Call of Duty Ghosts – Sniper Changes

ghostssniperThere’s been a lot of commotion over the snipers in Call of Duty: Ghosts recently. This class is facing the most changes of them all, and it’s sparking some controversy. But hold on, does everyone even know exactly what’s changing, and how it effects gameplay? Maybe the changes are good? Or maybe they’re all terrible and designed to secretly destroy the franchise forever? Keep on reading to find out.

Trick-shot quickscope

Let’s start with the bad news. The bad news is, quickscoping will be much, much harder, or have a totally different feel to it. For those who don’t know the term, quickscoping is when a sniper-wielding player raises his sniper scope to his eyes, and instantly fires as soon as he sees crosshairs, then hits his target. With some practice it’s entirely manageable, I don’t like doing it but I am capable. It can be frowned upon in some communities, because quickscoping is impossible in real life.

So, how is quickscoping changing? First is the complex bit. A lot of what makes Black Ops 2 quickscoping work is the autoaim cone. This is a super complex piece of code and geometry built into snipers and their autoaim. Essentially, when you’re holding your sniper at your hip, the autoaim region (to help you track targets) is pretty big. When you’re looking down your scope, it’s hardly there at all. While pulling the scope up to your eyes, some weird geometric magic happens, and it seriously helps you line up with you target for a quick scope. They’re changing the autoaim cone, so this doesn’t happen in the future (or at least not as severely).

blackopssniperSecond, this is simple. In Black Ops 2, the sniper always points in the same spot on the screen when you pull it up to look down your scope. Using this consistency, quickscopers can mentally mark a place on the screen where the target should be (there are some subtle on-screens crosshairs that help with this) and consistently quickscope whoever passes through that mark.

It’s the core of quickscoping. Now, they’re adding some random wiggle when you first bring your scope up. The crosshairs could be pointing a little to the left, or the right, or up, or down. There’s no telling where. Now, this won’t affect legitimate snipers, who take a second to aim, because the wiggle will fade out quickly.

Third and final, they’re removing the subtle on-screen crosshairs. Now the quickscopers won’t have a perfect sense of the middle of the screen. Now, does all this mean Quickscoping is gone? Nope. It just means it’s different, and it’s tougher. You’re going to have to work for your quickscope now, instead of easily earn it. This way, it’s a little more fair and less cheap when you get quickscoped.

So, that’s the bad. Quickscoping has been changed. It hasn’t been removed, but it has been changed, and made a bit harder. Now, it’s on to the good part! The good part is that snipers have gotten the most work done to them than any other class. A ton of work has been put into the snipers. The first and foremost change has been the scope.

Black Ops 2 Sniper GUI

Black Ops 2 Sniper GUI

In previous Call of Duty games, the scope was simple. A black screen, with the crosshairs and zoomed in footage of the game. This gave you the feeling you had your eye pressed against the scope, and all you could see was down the scope.

Now, they’re adding something snazzier. Instead of pressing your eye against the scope (which, if you’re firing a high-recoil weapon, is a totally stupid idea), the new scope lets you see the gameplay outside the scope, and then the zoomed in scope with crosshairs and whatnot.

This is way harder than it looks to do from the developers perspective. They’re using a new technology called Dual Rendering, which fancy terms aside, means they’re literally rendering the entire game twice. One render is the ‘normal’ render, at 100% zoomed in. The other is the zoomed in render, at somewhere around 150% or 200% zoomed in. It’s easy to zoom in a render, but you can’t zoom in part of a render. 

Ghosts sniper GUI

Ghosts sniper GUI

If that doesn’t make sense, that means that the entire Call of Duty multiplayer game is being generated twice. At full, 60 frames per second, lights and smoke and particles, it’s all be rendered twice just for the scopes. So, the supposed ancient and terrible Call of Duty engine is able to create the game twice in full definition and quality, just so the snipers can have slightly better graphics. That’s incredible!

Besides fancy shancy graphics, what does this allow the sniper to do that he couldn’t do before? Primarily, peripheral vision. Before, a sniper had tunnel vision. They could see down the scope, but that’s it, nothing else. Now they’ll have peripheral vision. This will be extremely helpful to see if someone is sneaking up on you, or to pivot to hit a target that’s just moved out of your scope. This is also the only mainstream, AAA FPS that has Dual Rendering. Sure, Battlefield will catch up eventually, but this is making some headway. Oh yeah, and you can see your minimap while looking down the scope, so it’s harder for people to sneak up on you.

In short, quickscoping got nerfed and is much harder to do. But the sniper scopes got a sweet and groundbreaking scope, and I look forward to using it.

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Posted on September 30, 2013, in Next-Gen, Technical, Tips and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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