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Hello Call of Duty Community!
We want to share some updates coming to Season 02 for Multiplayer, DMZ and Battle Royale.
Information on new features, maps, modes, and more will be shared over the coming weeks. All the changes outlined in this blog will be further detailed along with new content in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II and Warzone 2.0 Patch Notes to be released prior to the season launch on February 15, 2023.
Crashes and Stability
We remain dedicated to improving the overall stability and performance of our games, including reduced crashes across all platforms and titles.
Expect the Season 02 Patch Notes to further detail specific bug fixes and changes ahead of February 15th.
Data suggests that some PC Players may be experiencing audio issues due to discrepancies in the number of channels they are outputting. We've added an option to force PC to stereo output; please be sure to check Windows and in-game audio settings are set correctly in accordance with your listening environment.
Investigation into player reports regarding audio led us to identifying a previously unknown issue impacting occlusion across the game. Audio occlusion is a filter that is applied based on the type of material that an object or structure is composed of, primarily based on its thickness and how it blocks the full frequency of the sound. Only large structural objects should apply the filter, but we found some small items like a stapler or a pile of rags on the ground that were causing the filter to turn on when it shouldn't have. For example, a wastebasket that was tagged with the incorrect material may have occluded the sound like it was behind a wall making the sound more difficult for a player to hear. This issue will be addressed in the Season 02 update and we continue to work on fixes and new audio features to better our players' experience.
A number of UI/UX updates are coming to Season 02 to improve overall flow of in-game menus. These updates include:
- Improved navigation and organization of Camo menu
- More polished Social tab, including improved channel swapping and player muting
- New “My Bundles” screen
- Quick equip items from Battlepass, My Bundles, and Store
- Reticle previews in Store and Gunsmith
- Improved clarity of attachment blocking logic in Gunsmith
- And many more bug fixes
We’ve also recently introduced a fix that restored:
- Instance speed of Recent Players in menu
- Status refresh of Friends
Further details on these changes and more will appear in our Season 02 Patch Notes.
- Improved After Action Report with audio
- Play Again feature in Battle Royale
- Bug fixes for inconsistencies between:
- Battle Pass
- Weapon progression
Weapon balance is something we are always analyzing, and we’ll be balancing Weapons for Season 02 just like any other seasonal or mid-season update. Details on Weapon balancing can be found in the upcoming Season 02 launch Patch Notes. We’re excited to discuss some changes to armor below that will make for more consistent engagement in Warzone 2.0.
1v1 Gulag will be returning with the launch of Season 02. With this change, Players will see the return of the original Warzone overtime mechanic - the Domination-style flag control point - in place of the Jailer.
In order to bring this change online sooner - we have edited the existing Season 01 Gulag for better 1v1 combat, but are actively working on a dedicated 1v1 map for future seasons.
We’ve also made some logistical changes to the Gulag experience. Ground loot has been revisited as well as the Loadouts that Players will spawn in with. We’ve updated the pool to include Assault Rifles, Submachine Guns, and Light Machine Guns as Primary Weapons as the Circles progress. Shotguns have been removed from the rotation, while Handguns will remain available as Secondary Weapons.
For those leaving the arena victorious, the Gulag will grant a larger Cash reward to players. This change to cash will allow redeploying players to get back on their feet a bit faster.
Alongside increased victory Cash rewards mentioned in the previous section, the Gulag will now spawn Cash as ground loot to encourage and reward Players willing to prowl the arena.
In addition to the cash changes to the Gulag outlined above, we are balancing the Battle Royale economy with a slight reduction to cash rewards for completing contracts. Additionally, we are increasing the lowest value of Cash piles from ground loot to $800 and from Cash Registers to $500 (previously $100 minimum).
In addition to this, Cash can be acquired via ground loot, containers, and white Stronghold Supply Boxes throughout Al Mazrah, but can no longer be found in basic and legendary Supply Boxes.
This redistribution should make for quicker, more consistent gameplay in the pursuit of resources.
Loot & Inventory
As announced last week, we’re shifting away from loot windows/menus to floating loot that will now drop out of all containers in the world, similar to loot from Supply Boxes.
This change is intended to improve the pace of gameplay by minimizing time spent navigating the UI and getting Players back in the action faster.
We were excited to see the new Backpack system give Players the agency to customize their inventory for a desired playstyle or role within a Squad. In our continued effort to balance engagements, Medium/Large Backpacks will no longer be available and eliminated Players will drop loot onto the ground rather than loot-filled Backpacks. Every Player will have the same Backpack throughout the entire game which will subsequently reduce the impact of stacking medical supplies, Equipment, and Killstreaks. We will continue to look for feedback and provide updates that streamline the looting experience for everyone.
Loadouts have always been a core part of Warzone’s Battle Royale, and something we pay close attention to. The changes Players have seen with the launch of Warzone 2.0 and since then have ultimately been in pursuit of the most fulfilling experience for the individual, and the team, all while keeping things challenging. As such, we’re making further changes to how Players acquire part of or the entirety of their Loadouts.
Season 02 will introduce customizable Perk Packages! This feature will launch with a slightly reduced pool of available Perks, which we may slowly reintroduce over time. We want to navigate this particular feature as carefully as possible, ensuring that all available Perks provide ample utility and remain viable/balanced options.
Primary Weapons will continue to be available at Buy Stations but now at a more affordable price point so that Players can pursue victory with their most desired Weapons. We also remain happy with the introduction of Loadout Drop Markers, though we have taken a careful look at the price point. The price of Loadout Drop Markers has been slightly reduced so that respective Squad sizes can acquire their full Loadouts at a faster pace. In addition, on extremely rare occasions, Players may find one while looting throughout Al Mazrah. A second Loadout Drop Public Event has been added, which means the drops will now happen on the first and fifth Circles each match.
