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(Updated) Call of Duty API changes kill third party statistic tracking websites and services

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Update

The Activision Support Team has responded to a post on Reddit detailing the reasoning behind the API changes. This is a temporary measure set in place while an improved API flow is rolled out.

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Recent changes to the Call of Duty API have essentially rendered third party statistic tracking sites such as The Tracker Network useless due to the lack of access to player data. Activision’s official Call of Duty Companion App is also affected by these changes and is currently unusable until an update is released.

As of March 1, 2019 – the Call of Duty API requires authentication and enforces a strict rate limit for all requests. Prior to these changes, the API was accessible without authentication and did not have any impractical rate limits.

While the API is not documented for public use, it is exposed via the My Call of Duty website and Call of Duty Companion App. Because of this, the new requirements for its use are unknown to the public.

Developers are now greeted with a “Not permitted” error message upon requesting data from API endpoints which once stood.

The Tracker Network took to Twitter to announce that their site functionality will be entirely diminished until a fix is found.

Through a collaborative effort, The Tracker Network has since implemented a temporary solution. Unfortunately, we cannot disclose the method for all developers to use due to fear of more restrictions being put in place.

The Tracker Network provided CharlieINTEL the following statement…

For years the COD community has continually expressed an interest in having open access to data. We believe giving players the power to improve their game through data benefits the community, and I think the amount of support pouring in is proof that the community agrees. This isn’t new thinking, and we have seen several developers in the past make this a reality. We hope Activision/Treyarch will reach out and support the community, because without their support, we and sites like ours will be forced to shut down.

While the issue may appear to end there, many fans are upset with these events as they feel that player data availability has significantly lessened in recent Call of Duty titles.

At the time of writing, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 does not feature in-game Leaderboards or Combat Records despite being set to go live “next week”, in October of 2018.

LEADERBOARD PETITION • Treyarch and ATVI, If you want everything in your community to be ponies and rainbows then you’ve lost what brought us all to your game. (Stat Tracker shutdown rant) from r/Blackops4

While certain restrictions are necessary to prevent API abuse, it’s unfortunate to see such a powerful service be placed on lock-down.

The Call of Duty API also allows developers to utilize features such as the Black Ops Authenticity Stamp system in Black Ops 4 Zombies. Treyarch’s Jason Blundell acknowledged this feature’s benefits for third party services at the Black Ops 4 reveal.

Activision has yet to provide an official statement or acknowledgement of this issue.

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Blizzard releases huge Battle.net update for January 2021

Blizzard has recently released the first major update to the Call of Duty launcher, Battle.net client for 2021.

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Blizzard has released the new Battle.net client, which brings a slick new interface to Call of Duty, Overwatch, and all of their other games.

Today, January 15, Blizzard announced a huge front-end update to Battle.net. It offers players a cleaner and easier to navigate user interface on the client, with much-needed visual overhauls.

The client update should be releasing periodically across North America, with more regions in the coming weeks.

New Client Features

According to Blizzard, the new improvements are the following:

  • Improved navigation and layout – you can now favorite your games and arrange them for ease of access.
  • A much more expansive layout for news and game content in a full-page view.
  • A revamped social pane so you can better see your friends and what they’re up to on each game tab.
  • Major accessibility improvements—we’ve added the ability to navigate most of the app with your keyboard, increased our screen reader support, and improved the color contrast.
  • A new, consolidated notifications hub for messages and download status.

How to get the update now

If you’re outside of North America and want to get the update now, you can join the beta program for the Battle.net client. To join, navigate to your Battle.net settings (click on the logo on the top left) and then click on the beta tab.

From here you can join the beta client. You’ll have to do a small download first. When the full release comes to your region, you can opt-out of the beta client.

Image Credit: Blizzard

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Apex Legends dev explains why Airdrop Escalation won’t be permanent

Respawn Entertainment addressed player concerns that the Airdrop Escalation LTM would be permanent in Apex Legends.

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Airdrop Escalation LTM in Apex Legends

The new Airdrop Escalation LTM has brought some changes to the supply drops in Apex Legends. Some players are concerned about how this would affect care packages, so the devs responded.

The new Fight Night Collection Event finally went live on January 5 and brought many changes to Apex Legends Season 7. This includes an heirloom for Gibraltar and a brand new LTM called Airdrop Escalation. 

The LTM has replaced the normal game mode and will provide you with an increased number of supply drops containing different tiers of fully-knitted weapons. This can lead to players receiving extremely powerful gear in the midst of battle.

