CoD: Warzone Gets Major Weapon Changes; Nerfs Shake Up The Meta

Many of Warzone's most popular weapons get nerfed in the December 9 patch notes.

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Call of Duty: Warzone's new Pacific-themed Caldera map is live for everyone, and a December 9 update provided the first major balancing pass for Season 1. Huge nerfs will likely shake up the meta, but the patch notes don't provide any details on the changes made to Vanguard weapons.

Raven Software says that numerous changes have been made to Vanguard weapons and attachments, but we don't know the specific changes made. The patch notes vaguely say that names, descriptions, pros, cons, and stat bars have been updated in-game to reflect these Vanguard weapon changes.

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While the Vanguard tuning remains a mystery, the patch notes do confirm details for changes made to Modern Warfare and Black Ops Cold War weapons, including several nerfs for guns that were previously some of Warzone's most powerful choices.

Warzone's two most dominant snipers have been significantly nerfed. Modern Warfare's Kar98k marksman rifle and Black Ops Cold War's Swiss K31 both received a huge reduction to flinch resistance with a decrease of 62%. Even melee weapons couldn't escape the nerfs, as the Baseball Bat, Battle Axe, Cane, and Mace all received a decrease to their lunge distance.

Additionally, nerfs hit Black Ops Cold War's powerful assault rifles. Cold War's AK-47 had the initial recoil deviation increased, while the EM2's neck damage multiplier was decreased and the recoil increased. Warzone's most popular submachine guns have also been adjusted. Black Ops Cold War's MP5 and OTs 9 submachine guns both had a decrease to maximum damage and the headshot damage multiplier. The Modern Warfare version of the MP5 has a decreased fire rate and sprint-to-fire speed.

Despite the patch notes listing mostly nerfs, both the Modern Warfare and the Black Ops Cold War crossbows gained considerable buffs. Both crossbows received a bump in neck damage, upper torso damage, and lower torso damage. Raven Software says these changes arrive because the crossbows have not received much attention since they landed in Warzone.

Raven Software previously updated the Warzone Trello board on December 9, making the community aware of the problems currently being investigated with the new Caldera map. This includes map exploits, audio issues, and slow XP gains.

The full patch notes can be seen below, as shared by Raven Software.

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

BUG FIXES

  • Fixed collision issues with various elements across Caldera allowing Players to exploit/peek/shoot through them.
  • Fixed an issue allowing access to items that Players weren’t supposed to see yet!

WEAPON ADJUSTMENTS

Weapon Adjustments

Numerous changes have been made to Vanguard (VG) Weapons and Attachments. Names, Descriptions, Pros, Cons, and Stat Bars have been updated in-game to reflect these changes.

In addition to the above mentioned Vanguard changes, the following Modern Warfare (MW) and Black Ops Cold War (BOCW) Weapon adjustments have been made:

Assault Rifle

  • AK-47 (BOCW)
    • Initial Recoil Deviation increased

We do not believe the AK-47 (BOCW) is imbalanced. However, we want to stay on top of Weapons that have a consistently fast Time to Kill by ensuring their handling and behavior is consistent with other similarly effective Weapons.

  • EM2 (BOCW)
    • Neck Damage Multiplier decreased to 1.1, down from 1.2
    • Recoil Magnitude increased
    • Recoil Deviation increased

The EM2 (BOCW) has exerted an impressive level of dominance over the long-range engagement space since its debut. Generally, this can happen when a Weapon’s Time to Kill potential is not met with adequate downsides. Slow-firing Weapons like the EM2 (BOCW) naturally lend themselves to higher-skilled players, as missed shots are far more detrimental. In the case of the EM2 (BOCW), we felt its mechanical input was not equivalent to its output. We have adjusted its Recoil behavior such that it will require more active Recoil countering. We are also reducing its Neck Multiplier - which will affect some of its ‘realistic’ TTK breakpoints while leaving its actual TTK potential unchanged.

Marksman Rifle

  • Crossbow (MW)
    • Neck Damage increased to 250, up from 200
    • Upper Torso Damage increased to 240, up from 200
    • Lower Torso Damage increased to 220, up from 200
  • Marksman Rifle Charlie (MW)
    • Flinch Resistance decreased by 62%

The Marksman Rifle Charlie (MW) and the Swiss K31’s (BOCW) have benefited greatly from heavily reduced Flinch - an attribute which has been exclusive to ‘aggressive’ snipers for quite some time. A considerable reduction to their base Flinch Resistance will require some acclimation, as veteran snipers will find that they can no longer challenge Assault Rifles as consistently while sustaining fire in long-range engagements.

