Call of Duty developers Treyarch have released the full patch notes detailing all of the changes they made in Black Ops Cold War between the Alpha and Beta.
Black Ops Cold War is all the talk right now in the Call of Duty community, and for good reason. Not only is the highly-anticipated title set to release soon, on November 13, but Activision are holding a massive two-week Beta testing period on PS4, Xbox One, and PC.
Of course, this isn’t the first time players will get to try out the game pre-release; Activision surprised fans with a three-day Alpha during September that gave the developers a chance to assess everything they needed to work on.
Now, with the Beta just a day away, the devs have revealed all of the changes that they’ve made since the Alpha, and there’s plenty to read about below.
Most important changes since BOCW Alpha
The patch notes below include a ton of information about what Treyarch focused on ahead of the Beta, so we’ve broken down some of the more important points for you.
The AK-74u, which was considered the most powerful gun during the Alpha, has been nerfed in both its recoil and ADS time, while LMGs have been buffed in terms of ammo capacity. In fact, all recoil patterns have been “reworked and rebalanced.”
The annoying hitch when throwing a Frag Grenade appears to have been removed and their throwing speeds adjusted. As for sniping, aim assist has been added for those using sniper rifles on controller, so as to balance cross-platform play.
Last but not least, the Gunsmith feature has been upgraded to provide detailed stats for each attachment and how they affect the weapon’s overall stats.
Sliding was a big topic of conversation during the Alpha so the devs decided to reduce its speed slightly while also increasing the minimum amount of time a player must sprint before sliding to reach the max speed.
As for sprinting, the acceleration when moving from a standstill has been slightly increased, allowing for faster takeoff speed.
Ninja & movement audio
Ninja, which is Black Ops Cold War’s iteration of Dead Silence, has been a hot topic of discussion since it was first announced during the multiplayer reveal and then demonstrated in the Alpha.
As a result, Treyarch have made several major changes to the perk, and movement audio in general. For starters, crouch-walking now makes movement “near-silent,” with or without having Ninja equipped. Crouch-walking while ADS (aiming down sights) makes footsteps even quieter.
However, for those who do have Ninja in their loadout, the volume of movement mechanics like sprinting, jogging, and walking has been reduced by “roughly 50%” since the Alpha. ADS walking with Ninja equipped provides and additional “significant stealth advantage.”
Treyarch decided to radically change up how scorestreaks work in Black Ops Cold War vs past Call of Duty titles, making it so streaks can be earned during the course of a whole match and not just in a single life.
The Alpha didn’t do much to convince fans that it was the right decision, so the devs have made some adjustments to how the system is set up. For starters the objective score rewards in Domination, Kill Confirmed, and Hardpoint have been increased to better reward those who play the objective.
- Read More: How to pre-load the Black Ops Cold War Beta
Also, the scorestreak rewards have been adjusted to reduce spam and make them more rewarding to earn and use; players will now “need to go on higher streaks in a single life to earn top-tier scorestreaks.”
Black Ops Cold War Beta patch notes
In addition to the new maps, modes, and features we’re bringing to the Black Ops Cold War Beta – including VIP Escort, Combined Arms: Assault, Fireteam: Dirty Bomb, FOV slider on consoles, and more – we’re also delivering plenty of gameplay enhancements based on player feedback and internal data from the Alpha.
From updates to core movement and visual fidelity improvements to weapon tuning and spawn adjustments, there’s a lot that’s changed over the past few weeks. We’d be remiss if we didn’t thank you for all of your feedback along the way. It has been invaluable to our team, and will ultimately help us continue to improve upon the overall gameplay experience as we approach the November 13 launch.
Read on for the high-level list of updates since the Alpha:
We’ve made a large tuning pass on core movement with the goal of improving the responsiveness of player controls and actions. We’ve identified several key areas in our core movement set for improvements, largely focused on sprinting and sliding:
- Core Movement
- Integrated updated locomotion animations and systems for walking, jogging, and sprinting.
- Slightly increased acceleration when moving from a standstill.
- Reduced or removed several sprint penalties that could leave the player in a state of reduced sprint speed. This results in more opportunities to use the Sprint Takeoff feature for a quick burst of speed when initiating a sprint.
- Increased the time it takes to ramp down from maximum to minimum sprint speed for a smoother change of speed. This also slightly increases the time at which a player sprints at a faster pace.
- Slightly adjusted camera bob during sprint to better align with updated movement animations.
- Disabled Field of View increase when sprinting. This should provide a smoother in-game view and prevent a “floating camera” feeling when sprinting.
- Slightly reduced slide speed.
- Increased the minimum amount of time a player must sprint before sliding to better align with time to reach max sprint speed. This means a player cannot immediately trigger a slide from a near-standstill.
- Addressed an issue that allowed players to cancel a slide without the appropriate slowdown. We will continue to monitor and investigate any slide-cancel exploits.
WEAPONS / GUNSMITH
We’ve refined our weapons tech and animations since the Alpha, completed numerous tuning and tweaking passes on our weapons, and added more details to attachment statistics in Gunsmith. We’ve also made several positive changes to how sniper rifles work based on Alpha data and feedback.
