Black Ops 2 Multiplayer: The Good, The Bad, and the “Are You Serious?”

At the tail end of Modern Warfare 3′s life cycle I wrote the end-all-be-all review of the game – more of a look back at what could have been than a buyer’s guide. That review attempted to cover in-depth MW3′s many issues and shortcomings and it received a warm reaction from you, the MP1st community.  While this article is limited to Black Ops II’s short existence, I feel an obligation to do my best to give you an objective analysis of the MP experience as it stands today.  Should patches be released that address major issues or modify the game in any substantive way, I will cover those changes in future articles.

Here, we, go.

POSITIVES

01 NO FINAL STAND, FINALLY!!!!!!

I still remember watching Robert Bowling get up on a stage at Call of Duty XP in front of hundreds of players and press and say “fuck last stand” and then getting the word that *Final Stand* was in MW3.  So I was hesitant to accept that BOII was going to be the saving grace of the COD franchise with David Vonderhaar’s claims of “getting back to the basics” with BOII’s MP design.  Granted, removing something that should never have been in the game in the first place isn’t a reason to get excited, but it’s about damn time and I’m glad Treyarch finally found the courage to use their own common sense.  Overall, BOII feels like all the BS noob-centric aids have been either removed or made totally useless (sensor grenades).  Yeah, there’s the Target Finder, but MW3 had Marksmen Pro, which was way more effective and useful. The Target Finder restricts your field of view and has a cluttered reticle system, MMpro gave you the entire screen and your choice of optical attachments on all guns, including snipers.  Just imagine the DSR-50 with a Target Finder, that was what MMpro did.

02 Balance

There are a lot of arguments going around about how the SMGs in BOII are the dominant weapons, and to a certain extent, I agree.  But that’s only true on small maps or in the hands of players with the knowledge and skill to navigate a map to avoid long lines of sight.  With most of the SMGs taking 4-6 shots to drop someone beyond 15m, I’d argue that while SMGs are typically going to win against most other weapons in CQ gunfights, they are at a disadvantage in almost all other situations.  If the maps in BOII had more breathing room and were a little more linear, the SMGs wouldn’t feel nearly as powerful.  Overall, I have almost no complaints whatsoever regarding the balance of BOII.  Could some minor adjustments be considered? Of course.  But I really can’t think of anything in the game that’s truly “OP.”

03 Graphics

BOII is probably the first COD that almost impressed me from a graphics perspective.  Of course, by COD standards, BOII is a major step up from previous games, but compare it most other FPS titles being built on modern engines and you can see a substantial difference.  Overall, I think everything from the model animations, the lighting, atmospheric effects, and textures are great looking for a game running at 60FPS albeit in upscaled HD on consoles.

NEGATIVES

01 Sound Design

As much as I enjoy BOII’s many welcomed improvements to the COD sound engine (room effects, better tonality, more dynamic range, depth, clarity, and accuracy to name a few), the one glaring issue that needs to be fixed immediately is footstep audibility.  World at War was probably the last COD to feature useful sound information when it came to using footsteps as a tool.  While Modern Warfare 2 had the better sound engine with more pronounced and accurate footstep sounds, they were almost constantly drowned out by the profuse load of killstreak spam going on in matches.  BOII has actually found quite a nice balance between scorestreak audio and all the other in-game audio, but I’ll be damned if my character isn’t legally-deaf to enemy footsteps.  While I’m busy clomping around like a horse, everyone on the enemy team seems to be wearing slippers made of duckling feathers.  Add to that perks like Awareness doing basically nothing to increase the audibility of footsteps (it increases clarity and location accuracy, but barely increase the actual volume of footsteps at all), and it’s obvious that the duckling feather slippers need to go.

In this age of a market saturated to the brim with inexpensive/high-quality gaming headsets capable of 5.1 Dolby surround sound simulation, it’s an atrocity that footstep sounds, which are so critical to your awareness in a twitch-shooter like COD, are totally useless.  Treyarch, if you’re reading this, turn the volume of enemy footsteps up, way up.  As it stands now, there would hardly be any negative impact of totally removing enemy footstep sounds at all.

02 Map Design

Why is it that everyone seems to think maps in which you need a pair of eyes in the back of your head to be prepared for a gunfight are good maps?  Maybe it’s because I’m old and have enough patience to stop moving every once in a while, but come on…  Can you honestly say that Hijacked is an example of good map design?  I get it, maybe Standoff and Raid aren’t small enough for you crazy nutjobs that enjoy getting shot in the back every 15 seconds.  But if you ask any serious competitive COD player, they’ll tell you that maps like Hijacked are designed solely for people with no attention span and who have no interest in learning maps layouts.  Maps like Hijacked are designed to put you in a gunfight whether you want to be in one or not.  And yes, I get that that kind of map design makes the game feel fast paced, but if everyone was playing the objective and not camping in their spawn waiting for their loss, even maps like Carrier would play like fast-paced high-action maps.

