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29nov10: State of Black Ops

Last week I started what I hoped to become a short-lived but weekly series on the state of Black Ops. I had assumed that Treyarch would continue putting out live patches and PSN patches to address issues that we’re all having. Unfortunately, nothing has changed in the last week. There have been no PSN patches, and any live patches that did occur were transparent enough that the game doesn’t seem to have changed at all.

To recap, the four biggest issues outstanding for Black Ops on the PS3 are frame rate issues, crashing/freezing, matchmaking, and bad spawns. Add to that sundry other issues like the fact that chat icons don’t work at all, and the game aborting and giving you a loss when someone quits to XMB, and Treyarch really has their work cut out for them.

The good news is that Treyarch seems to be working on the problems. There are two indications of this. First, David Vonderhaar, on Twitter, asked for some PS3 players to play along with him to help him see some of these issues for himself. (I won’t here address the issue that this should have been done before the game’s release.) Someone who played with David said that their play session did show David lots of the problems PS3 owners face, especially with matchmaking. Unfortunately, he’s still having trouble reproducing a freeze/crash. For the record, a freeze/crash is when your PS3 totally stops responding and you have to reboot. A temporary cessation of interactivity is just a “temporary hang” or “temporary inability to do anything” 🙂 . Remember that when you report problems!

The second indicator that Treyarch is working on PS3 issues comes from the “PS3 Community Update (11/24/10)” thread on the CoD forums, where these are among the problems being looked into:

• Resolved several issues with PS3 parties getting disbanded for next patch (1.04)
• Investigating reports of “Transmission error” message on PS3
• Investigating PS3 hard freeze reported to happen for a small number of users in multiplayer
• Investigating reports of VOIP icons not always appearing for some PS3 party clients

So it seems like Treyarch is aware of the issues. Too bad they don’t list all of the issues. Let’s hope they’re going to come up with some solutions soon.

Edit: Here’s a video by Ken Burton talking about the frame rate issues: