Tag Archives: gameplay

Black Ops II’s Patch to Balance Gameplay


Call of Duty: Black Ops II’s latest title update, which includes a host of bug fixes and gameplay balance tweaks, is now available on PlayStation 3 and will be released on Xbox 360 this weekend, according to developer Treyarch.

While game design director David Vonderhaar previously said the patch would coincide with the re-enableing of theatre mode, which Treyarch took offline in order to fix a Prestige exploit, the studio said on Twitter that the mode won’t be brought back online until enough people have downloaded the title update — “probably sometime [today] mid-day,” the company said.

According to Treyarch, the balance changes in the v1.04 patch represent the studio’s “first gameplay balance pass.”Vonderhaar promised, “This is the not the first or last time we’ll touch it,” and added, “It’s the hardest and most rewarding part of the job.”

One of the significant tweaks is a minor reduction in the effectiveness of submachine guns, weapons whose popularity Treyarch didn’t see coming. “I couldn’t pay people to use SMGs in development,” said Vonderhaar. “When the game came out, I couldn’t pay people to use anything else.”

Here’s the full list of patch notes:

New Features & Feature Improvements

  • Added support for posting Live Stream URLs to Twitter.
  • Improved audio/rumble responsiveness when hitting enemies with gunfire.
  • Improved overall communication of Double XP when enabled.
  • AAR better communicates how much XP was earned in each match.
  • Added the ability to “View League Teams” from any player’s Playercard.
  • Added the ability to “View Playercard” from League solo leaderboards.
  • Added a number of security system enhancements.
  • Added Hardcore Kill Confirmed playlist to the Hardcore category

Issues Addressed

  • Fixed a rare hang (“Awaiting Textures”) upon loading into maps when joining a session in progress after fresh boot.
  • Game now resets the Care Package for a non-owner if the owner re-rolls the package using the Engineer perk.
  • Players with Black Hat PDA can no longer hack a Care Package faster than the owner can capture it.
  • Addressed an exploit where modified console hackers could maliciously spread infected films to other users.
  • Added a fail-safe to prevent spawn trapping in CTF.
  • Increased sight checks on turrets to improve spawning algorithms.
  • Fixed a number of new UI error messages reported by users.
  • Addressed a number of issues that would cause friendly/enemy color indicators on equipment and scorestreaks to display as the wrong team.
  • Improved overall Theater and Live Streaming stability.
  • Improved film rendering stability and made progression bar more accurate while rendering a film.
  • Addressed issues which prevented some master challenges from being completed.
  • Precision challenge “Wet Work” will now unlock with 10 kills.
  • The wins challenge will now account for all FFA modes when ending a match with a tie (if you are in the top 3).
  • Players that help with the “Synchronized Attack” challenge now get credit for it.
  • Players will not be able to manually take control of their AGR if they die at the exact moment that their AGR deploys.
  • Emblem Editor no longer closes the current emblem when discarding changes.
  • Players using Ghost will no longer be invisible at all times in Custom Games with the mini-map option set to “constant.”
  • Players using Ghost and a Suppressor attachment will no longer appear on the enemy’s minimap while shooting and moving while a UAV is up.
  • The median for the K/D graph in the AAR is set to 1.0 instead of 0.0.
  • Players can no longer get on top of the shrubs in Nuketown 2025.
  • Thermal vision overlay no longer appears using the VTOL glitch.
  • Kills from the explosion on the explosive crossbow bolt now count towards challenges.
  • Counter UAV no longer remains for the rest of the game after a host migration.
  • Clan tag is no longer locked immediately after prestige.
  • Offline profiles can no longer be exploited to join online games when an online profile is also signed in.
  • Multi-team games no longer count as a tie if an entire team quits.
  • Fixed an area in Express where K9 Unit dogs could get stuck.
  • EMP grenades no longer affect the CODcaster HUD.
  • Party Privacy count no longer affects how many bots will spawn in Combat Training.
  • Shadows seen through sniper scopes now render more correctly.
  • Players can no longer stand on invisible collision in Carrier.
  • “Drop Shot” medal is no longer awarded after standing back up.
  • Players can now copy a custom class to the extra prestige slot.

Gameplay Balancing

The following is a list of numerous gameplay balancing tweaks that were made after thorough review of statistical data from usage patterns of weapons, equipment, perks and scorestreaks since launch.


  • UAV: cost increased from 350 to 425.
  • Lightning Strike: added 750ms delay


  • Bouncing Betty: increased the grace period between trigger and activation by 200ms.
  • Sensor Grenade: increased the range (now 1000 units), frequency (now 800ms between pings), and amount of time (now 6s) that players appear after explosion.
  • Concussion Grenade: decreased movement penalty and turn speed penalty when hit.


  • All: increased hip fire recoil.
  • All: increased max hip fire spread from 4.75 to 5.
  • All: reduced bullet penetration.
  • MSMC: increased recoil slightly.
  • PDW-57: increased recoil slightly.

