I was beyond thrilled when I learned that Call of Duty: Warzone’s stale and lopsided perk system would be undergoing something of an overhaul. Starting with some tweaks to lesser-used perks like High Alert and Kill Chain, all the way up to getting new Warzone-exclusive perks, it seemed that Raven Software was keen to not only fine tune and balance the gunplay, but also the tactical aspect of the battle royale too.
This is something I’ve harped on about for a while now, so you’d expect to find me extremely excited that Season 5 will introduce two new Warzone perks called Combat Scout and Tempered. While the proof will be in the pudding when Season 5 launches next week, I’m afraid I’ve already got some concerns over the new Warzone perks.
At a first glance, these two new perks look like radical additions to Warzone, but I fear that they will not achieve what Raven, and a large section of the playerbase, wants.
Put simply: the perk system in Call of Duty isn’t balanced right now. For a true balance, you want players really thinking about which perks to take into battle. Right now, picking perks is an easy decision, with the only real difficulty coming into deciding whether you should pick Ghost or Overkill. Even then, most get the opportunity to utilise Overkill first, before switching to a Ghost class later on anyway.
I don’t really see the addition of these two new perks making decisions a whole lot harder either. Granted, we do not have the complete picture just yet (we still don’t know which perk group Combat Scout will be in, nor how potent its recon effects will be), but with the clear hierarchy of existing perks, I can’t see either of these new perks forcing their way into the Warzone meta.
With Combat Scout, you get the benefit of automatic pings (useful, but then again pinging enemies isn’t exactly tricky) and getting a brief “burst of intel” when dealing damage to enemies, lighting them up in orange (this will likely be the same effect as a Snapshot Grenade). When both Snapshot Grenades and the existing Tracker perk exist, I predict that it will fall by the wayside.
I hope I’m proved wrong, but on paper, it all seems a bit underwhelming
That is unless it is added to the Perk 1 slot, whereby players could run Tracker and Combat Scout in tandem, but that seems like a particularly sweaty combination that will become loathsome to play against. In short, if Combat Scout does get used a lot, the trade-off will be a more frustrating experience for everyone else.
Tempered, meanwhile, sounds like a really well-designed perk. It does what a Warzone-exclusive perk should do: take a unique or important element of the game, in this case plating, and make it an easier task for those that run that perk. Tempered essentially makes armour plates absorb 75 damage rather than 50, meaning you only need two of them to be fully-plated.
While that sounds good on paper, Raven has opted to add Tempered into the Perk 2 group. This is where two of the most important and widely-used perks in the game – Ghost and Overkill – live, and it’s also where High Alert resides, which will likely become very strong once Raven makes good of its promise to make it the only counter to Dead Silence.
I can’t see many players trading invisibility to UAVs, or two primary weapons, or a potential Dead Silence counter for Tempered.
Unless changes are made to some of the existing perks or the classes they reside in, I don’t think these two new additions are going to make the slightest bit of difference when it comes to tactics and team composition in Warzone. I hope I’m proved wrong, but on paper, it all seems a bit underwhelming right now.