Call of Duty: Warzone is heading to the Pacific for Vanguard integration and the Season 1 patch notes are finally here. While the new Caldera map won’t launch until December 8, there’s a lot of updates for players to prepare with.
Vanguard Royale playlists, new dogfights with planes, and shallow water to be stealthy in? Warzone is getting a serious overhaul in Vanguard Season 1 and you’ll want to know what’s waiting.
Players already got a look at the new Caldera map, with details of the POIs and a full map overview, but now there’s more.
In the Season 1 patch notes, Raven Software detailed a number of gameplay changes and exciting additions. Said changes and additions range from the removal of Stopping Power Rounds and nerfing of Dead Silence to Vanguard-only loadouts (for the new playlist) and the arrival of RICOCHET Anti-Cheat.
Warzone Pacific Season 1: Modes, gameplay changes, vehicles
There are almost too many changes and updates to list out, but Raven Software have gotten the ball rolling with preliminary patch notes.
The map is, of course, the centerpiece — but there are some other fun changes coming. A new Vanguard Royale mode will force players to use Vanguard-only loadouts and test out the new fighter planes and land vehicles.
Warzone Pacific patch notes are wild.
🔹 Stuns & Heartbeat Sensors nerfed🔹 Stims now add movement speed🔹 Dead Silence nerfed, Stopping Power removed
All that, new map, anti-cheat, and more changes? Competitive WZ gonna be diffy 👀 pic.twitter.com/YxXwqd68DG
— DEXERTO Intel (@DexertoIntel) November 30, 2021
Further, there are some interesting changes to the game’s equipment. These are most impactful for the meta, as Heartbeat Sensors and Stun Grenades are getting nerfed — while Stim Shots will get a buff that adds movement speed.
To competitive players’ delight, Stopping Power Rounds are getting removed outright, while Dead Silence will be getting nerfed.
Warzone Pacific launches alongside the Vanguard Season 1 Battle Pass on December 8 (for Vanguard owners) and December 9. Here are the full patch notes:
Call of Duty: Warzone & Vanguard Season 1: full patch notes
On December 8, Vanguard owners will receive 24 hours of exclusive access to Caldera, the brand-new Warzone Pacific map. During this initial period, all Warzone players will be able to drop into Rebirth Island. After this exclusive period, Caldera becomes accessible to all players, with Rebirth Island returning later in Season One.
Caldera comprises 15 huge, distinct areas to explore and fight across once Operation Vulcan begins. There are also hundreds of lesser points of interest to investigate and use to your tactical advantage.
Outside of Caldera, which Vanguard owners can access on December 8 before all players drop in on December 9, Warzone Pacific will overflow with new content, including all Operators and Weapons from Vanguard as part of the integration:
The Vanguard Integration: All Operators, Weapons, and Personalization Content Coming on December 8.
When Season One launches on December 8, all Warzone players can gain access to everything that Vanguard brought to the arsenal and barracks:
– 40 Weapons: The core 38 weapons from Vanguard’s launch, plus two free functional weapons in the Season One Battle Pass. All of these can be personalized with unlocked camouflage, and every ballistics-based weapon can be further customized with up to 10 attachments through the Gunsmith.
– Over a Dozen Operators: Each of the Operators from S.O.T.F. 002–005 are ready to drop in alongside Special Operations Task Force 006 arriving this season…
– Calling Cards, Emblems, and More: Show off your progress in Vanguard since launch to everyone in Warzone.
At the start of the season, cross-progression between Vanguard and Warzone will be enabled, allowing you to rank up through Seasonal Prestige and unlock new content through the Battle Pass and Challenges. Also, expect the Store in both games to contain new Bundles featuring Vanguard content.
Prepare for the action to heat up both on land and in the air.
Available to all players on December 9, with Vanguard players gaining exclusive play access on December 8 with Caldera, Vanguard Royale leads Season One’s featured Playlist rotation with a game mode that puts a fresh set of vehicles and a streamlined Loadout and weapon pool on the brand-new map.
Specifically, there are two major differences between a Vanguard Royale and traditional Battle Royale:
– New Vehicles and Dogfighting. Fly fighter planes that rain down fire on foes or head for the AA guns or trucks to shoot them out of the skies. There are also other ground-based vehicles, including a Squad Transport all-terrain car that will help your squad cut through and around the island.
– A Focus on Vanguard Weapons. Loadouts can only contain Vanguard weaponry, streamlining the meta for more accessibility and room for experimentation. Expect all weapons around the island to also be from Vanguard. Operator selection is also limited to Vanguard soldiers.
– Circle Collapse Changes, In-Game Events, and More. The radii and times for Circle Collapses are altered to offer a different pace of play, especially with dogfighting overhead. Also, expect an in-game event at each Circle Collapse, Bombing Runs, and different items both within Caldera’s overworld and contract rewards.
Vanguard owners will receive 24 hours of exclusive access to Caldera, the brand-new Warzone Pacific map. During this initial period, all Warzone players will be able to drop into Rebirth Island. After this exclusive period, Caldera becomes accessible to all players, with Rebirth Island returning later in Season One.
