This week, Name of Obligation’s Battle Royale title, Warzone, bid farewell to its authentic map, Verdansk. The map has remained the identical ever because the sport launched again in March final yr, and so followers had been understandably excited to see it off in an epic occasion, and get busy exploring some new POIs and places on the map that changed it.
Whereas the brand new map had sufficient hype round it, it was Warzone’s long-rumored Nuke occasion that gamers couldn’t wait to take a look at. However having watched the occasions unfold over the previous two days, it’s clear Warzone’s developer Raven Software program might be taught a factor or two about in-game occasions, and the rolling out of latest content material on account of them, from the flossing juggernaut that’s Fortnite.
Let’s rewind a bit for a second, as Warzone’s build-up to the occasion began off pretty promisingly.
Again throughout the center of Season 2, zombies (lastly!) started showing throughout Warzone’s Verdansk map. Over the next weeks, they continued to take over the map, one location at a time. Whereas their presence was welcomed, their execution was a little bit underwhelming. You’d head to a delegated space, set off the ‘zombies occasion‘ at a terminal, seize a yellow keycard from one of many corpses, after which use that to open a yellow crate that contained the standard loot… simply extra of it than you’d usually get from a regular one.
To start with, it was advantageous, however after a superb few weeks of doing this, the novelty wore off. The zombies staggered on, occupying increasingly more of the map. Then, lastly, the Name of Obligation Twitter teased the Nuke occasion everybody had been ready for. The ready sport had begun… (the ready sport sucks, so we performed Hungry Hungry Hippos).
Quick ahead to Wednesday, and Warzone’s Nuke occasion truly happened. The Destruction of Verdansk Half 1 noticed gamers dropping onto the map, adopted by different occasions. A quick cutscene performed on the finish, displaying contamination ranges on the map had reached 100%, and a missile was launched from someplace outdoors of Verdansk, earlier than slamming into Stadium and obliterating your entire map.
Whereas some followers had hoped they’d then be capable to play on a Nuked model of Verdansk, that was not the case. Gamers had been pressured into merely taking part in on Rebirth Island, the smaller map that encourages extra frantic, fast-paced gameplay. And solely a few hours after the occasion had gone stay. We had been informed we’d should return on the similar time on Thursday to see the second a part of the occasion and take a look at the discharge of the brand new map.
That is the place the wheels fell off in a really spectacular style. Whereas hype was constructing, a countdown timer prominently ticking away the seconds till Half 2 kicked off — the place gamers dropped onto Rebirth Island 10 minutes earlier than the destruction of Verdansk and had to make use of a tool to nuke it — some gamers had been capable of entry the brand new map early. This resulted within the huge map reveal turning into yet one more spoiled second and inevitably pressured Activision’s hand.
Reasonably than making an attempt to rectify the difficulty and sitting tight, Activision merely revealed the map early with a trailer on its Twitter account… 4 hours earlier than the scheduled Half 2 occasion.
Following months of teases, and weeks of leaks, the revealed map was… roughly Verdansk with a handful of adjustments. Buildings obtained a brand new lick of vibrant paint, a salt mine changed the quarry, aqueducts changed the dam, and an space referred to as Summit was added within the northwest of the map.
On the face of it, the Warzone occasion wasn’t abysmal. However Raven Software program (and Activision?) have to get a deal with on leaks and teasing data. When Fortnite begins ramping up for one in every of its iconic finish of season occasions, there are clues and tidbits sprinkled all through the sport world; cryptic tweets are shared, sending followers on social media platforms and the sport’s subreddit right into a frenzy. Everybody has their theories, and no one is aware of precisely how the map will change. Even dataminers collectively agree to remain silent on something they could discover in replace recordsdata in order to not spoil the enjoyable. Certain some particulars can possible be discovered within the darkest corners of the net, nevertheless it doesn’t turn out to be mainstream information fairly just like the Nineteen Eighties rework of Verdansk did months in the past (earlier than Activision DMCA’d it to excessive heaven).
Even the occasions themselves really feel way more spectacular on a technical scale. Battling Galactus alongside the Avengers with lots of of different gamers, or hacking away at a dig web site’s huge HP to contribute to uncovering the subsequent clue. Watching a stay efficiency of Travis Scott’s huge hologram and going via a trippy experience, or the monster vs robotic battle that destroyed components of the map.
There’s a way of spectacle to them that Warzone simply did not encapsulate, and largely as a result of the large reveal had already been leaked… and subsequently launched early to some gamers hours earlier than it was imagined to go stay.
Within the aftermath of every a part of Warzone’s occasion, gamers struggled to connect with the net servers. Granted this can be a signal of simply how fashionable Name of Obligation’s Battle Royale title is, however equally, Fortnite’s occasions by no means noticed gamers locked out of the servers solely… aside from when the map was sucked into the black gap, which was an intentional selection by Epic.
I’m roughly a lapsed Fortnite participant at this level. I hop in often to play a sport with associates or grind out a number of challenges for enjoyable, however I at all times discover myself coming again to take a look at the occasions, as a result of they’re fairly in contrast to anything on the market. These occasions additionally crop up ever three or 4 months, offering common tweaks and adjustments to the map.
Warzone’s first main occasion was undermined by leaks, an unintentional early launch, and the truth that the map adjustments it has introduced don’t really feel fairly substantial sufficient, given it’s the primary main change within the 13 months because the sport launched. If it needs to take care of its momentum as one of many largest Battle Royale video games, it must be taught a number of classes from the Fortnite crew over at Epic, who’ve perfected the method over 12 seasons and numerous occasions.
Higher luck subsequent time, eh!