Transparency and why it is hard to give (Hint: Not a lack of desire.)

Black Ops forum


Many folks have recently asked if we (or I) would comment on the suggestions given so far in the UNOFFICIAL FEEDBACK threads we started recently.

Let me tell why you why this is difficult to do:

  1. I have a full time job managing the systems, combat, and MP designers and have a lot of design work to do myself.
  2. I am strictly forbidded to discuss details about unannounced projects.
  3. I am always at risk that a major or minor media outlet will make headlines out of anything I post or say, even when I wrap it a giant disclaimer box and tell the world it is "...just my opinion." PR really hates it when this happens and for good reason.

Being involved with the massive and diverse Call of Duty communities is a personal passion. It's not my job. It's a labor of love.

My motiviation for the post is very simple. We made them for the people  who have to something to say that they can't say in 140 characters.

David 'Vahn' Vonderhaar


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Posts: 429
Registered: ‎18-07-2011

Honestly, when it comes to transperancy, the only thing I'd really like to see changed is post-launch communication. You guys did a great job earlier on after Black Ops release. I remember seeing dozens of posts in the PS3 section trying to gather information and fix the problems.

However, despite that, I still think a few things were lacking. IMO, I'd still have loved to see some kind of developer blog. Even if it's not updated weekly. Just something that post-launch, you guys can post in to say stuff like:

"Weapon/Perk [insert name] is generating a lot of discussion, here's our thoughts on it and why we decided to create it this way instead of the other way."

Pre-launch however, it's understandable not being able to discuss certain aspects, if anything at all, and I think most people wouldn't have you put your job at risk.

Ultimately, I think the best kind of transperancy to focus on, is post launch transperancy. If something had to be done a certain way, simply let us know why. Little things like that would definitely alleviate much of the hostility that tends to arise after the launch of a major title.

Even if people disagree with something, simply knowing the reasoning behind it can be enough to keep cool heads.

I do hope you guys continue to utilize these boards too. I'm sure you know by now, I'm not a fan of relying on twitter/facebook. I'd much prefer a single consolidated source of discussion where the same character restrictions don't apply.

Likes: 225
Posts: 2000
Registered: ‎23-05-2011

I think for the most part the community understand why you can't directly answer us or respond to our posts. We just have to hope that you listen, and I think you guys as a team definitely do that.

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Posts: 3
Registered: ‎30-06-2011

I think i can speak for the majority of community when i say transparency at this point doesnt matter as long as you are listening to our feedback. The knife post you made has already got me excited about the next title because i know you are listening to us when we say stuff like panic knife is frustrating. All i have to say is keep it up!

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Posts: 5
Registered: ‎18-08-2011

David, can I just tell you that I love you? Dear god. Perfect dev. Thank you lol

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Posts: 63
Registered: ‎23-09-2011

Thanks Vahn for asking the community what we want instead of doing what  yall think is best for us. I know I wont be disappointed with your next creation.

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Posts: 2000
Registered: ‎04-09-2011

Communication works well where transparency is not possible.

Likes: 23
Posts: 117
Registered: ‎22-09-2011


I have said it before and I will say it again, the Black Ops game would not have been the same without your efforts to interact and listen to the community.  Hey some people didn't like it; others did.  Like you have said too many times, you can't please everyone.

Understand that the most recent version of COD really seems to lack this.  Not a bash on them, just a personal observation.

Also remember, there is a growing number of community members that appreciate your efforts.  What started out back in May of 2010 in a few  MaTtKs suggestion threads, has turned into something much more.  Your presence and efforts not only impacted the game, but brought back a sense of security for the community.  Don't underestimate the value this has had.  Keep up the good work and there is a lot of us that hope you don't lose that "passion" to interact with the community.



Likes: 288
Posts: 2000
Registered: ‎03-08-2011

@Vahn, What otis said. Your participation in this endless series of debates regarding what is, in effect, so many people's "favorite sport" is one of the big "gold stars" on Black Ops's report card.

Likes: 3
Posts: 404
Registered: ‎27-09-2011

It is very understandable by me why you can not always interact on the level that some forum members may wish for. You have a lot of work on your plate and can not always take the time to answer each forum post. You have done a good job so far by at least trying at times. More then some companies do; maybe less then others that have a dedicated member that mainly lurks the forums and replies to questions.

I do wish that perhaps the updates thread would have been kept going longer and maybe with a just a little more detail in the posts. But even then I can understand why the information was limited on the exact details of what each patch or change did and why.

As you plainly stated before as a developer you can not try and keep everyone happy all the time. Only a fool would think otherwise and for the work that you and the rest of the devs do you are no fools, that is plain enough to see for anyone that has any common sense. Just too many people are brought up in this age with this entitlment problem where they think they are entitled to have everything be told to them and for things to go there way all the time.

Too many people live in this world thinking that everying must be fair and balanced for everyone across the board; but that is seldom possible in a game like this because of time and costs and other expectations that must be met that are equally if not more important then those. And because such isses would possibly create even larger issues within the game that some players may not be able to understand.

The fact that this forum exists and that you and others have posted on different threads shows you do listen and care about what the players think. Even if you can not always give them what they think they need in how the game plays out for them. So keep up the good work and keep making games that are fun to play.

And as you already know some people will whine about anything just to whine when the game is going bad for them; because they do not want accept the fact that maybe the game is not at fault but their lack of understanding of the games mechanics may be.

trialstardragon Level 70
Likes: 1954
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Registered: ‎26-05-2011