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The State of Zombies

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It's no secret that the community is setting everything ablaze right now. Many are saying that Zombies is killing itself while others are sitting back enjoying BO4 with very few problems. Treyarch undoubtedly has their hands full with reinforcing Blackout and Multiplayer while Zombies takes a back seat despite claiming that Zombies would be the best of its kind compared to the near decade we've had the mode. Bugs to fix, crashes to reduce, features that were announced that have yet to come...it's chaos.

How do you feel about the current situation? What do you think should be the biggest concern right at this moment?

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Im getting the feeling that Zombies is turning into one big Hollywood show more and more. With the Rise of Reddit, the faces of zombies (such as Jason Blundell, Treyarch developers and above all, YouTubers) and popular opinions have won it from the story and theorists. It's all about marketing and the hype now. And the company are trying too hard to do the right thing. Things like Team Death match and Battle Royale are game modes that slot of games have/had. Zombies mode was something unique and invented by Call of Duty. Now they're kinda killing it but all we can blame is the community that led to it.

 

Still like the story though. But redditors will never talk about the myths of Agartha, Area 51 conspiracies and the science behind Matter Transference yet they do talk about the way Primis is going. And things like Jason Blundell's haircut.

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I haven't played in a hot minute myself, but not because I am bitter or anything, I simply just overplayed the game in the first two weeks. I still love the game though. All the maps are good and the mechanics are fun as well. I suffered from crashes too, but only three times, I never really go beyoned 50 anyway, so it really doesn't bother me.

 

But I also gotta say that it sucks, how the classified Scene has been found in an unlegitimate way, but there really was no other option and that speaks volumes.

 

As far as I know the new bullet/projectile stuff is the reason for most of the crashes. My hope would be, that Treyarch does something about that, but I doubt that is possible.

 

 

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I think the community has reached a breaking point that was inevitable at some point where the community is too large, too many Youtubers have dedicated their living to it, and Treyarch has been pushed to their limit of development capability under Activision with the rest of Call of Duty. I fully believe there are passionate people in the Zombies team, and it shows in the maps in BO4, but in the current gaming development climate revenue takes priority over passion and developers are mistreated for the sake of saving a buck. It's a pretty disgusting industry that I don't think enough people are aware of because it isn't as large as Hollywood. A lot of this blame has be on Youtubers, and by association, their viewers in the community. I watch zombies Youtubers all the time: MrTLexify, RadAustins27, Nixaru, JCBackfire, LiamFTWinter, etc., but there are so many of them and content in zombies is stagnant and really always has been. I'm afraid so many of them have dedicated all this time to making Zombies content when there isn't really much to talk about, and it's caused them to be bitter and negative. I think it is important to acknowledge that the attitudes of Youtubers have a massive trickle-down effect on the rest of the Community, and you can see it on Reddit with all the negativity. A lot of the negativity about the game is justified, but it's becoming toxic and I'm afraid for the future of the series and the community.

 

I want to take you all back to 2014 before the launch of Halo The Master Chief Collection. I was a massive fan of the series, and was looking forward to every aspect of this game. Finally playing all of the original Halo games online on the same game! It was like a dream. The hype built up in the community until launch. There were massive Matchmaking issues and glitches in every aspect of the massive game. The community as a whole, and especially /r/Halo turned from angry to completely toxic. Saying anything positive whatsoever was liable to caused you to be attacked in the comments. People would follow you into other subreddits and downvote you there, calling you a "shill". To this day I love Halo, but I don't play it anymore. I don't interact with the community and I don't really keep up to date with news about the games because of that time. I don't want Zombies to become that for me.

 

I just think Youtubers should take accountability and try to branch into something they do still like. MrTLexify made a lot of great points in his video today and the one released during the time they all played Fortnite. One point is that he does not want to keep making content in this game if it is not fun and if there is not content to make. Pushing out something you don't care for just makes the content worse and causes you to be negative to the point that it affects your fans' opinions.

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Ok, so there are a lot of legitimate complaints that I don’t wanna take away from, but personally I love BO4 zombies and am bummed out by the incessant pessimism. 

