Call of Duty Warzone: New Mechanic One-Page Pitch

Overview

Call of Duty Warzone is the latest battle royale mode to enter the arena, and it’s one of the best ones yet. It’s incredibly innovative, from encouraging players to clash instead of hide with the bounty and revival systems to the gulag respawns that give you one more chance if you’re good enough. In this one-page pitch, I will be pitching a new mechanic to add a layer of depth after being downed, facilitates more teamwork in the game, and expands the tactical player toolkit.

New Mechanic: Dragging Teammates

When a player is downed in Warzone, the gameplay essentially ends. That player is now either preparing to go to the gulag or to die completely. At this point, it’s just about waiting. This new mechanic, dragging teammates, would give both the downed player and the player’s teammates new difficult decisions to make in the game, instead of just waiting.

This new mechanic adds different mechanics depending on what state the player is in.

Downed player: In the current game, the player waits to bleed out while they crawl away. With this new mechanic, they can do one of two things. They can either crawl to safety at the cost of a slightly accelerated bleed-out timer, or hold the would to slow the bleed-out at the cost of immobility and being vulnerable to more enemy attacks.

Teammates: In the current game, teammates can go to the downed player, and hold the “revive” button to get them back on their feet after a couple of seconds. With this new mechanic, the teammate can go to the downed player and grab onto them. After grabbing the downed player, the teammate can drag them out of harm’s way.

The teammate can do a couple of base mechanics. They can walk or sprint, at the full speeds of those two options. They can also shoot, but only hip fire (no ADS). They cannot shoot while sprinting, but they can shoot while walking. The wounded player can still hold their wound while being dragged.

What Does This Contribute to the Game?

As stated before, when a player is downed, the decision between staying still and moving isn’t a something to think about. For teammates, there is one decision: do I risk myself to revive my downed teammate, or do I not do that for my own safety?

This new mechanic gives surviving teammates a middle ground that muddies that decision point, making it more difficult and less binary. Since the surviving teammate has full access to their mobility options while dragging a player, the pros and cons of dragging them into safety is less clear-cut, providing players with split-second, heart-pounding decisions in the heat of battle.

This also provides wounded teammates another layer of depth, even after being downed by the enemy. Do I wait for my teammates to drag me out of here, or do I try and go to cover myself to help them out?

This new mechanic provides more decisions points in a Warzone match (a decision point that will happen quite often). It also expands Call of Duty’s already fantastic tactical player toolkit.

Outstanding Questions

  • Will this change make matches last longer or have later starts because less players are dying as quickly?
  • Is giving the player full mobility too over-powered? Should they only be able to walk, making it a bit harder to save allies?
  • Should there be a startup animation to grabbing a downed teammate, or should it be immediate?

Data to Gather

After the feature goes live, these are some of the data points to track to make sure the feature is successful and / or not having unknown ramifications across the rest of the game

  • % of players recovering from being downed. More granularity is the % of players that are recovering after being dragged
  • % of players that choose to hunker down and stop the wound vs crawling away
  • The distance that a player crawls if they choose to crawl
  • The time between when a player is downed and when they die. More granularity is indicating whether they bled out vs if they were shot.
  • The distance that a player that was downed was dragged by a teammate
  • The time between the beginning of the match and when players die, to map out if this feature is causing late starts.

In Closing

Call of Duty Warzone has innovated in so many areas, making one of the best battle royale games out now. This new mechanic would add more decision points in a Warzone match, expand the tactical capabilities of players, and give wounded players tough choices even when they’re down. I’m excited to keep playing the game, and thanks for reading!

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Tri Nguyen

Tri Nguyen

is writing game design exercises and analyses

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