There’s been a bit of a furore about Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 over the weekend, when members of the community discovered COD BLOPS 4 currently only supports a 20Hz server tickrate in both its Blackout and Multiplayer modes.
During the beta test Call of Duty: Black Ops IIII utilised a 60Hz tickrate, but the server update rate was slashed all the way down to 20Hz for last week’s launch.
The server tick rate dictates the regularity at which packets of information are sent between the server and the client. The higher the tick rate, the more accurately server-side events mirror your own gameplay experience. A low tick rate could lead to a perceived lack of responsiveness in-game, even causing that appear to hit to in fact miss due to the delay in contacting the server.
Most high-end competitive games are aiming for a 60Hz tick rate but, at launch at least, Treyarch has low-balled it in Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 with 20Hz. However, Treyarch has said it’s aware of the situation and claims this was a necessary step in order to grease the wheels for a smooth global launch.
“We’re constantly working to optimize the game, and particularly network performance, to ensure the highest quality online experience for our players,” explains Treyarch in a statement.
“For a game launch with as massive a population as ours hitting so many global servers at once, we configure our infrastructure to ensure game stability as the highest priority over all other factors.”
In a nutshell, the higher the tick rate, the more servers are required. This drives up costs considerably in the short term while reducing the tick rate by 66% allows for a similar reduction in the number of server farms used.
With COD: Black Ops 4’s launch now out of the way, Treyarch’s focus is on tweaking network performance for the most reliable experience. “We are focusing on fine-tuning network performance around the globe, using the real-world data that we have collected. Over the course of the next two weeks, we will roll out several updates to our network setup that will continue to improve upon the experience of our players since launch.”
Fingers crossed this means a bump in the server tickrate as the player population inevitably settles down.
There was also a new patch pushed for Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, addressing a number of small bugs players may have encountered:
Call of Duty Black Ops 4 October 21st Patch Release Notes
- Addressed a crash at the end of matches for Master Prestige players in Multiplayer and
- Zombies. We’re planning further improvements for related UI issues in a future update.
- General stability improvements across all modes.
- Addressed a crash when crafting the Shield with Frugal Fetish equipped.
- Various stability fixes across all maps.
- Blood of the Dead
- Addressed an issue with the Shield not displaying the correct updated version for the player.
- Addressed a crash when turning on the power in a Custom Mutations match.
- Stash Looting
- Addressed an issue where players had to scroll right or left on the d-pad multiple times to navigate through Stash lists.
- Circle Collapse
- Addressed an issue where the Collapse circle would sometimes appear invisible to players.
- Addressed an issue that highlighted the wrong score on the scoreboard if the scoreboard was opened immediately after death.
- Jumping while sprinting with Ruin now performs the same as with all other Specialists.
Is it acceptable for a AAA multiplayer-only title to launch with a 20Hz tick rate? Let us know your thoughts below...