Some fans were worried that this system may stay in the game for good and cause it to become unbalanced. The developers took notice of this and addressed fan concerns.

Apex Legends supply drop
Respawn Entertainment

The Airdrop Escalation LTM isn’t permanent in Apex Legends

The quality of the gear that you can obtain from the LTM’s supply drops increases later in the match. While you might get something useful early one, the drops will contain Evo Shields and high tier guns that give the wielder a huge advantage during late-game.

This serves as a major change to the loot game of Apex Legends. The LTM will reward players who find supply drops later in the match by making them more powerful than others. While this works as a temporary feature, some players don’t want it to stick around for good.

Reddit user shiba219808 shared a YouTube comment complaining about how Airdrop Escalation “breaks late-game fights,” with the hopes that the developers will take notice. This caught the attention of Lead Game Designer Daniel Klein, who then chimed in.

“We really don’t wanna mess with the loot game of the base BR to this degree permanently,” said Klein. “There are issues that we’re seeing now already around high saturation of red guns deciding late-game fights.”

The devs made it clear that this is not a permanent feature. “The loot game is the beating heart of a BR,” says Daniel. “You better have a really good reason to make a change of this magnitude, and I don’t see one.” 

A few players mentioned that the game mode is still enjoyable, but could use some fine-tuning to improve upon its current issues.

“I actually enjoy the game mode,” said one user, “-but maybe to quell some of the issues you should make it that it only goes up to purple, and then reverts to regular care packages after that round? I feel like early and mid-game it is fine as is, but late game they shouldn’t be dropping.”

Luckily, Respawn Entertainment currently has no plans to shake up the loot game of Apex Legends anytime soon. With Fight Night well underway, we’re getting plenty of close looks at what to expect in the future, such as a new Legend.

Image Credits: Respawn Entertainment

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Call of Duty: Warzone

Dr Disrespect reveals what Warzone should take from Escape From Tarkov

YouTube streamer Dr Disrespect feels that Call of Duty: Warzone should taken notes from Escape From Tarkov.

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Dr Disrespect talks about Warzone

Call of Duty: Warzone has been facing glaring audio issues for a while and Dr Disrespect has weighed in on the matter by making comparisons to how much better it is in Battlestate’s Escape from Tarkov. 

Many different streamers have chimed in to share their thoughts on Escape From Tarkov. The multiplayer shooter has faced varying degrees of popularity over the past year with boosts from players like xQc and Shroud.

YouTube streamer Herschel “Guy” Beahm IV, more commonly known as Dr Disrespect, played Escape From Tarkov several times in front of his fans. While it’s not the game he spends the most time on, he still has strong opinions on it.

One feature in EFT impressed him so much that he stated that Call of Duty: Warzone should take a few notes from Battlestate’s shooter title.

Call of Duty: Warzone from Activision.

Dr Disrespect on Warzone audio issues

Dr Disrespect has been playing Warzone for such long a while that the game has become a major part of the Champions Club streams. Despite this, he doesn’t consider it to be perfect, and he voiced his discontent with the game’s audio problems in a recent stream.

Ever since its integration with Black Ops Cold War, we’ve seen a plethora of new content come to Warzone through a few updates. Despite this, the Battle Royale title is still plagued by glaring audio issues.

The streamer was playing Warzone in front of his fans on January 11, and then complained that the game’s audio is so bad that it made it hard for him to tell where his enemies were. They sounded like they were much further away than they actually were.

He said: “A game like Escape from Tarkov, a game that has perfect audio, blows this game’s audio out by 500% – trust me.

“Trust me, any real gamer would say the same thing. It blows this audio out by like a thousand, but the reason why is because it caters to (competitive players). You hear something at a distance, a shot, footstep, you hear it!”

Discussion starts at 1:12:48 in the video below. 

This is an issue that has also been causing trouble for players in other Battle Royale titles like Fortnite and Apex Legends. Dr Disrespect has also called out those games for the same reason and it’s understandable why he feels this way.

He hasn’t given as much dedication to Escape From Tarkov as he does Warzone but still enjoys the title quite a bit. The game definitely has certain qualities that he thinks Activision should take note of, such as the clear audio.

The streamer has also offered other advice to improve on Warzone in the past, such as changes in the Gulags. He’s enough of a pro that it’s worth listening to his advice, and hopefully the developers will release a fix for this issue soon.

Image Credits: Activision Blizzard

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