Meta-shake-up Black Ops Cold War sees M16 and AUG nerfed •

Treyarch, as promised, has shaken up the Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War meta with his weapon balance update.

The developer released the update for its shooter yesterday, December 15th, but has only now released the patch notes that reveal the magnitude of the changes.

The change in headline is a major grain of the M16 and AUG tactical rifles, both of which were seen as the two dominant weapons in the game. The M16 has reduced its maximum effective range and rate of fire. The AUG has all reduced its shot multiplier, maximum effective range and rate of fire, while damage to the 19.8 “Task Force barrel mount has also been reduced.

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These nerfs should somewhat do what Treyarch said it would: shake up the competitive multiplayer meta of Cold War Black Ops in time for Christmas.

Meanwhile, both shotguns in the game, the Hauer 77 and the Gallo SA12, have been nerfed (shotguns are secondary weapons in Black Ops Cold War, which some believe are overwhelmed). As expected, the AK-47 assault rifle has shifted slightly. The Krig 6 has also had a light grain. The undersized FFAR 1 is polished. Other buffs hit the Milano, KSP, and Bullfrog SMGs to give them a more effective range of damage, the M60 LMG to give it the higher ADS speed and weapon switch speed, the M82 sniper rifle (although sniper rifles have largely been left alone), and the Magnum pistol.

It’s worth noting that the Flak Jacket benefit – widely considered essential – was developed to reduce explosive damage mitigation (launchers FTW!). The Spycraft advantage is now completely insensitive to field microphone detection, and the Ninja advantage has removed field microphone detection protection. Speaking of the Field Mic, it no longer detects users crouching, walking or swimming ADS, which adds up to significant grain.

My first impression is that this is quite an attempt to level the Black Ops Cold War meta beyond the tactical gun domination we’ve seen. I’m sure new weapons will appear as the new meta, as always, but for now it’s fun experimenting with new weapons in the game.

Other changes worth noting include modified spawns on Nuketown to reduce spawning in longer sightlines to reduce spawn trapping, and the addition of spawns in and around the mid-map to reduce spawn trapping. As a big Nuketown fan, these changes are certainly welcome.

The patch notes are on Treyarch’s website.