Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Call of Duty Warzone Is Making a Big Gameplay Change, and Fans Are Warring Over It

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As the game moves to a new map, Call of Duty: Warzone is making some big changes to how loadouts will operate – and fans can't agree whether it's better or worse for the game.

Call of Duty: Warzone's new map, Caldera will bring with it a tropical new destination, new points of interest, and new changes to the way that fans will play Warzone. While a full list of announced tweaks to the Battle Royale can be found in our full rundown, one feature that has left fans divided is the way that loadouts will work in Warzone going forward.

There are two significant changes that will affect loadouts in the game. Firstly, players will only be able to use weapons from Call of Duty Vanguard when customizing their weapon picks in Caldera. That means that the more modern weapons (found in both Cold War and Modern Warfare) won't be available in your loadout drops during matches.

While some players may feel that this offers a different stance to previous comments made by the developers surrounding loadouts in the game, Activision has explained its reasoning behind the change stating that it allows them to "[streamline] the meta for more accessibility and room for experimentation."

Regardless of how you feel about the change, this is an important factor in and of itself. Across the Battle Royale's tenure, the game's meta has been a somewhat contentious issue. Where it allows players to work towards ranking up certain weapons and get the most out of their loadout experiences, the meta has also been known to become 'broken' at times offering periods where certain weapons vastly outclass anything else available in the game.

While more cynical players may point out that the changes could increase sales of Vanguard, it's certainly pleasing to see the developer consider the impacts of Vanguard's integration in a way that it perhaps didn't when Cold War entered the frame.

Although making changes to which guns are available to players through their loadouts may seem like a significant change in and of itself, it's been far less divisive in comparison to the other big change being made to loadout drops.

As confirmed by Warzone creative director Ted Timmins, following the move to Caldera loadouts will only be available in Buy Stations at the end of the first circle (around 5 minutes after the game begins) – meaning that players won't be able to earn money and rush to the shop straight away to purchase their custom weapons. A trial of a similar change to the game ran during Warzone's limited-time event Operation Flashback, to mixed responses from the community.

Loadouts are almost always an important factor in winning Warzone, and news of the change seems to have divided its player base. "This was the worst part of operation flashback. I hope this change gets reverted back quickly once people realize it’s not [an] innovation, it’s a limitation," said one fan opposing the change on Twitter, while others argued that it might ruin the game entirely.

While many have been vocal against the changes, those arguing in favor have also been outspoken on social media. There are a number of players within the Warzone community who feel that loadouts don't have a place in the Battle Royale and this change could be seen as a compromise between the two parties.

Ensuring that players won't be able to purchase loadouts right at the beginning of the game is sure to change people's tactical outlook significantly. While this not only encourages people to increase their movement in order to find better 'floor loot' weapons across the map, it could also help to create a wider range of gunfights between weapons in the game.

Following the news of the update, Call of Duty news account ModernWarzone posted a poll on Twitter asking fans to vote on whether they agreed or disagreed with the changes. At time of writing, around 75% of players voting in the poll said they thought it was a good addition.

Call of Duty Warzone's Pacific map is set to go live for all on December 9 – though players who own Call of Duty: Vanguard will be able to gain access to the map 24 hours in advance. For more on Warzone, make sure to check out this article detailing which multiplayer map Caldera will seemingly include a nod to when it launches next week.

Jared Moore is a freelance writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter.


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