Call of Duty

Warzone May 7 Patch Introduces Sweeping Weapon Changes

Warzone's May 7 patch adjusted several guns in an effort to re-tool the game's time-to-kill numbers.
Warzone's May 7 patch adjusted several guns in an effort to re-tool the game's time-to-kill numbers. / Photo courtesy of Activision

A Call of Duty: Warzone patch applied Friday made sweeping changes to the time to kill of several of the game's weapons in addition to adjusting loot spawns and fixing bugs.

In the patch notes, developer Raven Software explained why it chose this moment to tinker with Warzone's time to kill metrics.

"We feel we are close to a 'balance homeostasis' where most options are at the very least viable," the studio wrote. "Which leaves us to address Time to Kill. The following balance changes are part of our ongoing efforts to raise TTK or at least the individual skill required to reach extreme ones. We ask that you consider these changes not as targeted attacks, but rather as part of a larger initiative to raise the skill ceiling."

Raven also removed several shotgun variations from different loot piles and fixed additional methods of getting out of bounds.

See the full patch notes and Raven's rationale for each decision below.

Weapons

Assault Rifles

CR-56 Max

  • Minimum Damage decreased from 32 to 31 (Warzone Only)

With a great damage profile, locational multipliers, and manageable recoil, the CR-56 AMAX was able to reliably reach extreme TTKs at long-range. This change reduces its fastest minimum damage TTK by about 17% in addition to its slowest minimum damage TTK by an additional shot. Its fastest maximum damage TTK however, remains intact—which is a risk we feel is equal to the reward considering how unforgiving its rate of fire is and how many other weapons it has to contest with in the mid-range engagement space. The CR-56 AMAX is just a tad more dominant than we would like it to be and with this change, our aim is to widen the selection of viable long-range assault rifles.

FARA 83

  • Headshot Multiplier decreased from 1.5 to 1.35
  • Base ADS Move Speed decreased by 7%

When combined with a mobility-based stock, the FARA 83 was capable of reaching exceedingly fast ADS firing speeds. We like how the FARA 83 plays, but it is a bit too versatile currently. As part of our efforts to increase the overall Time to Kill, we are reducing the FARA 83’s fastest TTK by 16.6% to compensate for its generous rate of fire and recoil control.

Shotguns

Streetsweeper

  • Base Hip Spread increased
  • Recoil increased slightly
  • ADS speed reduced slightly

While shotguns tend to have limited viability outside of early game, we find the Streetsweeper is a tad too effective given its rate of fire and ammo capacity when compared to other weapons of its class. This change will decrease its lethal range slightly, punish inaccurate sustained fire, and give a little more time to react.

Submachine Guns

Bullfrog

  • Maximum Damage decreased from 34 to 32
  • Maximum Damage Range increased by 11%
  • Base Move Speed increased by 1%
  • Sprint Out Speed increased by 13%

The Bullfrog's exceptional headshot multiplier has allowed it to reach one of the fastest TTKs in the game. While this change does not directly affect that multiplier, it does diminish its output. This change reduces the Bullfrog’s ability to consistently achieve extreme TTKs, while not removing it entirely. We felt it was too easy to consistently reduce the TTK to these ranges, so we are asking for a bit more accuracy in exchange for the Bullfrog's attractive stat line. We are hesitant to label this an outright ‘nerf’ as we believe there is more value to a weapon than its damage alone.

PPSh-41

  • Maximum Damage Range increased by 4%
  • Open Bolt Delay decreased by 80%

We would like to push SMGs in different and interesting directions to distinguish them from one another. Ideally, we are providing a myriad of options within each weapon category that are supplementary to a multitude of diverse playstyles. In that vein, we are going to push the PPSh-41's identity in a way that continues to diversify it from its competition in meaningful ways. To us, the PPSh-41 is the quick to fire, high-capacity, short-to-mid range SMG. Not every weapon needs to have the highest TTK potential, but every weapon should at least feel viable and have a niche where it excels given a complementary playstyle.

Attachments

Barrels

Combat Recon (Snipers)

  • Bullet Velocity multiplier increased by 12%
  • ADS Idle Sway multiplier decreased by 33.3%

As we continue assess the place of Cold War snipers within Warzone, we realize there is much work to be done. In addition to improving the overall efficacy of these weapons and attachments, we will also be taking a close look at their optics. This includes addressing attachment pros where there are few, if any, use cases. In specific... we may see a Cold War equivalent to an immensely popular Modern Warfare sniper attachment very soon.

Optics

Axial Arms 3x (Cold War AK-47)

  • Optic behavior improved

Stocks

Raider/KGB Skeletal Stock (Assault Rifles, Light Machine Guns, Shotguns, Snipers)

  • ADS Firing Speed multiplier decreased by 75%
  • ADS Move Speed multiplier decreased by 10%

Raider/KGB Skeletal Stock (Submachine Guns)

  • ADS Firing Speed multiplier decreased by 50%
  • ADS Move Speed multiplier decreased by 10%

SAS Combat/Spetsnaz Stock (Assault Rifles, Light Machine Guns, Shotguns, Snipers)

  • ADS Firing Speed multiplier decreased by 75%
  • ADS Move Speed multiplier decreased by 10%

SAS Combat/Spetsnaz Stock (Submachine Guns)

  • ADS Firing Speed multiplier decreased by 50%
  • ADS Move Speed multiplier decreased by 10%

Tactical Stock (Assault Rifles, Light Machine Guns, Shotguns, Snipers)

  • ADS Move Speed multiplier decreased by 75%

Tactical Stock (Submachine Guns)

  • ADS Move Speed multiplier decreased by 50%

It is crucial to maintain an engagement space where each weapon type can excel, lest we risk guns becoming analogous. In that regard, some weapon types were able to elude mobility as a core weakness given the right attachments. We believe this is in part why assault rifles have been able to assume the role of submachine guns.

While it is a priority for us to maintain and embrace gameplay differences between Modern Warfare and Cold War guns, we felt movement speed modifiers in their current state would undermine gameplay integrity and overall weapon diversity if left unchecked. These stocks are still a solid choice, even with such a substantial reduction—which we believe speaks to just how strong they were.

Gameplay

Streetsweeper

  • Common variant removed from ground loot
  • Uncommon variant removed from ground loot
  • Rare variant removed from Supply Boxes
  • Epic variant removed from Supply Boxes

Hauer 77

  • Common variant added to ground loot
  • Uncommon variant added to ground loot
  • Rare variant added to Supply Boxes

The Streetsweeper’s wide availability fostered a dynamic where passive play was incentivized and rewarded. We do not think this type of play is particularly compelling for either party when players do not have the necessary tools in the early-game to effectively counter it.

Bug Fixes

  • Fixed additional map locations in Verdansk that allowed players to reach out-of-bounds areas. This is on top of the locations that we addressed last week.
  • Fixed a bug causing Player models to initially load as low resolution at the start of a BR match.
  • Fixed a bug with the Cold War AK-47, FARA 83, XM4, and RPD where they were having their ADS Move Speed and Firing Move Speeds decreased with the Tactical and SAS Combat/Spetsnaz Stocks rather than increased.