CoD: Vanguard's First Patch Notes

Screenshot 2021 09 03 at 10 22 49
No word on reducing the sluggishness of movement yet. This is concerning. | © Activision Blizzard

With the CoD: Vanguard beta a week away (September 3 at the time of writing) Sledgehammer have decided to publish all the changes they've made based on alpha feedback ahead of time. There's no news on the minimap or on the pace of play, but they do address SBMM.

These patch notes are a show of good faith. But while it's promising for the game's future to see them listening, there are still a lot of changes we need to see and there are certain issues not mentioned in these notes that should at least have been addressed, even a throwaway "we're looking into it" would've provided some reassurance. Let's take a look at these changes.


Visual Updates

Over the course of Alpha, we received a considerable amount of feedback regarding visibility. We’ve made several graphical improvements that you should notice in Beta, and we’ve responded to player feedback regarding low visibility when taking damage, and visibility issues with character/map lighting.
  • Damage Overlay: Refined the damage overlay when injured to help maintain visibility.
  • Lighting: Reduced the density of sun fog.
  • Increased the rim light around players to help separate them from the background.
  • Adjusted overall exposure—aka turned up the lights.

Audio Tuning

The audio team has made improvements to weapon sounds that will be ready in time for Beta.
  • Non-player footstep volume slightly increased.
  • Non-player weapon volume slightly reduced. Note: Non-player is anyone that isn’t you (enemies and teammates).
  • Announcer volume and callout frequency were reduced.
  • Global MP mixing pass to improve informative audio for gameplay

There's no update on the sound of your own guns still - that's interesting, it's something a lot of people felt needed increasing.

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Champion Hill Spawn Tuning

Throughout the Champion Hill Alpha, we observed spawn issues that resulted in players spawning very close to other players. To address this, the design team has adjusted the spawns on Champion Hill.
  • They’ve tuned spawn locations and adjusted overall spawn logic.
  • They've removed that one spawn in Courtyard that forced you to have 3 seconds of awkward eye contact with your opponent. You know the one.

They don't get brownie points for this, it was a fudge up.

Fixes In The Pipeline

We received reports of nameplate visibility issues and aim assist tracking through destructible walls. While these fixes probably won’t be ready before Beta, we assure you they will be addressed before launch.
  • They identified a destructible wall in Champion Hill with a mismatched collision model. Even though it appeared like a solid wall, there was a hole allowing the raycast to pass through and show nameplates.
  • They are aware there are more nametag and aim assist-related issues and have an ongoing investigation on how to resolve them.

A known issue and one that it's good to see them get to quickly.

Vanguard Beta Patch Notes - The Verdict

Yes, they're dealing with some of the known issues, and that's good. But to not even mention the more pressing concerns for the community? This will not go down well. We need communication from Sledgehammer on the minimap and the player movement speed penalties, or they can only expect more negative feedback from the beta. We shall see.


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