Raven has stepped in to nerf Call of Duty: Warzone's "Big Bertha" meta.
Today's update reduces the cargo truck spawn rates for the battle royale's solo mode to five (static) from a range of 16 to 20.
As Eurogamer reported earlier this month, Call of Duty: Warzone players have been using the 6x6 cargo truck vehicle to great effect in what's dubbed the "Big Bertha meta".
This vehicle is pretty much a rolling fortress, and is big enough to give you significant cover across the battle royale's map. It can also tank damage for most of the match.
The Big Bertha meta is particularly popular in solos, when you're playing Warzone on your own against 149 other solo players. You can see players heading straight for a Big Bertha upon parachuting out of a chopper at the beginning of the round.
The idea is to use the Big Bertha to squish unsuspecting enemies and time your jump out of the vehicle to finish others off who are busy fussing over the truck. Especially in early game, when players are less likely to have obtained their loadout, the Big Bertha is difficult to destroy. Maybe someone's found an RPG. Maybe someone's found an explosive. But, on the whole, early game, people struggle to deal with the things.
When lots of people are using this tactic, endgame can get packed with Big Berthas who circle the gas, and you can end up in some silly situations.
Explaining the nerf, Raven said too many Big Berthas ended up in final circles.
"Cargo Trucks are incredibly durable and provide ample cover from enemy fire - which makes them the optimal choice for map rotation," Raven said.
"In Solos, players are not keen to unload a considerable amount of their resources into the removal of Cargo Trucks, which would often result in a significant number of them in final circles.
"The ensuing gameplay allowed players to skirt traditional engagements and created a crutch that put less of an emphasis on endgame positioning and gunplay. A substantial reduction in the number of cargo trucks in Solos will make whittling them down over the course of the game a feasible and attractive option given their considerably reduced map presence."
Elsewhere, there is additional weapon balancing. The CR-56 AMAX assault rifle has been nerfed (headshot multiplier decreased from 1.62 to 1.5). Here's Raven with its thinking:
"The CR-56 AMAX has continued to display disproportionate levels of dominance over the long-range assault rifle space. As we continue our efforts to slowly raise the time-to-kill, we feel the best course of action here is to reduce the power level of outliers rather than increase others to meet it. We believe it will take some time to adjust to a landscape where the CR-56 AMAX is not the undisputed king of long-range automatic weapons, but we feel this will be a net positive given how many more weapons we expect to be introduced into viability with this update. Our hope is that this change will present players with an opportunity to showcase and expand their mastery over a multitude of weapons that had been outclassed by the CR-56 AM."
The FARA 83 has also been tweaked (recoil pattern adjusted; hip spread increased). Here's Raven again:
"We have not yet settled on the identity of the FARA 83. We would like to see it as a long-range viable assault rifle and in that light, we have smoothed out its recoil to be easier to control at range. We are also increasing its Hip Spread so it is slightly less effective in close quarters. This functional overlap is something we want to avoid and will continue to address where we identify it."
The AUG has been buffed slight (recoil magnitude decreased):
"Tactical Rifle Charlie has fallen victim to a bit of an over-reduction in efficacy. While we still maintain that tactical rifles ride a very thin line between underwhelming and oppressive, we feel that the Tactical Rifle Charlie could be closer to that line."
And the LW3 - Tundra sniper rifle has seen its base optic adjusted to reduce the fisheye lens effect.
Arguably the most significant change with this week's update is to optics. The Axial Arms 3x, Royal & Kross 4x, and SUSAT Multizoom optics have all been reworked. Raven said: "We feel the impact that these changes will have cannot be understated."
The developer said it reckons optics have been holding back the long-range viability of Black Ops Cold War weapons, and it expects these changes "will drastically change that".
"When optics are too close to the camera, they can cause distracting motions and visual obfuscation and in long-range engagements especially, visual clarity is crucial," Raven continued.
"We believe with these changes, that an expanded assortment of long-range viable weapons will become available."
And finally, Raven has buffed slightly the suppressor muzzle for LMGs to increase ADS speed from two percent to 3.5 percent, and sprint to fire speed from four percent to five percent.
"We have seen some reports that the suppressor appears to be affecting light machine guns negatively, or not at all," Raven explained.
"We can assure you that is not the case. Considering the test environment frame rate and such small increments, it can be difficult to accurately measure the impact an attachment may have. Notwithstanding, we felt that the values on the LMG suppressor could use an increase to give them more of a fighting chance in a sea of assault rifles."