How Warzone devs decide which weapons to buff & nerf

How Warzone devs decide which weapons to buff & nerf

Following Warzone’s update on May 7, Raven Software has explained their thought process behind buffing and nerfing some of the game’s most popular weapons.

Going into Warzone Season 3, Raven Software made some significant changes to the game’s most popular and powerful weapons. Over the course of Season 3, they have continued to stay on top of weapon balance, although some changes haven’t been as welcome by the community.

In the Season 3 patch notes, they teased a nerf to the CR-56 AMAX and then reaffirmed this nerf in their April 28 patch notes. This nerf didn’t sit well with high-profile members of the community, but as of May 7, it took effect, with the weapon’s damage being reduced by one.

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In the May 7 patch notes, Warzone’s devs prefaced their list of weapon buffs and nerfs with some insight into their thought process before buffing and nerfing weapons.

Warzone AMAX

“There are millions of you, and when we reduce the effectiveness of a weapon, we are bound to make a change to someone’s favorite gun,” Raven Software explained. “As players of this game ourselves, it pains us just as much.”

They explained how they “remain torn” when nerfing a weapon, but they do it with the intent of promoting diversity.

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Certain weapons, such as the DMR 14, FFAR 1, and AUG were so powerful that they were the only viable weapons, and using anything else would put you at a significant disadvantage. Raven said they believe “what makes a game truly engaging is choice,” and admitted that certain weapons diminished that choice.

Warzone DMR 14

However, they feel that the game is close to a “balance homeostasis” where most weapons “are at the very least viable.” But that leaves time to kill (TTK) as the final thing for them to address. They’re looking to have a higher time to kill across the board, or at least make it so that it will require skill to reach a low TTK.

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Raven Software asked players to “consider these changes not as targeted attacks, but rather as part of a larger initiative to raise the skill ceiling.”

On top of the weapon nerfs in the recent updates, they have buffed the PPSH-41 and will be looking at buffing some of the “struggling” Modern Warfare weapons.

Image Credit: Activision