Hello ladies & gentlemen,
How are we feeling after MW2 Beta Weekend?
Feeling bored now that we're back to Warzone 1.0 and Apex Legends? Yeah, me too.
Start the clock on the 10/28 countdown to the official multiplayer release. 31 days and counting...
Let's talk some pros and cons following the beta and where Activision should focus for the next 4 weeks.
MW2 BETA PROS
Audio - give credit where it's due, the audio and foot step tracking in the beta was much improved. If I'm being totally honest, I think footsteps might have been a little too loud and easy to track during a fire fight - but I'd be content on where things are at launch. I'm also a big fan of gun firing/reloading audio, vehicle audio and general action/explosion audio. Two huge thumbs up here!
Map Design - if you had a chance to log into Ground War this past weekend, then you got a great glimpse at the map design and what we can expect from Warzone 2.0 This was my biggest area of concern prior to the COD Next event and beta - finding ourselves in a similar painful place that we find ourselves in with Caldera. Talk about a downgrade when compared to Verdansk. I think the devs did a great job combining buildings, trees, bushes, water into a well balanced map. Granted - there was a lot of rooftop play in Ground War, but I think that's indicative of the map options we had during beta.
Weapons - let's keep this one short and sweet - I'm so thankful we're going back to modern/current weapons and not old schools guns from WW2, Cold War or any previous wartime era. I'm VERY excited about the wide range of attachments that can be applied to our load outs - when exploring, I noticed upwards of 25 attachments for muzzle and foregrips. Any step towards true customization/augmentation is much appreciated!
Vehicles - I really enjoyed re-spawning & sniping from the large helicopter and the diversity of vehicles throughout the beta weekend. I will say though, it looks like we've taken a bit of a step back in regards to vehicle control - similar to vehicles in Caldera. We need more Verdansk style control, but I imagine this is an easy change.
DMR's are back? - as a DMR/Marksman rifle player by nature, I was very happy with my experience using single fire rifles - specifically the LM-S. I was averaging around 35 to 40 kills/round in Ground War and was happy to see a single shot head shot and 2 shot kill for a weapon with an appropriate fire rate for a ranged weapon. For me to ultimately enjoy MW2 & Warzone 2 to the fullest, I'll need Marksman Rifles to be relevant.
Movement Speed - I'm actually a fan of the changes devs have made to movement. Slide canceling got a little ridiculous in MW'19 & Warzone, and it seemed to favor the sweats & streamers on M&K more than anyone else. To balance the game, I think they needed to remove it. Huge fan of the dolphin dive making its way back to COD - was a great way to dodge weapon fire and jump to safety. I would say one area where there is room for improvement - speeding up the ADS speed once a slide has concluded. Felt a little slow and if altered, may keep most people happy with the overall movement changes.
MW2 BETA CONS
AI - I only played a few games of Invasion and ultimately had to stop. The AI experience was painful.
Lobby issues - my friends and I had a number of issues logging into the same lobby together. A few of us would make it, but 1 or 2 people would be left in the waiting screen. These types of things occur during beta weekends - not overly concerned. When compared to the Vanguard beta issues, and maps or weapons not loading correctly - massive improvement on user experience.
Gunsmith - I'm all for more opportunity to customize weapons to my play style, but I found the gunsmith and weapon progression a bit... "clunky"? It was nearly as intuitive as MW'19. Although I feel we'll grow to learn the new progression system, I think there is area for improvement on building & saving multiple load-out options to choose from. Sometimes, less is more from a visual standpoint.
Weapon attachments gameplay - for anyone that watched their favorite streamer over the weekend, you probably noticed they were running SMG's & AR's with no attachments. That's because the majority of the weapons available to test seemed to be negatively impacted by attachments - especially with ADS. Attachments, for the most part, should have a pro & con to weapon customization, but it needs balance. Also, an issue I don't see hurting us come full release.
Lobby lag - again, its beta weekend so these issues are bound to come up from time to time. I found myself in some lobby's having such server lag that I had to back up and hard restart the game.
WARZONE 2 THOUGHTS - COD NEXT
It seems that everything we've discussed up until now comes to this point - Warzone 2. Is Activision going to bounce back from the Caldera flop? I watched every minute, a few times through, of the COD Next event and the gameplay across my favorite streamers - Nickmercs, Swagg and more.
Looting - easily the biggest concern amongst 99.9% of the people in the COD community. While I'm not a fan of loot jumping from a box when its opened and prefer a more realistic approach to looting - we've slowed down the game to a snails pace when it comes to looting. I do appreciate adding some rhyme and reason to where loot can be found - for example, bathrooms may hold more meds than other places, and grenades and armor can be found on book shelves - opening a box to review what's inside and compare to your inventory seems painful. The devs have to find balance between realism and speed - this is likely something that will be a work in progress over time.
Loadouts - let's be honest, we don't quite understand how loadouts are going to work - yet! Creators didn't have the ability to build loadouts prior to dropping in to Warzone 2 during the event, so we'll have to see what's available come 11/16. With that being said, what appears to be the cost of running your own weapon specifications seems CRAZY expensive. Loadouts would cost $10k for everyone to get access to their weapons & perks - now it seems to be $10k per individual? That's ignoring one of the key aspects that makes Warzone great and unique when compared to PUBG & Apex - the ability to be YOU and not feel beholden to RNG.
Multiple circle potential - love love love this idea! I like that middle match circles can range from 1 to 3 circles, bringing some unexpected nuance to each lobby. With 3 circles - it forces us to play more aggressive in the middle of the match, rather than players assuming where final circle will be placed and camping buildings.
Gulag - 2v2 gulags have to go. Outside of looting, I think this was the most concerning gameplay for Warzone OG's. Playing with a teammate, having 2 opponents, AI to compete against and locate a key somewhere?! There is way too much going on. Am I the only one calling for OG Warzone 1.0 gulags? Bring back random weapon rotation in a 1v1. This to me seemed like a huge overcorrection, where we really didn't need one.
Net net, I'm feeling more hyped following the BETA weekend. I don't know why it's become common practice for streamers to hate on everything and post videos sharing their "concern for the franchise", but I think that's likely to get more views/clicks. Negative news tends to get more attention I suppose.
31 days can't come soon enough - I for one, will have the campaign complete before multiplayer drops and have all my classes fine tuned for Warzone 2.0. Jump into our socials and Discord and let us know your thoughts.
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