David Vonderhaar, the Treyarch developer in charge of balancing the multiplayer experience for Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, believes that player feedback is less important to his work than a focus on solid data acquisition and error-free math.
The developer is using Twitter to teach the player base about the process, saying, “Math + Feedback = Tuning. But mostly math. Sometimes what you have to say and the math agree. Sometimes, they do not agree. Where they agree is that hipfire SMGs needed to get de-tuned. True story. I couldn't pay people to use SMGs in development. When the game came out, I couldn't pay people to use anything else.”
He adds, “I'm excited and scared about the game tuning changes. This is the not the first or last time we'll touch it. It's the hardest and most rewarding part of the job.”
Vonderhaar has previously mentioned that he is willing to ignore information coming from vocal players as long as there’s no actual hard data collected from Black Ops 2 matches in order to back it up.
The team he is leading needs to keep an eye out on how multiplayer matches actually play out while also scouring forums for important information.
Based on subjective and objective elements, they can decide which weapons are overpowered and how the various skills need to be tweaked in order to deliver better balance.
The Call of Duty series has based much of its sales performance on its multiplayer mode in recent years and Black Ops 2 has changed a lot of the core structure for the game, allowing players to have more freedom when it comes to their skill and weapon loadout.
Activision says that Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 has managed to sell more than 1 billion dollars (773 million Euro) worth of games, a figure that some analysts dispute.