Call Of Duty: Vanguard Zombies Will Bring More Traditional Experience To Der Anfang

Treyarch blog details the upcoming changes for Vanguard Zombies in the mid-season update, including a classic survival option within Der Anfang.


Call of Duty Season 1 Reloaded releases for Vanguard at 9 PM PT January 11 and 12 AM ET on January 12. A Treyarch blog post reveals new features, Pack-a-Punch camos, and a more traditional round-based experience will arrive to Vanguard Zombies with this mid-season update, but players will still be waiting for the option to pause their matches.

New playable area

Von List's Office will be a new area to explore on the map, which Treyarch describes as "a previously closed-off area in Stalingrad where narrative secrets and a mysterious new portal await." The portal within Von List's office is how players will access Der Anfang's new Void objective.

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New Void objective

While not its own separate map, Shi No Numa will be a playable survival map within Der Anfang. Treyarch describes this as the new Void objective, where players can choose to stay and continue the standard round-based Zombies survival or they can choose to exit after surviving the minimum three rounds needed for the objective to complete.

Stepping through the Void portal to Shi No Numa will allow players to advance through rounds by defeating increasingly difficult endless waves of the undead, just like the traditional Zombies experience from previous games. Weapons can be upgraded at the Pack-a-Punch machine, and players can stay here to survive as long as they can.

Those who choose to stay and fight will earn 5,000 bonus Essence points for every three rounds they survive in the Void. If they make it through 12 rounds or more, they'll earn a unique reward that prevents their perks from dropping below the second tier whenever they go down for the remainder of the match. Treyarch also teases that surviving long enough could allow players to discover new story details that hints towards future updates.

Players who choose to flee after the three round minimum in the Void objective can carry on with their other objectives in Der Anfang, but the portal will remain open in Von List's office. This gives the choice to return to Shi No Numa at any time.

A Sacrificial Heart is also earned each time at least 3 rounds are survived in the Void and the player successfully escapes back to the Stalingrad hub.

Tome of Rituals feature

Tome of Rituals
Tome of Rituals

Season 1 Reloaded also adds the new Tome of Rituals feature to Der Anfang. This allows players to upgrade their equipped artifact with additional abilities, which works similar to the upgrade tiers in Black Ops Cold War. The only difference is that these aren't permanent skill tier unlocks like Cold War's version. These upgrades are made for each match, and they cost the Sacrificial Hearts earned from doing objectives and surviving in the Void.

Frost Blast

  • Tier I – Freezes normal and Special enemies for 3 seconds once they have been in the Frost Blast zone for 0.5 second
  • Tier II – Increases the Frost Blast radius by 100%
  • Tier III – Increases the number of charges from 1 to 3
  • Tier IV – Frozen normal enemies are insta-killed when damaged

Energy Mine

  • Tier I – Stuns normal and Special enemies hit by Energy Mine for 3 seconds
  • Tier II – Explodes 3 times in a row with a 0.75 second delay between explosions
  • Tier III – Increases the number of charges from 1 to 3
  • Tier IV – Increases the explosion radius by 66%

Aether Shroud

  • Tier I – Automatically reload weapons when activated
  • Tier II – Deal 500% bonus melee damage while active
  • Tier III – Gain 50% move speed while active. Duration extended from 5 seconds to 8 seconds
  • Tier IV – Increases the number of charges from 1 to 2

Ring of Fire

  • Tier I – Normal enemies inside the ring take damage equal to 2% of their max HP every second
  • Tier II – Players within the ring use ammo from stock
  • Tier III – Staying within the ring for up to 10 seconds increases the duration from 15 seconds to 20 seconds
  • Tier IV – Staying within the ring for up to 10 seconds increases the player's damage bonus from +50% to +75%

New Pack-a-Punch camos

This new update will bring classic Pack-a-Punch camos to Vanguard Zombies. Three new camos will now be available when upgrading at the Pack-a-Punch machine. Each time a weapon is upgraded, it will be wrapped in a unique camo to visually set it apart from the weapon's base version.

New weapons challenges and support streaks

Vanguard's multiplayer killstreak weapons are being added to the support menu at the Crafting Table in Stalingard's hub. Just like the killstreak crafting in Black Ops Cold War, this will cost the salvage currency that's looted from dead enemies and supply boxes.

New weapons like the Katana DLC weapon and the upcoming Welgun submachine gun will also have weapon unlock challenges for Zombies mode, allowing players to choose to unlock the weapons in multiplayer or Zombies.

The wait for the Pause feature continues

Treyarch addressed the missing pause feature for Vanguard Zombies, saying "Let’s be honest...moving Zombies to an infrastructure hosted entirely on dedicated servers for the first time in a new engine hasn't been a seamless experience."

Treyarch also explains that past traditional Zombies lobbies ran on player-hosted servers, which were often prone to issues, depending on a player's connection and several other factors. And while the gameplay experience should now be smoother across the board with the dedicated servers in Vanguard, the process of pausing the servers for solo and single-player private matches isn’t as simple.

"Like all of you, we wanted Dedicated Server Pause for solo players to be included sooner, and the amount of work required to get it right has frankly taken longer than we would've liked," the developer said. "Thanks for your patience while we wrap up its implementation in an upcoming update."

Season 2 Details

Looking ahead to Season 2, Treyarch details that a new hub map will be added and taking players to multiple arenas, including the Dark Aether itself in a new location created for Vanguard Zombies.

The next season is also planned to include multiple Wonder Weapons, more survival gameplay, a new story quest, the introduction of a new Dark Aether entity, a new enemy type, new objective gameplay, and more.

Vanguard's Zombies mode was met with a lot of criticism for arriving with a lack of content and without a traditional round-based mode, but new the features and adding the option to play more traditionally might be enough to breathe some life into this currently hollow mode.

Call of Duty's seasonal content carries on as walkouts continue in protest of surprise contract terminations within Raven Software's QA team. Activision Blizzard faces lawsuits and other investigations related to alleged sexual harassment and discrimination against women.

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