Avid players of Warzone 2 will remember the shaky start this Battle Royale had and how far it has come since it transitioned from Call of Duty: Vanguard to the familiar combat of Modern Warfare 2. The developers over at Activision-Blizzard have made a true effort to mold Warzone 2 into the best Battle Royale it can be, and that’s something worth celebrating. So, let’s take a look at their hard work with a list of our picks for the top 10 best Warzone 2 changes Activision-Blizzard has made in 2023.
Out the gate, we start with a small change compared to the rest, but one that’s also just as valuable.
Reinforcement flares were added during Warzone 2 Season 4 and featured in the Assault on Vondel event, unlocking it once players earned 200 million medals. Using this field upgrade would instantly shoot up a flare that revived a random KIA squaddie. This field upgrade is most commonly found alongside stims and self-revives in the medical cabinets, but can be a random drop from any supply crate found throughout Al Mazrah.
The flare gives a much needed alternative to running headfirst into a Buy Station with nothing but hope and some cash. They can even be bought, allowing squads to keep one or two on hand in case they find themselves a man down without a Buy Station nearby.
Unlike other additions to Warzone 2’s constant development, the reinforcement flares add just a little salt and pepper into the mix; nothing too spicy, but enough that every player will notice its existence positively. .
Reusable Supply Crate
Everyone knows the pain of losing a gunfight, scrapping tooth and nail in the Gulag for a victory only to be greeted by a fully looted building and an enemy squad skulking nearby. You’ve got nothing but a pistol or a standard BAS-P and no chance of survival. The enemies quickly close in, scooping up a quick kill while you’re sent back to the title screen.
That frustrating occurrence remains, but with the blue reusable supply crates in Warzone 2 Season 2, the pain has diminished. Decorated throughout Al Mazrah, these blue supply crates offer similar loot to the basic supply boxes but will constantly respawn until the game is over. This allows players that clutch a Gulag win to find their feet before the gas closes in, and ensures there’s some sort of reward waiting behind any given struggle.
Before the saving grace that was Warzone 2 Season 2, looting never felt more clunky and out of place. For each kill, you were forced to slow your pace, pause your game, and dig through a terrible interface to loot your prey. All the while, you’d be forced to pray that you were not the sole focus of a 12x scope ready to send you to the Gulag.
Thankfully, Season 2 added the popular ‘popcorn looting’ that spewed all loot held by the defeated enemy corpse across the floor. Similar to supply crates that regurgitated all of their spoils, players, cabinets, bags, and any other container would now act the same. There is nothing more satisfying than lasering an enemy and scampering over their corpse to collect their loot, all while being fully mobile and fully in control.
Instantly Visible Strongholds
Strongholds were a good idea initially, creating high-traffic areas that beckoned many players into a high-risk, high-reward situation. Many other BRs have a similar system, and Strongholds themselves were unique when compared to the rest.
However, the idea quickly faltered once RNG was included. Strongholds randomly spawned at several pre-determined buildings across the map, but no one would know if your building was the one to be an active Stronghold. If your squad just so happened to head to a stronghold that wasn’t active in the event… well, then you were out of luck.
That random variance in a Battle Royale frustrated players, but now things have changed. Strongholds are visible on the TAC-MAP at the very beginning of the match. Before stepping out of the AC-130, you can strategize and ready yourself for the upcoming battles with all the correct information right at the start.
0 UAVs available? Oh well, head to the next Buy Station. 0 AGAIN?!
This was a constant sight in every game that caused players to roll their eyes and sigh. Some other squad was quicker, grabbed the UAV, and rode into the sunset with the advantage. The Buy Station did remove a hefty amount of RNG and allow players to scavenge enough cash to buy their weapon, loadout, and equipment. But in the same breath, Warzone 2 also decided that killstreaks were a limited purchase per Buy Station; a strange decision that caused frustration for many a player.
But gone are those days, thanks to the wonderful addition of infinite killstreaks at every Buy Station. No matter the time or weather, a UAV will be available to you for the low-low price of $6000 — which is a much needed price increase from $4000 to balance their sudden abundance. Regardless of how many squads came before, all the killstreaks will be ready for purchase at all times.
