UPDATE: Vahn has stated on Twitter that they are testing nerfs for Clusters, Concussion, and Armor. No info on what to expect yet.
Additional details were also shared on the Armor nerf:
Treyarch’s Studio Design Director has taken to Reddit to discuss with fans the studio’s approach on how they plan to adjust concussion grenades in Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’s Blackout mode.
Concussion grenades have been a hot topic for Blackout players as many players believe that they are over-powered thanks to the limited ability to counter those if the player is not using the Trophy system or Reinforced Perk in the mode.
A user on Reddit asked why the concussion grenades in Blackout are all or nothing, and why doesn’t the distance from which the grenade is from the player it impacts does not impact how much the grenade actually effects the player. Vahn stated that the “all or nothing” approach is because they want the player who threw the grenade to know that it hit a person:
They are “all or nothing” so that the attacker understands if he concussed someone or not. If it was a variable length based on a variable input of distance or attack angle or anything else, that could not be easily determined (tossed over a small hill or around a corner, etc., all) it would be unclear to the attacker if he concussed someone or not and for how long.
I’m not arguing for or against a variable input onto the duration. That might work. That might/will cause other problems. We are debating the best way forward with Concussions amongst many others.I’m simply answering the question in a literal sense.
The answer is readability of the gameplay impact of concussing someone for both “attacker” and “victim.” This may not be the right length of time (or any number of things) but you know exactly how long you concussed someone/how long you will be concussed.
Vahn followed up when a user asked if his tweet was suggesting that concussion grenades would be removed and stated that Treyarch has no plans to remove concussion grenades from Blackout, but are still evaluating feedback and discussing internally the best way to adjust them:
We have no plans to remove them from the game.
Tuning them (AOE, Duration, [what you can do and not do when stunned] is one option amongst many under evaluation. Let me be super honest with you. This is always a slippery slope … so you walk it carefully. You already have 2 counters with Trophy System and the Reinforced perk. You can also carry your own and concuss the attacker. This does not invalid anyone’s opinion or perspective. I have a saying. “You can not argue with how someone feels.” So, I don’t. You feel how you feel. I respect it. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t post about it.
We must reinforce any major tuning position with actual game data and our own perspective. If it turns out that a majority of victories were created because of a concussion grenade, the Reinforced perk is spawning less than it should, the average K:D of concussion grenade players is above the trendline, or any number of data-science backed evidence of the OP-level, they will get nerfed some more. It’s safe to say we are looking at it and talking it over.
Another user followed up by asking why the counters are not more effective in completely blocking off concussion grenades when it hits you, like the Reinforced perk taking away its full effect. Vahn stated that having an all or nothing counter would cause users to not use the grenade itself and make the counters useless as well — something Treyarch does not want to do.
Hard-counters invalid both pieces of gameplay content. If you can fully counter something, you stop taking the thing that can be fully countered and then you stop taking the counter. That gameplay type and style then ends up getting invalided entirely over time and removes depth from the game. I (personally) don’t like that because I (personally) believe the game is much richer with more than just straight gunplay.
Vahn added a remark in his reply stating that he understands that fans are asking for some adjustment and confirmed they are actively looking into how to balance it, but have not decided on the final version of adjustment yet.
…as to your note(s) above about “not being able to fight back” please understand that I totally get it. We just haven’t decided what we are going to do about that yet.