Call of Duty: Black Ops II Perks “Can and Will Be Nerfed” Post-Release

David Vonderhaar has been discussing and revealing post-release support plans for Call of Duty: Black Ops II. He explains that in-game perks will probably get refined and changed to reflect the community’s opinions and play style.

Treyarch’s Game Designer Director states that the current Perk system has become “too complex” and that Treyarch wanted to focus on the area which was “pretty important for us to rethink”. Perks, which made its debut in Call of Duty 4, have been refined and made simplified in Black Ops II; perks now do not effect your weapon and have been scaled back to only help your player’s character.

Vonderhaar’s frustration with the overly complicated perks have advanced across the Call of Duty games to have “[standard] perks, perk pros, perks that influence you, perks that influence your gun, perks that influence team mates.” His intentions are to make the system far more simpler – by removing weapon-related perks, the Pro element, and split up any ambiguous perks – but still maintain the main point of the perks system.

We’ve simplified that so perks only ever affect your character, and more importantly, Black Ops II’s perks aren’t absolutes. In Black Ops our only balancing options were to remove the perk or keep it – now we can tune any perk by increments to nerf it or improve it.

While in previous Call of Duty titles perks have gone largely unchanged, Black Ops II – and also to a smaller extent, Modern Warfare 3 (Sit Rep Pro and Dead Silence balances) had similar changes – will have a much more improved updating system which will allow perk variables and parameters to be more balanced out along with the overly more simplified perks.

David Vonderhaar expresses that “I can nerf perks and I will, mark my words.” He goes on to say that “a perk should never be something you need just to compete. A perk is ‘I got a parking spot,’ or ‘the soda machine gave me free soda.’ Your life shouldn’t depend on it.”

He mentions that “the community helped me understand that, and that’s why our new system has no absolutes.” With the overhaul of the Create-a-Class system, the simplification of perks, the larger focus on post-release support and fine-tuning, will Black Ops II live up to the Game Director’s promise of “we can try to make it the most balanced CoD ever”?


You read up on all our latest Black Ops II news here.

What are your thoughts on these details? Have you always been hoping for a more flexible and fine-tunable perks system in Call of Duty games? Post your comments and opinions below.

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