This week Infinity Ward dropped a mammoth patch for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Warzone - one that involved a hefty download and then a 15GB download on top.
The developer released patch notes for the update, as normal, but it seems it left a few changes out. Some of the hidden changes are good, some bad, and one in particularly has left the community scratching its head.
Let's start with the good. As revealed by Raven Software creative director Amos Hodge on Twitter, in Warzone, the time-out length of the Trophy System, Shield Turret and Deployable Cover has been increased to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, the Shield Turret and Recon Drone will no longer appear on the enemy radar, making them more effective. Both these power-ups were a little underused, so perhaps they'll become more viable.
Players have spotted a raft of new vehicle skins for future use in Warzone, including this rather fetching anime truck:
And while Infinity Ward's patch notes state the update "adjusted the speed and sizing of the circle", it didn't say how exactly. So, fans have tried to work it out. Redditor deadlyprincehk's early analysis suggests the gas closes slower, which allows for time to outpace it.
It turns out that while the update has added a new contract (Most Wanted), not mentioned in the patch notes is the removal of other bounties from the battle royale - something that has puzzled some of the game's more prominent players.
The new Most Wanted contract makes you a bounty target for all teams on the map. It's high risk, but there's a powerful reward: if you survive the five minute countdown, you get a redeployment for all your dead teammates.
The problem is, Warzone's existing bounties were ditched to make way for Most Wanted without warning. And, as many have pointed out, the existing bounties were used to speed up the gameplay and keep cash flowing.
Removing bounties from Warzone is a very very bad decision and I'm not happy at all about it.— Tyler Polchow (@TylerTeeP) April 29, 2020
They completely removed bounties? I thought they were super well balanced. The team being hunted has ample time to post up in a building or roof and defend themselves until time runs out, also knowing how close the threat is. High risk High reward for players hunting. https://t.co/RHRpZiQp2B— Ninja (@Ninja) April 29, 2020
And finally, the mysterious. The update has added Red Access Cards as a drop from legendary chests. It seems they're just dead weight at this point - players have tried to use them to get into Warzone's mysterious locked bunkers with no luck - so far.
Could the Red Access Cards point to an impending in-game event? Perhaps. Last week Infinity Ward's narrative director Taylor Kurosaki revealed the developers are working on Fortnite-like events that fit the Warzone and Modern Warfare universe.
"That's exactly the kind of thing that we're working on, that we have planned," Kurosaki told VentureBeat.
"Again, it's all going to fit into this macro that we've established in Modern Warfare, and that we've continued into Warzone. If you know who the players are in Modern Warfare, it'll all make sense, and it'll all feel appropriate to the universe."