 

So the callings and factions and stamp system were mentioned in the reveal for BO4 but we still haven’t seen them. Big OOF right there. Word on the street is that we’ll see that coming on tuesday though. 

 

For high round players, it’s not uncommon for you to play 10 games of zombies and not die one single time, because every single game eventually just blue-screens. 

 

Ok, those things being said, I think the core gameplay of BO4 zombies is the best we’ve seen thus far frankly. Like later down the line when BO4 has accumulated all of its zombies maps, and the dust has settled, and the game is stable, I fully anticipate it will be the best and most complete zombies experience we’ve gotten. 

 

There are just so many minor improvements that make it awesome.

 

the revamping of the perk system, and the re-allocation of jug / speed / double tap does in fact cause players to come up with more unique specialized setups, and build their classes around each other’s. Elixirs are waaay more balanced than gumballs (thus far.) the specialist weapons are incredible. We got 4 maps gosh dangit. The story developments have been awesome already. 

 

I realize that it really sucks when high rounds and easter eggs are breaking the game, and its not unreasonable to ask / expect treyarch to fix that, bit still we gotta realize that 99% of players aren’t doing easter eggs or high enough rounds to crash the game. 

 

Basically what i’m getting at is that for non-hardcore-fans the game appears to be perfect, minor glitches aside. 

 

Like I played a 4 man game of IX with some friends, most fun I’ve had in zombies in ages. Blasted through the round 30s staying in the temple the whole time, and that’s how zombies is meant to be played god dangit. Giggling and reviving each other, juggling keeping a man alive to clutch the round, shooting shit and running wild. “AAH BLIGHTFATHER SPAWNING HERE!” In that regard, best zombies game hands down IMO. 

 

The complaints about the game are very youtube-centric, in that it affects the kinds of things youtubers or hardcore players would get up to. 

 

But yeah it’s definitely got my stamp of approval overall. 4 maps boiz. Never forget. 

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When everything is good we don't have an issue, but the second something doesn't live up to the elite expectation it seems people are ready to jump ship.  Just remember this one thing.  Treyarch said that the life of this game will greatly outweigh the life of the previous games.  It just came out for crying out loud!  I fully expect a lot of glitches and problems.  The problem is that the glitches in no way help any of our players like it used to in the past.  Remember Ascension?  I cannot tell you how many time I exploited that game for the fun of it.  You also have got to remember that they added another game type into the mix.  When zombies first started it was just a cool mini game and an after thought to begin with.  It is way to early for any of these self appointed pricks to be bad-mouthing a game that in my eyes have tried to breech the norm and go balls deep.  You got to respect the fact that they are trying to bring Zombies and the Black Ops brand fresh new content.  I say be patient.  The best is yet to come.  I believe in the year to come, the focus and discussions will be different and every nay-sayer will have to live with the fact that they bad mouthed a soon to be classic.

 

Just my opinion.  Do with it what you will.

 

P.S.  Someone please hit me up on PSN for EE runs.  I have not completed one to date and my last run ended sad and "Blue"!

 

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Where to start. Critics all across the board. 

 

I have Xbox (Prestige 4) & PC (prestige 2) versions. I have mainly just been grinding Classified for Weapon & XP levels. (Whilst 2XP was enabled)

 

 

Positives -

#1 - Diverse maps & atmospheres 

 

Only played the other maps a handful of times, but I must say they are all really good & all are unique. They are great launch maps for all types of play styles. 

 

Being in the Arena on IX, while the crowd is chanting & you have full affinity is such a great experience of Zombies atmosphere. 

 

Crossing the Blood of the Dead Bridge for the first time is probably the most captivating experience I have had in Zombies. The atmospheric sounds are astounding. Not knowing where that bridge leads to and then coming to the end, seeing Brutus & his quote triggers “Alcatraz, welcome our guests”

I honestly couldn’t believe they could put that kind of emotion into COD Zombies. (I paused the game for a few minutes thinking “how f*cking good was that!”

