There’s something of a vicious cycle taking place in the world of Call of Duty. It’s something like this: fans will cry out for something new, then instantly hate what they’re given in answer to their demands. Although, in all fairness, several changes have been made in recent months that have left fans reeling in dismay. Now, the new Warzone map, Caldera, has launched, and fans are once again disappointed with what they’ve been given.
Let’s set the scene – Warzone has been focused around the same map since March of 2020. This map, Verdansk, formed the foundation of the entire Warzone platform, and after more than twenty months fighting inside of it, fans have been uprooted and thrown into a new map. It wasn’t a surprise, as the map was announced months ago. However, now that it has arrived, it has brought with it a fresh host of issues and bugs, and fans are quite simply up in arms about it.
Are We Going To See Another Exodus?
Several months ago, in the wake of a plague of hackers tormenting Warzone, many professional players abandoned the platform. They opted instead to migrate to franchises like Apex Legends, taking a temporary hiatus from Warzone’s issues. With the launch of the new Warzone map, Caldera, Activision has also ordered the installment of robust anti-cheat software. Although, it only goes a small way towards addressing the plethora of issues present in the new Pacific update.
On the 8th of December, fans were able to get access to Caldera, experiencing the WWII-themed battle-royale map for the first time. It wasn’t a pleasant experience overall, as the launch was stunted by server issues, visual bugs, and bizarre, forced gameplay. By that, we mean that fans were backed into a Vanguard-based corner, unable to use any modern weaponry in the game. Although it was a temporary thing, it was enough to tick off fans that have no interest in Vanguard.
In response to the new map, professional Warzone players and streamers posted some disconcerting comments online. For example, Aydan, currently a Warzone content creator for the New York Subliners, said:
In another comment, DrDisrespect, arguably one of the best Call of Duty streamers in the world today, said:
The Future of Warzone
There’s a lot riding on the success of this map. For instance, the World Series of Warzone, one of the top COD tournaments in 2022, will be played out on Caldera. If fans abandon the map early on, it will spell havoc for the organisation of this tournament. Furthermore, there’s no denying that Activision does not need any more bad press. In recent months, there have been more bugs and issues with Warzone than almost any other multiplayer platform out there.
As a map, Caldera is attractive, expansive, and fairly well designed. It’s diverse and offers unbeatable verticality, but ultimately, it isn’t Verdansk. That’s the sticking point at the moment, as fans have been torn away from a map they’ve spent the last two years falling in love with. It’s a hard time for all involved, but arguably, it will get better. There are already hotfixes being rolled out to address the earliest issues, and, as always, there’s a development roadmap in place for the platform.
Only time will tell whether opinions will change, but right now, it’s not a great place to be.