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    Sniper Updates? - Probably, but read this first

      Hello-

      I'm just going to be honest with you.

      I don't like talking about the Snipers rifles and what we are going to do or not do. You see, for every reasonable person wishing to engage in a civil dialog, I get an earful from dozens or hundreds more who are unbelievable rude.

      However, by far, this is the most common question people ask me about. We said (and I promised) that we would work hard to maintain a dialog with you about the game. So, despite the many ugly replies sure to follow, here I am.

      First off, no matter what we do, the hardest core members Quick Scoping community will likely never be completely satisfied. The most common request I get is "...nobody complained how it was in Call of Duty 4 or World at War... make it like that." The people who say that must continue to not believe me when I tell you that we had it like "4 and World at War" a similar number of players were not very happy about it. Why do you think we changed it in the first place?

      This is the update you have been asking about.  Yes. We will probably make small tweaks to sniper rifles.

      (1) We are evaluating the damage and hit box multipliers. Especially, if the weapon is suppressed.
      (2) We are moving what many of you refer to as the "sniper rifle patch" into tunables we can adjust easier so that we can do some real-time experimentation

      Anything we do is going to be carefully deliberated. Personally, I'm eager to get onto the business of "live tuning" the game, but not if it pushes the pendulum too far in a direction we don't want the game to go.

      It will come. But, it will come really slowly (for many of you).

      Finally, the sniper tuning conversation starts and stops with you. Act responsible. Get updates and a conversation. Some self-policing will go a long way. Act immature, get nothing.

      David 'Vahn' Vonderhaar

      UPDATE 1: 

      I've read the first 22 pages this morning. I appreciate the efforts many of you have made to keep the thread civil, which is why I am still reading. This thread is about sniper rifling tuning. Off topic posts get skipped entirely even if they are indirectly related. For example, the tuning of other weapons.

      UPDATE 2:

      Up to page 35. I've read every on-topic post. By far, the most constructive, mature conversation on these forums. I really appreciate that. It's why I will continue to read every single post.

      We've checked in changes to increase the head, neck, helmet multipliers for all Sniper rifles. They are currently in test. These changes can not safely be hot fixed and will have to wait till the next title update. We are still evaluating the "sniper patch" sway.

      UPDATE 3:

      I've read up to page 64. The thread is losing some steam but I am happy with the dozens, if not hundreds, of excellent post from parties on both sides. No such thing as TL;DR here. Some of the posts are long and I've read those twice just to be sure I understand them.

      I am not reading repeat posts, your posts with a large font, watching your montage videos, and I super disinterested in your attacks on me or Treyarch.

      I do want to clear up a few misconceptions real fast:

      - hit detection is not weapon specific and never has been. When people have issues with this it is often latency, anti-lag rewind, or client/server side prediction. In addition, people think they are hitting the upper chest, but they are hitting the arms of the player which are in front.

      - hit boxes have been the same size/shape forever, although the location multipliers have changed per game and weapon

      - weapon tuning is not "game mode" or "playlist" specific.  It is not practical to make a "Sniper Playlist" or "Allow you to turn off the patch in Private Match."

      A few people have suggested that removing the "initial sniper sway" when crouched or prone would still combat Quick Scoping, but penalize snipers less. This is a pretty interesting idea that should be evaluated, but I remain committed to the concepts in the OP first.

      Update 4:

      Up to page 77. Not enough posts read for a big update, but I am noticing a trend that I want to correct. I also want to continue to explain what you can expect out from me out of this thread.

      One excellent poster wrote:

      > Making it so that they [crosshairs] don’t shrink, but stay at their full wide pattern until the scope is visible on the screen.

      An interesting suggestion but typical of anyone who doesn't develop in the game engine. This is not a weapon specific tunable.

      Many of your good suggestions can not be done without re-writing large part of the weapons system. What I am willing to do is tune the game with the tunables we have at our disposal. I am not willing to go to engineering with a request to flip up the basics of the weapons system in order to address the sniper complaints. Any such change would be way to risky for a post-shipped title and take new code to do it.

      With the volume of traffic this thread has, I will not be able to respond to you directly. No need to take it personally. Picking up one of these updates and trying to make your own thread out of it, while lambasting the efforts of our team, is at best going to get ignored and in a worse case situation get you banned for violating the terms of service.

