Treyarch is responsible for creating some of the most entertaining and critically-acclaimed Call of Duty franchises over the years, and they hope to continue that trend with Call of Duty: Black Ops 3. Multiplayer is always a mainstay feature in each Call of Duty that is released and for Black Ops 3, that theme doesn’t seem to be changing.
Preparing to launch their first Call of Duty game under the new three-year development cycle, Treyarch is looking to build on what Advanced Warfare’s multiplayer introduced, in addition to keeping that Treyarch multiplayer flavor fans have come to love. atombash.com had the opportunity to speak with Dan Bunting, who is the multiplayer game director at Treyarch, and he told us the studio is focused on “building off of the Black Ops 2 legacy.”
Eliminating barriers that were in the way of players online in Black Ops 2 was an aim with this year’s multiplayer experience. The futuristic setting and the fact that exo-suits are back once again both make eliminating disruptive tasks, like vaulting over an object, easy to remove. “I mean a lot of it is giving the finesse control and giving them the power to navigate the environment with a learning curve that can extend over time and develop a mastery of those skills,” Bunting said.
If you played Advanced Warfare then you know how important fluidity and flow were to the multiplayer gameplay experience. Treyarch wants to carry that same fluidity forward in Black Ops 3’s gameplay and map design. Some folks may not have enjoyed the boost jump from last year’s game, but Bunting reiterated that no one needs to use it if they don’t want to. While doing that in Advanced Warfare was certainly harder to do, Black Ops 3 makes it more feasible to play a grounded style if you so choose.
Treyarch wants its players to know that if they enjoyed the experience Black Ops 2 delivered, they will surely enjoy what Black Ops 3 brings. “It’s a very natural evolution and is something you can get into very quickly. I think players will recognize some of the principles that we have for how we build maps and balance content,” Bunting said.
Part of making a game distinctly Treyarch is creating guns with “big personalities,” as Bunting put it. When it comes to establishing a unique identity, it’s all about the sound, look and feel of a gun. He used SMGs as an example of a weapon that can be defined in many ways. “If you think about SMGs, there are so many different ways you can define what an SMG does. We’ve done some crazy stuff like putting burst fire on an SMG, so you can burst fire from the hip versus fully auto by pulling the trigger,” Bunting said.
Things like scorestreaks have been made simpler than other Call of Duty games because Treyarch wants multiplayer to be accessible to players. “Any player can go in and understand the system very quickly and make free choices.” Each Specialist’s role was another element of the game Treyarch wanted to clearly establish major differences in when it came to one versus another.
There are nine Specialists in Black Ops 3’s multiplayer for a reason, and Treyarch thought about how the various elements each Specialist brings to a match would interact with another. “It all came down to finding the right variety, balance and distinctness.” Treyarch thought about including only six Specialists and then they thought 12, but ultimately, Bunting said nine was the number that felt right to them.
Depending on where you check-in on this matter, the matchmaking in Advanced Warfare was a very practical, sensible system, and we wanted to know if that same system would be back once again in Black Ops 3. “We want [matchmaking] to be faster because the most important thing is to get people into matches fast. Connection quality is the most important aspect of matchmaking for multiplayer, so above skill, network quality is [essential]. We’ve made massive improvements from Black Ops 2 to Black Ops 3 in network quality and latency,” Bunting said.
From this we still don’t know if the matchmaking will be based partly on your kill-to-death ratio, like it was in Advanced Warfare. Personally, it was nice to have certain players matched up with people of a similar skill, though some folks will no doubt disagree with that sentiment. The Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 PS4 multiplayer beta ended last night, and the betas for Xbox One and PC will commence tomorrow.
Who knows if this upcoming installment will be the final iteration in the Black Ops series, but we do know this year’s game has massive scope between the main campaign, zombies and multiplayer. Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 will launch on PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC on Nov. 6.