Call of Duty titles typically enjoy a 60-day life cycle for their seasonal drops, giving players plenty of time to dive in and knock out the Tier 100 Battle Pass that is offered alongside the season's free content. To keep things from feeling stale during that 60-day cycle, the developers began introducing mid-season refreshes which would add additional content halfway through a season to lure back wayward players. Season 2 is no exception, and there are plenty of big changes coming to Call of Duty: Vanguard and Warzone with the upcoming update.
Call of Duty: Vanguard and Warzone Season 2 Reloaded release date
The new content for Call of Duty: Vanguard and Warzone Pacific will be free to all players, with the exception of Operators and weapon bundles, which can be purchased in the franchise store, and will be available following staggered title updates. Call of Duty: Vanguard players will notice an update go live at 9 a.m. PT on March 22. Warzone Pacific players will receive an update later at 9 a.m. on March 23.
Call of Duty: Vanguard new mode, vehicles, and Operators for mutliplayer
The new update will give players of Call of Duty: Vanguard a chance to jump into an Arms Race, a 12v12 mode on the brand-new map Alps. Arms Race in Vanguard will not resemble the previous Arms Race limited playlist mode that debuted in Call of Duty: Black Ops II. For Vanguard, players instead will need to traverse the frozen tundra using the vehicle's weapons at their disposal to capture bases located inside of five of the seven mountainside fortresses. Two bases will be decommissioned at random at the start of the game.
Capturing a base will provide a respawn point for eliminated teammates in addition to the option to spawn on a squad member. Once captured, the defense systems of a base will activate and protect the team spawning inside with gates that close whenever enemy players are near. Friendly bases also contain buy stations, similar to what fans of Vanguard's Champion Hill mode are already familiar with, which use in game cash earned by capturing objectives to purchase weapon loadouts, killstreaks, and other beneficial items. Buy Stations also include the vehicles for purchase, making it easier for players to traverse the largest map in Vanguard's current lineup.
Among the vehicles players will be able to call in are motorcycles, CD12 transports, and tanks. Motorcycles are free for all players at all times, allowing players an opportunity for a quick escape or to get to an advantageous spot for attacking another base. However, the low price tag, speed and agility that a motorcycle can offer come at the cost of safety and durability. It only takes one well-placed rocket or a few armor-piercing bullets to lead to an untimely demise for the two operators on a motorcycle.
Players looking to take more squadmates along for their ride or are seeking out some extra durability may want to consider buying up a CD12 transport, a four-seater squad vehicle that players of Warzone may have previously driven across Verdansk and Caldera. If you need more firepower, however, the new tanks may be better suited for your efforts. Tanks are the only vehicle in Arms Race to come equipped with weaponry, and they are considerably more durable than the CD12 or motorcycle. They are, however, considerably more expensive and are limited to just one operator who serves as both the driver and gunner.
While Arms Race and Alps are the extent of free content releasing with the mid-season refresh, players can expect a barrage of new bundles to hit the franchise store including the third and final members of Task Force Yeti, Gustav Dos Santos. On April 19 at 10 a.m. PT, players will also be able to pick up the Snoop Dogg Operator Bundle, complete with a playable operator for the D-O-Double-G himself. This is not Snoop Dog's first rodeo as he previously lent his voice to a downloadable voice pack for Call of Duty: Ghosts nearly 10 years ago.
The Snoop Dogg Operator bundle will be a complete bundle featuring 10 items in total with three of them being exclusive to Call of Duty: Vanguard. It will also feature a full progression track with 20 levels and challenges that will unlock weapon XP for Snoop's preferred weapon, three alternate outfits, and additional cosmetics. The Operator will also have a collection of voice lines recorded by Snoop Dogg.
Call of Duty: Vanguard ranked play update
Treyarch Studios collaborated with Call of Duty League to bring ranked play with league standards to Call of Duty: Vanguard's multiplayer as part of the initial Season 2 launch. Ranked Play, currently in beta, has seen its fair share of setbacks and issues, however. It was initially delayed due to a game-breaking issue that only cropped up when the mode was tested live. Additionally, players were unable to jump into ranked play if they had members in their squad who were outside of their current Skill Division. Current Skill Division restrictions were as follows:
- Players in Master & Challenger can only party up within 500 SR.
- Players in Expert & Elite can only party up within 1000 SR.
- Players below Expert can party up without restrictions.
Treyarch plans to loosen these restrictions as part of the Season 2 Reloaded update, with the following changes being made to parties:
- Players in Master & Challenger can form parties with players up to one adjacent Skill Division away.
- Players in Elite can form parties with players up to two adjacent Skill Divisions away.
- Players below Elite can party up without restrictions and can party with players who haven't yet completed their seasonal skill evaluation matches.
- Party Restriction rules are determined by the highest Skill Division represented in the party.