 

 

#2 - Gameplay balance -

The Zombies team really have been focused on “balance” for this game. I think that has been a main priority across all aspects of gameplay. 

 

The game seems a fair bit easier with having basically Jugg from the start (Yeah they changed the health from 3 hits to 4 within the first few days & I freaking hate how they change zombies mechanics multiple times after launch with a passion). 

 

Additions of a special weapon & also Elixers (nerfed a few days after launch too) give you a few extra lives. Using “Anywhere but Here” & the “Special Weapon” have got me out of spots where I would be downed or it would be “Game Over”. I have walked to round 40+ & ended the game as that was my hour-2 hour playtime. 

 

I think I would struggle going back to BO1 Zombies where 2 hits (without Jugg) or 4 hits would be game over time. Most people probably would. 

 

 

 

Con’s -

 

#1 on my list would be that - Completing the tedious steps of a Main Quest = GAME OVER!

 

I dont understand why Treyarch would do this? Yeah the quest follows the narrative of the story, but ending the game with nothing more than??? XP?, no reward? A calling card if you complete it a certain way? (No downs, no perks, within a timeframe). 

 

People have been trying to complete these Side Quests in the lowest round possible. they have managed to complete these within Round 1. And Treyarch choose to finish this with a “Game Over”. 

 

That is a real concern & probably why people say there is no content or Replayability. Do Treyarch not want people to play the game after completing the “Main Quest”?

 

 

#2 Con/dislike - REWARDS

 

Rewards for grinding/playing the game are all purely cosmetic. Calling Cards, Camo, Facepaint.

 

All complete garbage rewards as (apart from Camo’s) YOU CANNOT SEE WITHIN THE GAME!!!

 

This type of cosmetic seems to excite the younger generation & has been popular in games for pretty much 10 years but never so more than with games of the last 4-5 years. 

Complete useless rewards are these cosmetic rewards.

 

 

All Perks for completing a Main Quest may have had its day, but at least that is some reward IN-GAME & not just a “Game Over”  

 

 

 

#3 Con/dislike = STABILITY

(I don’t have too much to complain about here, but...)

 

BO4 has been the most flawed game from launch that I have experience/witnessed. This game was not finished for shipping. A hard copy disc consisted of a 50-60Gig install. That then required a 50Gig day one update. That Cleary shows this was not ready for shipping. 

 

They presumably launched a month earlier to combat Red Dead 2, but they should have launch 1 month later, as people may have been ready to play something else after RDR2. 

 

My experience has been OK. I have had a few game breaking bugs such as teleporters not working on Classified, visual glitches (not game breaking)

 

I have had maybe 10 crashes on Xbox, all at rounds below 15. Theatre even crashes the game. 

 

I have had 3 crashes on PC. All of those were within launch week. 

 

 

Not to sound as a complete console war fanboy, but I find it funny as f*cking h*ll that the majority of stability issues have been on PlayStation. The console that has exclusive rights & which this game should be optimised for. 

 

Majority of the big Youtubers probably play on PlayStation & this would contribute to their lack of interest in BO4 Zombies. 

 

(I was so hoping that the CWL games would bluescreen to highlight this issue)

 

 

 

Biggest disappointment of BO4 Zombies -

 

That there has not been 1 single public post regarding BO4zombies since the “The Race” live stream which occurred at launch where Mr Blundell was on stream. 

 

Apart from the announcement of “Operation Zero” the other day, which actually was posted on the Activision/CoD Blog, all we have gotten are patch note updates on Reddit. That is truely unbelievable. 

 

 

And my biggest disappointment is that this game coincides with the 10 year Annivesary of CoD: Zombies. 

 

The special edition of the game he game comes with a “10 year puzzle” & yet, even on that 10 year weekend since World at War launched, what did we get?

 

An ex play tester that leaked nearly everything that hadn’t been found yet in BO4 Zombies. That truely was a circus of events that weekend. 

 

 

Treyarch didnt even celebrate this milestone or acknowledge Zombies that whole weekend. (As a player since OG CoD on Xbox & a discoverer of Zombies in WaW, that’s truely heartbreaking)

 

It seems, if they acknowledge nothing, people will forget about it and there will be calm after the Storm. 

