Gamers that participated in the recent alpha test for Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War may have noticed that the game’s sniper rifles were a tad bit overpowered. This happens in multiplayer gaming all the time. Certain things are overpowered, other things are underpowered, and the developers continuously tweak things to maintain a fair and balanced gaming experience.
In this case, however, Treyarch intentionally buffed the sniper rifles in order to evaluate their performance. They’re well aware that this imbalance isn’t ideal (for anyone not using a sniper rifle) and it will be adjusted in time for the upcoming beta.
Treyarch’s Tony Flame took to Twitter to explain the situation after the company received numerous complaints over social media.
Ok let's talk Sniping in Cold War.
Crossplay is coming, but we knew it wouldn't be in Alpha. We buffed Snipers to evaluate their performance in this Alpha specifically. Sniper Rifles WILL have balance changes for the upcoming Beta based on our analytics data this weekend.
— Tony Flame (@Tony_Flame) September 18, 2020
It’s important to realize that this sort of tampering is precisely how developers learn to balance things. It was an alpha, after all. Players should expect an absolutely unhinged free-for-all. It’s the wild west of gaming in the worst way possible.
Similar to what Crystal Dynamics just did with Marvel’s Avengers, Treyarch is relying on feedback from the Call of Duty community to help fine tune the experience. Considering that Call of Duty fans are likely the most vocal fans out there, it’s a great idea and one that fan’s should fully embrace.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that the sniper rifle will be balanced properly in the beta. It’s a learning process. And beta is still a far way off from the finished product.
Should Treyarch maybe have announced that they were going to kick the sniper rifles up a notch? Maybe, maybe not. While that would have given non-snipers a heads up that things were about to get rough, it may have also encouraged a lot of players to flock to the sniper rifle, which would have been all the more chaotic.
Tony Flame also talked a bit about motion blur, specifically the ability to turn it off, a setting that gets reset after every match. It’s been a thorn in players’ sides for a while, but it’s another thing that will be fixed by the time the beta rolls around.
A new Call of Duty is entering beta, which is something to be excited about. However, if you’re new to the whole beta thing, keep your expectations in check. Things will be rough around the edges. Just know that you’re not playing the final product and your feedback could very well make a difference.