Just as the beta rolls onto Xbox One and PC
It’s Blackout beta weekend for Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, and that means lots of new players have begun dipping their toes into the game’s promising battle royale mode. PS4 players have had access, but the beta just went live this morning for Xbox One and PC. (Note: the PC open beta starts September 15).
Aside from Blackout just generally looking like tough competition for PUBG based on how it plays and how fans are embracing it so far, the most fascinating part for me is Treyarch’s agility. For instance, the player count. Blackout started with 80 players max, but the studio bumped it up to 88 on PS4.
In a state-of-the-beta post, Treyarch noted that proper “game updates” will be slower and much more substantial, but the team has a lot of room to quickly enact changes with smaller downloads.
“Game Settings do not contain executable code, but include almost everything else,” the post explained. “We can update, modify, and fix a lot of things with updated game settings. Game Settings are typically updated around or about 10:00 AM PST.” Some current examples include giving cargo planes more health and increasing the damage players take when they’re outside of the safe zone.
The rest of the reddit post is geared toward player feedback and criticisms. One of the big notes is a clear armor damage indicator. The developers are also looking at teamkill looting, making it more obvious when your shots hit vehicles, and more accurate spatial audio for sounds like footsteps.
Armor Damage Indicator: Several players have asked for a clearer method of showing how much damage their Armor has taken. In the launch version of the game, players will see an Armor Health Bar that appears above their own Health Bar in the HUD when wearing Armor. The Armor icon will continue to break apart as it does now.
Teamkill Looting: One of the most upvoted requests concerns preventing teamkillers from looting the bodies of teammates they’ve killed. In addition to reporting bad behavior through the “Report Player” function in the Social menu (and continuing to ban players for intentional teamkilling), we agree with this approach and are adding this, or something similar, to our “To Do” list. We have a zero-tolerance policy for intentional teamkillers. Be sure to report them so we can bring the banhammer down.
Distinguishing Vehicle vs. Player Hits: We’ve seen requests to make it easier to determine if a player’s shots are hitting a vehicle or an enemy in or near that vehicle. This is already being fixed in time for launch. Players will know the difference based on the color of their hitmarkers.
Audio Occlusion (AKA: Spatial Audio): We discovered and are fixing a critical bug where a player’s environment does not properly impact in-game sounds. This is why, for example, someone directly above or below the player can sound so much louder than expected. When the game is released, footsteps will be properly impacted by walls, floors, ceilings, and other objects in the world.
While not mentioned, I have to suspect that faster and smoother item pick-ups are under consideration for a future update. Clunky item management has definitely been a sticking point for players.
Have you gotten to play yet? I’m holding out for this weekend’s open beta on PC.
Day 5 – Xbox One & PC Live + New Blackout Beta Updates [reddit]