Black Ops Cold War dev explains how they decide weapon buffs & nerfs - Dexerto
Call of Duty

Black Ops Cold War dev explains how they decide weapon buffs & nerfs

Published: 22/Nov/2020 14:09

by Joe Craven


Tony Flame, Lead Game Designer at Treyarch, has revealed the process that goes into balancing weapons in Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, revealing how TTK is the key indicator of a weapon needing a buff or nerf. 

Despite Black Ops Cold War being less than a fortnight old, Treyarch have already been hard at work balancing the weapons, scorestreaks and more.

First to be nerfed was the MP5 SMG, which established itself as an early favorite among competitive and casual players. Then came the November 20 update which gave significant nerfs to the FFAR 1, AUG and M16, as well as adjusting many of the game’s scorestreaks.

MP5 in Black Ops Cold War Gunsmith
The MP5 was the first weapon in BOCW to receive a nerf.

While Treyarch have hinted that the M82 sniper rifle will be next to receive a significant buff, November 21 saw Lead Game Designer Tony Flame explain just how they identify the weapons that require specific adjustment.

“A little insight into the core of “Buff” or “Nerf” decisions,” he said. “Time-To-Kill (TTK) is king, it’s paramount to preserve the best TTK experience across weapons over time. When a weapon far exceeds that baseline, we must nerf it to respect the TTK, and likewise buff to get it there.”

In short, the majority of Treyarch’s weapon balancing is based on how fast a weapon can eliminate someone in core game modes.

Of course there is more to balancing weapons than TTK, but Flame’s explanation clearly shows how that is the most important factor when deciding whether to strengthen or weaken a weapon.

The next course of action for Treyarch is deciding how to buff or nerf a weapon. For example, should the handling or reload be adjusted or should its damage profile be targeted?

It goes to show just how difficult effective weapon balancing is, and how much data analysis and thought goes into it on Treyarch’s behalf. Hopefully it pays off over the remainder of Black Ops Cold War’s life cycle.

Call of Duty

Iconic Call of Duty Raid map spotted in Black Ops Cold War files

Published: 2/Dec/2020 2:24

by Brad Norton


Eight years after its introduction in the Call of Duty franchise, Black Ops 2’s Raid could finally be returning in a mainline entry as files for the iconic map have been uncovered in Black Ops Cold War.

Treyarch’s fan-favorite Black Ops 2 released in 2012. Since then, we’ve seen eight new titles come and go. In that gap, Raid has only made one other appearance in a global title, that title being Call of Duty Mobile.

While other maps have been rereleased countless times, including seven remakes of Nuketown alone, Raid has been left in the past. However, that’s about to change according to the latest leaks.

After an extended period in the shadows, Raid could finally be thrown back into the spotlight soon. Dataminers have uncovered a line of code relating to the map in Black Ops Cold War, suggesting that we’ll see it return in Season 1.

As a huge influx of Season 1 content slipped through the cracks on December 1, one key line stood out from the pack. ‘S1_map_raid_tu_cairo’ was plucked directly from the latest version of Black Ops Cold War.

Obviously, this doesn’t outright confirm Raid is a guarantee for the next Season. This is the first official reference to the map in quite some time, though, so it’s safe to assume Treyarch has been working to bring it back to life.

Black Ops 2 Raid gameplay
Raid might finally be back in a mainline CoD title for the first time since 2012.

The original map quickly became a favorite for its unique design. There were distinct sections that paved the way for vast combat opportunities. Both close-range and long-range loadouts could feel right at home on Raid. On one side you had a wide-open area with a high ground advantage for one team next to a  

On the other, you had a circular area perfect for flanking opportunities. Meanwhile, in the middle lane, you’d often catch snipers peeking across from either side in a near-symmetrical layout.

One of the more interesting tidbits from this datamine is the final word. Cairo is the capital of Egypt. The original version of Raid was set in Los Angeles. So when we see this new version, it could have a fresh coat of paint to fit the locale. 

Black Ops 2 Raid gameplay
Expect to see snipers hanging out across the basketball courts if Raid drops with Season One in Cold War.

It was an extremely popular competitive map throughout the year of its initial release. Given it worked quite well with essentially all objective-based game modes. From Hardpoint to Search and Destroy, Raid was often a favored pick.

Season One of Black Ops Cold War kicks off on December 10. There’s no confirmation we’ll see Raid in-game from this point on, so do take this leak with a grain of salt until then.