Warzone Pacific Caldera Map: All New Features & Gameplay Changes

We finally have new information on Warzone's upcoming Caldera Map. Let's take our first look at Caldera's gameplay changes, and what we can expect from the new Warzone map.
Caldera Warzone changes
With the introduction of Caldera, a lot will change in Warzone... | © Activision

After more than one and a half years in Verdansk, we can finally battle it out on a new map from December 8. We have known about the new Pacific Map, Caldera, for a long time, and have constantly been sifting through piles of rumors and leaks.

But now, we finally have the official reveal of everything we can expect from the new map, and some exciting new gameplay changes as well. Will we finally be able to swim, what are the planes, and do all the old gadgets and perks still work?

What is Coming with Caldera?

You can find beneath all the important innovations that will be available in Warzone from Vanguard's Season 1. If you want to read this information directly from the source, you can check it out on the official Call of Duty Blog Post.

Vanguard's Integration into Warzone

The most important content update coming to Warzone is its integration with Vanguard. All weapons, operators, and cosmetics from Vanguard will be made available in Warzone from December 8. That means:

  • 40 Weapons: All 48 weapons from Vanguard are coming, plus the two new weapons that can be unlocked with the Season 1 Battle Pass.
  • Over a Dozen Operators: All S.O.T.F. 002-005 Operators are available at launch. Over the course of the season, the S.O.T.F. 006 Operator is also coming.
  • Cosmetics: Calling Cards, Emblems, Stickers, Camos, and more from Vanguard will also become available in Warzone.

The announcement about weapons is particularly exciting. We've all been wondering whether the Gunsmith from Vanguard would be taken over into Warzone. According to the Call of Duty Blog, all Vanguard weapons will be customizable with 10 attachments. How that will affect the balance with the BOCW and Modern Warfare weapons still remains to be seen.

Caldera Jeep
One of the new vehicles in Caldera.| © Activision

New Vanguard Royale Mode

Vanguard Royale will offer a new playlist right from the get-go on December 8. We'll get new vehicles and a predetermined loadout and loot pool. In contrast to the normal Battle Royale, the focus here is on Vanguard equipment. Oh, and the dogfights that have already been leaked will come into play here. In summary, the following can be said about Vanguard Royale:

  • New Vehicles & Dogfights: Fighters and ground vehicles with anti-aircraft guns are likely to be the most important innovations here.
  • Focus on Vanguard Weapons: Loadouts can only contain Vanguard weapons, and loot consists exclusively of Vanguard weapons.
  • New Circle & In-Game Events: The size of the circles and the time until the next circle has been adjusted. In addition, there will be an in-game event with each new circle.

Warzone Gameplay-Changes

As expected, of course, some things will change in the familiar Warzone gameplay. After all, we are now on a Pacific Island in World War II.

Gulag Loadouts

Even if nothing has been said about what the new Gulag will look like, we already know something about another change. Those who survive the gulag on Caldera respawn with their Gulag Loadout. Yes, that's right, so far you've only spawned with a pistol after a victory in the gulag, but now you'll drop with your gulag gun.

The feature has already been tested in the Iron Trials '84 mode and is now being put into practice. If your loadout in the gulag consists of an AK-47, Fragmentation Grenade and Stun Grenade and you win, you will end up back on Caldera with exactly that, or with everything that you haven't wasted in the Gulag. So, you better save those grenades!

Caldera Theater
The city in Caldera looks pretty chic. | © Activision

Gadget & Field Upgrade Changes

This is where it gets particularly interesting for the meta. Dead Silence, the Heartbeat Sensor and Stun Grenades are being nerfed, and stopping power rounds are being removed entirely. Exactly what the nerf looks like is not yet clear, as the blog post has only mentioned that they will no longer be as effective as before. In addition, the developers also want to weaken melee weapons such as the Kali Sticks and the Sai, and make melee in general a little less powerful.

Another exciting change is that loadout drops can only be purchased at purchase stations after the free loadout drop event has appeared for the first time. So far, loadouts could be bought at any time, provided you had the necessary change. This new change will probably make the matches much more exciting, because loot is more important and not everyone runs around with their personal meta loadout from the start.

In addition, various primary and tactical gadgets are to be improved. Most deadly grenades, explosives, etc. in the primary slow will cause significantly more damage in the future. The snapshot grenade gets a larger radius and Stim no longer only heals, but also gives you a slight speed boost. This is all great to see, and in addition Decoy grenades get rubber bullets that do at least some damage...so maybe someone will use them.

Gasmasks & Explosive Cannisters

Gas Masks no longer interrupt as many actions on Caldera. This means that putting on or taking off the mask no longer interrupts reloading animations, reloading armor plates, or the like. In addition, gas masks now offer little protection against Explosive Canisters - a new item on Caldera. These canisters can be picked up, lit, and thrown. They can also explode by simply shooting them.

Caldera wasser
There is significantly more water on Caldera than there was in Verdansk. | © Activision

Shallow Water

Unfortunately, we can't swim on Caldera either, as Raven Software seem to be too lazy to even consider such a thing. However, there are several places with so-called shallow water that we can cross. Water has several advantages: when walking through water, footprints are harder to see, even with the Tracker Perk. In addition, if you duck into the water, you get the effects of Cold Blooded, so you're no longer visible by thermal sights. However, lying down in the water is not possible. And a nice touch is included here, fire equipment generates smoke when it hits water.

Contracts & Public Events

Of course, there are also new contracts and public events in Caldera. The supply drop contract, for example, drops a box with a special loot somewhere on the map, but the position of the box is only displayed to the squad with the active contract. Big Game Bounty, on the other hand, marks the player with the most kills, while the Top Secret Contract always has a surprise in store. The task is only disclosed when the contract is activated, and the reward for the contract is always better than with normal contracts.

The public events include Restock and Resurgence, which we both already know from Rebirth Island. The cash drops known from Operation Flashback will also be introduced. There will also be an unspecified public event in which weapon boxes will spawn on the map, which should contain certain blueprints. Sounds very exciting in any case, I mean, who doesn't want to secure a few blueprints without having to pay for them?

RICOCHET Anti-Cheat Engine Launches

RICOCHET ANTI CHEAT Warzone
The new RICOCHET Anti-Cheat will hopefully clean up Warzone properly. | © Activision

Finally! Season 1 finally brings the long-awaited RICOCHET Anti-Cheat, with Kernel Driver, to Warzone. The anti-cheat is required for all PC Players from the Season One Update onwards, in order to be able to play Warzone. The Kernel Driver will alter also become mandatory in Vanguard.

This new anti-cheat system should make it much easier to identify and ban cheaters. The kernel-level driver can detect suspicious programs right on the player's PC. We are curious to see if RICOCHET can solve Warzone's huge cheating problem, but we are relatively confident that it will at least reduce the number of hackers.

When Does the New Warzone Caldera Map Launch?

Caldera Ticket
The Aeroplane Ticket to Caldera is a very nice idea! | © Activision

As you can see on the ticket obtained via the Call of Duty Twitter Account, Caldera will be available on December 8 from 09:00 PST (12:00 ET, 17:00 GMT, 18:00 CEST). One thing must be noted here, though: December 8 is only valid for owners of Vanguard as the start date of the new map. Players who do not own CoD: Vanguard (lucky them!) will have to wait another 24 hours, and can then land on Caldera on December 9. In the meantime, only Rebirth Island will be available to those players.

Are you hyped for Caldera? What do you think of the new features and gameplay changes? We will, of course, keep you up to date on everything regarding Warzone, Vanguard, and especially Caldera.

This article was originally written by Lukas Ballat.