Maintaining a fine balance of operation for highly popular first-person shooters, or heck, any competitive multiplayer game, is a task that many probably would never want to take on. However, Treyarch made Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 and so the company must maintain that content equilibrium, and part of that includes removing the 9-Bang grenade that everybody hates.
Over on the Black Ops 4 sub-reddit, Treyarch unloaded the changelog for the latest update to Call of Duty: Black Ops 4. One of the most significant changes that arrived in the update was the removal of the 9-Bang grenade from the Battle Royale mode known as Blackout.
According to the changelog, the change came as the developers decided to reevaluate the grenade's place within the mode, and where it fits within Black Ops 4's gameplay loop.
The grenade was not missed by various members of the Call of Duty community.
As you can see, there was no love lost on social media for the 9-Bang grenade being temporarily removed from the gameplay loop of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4. Popular streamer Tim Havlock waved it off in a tweet.
Others casually noted that the grenade was simply way too over-powered for what it was intended to do. They did not lament nor shed any tears for Treyarch deciding to temporarily disable the grenade from being used in the very popular Battle Royale mode.
One user stated that it was simply too overpowered and deserved to get the axe.
You don't have to look far to see how the 9-Bang can be used in ways that some felt were exploitative. There are plenty of videos up on YouTube right now showcasing the 9-Bang being tossed down and basically blinding the opponent long enough for them to get put down.
The issue, however, isn't just that the 9-Bang blinds opponents due to its concussive force, it's that the range is rather significant, so much so that even if you toss the grenade a few meters out from where the opponent is standing, they'll still get affected by it in a significant way.
It's interesting because, in the changelog, Treyarch actually increased the grenade count for the concussion grenade and increased the throwing distance as well. So, while the 9-Bang may have been removed for the time being, the concussion grenades got a little bit of a buff.
The developers made a bunch of other changes to Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 as well, including a number of new additions to the playlist updates, and several tweaks to the gameplay balance across the PvP and the Zombies modes, this includes squashing a UI bug, fixing a few crashes in the Zombies maps, and adding a bunch of new storyline characters to the character missions. The update is available right now for PC, PS4, and Xbox One gamers. There's no ETA on if or when the 9-Bang grenade will make a return to the Blackout mode.