The Black Ops 4 Mul­ti­play­er Beta has come and gone, while our over­all expe­ri­ence was pos­i­tive, there were some things that just need­ed to be fixed or changed. It looks like Tre­yarch was lis­ten­ing and has made some changes due to the beta feed back and data. 

Today Tre­yarch made a post on Red­dit out­lin­ing many of the changes com­ing to Black Ops 4 pre-launch. The Changes are list­ed below.

Fog of War & Min­imap Aware­ness

Fog of War in the min­imap was designed to strength­en sit­u­a­tion­al aware­ness and guide moment-to-moment deci­sion-mak­ing with a ben­e­fit to the entire team. Because we know a lot of play­ers don’t want to talk on the mic or engage in team­work, we designed it (and all game­play fea­tures) to be effec­tive first and fore­most to the play­er using it, and then also help­ful to team­mates even pas­sive­ly. An ene­my that’s spot­ted by your team­mate will appear in your min­imap as well, so even lone wolves are help­ing their team whether they mean to or not.

The full Fog of War reveal cir­cle around each play­er in the min­imap was designed to increase sit­u­a­tion­al aware­ness for a fight­ing chance against attacks from the back. The cir­cle gen­er­at­ed just as much pas­sion­ate debate with­in Tre­yarch as it did with­in the com­mu­ni­ty, and we want­ed to let it play out in the Beta to see where it land­ed. It’s proven to be too pow­er­ful as default func­tion­al­i­ty, so we’re mak­ing a few changes for a more bal­anced Fog of War:

  • The full reveal cir­cle will be removed as default func­tion­al­i­ty, and the stan­dard reveal area will be a cone that reflects the player’s field of view. This will con­tin­ue to always be blocked by sol­id objects in the game, so it can nev­er be used to “see through walls”.

  • We’re mov­ing the full reveal cir­cle to the Team Link perk. This way, play­ers who want that pow­er will need to spend a point in Cre­ate-a-Class to get it and com­pete with their choic­es for oth­er pow­er­ful items. This also gives Team Link a much-need­ed boost, as it sig­nif­i­cant­ly under­per­formed in the Beta.

  • We’re adding an addi­tion­al HUD indi­ca­tor that lets you know when you’re vis­i­ble to ene­my play­ers in the min­imap so that you can react accord­ing­ly.

  • Red dots in the min­imap that appear when fir­ing your gun will fade faster so there’s more time to evade after engag­ing in a gun­fight.

  • Those same red dots will no longer reveal team­mates that are near the play­er fir­ing their gun.

Tac-Deploy & Spawn­ing

The spawn sys­tem is key to ensur­ing the game­play of Black Ops 4 shines, and it is influ­enced by a num­ber of fac­tors which dif­fer across every map and mode. We have a suite of tools that lets us track bad spawns (spawns where play­ers give or receive dam­age with­in 3 sec­onds) and make changes to pre­vent them from hap­pen­ing. It’s impos­si­ble to get the per­cent­age of bad spawns to zero, but we con­stant­ly tune to get it as low as pos­si­ble, gen­er­al­ly in the 2–3% range. Thanks to com­mu­ni­ty video clips, com­ments, and game­play data, we were able to iden­ti­fy sev­er­al issues with­in the spawn sys­tem that were cre­at­ing sce­nar­ios that did not meet our expec­ta­tions. These issues were most preva­lent in round-based game modes like Dom­i­na­tion. The team is hard at work resolv­ing those issues for the best pos­si­ble spawn sys­tem on launch day.

The Tac-Deploy was designed to give the abil­i­ty to redi­rect the flow of com­bat at strate­gi­cal­ly impor­tant moments by cre­at­ing a sec­ondary team spawn area in the map. The con­cept was inspired by the tac­tics employed by the com­mu­ni­ty when play­ing Hard­point in Black Ops 2, where a team­mate would “anchor” spawns on the next Hard­point to get their team to the objec­tive faster. This cool, emer­gent behav­ior was not only a valid tac­tic but became nec­es­sary to con­sis­tent­ly win the mode. The Tac-Deploy brings this idea into oth­er modes with the goal of cre­at­ing peri­od­ic team shifts to take or defend an objec­tive, break out of a pat­tern, or strate­gi­cal­ly push in a new direc­tion. An easy counter for the oppos­ing team is to run the Engi­neer perk and hunt down any ene­my-owned Tac-Deploys.

