Let me start by saying I am a maxed level 80⭐️ Blackout player on Xbox, I have over 150+ wins in Blackout so you can trust that I have a lot of experience with the game and its mechanics. Furthermore, this is my first Reddit post I've ever written so please forgive me if the post feels jumbled, I am going to try to keep everything as concise as possible.
This post will have three parts, illustrating the ludicrous decisions 3arch have made in order to create a less-than optimal console experience in Blackout.
Firstly, the quick equip menu is a joke on console. PC players have the ability to maintain full movement of their character with a semi-transparent menu overlay on their screen allowing them to change attachments, drop perks, equip perks, switch gear, and so on. On console, our options are:
- Stand completely motionless while we interact with our fully opaque inventory system in order to drop unwanted perks, drop attachments, drop ammo, check inventory space, or even view which attachments we have on our guns currently–all while being a perfect vulnerable target.
- Use the extremely limited, extremely cumbersome 'Quick Equip' option by hitting UP on the D-pad. This allows console players to tab over one at a time through all of our healing, perks, equipment/utility items, and unequipped attachments that are just sitting in the inventory.
Allow me to give you an example.
Let's say you just dropped out of the plane at the start of a Blackout match. You run around the roof/inside of the building mashing X (or square for PS4) in order to pickup as many items as you can in the least amount of time, as you can hear an enemy not far from you picking up weapons and gear himself. Your finite number of inventory slots are now completely full as you don't have a backpack yet, but you can see a trauma kit and a 'Dead Silence' on the ground in front of you; you cannot pick these things up as your inventory has reached capacity. Quickly, you try to dump some of the less-important things from your inventory to make room in the least amount of time as possible, as you can hear the other players around you become restless as they close in on you.
As I said before, your only option here is to open your fully opaque inventory menu in order to drop the items you need so you can pick up the two more-important items at your feet. Completely motionless and blind, you hit the start button and see your inventory. You toggle over to your squad link and your two smoke grenades to drop so you can make room. The way you drop things in this game isn't as easy as tapping a mouse button like it is on PC; making a seamless and quick interaction easy. Instead, you hover over the item in question (in this case our Squad Link perk) and hold A (or X for PS4) for about 1.5 seconds for the circle to fill up. We've already made a seemingly quick action take longer than necessary. Now we go to drop the two smoke grenades. We do the same thing, hovering over the smoke grenade and holding A long enough for the game to fully understand that we do in fact, want to drop this item. Except this time the game now asks us another question. 'Would you like to drop 1 smoke grenade? Or two smoke grenades?' The seemingly easy process of dropping two items, Squad Link and the two smoke grenades has been broken up into holding buttons for longer periods of time than just tapping 'A' would have done, and furthermore I now have to tell the inventory menu that I DO in fact want to drop not one, but both grenades by toggling up past the 1/2 indicator to the full 2/2.
To remedy this problem, dropping items should not require you to HOLD the 'A' button for 1.5 seconds, you should just tap A to drop things, period. If by chance you wanted to split up a stack you could then choose to hold 'A' in order to be asked, 1/2, 30/100, or whatever the case may be. 3arch's design around inventory management is ludicrous and exceptionally cumbersome, both with time spent and button inputs required to do ANYTHING on console.
And we haven't even gotten to the quick equip mechanic.
Allow me to give you a 'quick equip example'.
You have two separate, 10 stacks of first aids in your inventory, two separate 5 stacks of medkits, and two separate trauma kits. You also have several perks: two counts of Awareness, one Dead Silence, and one Looter. You also have 2 cluster grenades, a barricade, and a tracer dart.
When you open the quick equip screen by tapping up in the D-pad, there is no way to flip categories of what is being selected, if you are all the way on the right-hand side of the screen selecting your equipment, you are going to need to tap LEFT 5, 6, 7 times in order to reach all the way to the opposite side of the menu where you'll have your medkits. There's no way to indicate to the menu if you need to interact or swap our your healing items, configure perks, or swap equipment besides manually toggling one by one. Again, 3arch has created a tedious more time-consuming method of interacting with gear involving more time and more button pushes to do a simple task. Let's paint a picture with the items I've listed above.
In your 'healing slot' you have a medkit equipped, your health is at 150. All the way on the opposite side of the screen you have the cluster grenade equipped. You think there is an enemy in a building in front of you, so you toggle all the way to the right side of your quick equip menu in order to select the tracer dart so you may fire it. You hit UP on the d-pad and then you tap RIGHT about 7-8 times in order to pass over all of the healing items, perks, and equipment. You fire the tracer dart at the building, consuming it, where the game replaces this equipment slot with your cluster grenade. At the same time, the enemy peaks over some cover and returns fire at you, your health is now down to 130. Not wanting to waste your precious medkit, you open the inventory system in order to toggle ALL the way over to the left to swap out your medkit for a first aid. You're using the first aid when he peaks again, further damaging you. You look around and realize you're not going to make it if you don't find some cover fast. Luckily, you have a barricade on you. Thing is, you need to toggle ALL the way over past all 6-7 of your items onto the right-hand side of the screen so you can swap your cluster grenade for your barricade.
Instead of just letting the d-pad's LEFT and RIGHT functions to quickly select which category you intend to interact with, or even allow the LB and RB buttons change their function once the quick equip menu is open to toggle whichever is readily equipped in their respective category, Treyarch has made the ludicrous decision to force the player to waste time and button inputs in order to achieve the thing they need to do. The quick equip system is not quick at all, in reality it's extremely cumbersome and offers the ONLY way to interact or swap gear without being completely motionless like the fully opaque 'start' button offers.
My last criticism is less important than the first two, as the first two illustrate the absolute moronic choices behind the decisions governing the experience of console players in Blackout. My last criticism is regarding the button layout of the game. I wish to change the button layout beyond the preset button layouts to choose from in the options screen, and beyond rebinding entire buttons via an Elite Controller (or Scuff).
For example, when you scope in at an enemy 100-200 meters away in PLAYERUNKNOWN'S BATTLEGROUNDS, you hold your breath by holding the left bumper. In Blackout, holding your breath requires you to HOLD the left analogue stick making it extremely difficult to strafe or move simultaneously. Allow me to clarify, there is no penalty to aiming whilst moving and holding your breath, it is just physically uncomfortable to HOLD the left stick while moving it left and right in order to dodge shots. A simple fix would be to change the "Holding Breath" action to left bumper (as PUBG has it) when scoped with a 3x, 4x, or Sniper Scope (I don't believe you can hold your breath with a 1x optic or 2x scope). The left bumper would function as follows (this could be a toggled option in the blackout category of the options menu):
- During the start and throughout ADS using the 3x, 4x, and Sniper Scope attachments, left bumper will function as holding your breath allowing for more comfortable use of the left analogue stick for movement as intended.
- Exiting these scope's ADS and at all other times (reflex, holo, Elo, iron sights, simply not ADS'ing at all) LB will function as the healing action as it currently does.
I apologize for my jumbled train of thought, and I hope that this post is shared and seen by others as I want a discussion amongst Console Blackout players as well as Treyarch developers to see this post. As I said in the beginning, I am max level with over 150 wins so I am familiar with how the game functions on console, but I am also keenly aware that it is less than optimal and needs improvement. I am here to voice my concerns and see if others agree or disagree. Hopefully my next post will be more coherent and organized 😂
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