Black Ops 2 Dev to Respond to Multiplayer Balancing Complaints By ‘Killing People With Facts’

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.

  • Soldier

    Typical idiot developers… That is why in CoD competitive play there are around 3 guns that are used and the rest are not.

    • child please, you go Dev!

      ^that guy…..

      actually he is right, mix and match any gun and you can play well. Know your gun and don’t run and gun with an AR, don’t run at people when they have a shot gun.

    • dmier

      thats why on Counter Strike competitive only 3 guns are used, AK47, M4A4, AWP

  • No, not at all. Most people who play this game are noobs, and if you balance around that you’ll get left with extremely overpowered weapons. Sure, then maybe the noobs will start doing decent, but it’s not balance, it’s just making everything better.

    EDIT: Also, what about the competitive community? If all the weapons are balanced around average or worse players, imagine how they will work with decent ones.



    I just hope the fix the server issues, asap!!

    • Sensou-Ookami

      Oh lord please do.

    • yeah my PS3 froze twice when playing tranzit

      • Sensou-Ookami

        Crashed while I played Nuketown 2025,…..right when I threw a EMP grenade.

  • Sensou-Ookami

    In Treyarch we trust. But you guys better fix the crashing with PS3 and the “need more players to balance team” bs, or I will use the Black Ops 2 disk to entertain my husky with.

    • Dirtknap

      This ^ along with the network issues! 90% of my experience to date with BLOPS II has been rage inducing due to lag. It’s weird though, I have a 4 bar connection the majority of the time but it doesn’t “feel” like I’m fighting against the standard lag comp issues. The other 10% has been amazing, when it works the multiplayer component s brilliant. I don’t feel any of the weapons are OP, I do have concerns with some of the score streaks though.

      • David

        You’re seriously playing on wireless connection and you have the gall to complain about network issues? Dude learn about wireless networks.. they drop packets like crazy, speeds are not reliable.. if you want to be competitive online you NEED to go wired. If you’re just having fun then carry-on but quit yer bitchin!

        • Dirtknap

          Where did you get the idea I play on a wireless connection? I’ve mentioned on numerous other occasions that I have mitigated every lag compounding contributor within my control, and I happen to know a thing or two about networking since my proffesssion is largely comprised of network knowledge. Aside from this comment being over a year old, I find it interesting you have the gall to attempt to tell me off when you know nothing about me, my connection or my experience.

          • David

            Based on “I have a 4 bar connection the majority of the time”

            Now, I take it that is coming from the game display? Which means it’s probably based on your latency? If so, latency doesn’t tell you a whole lot if you don’t know how the game is coded. I had originally thought you were referring to your wireless signal bars.

            I do have the gall, lots of gall, so much that I will comment on year old comments and still be completely ignorant about the facts!

            P.S. I’m guessing it was a simple typo, but I laughed at the double F and Triple S in your ‘proffesssion’.

            • Dirtknap

              Haha, it’s all good. You’re on the money in respect to the in game connection bars, historically it’s been a fairly good indicator of connection quality in CoD titles, others factors you will find discussed frequently in my other comments are around lag comp and the broken in game camera, which essentially clouded this entries appeal for me.

              Good lord, that was an embarrassing typo, chuckle worthy for sure.

  • This is good,, we dont want what happened to battlefield to happen on any other game


      Exactly bro!! They arent going to nerf things because noobs cry. Sick of whiners ruining BF3.

      • Sensou-Ookami

        Or the fact that all the noobs bought all the weapon packs instead of earning them the hard way, that really annoys me. Nothing like feeding the assholes.

        • Asmitty56

          They can have what ever gun they want. Their still going to die a lot because their noobs lol.

    • Pretty certain all FPS games use data to balance and not the complaining. The complaining brings things to attention, but DICE didn’t nerf things that weren’t OP. What DV said is Treyarch will listen to the whines and address the data and nerf or adjust if needed. The difference between DV’s approach and. let’s say DICE, is the delivery…kill ’em with facts. And that’s a good approach. It reminds everyone that even though there is an art to designing a great game, there’s science and math that has to support that art.

