Black Ops 2 Game Director: Gun Balancing is "F**king Hard"
David Vonderhaar, game director for Black Ops 2, talks about gun balancing and how it's "fucking hard."
One of the hardest thing in developing online multiplayer shooters is making sure the guns are balanced enough that everybody won't just use that one gun.
Even for a series as established as Call of Duty, this is still a problem. In an interview with OXM, Black Ops 2 Game Director David Vonderhaar admits that in the game, "The Auger is the most popular gun for people to complain about statistic-wise."
For those not familiar with the gun, the Auger is Black Ops 2's "wall-penetrating" sniper rifle.
In Black Ops 2 right now, people are saying that the millimetre wave scanner isn't strong enough. Again, we're in alpha, we're still tuning, that's important - but if you walk around the emotional reactor, some people think the scanner needs to pulse faster. 'I need to see guys through walls better'.
Vonderhaar counters, "But the data doesn't bear that out." He adds, "That thing is badass and guys that use it are badass with it. There's always a balance between your emotional and visceral reaction for how something feels, and the truth about how much it helps you or not."
So, what can "Vahn" do and what does he think of all this?
All these are things we can tweak and tune, and they're telling me this, and I'm looking at them, saying: "I appreciate your feedback young man, but the data shows the truth about this." And that's game design and part of being a game designer, and it's fucking hard.
Vonderhaar laments that he has the unfortunate or fortunate position of being the game's "judge, jury and executioner" on all those decisions and that puts him in an awkward spot.
Whatever the case is and no matter what adjustments Vonderhaar makes to balance the game, expect someone to bitch about it. I mean, with the Call of Duty franchise having millions of fans playing its multiplayer for each iteration, it's wishful thinking that they can please everyone all the time.
Are you cautious in how Treyarch is handling Black Ops 2's gun balancing or did you find Black Ops 1's gun balancing good enough?