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Earlier this afternoon, Sledgehammer Games joined Activision in releasing a plethora of new information surrounding Call of Duty: Vanguard. While Activision also focused on Warzone Pacific, Sledgehammer strictly kept to Vanguard. The developers released the patch notes for the launch of the game, which includes a number of changes from the Vanguard beta.
It’s apparent that the developers are taking community feedback extremely seriously this year. The patch notes include a wide variety of content and fixes that were specifically requested by the community.
Vanguard patch notes for launch
These patch notes come directly from Sledgehammer’s newest blog post, which is available on their website.
- Distortion effects were removed from muzzle flash and we reduced smoke emitted when firing a weapon
- Completed a pass on muzzle flash placement/coverage when aiming down sights
- VFX Environment ambient placement for better sightlines
- Removed the droplets of water that get all up in your face when it rains
- Various bugs have been fixed including a bug where certain optics would stop enemy and friendly HUD icons from displaying while ADS
- We’ve fixed cases of nametags appearing through Destruction
- Lens flare reduced across all maps (we nerfed the sun)
- We will continue to refine VFX, Lighting, and UI into launch and monitor player feedback surrounding the various topics of visibility.
- Audio received a complete mixing and content overhaul to address community feedback from the Public Beta, including more audible footsteps, player and non-player weapons, and map environment content
- Footsteps are silent when players ADS, Crouch Walk, or have a Perk / Field Upgrade equipped which silences movement
- Fixed a bug that caused shots after the first shot to be too quiet
- Operator quips occur less frequently
- Asked Butcher to chill out. VO lines are less frequent
- A bug resulting in unpredictable spawns in Patrol has been fixed as well general tuning of spawn logic globally
- We will continue to refine spawn logic over time to improve spawns in matches with higher player counts
- Grenades and incendiaries no longer slow movement speed of players
- A cap has been placed on max suppression effects
- Changes have been made to animation times including weapon swap speeds and throwing of equipment (ie: Gammon bombs can be thrown more quickly)
- Sprint out times have been sped up and re-balanced
- Dev Tip: Dauntless, a perk that players didn’t have access to in Beta, makes players immune to movement reducing effects
- Shotgun lethality has been improved
- Effective Range of most Shotguns, SMGs, and Pistols have been reduced (SMGs and Pistols were overperforming at range and Shotguns were adjusted down due to increased lethality overall)
- Hipfire spread has been adjusted on most guns (mainly to add more consistency across weapon categories)
- Tradeoffs on barrels, magazines, and stocks have been reduced
- Ammo types were rebalanced to include more tradeoffs
- Squashed bugs affecting Weapon Progression and Detailed Stats
- Dev Tip: Vanguard’s version of the smoke grenade works differently than previous games. You’re fully hidden from distant enemies, but can be seen at closer ranges allowing you to close the distance between you and the enemy and hunt them down with close-quarter combat builds.
- Dev Tip: Try setting your mount options to use ADS rather than ADS+Melee. It’s not for everyone but it’s a powerful way to become more accurate in an instant while staying out of harm’s way. It can be combined with blind fire for some great results.
Killstreaks and Field Upgrades
- Friendly Spy Planes and Counter Spy Planes will no longer appear overhead
- Spy Planes and Counter Spy Planes move slower and are easier to hit
- Counter Spy Planes have a shorter duration
- Health has been reduced on Spy Planes, Counter Spy Planes, and most placed Field Upgrades
- Death Machine and War Machine have swapped costs
- Glide bomb is easier to control
- A max timer has been added to the Radar Jammer and Field Mic Field Upgrades
- Bugs resulting in graphical corruption of the Attack Dogs have been fixed – no more Dognados 🙁
- Low Profile has been removed and replaced with Ninja
There’s a ton of information to go over in these patch notes but there are also some definite highlights. For starters, fans are getting what they asked for, as Ninja (Dead Silence) is now a perk. It replaces Low Profile in the perk selection menu. There’s also another new perk called Dauntless coming at launch, which takes away the movement penalties from the Suppression mechanic.
Moving on, the shotguns have been buffed while the SMGs and pistols were nerfed. Hipfire spread was also adjusted (a problem in the beta), as were sprint-out times. So, players now can bring their guns up a little quicker. For fans who want to see the stats of these changes, each weapon now displays in-depth stats for any attachments it has on it.
For non-gameplay notes, Sledgehammer finally nerfed the sun and made numerous changes to the audio. Vanguard fans no longer have to deal with inconsistencies in the audio and won’t have Butch screaming in their ear every two seconds.
Vanguard launch content
Aside from the Vanguard launch patch notes, Sledgehammer also confirmed the actual content coming on Nov. 5. There will be 38 weapons, 16 6v6 maps (20+ maps in total), 12 unique Operators and a FOV Slider for consoles and more. The weapons will all have unique attachments for players to equip on their loadouts but the developer stated it will be paying close attention to how they act. The breakdown of the weapon categories is below:
- 7 Assault Rifles
- 6 Submachine Guns
- 4 Shotguns
- 4 Light machine guns
- 3 Marksman Rifles
- 3 Sniper Rifles
- 5 Pistols
- 4 Launchers
- 2 Melee Tools
For any XP grinders out there, Activision teased that along with the Seasonal Prestige system, there will be a “ton of challenges,” Gold camos for every weapon and Operator, and multiple ways to earn XP and rank up.
As for post-launch, fan-favorite map Shipment is returning in Vanguard on Nov. 17, bringing the map count total to 17 for 6v6. This will change with Season 1 on Dec. 3. Three additional maps will be introduced, as well as three Operators and a weapon or two.
The launch for Vanguard is set for Nov. 5.
Joey Carr is a full-time writer for multiple esports and gaming websites. He has 6+ years of experience covering esports and traditional sporting events, including DreamHack Atlanta, Call of Duty Championships 2017, and Super Bowl 53.