      • xForbiddenOne

        Hate to break it to you, But DiCE is kind of known for nerfing things that shouldn’t be nerfed in the first place. Kind of like their awful nerfing of the stinger in BF3 that they had to revert back. They nerfed that because people complained it was too easy to take down a helicopter, Yet they ended up making it so you had to have four guys shoot stingers at about the same time to even come close to blowing it up.( PC version ) In the long run during the week after that patch, Helicopters with engineers repairing them were almost impossible to take out.

        • Some companies handle balancing better than others. Though DICE listened to the complaints, I doubt they made the decision to Nerf it without data to back up the decision. The vehicles, in particular the helicopters, have been an interesting balancing act. With all the maps playing a little different, I imagine it’s very difficult to find the right setting for everything. Of course, no matter what they do, a skilled Attack Chopper Pilot on Wake Island can dominate another team. Moving the Laser Sight to the Gunner has helped some, but it’s still a deadly vehicle that has little that can balance it out on that map. But, if they nerf it on the one map, they’d have to on all the others.

          Before you think I’m a DICE apologist, I find some of their moves lacking complete logic. I cannot comprehend why they continue to allow the “QUICK MATCH” menu option to be useless (at least on the 360). Sometimes I just want to jump in a game and I just don’t care to use the Server Browser. BF3 dumps you into a empty server. Every time. I contact DICE and they suggest I use the Server Browser. That’s a failure. Nevermind that the Quick Match option is the largest Menu item on the screen and so you would assume it would work. In general, I think you’re okay if a hyperlink fails sometimes, but a menu option in a released and constantly updated game that’s been out for over a year, shouldn’t have a “dead” button.

    • Delta8A

      Hey! I wanted to say that first!

  • tludt888

    Of course it’s not fair, however, there is a far more evident problem with BO2 than weapon balance. It’s been a systemic problem, which started with MW2 and gradually devolved through BO and MW3… which is now evident in BO2. I speak of course, of the maps…

    The maps, are just… god awful… They’re all just mazes and pathways. There’s no real “buildings” per se, no real strongholds, nothing but pathways. This, of course, causes everyone to just run around until they find someone to spray bullets at. More often than not, resulting in a mediocre K/D… simply because there is literally nothing there for the player to use a tactic or set strategy with. There’s only one line of thinking now, run-and-gun, keep em’ moving, and they’ll all enjoy it.

    Not to mention, they’re all tiny maps. I mean, BO actually had some decent maps, few and far between… but they were there. I have yet to see an imaginative, large, map. CoD4, in my opinion, had by far the best maps in CoD.

    And I know, it seems really simplistic to just say “Oh, it’s the maps”. I’ve thought long and hard about this for the past several years, and yeah… sorry to say… the maps just ruin what is otherwise a solid shooting mechanic.

    Also, as an aside, I love how “camper” is literally just a slur now. Too bad that staying in one spot is such a taboo, contrary to all logic.

    • Sensou-Ookami

      I get annoyed with being called “camper” as well, really dumb considering that in real life you need to camp, running and gunning will get you killed,….and stay killed. Especially if you are watching the objective, god forbid you camp the objective to protect it, you get your damn ears chewed off by 12 year olds.

      • tludt888

        It’s not even twelve year olds that bother me, it’s the fact that -everyone- has latched on to this staying in one spot to hold a stronghold = bad. Greaseball inner-city twenty year olds, nerdy 30 year olds, 12 year olds alike… they all harbor an almost racist-like hatred of camping. It’s really a problem in my mind.

        • Sensou-Ookami

          Agreed, it is like the plague.

        • PuddingAuxRais1ns

          In ffa, its kinda annoyig to deal with campers cosidering that this is supposed to be a fast paced game. Yeah i can understand if you camp for a couple of seconds just to check a certain area. But i personally dont understand how a player can play a game just to stay in one corner of the map.

          • tludt888

            There’s a -vast- difference between “Corner camping” and simply holding a building. CoD actually -encourages- corner camping by having a massive amount of coverless corners… or corners with perfect cover overlooking… more corners, which I don’t find fun… but to each their own.

      • Cycovision

        when an entire team is sitting in a major path of traffic lying prone with suppressed guns it’s kind of a bitch move in KC or TDM. I have nothing against objective players or defensive players but it’s incredibly cheap in a game mode where kills are the deciding factor.

