Call of Duty: Vanguard is out now – adding 38 new weapons for Call of Duty players to get to grips with. But with each new game tying into the popular battle royale Warzone there are a lot of issues when it comes to balancing.
Lead Designer Zach Hodson told Dexerto that each weapon was “purpose-built for Vanguard.” The team at Sledgehammer Games then kept a “separate balance sheet to track how things might work in Warzone.”
Weapon recoil is a good example – what may feel one way in Call of Duty: Vanguard could have an entirely different feel in Warzone.
“One bit of insight is that [Vanguard] guns have more recoil than you’ll have seen in previous Call of Duty games,” said Hodson. “That doesn’t necessarily translate perfectly to Warzone.”
“There’s a bit of adaptation that needs to go in on the Warzone side to bring the guns over in a similar way to what’s been done before with Cold War and Modern Warfare,” he added.
One of the things Call of Duty: Vanguard will add is the ability to use 10 attachment slots on weapons. Although this won’t be available straight away, the new 10-slot system is said to be heading to Warzone with the introduction of the new “Caldera” map.
“The reason why we went with 10 slots was really based on being able to change up the power of the attachments instead of having attachments compete,” said Hodson. Recent Call of Duty games made only five slots available so “they’re all competing with each other.”
The new 10 slot system allows much more flexibility in terms of customisation, but Sledgehammer was keen not to overdo it.
“We did a couple of things to stay away from overwhelming the players,” explained Hodson. “The slots unlock in a bit of a stagger, so you don’t immediately get to 10.”
Additionally, there are trade-offs to be made. Although some magazine attachments may reduce reload speed, they’ll also increase ADS.
“In some builds, we’ve found even leaving a slot on the default has been one of the better choices,” said Hodson. “At this point, we’ve gotten great feedback for the 10 attachments. The way that you customize the weapon feels reasonable in terms of balance and just offer so much personalization on the gun.”
This should open up plenty of new possibilities in the coming weeks, with even more customisation available once the new “Caldera” map arrives in Warzone.
Meanwhile, Call of Duty: Vanguard reviews praise a robust multiplayer experience, despite a weak campaign mode.