Thankfully, there aren’t a lot of Hijacked’s in BOII, but map size isn’t the only design choice that I have an issue with in BOII’s maps.  Why is it that every room, line of sight, ledge, or window in BOII seems to have either 8 counters or 3 ways to navigate through it?  Don’t get me wrong, it’s nice knowing that I have options when it comes to dealing with people camping in buildings, but at the same time, how many ways are there to get onto the shipping containers on Cargo?  Do we really need 4 ways to get to every surface in the game?  There’s a lot to be said for simplistic design.  But it feels like most of BOII’s core maps are designed more to be eye candy or “detailed” than as gems of brilliant simplistic design like Firing Range and Shipment.  What made those two maps so great wasn’t how many colors, textures, counters, and barrels they had or where they were placed, it was that they were simple and well balanced.  The power-points were strong while still counter-able, the crates and barrels provided just enough cover to navigate the map safely without making hiding behind them a viable strategy, and there wasn’t 20 ways to get to every spot on the map.

Yeah, maybe I’m simply too slow to defend myself with paper-thin cover and from eight different entrances at once.  But perhaps the map design of BOII lends itself more to getting shot at then it does being able to use map knowledge to safely navigate the map without fear that you’re going to get shot at from a dozen directions at once.  Hopefully, the BOII DLC maps are a little less eye-candy and a little more Firing Range, but I won’t be able to tell you as I won’t be buying any BOII DLC until the next issue is fixed, not patched, not addressed, I mean fixed.

03 Connection/Lag related issues

At this point, it should be a given than COD games run flawlessly when played online.  That is after all exactly why 75-80% of COD players buy these game.  Unfortunately, ever since MW2, it seems as though COD’s connection and lag issues have done nothing but get steadily worse.  Now I’m no expert when it comes to networking on COD’s scale, but if I know one thing it’s that I die a lot in BOII due to lag.  To back up that claim, I submit this very well made video detailing exactly the kind of lag we’re dealing with.

Additionally, I’ve been playing COD since WAW (arguably the worst COD as far as lag/hit-detection is concerned) was released and I have over 4 days logged on BOII already, so you can trust that I’m not just blaming every death I can remember on lag.  I know there are better players out there than me.  I know I lose gunfights because I was genuinely missing shots.  And I know not every gunfight is going to go my way even if I’m ready for it.  But the number of times and the consistency in which lag plays a factor in my deaths is absurd in BOII.  And no, it’s not my internet connection (trust me, I actually know what I’m talking about here and my connection is rock-solid).  The above video indicates to me that it’s not just the networking being done by BOII that’s to blame for the lag, it’s the engine running the game as well.  It’s almost as if the engine/hardware isn’t rendering the game in realtime.

The bottom line is that it’s inexcusable, especially for a franchise as big, long-running, and successful as COD, to have these kinds of issues. Period.  I don’t care how much stress Activision’s servers have to deal with.  I don’t care how outdated the hardware running these games is.  There is no excuse for connection/lag issues when the kingpin of your entire franchise is the online experience and you have the kinds of resources Activision can easily afford.  If Treyarch, Infinity Ward, and Activision can’t make these games run well on current-gen hardware, they’re doing something wrong.  Believe me, I know the Xbox 360 and PS3 are basically paperweights, but you don’t build a game designed to run on the paperweights of tomorrow and release it for the paperweights of today.  I would rather sacrifice superficial content like COD ELITE connectivity, improved graphics, and the myriad of eye-candy BS the developers of these games keep dumping in them if it meant these games would run the way they’re supposed to.  They’ve proven with MW2 that a smooth-running COD is totally possible, so why has every other COD aside from COD4 played so poorly in comparison?  Did West and Zampella take the magical code that makes COD run smoothly with them when they “left” IW?

Connectivity on COD’s scale is an amazing challenge and the fact that these games are even playable online is a miracle in itself, but that’s no excuse for something that’s advertised as a core feature being fundamentally flawed.  This is the gamebreaking flaw of BOII and it’s totally unacceptable.  I am tired of having to write articles like this about a franchise that makes billions of dollars a year when there are games barely breaking even on their development costs running without issues even remotely as bad as COD.  It’s ridiculous that Activsion thinks it’s okay to release a game on COD’s scale that plays the way BO2/MW3 do, and to a lesser extent Black Ops 1 did.

This single issue is what’s ruining BO2 for me.  If Treyarch puts out a patch tomorrow that fixes the lag in BO2, I will totally reverse my opinion of the game as lag is the only really major issue.

It doesn’t matter how well balanced the weapons are or how good an online shooter looks if you’re constantly losing gunfights that you should be winning.  I put up with it in BO1 and Mw3, but enough is enough.  Treyarch and Activision have billed BO2 as the best COD ever in more ways than any COD has ever been promoted, it’s about time their product lived up to its own description.

