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The month of September is here and any Call of Duty fan knows what that means: it’s beta time. Sledgehammer Games have confirmed beta testing will begin later this month, first starting on September 10 for PlayStation pre orders. This comes after the Vanguard multiplayer reveal on September 7.

Prior to that reveal, Sledgehammer gave details on what changes fans will see in the beta. Fans got a slight taste of multiplayer in the Champion Hill alpha and relayed some feedback to the developers. Sledgehammer already released an update during the alpha, addressing much of what the community called out in their feedback.

New changes coming to Vanguard open beta

First up, the developers took the community’s feedback extremely seriously. A number of bugs and other annoyances from the Champion Hill should be fixed when the beta launches in eight days.

Visual Updates

“Over the course of Alpha, we received a considerable amount of feedback regarding visibility,” read the announcement from Sledgehammer. “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 we turned up the lights.

Audio Tuning

  • 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 reduced.
  • Global MP mixing pass to improve informative audio for gameplay

Champion Hill Spawn Tuning 

“Throughout the Champion Hill Alpha, we observed spawn issues that resulted in players spawning very close to other players,” the blog reads. “To address this, the design team has adjusted the spawns on Champion Hill.”

  • We’ve tuned spawn locations and adjusted overall spawn logic. Hopefully, this should eliminate any more Angela & Dwight spawn scares.
  • We’ve done away with that one spawn in Courtyard that forced you to have 3 seconds of awkward eye contact with your opponent. You know the one.

Sledgehammer also revealed some changes that are “in the pipeline,” including nameplate visibility and aim assist through walls. These fixes should be ready when the full game launches on Nov. 5.

Content coming in the Vanguard open beta

There will be four maps, five modes and a number of weapons that players can level up to level 30 at the start of the Vanguard beta. There will also be three Combat Pacing modes, which are essentially new ways to play core multiplayer.

Call of Duty: Vanguard beta
Vanguard’s beta will run from September 10-20.

Maps

  • Champion Hill
  • Hotel Royal
  • Gavutu
  • Red Star
  • Eagle’s Nest (weekend 2)

Modes

Outside of Champion Hill – Vanguard will introduce another new game mode: Patrol. Based on Hardpoint, this objective-based mode features a scoring zone in near-constant motion; if Operators want to rack up points for their team, they need to move around the map within this Patrol point.

These modes are in addition to the classic offerings such as Team Deathmatch, Kill Confirmed, Domination and Search & Destroy. These are also the exact modes you can play alongside Patrol during the Beta period (Patrol and Search & Destroy to be available later in the Beta).

Available modes in Beta:

  • Champion Hill (Solos, Duos, Trios)
  • Team Deathmatch
  • Domination
  • Kill Confirmed
  • Patrol (Kicking off Saturday of Weekend 1)
  • Search and Destroy (Weekend 2)

Weapons

Champion Hill

  • Weapons are persistent through matches. There are ten upgrades per weapon, each adding one attachment.
  • There will be three rotating weapon sets, featuring 2 ARs, 2 LMGs, 2 snipers, 2 shotguns, and 2 pistols.

Core MP

  • For Core MP, you’ll be able to level up weapons to level 30.
  • PlayStation players will get +2 custom loadout slots (12 total, 10 for other platforms).

Features

Combat Pacing

Combat Pacing is a feature that allows players to select the intensity of their games. Player count is determined by map size to achieve the intensity described in the Combat Pacing System. Player counts will vary.

  • Tactical: These are the lobbies that franchise veterans know well. This is the experience that you’re used to with classic Call of Duty combat timing. Tactical Combat Pacing is always 6v6.
  • Assault: Balanced combat pacing that gives you enough room to breathe and a lot of targets to kill. In Beta Weekend 1, player counts will vary between 20-28 players.
  • Blitz: High-action lobbies where the intensity is cranked up to frenetic levels. Prepare for plenty of combat when choosing to join a Blitz. In Beta Weekend 1, player counts will vary between 28-48 players.

Operators (Each will have 1 finishing move)

  • Daniel Take Yatsu
  • Roland Zeimet
  • Lucas Riggs
  • Polina Petrova
  • Wade Jackson
  • Arthur Kingsley

Players can tune in to that stream on Call of Duty’s social media channels during the multiplayer reveal on Sept. 7. The beta starts the following Friday.


Joey Carr is a full-time writer for multiple esports and gaming websites. He has 6+ years of experience covering esports and traditional sporting events, including DreamHack Atlanta, Call of Duty Championships 2017, and Super Bowl 53.


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