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OPINION: Special Orders in Black Ops 4 Black Market are a rip-off

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Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 has, arguably, one of the most diverse ways of getting content in terms of the Black Market for a Treyarch game. There’s the Blackjack’s Shop, which allows players to directly purchase cosmetic items that rotate out, the Black Market Tiers to progress through over 200 Tiers per operation for free (or skip with CP), and then there’s Special Orders.

The Blackjack’s Shop is probably one of the best additions to this title, as it allows players to pick and chose the items they want, and since all of the items are currently cosmetic only, there’s no issue with this shop for now. And the Blackjack’s Shop resembles the original way microtransactions were introduced by Activision into Call of Duty — Black Ops 2 and Ghosts let players directly buy whichever cosmetic items they wanted to from the shop. Although some of the cosmetic items in the shop are not that worth it, the items don’t affect gameplay and the cosmetic items are there for those who are interested in it. It gives people direct access to select cosmetic items.

The Black Market Tier system is also an interesting new addition to Call of Duty. It’s seems to have a good intention in design, as players can unlock more tiers as they rank up, but a flaw in it is the amount of time it takes per tier and some of the not-so-good items that are available per tiers. Some of the changes Treyarch should introduce to the tier system are: Treyarch should do what Fortnite does and give players currency (in this case, Call of Duty Points) at certain tier numbers to use then in the Shop; improve the quality of the items in the tiers to make them more attractive and worthy of grinding towards; and increase the tier rank up speed in general. But, the tier system is not a bad idea overall — there just needs to be some improvements to it.

The last way to get items — Special Orders — seem flawed in its design. Treyarch’s intention here seems to be designing special cosmetic items that are to be separate from the main tier system and from the shop. The items have ranged from cosmetic sets to now introducing signature weapons. The biggest issue with the Special Order system is that players can only get these orders with Call of Duty Points. Black Ops 4 lacks any in-game currency that players earn while playing — which was present in Black Ops 3 (cryptokeys), Infinite Warfare (salvage), Modern Warfare Remastered (Depot Credits), and WWII (Armory Credits). If you want a special order, you have to buy it with Call of Duty Points (CP). And not only do you have to buy it with CP, you then have to go through and play more games to level up the tiers of the order in order to unlock all of the content in the order.

Now, that’s a rip-off.

Players are already paying money in order to get the content, but then, players have to progress through another tier system in order to just use the content they just paid for. Why not make the content immediately available if you’re using Call of Duty Points to unlock them? It would be a different story here if Special Orders could be unlocked with some in-game earn-able currency and then having to progress through it. Players are asked to buy an order, followed by playing several games just to get the content they just paid for. Black Ops 4’s lack of in-game earn-able currency hurts the game the most. An in-game currency would solve a lot of the system’s problems, allowing players to be able to get the cosmetic content without having to use CP to get every single item.

And, let’s talk about the signature weapon Special Orders…Treyarch introduced a new Special Order on Black Ops 4 on PS4 called Fall Firestorm, which grants two signature weapons + some cosmetic items for $20. Many people were outraged over the fact that one of the signature weapons was a GameStop pre-order bonus, but for me, that is not the issue here. Activision always has, and will, release many of the pre-order bonuses from retailers in-game for all players at some point. They’ve done it all the time — from the pre-order bonus maps, to even the Nuketown Camo Pack in Black Ops 3. The issue I see here is: $20 for 2 weapon camos + calling cards and emotes is a rip off.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 had cosmetic packs that included camo, reticles, and a calling card for $2. Black Ops 4’s system is asking for too much money for too little.

Special Orders needs a full rework in Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 to allow more options to unlock the content — without having to only use CP to get the content. Until then, spending money on the Orders is a complete rip-off.

One of the things that appears to be present is that Treyarch’s Call of Duty games have the most microtransactions in them. Black Ops 3 system was full on RNG and only allowed players to unlock new content through Supply Drop system, even locking new weapons behind the drops. Treyarch seems to be avoiding that again in Black Ops 4 as, for the moment, there’s no Supply Drops in Black Ops 4 that players can buy. There are “Reserves” but those are obtainable through the tier system. And, for now, no new weapons have been added to Black Ops 4, but we all know those are coming. It will be very interesting to see how they handle that addition. Hopefully we don’t have a repeat of Black Ops 3.

Apex Legends

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.

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apex legends season 13 saviors review downed beast

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

ranked reloaded apex legends

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

Storm Point

imc armories in apex legends storm point

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.

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

apex legends battle pass skins

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.

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

apex legends newcastle

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.

Verdict: 6/10


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

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Call of Duty: Warzone

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.

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best and worst warzone metas

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

best warzone kilo loadout

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

Warzone DMR 14

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.

Luckily, Raven Software dropped a ton of nerfs after Verdansk was nuked and Verdansk ’84 arrived, and even though the Krig 6 and FARA 83 became dominant, nothing has come close to the DMR-zone.

How is Warzone’s meta on its second anniversary?

Bren LMG in Warzone Pacific

After some accidental buffs to both Vanguard’s Bren LMG and PPSH-41 were reverted, Warzone Pacific Season 2’s meta is in a pretty good place.

The Bren is still dominant at long-range, but weapons such as Cold War’s AK-47, Vargo 52, Automaton, and Cooper Carbine can all give it a run for its money.

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.


We might not even be playing this version of Warzone for its third anniversary, as Infinity Ward have confirmed that ‘Warzone 2’ is in development and will arrive during Modern Warfare 2‘s lifecycle.

Image Credit: Activision

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Call of Duty: Warzone

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.

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Warzone airfield Operators

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 menu screen

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.

Warzone Operators in battle on street

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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