What Call of Duty’s Warzone Needs For Cold War

What Call of Duty’s Warzone Needs For Cold War

Warzone will be coming to Black Ops: Cold War in December. While the battle royale is exciting to play and also spectate for major tournaments, improvements like better anti-cheat, improved challenges, and map changes could really enhance the Warzone experience for the upcoming year. Basically, stop all the hackers and take some notes from Blackout, Call of Duty’s previous battle royale.

Despite my love for Black Ops 4’s Blackout mode, I still believe that Warzone is the best battle royale for Call of Duty. Blackout felt more like PUBG, while Warzone simplifies the mechanics for armour and looting to keep players in the fight, maintaining Call of Duty’s arcade feel within the battle royale genre. But there are some Blackout influences that could make the mode more enjoyable without changing any core mechanics.

One would be more map updates and diversity. When it comes to changes and events, Blackout kept things fresh with seasonal map updates such as fall trees and summer beach vibes. There was an event that flooded the map, and Halloween had thick fog and rivers of blood with the “Haunting Fog” event. Blackout received updates that added more building variety and points of interest over time, including an entire ghost town that included parts of the “Buried” Zombies map from Black Ops 2. Not to mention there was a smaller second map, “Alcatraz,” that was added and updated as well.

Warzone, meanwhile, hasn’t gotten many map changes, and, if you don’t count the super-limited Black Ops: Cold War teaser mode, the only full event Warzone has received is the ongoing “Haunting of Verdansk” event. It’s a better Halloween update than Blackout’s eerie fog, because Warzone’s night mode works better than Blackout’s low-visibility fog. There were also plenty of spirits and a ghost train haunting Verdansk in a really cool way. But I want more events to shake things up for the Cold War season. I’m feeling optimistic; Treyarch and Raven Software’s previous work together on Blackout already proves that they know how to have fun with battle royale. They even created a wacky Blackout mode with superheroes and a comic-style filter that gave me Borderlands vibes.

Image: Activision
Image: Activision

It’s unclear if we’ll see any major changes between the end of Warzone’s haunting event and the launch of Black Ops: Cold War. Nevertheless, Warzone’s map of Verdansk has so much untapped potential, with so many places where loot and gunfights could be improved. There’s a ton of real estate at the southern portion of the map that usually goes untouched unless the circle forces players to venture there. No one ever wants to land in the Downtown area: It’s an eyesore of buildings with a bad loot ratio. So far, the best change we’ve received was the Verdansk stadium opening up. A moving train and a subway system were both added, which gave alternate means of travel across the map, but that didn’t really affect the looting or landscape very much. We don’t even know yet if we’ll get a brand-new Warzone map, or a 1980’s re-skin of the existing landscape with Cold War.

In addition to more events and map refreshers, I’d love to see Blackout’s character challenges migrate into Warzone. In Blackout, you could find character-specific items on the map, and completing the item’s unique challenge during the match would unlock that character for permanent use in Blackout and multiplayer. This let me enjoy some nostalgia by unlocking some favourite characters from the old Black Ops campaigns and Zombies modes.

Warzone has mission challenges that you can complete, but most of the rewards don’t match the amount of work required to unlock them. Many rewards require multiple challenges to be completed, only to get some XP and an ugly emblem or a calling card that looks like a day one default option. Blackout-style character challenges would definitely be an upgrade for Warzone.

Current Warzone Missions and Rewards (Screenshot: Activision (Kotaku)
Current Warzone Missions and Rewards (Screenshot: Activision (Kotaku)

Of course, it might not matter how good the events and challenges are if cheaters continue to ruin all the fun. Modern Warfare was the first Call of Duty to bring all platforms together with crossplay, but a free-to-play battle royale on different devices has come at the price of aimbot and wallhacks. Better anti-cheat is going to be vital for Warzone’s longevity.

As previously reported, Warzone has struggled with cheaters since launch, and, despite some effort from Activision and Infinity Ward, it still does. Even some of Call of Duty’s most high-profile streamers like Nick “NICKMERCS” Kolcheff have used social media to plead for better anti-cheat. Jack “CouRage” Dunlop straight up roasted Activision for not handling it. Warzone doesn’t have the option for custom matches, so hackers even plague major online tournaments. In Cold War, I’d like to see Activision invest in better anti-cheat software and add custom lobbies. It’s wild to watch my favourite streamers and pro players compete in $US100,000 ($142,070) Warzone tournaments and face stream snipers and hackers.

My last suggestion might not be a popular one, and it certainly won’t make or break the game, but I’m not really a fan of the loadout drops feature in Warzone. Loadout drops let players select their customised loadouts, meaning players can have their best guns, perks, and equipment in an instant. It takes the randomness and variety out of the battle royale experience. Warzone matches quickly see the majority using meta weapons like the currently popular Kilo 141 and CR-56 AMAX assault rifles. I’d love to see loadout drops limited to certain LTMs or at least delayed to only be a risky late game option.

There’s not a lot that’s been announced for Warzone’s shift into the Cold War, but Activision has revealed that weapons unlocked in Black Ops: Cold War will be available for use in Warzone once the integration happens. Players will even be able to pick between Modern Warfare or Black Ops: Cold War loadouts in Warzone. This confirms custom loadouts will still be in the game in some capacity, but I really hope Treyarch makes some changes to the loadout drop feature. Regardless, it’s good news that players can use all those fancy cosmetic bundles they purchased from Modern Warfare for use in Warzone’s Black Ops: Cold War update.

You’ll be able to play Black Ops: Cold War’s campaign, multiplayer, and zombies mode when the game launches across PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S on November 13. A Cold War version of Warzone will be integrated some time in December.

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