      Update 5:

      Up to page 98. I may not read anything after my last post on that page. Reserve the right to skim through in search of new ideas and time permitting.

      I've been playing in disguise on both 360 and PS3 a lot the last few days. I've certainly run into snipers and they have certainly turned me into dust. Especially on the larger maps like Array.  I watched the kill cam every time and even went back and watched the entire match when I died to a sniper more than 3x in a game. All of those deaths were more than fair with our current tuning.

      I've gotten a few new ideas from this thread and I certainly understand the PoV of the "Quick Scoping" community even if I don't agree with it. I've always said that I would make changes to the game I don't agree with, as long as they make sense to me.

      First off, using the "make it like COD 4" argument doesn't have any weight. This game doesn't have COD4 weapons, perks, attachments, systems, mechanics, unlocks or anything else. In a world of Lightweight and Marathon (not just Extreme Conditioning) and a world without Stopping Power or Juggernaut "making it like COD4" is not a argument, it's a request. Request denied. We can't "make it like COD4." If you want to play COD4, go play it. It's a great game and we own much of our success to the foundation that game put down.

      I started this thread being as honest as possible and I am going to end the thread (for now) the same way.

      Nothing here has convinced us to completely remove the "sniper patch" or "make it like COD4." I do feel that snipers are disadvantaged. I have trouble sniping myself, but then again I was never much of a sniper in the first place.

      Sure. We stopped Quick Scoping for the most part. We mostly invalidated a sniper winning a battle with a Shotgun or SMG at close range. This was the goal. However, this has come at a pretty large cost to sniping in general. These two things can not be easily separated, since quick scoping is a form of sniping.

      Despite the many ideas in this thread their is no "magic solution" to making sniping feel awesome while keeping Quick Scoping to a minimum.

      We are going to increase the head / neck / helmet multiplier. After that, we will start to "nerf" the sniper patch. Slowly.

      Please don't harass me when. The answer is ASAP. We have a lot of things we are working on. Game tuning is only one of those things. It just happens to be the thing that they pay me to do as the design director.

      Update 6:

      I haven't been able to read much more of the thread just yet. Just FYI.

      The current tuning requires you to be be fully scoped in and then wait 0.25 seconds after that to achieve 100% accuracy. During this time, you were at max spread. This is what I believe many people refer to as the "random bullet."

      Not that it matters all that much but some of the confusion is often a result of terminology. The community will coin a term like "random bullet" which to a game developer is senseless jargon. My point is that we'll have to work together closely to be sure we understand each other.

      What's really happening is that you needed to be fully scoped in, wait 0.25 seconds, and only then did you get 100% accuracy and would "shoot where your cross-hairs were aiming." During that time, you could shoot anywhere within the full spread of the gun. It's not really different if you were walking at full speed and fired from the hip. You combine that with latency, anti-lag rewind, client/server prediction and everything else and I am sure can feel like a "random bullet."

      After the next full game update (often called a title update) you will start to see small changes in how this works.

      That's all for now.

      David 'Vahn' Vonderhaar
        • 1. Re: Sniper Updates? - Probably, but read this first
          You have my support, Vahn.
          • 2. Re: Sniper Updates? - Probably, but read this first
            Personally, I find the current situation with sniper rifles perfectly fine. The ONLY downside to them (aside from what I'll address in a minute) is the map design doesn't seem to favor them too well. Other than that, the brief sway upon scoping in doesn't effect most of us "Hard-scopers" as its been called. My main concern is what you mentioned here:

            (1) We are evaluating the damage and hit box multipliers. Especially, if the weapon is suppressed.

            I would love to see, if nothing else, a 2.0 hit box multiplier for a Headshot. Even if no other areas get the 2.0 multiplier, I would like to at least see the Head get that, so that a Silenced Headshot results in a 1hko.

            Other than that, I personally don't see any issues with the current patch that was put in however, and for what its worth, I'm in favor of keeping it as it is currently.
            • 3. Re: Sniper Updates? - Probably, but read this first
              urza
              Thank you Vahn for evaluating and acknowledging that there is a problem with the sniper rifle atm.
              I am very happy to hear you are open to all issues within the game and trying to make it as balanced as possible.

