Black Ops Cold War Beta: Audio Improvements Make Ninja Irrelevant?
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Black Ops Cold War Beta: Audio Improvements Make Ninja Irrelevant?

Chris Trout
8 October 2020

Can you hear it?

In the build-up to the launch of the Black Ops Cold War beta Treyarch has released a list of fixes and changes being implemented from the Alpha.

One of the big changes is regarding the audio, which was in a strange place during the Alpha.

While Call of Duty has had a bit of a love-hate relationship with footstep audio in the past, Cold War seems to want to bring it back to the glory days.

What I mean by that is that the audio is either really good or impossible to hear.

During the Alpha, the audio was so good...too good. You could hear people across the map and they could hear you, so it punished you for moving.

It meant that everyone ended up using Ninja and no footsteps could be heard at all.

With the ability to equip six perks, there was really no drawback either. Meaning you got all of the benefits without sacrificing in another area.

So what's being done about it in the Beta?

Black Ops Cold War Beta Makes Ninja Irrelevant

Treyarch wrote:

"The audio team has made several crucial improvements to weapon sounds between the Alpha and Beta and continues to work on further enhancements for launch. Footstep audio design and its interaction with the Ninja Perk have also been tuned significantly for players who like to keep it stealthy."

It clear they picked up on the unbalanced footstep audio and have adjusted it.

Here's what has specifically changed with the footsteps in the beta:

  • Crouch-walking now functions as a near-silent movement option available to all players, with or without the Ninja Perk.
  • ADS crouch-walking now makes the player’s footstep audio even quieter. Enemies should not hear the player when crouching outside of extreme close quarters.
  • While Ninja is equipped, core movements such as sprinting, jogging, and walking are now greatly reduced in volume and distance by roughly 50% compared to the Alpha.
  • ADS walking will also provide a significant stealth advantage when using Ninja.

It's great that players won't need to equip Ninja by default and should promote a bit more variety. With changes to crouch-walking, ADS crouch-walking and ADS-walking audio, it means you won't need to run six perks or Ninja for more objective-based modes.

While there aren't many changes in terms of the Ninja perk being equipped, as it seemed to perform its function perfectly fine in the Alpha, it's a good sign that Treyarch are keen to get this feature right.

Modern Warfare seemed to have an issue with footstep audio - with it being perfectly fine one moment and then non-existent another.

Other Audio Changes

You should also be aware of a few other changes being implemented with audio, including new Audio Settings!

  • Weapon Audio
    • Added bass and punch to all weapon sounds by adjusting master EQ and compression output.
    • Added 3 presets to Audio Settings (Treyarch Mix, Bass Boost, and High Boost) to suit player preferences.
    • Redesigned several weapon audio layers, corrected audio decay playback, and added blending for interior/exterior sounds.
    • Polished reverb audio across all maps.
  • Hit Marker Audio
    • Added new sounds for fatal and non-fatal hit markers.
  • Scorestreak Audio
    • General
      • Polished audio for several Scorestreaks.
    • Spy Plane Audio
      • Reduced the volume of the Spy Plane’s locational pings.
      • For the first time in a Black Ops game, Spy Plane pings are directional and locational based on where an enemy is when they are swept by the radar, allowing for pinpoint accuracy. As this is a new mechanic, we will continue to monitor and adjust as necessary.
  • Bullet Crack
    • Tweaked the bullet crack system to prevent players from hearing sounds when they shouldn’t, and vice versa.

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