I’m a huge Call of Duty: Warzone fan, and it was interesting to see them finally release a weapon rebalance that makes more guns playable. The entire duration of the Cold War integration, which happened since last year, has been an unmitigated disaster that’s driven away a lot of the older players.
Guns weren’t just being released a little overpowered. They were being released flat out broken. They took almost all of the skill out of the game either through unfair advantages that made them too easy to use with a ridiculous time to kill (TTK).
The most egregious examples are the DMR tactical rifle, which was able to shred vehicles and down people with a couple of shots with no recoil, plus a large clip that used assault rifle ammo that gave players a total of 240 shots with a busted weapon.
There was also the Mac-10, which had a ridiculous fire rate and became the downright best close-range weapon in the game for a while.
Then there was the good old FFAR, an assault rifle that had such an insane TTK and fire rate in close quarters that it nullified the entire SMG category.
As a great follow-up, the AUG and M16 became a problem, as they were burst weapons that had almost no recoil, a crazy damage range, and could down people in two bursts. They became far deadlier than sniper rifles, because you could fire 15 bursts while a sniper needs to hit a headshot.
The most recent problem, that thankfully only lasted around a week, was the release of the Sykov pistols, which could be upgrade to full auto, 80 clip mags and akimbo that made it near-impossible to beat in a close range fight.
The Sykovs were essentially an even easier version of the Diamattis, which were for a time were broken beyond belief, too.
What the season 3 update did was amazing, and while there are still certain meta weapons, there finally isn’t a single gun that is so great that everyone runs it. I’m finally seeing different loadouts on bodies, and people are feeling the desire to try out different gun combos again.
For the first time in a long time, there’s a sense of fun about Warzone again. My friends and I (shoutout to the Jialat Boyz!) are having a good time messing around with the updated map, having fun gunfights, and causing havoc.
However, the big problem that has plagued the game for most of its existence still exists: cheaters. Wall hackers and aimbotters are still around, and Activision / Raven Software have done precious little to actually curb the problem. They say they do a few hundred thousand bans here and there, but it doesn’t matter in a free-to-play game. Cheaters just make new accounts and then get back on to ruining everyone else’s fun.
They recently announced that they now push hardware bans for repeat offenders, which is stupid. Proven first time offenders should receive these right away, as it’s not impossible to spoof your hardware IDs from the get-go. At least try to make them pay a price the first time they’re busted.
Cheaters are so brazen that they happily stream their gameplay (with cheat overlays like wall hacks showing) on Facebook, and some have been doing it for months with little repercussion.
Raven Software recently said that they’ve banned 475,000 cheaters, but that doesn’t mean anything to a game that claims to have over 100 million players (I assume a ton of those are just remade accounts, too.)
Here’s an example of a cheater in the latest season:
With that little amount of bans compared to the playerbase, I am 100% sure that there’s a much larger population of cheaters that simply don’t get caught. It’s an issue of paramount importance because it certainly drives people away.
Personally, this is the first time since the game’s release that I haven’t opted to buy the season battle pass. It just seems like a stupid idea to continue supporting them with cosmetic and battle pass purchases since they can’t sort out the cheater issue. The cheaters who pay for their game hacks are only one issue, as well. Recurring bugs like infinite stims, invisibility glitches, and players who find ways to get underneath the game’s terrain to shoot people who can’t see them are also incredibly frustrating.
So, while the efforts toward weapon balancing have been excellent, the stupidity of the cheating epidemic continues to set back the game. It’s a damn shame because nothing matches Warzone’s frenetic pace and fun gunfights and gameplay mechanics. Running into cheaters daily is just so draining, and takes away the desire to continue playing. My friends and I still log on for a little while every day, but our sessions last an hour or so and we no longer make plans to do things like spend an entire Saturday or Sunday morning playing for hours.
I really hope that a good alternative comes out later this year, and the only chance we’ll have is if the next Battlefield includes a Battle Royale mode. Let’s hope that they start with good anti-cheat measures right away. If something even comes close to Warzone’s fun factor but has active measures against cheaters, I will jump ship right away.