The Call of Duty community has been split over the recent announcement from Activision regarding the Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Black Ops Pass, which is Activision’s replacement for the Season Pass for Call of Duty: Black Ops 4.
Just to show how split the members of the community are, our poll asking how many players will be the Black Ops Pass ended with a 50/50 vote.
While it’s replacing the Season Pass and changing how DLC season works, there is still a core problem with the Black Ops Pass: MP Maps are still not free.
There is some positive in Activision’s new approach to DLC, as announced: giving fans more frequent content. For the last several years, Activision has been delivering new DLC Packs for Call of Duty only four times a year, and the time between the packs has been a long drought of nothing. There has been more content recently with community events, but still, the amount of content other games deliver almost monthly or weekly, Call of Duty needs to catch up. And it appears that this year’s approach will deliver that, and that’s good.
But multiplayer maps released post launch should not be tied to the Black Ops Pass. They need to be free. Putting paid multiplayer maps for the post launch season splits the play base into many different matchmaking profiles and creates a split community over all. Just looking at how bad it’s gotten on PC, where the Season Pass is not popular at all, people who do own the Season Pass struggle to find lobbies – and are then unable to play the new DLC maps.
The entire industry is moving forward – allowing free post maps content – should be reason enough for Activision to also reconsider their strategy. This year, they are launching in October, in the midst of many, many games. And if fans hear how Activision is still charging for post launch content, while the competitors are not, many will overlook Call of Duty – no matter the loyalty to the franchise. EA’s Battlefield V will have no premium pass and deliver all post launch content for free, with their “Tides of War” system. EA has been forced into making changes to their games after the huge backlash regarding Star Wars Battlefront II. And you don’t even have to look at competitors. Activision Blizzard’s own Overwatch franchise, since its launch, has given all of its post launch maps and heroes free, with cosmetics only being tied to their loot system. If one of their own portfolio of games can deliver that, why can’t Activision? Why does Activision keep resisting to make positive changes for the franchise?
We know Activision will not remove the Black Ops Pass fully for Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, but they should reconsider the content it includes by removing the MP maps. That’s the issue with the pass as it stands today. Zombies content will always be something Activision will charge for, regardless, and getting bonus cosmetic content for Blackout does not effect anything.
Activision can also add more to the Black Ops Pass. As it stands today, the Pass will actually deliver less content than the usual Season Pass for Call of Duty. 12 multiplayer maps is less than the amount Activision delivered for Black Ops 3 post launch, which had 16 total after the 4 DLC Packs. There’s many different things Activision can include with the Black Ops Pass – besides MP maps: post launch DLC weapons, daily login bonuses, new cosmetic content, and more.
And we already know there is going to be some sort of loot system in Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 — exactly what has not been announced. There’s already a confirmation that Call of Duty Points, the in-game virtual currency, will be returning in Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, meaning Black Ops 4 — as it stands right now — will charge for post launch maps and have a full fledged microtransaction system.
With the industry pushing forward and adapting to the current trends that exist, Activision keeps falling behind. Fortnite, currently the world’s most popular game, is free to play and all post launch content released since launch has been added to free in updates. The only thing they are charging for is cosmetic based skins and emotes, which has earned them incredible amounts of money each month. If Activision wants to stay on top and keep being #1 yearly with Call of Duty, then it is time for the company to make changes that the community wants.
Apex Legends Season 13 review: Newcastle saves lackluster update
The Apex Legends Season 12 update boasts a host of content, finally brining a new Legend to the game that makes a meaningful impact.
Apex Legends’ brand-new character Newcastle has well and truly arrived in Season 13, dominating the limelight among various changes and new content.
Apex Legends Season 13: Saviors has officially arrived, and now that players have had some time to enjoy the new content, it’s clear what stands out in the community.
With major Ranked changes, Storm Point update, and various Legend and weapon buffs and nerfs, Season 13 has no doubt made an impact on the ever-growing battle royale game. However, the brand new Legend Newcastle has definitely stolen the show.
Apex Legends Season 13 review
A welcomed Ranked overhaul
Apex Legends Season 13 brought some much-needed changes to the Ranked system. Players had been calling for changes for some time, and finally, the devs delivered in Season 13: Saviors.
