Call of Duty: Warzone's new Season Four Reloaded update is the "first major step" towards increasing the game's average time-to-kill, developer Raven has said.
Raven has talked about making it so it takes longer to kill an enemy in Warzone for some time now.
This morning, a sweeping weapon balance pass, which Raven called "the biggest balance update in the history of Warzone", has seen some weapons heavily nerfed. Guns such as the SCAR, Oden, both AK-47s and the FAL all took a hit, with a particular focus on reducing torso multipliers.
In the patch notes, Raven explained its thinking, saying its nerfs to torso multipliers put more of an emphasis on precision.
"It is important to note that these weapon adjustments were not made in a vacuum," Raven explained.
"When evaluating an individual change, some may seem quite drastic, but they were made holistically and in a way that supported a lock-step increase in average TTK across multiple weapon categories.
"Torso multipliers were a considerable focus of these changes with how often they would act as flat damage increases given how consistently that location could be hit. With reductions to these multipliers, we are placing a bigger emphasis on precision - a move which we feel is ultimately healthy for the game."
Scanning the patch notes, almost every weapon in Warzone has been touched in some way. The recently-added Black Ops Cold War C58 assault rifle, for example, has been heavily nerfed, as has the FARA 83 and the FFAR 1. Even weapons I didn't think were popular, such as the MG 34 LMG, were nerfed.
But there's the odd buff. The Grau 5.56, for example, has seen a slight increase to minimum damage. So has the Krig 6.
As is often the case with weapon balance changes in Call of Duty, players scan the patch notes for their favourite guns to see if they feel viable. I imagine there are many Warzone players doing that right now.
Acknowledging not everyone will be happy with the changes, Raven said its goal is to "compress outliers" on both ends of the spectrum.
"Statistically, there will always be a 'best weapon'," Raven said.
"That is the nature of a competitive game. Players will seek out and employ any advantage they can, regardless of how miniscule it may be. We will take great care to ensure that the 'best weapon' never overstays its welcome and has effectiveness that scales with the skill of the handler. Conversely, there are also a great deal of players who prefer a myriad of options to choose from.
"Our goal is to provide exactly that. We will continue to compress outliers, both over and underperforming, until each Weapon is viable at the very least. We do not want players to feel they are at a distinct disadvantage for not conforming to the generally accepted 'best weapon'."
Raven said it will keep an eye on how the dust settles on this balance pass in the weeks ahead.