Raven has made a significant change to Call of Duty: Warzone with its mid-season three update: Stopping Power field upgrade spawn rates have been reduced substantially across all modes.
It's a change the Warzone community has called on Raven to make for some time. This field upgrade lets you reload your gun with stopping power rounds that deal extra damage. In a game already lethal enough, Stopping Power was used to laser enemies to death in the blink of an eye.
Explaining the decision to make Stopping Power rarer across Verdansk, Raven said the field upgrade had become an essential choice for players.
"Given Stopping Power's efficacy and lack of counter play options, we felt its power level was at odds with its availability," Raven said.
"We want to create more scenarios where a measured choice about how and when to utilize Field Upgrades is not just rewarded but encouraged. There was hardly an incorrect way to apply Stopping Power - which we felt took away from the satisfaction of optimal or strategic use. Our hope by drastically reducing its presence within Warzone is that we introduce a small strategy-based control. Those who loot efficiently increase their odds of finding it."
So, it's not that Raven has pulled the plug entirely on Stopping Power. It's just that you're going to have to loot more efficiently to find it.
Meanwhile, Raven promised an "important adjustment" to solo battle royale modes in the "very near future".
We don't know the detail yet, but fans have welcomed the prospect of a change. Warzone solos is seen as one of the worst ways to play the battle royale, with camping prominent and the infamous "Big Bertha meta" in full force.
Elsewhere, there are a raft of bug fixes, including to additional map locations in Verdansk that allowed players to reach out-of-bounds areas. Raven said it also fixed an issue that caused the gas mask to become unbreakable after a player's first death with the gas mask equipped.
Raven has also issued another weapon balance sweep, following the significant changes made last week.
The AK-74u has been slapped with a slight nerf, although Raven said it should still be pretty powerful. All Black Ops Cold War sniper base optics have been adjusted. The PPSh-41 and Swiss K31 have been buffed significantly, and the LW3 - Tundra, ZRG 20mm and M82 have all been buffed slightly.
Significant changes have been made to attachments. The suppressor muzzle attachment is buffed, a "relatively unassuming change" Raven expects to have "widespread effects".
"The suppressor now offers you another viable attachment choice in the muzzle category with a focus on different stats," Raven explained. "For example, where effective damage range is less of a priority (e.g., submachine guns) you would almost certainly take the suppressor. Or perhaps you have more than enough bullet velocity (e.g., ZRG 20mm) and you want to shore up a weakness in handling. These are the types of compelling decisions we want to continue to develop."
Speaking generally about gun balance in Warzone, Raven said it is "pleased with the level of weapon diversity we have observed".
"As we look forward, at the top of our list is the look and feel of Black Ops Cold War optics in Warzone. We think some additional adjustments there will continue to push weapon diversity even further. Additionally, we will be continuing our efforts in identifying and addressing attachment categories that do not support meaningful exploration and build diversity."