In the final hours of the Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 beta for its forthcoming battle royale mode Blackout, Treyarch decided to test its servers and push the player cap to 100. It seems apparent Treyarch plans to use this information to test the heavy multiplayer mode before launch, but it also appears that Treyarch gathered information concerning armor throughout the beta and have made changes based on that.
For the uninitiated, Black Ops 4 has been continuously criticized for its in-game armor, not just in this battle royale beta but its multiplayer beta too. Perhaps these changes will go a long way in making the launch as smooth as possible, but that remains to be seen. In theory, however, these changes sound more balanced than before.
Treyarch explains it has been cautious about armor changes because of that extra emphasis in Blackout where players only have one life, but the company has settled the following changes so far:
- Level 3 armor spawn rates have been reduced by 75%
- Level 3 armor will be found more in Stashes and Supply Drops. It can still spawn in the world on occasion, however.
- Level 3 armor now breaks sooner, passing more damage to the wearer, but still provides headshot damage mitigation.
- Level 2 armor has also received minor tweakers and could receive more before launch
- There is now an indicator of armor condition for the player and their teammates in the HUD.
Of course, Treyarch has stated that it will make further tweaks as necessary before and after launch. Considering it has extensive post-launch plans for Blackout, it's safe to say that support for the battle royale mode will be on-going, which many may argue is one of the nicer perks of the battle royale trend.
While the success and popularity of Blackout remain to be fully tested against its competition (Fortnite, PUBG, and Battlefield's Firestorm), an upcoming Doritos Bowl tournament might go a long way to test those waters, as popular Fortnite and BR streamer Ninja will be participating. Nevertheless, it's shaping up to be a real competitor in the BR genre, partially thanks to minor changes that make a world of difference such as this armor update.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 releases for PC, PS4, and Xbox One on October 12, 2018.