During the early days of Warzone 2, gunfights felt unrewarding, coinflip-y, and generally skill expressionless.
Back then, guns had a very low time-to-kill (TTK) often resulting in fights that ended before they began. Being downed by a few shots from the rear with no chance to outplay, or to recuperate and rejoin the battle, was dissatisfying to most players.
Warzone 2 Season 4 offset this by introducing a simple but effective 50 health point increase to all players. Plus, while fully plated, everyone enjoyed a maximum 300 health pool. Suddenly, guns aren’t able to execute players in seconds. With fast reactions, players now could pop a smoke or grab some cover, plate up, reposition, and fight back. Outplaying opponents was now on the menu, letting great players shine while giving the rest more room to make mistakes.
Squad Specific Loadout Drops
How many times have you turned up to a fight with nothing but an M4 and a sidearm only to realize the entire enemy squad is rocking fully customized RPKs or Fennecs that proceeded to snap away your existence like Thanos? If you’re like the majority of players, too many.
Now, both you and I can enjoy a free loadout drop that is shipped to your doorstep! Well, kinda; this goodie comes with some caveats, usually drops with other squads’ loadouts to force some high-octane action, and has the tendency to drop further than you’d ever like it to be. Everyone fully stocked with their loadouts and a backpack full of armor plates is peak Call of Duty.
Making the loadouts more accessible truly pushed Warzone further away from the RNG-heavy ‘use what you find’ Battle Royale mentality. Despite the few problems that came with this update, it has never been easier to grab your preferred weapon and aim straight for that Warzone W.
3-Plate Armor Vests
Parachuting into Al Mazrah with only a two-plate vest was just a reminder than every player had another item on the list to collect.
Desperately searching through building after building for that upgraded version was insufferable. The problem only compounds the moment you’re faced with an enemy that got only slightly luckier than you, sporting a purple vest with three plates. You’d swiftly lose the gunfight and be sent to the Gulag for one more chance, only for the problem to sprout up once again.
Warzone 2 Season 2 standardized the vest system and equipped the entire lobby with three-plate vests, and the tedium of looting for a better vest was removed. In one simple change, the developers reduced RNG variance, improved clarity for new players, and further upheld the integrity of the Battle Royale.
Removed A.I Soldiers
There was always something special about getting your position revealed by a random A.I controlled soldier taking pot-shots at you.
Unlike players, the A.I never missed in their early iterations. They always knew your exact position, and made sure the lobby knew it too. Nerfing this was the second most requested change to Warzone 2, and lands at the penultimate spot for its catastrophic failure.
Activision-Blizzard listened to the players and introduced some notable changes to AI soldiers in Warzone 2 Season 4. More specifically, it heralded the removal of all A.I inside Strongholds. I and so many other players would no longer be pestered by bots aimlessly running around and drawing everyone’s attention. They were nothing but bullet sponges meant to add some spice to each game, and will not be missed.
Plating While Running
Is it any surprise that the most requested inclusion in Warzone 2 is the last entry on this list?
Moving from Warzone 1’s movement system to a complete downgrade was a bizarre decision. Gunfights felt one-sided during this era, often reduced to who shot first and who cracked who first. There was no ability to swiftly reset the fight, and you were forced to take a retreat in stages. Run away, hide, plate up, re-engage; a very static gameplay loop.
However, those who have played Warzone recently know that the nightmare has long since ended, as Season 2 reintroduced the mechanic that allows players to run while plating. This new-old feature reopens the door to skill expression, allowing slippery operators to sneak away from an almost certain death. With the right movement, some quick thinking, and some good aim, you can clutch up even against the odds.
It’s still hard to say why Activision-Blizzard decided to remove it in the first place. Whether they intended to move Warzone 2 into a more strategic experience or to try something else entirely is still unclear. But after some pushback from the community, the movement change was added back to everyone’s enjoyment.
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