Sniper rifles are a key component of Black Ops combat, and in some ways more relevant than ever in Black Ops Cold War. With support for large maps and game modes, as well as cross-platform play, sniping can be an effective and often extremely powerful play style. To balance out cross-play sniping, we’ve brought back aim assist for snipers on controllers – something we haven’t had in Black Ops Multiplayer since Black Ops 2.
The data from our Alpha proved to us that even without cross-play or larger maps, sniper rifles were still dominant on smaller maps. As a result, we’ve made some adjustments to bring them back into balance for the Beta, and look forward to seeing what the community can do with these finely tuned precision weapons.
Here’s the list of changes to weapons and Gunsmith statistics:
- Added a more detailed breakdown of statistics for each attachment, explaining in detail how each attachment influences its weapon’s stats.
- Moved the Gunsmith UI button closer to the weapon for easier access.
- Recoil and Firing Animations
- Added new weapon recoil systems and firing animations with a comprehensive tuning pass for a revamped weapon firing feel on every weapon for both hip-fire and ADS.
- Reworked and rebalanced all recoil patterns, impacting weapon balance and mastery across the board.
- Full touch-up pass on animations across all weapons based on feedback.
- Aim Down Sights (ADS)
- Added new ADS weapon rendering technology for more realistic ADS perspective.
- Smoothed out all ADS in/out transitions.
- General Weapon Tuning
- Made tuning changes to Alpha weapons that overperformed or underperformed, including increases to AK-74u recoil and ADS time, increasing LMG ammo capacity, and more.
- Attachment Tuning
- Full attachment balance pass to ensure all attachments stay relevant and balanced.
- Sniper Rifles
- Added aim assist on snipers for controller users for cross-platform balancing.
- Several precision-aiming adjustments to help the sniping experience feel more fluid.
- Sniper glint now displays more often and more reliably to help players understand when they are in danger.
- Adjusted ADS time on sniper rifles.
- Sniper rifles now requires higher hits on the body for one-hit eliminations (for example, upper chest instead of stomach, or upper arm instead of lower arm).
- Frag Grenades
We’ve made several graphical improvements throughout the Beta, and we’ve responded to player feedback about low visibility in some areas of the Miami map. With our latest changes, players should be able to spot enemies more clearly on Miami.
- Improved graphical fidelity and performance across the board.
- Lighting / Visibility
The audio team has made several crucial improvements to weapon sounds between the Alpha and Beta, and continues to work on further enhancements for launch. Footstep audio design and its interaction with the Ninja Perk have also been tuned significantly for players who like to keep it stealthy.
- Weapon Audio
- Added bass and punch to all weapon sounds by adjusting master EQ and compression output.
- Added 3 presets to Audio Settings (Treyarch Mix, Bass Boost, and High Boost) to suit player preferences.
- Redesigned several weapon audio layers, corrected audio decay playback, and added blending for interior/exterior sounds.
- Polished reverb audio across all maps.
- Crouch-walking now functions as a near-silent movement option available to all players, with or without the Ninja Perk.
- ADS crouch-walking now makes the player’s footstep audio even quieter. Enemies should not hear the player when crouching outside of extreme close quarters.
- While Ninja is equipped, core movements such as sprinting, jogging, and walking are now greatly reduced in volume and distance by roughly 50% compared to the Alpha.
- ADS walking will also provide a significant stealth advantage when using Ninja.
- Hit Marker Audio
- Added new sounds for fatal and non-fatal hit markers.
- Scorestreak Audio
- Polished audio for several Scorestreaks.
- Spy Plane Audio
- Reduced the volume of the Spy Plane’s locational pings.
- For the first time in a Black Ops game, Spy Plane pings are directional and locational based on where an enemy is when they are swept by the radar, allowing for pinpoint accuracy. As this is a new mechanic, we will continue to monitor and adjust as necessary.
- Bullet Crack
We’ve increased the score reward for a number of objective-based game modes and objective score events to further incentive playing the objective in the Beta. These changes are in service of rewarding players of all playstyles fairly, whether it’s the slayers out in the dunes of Satellite or the OBJ players holding down Hardpoints in the jungles of Cartel.
Our philosophy acknowledges that players put themselves at considerable risk for playing the objective, and we don’t want the risk of losing a streak to disincentivize objective play. At the same time, we want to avoid allowing players to “game the system” by waiting for streaks to build up before capturing objectives, which is why objectives don’t count in streak multipliers.
As we continue to gather data and feedback on the new Scorestreak system and kill-streaking mechanics, the changes below reward objective players and require slayers to stick to their role more carefully to ramp their score up. We recognize that there are hybrid styles that achieve both, and this system rewards players for the play style they gravitate to the most.
- Scorestreak System
- Objective score rewards have been increased in Domination, Kill Confirmed, and Hardpoint. These changes will reward any objective player and do not require or reward objective streaking.
- Adjusted Scorestreak rewards to reduce Scorestreak spam and make Scorestreaks more rewarding. Players will need to go on higher streaks in a single life to earn top-tier Scorestreaks. The curve has been flattened out on the low end, and ramps up quickly as the player earns higher kill-streak numbers.