SUMMARY

If you enjoy BOII, that’s perfectly fine.  I don’t expect you to agree with me nor are you obligated to.  But as someone that has played enough COD to have a non-commercial pilots license (which means a lot), I feel obligated to say that BOII is broken in its current state and that I see it as the biggest letdown of the franchise.  Yes, “MW4″ is going to be a massive success.  Yes, COD probably isn’t going to die unless a “better” game comes along and kills it.  But the COD I played in COD4 and MW2 has been long dead and I doubt we’ll ever see a return to form for the franchise.  For me, the time has come to find something else to play.  Hopefully you’re still able to enjoy the franchise that I have given up on despite the thousands of hours of entertainment it has given me.

How do you rate Black Ops 2′s multiplayer in its current state?

  • Q’s

    Black ops had a good chance of impressing me, but I’m a Hardcore player and the few game modes we have, have gotten old very quick

  • Thatbeastlytaco

    As a search and destroy player I love BO2. I rarely ever play respawn modes except hardpoint. That said i’m in the middle with sound design. I like that people aren’t sitting in a building just waiting for ur footsteps but at the same time I feel my Headsets are kind of useless. Can only really use it for bullet sounds.

  • PertAndPopular

    Thank you Alex! People need to understand these things and not fight and bicker, because of fanboydom and stupidity. In addition to lag, there is also maps that are too small or not fun and guns are so bad, that most people use smg’s and hip fire, because that’s all you have to do. Maps suck for sniping, what’s the point of a sniper rifle in this series?…etc etc etc.

  • ROCKMONEY

    I’ve been saying this from day one – Black Ops 2 at times has stuttering lag & hit-detection issues. Fix these two things and the game will be a first ballot Hall of Famer.

  • Licensedbeast

    Good article! One thing to note: Highjacked is spelt wrong… it’s `Hijacked`

  • http://www.facebook.com/thomas.huggins.7 Thomas Huggins

    These new maps are leaps and bounds better than the maps that came with the game, especially the snow map. I don’t particularly enjoy getting regularly demolished by clans, but I love these new maps. I actually feel like I can use a sniper without being a quickdraw douche.

  • http://www.facebook.com/awkenney Aaron Kenney

    For once, Boss, you and I agree. 100%. Well said. All of it.

    • PuddingAuxRais1ns

      I agree. Personally i’ll take blops 2 over mw2, mw2, blops, and waw anyday. But there shouldn’t be no excuse for a game as big as cod to have the connection problems its having.

      • WarHero

        Especially if it making millions of dollars,dedicated servers would be nice but Activision….oh

    • http://www.facebook.com/awkenney Aaron Kenney

      I just noticed this: “Did West and Zampella take the magical code…” LOL. I’m sorry, but Activision totally deserves that jab.

      • Dirtknap

        Yup, made me LOL too, but it’s also an astute comment. I cannot wait until Respawn reveal what they have been working on, I just hope they can live up to anticipation.

    • http://twitter.com/Thal3030 Eric

      Overall its a very good game. Target Finders are very very noobish. OP snipers and no unlimited sprint are annoying af….but I love the fact that panic knifing is all but gone.

      • moose

        I fell out of my chair @ “sound whores are campers”

        more like “idiots running around with speakers have ADD and complain that people who actually use their brains to win arent playing fair”

        • http://twitter.com/Thal3030 Eric

          You are a camper and you don’t even know it. You head glitch adsing and use the excuses of, I’m playing smart to justify the fact that you cant run and gun

          • http://www.facebook.com/skornenicholas Nicholas Byrd

            Have you ever considered that FPS games are supposed to contain a certain degree of, you know, tactics? In a firefight soldiers don’t so much “camp” as they hold superior ground. Not to mention that every single location in modern Call of Duty games has a counter, there is literally no where you can be that you can’t be killed from in multiple ways.

        • http://twitter.com/Thal3030 Eric

          “You’re an idiot if you run around” you lil sissy gtfo its a video game. Post your gamertag I wanna see what kinda player you are.

        • NLGamer1995

          Sorry, but I think Eric is right. A lot of people in BO2 are campers and people that run and gun can be stupid and have maybe an agressive playstyle, but when you’re staying at one spot, I will call it camping.

  • Johnny Neat

    The game has long been a joke. From laggy connection, sloppy hit detection, terrible game mechanic crutches, tiny maps, spawn traps, development DLC being sold as post development content, I done with this trash.

    If it weren’t for the fact that I enjoy the FPS genre and not many Devs can make an enjoyable one, I stuck with CoD and BF. But just you wait, if a developer drops a solid and well designed FPS, I’ll never second think about ever buying another CoD game. I have little faith in Treyarch, Infinity Ward or Sledgehammer games making a solid CoD. All of them are too scared to do what has been long over due.

    • http://twitter.com/ihotnatured David

      Spawn traps are only on Demolition and it’s fair.

