Treyarch’s David Vonderhaar wants to expand the choice of Hardcore game mode variants in Black Ops 2, but isn’t sure where to begin. Consequently he’s taken to the official forums to absorb the thoughts of the community before setting in a new direction, full of inherited, sweary player wisdom.
“I know the Hardcore crowd loves Hardcore,” said Vonderhaar. “I love me some Hardcore Search & Destroy, personally. You are a small enough community where I feel like I know some of you personally.
“Some of you will be tempted to say ‘Give every game mode it's own Hardcore playlist.’ Save yourself some trouble. I totally get it. You like Hardcore.”
The thing is, says Vonderhaar, that Black Ops 2’s dedicated Hardcore crowd is so tiny that not every game mode can be spared the development time necessary for its own hardcore variant playlist.
“Hardcore Free-For-All, for example, has a very low traffic count. This makes Matchmaking in that playlist more difficult. While I'm sure that the 4000 people in it right now are loving it, I'm just being open with with you when I say that something with less than 1% of the total population barely justifies it's own playlist.”
What Vonderhaar calls the ‘Hardcore community’ constitutes only 80,000 players across two platforms (no telling which two those are). Nevertheless, this post-release time in Black Ops 2’s development cycle is when the community gets to choose what it wants.
“We put out the game,” added Vonderhaar. “We then figure out what is popular amongst the Hardcore (and other variant, but relatively small communities), and we make adjustments that are in the best interests of the game and the community. This year is no different. Of course we'll make adjustments. We always do.
“Where do you go from here? Sacrifice Hardcore FFA for a Moshpit, Kill Confirmed, or something else entirely?”