This huge Ranked overhaul was dubbed “Ranked Reloaded,” and brought changes to most aspects of the competitive game mode. The most significant of these changes are around the way in which players receive Ranked Points (RP) and Kill Points (KP).
These changes give the mode a much more team-orientated vibe, which is exactly how it should feel. The devs introduced demotions as well, which the community had been calling for.
This will no doubt make the lobbies more competitive and also make the system more accurate at placing players in the Rank that reflects their skill level. This will also encourage players who are “hard stuck” to continue pushing and developing their skills to reach the Rank they are aiming to stay in.
These changes have been greatly welcomed so far, but of course, as they overhauled the system there are some issues and small tweaks that will be needed. If you’d like a more in-depth look at the changes, check out our guide on Ranked Reloaded.
Lackluster content & changes
Apart from these impactful Ranked changes, the update did bring a slightly underwhelming map update to Storm Point, as well as a lack of meaningful changes to Legends and weapons.
- Read more: Best FOV Setting for Apex Legends Season 13
Storm Point was given a brand new POI, the Downed Beast. Despite this POI being great fun and having a well-thought-out design, one new POI for such a massive map definitely feels underwhelming.
Of course, Storm Point also got the new IMC Armories on the map, and these are great for getting high-tier loot. However, again, there isn’t much map change, just a new POI and some of these new IMC Armories that have popped up around the map, which is quite disappointing.
Legends & weapons
Season 13 also failed to bring a new weapon to the game, which many had been hoping for. Apart from the massive Kraber and Helmet changes, not much has changed with both the weapons and Legends in the game.
- Read more: How to equip Apex Legends Dive Trails
Light weapons are now much weaker than Heavy due to the R-301 going into the Replicator and both the Flatline and Spitfire being placed back in floor loot. The only Legends to receive big changes were Rampart and Valkyrie, leaving the community disappointed to see no changes for Lifeline.
In general, Season 13 has failed to bring significant changes to the Legends and weapons in Apex Legends, which makes the gameplay feel slightly stale.
Newcastle is the Savior
Despite all of this, the brand-new Legend Newcastle is the saving grace for Season 13. Newcastle is a refreshing Legend that stands out as a dominant force, which sets his release aside from the previous Legend introductions that have been deemed unimpressive by the community.
The Mobile Guardian has a very strong kit with abilities that feel impactful and worthwhile. Newcastle can change the tide of a fight with his Ultimate, make a push easier with his Tactical, or even play a supportive role with his Passive shield revive.
His introduction has definitely shaken up the meta in Season 13, competition with the likes of Gibraltar and Lifeline who have both been dominant picks for many seasons. Newcastle is a blast to play, and although he may need a few tweaks as his abilities are definitely strong, he doesn’t feel overpowered.
This new Legend stands out as the most entertaining and impactful introduction within the Apex Legends Season 13 update, saving the season from an otherwise disappointing launch.
Remember, we will be getting some new content throughout the season which could brighten up the update and bring some great new content. With that in mind, check out the leaked Awakened Collection Event.
Image Credits: Respawn Entertainment
Warzone’s 2nd Anniversary: The best & worst metas in Warzone history
Warzone’s second anniversary is here, so we’re looking back at all of Call of Duty’s metas and revealing which were the best and worst.
March 10 marks Call of Duty: Warzone’s two-year anniversary, so we’re taking a look at the best and worst Warzone metas throughout its history.
When a gun is considered ‘meta’ in Warzone, that means it’s the most powerful weapon at the time. Keeping Warzone’s meta as balanced as possible has been a constant battle for devs Raven Software, where they release several updates a month that make major changes to the best and worst weapons.
When the meta is balanced, it means that you don’t necessarily have to use the best weapons to succeed. However, some metas are so game-breaking that you’re forced to use a specific weapon to have a hope of competing.
We’ve looked back on every meta across Warzone’s first two years and picked out the best and worst metas the game has seen, plus we’ve discussed what the meta looks like on Warzone’s second anniversary.
- Call of Duty: Warzone’s best meta
- Call of Duty: Warzone’s worst meta
- How is Warzone’s meta on its second anniversary?
