Call of Duty

COD: Vanguard Dev Details Weapon Balancing Process for Multiplayer, Warzone

Over three dozen weapons are available in Call of Duty: Vanguard at launch.
Over three dozen weapons are available in Call of Duty: Vanguard at launch. / Photo courtesy of Activision

Less than 24 hours since its release, one thing's for certain — Call of Duty: Vanguard is officially the 19th flagship title to release in Activision's blockbuster first-person shooter franchise.

However, amid the new Perks, create-a-class overhauls, and cross-platform features that have become foundational pillars of the Call of Duty title cycle now and moving forward, perhaps no other aspect of the series has reflected change the most in terms of pre-launch designing and post-launch balancing than that of Vanguard's new WWII weapons.

According to a new report by Dexerto, the work that went into getting Vanguard's 38 weapons ready for its Nov. 5 launch appears to be just part of the battle, thanks to the extra steps needed to be taken ahead of the title's integration with Warzone down the line.

Leading up to the release of Vanguard, Sledgehammer Games made quite a change to the loadout customization system for the series' latest offering — most of the weapons can be outfitted with up to 10 attachments.

Typically, the number of attachment options has been set at five in years past. In Black Ops Cold War, players maxed out at eight attachments on their primary weapons if they had the Gunfighter Wildcard equipped.

“The reason why we went with 10 slots was really based on being able to change up the power of the attachments instead of having attachments compete,” Sledgehammer Games Lead Designer Zach Hodson told Dexerto.

Vanguard is said to have over 200 unique weapon attachments to fill in those slots — from barrels and ammo conversions to over 40 Weapon Perks, also known as Proficiencies and Kits.

Additionally, seemingly no two Vanguard weapons share the same selection of attachment options.

This extensive amount of customization is only further complicated with the next major event looming for Vanguard and its devs: the re-relaunch of Season 1.

When the Season 1 update launches on Dec. 2, not only will battle royale fans be expecting to see the Ricochet Anti-Cheat’s Kernel-Level Driver roll out, the brand-new Caldera map, and an array of new cosmetics, but also the existing 100+ number of available weapons grow even further with the full integration of Vanguard with Warzone.

As such, Sledgehammer has had to take this into account to some degree as well when designing Vanguard's weapon arsenal. Thanks to Dexerto, it appears we may also be able to know just how that dynamic plays out.

According to Hodson, it seems the new WWII weapons were “purpose-built for Vanguard” first and foremost, and that Sledgehammer keeps a “separate balance sheet to track how things might work in Warzone.”

“One bit of insight is that [Vanguard] guns have more recoil than you’ll have seen in previous CoD games. That doesn’t necessarily translate perfectly to Warzone,” Hodson told Dexerto. “So there’s a bit of adaptation that needs to go in on the Warzone side to bring the guns over in a similar way to what’s been done before with Cold War and Modern Warfare.”

For those who had been curious about how Treyarch and Raven Software brought the Black Ops Cold War weapons to Verdansk in the past year, perhaps this helps shed some light in that department.