Following the recent beta runs for Black Ops 4 and the accompanying Blackout mode, the general response from the community has so far been overly positive. Many have hailed Treyarch for not only breathing life into the franchise but also polishing the battle royale experience, which is rather surprising to say the least because it has become a norm to criticize Activision for annually milking the Call of Duty brand.
However, those approvals hit a giant wall last night when it was ousted that the netcode for Blackout actually ran worse than normal standards. This claim has left many players confused, who until now were commending the developer for an excellent online infrastructure. The only problem is that the source behind the revelation has an excellent track record and hence, it is pretty likely that the netcode was anything but perfect.
In another in-depth analysis to discuss network models, Battle(non)sense has ascertained that Blackout was running at a 20 Hz tick rate. Once the players hit the ground, the tick rate falls further to just 10 Hz. It is not until when there are less than fifty players on the map that the tick rate bounces back to the initial 20 Hz.
This essentially means that the netcode being used for Blackout suffers from the same problems that both Fornite and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds had for a long time. It is only now that recent updates have increased the tick rates of both games to 30 Hz and 60 Hz respectively. Unless necessary steps are taken for betterment, Blackout will remain at the bottom in terms of server performance.
For those unaware, a tick rate defines how many times per second a client receives information from the main server. In other words, higher tick rates are preferred for smoother online experiences with less lag. This harbors importance in a first-person shooter where players have only seconds to confirm a kill, and becomes a great necessity in battle royale where players have only one life to deal with.
That being said, it should be noted that the regular Black Ops 4 actually does nearly 62 Hz on average. This netcode performance is on par with what is required for fast-paced gameplay. The lower (and variable) tick rate in Blackout is probably due to the large number of players, which can take a heavy toll on the servers.
Hence, as far as the tick rate is concerned, players will have to face higher lag in Blackout than in Black Ops 4. Treyarch still has about a few weeks to make further adjustments and optimizations. However, the deadline is just too close to do anything major. Perhaps the online performance will be bettered down the road.
How was your experience in the recent beta runs? Let us know in the comments below.
Black Ops 4 is scheduled to officially release worldwide for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on October 12, 2018. Blackout will be available to the public from day one.