Call of Duty: Warzone’s best meta
While something can be said for Warzone’s M4A1 and Grau 5.56 metas, we believe the Kilo 141 and MP5 meta was the most balanced the game has ever been. While powerful and easy to use, the Kilo 141 and MP5 never felt like they were the be-all and end-all weapons.
There was plenty of room for experimenting with different loadouts, and no weapon felt too dominant. You could still use the Grau, CR-56 AMAX, or M4A1 if you wanted, or you could try out something whacky like the SCAR.
Aside from the AS VAL and SPR-208 being broken for a little while, Warzone’s meta was in a fantastic place during Modern Warfare Season 6, but that all changed when Black Ops Cold War integrated in December 2020.
Call of Duty: Warzone’s worst meta
It will come as no surprise that the DMR-14 was Warzone’s worst meta, with the game being infamously nicknamed DMR-zone during Cold War Season 1.
The AUG/M16 and FFAR 1 meta could be considered just as bad, but the biggest issue was how long the DMR was meta for. It hit a pick rate of almost 30% at the height of its popularity, but it felt much higher than that in-game.
With incredible damage, a fast fire rate, low recoil, and almost infinite range, the DMR-14 wasn’t fun to kill people with, and it certainly wasn’t fun to be killed by. The community was crying out for nerfs, but the first round wasn’t enough. Then, the DMR was finally nerfed and the FFAR 1 and the burst rifles took over.
How is Warzone’s meta on its second anniversary?
The close-range meta is also fairly balanced, with the MP-40 still remaining a popular choice and many switching over to the Owen Gun. With more weapons set to arrive in each of Vanguard’s upcoming seasons, we’ll likely see plenty of new metas hit the game.
Image Credit: Activision
Caldera Clash proves Warzone needs more LTMs
The success of Warzone Pacific Season 2’s LTM Caldera Clash is proof that more LTMs could be a great thing for the battle royale.
The Warzone Pacific Season 2 update introduced Caldera Clash, a limited-time mode that players instantly enjoyed and its success should open the door for more Warzone LTMs.
Warzone LTMs are far from a new concept and players have enjoyed some over the years including Payload, Caldera Clash, and Armored Royale. While not all of these modes were met with acclaim from Warzone players, it’s safe to say there have been few LTMs in Warzone.
Despite the lack of LTMs in Warzone, the same cycle seems to occur when a new one is introduced in which players ask the devs to bring the limited-time mode back. We believe this happens because LTMs work well as a change of pace in Warzone and introducing more would be a fantastic idea.
Caldera Clash may have looked familiar seeing as it draws from the Clash mode on Verdansk ’84 and Warzone Rumble. Even the successful Caldera Clash can’t technically be considered an original concept, which Warzone desperately needs more of.
Caldera Clash is a large-scale TDM-like game mode with two teams that takes place on the Caldera map. To understand why Warzone would benefit from more LTMs we must first take a look at why Warzone players enjoy Caldera Clash.
For starters, Caldera Clash was a great mode to level up weapons quickly. With how notoriously slow Vanguard weapon levels progress, players loved the notable boost from Caldera Clash gameplay.
The second major factor that made players truly enjoy the LTM was its much more forgiving gameplay when compared to Warzone’s traditional battle royale style. Caldera Clash offered casual players a fun new way to enjoy the game without constantly being put in a blender.
Caldera Clash proved to be an excellent change of pace for players who may have been growing tired of the Vanguard Royale and Battle Royale playlist since Caldera’s December 2021 arrival. Therein lies the true value of LTMs in that they bring a valuable change of pace to a game that we’ve been playing for years.
As the above post on the Warzone subreddit explains, not only was Caldera Clash less punishing for casual players but it has the potential to reinvigorate interest in both the Vanguard Royale and Battle Royale playlists once the LTM disappears.
Offering a variety of game modes for a limited time then tightening the focus on core offerings could be a great strategy if used correctly by the devs.
The fact that players are clamoring for LTMs to return once they disappear is a wonderful thing and it means the mode served its purpose by breaking up the monotony of Warzone.
For more Warzone, check out NICKMERCS & TimTheTatman explain how to make Warzone 2’s map perfect.
Image Credit: Activision
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