Warzone Pacific Season 3 has gone live with some major changes, both to the Island of Caldera itself as well as the highly contested weapon meta. However, among all the expected tweaks and slight adjustments to certain problem weapons, the most significant changes seems to have hit the Sniper Rifles.
These weapons have been an almost permanent place in the best loadouts for some time now, especially two specific monsters in the form of the Kar98k and the Swiss. But, with a sledgehammer-sized dent made into this gun type, it’s entirely possible these guns may have seen their reign come to an end. Let’s explore the changes, and the community reaction.
Let's start with what exactly happened. It starts in the official patch notes for Season 3 of Warzone Pacific. In its own dedicated section, the post explains that, with the health increase to all players the ability for sniper rifles to get one-shot-kills pushed it above and beyond any other weapon type, and “diluted the Sniper class into one important metric, speed to click heads.”
It continues: “Snipers may now use damage ranges as a defining characteristic of their one-shot potential. This not only brings more identity to each weapon but means Attachments that provide the lighter and quicker sniper rifles the Damage Range stat will increase their ability to one shot at increased distances.”
As such, Snipers are now split into three categories: snipers that only get one-shot-kills in their effective range, snipers that get one-shot-kills at any range, and snipers that can’t one-shot people at all. What’s worth noting is the aforementioned Kar98k and Swiss fall into that first category. What a scandal - they aren’t cross-map demons anymore.
This is the first time since the Sniper Rifle rework back in Verdansk that these Snipers have undergone major meta-shifting developments. Back then, it was ADS time that got a major touch up which arguably led to weapons like the Kar98k and Swiss landing in their uncontested top spots in the first place. That was around a year ago, so you can start to imagine just how long these guns have been must-haves!
Now, it’s worth noting that even with these changes the Kar98k and Swiss are still great guns in their effective ranges. All the qualities that make them powerful - and popular - remain largely intact. What this does do, if not take away too much from the top tier snipers, is provide a tasty buff to some underused weapons. Enter the Gorenko Anti-Tank Rifle.
The Gorenko is one example of a sniper that doesn’t get a lot of love. Looking at WZRanked, a hugely popular resource for checking weapon builds and popularity across the community, it currently has a 0.13 pick rate in loadouts, compared to the 4.44% for the Kar and 2.99% for the Swiss. It is, in colloquial terms, scuffed. It’s a hefty weapon with a few blemishes here and there, but now it has an overwhelming benefit many other Snipers don't. It's a one-shot machine, any range, any time, any place. With the right loadout, who knows? It could be the next big thing.
It’s not alone either - it’s joined by the M82, HDR, ZRG 20mm, and the 30Line Rifle. With this in mind, let’s take a gander at the official Reddit to see what the community is thinking. Well, on one hand, there’s a portion of players who aren’t happy at all. In a post titled ‘Look How they Massacred My Boy’, user RedIron42 expresses their displeasure with the change.
“Absolutely bonkers, snipers were the only gun capable of even coming close to competing with the insanely accurate ARs, which have been dominating almost all ranges since warzones release. This might be the only game in the entire world, where a sniper shot to head just hurts? It tickles? And for what?”
They continue: “My Swiss's balls are gone, its nutless. Now the only snipers that can one shot are way too slow to be used meaningfully in almost all fights. Any fight within 250m at least, and ARs will still easily hit you. The slow nature of aiming with those snipers, and the flinch from getting hit now, you don't stand a chance.”
While this certainly represents the negative perspective with extensive gusto, it’s not the whole story. Elsewhere on Reddit some are looking at the change with an open mind - not because a Kar98k has just blown their face off - but because of what it could mean for loadout diversity. User FentoonskiFTW writes: “It makes sense to me, if everything was unchanged everyone will still only pick kar or swiss. I rarely saw other snipers used. The kar has been too good for way too long and it feels stale”.
This is supported by another user by the name of BitterProgress, who adds: “The idea that snipers as snappy, mobile and easy to use as the kar and Swiss should be able to one shot at any range was insane. If snipers have to one shot - they should have drawbacks to compensate for that such as being slow and heavy.”
So we’ve looked at the changes, and the perspective of the masses, but what of the chads? The Warzone streamers and professional players whose livelihood comes from their expertise and knowledge of this hectic battle royale?
Youtuber and numbers guy JGOD has taken their own look at the patch notes, and had some interesting thoughts on the update that you can watch below. Near the end of the video, he pulls up a graph showing how many headshots it’ll take to kill other players with each sniper. He notes that on Caldera, most players will be using one of the new weapons with infinite range one-shot potential.They also point to the HDR and ZRG as good options going forward.
As it stands, we’ve ventured into unmapped waters with Season 3 of Warzone Pacific. Whether this will lead to gigantic changes to the meta remains to be seen, but it absolutely looks like it’s going to mix things up quite a bit! Are you excited to finally dust off some of those scuffed sniper rifles? Or are you currently in the process of taking your trusty Kar98k out back to start that rabbit farm you’ve always dreamed of? Let us know below!
If you’re keen for more Warzone content surrounding season 3, check out our recap of the map changes here, as well as our Warzone season 3 meta loadouts (which still have the Kar98k and Swiss on it, I’ll get to that soon I promise).