    • http://www.facebook.com/awkenney Aaron Kenney

      “terrible game mechanic crutches” – this has been an issue for some time in all aspects from weapon attachments, perks to scorestreaks and now wildcards.

  • mackan

    i think this game is a great game almost as great as mw2 I experience no lag or hit registration problems

  • You bought it deal with it.

    I could get on here and hate on how bad this game is but I will just let the fans do it for me. But hey maybe this year it will get better. Just keep buying them guys its the right thing to do.

    • http://www.facebook.com/thomas.huggins.7 Thomas Huggins

      The actual fans aren’t on here bitching about the game. The real fans are busy playing the game. If half of the Battlefield fans that are constantly on here, reading CoD articles and trashing the game, were actually playing Battlefield, then the game wouldn’t be fighting to stay in the top 10 on XBL. Real fans play the game and don’t feel the need to disrespect other people and their choice of game via the Internet.

      • you stupid

        Why are you here again

      • Really?

        Also I enjoy this website because of the news so excuse me for reading everything on it. Io also enjoy coming on here daily and reading all the negative comments about COD from the fans and you yeah i have seen you whining about your precious game. This has to be 5 articles I have seen on this website complaining about COD and you tell me to stop. Give me a break when have you ever seen a BF article on here talking how bad BF is. There is a reason for that. So before you start tearing down BF players really take your head out of your ass and experience better gaming. You might like what you try.

        • http://www.facebook.com/thomas.huggins.7 Thomas Huggins

          Don’t get me wrong here, I was not trying to go after Battlefield fans. My comment was aimed more towards people who bash other games for no reason. I understand you like to read news, but why read news about something you don’t like? I’ll use your person of interest, Justin Beiber, as an example. I love music, but I despise Justin Beiber, so when I’m reading any music related news, if any of it is associated with him, I pass over it like any other well-adjusted adult should.

        • Foreign

          Beware don’t feed the troll. He does this on every gaming site ignore him.

          • http://www.facebook.com/thomas.huggins.7 Thomas Huggins

            Are you referring to me? I only frequent this site and Se7en Sins message boards lol.

      • Really?

        And another thing about that precious XBL list all you COD fangirls always throws out there. Thats just on XBOX. PS3 has more than triple the people playing BF and not to mention PC players that is about the same or higher. And really who gives a shit. A lot of people has really bad taste are you going to buy a Justin Bieber album just because he is at the top of the charts all the time. People get some common sense There is Masterpiece games that never sold as much as COD that is considered some of the best games of all time. Like Bioshock. It kinda reminds me of Apple when it comes to BF and COD. Sure there is Phones and Tablets better than Apples but people still buy Apples more. People follows other people thats how its been all the time.

        • http://www.facebook.com/thomas.huggins.7 Thomas Huggins

          You should use the word “precious” one more time. I complained early on, but the game has improved. I would read all of your Master’s thesis but I’m going to go back to playing CoD. Enjoy trying to make yourself feel better by up-voting your own comments.

        • Retro

          PS3 has “more than triple” the BF3 players over Xbox? Where do you get your info from? PS3 has the most with 4.4 million, while 360 has 3.6 million and PC has 3.1 million. Far from triple.
          I’m a BF fan, but at least get your facts straight before making an argument.
          http://bf3stats.com/

      • Retro

        I like both BF and CoD, so I will both praise and bash both when need be. But if you think CoD “fanboys” don’t go into BF articles and bash BF, then you sir are out to lunch.

        • http://www.facebook.com/thomas.huggins.7 Thomas Huggins

          Read my “don’t get me wrong..” reply. I never said CoD idiots were innocent, I was just addressing the example in front of me.

    • Dirtknap

      I’m going to have to disagree. Deal with it? You’re essentially suggesting it’s okay to be provided with a product that is not fit for its intended purpose. Would you take the same approach to a faulty TV, or the purchase of a vehicle, bought as new, but delivered minus the gearbox?

      • bro

        Ok but you have only had what 7 games to make up your mind if the game is good or broken. That’s why I said that you bought it is because its true. You think i would buy bf4 if they said they are Getting rid of big maps and vehicles. Hell no. I know when i am being raped by a company. They have made billions on cod and they don’t even have the dicency to give you guys dedicated servers that would take care of your lag issue.

        • Dirtknap

          I take your point, but my personal experience is that the previous iterations of this franchise (whilst they have had many issues) have provided a solid enough experience to overlook and get on with playing the game.

          It’s when we are provided with a game at release that is completely devoid of the hygiene factors necessary for multiplayer, that I am somewhat bothered.

          I would love to see dedicated servers, any of the issues that I have experienced on BF have a)been resolved and b) had nothing to do with connection.

  • http://twitter.com/medleyoz meds

    Great article and agree 100% on the lag issues. The inconsistency is insane in the connections game to game with the same lobby I can feel like a god one game and then couldn’t kill anyone the next game.

