Last week, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4‘s first major content update brought a new specialist, Zero, to Treyarch’s first-person shooter. However, this initial incarnation of Zero appears to have not been long for this world, as the company has just nerfed the specialist in the face of community unrest.
Zero’s nerf focuses specifically on reducing the power level of her hacking abilities. Players will now find that it takes longer to hack sentries, attack choppers, gunships, and more, and hacking an opponent will no longer stop their healing cooldown.
Furthermore, Treyarch has increased the amount of time required to obtain the specialist’s Ice Pick, the ability that facilitates her hacking. This nerf should further reduce the power of the ability by making it less immediately available.
When Zero was introduced to those playing on PlayStation 4 last week, the player base immediately reacted with indication that she was far too powerful. Not only were her abilities easily capable of single-handedly altering the outcome of a match, by promptly destroying an enemy Attack Chopper, for example, there was seemingly no counter.
Players that were dominating matches would find that all of their equipment and vehicles had been commandeered, or annihilated, by a single specialist. Furthermore, this hacking ability was not something that needed to be earned through performance in a match — Zero players could alter the tide of a battle without any type of participation prior to receiving their Ice Pick.
As a result, some professional players agreed to not use the new specialist in competition. While unofficial, this type of response from some of the game’s most vested players is a clear indication of exactly how problematic the first version of Zero was.
Now that the specialist, in her nerfed form, is available to players across all platforms, details on exactly how she is performing will becoming increasingly apparent. While it remains to be seen if this first round of nerfs is enough to bring Zero in line with the other specialists, it certainly seems like a step in the right direction, and Treyarch’s prompt response suggests that the company is committed to monitoring her impact on gameplay.
More details on Zero, and her nerf, can be found on EuroGamer.