- Reduced Scorestreak cooldowns to offset these changes and allow players to cycle through Scorestreaks more often.
We heard from several players during the Alpha that they felt it took too long to get into the action in 6v6 game modes on Miami. To address this, the design team has adjusted the spawns and spawn logic across multiple modes to ensure a faster time to engagement on the map.
- Full spawn pass for Team Deathmatch and Kill Confirmed modes on Miami with the goal of reducing the time to engagement and increasing the overall pace of 6v6 game modes.
- Spawns at the ends of the map have been pulled in closer.
- Added new spawns to get players back into the fight faster.
- Adjusted the spawn logic to reduce the distance at which an enemy player will influence the enemy team’s spawn points.
- Added spawns across several modes to allow for more safe spawns in relation to enemy player locations at the time of a respawn.
- Reduced how often players can be spawned at the rear of their home ship to reduce travel time back to engagements.
- Adjusted Combined Arms: Domination spawn logic and spawn placement to keep players spawning closer to their owned objectives, reducing time to engagement and getting players back into the action faster.
Vehicle vs. infantry combat is a dynamic we work hard to balance out for both parties. We’ve made substantial adjustments for this combat loop in the Beta, and will continue to dial this in for launch.
- Vehicle Damage Tuning
- Reworked the bullet damage mitigation model for Tanks to provide a more consistent experience across weapon classes. This fixes issues where some guns seemed inordinately more powerful against vehicles than others.
- Adjusted the “Cavalry Lancer” weapon attachment to be more consistent across weapons, especially on LMGs. We will continue to keep a close eye on tuning this for launch.
- Character Models
- Addressed an issue where a player disconnecting from the match during the loading sequence could result in that player’s character displaying an unnatural pose at the start of the game.
- The AK-74u’s reload animations will no longer appear to skip.
- Called in the Fun Police to address an issue that allowed players to ride around on a teammate’s RC-XD. Sorry.
- Gunboat and Wakerunner
- Fixed an issue where Wakerunners being deployed from a ship’s davits could cause the Gunboat to be flung into the ocean.
- Motion Blur
- Addressed an issue where the Motion Blur setting would not properly retain its settings.
- Moscow Window
- Addressed an issue where a player could become stuck when sliding through a window in Moscow.
- Tuned mantling at tall heights to ensure they are performed at a more natural speed.
- Where necessary, map designs will be updated to restrict areas where mantling is not intended.
- Moving Before Match Start
- Addressed an issue that could allow players to begin moving before the match countdown timer had ended.
- “Invisible” Weapons
- Addressed an issue that could display an invisible third weapon when exiting a vehicle, preventing the player from being able to use any of their weapons.
- After Action Report
- Addressed an issue that would show incorrect Scoreboards in the After Action Report.
ADDITIONAL UPDATES / FEATURES
- Ping System
- Added locational Ping system across all MP modes, allowing players to ping objectives, loot, locations, and enemies for teammates during a match using D-pad left on controllers or Z on keyboards by default.
- Alternate button layouts, like Bumper Ping and Bumper Ping Tactical, can be selected in the Gameplay Settings menu.
- FOV Slider on All Platforms
- Added Field of View (FOV) slider on all platforms to define the height and width of the player’s view in Settings.
- HUD Visual Toggles
- Added the ability to toggle visuals for the compass, enemy and ally health bars, hit markers, crosshairs, player names, and button hints in Settings.
- Name Plates
- Adjusted the ruleset around when friendly player names would show to reduce instances where friendly name plates would appear over enemies in certain situations.
- Deadzones / Minimum Input Threshold
- Expanded the options to reduce minimum stick input threshold (or “deadzone”) to 0.
- NOTE: Setting this to 0 is only recommended for advanced users. Depending on controller hardware, setting this to low values can cause “stick drift”, which can engage the stick even when no input is given.
- Kill Confirmed Score Limit
- Our data from Alpha showed that Kill Confirmed was ending on time limit too frequently in the Alpha, so we’ve reduced the score limit to 65 for the Beta.
- Start Spawn “Soft Freeze”
- We’ve enabled the ability for players to rotate their Operator, swap weapons, ADS, and changes stances during the pre-round timer.
- We’ll be introducing a deep progression system synchronized across Multiplayer, Zombies, and Warzone that deserves its own time in the spotlight, and we’ll have more details in a dedicated blog as we get closer to launch. While players won’t see this full progression system in the Beta, you’ll be able to rank up to certain levels to unlock additional content throughout both Beta weekends.
That’s it for now! We’ll see you online in the Beta, and we’re looking forward to collecting more community feedback to help us make Black Ops Cold War even better. You can pre-order here to get into the Beta as early as possible, and players with digital pre-orders can pre-load the Beta on PS4 right now.
The Black Ops Cold War Beta kicks off on October 8 for PS4 players who pre-ordered the game digitally. It will be available to everyone on PS4 between October 10-12 before the Xbox One and PC Beta starts on October 15. For a full schedule, make sure to check out our Beta info page here.