Call of Duty: Black Ops 4‘s latest update nerfs its new Specialist, and undercuts the significance of Blackout character missions.
Specialist Zero was added to the PS4 last week, and Xbox One and PC this week, as part of the game’s Absolute Zero update. In her first week on PS4, the operator was excessively powerful, with a special weapon that allowed her to take control of enemy scorestreaks and other gadgets, while also scrambling their HUD and stunting their heal. She was considered so overpowered professional players agreed to stop using her in matches.
In response to this clear imbalance, developer Treyarch nerfed the Specialist. As detailed in the update’s patch notes on Reddit, the time it takes Zero’s Ice Pick ability to hack scorestreaks and gadgets has been increased in varying degrees. It also takes longer for her to earn the ability, and it no longer prevents enemies’ healing cooldown.
On the Blackout side of the game, players that jumped into the battle royale mode since the update dropped may have noticed they randomly earned the trophy/achievement for having all multiplayer Blackout characters unlocked. This is because the update automatically unlocked all the Specialists in Blackout for all players.
This may be disheartening for those that put time and effort into the character missions to unlock those characters. The game instead rewards the new “Numbers” skin for the Specialists that have their character missions completed, but this reward is both less satisfying and detrimental to competitive play. The problem with this compensation is that the new skin is glowing and animated, the exact opposite of what you want when sneaking through the bushes of Blackout.
In addition to these changes and making Absolute Zero live across all platforms, the December 18th update also introduced custom games to Blackout, along with a number of improvements across all three modes.