Call of Duty Developer Seeks Balance Between “Quickscopers” and “Hardscopers”

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David Vonderhaar, Gameplay Designer at Treyarch, sits down with Call of Duty fans in an attempt to find peace in the war between “quickscopers” and “hardscopers”.

First, a quick definition of terms: A “quickscoper” can be considered someone who fires a high-powered rifle (usually a bolt-action sniper rifle in this case) immediately after acquiring a target using the game’s built-in crosshairs, taking little to almost no time to aim down the the sights of the rifle scope; a risky but efficient maneuver. “Hardscopers” seek targets in the more traditional sense of scanning the battlefield while aimed down the sights of a rifle scope and firing from this scoped state, usually from an advantageous position.

Along with the rise of quickscoping — a technique that caught some attention possibly during the CoD 2 era, but gained commercial popularity during Modern Warfare 2 — came the controversial debate of whether it can be considered a legitimate technique, or does it exploit the mechanics of a first-person shooter, giving an unfair advantage to the user? Call of Duty developers, Treyarch, made conscious effort to keep 2010’s Black Ops free of such “exploitations”, while Infinity Ward’s recent Modern Warfare 3 embraced it with open arms. While we are not here to provide answers to the almost unanswerable question of whether or not it actually is a legitimate technique, it could make for fierce discussion in the comment section below!

What we are here to ask, however, is whether or not quickscopers and hardscopers can meet on common ground. This is exactly what what Treyarch Developer, David Vonderhaar, hopes to accomplish and implement in Treyarch’s next Call of Duty title which evidence strongly suggests will, indeed, be titled Black Ops 2.

In a conversation with Call of Duty fans, Vonderhaar stated, “I’d like to sit down with the worlds best drag & quickscopers and those who despise it and find something directly in the middle.” He continued, “ADS [Aim Down Sight] sway as well as the ADS and hipfire aim assist (ranges) are tunable on a per gun level. Let’s do this.” To get down to specifics, he then proposed, “.4 ADS raise time. No ‘random bullet.’ Limited hip fire aim assist (MW1 was 1000 inches of hip fire aim assist). Thoughts?” He then clarified that “0.4 is the average on a MW1 style sniper.”

Some fans have expressed concern over receiving only a hit marker when achieving a clear shot to the chest in Black Ops. Vonderhaar explained that this is common “when you are used to ‘chest’ being all the same thing.” However, he admits, “we wanted it to be a precision shot. Upper torso or head but it was probably too confusing in the end.” It “also had to do with penetration settings,” he added. “You can’t hit a guy in the chest without hitting his arms and hands and sometimes gun first,” which may have added to players’ frustrations.

Vonderhaar was also asked if the possibility of removing aim assist was optional, something that many quickscope nay-sayers would argue is the source of their frustration. He replied, “Yes. It’s now possible to remove aim (hip and ads) from a gun. He also admitted, “the gun not shooting straight till 100% scoped in caused a lot of confusion and frustration for snipers.”

To close, Vonderhaar stated these words: “Balance. That place in the middle where everyone is equally pissed off. Thanks for sharing your passion with me. Reading every reply.”

It will be interesting to see what comes out of this conversation and how it will affect 2012’s Call of Duty. Can both sides raise rifle muzzles in unanimity? Please, share your thoughts in the comment section below!