Black Ops Cold War dev explains how Call of Duty’s SBMM is “tunable” - Dexerto
Call of Duty

Black Ops Cold War dev explains how Call of Duty’s SBMM is “tunable”

Published: 20/Sep/2020 10:26 Updated: 20/Sep/2020 13:35

by Andy Williams


A Treyarch developer has explained that every Call of Duty game has “tunable” SBMM of some degree amid controversy surrounding Black Ops Cold War’s matchmaking during the Alpha weekend.

Treyarch’s highly anticipated Black Ops Cold War has Call of Duty fans itching to get their hands on the latest iteration to come from the studio. The Cold War multiplayer reveal left fans eager to hop into the server — a wish that was granted for PlayStation players, who have enjoyed early access throughout the Alpha weekend.


But there has been one topic that has stirred the pot and has been the prevalent discussion point throughout the Alpha — skill-based matchmaking (SBMM). Essentially, the inclusion of SBMM ensures that players of equal skill are pitted against each other, to avoid landslide victories.

While this appears logical on the surface, many argue that SBMM should only be present in a dedicated Ranked playlist to ensure casual matchmaking remains, well, casual. Naturally, this has sparked debate, with several Call of Duty pros weighing in with their opinion against the inclusion of SBMM.

BOCW sand dunes.
Black Ops Cold War became available on Sept 18, with SBMM being the focal point of discussion.

Treyarch dev breaks the ice

Treyarch dev, Martin Donlon, says that he was the developer responsible for writing Black Ops 2’s SBMM implementation. With that in mind, he responded to a fan’s Tweet, which explained that: “If you make the game good in the first place, it doesn’t need SBMM.”

The fan also claimed that some of the most memorable Call of Duty titles of all-time didn’t include SBMM, which Donlon immediately stated otherwise.

After detailing that every Call of Duty has a degree of SBMM embedded, Donlon then explained how SBMM is one of a plethora of “tunable” parameters that creates a functioning matchmaking system.


“Perfectly valid viewpoint to have. SBMM is one of many many tunable parameters in a matchmaking system. It’s funny watching people talk about it like it’s a big switch that can only be turned on or off,” he tweeted.

While this Tweet doesn’t indicate whether Treyarch are investigating to make changes to SBMM, it does highlight that the developers are aware of the backlash and have the power to dial it back if necessary.

While having the option to go head-to-head with an opposite number who is equally as skilled, some prefer the appeal of being able to load into a server and play on a much more casual basis. Only time will tell whether Treyarch decides to dial SBMM back before the Beta becomes available in October.

Call of Duty

Weird Warzone glitch forces players into hearing never-ending rock music

Published: 13/Oct/2020 12:35

by James Busby


Warzone players have been rocking out to the game’s new vehicle music as they drive through the frozen fields of Verdansk. However, for some, these catchy tunes never end.

There’s no denying that Warzone Season 6 has had its fair share of problems. Aside from the train station teething problems and return of the ‘demon gun’ texture glitch, there have been some new additions to the seemingly ever-growing bugfix list.


So far, Activision has had to fix an overpowered bug that allowed the AS VAL to shoot through unlimited walls, a game-breaking unlimited Stim glitch, and now Modern Warfare fans are reporting a rock and roll related problem. 

While Warzone’s new music tracks certainly liven up your drive time commutes across Verdansk, they can also pose a risk to your game-winning plays. This is particularly true when the music in question doesn’t actually stop. The continuous blare of heavy rock certainly gets us pumped in games like DOOM, but it really doesn’t help in FPS titles like Warzone where you need to hear enemy footsteps. 


What is the Warzone music glitch? 

The addition of playable vehicle music certainly isn’t a new feature in Warzone – in fact, players have been able to equip certain CoD related tracks since Season 5. However, music fans can now listen to their favorite tracks from the likes of DMX, Skrillex, Jack Harlow, and iconic themes from across the Call of Duty series. 

Unfortunately, these tunes have caused a rather interesting and mildly infuriating glitch. The bug seems to happen when you or any of your squadmates have any of the game’s War Tracks equipped and enter a vehicle. While this bug may not be that bad when listening to the game’s quieter tracks, things can get incredibly frustrating when the heavy metal Juggernaut theme plays on a loop.

You may be tempted to blow up your vehicle or drive it off the nearest cliff edge, but even this won’t stop the never-ending audio. Some players have reported that they still hear vehicle music, even when they have the audio option turned off in the game’s settings. “The rock music won’t stop, even after getting out of the vehicle. To top it off, my teammate and I had already turned the audio off before the game,” says one frustrated player


“After it just wouldn’t stop and we couldn’t hear A THING, we even destroyed the vehicle in hopes it would quiet down. Ultimately, we just disconnected when we couldn’t take it anymore.” Some Warzone players have even reported that they managed to get to the final ring with the same heavy rock track blaring down their earphones. 

How to fix the Warzone vehicle music glitch

Modern Warfare Juggernaut
Activision / Infinity Ward
It seems the Juggernaut War Track is the most common offender.

Fortunately, some crafty players have discovered that you can fix this pesky audio issue by selecting the Black Ops music pack from the War Tracks menu. Meanwhile, if you encounter the problem mid-game, simply enter another vehicle in the hopes that it fixes the never-ending audio loop. 

There have even been reports that constantly getting in and out of the offending vehicle will eventually fix the issue. Of course, your experience may vary and some of these fixes may not work. Warzone Season 6 certainly seems to be off to a rocky start and it looks like we’ll just have to wait until Activision officially fixes this audio issue in a future patch. 


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