Matt Lewis, vice president, mobile at Activision, has opened up about weapon balance in Call of Duty: Mobile and how the team uses players’ feedback and in-game data to fix it.
Gamasutra published Lewis’ article on May 12. “If we had a magical social media management eight ball that bucketed all weapon feedback together, sorted it by weapon type, sorted it by weapon variant, and then sorted it by which aspect of the weapon (e.g. a specific attachment) or thing that’s perceived to be over powered (e.g. time to kill at x distance) then we could clearly see cohesive feedback about weapon balance,” he wrote.
Of course, TiMi Studios and Activision had to come up with a new system to balance all weapons in the game. Here are key takeaways from the article:
- Developers talked with dedicated players, compiled their feedback to one document, and gave it to weapon designers.
- According to Lewis, developers implemented over 36 pages of changes in weapon balance. However, they still had to test it on a wider player base to see their reaction.
- The changes affected all types of weapon in Call of Duty: Mobile, including SMGs, Assault Rifles, LMGs, and Snipers.
- The main problem that the developers wanted to solve was that weapon types were not different enough. It means that players used LMGs at all ranges, replaced SMGs with assault rifles, and used snipers in close combat.
- That’s why the team decided to deploy a public test build for 30-40K players on Android across the globe.
- The Gunsmith system, which allows players to modify weapons, was another problem. Although it can make every weapon unique, it also makes balance complicated. So, developers didn’t want to just increase/decrease damage/recoil but instead to make players use base weapons in different scenarios.
- According to Lewis, most players supported these changes, and now the team will implement them around the launch of Season 4.