Warzone 2 Pay to Win Elements Raises Hell in the Player Community

28 Apr 2023

Featured: Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0 has recently presented its players with a range of new cosmetics and a brand new battle pass. But, the effect of some of these cosmetics is not only visual but has a clear advantage for the players in the DMZ mode of Warzone. The resulting community uproar is more than expected and the developers will have to figure out a way around the same issue, including for the upcoming content as well.

Warzone 2.0, similar to many new releases of major gaming franchises, has not had a smooth start. Like Overwatch 2, this new sequel of the famous Call of Duty franchise has been struggling and presenting many problems to its fans, both big and small.

Overall, the gaming press was impressed with the decision of the developers at Activision to push the game into its new form. This came with a range of glitches and problems. That included stability issues, bugs, and even problems related to the gameplay.

The last set of difficulties has proven to be the most damaging and long-lasting, as the gameplay difficulties continue. Not only that, but they also include serious hurdles with the concept of pay to win, which is generally more present in mobile games.

For a Call of Duty title, even a free to play one, the same could be a serious hurdle for further growth of the player community. Furthermore, the pay to win issue is connected to DMZ, one of the most promising new modes of the game.

Warzone and Modern Warfare Season 3 poster.

Source: https://www.eurogamer.net/

Warzone 2 Year 1

The players of Warzone 2.0 recently welcomed a big batch of new content. Both it and Modern Warfare, which forms a tightly interconnected gaming space, got their Season 3. It provided players with a new battle pass, but also a range of cosmetic elements.

Activision added the new bundle on April 12 and called it a DMZ boost. The Bomb Squad bundle provides a new operator skin for Fender, a blueprint for SAKIN MG38 LMG and a new slot for active duty. Besides, for $12, players also get an emblem and a sticker.

However, the issues arose quickly inside of the DMZ, the new mode for extraction matches. Here, players that enter with a new Fender skin get immediately a medium backpack. Besides that, their LMG has a faster cooldown compared to regular guns.

Immediately, accusations of pay to win mechanics came flying towards the developers. Additional new bundles only added fuel to the flame.

Thorn Bundle Issues

The Roze and Thorn bundle became an even bigger issue than the benefits that the Fender operator skin provides with its free medium backpack. These allow players to spawn a completely free UAV which they can use in the DMZ games.

So, to mend the same problem, Infinity Ward developers added a nerf for this operator skin. It involves players having a 60-second cooldown for the UAVs at the start of the DMZ game.

However, this solved nothing, with players complaining that this further enforces the pay to win system. With the cooldown, players are encouraged to use the UAV at a more beneficial location, using it as a scouting point.

Roze operator skin.

Source: https://www.dexerto.com/

Pay to Win Concept and Controversy

The problem with the pay to win concept goes back years in the wider gaming community. Overall, the process involves players paying real-world money to get direct in-game benefits that non-paying players do not have.

With that, one user might pay $100 and immediately become better than those with a lot more skill and in-game practices. On the other hand, one user might play a game for months and still be defeated by those who paid for perks and additional abilities.

The process is so detested that even massive mobile games use personalized content and ads instead of pay to win systems. For developers, even the process that involves the use cookies and data mechanisms - which are not liked by players either - makes more sense than a pure pay to win alternative.

In-Game Purchases for DMZ Bonus Effects

Warzone 2.0 creators clearly want to place a lot of focus in the coming period on DMZ mode. That includes new bundles that are even now on their way, as well as a steady stream of promotion.

However, the presence of these pay to win elements is very damaging to the same battle royale version of the Call of Duty franchise. It makes little difference that these benefits are set in one mode of Warzone 2.

Instead, the players will be more inclined to believe that similar options are coming to other modes as well.

Warzone 2.0 DMZ Beta poster.

Source: https://www.infinityward.com/

Free Medium Backpack and Other Benefits

In the defense of developers, it is clearly visible that the benefits of these bundles are minuscule. A free medium backpack or a free UAV will not exactly turn novice players into Warzone 2 killing machines.

But, they definitely open the door to further pay to win elements. They are also presently integrating themselves with DMZ, which could end up doubly damaging for Infinity Ward.

Still, it looks like Warzone 2 developers are seemingly set on expanding these bundles despite of the backlash. But, the backlash could only be beginning.

Community Reaction Related to Future DMZ Plans

The job of developers is not simply to track outages and protect the main game of Warzone 2 from massive technical issues or from spam fraud and abuse. They also have to follow the development of gameplay and track site statistics to understand what the players experience, not only what they say on social media.

Presently, the pay to win bundles are still very fresh in the game of Warzone 2. In a couple of months, the developers will be able to precisely measure audience engagement related to the DMZ.

If those numbers being to skew towards a negative reaction to the DMZ mode, the pay to win problem will be the clear culprit. In that case, this battle royale game will have to apply a lot more determined nerfs to curtail the effect of bundles.

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