    I disagree on the maps though – apart from there being headglitches on almost every single corner in the game – I like how there are multiple ways to get into the buildings and camping spots (especially now they allow 2 betties/claymores and you can get more with scavenger).

  • gea

    Bo2 is a travesty, just like MW3 was. Its funny to think that I used to love the cod series, and now I could care less what they do with it.

    • Foreign

      Bo2 I can go 60 kills to 10 deaths on a server and then play another server with the same players and teams and get 16 kills to about 30 deaths. :-( fix the code treyarch

  • Nate

    The lag is the only big issue. I’ve been playing cod since cod4 (went to 10th) and have logged over 300,000 kills into the MP for this series and I can promise you this games hit detection is very bad. They need to completely eliminate lag comp too. Nice article alex. One last note: the simpler the map design the better the map usually is. They’ve tried complex designs and it just makes for slow/ campy gameplay.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_D3UO5JXRTDMSRBBYY63EKFUF4U James K

      They shouldn’t eliminate lag compensation. You’re holding on with the wrong horns.

  • TFM

    They need to fix the bug were you can’t play die rise offline

  • http://www.showtimeforfree.com/ miDnIghtEr20C

    Agreed. The lag is crazy bad most of the times. I’m not understanding how I go from COD4 through COD MW2, and my K/D would always be around 1.35. (nothing great, nothing bad) But ever since BO1 where it dropped to about a 1.16, then bam down to like a 1.03 or so on MW3, and now a 1.01.

    Nothing’s changed on my end. I’m still getting games where I’m going 28-5…but then the weird thing is right after that game, host leaves, connections change, and I’m going 9-17 the next game. It’s crazy. MW2, I was a legit, 10 Nuke guy, with the videos to prove it. Constantly playing the way I play.

    With Black Ops 2, it’s almost like my good connection is being punished for those who have worse.

  • PuddingAuxRais1ns

    So how come bf3, which has 24 players(on console) playing at the same time in addition to planes, tanks, helicopters, and shit blowing up around you all the damn time, work the way it suppose to most of the time while blops 2, which all your doing is basically shooting other people, lag most of the time?

    • psychonaut78

      Too true. I play mostly BF and hardly ever say a death was down to lag. I don’t know anything about the tech, but BF has dedicated servers.

      • PuddingAuxRais1ns

        Maybe its the engine bf3 uses. This is one reason why cod needs a new engine.

    • http://twitter.com/PSNHotwire Hot-Wire

      BF3 has dedicated servers and CoD doesn’t.

      • PuddingAuxRais1ns

        The only thing dedicated servers have to do with lag is the fact that there’s no host advantage.

  • ledmikew

    Completely agree. And I will say post-patch it has gotten worse (half of the
    people you used to be able to play on the host of you can no longer so it’s even
    less likely you’ll get in a fair room). One other major sauce I haven seen
    discussed is the glitch that resets a persons stats for playing locally against
    boys or friends. Literally people are losing permanent unlocks and prestige
    levels because of this. It hasn’t happened to me but I fear it will every time I
    want to try some new setup against bots before I go into real matches with it.
    Thanks for the great article!

  • Chicothedog Gaytan

    it doesnt matter anymore, were going 2 buy another COD game :/ sooo why fix it?

  • Chicothedog Gaytan

    Note that i want the COD game fixed its just that the Activision crew know and dont bother with fixing it.

  • shit-happens

    cod is already dead……………its just the name guys…………….its just the name.

  • Unknown Villian

    I think your completely right. The hit detection, lag and people running light weight all the time makes the game a pain in my ass, even tho i love playing it. Hard wired is the most useless perk. Know one runs emp scorestreaks. I think they need to remove Ghost and make it harder to get a UAV. Just my thought on it. Treyarch does listen to us and that is great but damn, but stop making a game that has so many flaws and ways to cheat

  • http://www.facebook.com/jason.wadsworth.12 Jason Wadsworth

    i agree 100%

  • not a cool article sorry

    So pretty much this article is let’s say two lines for each good thing in this game and write two ten page essays for each negative thing. Pretty much wrote this to express your hate towards lag. I’m doing fine with the lag, yea it happens but just play through it and stop bitching. Now I’m not saying I don’t want it fixed I DO, but its not ruining the best cod game to date for me..seems like your just being a little baby that is just whining to get something and will hate the game until you get it..

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004730201116 Morgan Freeman

    Sound whoring is an unfair advantage that hardcore players will have over casual players.

    People who just want to play COD once in a while and still have a good time won’t if they’re always being soundwhored and constantly losing.

    • Stephen

      Well its not like you cant get decent headphones/speakers and use them.

      Besides i have no issue in it really since you can sound whore all you want but if you still cant shoot said person it really doesnt change anything. If anything it will make you more aware with said speakers/headphones/headsets.