        • tludt888

          Well, on the opposite side of the coin… deaths are a deciding factor as well. So in order to minimize your risk, and maximize your output… it makes sense to camp a high-traffic area in a somewhat invulnerable spot. I don’t see how it’s “cheap”.

    • Sensou-Ookami

      I miss the MW2 maps, those were the first I was introduced too, and then bad spawns came with later CoDs and smaller maps. Maps have been really lame for a couple years now.

      • tludt888

        MW2 maps were good, yeah. I just think it all started there, mainly with maps like Favela and Terminal where they really started humping the “no buildings that aren’t pathways” and “no buildings period” mantra. But they were at least fun and passable, because there -were- spots that you could at least make work.

        • Sensou-Ookami

          Terminal had the problem of A flag spawn was the shit spawn, got spawn trapped all the damn time. Then that went over to MW3,….I was like “wtf….”

    • xForbiddenOne

      I’ll have to agree with you on the map issue, It seems MW2 was the last of the decent maps( And I thoroughly enjoyed MW2 despite the danger close OMA tubers) But now… The maps are just plain bad.

      As far as camping though, With these new map designs they keep bringing out, they keep adding more and more corners with actual cover, BO2 is a prime example of this, I generally run into nothing but flat out corner campers. I have no problem with people sniping from a building, or even holding down a building with good coverage of part of the map, but corner camping with two betties and two shock mines is just rage inducing. And it’s all I really see.

  • Nemesis_96

    I love the Vahn man! I think peon just aren’t used to the new weapons and stuff, because I know I’m not all that bad, though I’m not doing so good so far at Bo2’s MP – practise makes perfect! Combat training definitely helps!!!

    • Sensou-Ookami

      Yeah, it takes time and patience with the game people.

    • the man

      exactly you are what all cod players need to be with your sense

      • Nemesis_96

        Thanks 🙂 it is depressing how many do fall to the stereotype of shouting ‘fag’ at everyone else..

  • Cycovision

    I honestly only complain that the SMGs are laser pointers ADS and Hip fire. Other than that I don’t find much imbalance. I like they found balance through quirky little things, but the fact an smg can be that accurate at range is annoying.

    • Sensou-Ookami

      There is that. I can rape assholes with an SMG with only hipfire from down the street, I feel like a dirty aim bot vs. those poor assault rifle players.

      • xForbiddenOne

        Yeah, They really need to change all the SMGs to have a bigger hipfire spread, It’s a little insane that assault rifles are a waste of time now. I rage quite hard when I get hipfired across the map by an SMG.

  • DanDustEmOff

    Multiplayer sucks I’d rather play MW3 yea that’s right I said it

  • Watki

    I don’t blame the game, I blame the player. People never admit shooting at the lower body and scream when they lose a fight against someone who aimed at the head.

    • born2expire

      Aiming at the head only gets you killed in COD as the other person drop shots you and you fire at nothing. Aiming at knees FTW.

  • buttfacebob545

    No no no no…. the smgs have got to stop. Literally the only thing I am getting killed by. It’s unbelievably annoying.

  • Shrek

    I have already returned my copy of Blops2. Once again Treyarch has failed to live up to the hype.

    • you


  • dontbefanboys

    what about the spawns? i spawn behind enemies and enemies spawn behind me. lag is terrible. headglitching is rampant. shotguns have rediculous range. maps are cluttered. bo2 is not competitive at all and is a huge disappointment to me and i loved bo1. the multiplayer needs a lot of work

    • xForbiddenOne

      ^Mainly this, I disagree with the shotgun part, But the rest has been my experience 100%, the lag compensation is terrible, the hit detection is terrible, the maps are marginal at best, most are just bad, and I’ll have to agree with the spawns being horrible. Half the time I feel like I’m playing demolition when in reality I’m just spawning with the enemy or they’re spawning within knifing distance of me.

    • urmomma

      ur dumb……the spawning is stupid and they really,really need to fix the range on shotguns but the game IS SO COMPETITIVE there is so many llosers on bo2 already. so. no

  • born2expire

    MP7 is overpowered. Higher rate of fire than all assault rifles, higher damage than assault rifles (minus the SMR a single shot rifle) and larger mag than all assault rifles. Plus it has incredible range (in game calculation show it has same range as the shotguns, which have zero range), and its accurate firing from the hip.

