Raven Software released a number of Warzone weapon nerfs in a patch on Friday. They nerfed the AMAX and FARA assault rifles, the Streesweeper shotgun, and the Bullfrog SMG. They also buffed the recently added PPSh-41 to make it more viable in comparison to the other SMGs. Additionally, the developers adjusted the power level a number of stocks that offered big mobility bonuses, in an attempt to bring SMGs back into the meta and to decrease the overall dominance of the AR class in Warzone Season 3.
Raven Software nerfs CR-56 AMAX and the FARA 83
The most important nerfs in Friday's patch are almost certainly the nerfs to the AMAX and the FARA 83. Both ARs have been really good lately, but after today's adjustments they should be more balanced.
The AMAX had its minimum damage decreased from 32 to 31 in Warzone. This is a small change that won't affect up-close encounters but will make the AMAX less effective at extreme long-range fights in Warzone.
"With a great damage profile, locational multipliers, and manageable recoil, the CR-56 AMAX was able to reliably reach extreme TTKs at long-range," Raven Software explained in the developer notes. "This change reduces its fastest minimum damage TTK by about 17% in addition to its slowest minimum damage TTK by an additional shot. Its fastest maximum damage TTK however, remains intact—which is a risk we feel is equal to the reward considering how unforgiving its rate of fire is and how many other weapons it has to contest within the mid-range engagement space."
Raven Software decreased the FARA 83 headshot multiplier from 1.5 to 1.35 and its ADS movement speed was decreased by 7%.
The FARA 83 has been dominant in Warzone Season 3, due in part to its incredibly high ADS movement speed when paired with a mobility-focused stock. These new changes won't remove the gun from its dominant position in ranged fights, but they will make the gun slightly less versatile overall.
Raven Software Nerfs Streetsweeper Shotgun
The Streetsweeper shotgun is the best shotgun in Warzone, so it comes as no surprise that Raven Software nerfed it. The developers increased its hipfire spread, increased its recoil, and reduced its ADS speed. These changes represent a significant decrease in the power level of this gun and could usher in a new shotgun meta since other shotguns will be more viable by comparison.
Raven Software explained in the patch notes, "While shotguns tend to have limited viability outside of the early game, we find the Streetsweeper is a tad too effective given its rate of fire and ammo capacity when compared to other weapons of its class. This change will decrease its lethal range slightly, punish inaccurate sustained fire, and give a little more time to react."
Warzone developers rework Bullfrog, buff the PPSh-41
Raven Software introduced a battery of changes for the Bullfrog SMG in this patch, designed to curb this weapon's incredibly deadly headshot damage, while also making the gun more interesting to play with. Post-change, the gun is arguably better than it was before.
The new Warzone Bullfrog changes include:
- Maximum damage decreased from 34 to 32
- Maximum damage range increased by 11%
- base movement speed increased by 1%
- Spring out speed increased by 13%
The new Bullfrog has slightly lower maximum damage, but it also has a longer effective range and more mobility, which could make this gun more fun and interesting to play with.
"The Bullfrog's exceptional headshot multiplier has allowed it to reach one of the fastest TTKs in the game," the developers explained. "While this change does not directly affect that multiplier, it does diminish its output. . . We felt it was too easy to consistently reduce the TTK to these ranges, so we are asking for a bit more accuracy in exchange for the Bullfrog's attractive stat line. We are hesitant to label this an outright ‘nerf’ as we believe there is more value to a weapon than its damage alone."
The PPSh-41 SMG got some love in Friday's patch. It had its maximum range damage increased by 4%, which is a nice change. It also had its open bolt delay decreased by a whopping 80%, which is also a nice buff to this SMG. The open bolt delay, for those who don't know, is the delay between the time you pull the trigger and the time the weapon starts firing. the PPSh-41 has a significant open bold delay before Friday's patch.
"We are going to push the PPSh-41's identity in a way that continues to diversify it from its competition in meaningful ways," Raven Software explained. "To us, the PPSh-41 is the quick to fire, high-capacity, short-to-mid range SMG. Not every weapon needs to have the highest TTK potential, but every weapon should at least feel viable and have a niche where it excels given a complementary playstyle."
Warzone devs nerf mobility stocks
Finally, in Friday's patch the developers finally addressed one of the most pressing balance issues affecting Warzone today. For the past two seasons, the role of SMG's has been increasingly displaced by AR's like the FFAR 1. To help curb this issue, Raven Software introduced sweeping changes to the mobility boosts on various weapon stocks throughout the game, so as to reassert the value of SMG's into Warzone Season 3.
The Raider/KGB Skeletal Stock, SAS Combat/Spetsnaz Stock, and the Tactical Stock for the ARs, LMGs. Shotguns and Snipers all took significant hits to their ADS firing speed multipliers and their ADS movement speed multipliers.
The Raider/KGB Skeletal Stock and the SAS Combat/Spetsznas Stock for the SMGs also took significant hits to their ADS firing speed and move speeds as well.
The stock changes overall should encourage people to explore more stock options than just the mobility-focused ones, while at the same time the changes will help restore the role of the naturally nimble SMG weapon class.
"It is crucial to maintain an engagement space where each weapon type can excel, lest we risk guns becoming analogous," Raven Software explained in the latest patch notes. "In that regard, some weapon types were able to elude mobility as a core weakness given the right attachments. We believe this is in part why assault rifles have been able to assume the role of submachine guns. . . These stocks are still a solid choice, even with such a substantial reduction—which we believe speaks to just how strong they were."
Aaron is an esports reporter with a background in media, technology, and communication education.