players felt Concussion and Flashbang grenade types were very powerful. While both grenade types need to be in order to stay viable as equipment choices, we reduced the Concussion grenade stun time by 1 second and are now unlocking the Tactical Mask perk (the counter for both Concussion and Flash Bangs) earlier in the progression system at level 13.
- By popular request, we’ve added a “Time in Hill” stat for the scoreboard and leaderboards in the Hardpoint game mode.
- Players did not feel sufficiently rewarded for escorting the robot in Safeguard. Players now receive +25 score for every 3 seconds that they escort the robot toward the enemy base.
- Players wanted additional details about how they were eliminated. The Kill Cam and Final Kill Cam now show what killed you (including weapons, Scorestreaks, Specialist weapons, equipment, etc.) and what perks the player has equipped.
- Additionally, various weapon-balancing changes were implemented, including to the Razorback and M8A7.
Even after the game is released there will probably be a few patches and the like. We’ll see what works and what doesn’t when Call of Duty: Black Ops III is released on PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One on November 6, 2015.