Call of Duty and snipers. At one point you would have struggled to name a more iconic duo, almost solely, with the help of a few trickshotters, responsible for the term "360 no scope".
It is perhaps surprising then that in recent years the power of the sniper class has been gradually eroded, with assault rifles and SMGs reigning supreme.
That hasn't quite been the case for Treyarch's Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War though, with Playstation 4 players who are getting hands-on time finding out, for better or for worse, that the snipers are more feasible than previous titles.
The current Alpha release contains two bolt-action snipers that have one-shot kill capabilities when you land a shot on the torso or head. The issue, if you can call it an issue, is that the ADS speed with the snipers is so quick that it feels over-powered.
Turns out it is OP and it's by design, at least if we are to believe the words of Treyarch's Tony Flame.
In a post on Twitter the Game Designer revealed that the dev team deliberately "buffed" snipers because, with no cross-play, they wanted to evaluate the weapons' performance with the most data possible.
"Sniper Rifles WILL have balance changes for the upcoming Beta based on our analytics data this weekend," he confirmed.
Ok let's talk Sniping in Cold War.— Tony Flame (@Tony_Flame) September 18, 2020
Crossplay is coming, but we knew it wouldn't be in Alpha. We buffed Snipers to evaluate their performance in this Alpha specifically. Sniper Rifles WILL have balance changes for the upcoming Beta based on our analytics data this weekend.
News of this has divided the community, 100 Thieves' NoahJ465, deplored the developers not to "hurt his baby."
Sniping is so fun pls don't hurt my baby :(— NoahJ456 (@NoahJ456) September 18, 2020
With others backing the sentiment up, by comparing the poor state of snipers in Modern Warfare, and how affectively quick scoping raises the skill ceiling.
"If people complain about snipers then that's their fault for not being quick/good enough. Don't change things and punish us snipers for it," was one comment that summed up the prevailing sentiment.
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Others saw the reasoning behind a nerf, suggesting that the game's current state, with has no aim assist coupled with low base damage on ARs and SMG makes it difficult not to "main" a sniper.
No aim assist + Low damage makes for a pretty difficult time if u don’t main a sniper. It’s not something anyone can pick up and start shredding, hope the nerf doesn’t ruin them.— Scope (@x_Scp) September 18, 2020
So changes for sniping are likely to be on the way, and probably in time for when the all platforms open beta weekend begins on the 15th October.