Call of Duty: Warzone's enormous mid-season update was hotly-anticipated by fans, but unfortunately it has suffered from a number of serious issues since launch.
Shockingly, the long-standing invisibility bug, which has plagued Warzone for months now, returned with the update. This awful bug, which allows entire squads to turn invisible during a match, was linked to this week's return of the mini-gun variant of the helicopter. In response, Warzone developer Raven Software pulled the mini-gun chopper entirely from the game to investigate.
This is not the first time this has happened. Attack helicopters hit Warzone in December but were quickly pulled because they were used as part of an exploit that made players invisible. Nearly four months later, the attack helicopters returned to Warzone and, again, were quickly pulled because of the same exploit.
But this is not the only criticism of Warzone's latest update. Raven quietly added the Bombardment killstreak from the freshly-unlocked Containment Monitor stations found across the map. More problematic, Raven also added the Foresight equipment item to the game. Bombardment and Foresight were not mentioned in the official patch notes.
Foresight lets you see how the circles will play out for the entire game. It's an immensely powerful item, particularly in the hands of a squad of players who obtain their loadouts. But the real issue here is its cost: Foresight sets you back just $20,000 from a Containment Monitor station – an amount of cash a team of players can earn relatively early in the game. Players have already called for Foresight's cost to be raised, doubled perhaps, or even tripled, in order to make its use rare.
Inexplicably, the RC-XD killstreak was added to Warzone's buy stations, but it is positioned at the bottom of the list where the loadout drop marker used to sit. This is causing players to accidentally buy the relatively useless RC-XD, which seems to have an issue getting up stairs in Verdansk, instead of their loadout. Raven has a fix scheduled for that.
There's also a feeling Raven did not go far enough with its weapon tuning – although it's hard to call this update a weapon tuning patch given how little it changed. The official patch notes only revealed a slight nerf to the AUG, widely considered one of the most effective weapons in Warzone. According to the patch notes, the AUG's base recoil magnitude was increased. This is hardly meta-shaking stuff, and there's a feeling Warzone could really do with a significant rejig of weapon balance.
Talking of patch notes, for some reason Raven continues to leave out significant changes to the game from its official list of tweaks, leaving prominent members of the community to work out secret buffs and nerfs. The video below, from Call of Duty YouTuber TheXclusiveAce, runs through the main changes discovered so far – with the expectation more testing will be needed to find out more. TheXclusiveAce calls Raven's patch notes "useless".
Fellow Call of Duty YouTuber JGOD discovered meaningful changes to attachments, which may nerf several meta class setups in Warzone. But these changes were, again, not mentioned in the patch notes. JGOD's video is below:
And Activision continues to ignore the calls from many to tackle the Roze skin issue. I've covered this before: essentially this premium DLC gives Roze an outfit that makes her nigh-on impossible to see in the darker areas of Verdansk.
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There's a lot of pressure on the launch of season three of Black Ops Cold War and Warzone, which will see the release of a 1980s-themed version of Verdansk after a zombie-killing nuke event later in April. The hope is the reworked map, which leaked this week, will refresh the battle royale.
Warzone remains a fundamentally superb game, with some of the best mechanics and gunplay in the battle royale genre. But it's clear its developers are struggling to prevent significant bugs with each major update. Warzone has become a sort of Call of Duty Disneyland, a virtual theme park that incorporates weapons, characters and mechanics from the various different Call of Duty sub-brands, such as Modern Warfare and Black Ops Cold War. Clearly, Black Ops Cold War integration has caused problems, with guns designed for Treyarch's shooter in some cases breaking Warzone's balance – or even just breaking.
Will Activision shoehorn Sledgehammer's Call of Duty: WW2 Vanguard into Warzone after it comes out later this year? If it does, Warzone players face the prospect of WW2-era weapons entering the fray. I dread to think how that will go down.