 

Celebrate your game Treyarch!!!

 

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Double post as this isn’t related to my experience is a suggestion.  

 

 

• Completing Main Quests on Casual difficulty. 

By allowing this, it opens the game up to casual, less experienced Zombies players and even players like myself who play mainly solo & want to progress & get better.  (Not having supersprinters on Round 5)

 

This enables replayability endlessly.

 

Let players complete the steps on a lower level & experience a main quest Easter egg. 

Players can learn the steps & get better, then attempt it on normal (or higher difficulty)

 

Maybe time gate it to a month after community completion etc. Where no extra rewards such as XP, calling cards or Achievements/Trophies are gained

This should be enabled when the Authenticity System is enabled (should of been at launch)

 

 

I don’t understand why even small story Easter eggs such as radios/audio triggers have been taken out of the casual difficulty. 

This just cuts access to a lot of the casual player base. 

 

 

Being able to build the maps “Wünder Weapon” on casual without starting the Quest is a great addition as getting the WW in BO3 required starting the main quest. 

+1 for this gameplay balance. 

 

 

Having Custom Mutations & even the 4 options of difficulty are one of the best additions to Zombies gameplay.

 

Disabling the in game Easter’s Eggs almost makes these options pointless. 

 

 

Replayability is what the community are screaming for @Treyarch. 

 

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4 minutes ago, PINNAZ said:

Double post as this isn’t related to my experience is a suggestion.  

 

 

• Completing Main Quests on Casual difficulty. 

By allowing this, it opens the game up to casual, less experienced Zombies players and even players like myself who play mainly solo & want to progress & get better.  (Not having supersprinters on Round 5)

 

This enables replayability endlessly.

 

Let players complete the steps on a lower level & experience a main quest Easter egg. 

Players can learn the steps & get better, then attempt it on normal (or higher difficulty)

 

Maybe time gate it to a month after community completion etc. Where no extra rewards such as XP, calling cards or Achievements/Trophies are gained

This should be enabled when the Authenticity System is enabled (should of been at launch)

 

 

I don’t understand why even small story Easter eggs such as radios/audio triggers have been taken out of the casual difficulty. 

This just cuts access to a lot of the casual player base. 

 

 

Being able to build the maps “Wünder Weapon” on casual without starting the Quest is a great addition as getting the WW in BO3 required starting the main quest. 

+1 for this gameplay balance. 

 

 

Having Custom Mutations & even the 4 options of difficulty are one of the best additions to Zombies gameplay.

 

Disabling the in game Easter’s Eggs almost makes these options pointless. 

 

 

Replayability is what the community are screaming for @Treyarch. 

 

I rarely even open an easy game due to everything you just said.  Without even knowing that I could not do the EE, I assumed that if you were not playing on normal or better you would not be able to.  I tested my theory on BotD.  The pages in the wardens office are completely missing.  I try not to get online for a few months so that I don't spoil the gameplay so I have been in the dark on the majority of what is happening.  Hell, it took me forever just to figure out that we gained Speed Cola after obtaining all perks.  With that said, I have looked on forward to BotD EE and still haven't completed it.  I think that there is replayability but agree with you that it is severely hampered by the fact that they cut out an entire demographic with limiting gameplay on easy mode.  With four maps to begin with, I could play this for a year and not get tired of it (well, maybe the blue screen would get old).  All in all, you summed everything up pretty well on par with my general feelings about the game.

 

As a side note, I think the EE's are a bit more difficult when playing solo.  There are just to many things to do that requires some bit of teamwork, like BotD.  Have you tried to find these damn birds alone.  F**k that noise.  Unlock casual Easter Egg?  Hell yes, I say!!!

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39 minutes ago, JJMFP said:

I try not to get online for a few months so that I don't spoil the gameplay so I have been in the dark on the majority of what is happening. 

