With the beta for Call of Duty's new Blackout battle royale mode now over, developers Treyarch have released a full recap of the major aspects of the game they will be looking into.
Included in the list are several important in-game items and mechanics that Treyarch will be looking to improve, including Armor, audio adjustments, inventory and item management, and Xbox One performance.
Throughout the week-long beta period, these topics were the ones most often mentioned and discussed in the feedback received from players, and thus the developers have prioritized them for adjusting.
Armor’s role in Blackout is inherently unique compared to its role in MP. You only live once in Blackout, and you’re rewarded for scavenging in areas that often put you in perilous positions, especially as the Collapse gets smaller in the late game. For this and other reasons, we’ve been cautious about making sweeping changes to the way Armor works, though we’ve made some tweaks during the Beta and continue to evaluate how Armor will work at launch.
Every Item in the game, from Armor to Weapons to Perks, is constantly re-evaluated to ensure they fit in the correct place in the game’s meta. You can expect Armor to be tuned multiple times as the game, and the gameplay content, evolves over time.
Some changes to Armor since the start of the Beta include:
- Spawn frequency of Level 3 Armor has been reduced by 75% compared to its initial spawn rate in the Beta.
- Level 3 Armor will now most frequently be found in Stashes and Supply Drops, though it may occasionally spawn in the world.
- Level 3 Armor now breaks sooner and passes more damage to the player wearing it, and still offers headshot and other types of damage mitigation. We’ve heard your concerns that Level 3 Armor was still perhaps too powerful by the end of the Beta, and will be evaluating the data to see what other tweaks may be required.
- Level 2 Armor was also minorly adjusted during the Beta and will potentially be tweaked further in time for launch.
- Players will see an indicator of the condition of their own Armor, and those of their teammates, in the HUD. This provides a more granular indicator of the damage that your Armor has taken beyond the Armor icon and will let you know if it’s time to seek out a replacement.
We saw several reports of footsteps sounding louder or quieter than expected, and not always being able to tell the direction enemies were coming from. Others reported an uneven balance of footstep volume between teammates and enemies. We’re on it. Improvements to how audio will work at launch include:
- Sounds will be properly impacted by walls, floors, ceilings, and other objects in the world. This means enemies directly above or below the player should no longer sound louder than expected.
- The volume of the cargo plane, punching, game countdown timers, and everything else you’ve brought to our attention (and many things you have not) will be reviewed in-depth as part of that process. The game has not yet had its final audio mix.
- Teammates’ footsteps will be quieter compared to enemy footsteps.
- The Awareness Perk will further reduce the loudness of the footsteps of your teammates.
- All audio presets will be available at launch in the Options menu. Audio presets can make a big difference, and we offer many choices for those who play with headphones or surround sound.
Inventory & Item Management
On the first day of the Beta, the community almost unanimously asked for faster Item pickups. As a result, we made pickup speed as fast as possible while still protecting players from accidentally picking up an Item when attempting to reload.
Console players have asked for an option in Settings to allow them to tap a button to instantly pick up an Item. We like this idea a lot, and want to be sure we get it right and test it thoroughly.
The Quick Equip menu can be fantastic for making Inventory adjustments quickly, but could also get in the way of picking up Items, opening doors, or entering vehicles. We adjusted the Quick Equip menu so it automatically closes after a few seconds with no interactions. We are also looking into the feasibility of closing the Quick Equip menu if the player performs other actions such as firing a weapon, changing stance, starting a Sprint, etc.
We’ve already improved the proximity and height at which you can interact with Items on the ground so you don’t have to look down at that Item so precisely. It’s being tested now and is very likely to be in when the game comes out.
Last but not least, we are creating designs for other “quality of life” improvements to these very important game systems including, but not limited to:
- Evaluating options to improve the Stash interface when looting enemies and containers on console.
- Adding a new method to allow you to quickly remove all Attachments from a weapon.
- Incorporating a way to swap Attachments between Weapons, if both Weapons support the same attachment.
Xbox One Performance
We saw some reports of screen tearing and choppiness when playing in Quads on Xbox One, and we’re investigating. There are two specific issues that we have pinpointed on Xbox One that will be fixed for launch:
- Fix for issue where pressing the Xbox button would sometimes cause the player to lose controller input and have to restart.
- Inviting friends to your party will work as expected (not only through the in-game Social menu).
With Blackout set to be released as part of CoD: Black Ops 4 on October 12, Treyarch have a little over three weeks to adjust things and do all that they can to ensure that the gaming experience is balanced, fresh, and fun.
That being said, no one expects the first day release of Blackout to be perfect; the developers themselves have admitted they will be constantly monitoring game-play data after release and add, adjust, change, and even remove things they see necessary.
Players can also expect there to be a more content in the full release than in the beta, some of which may be revealed in the time leading up to launch.
All in all, Treyarch have demonstrated that they are dedicated to working with community to make sure that most changes to Blackout are driven and inspired by their feedback.
Source - Reddit