Returning Call of Duty players will notice a plethora of changes to the series’ core weapon design in the upcoming Black Ops 4 multiplayer beta, and developer Treyarch Studios recently took time to break down some of the more significant shifts.
In an interview with VG 24/7, game designer Tony Flame elaborated on some of the sequel’s drastic weapon changes, many of which came about due to the implementation of the game’s new Blackout battle royale mode. After touching on the game’s previously revealed predictive recoil system, Flame covered how the new game tackles bullet physics. Shooters use either hitscan or ballistic physics, the difference being whether the bullet instantly hits its target, or requires a short time to travel. Flame explained that Black Ops 4‘s standard multiplayer will use a combination of both.
“With multiplayer, we’re experimenting with that in the beta—we’ve got kind of a mixed system there, what works best for what gun—so we’re going to see how that works,” Flame said. “It really gives us an opportunity to balance some guns that we traditionally had trouble balancing in Call of Duty.”
“For example,” Flame continued, “submachine guns have always been tough to get right because good players can do really well with them, even at a distance—so we’re utilizing ballistics in the beta to counteract that and keep SMGs within their role in that close-to-mid-range engagement. At the longer range, ballistics kicks in and they’re a little harder to use. We’re really excited to see how that affects the meta and makes all of the guns feel good in their role.”
Black Ops 4‘s Blackout mode will be quite a different experience from the conventional multiplayer, and while some systems will cross over, other adjustments are unique to each mode. Specifically, Blackout uses a full ballistics model.
“[Blackout] is in the same game so there’s going to be systems that cross over,” Flame said. “Not every system is going to be exactly the same, but the flavor is definitely there. I was thinking of Blackout when [we were talking about] sniping because, as great as sniping is going to be in multiplayer, it’s going to be a whole other beast in Blackout.”
Another notable weapon change veteran players should expect is found in the shotguns. Flame explained the complications of balancing these polarizing firearms in the same interview.
“We talk about shotguns all the time,” Flame said. “They’re the hardest guns to balance. According to players, they’re either underpowered or overpowered, even when they’re actually both at the same time. For example, when we see the shotgun gets just near the level of effectiveness of an assault rifle, from the players’ experience they feel too powerful.
“So we have to get that balance just right. It’s always a tricky one. We wanted to make sure they weren’t overly frustrating—that’s the number one [priority]—but also make them satisfying.”
The biggest change coming to the gun type is that it has been moved to the secondary slot, similar to how it was in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. This means shotguns will be balanced against pistols, as opposed to assault rifles, which forced the developer to alter their one-shot kill potential.
“We’ve gotta balance them in line with a secondary,” Flame explained. “They’ll be balanced against pistols, each in their own role. Shotguns have their own unique playstyle where you get a consistent number of hits to kill. It’s not going to be as much about getting the one hit kill with the shotgun. It’s more about getting the first hit, taking cover, rechambering the shotgun, then popping out for the second hit.”
All is not lost for the shotgun mains out there, however. The game’s weapon customization will allow players to invest deeply in shotguns to bring their stats up to par with primary weapons, at a cost.
“Then you can actually extend your one hit kill range quite a bit, but you’re investing heavily in your gun from the attachment side,” Flame elaborated. “That’s an example of the attachment strategy we’ve got for each weapon.”
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 is slated to launch October 12th on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. On the topic of the upcoming beta, its recent trailer might have confirmed that zombies will make their way from the game’s cooperative survival mode to its Blackout battle royale mode.
Source: VG 24/7