Great point, and one that I forgot to mention -

 

Unfortunately, the internet & sharing within the community is half the problem. (double edged sword)

 

Everyone wanting to be "First in the World!" to complete a Main Quest completely kills the replaybility of this game. If no-one shared what the Quests steps are, this game could go on forever without Easter Eggs ever being found. Instead, we now have a game where the Side Quest is discovered within days. But in BO4 - There is no reward/ingame bonus. It is Game Over! (apart from Classified, but I'd never play another round ever again)

 

People crying that there is no content/replaybility is bullshit. Play the maps without any clues or hints. They would still be playing the game now.

But there is no Youtube content to create because everything is discovered (supposedly). That is why it's not re-playable.

 

 

39 minutes ago, JJMFP said:

 Hell, it took me forever just to figure out that we gained Speed Cola after obtaining all perks.

That was patched in. 

Changing the gameplay mechanics after launch really pisses me off. I wish they just got the balance right before they launched the game. Sure I'm all for after launch balancing, but adding the extra health bar, adding Speed Cola, nerfing common Elixir cooldown times, having Zombies die out! (they changed that from 5 minutes to 10 minutes, you won't even create a crawler until round 25ish). And in BO2 & 3, they kept changing the zombies mechanics (hit speed, die out & respawn) multiple times after launch. I f*cking hate that they change the core mechanics of what made Zombies. 

 

 

39 minutes ago, JJMFP said:

As a side note, I think the EE's are a bit more difficult when playing solo.  There are just to many things to do that requires some bit of teamwork, like BotD.  Have you tried to find these damn birds alone.  F**k that noise.

Solo EE steps are pretty much against you. BotD steps require you to be pretty much stationary. That doesn't end well in Solo Zombies.

 

I feel like they haven't incorporated the map aspects into the Main Quests since BO1. Sure some steps do incorporate the map, but some are just irrelevant. 

BO1 quests told a story (literal audio triggers). I can disprove that statement on multiple steps/maps since though. I just don't think they have fully replicated that since.

 

 

Thanks for your reply @JJMFP, as you mentioned things that I wanted to post about.

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Currently 7 and a half prestige through and still enjoying the game. When I see people complain, I always think back to WAW and for all we had then how to be grateful for What we have now. 

 

I'm looking forward to reaching master prestigeand going for the shotgun emblem but just wish they had some more master calling cards and some other physical things we could unlock.

 

Still loving the game and MP and Blackout also keep me going if I ever feel bored!

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46 minutes ago, PINNAZ said:

That was patched in. 

Changing the gameplay mechanics after launch really pisses me off. I wish they just got the balance right before they launched the game. Sure I'm all for after launch balancing, but adding the extra health bar, adding Speed Cola, nerfing common Elixir cooldown times, having Zombies die out! (they changed that from 5 minutes to 10 minutes, you won't even create a crawler until round 25ish). And in BO2 & 3, they kept changing the zombies mechanics (hit speed, die out & respawn) multiple times after launch. I f*cking hate that they change the core mechanics of what made Zombies. 

I used to rely on the zombie crawler.  I could take the crawler down to the rocket/pap area in ascension and then run all the way back to the lander location on the opposite end of the map and lay my controller down and it would take close to 20 minutes before he got to us.  Great strategy for high round online games with friends.  That is one of the first things I noticed with games that followed.  "Who Killed The Damn Crawler?"  Oh the glory days! 

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14 hours ago, PINNAZ said:

Treyarch didnt even celebrate this milestone or acknowledge Zombies that whole weekend. (As a player since OG CoD on Xbox & a discoverer of Zombies in WaW, that’s truely heartbreaking)

 

It seems, if they acknowledge nothing, people will forget about it and there will be calm after the Storm. 

 

Celebrate your game Treyarch!!!

 

This is such a good point, that I’ve seen barely anyone discuss. I remember my friends and I wondering earlier on in the year what Treyarch would do to celebrate 10

years, and we jokingly

suggested another Nacht remaster. 

 

But nope. Not even a 2XP weekend. Kind of depressing really to gloss over something so worthy of celebrating.

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There’s definitely a hedonic treadmill in the Zombies community. I call it the Pack-A-Punch effect.

