When Call of Duty: Modern Warfare players finish downloading the newest 30-plus gigabyte update, they may be in for a rude awakening: The Grau 5.56, a popular and versatile assault rifle that proved so useful in the open world of Verdansk, has been nerfed.
Maybe that's not such a bad thing, though. Here's why the nerf for the Grau isn't cause for a complete meltdown.
What happened? — On Tuesday at 3 a.m. Eastern, Infinity Ward released a 22-36 gigabyte (depending on your platform) update for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. The update brought some big changes to Modern Warfare, most notably the addition of a 200-player Warzone. With an additional 50 players, players will have to think harder and shoot better if they want to survive.
Players entering the Gulag will also come armed semi-auto rifles, snipers, and a loadout with nothing but fists and a single throwing knife.
The update also implemented a number of weapon balances. Overall, this means some weapons have increased or decreased attributes. Some weapons also had known glitches that are now fixed.
The tweaks that have fans in a tizzy are changes made to the Grau 5.56, easily one of the most popular weapons in the game. Changes to the MP5 submachine gun are also causing fans to post GIFs and meme videos on Twitter.
Here's the exact changes Infinity Ward made to the two weapons:
- Damage range reduction
- Slight increase to high frequency recoil
- Reduced recoil compensation and decreased range on Tempus 26.4” Archangel and FSS 20.8” Nexus barrels
- Decreased damage range
- Decreased 10MM damage range
- Reduced long range damage to 10MM ammo
- Slight recoil increase to 10MM ammo
Why fans love(d) the Grau — Loosely based on the Soviet rifle, the Grau was popular because it could deal heavy damage long-distance, with minimal recoil. This meant it was really, really easy to use in the heat of battle.
The Grau was ideal in Warzone, where spotting and picking off enemies at a long distance is pretty much the only way to survive. Plenty of Modern Warfare streamers and YouTubers favored the Grau, and a lot of players put in time and energy into obtaining the gun's various camouflage skins.
The MP5 was similarly popular for its hip-fire accuracy (meaning players didn't need to bother aiming down sights) and rapid rate of fire. The MP5 is a popular weapon in both multiplayer and Warzone as a secondary weapon when battles get closer and more personal.
What the changes mean — Unfortunately for hardcore Call of Duty players, the updates means a new weapons tier list yet to be determined and an immediate rethinking of loadouts and adoption of new strategies. If you've not experimented or practiced enough with alternative options, like the M4A1 or the RAM 7, now is the time. (Wouldn't it be great if Infinity Ward added a shooting range to test out guns and experiment with attachments?)
The Inverse Analysis — Truthfully, the changes to the Grau and the MP5 aren't such a bad thing. Most players may not even notice a difference. And while players who have spent plenty of time obtaining Obsidian camo (or still in the thick of that pursuit) may be irked, the changes only encourage players to diversify loadouts. It will also ensure players don't all use the Grau, which means match ups won't all play and feel the same way. Variety is the spice of life, and Infinity Ward just threw some paprika into players' stews.
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is available now.