    • Cycovision

      Never believe in game stats. The submachine guns actually have very little damage. The mp7 for example only does 33 to 18 damage. however the high rate of fire and lack of any recoil makes it a laser pointer and the smgs have insanely tight hip fire makes it OP. Stats come from the denkirson message board.

  • Akira 2020

    Okay……I think

  • Jocephus

    so far the only complaints i have with the game it the fact that there is no recoil with the sniper rifles as well as the fact that quick-scoping still exists. Vonderhaar wants facts…try this fact. in reality and mathematically quick scoping is impossible. It cant be done with any weapon in well as the fact that i can get killed with a single sniper bullet from a quick scope while wearing flak jacket but if i shoot someone point blank with a RPG while they are wearing flak jacket they survive..doesn’t anyone else see the problem with this logic…? FIX THIS!!!

    • Revisawesome

      Even with QSing being back, it’s flawed. You need to hit the deadly spots (for example the upper torso, head and so on) so it really depends on luck rather than ‘skill’

      • Asmitty56

        So basically now you have idiots running around “trying” to quickscope and in the process getting killed and bring the rest of the team down?

    • jlegodude

      ya i hate it and if you don’t quick scope they start saying your a hard scoper

  • Alpine Maffu

    What a Bizarre image he is trying to conjure up. He makes it sound that he is just sat back in his swivel office chair, sipping a latte, browsing twitter and looking for 12 year olds bitching about overpowered guns, and then dipping into his pile of stats from the day and telling them what is what. How strange.

  • Bill

    They need to fix the multiplayer problems on PS3 before they worry about how powerful guns are. Its constantly crashing, lagging, “need more players to balance teams” bs, error messages, and communities are already boycotting buying the game because of its inconsistencies Id say they have a lot bigger problems on their hands

  • Search and Destroy’s point system needs to be changed.. You used to rank up just as fast or faster than other game modes… now it’s considerably nerfed as far as XP gained

  • handicappedentertainment

    Has anyone else noticed any Lag Comp when playing Blops 2? I’m not concerned with any of the weapons being OP cause I haven’t noticed it. It’s more of a connectivity issue I’d say. I’ll probably just have to edit a few videos and try to point this out. But, unfortunately, every time I try to play a recent video in the Theater my 360 freezes.

  • Billy

    To the people complaining about ps3 go buy an xbox. And I dony like this balancing thing I know he put alot of work into it but I dont like how scrubs can kill me in gunfights. I usually have around a 3.0KD in all call of dutys but this one I have a 2.0. I noticed theres no recoil on any gun at all even lmg. I get it, its the futures guns r gonna be more high tech. But still this super balancing stuff is ridiculous. U kill one person n die nonstop. And that causes more campers cuz they want there score streaks

    • Complaining about the issues on PS3? It’s a legitimate area of concern when your console freezes up or you cannot get into matchmaking, so your “get an xbox” comment isn’t helpful.

  • martin

    whear is team defender on black poos game has let me down

  • jagar

    i cant even connect to the service to play multiplayer !!!

  • dwadwadwa

    this gane is a piece of shit retarded spawns retarded balance shit and treyarh ur retarded fuck you if you want to make a game make it correctly

  • kam aka polska801

    Alright jackasses that really believe this game is balanced. I’ve maxed prestiged in the last 4 cod games, got a kdr of 2.0 in almost all of them. I have seen the best and the worst of every cod game. What’s the point of having all of these other weapons when almost everyone runs around with an Mp7. Who’s brilliant idea was it to have that weapon be the first weapon you get. Not to mention you cant even use an assault rifle what so ever. I doesn’t match up with an Smg what so ever. I have 20mb internet and I have never experienced lag like this in my life. It’s complete bs that they keep putting out titles with the same bs issues every time. Another $60 bucks down the fn toilet. Let’s call this game Smg ops. It’s Fucken stupid, super dissapointed by the finished product here. Waste of time!!!!!!!!!

  • JasJw

    Fix servers, broken perks like awareness and ghost and make some bigger maps.