      And dont say your too poor to get said decent headphones/headsets/speakers since you bought cod im sure you can buy a decent headset/headphones/speakers as well.

  • DanDustEmOff

    yea agree I dont play mp anymore its awful I just do zombies atm Treyarch games have always been bad but not this bad at least iw recognised there was a problem with the lag comp and fixed it. For all you guys holding your breath for a fix for lag comp just breathe you aint getting one black ops never did y do u think this one will. ps the game also has high host to player latency on a lan this means there is huge flaws in the network code.

    • Was it that hard?

      MW3 took months to fix the lag, and this game has been out for less than 3. There’s no point in just assuming that nothing will be fixed when they fix different aspects of the game all the time. Stop being so pessimistic!

      • DanDustEmOff

        im going off experience black ops 1 had no significant patch to fix lag comp only match making jump on blops its just the same as the new game I gave up on treyarch after waiting a year for them to fix it im just being realistic mate when they acknowledge the problem then I will begin to believe in them until then its zombies only on this game

  • BigBabyJezus

    The biggest issue in the game for me is players shooting from the “camera view” instead of the gun itself. Ever notice that fella peeking over the barrel and he picks you off, even though his gun is not anywhere to be seen. Meanwhile, there is no way to defend yourself other than spray and pray you get a random headshot. But that really isn’t a player issue, more a a bad game design issue.

  • zach

    ok, i dont want to start a comment war, despite our disagreements, but there is one major thing that bugs me.

    there will not be a MW4 and if there is, no one will buy it because of its train wreck predecessors, modern warfare 2 and 3.

    for a franchise like call of duty, every time a developer gets something right that the previous game got wrong, they would at least get one thing wrong that was always there.

    one thing i hate about people who rate or criticize COD (and not particularly you) is that they would usually say “connection and lag is getting worse” when actually, it is getting better.
    ultimately, if you like COD, you will love black ops 2, despite some hiccups like strike force or tranzit.

    • Dirtknap

      Genuine question here. Your personal experience may be improving, but how can you ignore the experiences of other community members that are to the contrary?

      Surely, you can agree there are many inconsistencies within BLOPS II and a plethora of different issues that may not impact every single players gameplay, especially when you factor in the irrefutable proof many have provided. For example, right here in this article, Alex has included OvenBakedMuffin’s video, watch it (I can only assume you haven’t because of the content of your comment).

      I for one am pleased to see such videos being created, it vindicates those of us who get handed the poop sandwich but get told to “quit bitching, and adjust” when we share our feedback.

      • http://www.facebook.com/thomas.huggins.7 Thomas Huggins

        Complaining about lag in the comment section of every CoD article on a gaming news website is about as useful as the people who complain about President Obama in the comment section of every Yahoo! article. If you want things to change, go to the source.

        If Treyarch had a fix or even an inkling of what was causing the problem for some players, they would have addressed the issue by now. I still fave lag from time to time and I have adjusted the way I play.

        • Dirtknap

          Done, issues already shared with Treyarch/activision. It’s my hope that other active community members, such as yourself, (whether they are effected or not) will see the legitimacy of our complaints, and rally together to try and get this the attention it deserves. I wouldn’t be flogging this dead horse is we had even had some acknowledgment from Treyarch, up until this point they seem to be subscribing to the “if you name it, you give it power” school of thought.

          I have a very small voice in a huge community, and if the louder voices are having trouble being heard, our only hope to see these issues fixed so we can ALL continue playing the game series we love in an enjoyable manner, is through total unity.

          As more and more evidence comes to light, we can see that this issue is much bigger than simple lag, which I haven’t had any major gripes with previously.

          This might be a little melodramatic, but CoD is where I choose to spend a good deal of my down time and would like to continue to do so, so I’m going to refer to Bodie Thoene here

          “Apathy is the glove into which evil slips its hand”

          • http://www.facebook.com/thomas.huggins.7 Thomas Huggins

            Very melodramatic, but point taken haha. The lag isn’t killing me as much as my horrible teammates do that run around with knives or the ones that run the opposite direction of the objectives. I spend much of my free time on CoD as well, so I hope, for everbody’s sake, that there will be some kind of fix in the near future.

            MW3 was a pain until the bitter end, but it was still much improved from how it looked in the beginning.

            • Dirtknap

              I’m in agreement with you there good sir. On a slightly different note, If your Gamertag/PSN isn’t Thuggins, it should be ;)

            • http://www.facebook.com/thomas.huggins.7 Thomas Huggins

              Haha somebody beat me to it, unfortunately!

  • http://twitter.com/ihotnatured David

    Lol the sound in this game’s better!

  • Sensou-Ookami

    Damn the lag, damn the SMG map invasion, and damn the lag,………wait, yeah, THE LAG!

