After playing the Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Blackout beta earlier this month, the battle royale mode left me extremely impressed. Blackout could very well be the new Battle Royale king if Treyarch continues down this path. Now, the developer has detailed Blackout changes for the game’s launch on 12 October.
These changes are being made thanks to player feedback from the beta. There are two big issues that players have been complaining about. First up, the effectiveness of Armour in Blackout is being reduced and then, Treyarch is also making changes to the stash and UI for ease of use for console players.
Although I didn’t really have any issue with the effectiveness of Armour or troubles with the UI during my hands-on (which you can view below), it is great to see Treyarch making changes based on fan feedback.
Apart from the UI and Armour changes detailed below, Treyarch will also be making audio adjustments as outlined in their blog post, as well as fixes for Xbox One users including frame-rate drops on the Xbox One X, party invites and more. Check out all the important Blackout changes for launch below as detailed by Treyarch.
Armor’s role in Blackout is inherently unique compared to its role in MP. You only live once in Blackout, and you’re rewarded for scavenging in areas that often put you in perilous positions, especially as the Collapse gets smaller in the late game. For this and other reasons, we’ve been cautious about making sweeping changes to the way Armor works, though we’ve made some tweaks during the Beta and continue to evaluate how Armor will work at launch. Every Item in the game, from Armor to Weapons to Perks, is constantly re-evaluated to ensure they fit in the correct place in the game’s meta. You can expect Armor to be tuned multiple times as the game, and the gameplay content evolves over time.
Some changes to Armor since the start of the Beta include:
- Spawn frequency of Level 3 Armor has been reduced by 75% compared to its initial spawn rate in the Beta.
- Level 3 Armor will now most frequently be found in Stashes and Supply Drops, though it may occasionally spawn in the world.
- Level 3 Armor now breaks sooner and passes more damage to the player wearing it, and still offers headshot and other types of damage mitigation. We’ve heard your concerns that Level 3 Armor was still perhaps too powerful by the end of the Beta, and will be evaluating the data to see what other tweaks may be required.
- Level 2 Armor was also minorly adjusted during the Beta and will potentially be tweaked further in time for launch.
- Players will see an indicator of the condition of their own Armor, and those of their teammates, in the HUD. This provides a more granular indicator of the damage that your Armor has taken beyond the Armor icon and will let you know if it’s time to seek out a replacement.
We saw several reports of footsteps sounding louder or quieter than expected, and not always being able to tell the direction enemies were coming from. Others reported an uneven balance of footstep volume between teammates and enemies. We’re on it. Improvements to how audio will work at launch include:
- Sounds will be properly impacted by walls, floors, ceilings, and other objects in the world. This means enemies directly above or below the player should no longer sound louder than expected.
- The volume of the cargo plane, punching, game countdown timers, and everything else you’ve brought to our attention (and many things you have not) will be reviewed in-depth as part of that process. The game has not yet had its final audio mix.
- Teammates’ footsteps will be quieter compared to enemy footsteps.
- The Awareness Perk will further reduce the loudness of the footsteps of your teammates.
- All audio presets will be available at launch in the Options menu. Audio presets can make a big difference, and we offer many choices for those who play with headphones or surround sound.
Inventory and Item Management:
On the first day of the Beta, the community almost unanimously asked for faster Item pickups. As a result, we made pickup speed as fast as possible while still protecting players from accidentally picking up an Item when attempting to reload. Console players have asked for an option in Settings to allow them to tap a button to instantly pick up an Item. We like this idea a lot, and want to be sure we get it right and test it thoroughly. The Quick Equip menu can be fantastic for making Inventory adjustments quickly, but could also get in the way of picking up Items, opening doors, or entering vehicles.
We adjusted the Quick Equip menu so it automatically closes after a few seconds with no interactions. We are also looking into the feasibility of closing the Quick Equip menu if the player performs other actions such as firing a weapon, changing stance, starting a Sprint, etc. We’ve already improved the proximity and height at which you can interact with Items on the ground so you don’t have to look down at that Item so precisely. It’s being tested now and is very likely to be in when the game comes out. Last but not least, we are creating designs for other “quality of life” improvements to these very important game systems including, but not limited to:
- Evaluating options to improve the Stash interface when looting enemies and containers on console.
- Adding a new method to allow you to quickly remove all Attachments from a weapon.
- Incorporating a way to swap Attachments between Weapons if both Weapons support the same attachment.
What are your impressions from the Blackout beta and what do you think about the changes Treyarch plans to make? Let us know in the comment section below.