  • Russ

    Lol . This guy is clueless as to what is really going on with this game in multiplayer. Example: I shoot someone in the back with multiple hits , he turns around and I die. It was never that bad before in other cod’s. and there are terrible lag issues. I recommend if you haven’t already purchased this game. DON’T!!!. Save ur hard earned money for something better. I sold my game for $30. The frustration was just too much with this crap. Also, there are too many people playing with modded controllers.

  • Punishuallday1

    My biggest complaint is the amount of bullets it takes to kill someone. The type 25 took 3 to the head to kill a guy that was lying down in front of me. I have even had times when I have got 4 or 5 hit marks and then die instantly by the same guy. I’m sure a lot of this is the horrible lag in each game but please work on this. 9 out of 10 games I have to wait on a host migration. I like the game but this would help a lot.

  • stonefly14

    Every day I give it another game go 25 -6 next against same opponets go 3 -23 this game is broken ill never buy another.

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  • pissed off

    the lagging makes this game a piece of shit. If you expect anyone to buy your maps, you need to fix your lag fuck-up first. You should have used the cash from celebrities in commercials on fixing the unfair game play. what a disappointment.

  • Robo

    Keep getting probation for being kicked out of a server please fix

  • Fuck Probation

    “Probation” is fucking ridiculous especially when its the shitty server booting me off to cause.. stupid…

  • Dyer148

    on multiplayer it demoted me to level one from level 51 and made me lose every


  • travis

    Killed too many times at 50 meters and beyond by smg’s, by one pull of the trigger i might add! Plus whats the deal with these connections kills? I will get killed by guy that wasnt there .5 seconds ago but iwatch the kill cam and had been watching me for me 3+ seconds. Many other complaints about connections. Getting killed by players looking the other direction, but in their screen they were always looking right at u!!

  • George Vander Buist

    I don’t know if this problem is caused by noobs, or players greedy for a positive kdr. But you have to play to the game you are playing. Demolition obviously is far different than tdm. But often I’ll play demo and get wiped with 10-20 (or worse), as well as the rest of my team, but win because we planted the bombs where the other team has one or two guys at 20-5 but not a single plant or defend … they just to play to get their cool kill streaks and don’t have any intention of actually winning that game.

  • Jimmy


  • Andy

    Why are we now being threatened with probation when the sound goes or the game cuts out and it’s your faulty games and you threaten us with probation if we don’t finish the game?

  • happytriggerfng

    You guy have to take care of the moders on black ops 2 or im getting my lowyer and i want my money back this is rediculous!!!!!!!!

  • Michigan

    I hate the Remington in black ops 2 now change it back to the way it was because I just hit them in the face once and they don’t die

  • jay

    how do i delete revolution map pack on ps3 ? these maps truely suck, only one i enjoyed was downhill. and also the stupid probation for killing a team mate is stupid, you are telling me i have to take a probation for every time a stupid team mate is running infront of my bullets ? you game makers are so stupid … someone needs to curbstomp your faces in poop

  • wow,lol

    So you say you can argue that the game doesn’t favor headless chicken run and gunners………………mmmmmm kay

  • I hate the Fact that i never get to play NUKETOWN 2025 and thats why i bought the game, but i think ima go back to Battlefield 3 becuse this Shit is real damn stupid like i never get to play on nuketown but i think ima trade it back in and move on

  • Crayons

    You need to fix lobby issues I can’t get into my friends lobby because servers full even though it says joinable black ops hasent been very fun l-atly due to lag and not being able to join anything!!

  • cedric thomas

    u need to fix black ops 2 it dont make no sense people shooting through walls and wat not

  • lloyd

    I have a 1.65 kdr people with .45 are beating me all day Saturday I am so pissed Becuz I own all the time And all of a sudden a guy with a LMG can pull up faster than a mp7 with dexterity And quick draw wtf ever fix ur fucking lag black ops bitch a guy who has gotten 2 UAV in 5000 kills goes 12 – 31 in a match be killing me FIX UR FUCKING LAG U BALD BITCH FUCK YOU

  • jlegodude

    they should really put new score streaks for bo2 like another robot to control maybe it could lay mines or bouncing bettys and thay should make an rc helicopter

  • 5TerisaHaman

    Savvy post . With reference to which , if somebody requires to combine some PDF files , my co-workers came across text here