Black Ops 2 balancing tweaks are ‘fucking hard’ – Vonderhaar

Friday, 5th October 2012 13:01 GMT By Dave Cook

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 multiplayer lead David Vonderhaar has shed new light on the balancing process at Treyarch in the run up to the game’s November 13th launch, and stressed that the data doesn’t lie.

Speaking with OXM, Vonderaar explained, “In Black Ops 2 right now, people are saying that the millimetre wave scanner isn’t strong enough. Again, we’re in alpha, we’re still tuning, that’s important – but if you walk around the emotional reactor, people think the scanner needs to pulse faster. ‘I need to see guys through walls better’.”

Vonderhaar continued, “But the data doesn’t bear that out. That thing is badass and guys that use it are badass with it. There’s always a balance between your emotional and visceral reaction for how something feels, and the truth about how much it helps you or not.”

“I have the fortunate or unfortunate position of being judge, juror and executioner on all those decisions,” he added, “and it puts me in an awkward spot. Because I have to look at people who think very passionately that it should pulse faster, show targets for longer, or maybe it shows them even when they’re moving.”

“All these are things we can tweak and tune,” Vonderhaar concluded, “and they’re telling me this, and I’m looking at them, saying: “I appreciate your feedback young man, but the data shows the truth about this.” And that’s game design and part of being a game designer, and it’s fucking hard.”

Did you play Black Ops 2 at Eurogamer Expo recently, or have you watched live streams? What do you make of the loadouts and attachments? Let us know below.




    I haven’t played it yet, but I think I’d be pretty amazed if it was well balanced out of the box.

    I think you need those 10s of millions of people playing it first, before you can discover and then start to iron out all of the exploits and balancing issues.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. ItsMe

    Of course it’s f*cking hard if you add so much unnecessary stuff that has unbalanced written all over it. You don’t just add a bunch of variables every time for the sake of expanding your game and then hope you can balance it, but that’s how CoD has done it for a while now. And that resulted in unbalanced gameplay. That’s also why CoD4 and WaW still work better than the sequels, because there were less variables.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. Hcw87

    Add Recoil
    Remove Perks and Killstreaks
    Remove UAV/Wallhack attachments

    Congrats, you now have a game that actually requires skill.

    #3 2 years ago

    Yeah, make a game where there are less ways for me to get pwned, then I will be able to finally show the world just how skillful I am, because I won’t be dying every few seconds…


    #4 2 years ago
  5. naffgeek

    ” And that’s game design and part of being a game designer, and it’s fucking hard.”

    Said Grandma.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. Hcw87

    It’s hard to ”pwn” when there’s no skill involved. The skill roof is so low that a 10 year old is on the same level as a 20 year old ”pro”.

    Btw, my K/D ratio is never below ~1.8 on ANY cod game that i bother to try.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. Dave Cook


    #7 2 years ago


    Yeah, sure. It takes ZERO skill, maybe that’s why 10yo’s keep whooping me, too!

    …by the way, I have a k/d way higher than ~1.8 because I’m so skillful.

    At this game that needs no skill…


    #8 2 years ago
  9. viralshag

    My k/d is below 1… :(

    #9 2 years ago
  10. Dave Cook

    @9 you’re clearly not a real gamer then.

    I’m kidding of course :P

    But isn’t it mad how some players base your worth to the industry based on how many guys you’ve shot? Idiotic.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. viralshag

    @10, No, you’re right. I consider myself a failure to the gaming race.

    To be honest, I don’t really care that much. I just tell myself I took a bullet for a team mate…

    #11 2 years ago
  12. Dave Cook

    @11 nah no way man, never de-value yourself like that just because your K/D is low. That’s what trolls and elitist gamers want you to feel. The thing is, you’re better than those guys because you remember that games are all about fun and taking part :)

    #12 2 years ago
  13. viralshag

    @ Dave, I’m more joking than anything. ;)

    Haha, I really couldn’t care less what my k/d is or how it looked to others. :)

    I enjoy gaming for what it is. The only time I don’t is when I think it’s a crap game. I still like the CoDs, BFs, Blizzard, EA and WoW. So to most of that weird type of gamer, I’m probably the worst kind of scum going. :)

    #13 2 years ago
  14. Dave Cook

    @13 :D Good man. well, CoD is my favourite shooter ever, specifically Black Ops and I get no end of shit for that. But hey, that’s what opinions are for right? :)

    So excited for Black Ops 2. Loved what I’ve played so far.

    #14 2 years ago
  15. viralshag

    @Dave, I’m going to be getting BLOPS2, fo shizzle. Like what I’ve seen so far. It’s a no brainer for me.

    #15 2 years ago
  16. ps3fanboy

    people with high kills in cod are campers… its a fact.

    #16 2 years ago
  17. Dave Cook

    @17 incorrect. I almost always hit top three in games and I always run n’ gun it. Campers get low scores and if you’re good you can kill them before they kill you.

    #17 2 years ago

    Forget about k/d’s.

    It depends on what game type you play, and if you play to win or not.

    As ps3fanboy suggests, there are people with really high k/d’s because they are permanently focused on not dying. To the extent that they’re happier to lose the game by sitting in a secluded corner of the map with their back to a wall and contribute to lowering their 0.2 win/loss ratio, than seeing their k/d go down by 0.001.

    Then there are those who play objective types to win, and they have k/d’s of about 1.00, because they are more concerned with winning for the team, than their own personal k/d.

    Besides, there are some people who’s stats are either lower or higher than they should be, based on the quality of their connection.

    Some have permanently low latency, whereas some only get a decent connection about once every 10 games.

    There are very few players with a high k/d and a high w/l without having some sort of unnatural connection.

    Anyway, I’m pretty hyped for BO2, too.

    #18 2 years ago

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