After Treyarch released a new update to Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, some fans of the game showed that they lack basic communication skills. For example, it's not usually good form to wish someone to die or for harm to come to their family… But that is exactly what some fans wished for Treyarch design director David Vonderhaar via Twitter as he talked about some minor changes to three weapons in the game.
The backlash began shortly after Activision published the game's latest patch notes on the Call of Duty forums. The most ill-received part of the update were multiplayer game balancing changes that slightly reduced the damage on the AN-94, reduced the rate of fire on the DSR 50, and slightly reduced the rate of fire on the Ballista.
As he usually does, Vonderhaar jumped on to his Twitter account to explain how these changes would affect play.
"The DSR fire time was 0.2 seconds. It's now 0.4 seconds," he wrote. "The rechamber time was 1.0 seconds. It's now 1.1 seconds."
"Let me put some perspective into your life because I do care about what you say," he added, taking into account some questionable responses from fans. "Not sure these fractions of seconds are worth the threats of violence."
All of this caught the attention of Activision community manager Dan Amrich, who spoke out against the backlash in a post on his One of Swords blog.
"Vahn [aka Vonderhaar] often gets told he should die in a fire or kill himself or is a horrible person. If anybody thinks for a second that this is okay, it is not. But if the loudest voices in the Call of Duty 'community' act like an angry mob instead, guess how the entire world views Call of Duty?
Now consider that these Internet Tough Guy rants and demands are not unique to COD, but exist everywhere, in many gaming communities. This is why the world often does not take gaming seriously; this is why gamers are assumed to be immature, whiny a-holes. Because the immature, whiny a-holes are louder.
Take a look at Vahn's Twitter stream today; look at how he has responded to the people who found issues and sent him calm, useful feedback. It's clear that many gamers understand basic human communication, and it's doubly clear that developers respond positively and gratefully to this kind of feedback. Maybe Vahn is super patient. Maybe Vahn is super human. Maybe Vahn is heavily sedated. But the fact that he focuses on the useful feedback, puts that intel to good use fixing the problem, and doesn't irrationally lash out at the immature, whiny a-holes is amazing."