We’re continuously evaluating the pace of combat engagements and have decided to make a change: all Players will now start with a 3-Plate Vest. Varying sizes of Vests will no longer exist in Battle Royale loot. This standardization will bring a more reliable feel to each engagement from the get-go. We'll continue looking at data about optimizing downtime and improving the ability to recover from a prior engagement.
We have made an important tweak to movement that should yield better outcomes for Players in combat. Starting with Season 02, Players will be able to bust through doors while plating the way they would if they were sprinting. This change includes a slight increase to movement speed while plating to enable Players to get to cover faster in moments of need.
In order to make Buy Stations and their goods easier to access, we’ve revamped our approach; spawn locations have been added/adjusted, spawns will be static across the map, and Loadout Drop Markers have unlimited stock at all stations. As always, we will continue to monitor the global balance of our economy and availability of resources as we move forward.
Strongholds provide an alternative gameplay experience with high payoff for those willing to tackle the objective - and for others interested in robbing Players of their rewards. We are committed to providing a balanced engagement for Players who choose to enter Strongholds. Season 02 will bring changes to the rewards Players receive from Stronghold and Black Site completion, as well as additional adjustments to A.I. combatant damage.
In Season 01 the AI in DMZ were challenging, but the ramp up of difficulty was often steep with some players getting overwhelmed. With Season 02, we've introduced a number of balance changes to adjust the types of AI spawning, the number of AI spawning, and the accuracy of AI at range and much more. All of this should provide a challenging but manageable play-space that still requires player respect of enemy combatants in the DMZ.
We are tuning some of the infil points across Al Mazrah for improved early match experience based on gameplay data. Starting at a point at which your squad feels isolated or without loot and contract opportunities is not the best experience. These tweaks should improve spawn points across the mode.
Mission Difficulty Tuning
Data and feedback reinforced that the Faction Mission difficulty ramp was too aggressive for many Players, and that the demanding scale ultimately made it very challenging to unlock the second Insured Weapon Slot (completing all Tier 3 Missions) in Season 01. We have adjusted the overall scaling of difficulty in Missions as the Tiers progress. Later Tier Missions will still be quite challenging even for the experienced Operator, but we believe more straightforward access to an additional Insured Slot will provide a better path forward for all Players.
We know crashes are especially impactful in DMZ if you lose your items and Contraband Weapons as a result. Addressing these crashes is a priority for Season 02, and we are committed to increased stability. Stay tuned for more specifics on this.
All-new missions are coming to Season 02 including a refresh of your current Faction mission progress and an inventory (Contraband and Keys) reset. We will be detailing all the need-to-know intel for DMZ ahead of Season 02 in an upcoming blog.
With a new Exclusion Zone coming to Season 02, players will have a third option to choose from when deploying in DMZ. The Faction Mission refresh will provide new missions that send you across these destinations, including Building 21. We suggest you and your squad gear up for infiltration first!
As noted in previous updates, one type of our audio occlusion system remained off in Multiplayer periodically after launch. Occlusion still existed in Multiplayer at this time but was not the newer and more advanced system. We have spent this time testing and re-implementing that occlusion system and are happy to report that it will be back online with the launch of Season 02.
We have heard a lot of feedback around the timing of the bonus perks, specifically the Ghost Perk. We looked at swapping this perk's position but we felt this would create severe imbalance in the perk system. For Season 02 we've updated the rate at which the bonus and the ultimate perks are earned (reduces bonus perk cost by 50% and ultimate by 25%). This adjustment will allow Players to get Ghost earlier in matches, which will better support Players looking to engage more aggressively.
We have several weapon balancing changes coming along with new weapons for Season 02. Full details on weapon balancing will be available in the upcoming Season 02 launch Patch Notes. We’ll also reveal five new Weapons coming to Season 2 in the next few weeks. Stay tuned.
As announced last week, Hardcore mode is returning to MWII. Hardcore will replace the Tier 1 mode. We are excited for fans to have this franchise favorite back in the mix for Season 02.
- Our Valentine's Day playlists will return! Stay tuned.
- We’ll be detailing the multiplayer modes coming to Season 02 in the coming weeks.
- One week per month, Infinity Ward will be creating a Twitter Poll for fans to vote on one of that week’s playlists from a rotating pool.
Last week we confirmed that Ranked Play, a deep Multiplayer experience done in partnership with Treyarch and the Call of Duty League, and Infinity Ward, is coming to Season 02. Details on Ranked maps, modes and more will be revealed prior to launch.
These are some of the changes coming in Season 02 and we have plenty of new content to share ahead of launch.
Expect more information on the brand-new small map coming to Warzone 2.0 next week - including the return of Resurgence! The full Season 02 Announcement Blog will be released on February 8, with upcoming posts from studios, including the full Season 02 Patch Notes, as well as blogs from the Call of Duty staff all set to drop before launch.
We appreciate our dedicated and passionate Call of Duty community for the continued feedback and support.
Development for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II, as well as Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0, is led by Infinity Ward with additional development support provided (in alphabetical order) by Activision Central Design, Activision Localization Dublin, Activision QA, Activision Shanghai, Beenox, Demonware, High Moon Studios, Raven Software, Sledgehammer Games, Team Ricochet, Toys for Bob, and Treyarch.
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For updates about Call of Duty®: Black Ops Cold War, Vanguard Zombies, and Ranked Multiplayer Modes, follow @Treyarch.
For regular updates about Call of Duty®: Vanguard, follow @SHGames.
For updates about Call of Duty® PC platform discussions, follow @BeenoxCODPC.
For all sorts of other franchise content, check out our Call of Duty® blog.
Game features described above are based on current in-development features that are subject to change based on final development changes and/or game tuning or updates that may remove or modify some or all of the above features.