The Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 private beta is back for another weekend – and players have found developer Treyarch has made some big changes to the game already.
Chief among them are nerfs to movement – more specifically, nerfs to sliding and “bunny-hopping” to, as Treyarch put it, “keep combat more in frame”.
The idea, Treyarch said, was to reduce the amount of bunny-hopping plus sliding combo moves. Anyone who played Black Ops 4’s opening beta weekend will be familiar with this tactic, as seemingly every player was at it. In short: players were sliding and then jumping up and down to try and make themselves as hard to shoot as possible, while also shooting themselves. It was a pretty effective play and discouraged players from leaving rooms for fear of being bunny-hopped into oblivion.
In response, Treyarch reduced the global jump height by five units, slowed down “very slightly” the acceleration on sliding, and made it so jumping multiple times in a row scales down jump height with each subsequent jump. Here’s how it looks now:
Now the beta is back online, players are getting to grips with the new feel of movement, and it’s safe to say the reaction has been overwhelmingly negative.
Most players feel the nerf to movement has gone too far. I’ve seen loads of comments from players who say Black Ops 4 now feels clunky, as if you’re trudging through treacle.
It’s worth pointing out that the complaints revolve around the nerfs to the slide and the height of an initial jump. Most players are delighted by the nerf to bunny-hopping, however. Redditor DieHardJayhawk summed the sentiment up in a post on r/Blackops4:
“I agree the sliding and jumping was a bit ridiculous and while they nerfed jumping perfectly, sliding is just so slow now it feels useless and the game doesn’t have the same flow it did in week one.”
“I agree bunny-hopping needed addressing but I feel like the results feel a bit too sluggish, feels like I jump higher in WW2 now… and perhaps they went too hard on the slide which wasn’t a big concern IMO. I don’t want to feel like I’m jetpacking but I would prefer to feel a bit more agile, I think they could bring the slide back to where it was, and perhaps take a second look at the jump mechanic.”
These issues have sparked a debate about whether or not Black Ops 4 – and the series more generally – should have skill moves such as bunny-hopping and sliding in the first place. Black Ops 4 is pitched as a “boots on the ground” first-person shooter, so do the likes of bunny-hopping and “drop-shotting” even have a place in the game? On the other hand, these skill moves have been a part of the Call of Duty series for years. If you strip them out, do you risk reducing the skill gap in gunfights? Do you risk making gunfights boring?
Treyarch has said it’s keeping an eye on feedback (I’m still waiting for a nerf to body armour!). Of course, this kind of debate is exactly what betas are designed for, so hopefully Treyarch hits a movement sweet spot before Black Ops 4 launches proper in October.