Treyarch has once again nerfed the Reaver C86 - considered by most to be one of if not the most overpowered weapon in Call of Duty: Black Ops 4.
The crossbow, added to the game back in mid-July, was considered particularly powerful because of its high fire rate and magazine size. With its operator mod attached, you were looking at a ridiculous time-to-kill, even with hip fire, making it the best run-and-gun weapon available.
What made matters worse was the Reaver was confined to Black Ops 4's reserves - aka loot boxes. If you were in luck, happy days. If not, ouch.
"In Multiplayer, Reaver C86 users will need to work harder to earn those EKIAs as we've further reduced hip-fire accuracy, lowered the fire speed between bursts, reduced the Titanium Bolt attachment's bonus projectile speed, and reduced the base ammo count from 6 down to 2. Scavenger just became your new best friend.
"We've similarly reduced the hip-fire accuracy and fire speed between bursts for the Reaver C86 in Blackout. Reaver users can only get access to the base version of the weapon without attachments in Blackout, so you'll need to time your shots perfectly to take down your opponents from here on out."
It's a significant nerf, although players are reporting the Reaver is still a powerful tool:
If this all sounds familiar, it's because Treyarch went through something similar with the S6 Stingray. The Stingray was an overpowered weapon added to the game via loot boxes that was eventually nerfed.
The situation with the Stingray caused Treyarch to come under fire for adding an element of pay-to-win to Black Ops 4, and the addition of the Reaver last month added fuel to the fire. Subsequent nerfs to these weapons have done little to pour cold water on the debate.
As I've reported before, Activision's monetisation of Black Ops 4 has come to dominate the dialogue about what is fundamentally a very good shooter (Blackout, battle royale, is a triumph). This means there's cause for concern when it comes to the upcoming Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, a game that finally ditches the season pass.
Fingers crossed Infinity Ward and Activision do not put powerful weapons in loot boxes for that game.