              I had a much longer post, but it got deleted when the forums logged me off
              • 4. Re: Sniper Updates? - Probably, but read this first
                davedemp8
                Just make it like Cod4 and everyone will be happy.
                • 6. Re: Sniper Updates? - Probably, but read this first
                  CJDog23
                  Honestly, on PC I find sniping nearly impossible. I don't know if anybody else has had this problem, but even when I've steadied the scope completely and am aiming directly on a person's head from even as close as about 100 yards, it will miss. I don't know if this is a lag problem more then a sniping lag, but it gets very annoying.
                  • 7. Re: Sniper Updates? - Probably, but read this first
                    JAlenX06
                    I think the "sniper patch" should either be taken out, or if you must keep the sway when you scope in, could you please get rid of the "random shot" that happens until you are scoped in for a period of time, because in real matches, latency makes this much longer than it actually is. Playing combat training, and  sniping in a real match are two different things.

                    And you guys were concerned about the players that were complaining about the snipers being overpowered, they probably complain about everything, to be completely honest. Sniping in Call of Duty 4, and World at War was perfectly fine, no one ever complained about it until Modern Warfare 2 came out. I can snipe in any of those three games with a K/D spread of 2.00+, but in Black Ops, I can barely finish neutral. The L96 is one of my favorite guns, although I only have 60 kills with it, and I'm pretty sure I have 5000+ kills in Call of Duty 4 with the M40A3, without anyone saying that I was overpowering people.
                    • 8. Re: Sniper Updates? - Probably, but read this first
                      B0NES_90
                      I think the issue is that several different measures seem to have been implemented in order to reduce the effectiveness of quickscoping. If only one or two of these measures were implemented, it would be enough to severely hamper the effectiveness of quicksscoping without  hurting sniping overall, but as it stands, all of these measures combine to make sniping far too difficult.


                      What seems to have been implemented:

                      -removal of sleight of hand for snipers (this is good)

                      - the sniper is initially off-center when you first scope in (this is perfectly acceptable)

                      - the sniper has significant sway for a second after you scope in (now it's getting a bit too difficult)

                      - if you fire too soon, your shot will go nowhere near where your crosshair is pointing, even when you're scoped in (now sniping is a chore)


                      Really, any of these bullets can be removed, without removing all of them, and sniping would be more balanced overall. All of these factors add up to make for a painfully long amount of time before a person can realistically line up a shot on someone if he's not already scoped in. The key is to simply slightly reduce the amount of time it takes for a sniper to scope in and line up a shot on a sufficiently long-range target, where the sniiper should rightfully have an advantage. As it currently stands, the guy with the smg can still shoot me first, and then the flinching mechanic makes it so that you're pretty screwed at that point.
                      • 9. Re: Sniper Updates? - Probably, but read this first

                        JAlenX06 wrote:

                         


                        And you guys were concerned about the players that were complaining about the snipers being overpowered, they probably complain about everything, to be completely honest. Sniping in Call of Duty 4, and World at War was perfectly fine, no one ever complained about it until Modern Warfare 2 came out. I can snipe in any of those three games with a K/D spread of 2.00+, but in Black Ops, I can barely finish neutral. The L96 is one of my favorite guns, although I only have 60 kills with it, and I'm pretty sure I have 5000+ kills in Call of Duty 4 with the M40A3, without anyone saying that I was overpowering people.



                        Here's the problem I see with this line of thought:

                        Until MW2 came out, QSing was just something you seen in a few montages here and there. It wasn't something that everyone was trying to do. Most people were attempting no-scopes, or just general ACOG sniping with the M40 (to abuse the glitch). If you go on Call of Duty 4 NOW however, its a far different story. Its not uncommon to see 2-3 people per team trying to quick-scope/no-scope on Call of Duty 4. And they are just as bad at it on there as MW2.

                        If Black Ops adopted the same style as CoD4 and WaW, we'd have the same problem on Black Ops. Regular sniping (as it was intended to be) should be preserved. This patch that was put out hasn't caused me any problems with sniping, and that's because I'm not trying to R&G while sniping. If you are diligent, and pick your shots, you will come away positive while sniping. Its just more dependent on the map now (which is a downside I think).

                        Aside from that, and the silencer issue, I haven't seen all these problems that people are suggesting snipers have in Black Ops. Granted, I haven't watched every video out there, I seem to get along just fine when trying to just snipe.
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