Two Multiplayer Beta weekends for Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 are in the bag. Now, Treyarch is taking what it learned and moving forward with plans to reshape the experience based on player feedback and the game’s overall performance. In a Reddit posting, the development team offered some insight into the tweaks that lie ahead for the Black Ops 4 structure. Without inundating us with all the technical details, Treyarch focused on what was most pressing and most talked about.
Fog of War – Minimap
For those who found their way into the beta, players should have noticed a change or enhancement to the minimap. The dev team has dubbed this enhancement as “Fog of War.” Essentially, players can see a small circular field around their icon on the minimap. Enemies that come within that radius will appear as red dots. Everything outside of that small radius is blacked out with the exception of teammates and their small range of visibility, as well. Furthermore, if an enemy fires a non-silenced weapon, they will appear as a red dot on the map as well as the area around them for a short amount of time.
This has caused some debate among players. At times, seeing a red dot appear right behind me within my small radius gave me a precious fraction of a second to turn around and react or retreat to the side behind cover. Additionally, I could see hotspots on the map where my teammates are combating multiple enemies. Treyarch acknowledged these very benefits of the system in their posting.
The dev team decided that it was “too powerful as default functionality.” Therefore, Fog of War (as previously detailed) will no longer be the default. Instead, players will only see cones that signify the field of view. Of course, walls and buildings will block the field of view. The full spectrum of Fog of War will be available as a Team Link perk. The post states, “this way players who want that power will need to spend a point in Create-a-Class to get it and compete with their choices for other powerful items.” Additionally, enemy red dots will fade faster allowing for an easier shot at retreat from an engagement.
Treyarch tracked the performance of spawning locations. Specifically, it was “bad spawns” that they wanted to take note of. A bad spawn is a result of giving or receiving damage within three seconds of spawning. While the studio noted it’s impossible to eliminate every instance of this, they can tune the process to make it more efficient. The game modes that were the worst offenders were round-based modes. The dev team noted they are working diligently to smooth this process over prior to launch day.
Additionally, Tac-Deploys, or perks employed to strategically insert spawn points for teammates at designated points on the map, was deemed to be too strong. The perk’s duration is being shortened and the “cooldown time” is being lengthened. The team states that this will provide “short bursts of strategic positioning shifts” instead of overwhelming shifts. Also, the spawn radius for Tac-Deploys will be increased enabling players to spread out.
Body Armor & Gear
This is the bread and butter of player loadouts. Body armor and gear provide the advantages a player desires in the midst of combat. Therefore, it’s important to get these things right and ensure they’re fair and balanced. In doing just that, Treyarch noted that “explosives should shred armor,” but that hasn’t been the case. A fix is coming. Furthermore, damage can now be taken with armor on but will lessen the impact instead of completely protecting a player from it. Something I’m completely onboard with is that players will earn an additional 25 XP for killing an armored player.
Treyarch noted that the free cursor UI will now also support d-pad movement and loadouts will be appearing in killcams. Now players can see just what the MVPs of those killcams were packing. As Black Ops 4 has shifted away from single-player campaigns, the studio stated that its objective for multiplayer was clear. The studio’s prime objectives are to “add depth to gameplay for an experience that will be more rewarding the longer you play.” Treyarch attributes the extended variation in customization options and item selection as well as more flexible movements to meeting this goal. I look forward to seeing the final product. Also, be sure to check back in with us as we tackle the Blackout (Battle Royale) beta for Black Ops 4 in September.