We’ve said it before but it bears repeating: thank you to all the players in the PlayStation Nation who were the first to play our Call of Duty: Black Ops III Multiplayer Beta!
Preparing for the Beta required a lot of work — basically, it was a launch-before-the-launch — but we all knew that it would be worth it because of the amount of data it would generate and the invaluable input that would get from you, our fans.
With the Beta, we talked a lot about “providing feedback to help contribute to a better Day One experience.” Today, we’re here to provide a recap of the most common pieces of gameplay feedback we received, and fill you in on some of the design changes we’ve made to address that feedback.
Here is a sampling of the gameplay changes and improvements that you can expect when Black Ops III launches on November 6th.
- Some players were dissatisfied that the Black Hat equipment was too powerful. We agree. Our new hacking mechanic scales the hacking speed based on how close you are to the target, and will require precise aim to hack Scorestreaks in a reasonable time. Time-to-hack has been adjusted upwards across the board to make it more challenging to hack, especially at the higher end of rewards. Hackers now also appear as a red dot on the minimap for the duration of the hack, which, along with VO notifications that a Scorestreak is being hacked, provides players the ability to counter by hunting down the attacker.
- Rejack sparked its fair share of controversy during the Beta for a number of reasons, most of which were valid. Included in that list: putting players into Rejack did not count as a kill, and players were using Rejack to stack Scorestreaks. Now, putting a player into Rejack counts as a kill. Players receive kill credit immediately in-game, on the scoreboard and leaderboard, and in persistent stats. Rejack now also resets all Scorestreak progress so that it cannot be used continuously throughout a match to pad progress towards high-level Scorestreaks.
- We’ve talked a lot about the flinch mechanics during the beta — that’s when getting hit causes your weapon to move out of position. Our improved networking code would sometimes cause bullet flinch to stack, so we put a cap on how much you can flinch while ADS. While you will still flinch when shot, it will be within tighter constraints to keep you closer to your aim.
- We improved the feedback that you have downed your target by including the red “kill marker.” This marker will subtly grow in size with each subsequent hit, turning red upon dealing lethal damage as added reinforcement to confirm the kill.
- During the beta, any downward or backward player movement could make the grenade toss distances feel awkwardly short. This has been adjusted so that player velocity never negatively impacts grenade trajectory. We also tweaked grenade speed and distances.
- Players felt Concussion and Flashbang grenade types were very powerful. While both grenade types need to be in order to stay viable as equipment choices, we reduced the Concussion grenade stun time by 1 second and are now unlocking the Tactical Mask perk (the counter for both Concussion and Flash Bangs) earlier in the progression system at level 13.
- By popular request, we’ve added a “Time in Hill” stat for the scoreboard and leaderboards in the Hardpoint game mode.
- Players did not feel sufficiently rewarded for escorting the robot in Safeguard. Players now receive +25 score for every 3 seconds that they escort the robot toward the enemy base.
- Players wanted additional details about how they were eliminated. The Kill Cam and Final Kill Cam now show what killed you (including weapons, Scorestreaks, Specialist weapons, equipment, etc.) and what perks the player has equipped.
- Additionally, various weapon-balancing changes were implemented, including to the Razorback and M8A7.
Again, thank you for all of the input and for bringing these and a number of other issues to our attention. Your contributions will most definitely provide a better Day One experience for everyone.
Finally, during the Beta we announced that anyone that played would receive an exclusive PS4 dynamic theme free as a “thank you” from the studio. Keep an eye on your email and your system messages on PS4 over the next week for more details on how to redeem your dynamic theme.
Thank you and we’ll see you on November 6th!