'Call of Duty: Blackout' Update Completely Overhauls Armor Designs, Map Changes, and More

For those that can't get enough of Call of Duty's take on battle royale with Blackout, there's good news! The team over at Treyarch just revealed a ton of new changes that their latest update brought, complete with a total overhaul on the mode's armor.

According to the studio's most recent post on Reddit, "We’ve also made fundamental design changes to the map, audio, and Armor in Blackout with this update, including adjustments to the SDM and Spitfire to better balance out the weapon classes, environmental changes to key destinations around the map, and more. See the Blackout section of our patch notes below and jump into the game to find out what’s new across the entire Blackout map, just in time for the holidays."

From modifer tweaks, to audio issues - and of course the overhauls themselves - here's what's new with the latest patch now live:

Audio

We’ve made the changes below with the goal of creating more predictability around when a player can hear another player’s footsteps, as well as a pass on unrelated game audio that could significantly impact footsteps. We intend to perform additional tuning on unrelated gameplay audio that egregiously impacts the player’s ability to hear other players moving in the world. Details include:

  • Occlusion
    • When players don’t have line of sight to another player, some of the sounds those players make are occluded using an audio filter. This filter subtracts some of the lower frequencies (AKA “bass”) to help to create a distinction between players who are in very close proximity to other players, but not necessarily in the same structure.
      • Changed occlusion levels to prevent situations that could make footsteps nearly inaudible.
      • Refactored occlusion code to properly occlude specific materials and buildings that were missing occlusion.
      • Terrain now occludes properly.
      • Fixed issues with garage doors that kept them from occluding properly when opening and closing them.
  • Distances
    • Rebalanced the distances at which players can hear first hear someone approaching.
    • Unified distances related to certain movement types – for example, sliding should now be heard about the same distance as other player movement sounds.
  • Gameplay Modifiers
    • Awareness and Dead Silence Perks have been changed accordingly with the new distance settings for footstep audio.
  • Directionality
    • Lowered the reverb on third-person footsteps, which helps with the player’s understanding of the overall location those footsteps are coming from. This is especially true when wearing headphones/playing in stereo and not in 5.1.
  • First and Third Person
    • Further lowered the first-person footstep volume that players hear themselves make.
    • Further lowered volume of teammates’ footsteps.
    • Decreased first-person weapon audio slightly to balance with third-person weapons heard by others.
    • Addressed an issue with first-person splash audio where jumping into water sounded louder than it should.
  • Environment
    • Lowered volume on the main ambient blend track (the overall sound made by the environment that players always hear, varying by map location and elevation), allowing subtler gameplay cues to be more audible more often, including footsteps.
    • Reduced volume and distance that garage doors can be heard from.
    • Modified the volume and distances that opening Stashes can be heard from.

Armor Redesign

Armor has been completely overhauled in Blackout. Our goals for these changes are to allow Armor to survive multiple engagements, and to reward players for taking out an enemy and destroying the enemy’s Armor in the process. While coming out of an engagement on the winning side feels good, it doesn’t feel good to have your Armor destroyed with each engagement you find yourself in. As such, players can find and use Armor Plates to repair damaged Armor, which are applied from your Inventory on all platforms, and from both the Inventory or the Quick Equip menu on consoles.

It takes approximately two seconds to use an Armor Plate to repair a segment of damaged Armor. One Armor Plate will repair a single Armor pip, regardless of Armor level. We will closely monitor the amount of available Armor Plates in the world and make adjustments quickly as needed. Details include:

  • Armor Plate Locations
    • In enemy Death Stashes after destroying the Armor of an opponent.
    • In Equipment Stashes.
    • More rarely, on the ground as a lootable item.
  • Durability
    • Armor durability has been increased, allowing Armor to last longer through an engagement.
    • Armor durability indicators have been updated to display individual pips of Armor.
  • Damage Mitigation
    • The percentage of damage that Armor mitigates has not been changed. As we monitor how these changes to Armor affect gameplay in Blackout, we will continue to evaluate damage mitigation values.

Map Changes

0comments
  • Overall
    • Added seasonal changes to foliage and softer winter lighting across the entire map.
  • Hydro Dam
    • Added elevators to allow players to get up and down in alternative ways.
    • Provided additional cover on the rooftops of both major buildings.
    • Opened additional rooms between the generator buildings.
  • Factory
    • Opened 3 previously sealed buildings to offer additional looting opportunities.
    • Added 2 new pipes to allow players to navigate between structures in alternative ways.
    • 2 previously closed train cars are now accessible.
    • 13 containers are now accessible.
  • Nuketown Island
    • Opened up 4 previously closed garages throughout Nuketown Island.
  • Map Boundaries
    • Expanded and improved upon boundaries on all sides of the map to be more consistent with the physical indicator of those boundaries seen inside the map, including:
      • Fence along the northern boundary of the map.
      • Power lines along the eastern side of the map.
      • Pipeline along the southern border of the map.
    • The mini-map now reflects the location of these boundaries.

Weapon Balance

  • SDM
    • Reduced damage.
    • Increased ADS time in and out.
    • Increased recoil.
  • Spitfire
    • Reduced damage.
    • Increased recoil.

General

  • Smoke Trails
    • Added Smoke Trails to wingsuits during initial infiltration to give players a better sense of how many people are dropping near their location.
  • Reloading
    • Added a new option in the Blackout Options menu to enable reloading by tapping the reload button, rather than releasing the reload button.
  • Zombies in Blackout
    • Zombies will now have a chance to drop ammo when killed.

As for the game itself, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 is now available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. To learn more about the latest patch, you can check out our previous coverage here!

Thoughts on the latest update and Black Ops title? Join in on the conversation in the comment section below, or hit me up over on Twitter @DirtyEffinHippy.