 

When PaP was first introduced it was hype af. Of course you had to basically open the whole map / do everything to access it, which generally still holds true, but as maps have gotten bigger that becomes a talker task.

 

Still, basically every single map after Kino has had a massive swathe of players saying something like “I have to do all THAT, JUST to pack a punch on this map?!” Which, on certain maps is fair (Tranzit, shadows maybe) but let’s not forget one crucial thing: it makes your gun shoot freakin’ laser beams? 

 

Like, generally speaking, every game they just stack on additional gameplay features leaving what we already know intact. Started with barebones survival, then they layered on perks, then PaP, traps n shields, gumballs, specialist weapons, etc. 

 

Like i said, I can see someone saying that shadows or tranzit were a step in the wrong direction for PaP mechanics, but broadly speaking every successive map has had “more shit to kill with” so to speak. 

 

my point is, pack a punch is on every map, you do it every game, so it’s basically just become an expected thing for you to do like turning on the power. That makes people take it for granted frankly. Like don’t say “it sucks we have to do all that to pack-a-punch,” when you should be saying “damn its awesome that theres such thing as a PaP machine.” Your guns couldn’t always shoot lasers, fool. 

 

One thing I will say about black ops 4 overall is that the way the game was marketed, it very much so seemed like there were the 3 pillars of the game, MP blackout and zombies, and they were supposed to be on equal footing. It would be hard to argue that Zombies isn’t the weakest pillar so far. Just in terms of support / “carrying” the game forward.

 

one thing we can never forget though is that Zombies is now officially mainstream in Call of Duty for the first time. I’m not like a gatekeeping OG zombies elitist or anything but frankly I’ve been hearing loads of youtubers talk about all the negativity in their comments lately. Sure some of it is deserved criticism of the game, but to an extent the community is just getting larger. The difference between the Zombies community (tight-knit, friendly, donates to charity) and the Multiplayer community (a huge bunch of degenerates lmao) is disappearing as Zombies grows to the level of accessibility as MP. It was inevitable, I mean the past 2 special editions of the gamw have been Zombies themed. Back in WaW they literally were not allowed to market Nacht by activision. Times have changed. 

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Hmm, PaP being complex doesn’t really bother me, except for on certain maps (TranZit and Shadows like you mentioned) but I can understand why casual players have a problem with it.

4 hours ago, Electric Jesus said:

my point is, pack a punch is on every map, you do it every game, so it’s basically just become an expected thing for you to do like turning on the power. That makes people take it for granted frankly. Like don’t say “it sucks we have to do all that to pack-a-punch,” when you should be saying “damn its awesome that theres such thing as a PaP machine.” Your guns couldn’t always shoot lasers, fool.

I don’t necessarily think people should be grateful that a feature like PaP exists. It hasn’t been around for the whole of the mode, but it’s been there since Der Riese so it isn’t really far off it. And the fact of the matter is, for the longest time PaP (and power mind you) were as simple as flicking a few switches. Like I said, I personally don’t mind it but I think it’s hard to argue against Zombies being less and less inclusive to new/casual players (perhaps starting as far back with BO2). And while they have been trying to dial it back, with easier difficulties and mutations, I would say the mode is still pretty complicated and uninviting to newbies in general.

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There’s no getting around the fact that OG zombies players have incrementally been introduced to new features very gradually over many years. Even making it easy to PaP on a certain map can’t undo the complexity of the build-up to that map. Just look at the difference between if Nacht was your first map, versus Classified (arguably the simplest BO4 map.) I mean just look at your goddamn HUD. there’s literally just way more “things to know” about maps these days. I will say though that BO4 has done a good job of not hiding standard features behind annoying barriers to entry. Like someone who’s barely played zombies can manage to open PaP on their first playthrough of any BO4 map. Like just playing through the map you’re bound to figure it out, without having to google it. That’s definitely something that is universally noob-UNfriendly: steps that require you to google, or have some body of knowledge external to the game experience. Which granted is kinda the backbone of the storyline, but undeniably noob unfriendly. Zombies is very much so a rabbit hole with intimidating depth. 

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