Assault Rifles:

  • All: reduced idle sway for more reliable long-range aiming.
  • XM8: reduced lethal range of 3-hit kills from 250 to 50 inches.
  • XM8 + Select Fire: increased recoil.
  • FAL OSW + Select Fire: increased recoil.
  • SWAT-556 + Select Fire: increased recoil.
  • MTAR: Made auto aim values consistent with all other assault rifles.

Sniper Rifles:

  • All: increased hip fire spread.
  • All + Laser Sight: increased hip fire spread.
  • XPR-50: increased recoil slightly.


  • R870: reduced one-hit kill range by 45 inches.


  • B23R: reduced headshot multiplier from 1.4 to 1.
  • KAP-40: reduced headshot multiplier from 1.4 to 1

Before you start: Dishonored gameplay tips!

This article caught my eye since I will be picking up Dishonored in about an hour and thought it was a great read. Check it out thanks to Kotaku.

Revenge ain’t easy. While playingDishonored, an excellent new stealth-action game that’s out today for consoles and PC, you might find yourself face-to-face with a pack of pistol-brandishing guards or surrounded by a swarm of hungry, plague-infested rats. Or maybe you just don’t know where to go next.

Whether you’re stuck in a tight spot or just wondering how to get the most out of yourDishonored experience, allow us to help. Here are some tips for playing Dishonored the best way:

Decide Your Approach In Advance

I won’t tell you whether to turn your Corvo into a lethal assassin or a sneaky pacifist. That’s totally up to you. But I do recommend that you pick one way from the outset and stick with it for as long as you can. Why? Because the game tracks your performance with a statistic it calls Chaos. When you murder lots of people, the stat raises. When you sneak around or use nonlethal methods to take out your opponents, it stays low.

The entire last mission plays out much differently based on whether you’re in High Chaos or Low Chaos mode, so if you switch approaches halfway through the game, you might not get the ending you want.

Play Around With All The Options

You might be the type of person who loads up a new game and ignores all of the options. Don’t do that. Dishonored has tons of sliders and switches you’ll want to spend time looking at. In addition to the difficulty level, which you’ll decide as you start a new game, there are all sorts of options to toggle and tweak. You might want to turn off mission markers and try to plot your own way to each new target, or you might want to play without any health bars or other interface obstructions. Your call.


Wander around. Find hidden passageways. Break into peoples’ apartments. This is a game you can play by barreling from target to target, trying to kill everyone as quickly as possible, but to do so would be missing the point. There are all sorts of creepy characters to meet and interesting things to see. Go find them.

Upgrade Blink ASAP

The blink spell will be your best friend and your staunchest ally as you use it to teleport through the dim alleys and dusty streets of Dishonored. As soon as you pick up a couple of runes—hidden treasures that you can use to select skills—I recommend you use them to upgrade blink, which extends your teleport distance and lets you travel even further. This is eternally helpful no matter how you want to play.

Don’t Be Afraid To Use Potions

RPG fans might be conditioned to hoard their resources, saving them only for difficult encounters. This is unnecessary in Dishonored. There are potions just about everywhere, so don’t be afraid to use them. (Plus, there are no boss battles to wait for.)

Look, Read, Listen

You’re exploring, right? While you’re scouring the hotels and brothels and government offices ofDishonored‘s main city, Dunwall, take the time to experience the art. Check out the posters on peoples’ walls. Read the book excerpts you’ll find in cabinets and desk drawers. By far the most impressive thing about Dishonored is the intricacy of its world design, so let yourself get wrapped up in everything it has to offer.

And if you’re not listening in on conversations everywhere you go, you’re missing out on some of the game’s best writing.

Think Vertically

If you’re ever stuck on a particularly tough area, know that there are always many ways to get past a problem. Often these are vertical solutions. Blink up to the rooftops and take down enemies from above, or climb down to the sewers and sneak into an enemy-infested building without making a sound. If you’re ever not sure where to go next, get high or get low.

Get Creative

Sneaking up behind an enemy guard and stabbing him in the neck is always satisfying, but there are so many ways to kill people, you’d be remiss not to try them all. Experiment with your spells and gadgets. There are a lot of combinations to discover. (For example: stop time as an enemy is firing his gun at you, then possess another enemy and move him in front of the frozen bullet. Unfreeze time. Bam, friendly fire.)

Be Prepared To Play Again

During an interview last week, Dishonored designer Harvey Smith told me that he thinks the second playthrough is even more satisfying than the first. Having spent a fair amount of time replaying the game’s missions, I think he’s spot on. Going back through the game again allows you to try new approaches to every challenge, find connections that you didn’t know were there before, and uncover cool little secrets and easter eggs that are hidden just about everywhere inDishonored. This is a game worth experiencing multiple times.