Warzone streamer NICKMERCS reveals that the FFAR has received a stealth buff that allows it to achieve twice the bullet velocity with Ranger Barrel.
Popular Call of Duty: Warzone streamer Nick ‘NICKMERCS’ Kolcheff has revealed that the FFAR assault rifle may have recently received a stealth buff. This is the latest occurrence of a practice that is becoming more prevalent with the popular shooter, and player reception to it has been largely negative. Among the more recent examples was the inclusion of a blueprint for the MAC-10 submachine gun which both featured much higher damage than the base weapon and could also be purchased with real money. While this pay-to-win mechanic was already problematic, it was exacerbated by the fact that the community only found out about it when YouTuber JGOD pointed it out.
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Warzone has been seeing a series of balancing issues since the release of Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War. Because many of the Black Ops weapons carried over into Warzone, they initially dominated the playing field due to their overall higher damage profiles These weapons, such as the DMR 14, should have been rebalanced before their integration into Warzone. The result was player outcry that matches were virtually unwinnable without using them or third-party programs for an unfair advantage. Since then, Activision has been nerfing and buffing weapons in order to create a more balanced experience.
As reported by Dexerto, NICKMERCS claims that the FFAR is the latest weapon to receive a buff that was not listed in the patch notes. According to him, the Ranger Barrel has been adjusted so that bullet velocity has doubled. Although higher bullet velocity does not make the bullets themselves more powerful, faster bullets means longer ranges before damage begins to drop off, and it also means that bullets hit their marks faster. It’s a change that only the most dedicated and experienced Call of Duty players might notice, which makes it even less acceptable that less habitual players would not be made privy to this change in the patch notes.
According to Ninja, another popular streamer, developers have begun to omit information from patch notes–or patch notes entirely in Fortnite’s case–because they do not want the information to deter players from playing the game. In a 2019 video, he cited instances of players refusing to play when their favorite weapons received nerfs, which happened quite often during Fortnite’s first season. In Call of Duty’s case, however, the community seems to overwhelmingly prefer having access to that information, and Warzone’s developers have been consistently criticized for hiding changes since the game was released.
There is a thin line to tread when addressing this dilemma. When developers decide to release patch notes, there should be a consistent and transparent code by which they decide which information is relevant. Most would agree that it would be unreasonable to include a detailed breakdown of every minor bug fix, but increasing the fire rate on one of the game’s most popular weapons clearly does not fall into that category. While Epic Games received some criticism for taking the nuclear option of eliminating patch notes entirely, Activision should consider doing the same if they are going to continue omitting crucial information from theirs anyway. After all, patch notes are ultimately useless if players cannot trust them.
Going forward, the Call of Duty community will soon have another entry in the series to turn their attention to. In this upcoming game’s case, the lead developers are rumored to be Sledgehammer Games, who have not led a Call of Duty project since 2017’s Call of Duty: WWII. This new game will presumably also include Warzone, and if so, fans should hope that they do not get a repeat of Black Ops Cold War’s rocky integration.
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