Sledgehammer Games has released a big new update for Call of Duty: WW2 that makes sweeping changes to the game.
The update, released on 10th April to coincide with the launch of the shooter's second expansion, reworks the divisions system to encourage players to experiment more, but most interesting to me is the decision to add unlimited sprint to the game.
One of the more contentious design decisions Sledgehammer made with Call of Duty: WW2 was to restrict movement with limited sprint. It meant that your soldier would run out of puff after a couple of seconds of sprinting.
This decision, designed to tap into the historical setting of the game and its "boots on the ground" design philosophy, meant WW2 played and felt slower than past Call of Duty games.
It was a decision some liked and some hated. As a newcomer to Call of Duty, I liked limited sprint as it made the competitive multiplayer portion of the game more manageable and accessible. But I understand series veterans weren't thrilled - and now, via this latest patch - they've been appeased.
"Limited sprint was selected because it was a key aspect of traditional boots on the ground Call of Duty and we felt it better fit the historical setting of this game," Greg Reisdorf, principal multiplayer designer at Sledgehammer explained in the video below.
"However, the restrictiveness of limited sprint doesn't really benefit gameplay. So unlimited sprint is now standard across all divisions."
Call of Duty doesn't all of a sudden feel a lot faster with this change. In fact, it at times feels slower. Sledgehammer has reduced the global sprint speed from 1.4x to 1.3x to account for unlimited sprint. But unlimited sprint does mean you can cover more ground faster, which is particularly useful when you're playing some of the larger maps or War mode.
Elsewhere, Sledgehammer has gone through much of the game in a bid to rebalance the gameplay. You can check out the patch notes on the Sledgehammer blog, but it's worth noting the developers have nerfed launcher effectiveness as well as frag and sticky grenade max damage (take that, grenade spam!), they've removed the Primed basic training from the game because it was too powerful and everyone used it, and given an extra primary attachment to all loadouts.
As for divisions, all skills are now standard attachments you select as part of your loadout, and there is a fourth new ability per division to compensate. This extra flexibility should mean Armored and Expeditionary, the two least-used divisions, get some game time.
And finally, Sledgehammer has removed the Bang basic training and modified the Launched basic training because tactical equipment and launchers were used by pretty much everyone. Now, all loadouts can be equipped with a piece of both lethal and tactical equipment, and launchers can be globally selected as a secondary.
The idea is to "drive experimentation" and "amplify the fun of divisions", Reisdorf said.
Oh, and it's important to mention the long-awaited Paint Shop has finally gone live. Already players are coming up with... interesting user-created weapon skins, such as this from redditor raulxd99.