Yesterday’s reveal event for Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 informed the world of a lot of things Treyarch plans to do for the next CoD game—and one of them was a change in how healing works.
Automatic health regeneration has been a constant in the Call of Duty franchise from the very beginning. Unlike a game like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive where players don’t recover from damage in a round, CoD players have always had the advantage of hiding away and waiting a few seconds for their health to rise back to 100 percent.
This year’s game will be different, though. Instead of the automatic recovery, players will be forced to heal themselves, which can be activated with the push of a button just like reloading weapons. The healing can’t be used constantly, either—the cooldown for healing is eight seconds. Players can speed up the cooldown by using the Stim Pack in the Gear slot when they create a class.
This change in health is designed to enhance the “gameplay loop” and make a greater tactical experience for players. The development studio explained on Reddit what this means and how manual healing will achieve that.
“You often hear us talk about the ‘gameplay loop,’ which is: spawn into the game, engage in combat, die, restart,” Treyarch said. “Our motivation for the change to healing mechanics is to extend the most fun part of the gameplay loop which is combat. Initiating your own heal introduces tactical gameplay decision-making opportunities: players can disengage from combat and heal up or players can rush an unsuspecting opponent who may be healing himself.”
The tactical element to healing will certainly be a topic of conversation in competitive play, with pro players and CoD critics alike discussing the casual nature of the franchise. With the removal of auto health recovery, a longer time-to-kill, and the return of League Play, Treyarch seems to be gearing up for one of CoD’s biggest years in esports yet.
Treyarch did add at the end of its post that since the title is pre-alpha, the game tuning certainly will have some changes come Oct. 12, 2018—the highly-anticipated release date of Black Ops 4.