  • HermanScholtz

    I know that lag on BO2 can be horrible and the game has its ups and downs but for the record I’m from south africa and for the past 3 years from MW2 to MW3 I’ve been raging over lag but how BO2 deals with it its brilliant but I agree with you ons some of the flaws but BO2 made the online gaming for me a lot more stress free. I think this is one COD reflecting back on COD4 in 1 good way. By the way south africa’s internet is not very good in. Comparison to the USA

    • Rhope782

      u just proved the point how the lag comp gives players with a shit connection an advantage over players that pay for a good connection

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Stephen-Guinness/543755943 Stephen Guinness

    waw really ? what are you smoking.

  • WasabeJuice

    Agree, and what I don’t understand is why can’t Treyarch see this as the most important element of the game? And they never learned for 3 years now? Or simply they are not capable of developing a balanced network game.

    If only there is another alternative game, similar to COD, that does not have these issues, I would already have ditched this franchise.

  • joshb

    yes we need dedicated servers. i read another article that said as soon as the dedicated servers come out more cheaters will pop out too. as soon as the server files are out there the cheaters will be manipulating them in their favor. but the lag in this game is ridiculous. it is obvious that i am not playing the same game the other person is playing whatsoever!

  • roachoutro

    Mw2 = Near perfect netcode. Bo1 = unplayable at times. (more often playable) Mw3 = unplayable. Bo2 = completely unplayable.

  • ROTK007

    That is your best article to date….concise and accurate…agree 100% with everything you mention. Host compensation on Blops2 is probably worst there has been

  • thebulky1cometh

    Was messing around levelling up pistols this weekend and had one of those “ARE YOU SERIOUS!?” runs where everything comes together for you…

    Gameplay footage: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nFVrdq-4KAk&feature=youtube_gdata_player

  • DamnSkippy

    How about mentioning the rollback/reset glitch spreading through the community which apperently activision has known about since before decemebr and still hasnt updated any info and all customer support tells you is to hope developers get around to it but theres pretty much no chance that you will get your lost rank and items back whats worse they also give you a false assurance that it wont happen again which is bs since it has happened to me 3 times in 3 weeks making the game unplayable

  • George

    you all gotta see this broken camera video, ive played offline splitscreen against friends and even offline, there’s ‘lag’ its ridiculous.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6EyojLjUh5Q

  • jam1n

    Well Bad just got worse, playing on the ps3 and the latest update has introduced probation for quiting games early, great you think will stop all the migrations, not so great for us hardcore players already gretting F**ked up the asse. Now if you team kill 3x your kicked and also put on probation, im being trolled to death now, to get ppl kicked all you need to do is stay infront of them or their sentry guns, agrs etc, sit by their claymore or shoot their bettys killing yourself. You cant quit games because of probation and cant do anything if people want to mess with you. I have had it with this BS, instead of putting people on probation why not fix the thing that causes people to quit, the lag, the hit markers and the inconsistancy. F*CK YOU im done with this series Hardcore was already a joke 2 versions of team deathmatch and s&d and capture the flag.

  • GeneralSarcazm

    I’m glad to finally see the horrible multiplayer issue getting some press. Now if only Activision or Treyarch would acknowledge it…

  • http://www.facebook.com/kyle.young.5815 Kyle Young

    People complaining about them not fixing the lag for over 3/4 games now…you still own ever title you are complaining about..the only real way to show ‘them’ anything is to, and take a second to deal with this, NOT BUY THEIR GAMES!!! They’d fix the game immediately if they didnt end up selling an extra 60 million copies because we as gamers finally stood up to their bullshit. Once you own the game, they dont give a shit, they’ve got your money. Really think about how to get the change you want to see, CLEARLY BITCHING IN THESE COMMENT FIELDS ARE NOT GETTING YOU THE RESULTS YOU WISH. Here’s an idea, we as gamers dont buy into their next gen COD games, which i also see no fix in the games we currently play because we already know they are developing next gen games. I think they will ‘magically’ fix all these issues for the next gen and blame it on not being able to pull it off with the current systems.

  • Tbizzle

    Bo2 has more cons then pros.
    CONS:: Ppl consoles being broken, boosting, hacking, lag, bigots, freezing, some of the weakest guns are the most powerful, so many glitches, game descriptions and stats wrong… I can go on and on.
    PROS:: Ppl paid good money to play in the style “they choose” ( well at least that’s what was suppose to be a key factor in the COD series. Anywho
    The above statement was total sarcasm…
    This game gives they anal retentive 14 year old always crying about campers even more reason to run around with over powered smgs? Are you serious? SMG 2 shot kills with no head shot multipliers…. 4 and 5 shot kill ARs? That’s a plus right?
    They argue balance , it’s balanced alright. They made ghost perk cancel itself out. What?!?!??? Ok now it’s quick scope time with the snipers on the move. Smh it’s a slap in the face for people who want to enjoy the game they way they want to. Heartbeat sensor… Umm hello. Make the little useless silver ball over ride it. The perk should have something that counters it, not the perk counter it’s self. If that’s the case make blind eye do the same thing. But wait, the blind eye perk is supposed to block view from certain auto ” unmanned” scorestreaks. Question. UAV.. ” UNMANNED air vehicle”? But I guess it was best to nerf the game down for the under 17 age crowds. Run run run, pray n spray. That should be the next title.. Black ops pray n spray. By the way, no I’m not some LiL pissed of kid. I’ve actually had the pleasure of working at activision on the very first couple of COD titles. Yes I’m in the manual , in the back. Any who. I say what I say, bcus the game is going off the path of why we first picked up the game.