In the Beta, the Tac-Deploy proved to be a tad too strong and under­stand­ing when you spawned on a Tac-Deploy wasn’t strong enough. To smooth it out for launch, we’re mak­ing a few changes:

  • We’ve short­ened the dura­tion that a Tac-Deploy is active, length­ened its cooldown time, and lim­it­ed the num­ber of spawns per use to 10. This will help to ful­fill the goal of pro­vid­ing short bursts of strate­gic posi­tion­ing shifts.

  • We’re relax­ing the radius around which play­ers will spawn on a Tac-Deploy so that there is more room to spread out, and ene­mies attempt­ing to dis­able it won’t sud­den­ly get over­whelmed by a surge of defend­ers.

  • We’re adding a noti­fi­ca­tion to the death cam (where cam­era breaks into third per­son when you die) that dis­plays when a Tac-Deploy is active and whether there is dan­ger near­by, and anoth­er noti­fi­ca­tion that appears in the game HUD after you spawn on a Tac-Deploy.

Body Armor & Gear

In ser­vice to the over­ar­ch­ing goal of increas­ing game­play depth, we intro­duced the Gear cat­e­go­ry to Cre­ate-a-Class in Black Ops 4. Each Gear item will com­pli­ment dif­fer­ent styles of play, allow­ing play­ers to opti­mize into their pre­ferred style. If you like to play aggres­sive­ly, pre­fer­ring to move in fast bursts and sur­viv­ing mul­ti­ple gun­fights, you’ll like­ly find Stim Shot to your lik­ing. If you’re a play­er who prefers to roll the dice for high risk and high reward, you may pre­fer the COMSEC Device to push for big­ger Score­streaks. If you enjoy sup­port­ing the team for the win, you’ll like­ly grav­i­tate to Equip­ment Charge to pow­er up your Spe­cial­ist con­tent more fre­quent­ly. If you rely more on posi­tion­ing and sit­u­a­tion­al aware­ness for vic­to­ry, the Acoustic Sen­sor is for you. And if you’re a more cau­tious play­er who likes the push and pull of objec­tive play, Body Armor should be opti­mal for that.

The bal­ance for this cat­e­go­ry wasn’t quite dialed in for the Beta, and we’ll be improv­ing that for launch. While Stim Shot was the most pop­u­lar piece of Gear, Body Armor was the most con­tro­ver­sial, so we want to address some of the changes that are com­ing to that specif­i­cal­ly:

  • Explo­sives should shred Armor – that was not work­ing in the Beta, and we’re fix­ing that.

  • Dam­age is now reduced by armor rather than being com­plete­ly deflect­ed by it.

  • Some of the play­er feed­back from the game when fight­ing against a play­er with Armor was “cranked to 11,” and made it feel a lot worse than it actu­al­ly was, so we’re reduc­ing it to feel less annoy­ing.

  • We added extra +25 bonus score reward for every kill against play­ers with Armor to help feed your Score­streak meter.

  • We’re also exper­i­ment­ing with a num­ber of ideas to bet­ter sup­port its role while also mak­ing it less appeal­ing to high­ly aggres­sive play­ers (for exam­ple, impact­ing cer­tain aspects of move­ment speed or pro­tec­tion cov­er­age area).

Free Cur­sor UI Nav­i­ga­tion

While it was always our inten­tion to sup­port both d‑pad and free cur­sor nav­i­ga­tion in our menus, the dis­cus­sion around this top­ic quick­ly rein­forced our resolve to move this along! When the game launch­es, you’ll be able to nav­i­gate with d‑pad through every menu if you want to. But you’ll also be able to move the free cur­sor quick­ly across the screen if you like nav­i­gat­ing that way. It will be the best of both worlds to accom­mo­date play­ers who like both sys­tems.

Load­outs in Kill­cams

This has been a fre­quent­ly-request­ed fea­ture, and we assure you… we feel the same way! We weren’t able to get the load­out infor­ma­tion of the play­er who killed you into the Kill­cam for the Beta, but it will def­i­nite­ly be in the game for launch.

Black Ops 4 Launch­es for Playsta­tion 4, Xbox One and PC Octo­ber 12, 2018