World of Warcraft

World of Warcraft finally brings back popular Valor Points system in Feb 9 update

Published: 10/Feb/2021 1:30

by Bill Cooney

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Valor Points have returned to World of Warcraft in the latest Shadowlands patch, giving players more consistent endgame content to work towards besides the items locked in the Great Vault.

If you’ve been playing Shadowlands since release and are primarily focused on running dungeons and raids for gear, you’ve probably reached a point where the only things you want/need is in the weekly Great Vaults — the weekly reward players get for completing up to nine activities across Raid, Mythic+, and PvP.

The problem with the Great Vaults is that there’s still an element of randomness there, so you’re not guaranteed to get the high-level gear you want.

This has made the Shadowlands endgame a bit of grind, which is no problem for hardcore WoW players, but was leading to a bit of burnout among the more casual player base and those who don’t get a Vault each week.

World of Warcraft Shadowlands Free Character Transfer
Activision-Blizzard
Shadowlands comes with a ton of new content, but if you play enough the endgame has to come sooner or later.

What are Valor Points, and how to use them in Shadowlands

To keep things interesting, Blizzard announced along with the February 9 patch that the Valor Points (VP) currency system would be returning to provide “a more consistent reward for the effort for players who do not receive an item at all” after participating in Raids and other activities.

VP itself is an upper-level currency that’s awarded for PvE encounters, typically raids and heroic dungeons. It was introduced during the Cataclysm expansion (2010) before being removed in Warlords of Draenor (2014).

There is a weekly cap on the amount of Valor you can obtain from completing Mythic+ Dungeons and from Callings. Once you have enough, VP can be used to upgrade any item’s level that drops from Mythic+ Dungeons, depending on your progress.

Shadowlands WoW
Blizzard Entertainment
Shadowlands brings plenty of new dungeons and raids, and hopefully, VP will help keep things fresh in the endgame.

Like we said, with your Valor Points, you can upgrade gear from Mythic Keystone Dungeons, initially with a cap of item level 200, which players can raise to item level 207 by completing all eight Shadowlands dungeons at Mythic 5 difficulty or higher.

After this, you’ll be awarded a new “Keystone Explorer” achievement, while the existing “Keystone Conqueror” achievement (for all +10s or higher) will increase the cap to item level 213, and then to item level 220 by completing the “Keystone Master” achievement for all +15s in time.

So, while you might still be rolling for that last bit of gear to complete your set, or just trying to get a certain weapon, Valor Points should allow you to at least get some sort of progression and upgrades as you continue the endgame grind.

Call of Duty

What’s new in Black Ops Cold War Season 2: weapons, maps, Operators, Zombies, more

Published: 25/Feb/2021 4:37

by Theo Salaun

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Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War Season 2 is finally here, with Treyarch adding new weapons, multiplayer maps, Operators, and plenty more. Here’s everything you need to know about the February 25 update to get you up to speed.

Season 2 of Black Ops Cold War and now-integrated Warzone has now been released on all platforms on Feb. 25, 2021 and fans are already sinking their teeth into. With a brand-new, massive Zombies expansion called Outbreak, developers have brought new guns, new operators, new maps and even new modes to the fold.

While BOCW and Warzone Season 1 may have been the largest season update in recent history, this new drop is absolutely huge and comes with a variety of content.

Black Ops Cold War Season 2 trailer

Black Ops Cold War Season 2 Roadmap

The roadmap for Season 2 is most certainly a full one, as the Warzone and Zombies content is accompanied by a huge amount of multiplayer additions as well. Mentioned from the outset of the roadmap are three new MP maps, a new scorestreak, two new modes, six new weapons (including some reactive camos), four new Operators, new Prestige levels and, of course, a new Battle Pass.

black ops cold war season 2 roadmap
Activision
The roadmap for BOCW Season 2.

Black Ops Cold War Season 2: What’s new in Multiplayer

New Season 2 weapons

With some joining the fray from launch week and some midseason, BOCW has been handed six new bloodthirsty weapons. First, the FARA 83 assault rifle (available now), which is full auto and possesses a fast firing rate. Then, the LC10 SMG (launch week), a full-auto sub that performs well at range given its recoil control.