Expect a special one-day-only Rebirth Island Playlists – both Resurgence and Mini Royale – to drop right at the start of the season before everything shifts to Caldera for the week starting on December 9.
During the season, Featured Playlists will include returns to Rebirth Island for Resurgences and other game modes, and new limited-time modes will focus on Caldera, such as Vanguard Plunder, its own Vanguard Resurgence mode presented by Beenox, and other festive surprises…
Vanguard Royale — Explore All New Content with Dogfighting, Updated Land Vehicles
With an entire new map to explore, playlists to claim victory on, and fresh armaments to utilize, expect additional initiatives and gameplay innovation from all studios who work on Warzone – especially Raven Software, Beenox, Toys for Bob, and High Moon Studios – including some taken after listening to community feedback.
Part of the initial wave of content planned for the period around December 8 launch (for Vanguard players) and December 9 (for all players) includes the following:
The Gulag – Drop Back in Ready for Combat
The Gulag now gives you more than a second chance at victory.
When Warzone Pacific drops, any player who wins a Gulag will drop back in with the weapon – or weapons – and lethal equipment given to them during that deadly duel.
Those who survived Iron Trials ’84, the mode where this feature was first tested, may know a pro strategy involving loadout conservation: any ammo and remaining equipment carries over between the Gulag and the redeploy. Deal with the enemy efficiently, and you will have more at your disposal back in Caldera.
Loadout Items and Field Upgrades
Dead Silence is being nerfed. Stopping Power Rounds are gone.
In addition to detailing those exact changes, Raven Software looked closely at various equipment pieces, such as nerfs to Stun Grenades and Heartbeat Sensors. They also took another look at dual-wielded melee weapons – the Kali Stick and Sai – to give justice to all ghosts who lived a second life too short during The Haunting. The results? Expect the aforementioned equipment and weaponry to be adjusted to be less potent in the Warzone, along with gun-butting no longer being the primary method of attack on the Caldera.
Another change involves Loadout Drop Markers – they can now only be purchased from Buy Stations after the Loadout Drop event occurs in a match, effectively shifting their usefulness from an immediate power spike to a more tactical choice in the mid to end game.
Along with these nerfs, several Lethal and Tactical Equipment pieces will see much-needed buffs. Most Lethal Equipment will deal more damage, while the Snapshot Grenade will see its effective radius increase, the Stim will also apply a slight movement boost, and the Decoy Grenade will pack rubber bullets that deal just enough damage to pester enemies.
Gas Masks and Explosive Canisters
Gas Masks won’t interrupt as many actions as they did previously, making it easier to pull your mask off or on, as well as plating up or reloading a weapon while getting out of the Circle Collapse – but still always favoring the combat advantage to those safely inside the circle.
Gas Masks may off a modicum of protection against Gas Canisters, a brand-new item developed by High Moon Studios. If these canisters explode, they release the same noxious vapors as those comprising the Circle Collapse, albeit within a much smaller radius.
After picking one up in Caldera, try lighting the fuse and throwing a Canister, or clipping it onto an ascender to send a “nice gift” to someone who overstayed their welcome on high ground. Alternatively, since it requires both hands to carry, simply shooting someone carrying it, or dropping one you’re carrying, stepping out of the blast radius and firing at it, could make it effective during a few moments of an active firefight.
While Operators aren’t getting their sea legs in Caldera, they are now able to wade through shallow water seen in areas like the Lagoon. Walking within water makes it harder to see footsteps, even to those Operators with the Tracker Perk equipped. Crouch in knee-high water and you gain the effects of Cold Blooded, but you cannot go prone.
Speaking of science, fire-based equipment now causes smoke when it hits water, adding a new layer of tactics when traversing through open shallow pools.
Contracts and Public Events
During a match, squads can find new contracts to complete, such as a Supply Drop Contract, which airlifts a valuable crate onto the map for anyone to pick up, but only has its exact location revealed by the contracted squad.
Another is a Big Game Bounty, which targets the Operator with the highest kill count – but only once per game, while another – known as Top Secret Contract – is, as one could expect, [[REDACTED]] until you pick it up, but comes with greater rewards compared to the standard loot from the Contract types it chooses from.
As for Public Events, expect Restocks and Resurgences from Rebirth Island to come to Caldera, in addition to the Cash Drops event you may have seen during Operation: Flashback. There are also rumors of that can appear around the island, which contain the coveted [[REDACTED]] Weapon Blueprints seen in Verdansk, and armaments extracted from the meta-forward galaxy brains of the studios’ Gunsmith gurus.
Be sure to check in closer to Season One with Raven Software for patch notes and other important fine-detailed updates, as well as at Beenox for anything related to PC-related changes.
As part of the Season One update, RICOCHET Anti-Cheat will deploy a new, internally developed kernel-level driver on PC to assist in identifying cheaters in Warzone. This will allow players to focus more on the fun new offerings in Warzone Pacific as #TeamRICOCHET fights unfair play with its new anti-cheat security initiative.
This kernel-level driver is coming first to Warzone and will be required for all PC players as of this update. The kernel-level driver will subsequently be released for Vanguard at a later date.