It’s a familiar cycle; a new Call of Duty game comes out (any popular shooter, really) and the player-base, after a week or so of play-time, takes to the internet to complain about how broken the experience is. They whine about how it’s unbalanced and unfair, which guns are too strong, and how the loadout system is screwy.
This time, however, design director David Vonderhaar has a response to those people, via Black Ops II’s new “Black Box” system. With it, he can see how players have been using weapons and skills, which gives him real mathematical data, allowing him and his team to see whether or not something is truly balanced.
The data this system provides is incredibly exhaustive, allowing the team to see how a weapon performs with a specific attachment and how that compares to other weapons in the game. It provides some objectivity to the very subjective feelings players have toward given weapons. As David says, “You can’t let Twitter design the videogame.”