Similarly predisposed to close-quarters combat, the Machete (available midseason) and E-Tool (midseason) are both melee weapons — the former a widely known steel blade and the latter, a modified shovel. On the opposite end of the spectrum, players can also enjoy an R1 Shadowhunter crossbow (midseason), which is supposed to be lightweight and stealthy, or the ZRG20mm sniper (midseason), which has the best bullet velocity in its class, making it phenomenal at long ranges.

Keeping the ‘lethality’ theme going, the new season also introduced a “Death Machine” scorestreak — a hefty minigun capable of shredding through foes and enemy scorestreaks alike.

fara 83 bocw season 2
Activision
The newest AR coming to BOCW: the FARA 83.

New Season 2 maps

Four maps have dropped in BOCW in Season 2 too, and three of them are brand-new. Apocalypse (available at launch) is a 6v6 jungle cartel base on the small-to-medium side, built for spicy encounters. Golova (available midseason) is considered a multi-team map that suits a variety of playstyles in a traditional Russian village (albeit one that has been used for testing by Nikita Dragovich).

For Gunfight and Face Off action, players can enjoy Mansion (midseason): a Havana, Cuba location that is chic, expensive and prepared for combat. And, lastly, developers have reworked the Miami map and set it during the day for Miami Strike (midseason), a smaller map suited to 6v6.

mansion map bocw season 2
Activision
For luxurious combat, Mansion seems to be the map to play.

New Season 2 modes

Three new MP modes have also arrived in BOCW in Season 2 and the first is an absolute classic: Gun Game (available at launch). Back in CoD, the free-for-all Gun Game is returning to the fray.

Also joining are Stockpile (midseason) and multi-team Hardpoint (also midseason). Stockpile is much like Modern Warfare’s Grind, essentially Kill Confirmed with a deposit site objective twist, while multi-team Hardpoint is exactly as it sounds: big maps, 10 teams of four and Hardpoints to fight over.

bocw season 2 stockpile
Activision
Stockpile is another new MP mode dropping in Season 2.

New Season 2 Operators

Four new Operators are set to make their debuts this season: Naga (Warsaw Pact), Maxis (NATO), Wolf (NATO) and Rivas (NATO). The lone Warsaw Pact member, Naga, is a former Laos warlord with a penchant for rage and vengeance. The NATO gang includes Samantha Maxis, of Zombies fame, as a playable Operator for the first time ever.

It also includes Terrell Wolf, a sniper who hails from Louisiana’s chaotic bayous, and Karla Rivas, who grew up amidst cartel violence in Nicaragua.

wolf bocw season 2
Activision
From Louisiana to League Play, Wolf is a new Operator with a love for range.

New Season 2 Prestiges

Season 2 brings new multiplayer and Zombies level challenges as well as an expansion of the Prestige system. There are 20 season level challenges for MP and Zombies, each with their own rewards for completion. Additionally, the Prestige system has been extended to 11 — with a variety of rewards (including a Blueprint) for hitting your benchmarks.

prestige bocw season 2
Activision
The Prestige system is expanding in Season 2.

Black Ops Cold War Season 2: What’s new in Zombies

In one of the most groundbreaking Zombies drops in recent memory, BOCW Season 2 has officially unveiled a new “Outbreak” Zombies mode, as well as a variety of new items and vehicles.

Large-scale Outbreak mode

Like The Walking Dead, but in Call of Duty — the new Outbreak mode is a large-scale, open-world Zombies experience where you can accomplish tasks and kill off zombies to your heart’s delight. For some added fun, you can also use the Sedan and Light Truck vehicles in Outbreak, brand-new whips for a brand-new mode.

More details are sure to emerge about the mode in the coming week, but you can check out our Season 2 Outbreak mode info page for full details.

bocw season 2 sedan
Activision
Sedan go vroom, zombies go boom.

New Zombies Season 2 items

New season, new items. A Frenzied Guard Field Upgrade turns you into an upgradeable Cymbal Monkey, as all enemies turn to you and their attacks solely deal damage to armor. Then there’s an Ammo Mod, the Shatter Blast, which lives up to its name by adding explosiveness to your bullets.

What’s new in Warzone Season 2

As for Warzone in Season 2, not only will the BOCW guns and operators be joining Verdansk — but a variety of changes are coming to the map as well.

Developers have already confirmed that new points of interest will be added, including a cargo ship approaching the territory and some allusions to mysterious subterranean action. For more details, including about the new modes, check out our Warzone Season 2 page.