Treyarch’s David Vonderhaar, Black Ops 2’s Game Design Director, has shed some light on how the studio will go about balancing the multiplayer component in the latest Call of Duty title. Vonderhaar’s approach to balancing will be mathematical in the sense that he is looking at the game’s overall date and what story it’s telling.
“There’s a lot of instrumentation in this game, there’s a lot of data logging, so I know exactly what the power band of a weapon is at all times. So I can combine how something feels with how it’s actually behaving. I know, I know this is going to happen: A million people are going to Tweet me and tell me that the [for example] ‘PDW 57 is overpowered, Vonderhaar what are you doing?’,” he told Destructiod via VG247.
David Vonderhaar goes on to state, “What I’ll do is I can go and look at the math and I’ll go ‘Actually, you know what dude? You’re just good with it. Have fun, because the math says that it’s not overpowered.’ I have the averages, you’re being successful. That means Pick 10 is working, and if it’s overpowered I’ll know it for real. Like not because someone said it was, or because I felt it was, or because you sent me an angry Tweet because you got killed by the SRM Shotgun one night 17 times so you’re mad. The data will tell me the truth.”
“So combining your opinion with mathematical fact is the way we can handle this and that’s only possible if the game is instrumented well, and it is. Like a whole new level of instrumentation, it’s crazy cool. Data nerds would just die if they had any idea what kind of stuff we can yank with this,” Vonderhaar explained.
David Vonderhaar also notes that his involvement with the community as someone who has influence on how the game operates is much more beneficial for the Black Ops 2’s audience.
“I’m the best guy for them to talk to, someone who can actually make decisions about the game is infinitely better than talking to somebody who has no control over what actually happens. I think it’s better that way, even if it comes with this whole new level of responsibility and possibly headache. It’s worth it in the end. I’m glad for it and I’m glad for them, honestly,”
I’m just going to kill people with facts [with] this game when they come over and go ‘This thing is OP.’ I’m going to go ‘Actually it’s not OP, you’re wrong.’ I’m not going to yell at them or anything, I’m just going to tell them the truth. I don’t have to hide this stuff from people, just drop knowledge bombs on guys. It’s gotta be done! What people are doing is reacting emotionally, and I’m like a really emotional guy so I get it.”
So, how did you feel about the way David Vonderhaar is going to handle player feedback. Do you think that taking a mathematical approach to balancing is fair? Please let us know in the comments and be sure to visit our dedicated Black Ops 2 page for the latest news and editorials.