  • A Name

    ” I don’t care how much stress Activision’s servers have to deal with”

    Activision? Servers? Your blasphemy is highly offensive, and I ask you to stop.

  • therandomgoth

    Finally, someone has said what has been in my mind since MW3′s lag comp. How you can actually make a game almost unplayable (MW3, not BOII) online, when that’s the thing that sells COD? I totally agree with you.

  • Mick Sandy

    The list of issues is, seemingly, an endless chasm. You’re right. With the revenue that this product and the developer’s earlier products have drawn there is no excuse for lock tight and almost perfect R&D results. At least, to fix these issues at the drop of a hat when encountered by the gaming masses. At least 90% of the games played on BO2 are ended with host migration to lost connection and lag before it. Now, the games that I play have the narrator (your voice commander) detailing elements of the game (hostile AGR inbound, hostile UAV, hostiles have captured the headquarters etc) about 20 seconds or more after the event has occurred and now I have no idea if I’m being seen by UAV until long after they have it up. I, too, have played the entire franchise and played multiplayer since clanning in Tribes almost 20 years ago. Back then, we had about the same amount of glitches but in 1993, it was expected. Really sad state that greed has played in the gaming business to have games become a non-babysat soulless cash cow void of attention or care for those that, in many cases, struggle to shell out the dough to put in the developer’s pockets. I also agree that MW3 and COD4 were fantastic. The creativity and strategy behind the maps in MW3 are unparalleled. Lazy development in addition to greed.

  • http://www.facebook.com/XxMoZMaNxX Matt Watterson

    Tell you what pisses ME off the most, and it’s something that treyarch are guilty of on a larger scale: Over – Promotion. They do it every time a new game comes out and then the game itself turns out to be crap. for example, When the BOII DLC started advertising, they created these stupid ‘Replacer’ videos. Putting a tonne of effort into letting people know that the DLC was launching. they added a whole ONE new weapons and four predictable maps, alongside a terrible Zombies mode which barely has any players. then there was the Live world championships which just finished, and the advertising and promotion of that. I can’t help but think that they put more effort into advertising the games than they actually do when MAKING them. All of the money and time it’s taken them to shoot the video, set up the championships and what not could easily have been transferred into them getting the CORE game right, before adding anything new to it. Kind of like dropping another log onto an already steaming pile of shit. I have to be honest, i bought Black Ops 2 because of the hype but i KNEW it would be the same old garbage as last time. I hate myself for it aswell. FPS games these days are becoming far too much about getting the money in, instead of delivering the quality the players want.
    Rant over. xD

  • money

    you all have aids black ops 2 sucks so bad everything is shit and no one plays it

  • drs386

    In COD4 and MW2, everybody was equal and the perks and attachments chose their gameplay style. (UAV jammer for ninjas, red dots for rushers, etc.) In BO2 you NEED certain attachments and perks. If you don’t have dexterity, quickdraw, foregrip and toughness you simply can’t compete with other players. The lag compensation in this game is absolutely ridiculous. That video above opened my eyes to how horrible it was, and I kmnew it was bad to begin with. The hit detection in treyarch games has always been bad and sledgehammer games is responsible for ruining MW3. MAP DESIGN is another big topic nobody really covers. In COD4 and MW2, I can name almost every map because they are memorable, and they also deliver good gameplay. In Black ops 2 on at LEAST half the maps, (while playing domination) I can run from anywhere in the map to ANY flag as soon as it says “Enemy is capping A” and I can’t tell you how many times I have watched a killcam to see the “YOU” marker pop up right as somebody walks around the corner to kill me. They also killed knifing, which was one of my favorite things about call of duty.

    On another note, COD4 and MW2 were the only other games made my only Inifinity Ward and Activision (just those 2 companies) No treyarch, No sledgehammer games. COD Ghosts is made by IW and Activision as well, ONLY those two. I hope that Ghost delivers and restores my faith in COD, cause I really do miss them as a gamer and fan of the series.

  • Eric

    lag and connection issues haven’t gotten any better. I’m not sure how they managed to make the connection and lag issues worse with each subsequent edition of the game but they quality of the matchmaking and connection is definitely worse with each new title. It is so rare to get a match with a decent connection that I actually am shocked that my shots actually register and can damage the other players when I have a good connection.

settings

close