A new "My Career & Rewards" menu will also be making its way to Ranked Play, allowing players to access details regarding their current Rank and Skill Division along with a rewards screen detailing upcoming Season Two rewards and progress toward them. The Skill Division screen will provide players additional information on their current skill division and progress toward the next tier promotion.
Call of Duty: Vanguard new covenants for zombies
Ranked Play is not the only thing Treyarch has to offer in Season 2 Reloaded as the studio continues to provide support for Call of Duty: Vanguard's zombies mode. While there are no maps coming in the mid-season update, players will find the new Armaguerra 43 SMG that will be in both Zombies and Multiplayer modes and a new Sacrifice Objective will be adding more challenges to "Der Anfang". Two new Covenants will also be added to Zombies as part of the mid-season update.
The first covenant, Critical Expertise, will allow noncritical hits a chance to become critical with the chance for a crit hit and damage increasing depending on the covenant's rarity. Critical kills with Killing Blow equipped will also return ammo. The second covenant, Explosives Expert, allows player explosions to do more damage to enemies while taking less self-imposed damage. As with Critical Expertise, the amount of damage and protection afforded by Explosives Expert is based on the covenant's rarity. Splatterfest and Energy Mine explosion damage will be increased by the covenant; however the splash damage from the Ray Gun is not affected.
The oft-requested option for a Dedicated Server pause in solo games is finally be adding to zombies as part of Season Two Reloaded alongside additional bug fixes that will be detailed more at a later date. Players in solo matches and singleplayer private matches will be able to pause for up to two hours total per match while players who are offline or playing local matches will be able to pause indefinitely.
Call of Duty: Warzone Pacific Rebirth Reinforced event
Fans of Call of Duty: Warzone will get a chance to see Rebirth Island — the smaller, secondary map previously released as an alternative to Verdansk — get its first big update since its initial release. The skies will be sunnier and clear, allowing players more visibility as they make their way to the two new ships docked at the harbor, freshly repainted water tower, and the revamped Stronghold. Stronghold replaces the previous Security Area, an otherwise uninteresting point of Rebirth Island that was known for being the longest lying section of the map with very few multistory buildings.
Stronghold now features two new reinforced structures, including an extended checkpoint gate with garages, administrative buildings, and walkways over the main booth. The item is now well stocked with supply boxes and item spawns and is an ideal location to engage in close-quarters combat. Rebirth's lone communication tower is now being replaced by a radar building on a raised concrete platform. The comms station includes an observation deck with great sightlines overlooking the Base Camp and Living Quarters.
Docked near the Factory and the Control Center, are two large supply ships floating in the harbor of Rebirth Island. Both the top and bottom decks of these ships can be explored by players willing to parkour their way across shipping containers or drop down from higher elevations to reach them. Players will also be able to explore the Prison Yard, which is undergoing construction to be further reinforced. Caldera's redeploy balloons will be making their way to Rebirth Island as part of the update; however they will have a shortened ascension cord to limit how much height players can gain due to the smaller size of the map.
Changes to the map are not all players can expect in Warzone Pacific. Alongside the standard issue Resurgence and Mini Royale modes, players can look forward to three previously released modes making their return throughout the remainder of Season 2, with slight changes to reflect the "reinforced" status of the map. Rebirth Resurgence Solos takes the incredibly popular Resurgence mode that first debuted in 2020, Resurgence Solos allows players to drop in without a squad to a fast-paced respawn-enabled deathmatch where there can be only one winner. This solo variant will only give players one free respawn, and additional respawns will need to score points via kills and contracts to earn additional respawns.
Rebirth Blood Money will also be added to the playlist rotation, adding a new twist to gameplay mechanics from Plunder. In Plunder, eliminating an enemy would only net a player whatever money the enemy had on them when they were felled. Blood Money changes this by guaranteeing a cash payout per elimination. Rebirth Payload will bring in an objective-based mode to Warzone Pacific and will be limited to 12v12 gameplay with three full squads fighting across preset routes where they will escort or stop trucks from reaching their specific designations.
Season 2 Reloaded will provide a series of challenges for players, the completion of which unlocks new cosmetic items and a legendary LMG blueprint. A special Community Challenge will also be introduced, the first of which will encourage the entire Warzone community to earn kills on Rebirth Island. If enough kills are earned following the update, then all those who participated will receive 25,000XP and unlock the use of new Weapon Trade Stations on the island. These trade stations will allow players to give up their weapon in exchange for one of lesser quality and other additional items depending on the original weapon's rarity. This can include cash, armor satchels, self revives, and kill streaks.
Rebirth Island's revamp and community challenges are being handled by developer Beenox, who plans to release three more community challenges following the completion of the first. Each community challenge is expected to grant XP and additional features including Communication Stations, Armored Transport Vehicles, and special unannounced rewards that will be revealed at a later date.
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Cole is the resident Call of Duty know-it-all and indie game enthusiast for Windows Central. She's a lifelong artist with two decades of experience in digital painting, and she will happily talk your ear off about budget pen displays.