  • R1 Shadowhunter (BOCW)
    • Neck Damage increased to 250, up from 200
    • Upper Torso Damage increased to 240, up from 200
    • Lower Torso Damage increased to 220, up from 200

The Crossbow (MW) and the R1 Shadowhunter (BOCW) have not received much attention since they landed in the Warzone. We are aiming to optimize their effectiveness without inadvertently creating all-out arrow warfare on Caldera.

Melee

  • Ballistic Knife (BOCW)
    • Upper Torso Damage increased to 248, up from 246
    • Lower Torso Damage increased to 225, up from 195
    • Upper Arm Damage increased to 200, up from 180
    • Lower Arm Damage increased to 190, up from 180
    • Upper Leg Damage increased to 200, up from 160
    • Lower Leg Damage increased to 190, up from 160

Similar to the Crossbow (MW) and the R1 Shadowhunter (BOCW), we are increasing the effectiveness of the Ballistic Knife (BOCW). A single, well-aimed piece of Tactical Equipment can put an enemy within one-shot range to the Upper Torso, creating a surprising one-two punch.

  • Baseball Bat (BOCW)
    • Lunge Distance decreased by 47%
  • Battle Axe (BOCW)
    • Lunge Distance decreased by 38%
  • Cane (BOCW)
    • Lunge Distance decreased by 46%
  • Mace (BOCW)
    • Lunge Distance decreased by 42%

Dying to Melee Weapons can often feel unfair (and unfun). Lunge distances could push some Melee Weapons over the edge when combined with the ability to achieve Melee Finisher damage in only two hits - giving Players only a few hundred milliseconds to react. As a result, even fully kitted Players could feel out-muscled in close quarters, which simply should not happen. Players wielding Melee Weapons will now be much less threatening granted there is not an overabundance of missed shots.

Shotgun

  • Shotgun Bravo (BOCW)
    • Movement Speed decreased by 1.2%
    • ADS Movement Speed decreased by 8.6%

With its inherent BOCW mobility, and generous magazine sizes, the Shotgun Bravo (BOCW) has remained a force to be reckoned with despite receiving several balance changes. Reducing the Shotgun Bravo’s (BOCW) mobility will make it more susceptible to the downsides one would expect from Weapons in its class. Without that mobility to quickly close the gap into its deadly Maximum Damage Range, the Shotgun Bravo (BOCW) will become a more equitable selection.

Sniper Rifle

  • Swiss K31 (BOCW)
    • Flinch Resistance decreased by 62%

Submachine Gun

  • OTs 9 (BOCW)
    • Maximum Damage decreased to 30, down from 31
    • Headshot Damage Multiplier decreased to 1.33, down from 1.52
  • Submachine Gun Alpha (BOCW)
    • Maximum Damage decreased to 20, down from 31
    • Headshot Damage Multiplier decreased to 1.41, down from 1.45
  • Submachine Gun Charlie (MW)
    • Fire Rate decreased to .08, down from .075
    • Sprint to Fire Speed decreased by 2.6%
    • Note: These changes only affect Warzone.

The OTs 9 (BOCW) has ruled over the short-range space for some time and changes to it will surely come as no surprise. As a preemptive measure, we will also be adjusting several Weapons that have been waiting in the wings to take its place once dethroned. While it is sad to see our favorite Weapons take a hit to their effectiveness, we feel the pool of viable short-range Weapons will benefit from this anticipatory adjustment.

NOTE: An imminent update will further address Bloom and include adjustments to Weapons including the PPSh-41 (VG).

Attachment Adjustments

» Optic «

  • G16 2.5x (VG)
    • Assault Rifles
      • Eye position shifted forward

The G16 2.5x has become the preferred Optic across Caldera. By shifting the eye position forward, we are creating a greater area of magnification which will better assist in carving out its identity.

Stock

  • Raider Stock (BOCW)
    • Movement Speed modifiers decreased by 25%
  • SAS Combat Stock (BOCW)
    • Movement Speed modifiers decreased by 25%

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