Warzone 2.0’s DMZ extraction mode has been one of the most popular parts of the battle royale sequel, but a controversial upcoming change has some players wondering if they’ll stick around. Infinity Ward recently revealed that player progress will be wiped when Season 2 goes live next month, eliciting more than a few groans and head scratches from some of the mode’s biggest fans.
DMZ has players face off against both one another and mini-armies of AI-controlled opponents as they race to collect loot before successfully reaching the extraction point and escaping to safety. It basically takes many of the ideas that made Escape from Tarkov a hit and adapts them for the feel and player expectations of a Call of Duty game. While still technically in beta and not without its flaws, DMZ has been a huge success overall. However, with season 2 going live on February 15, players are now preparing to face the mode’s first official reset.
“All-new missions are coming to Season 02 including a refresh of your current Faction mission progress and an inventory (Contraband and Keys) reset,” the Call of Duty studio noted toward the end of yesterday’s patch notes preview. “We will be detailing all the need-to-know intel for DMZ ahead of Season 02 in an upcoming blog.”
Players were immediately split, both on the precise meaning of these changes as well as their merit. Longtime extraction mode players saw it as part and parcel of the subgenre. Others, coming from the battle royale and Call of Duty side of the shooter ecosystem, appeared to be both shocked and unenthused. This lead to similar conversations playing out between players.
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“Why reset DMZ keys and contraband?” asked one player in the comments on Twitter. “So bad, I’m done playing DMZ. All the time I grinded was for nothing,” responded a second. A third weighed in, “Wipes are a part of almost every extraction shooter out there…it’s nothing new so don’t know why you expected DMZ to be different.”
While keys and contraband are already lost if you die during a round of DMZ before extraction, faction rank is something players grind out over the course of days and weeks. By completing specific in-match missions, they can increase their faction rank and unlock new rewards. The reset means that players who have yet to complete all current content before season 2 begins will lose out on being able to access those unlockables. It will also potentially force players to grind out tedious low-level faction quests all over again.
“Yea I don’t know why this is a thing, they should be building onto it and not resetting all my Tier 5 factions,” tweeted the Twitch streamer Marksman. “Doesn’t quite make sense, but I won’t be re-doing all the missions again, so prolly done with DMZ.”
In extraction shooters like Escape from Tarkov, players acquire all kinds of equipment and loot that sticks with them outside of individual matches. The result is that over a long enough period of time, some players will build up huge arsenals while others will be at a constant disadvantage. Occasional resets effectively wipe the slate clean and let everyone restart from an equal playing field.
Warzone 2’s DMZ mode, on the other hand, doesn’t greatly advantage longtime players over newcomers. Grinding faction rank will unlock extra gear slots, but isn’t the same as rolling into a match atop a small armory. It also seems that, while DMZ is still in beta, many players weren’t aware progress would be reset between seasons until now, leading to a mismatch in expectations, especially for players newer to the subgenre.
Of course, we don’t know exactly how all the changes heading into season 2 will pan out for DMZ. The patch notes themselves point to plenty of improvements. It’s possible the reset and new faction missions won’t feel that onerous in practice, either. Activision did not immediately respond to a request for comment to clarify the situation.
Update 1/31/23 2:28 p.m. ET: Infinity Ward wrote on Twitter today that players won’t have to grind for insured weapon slots again after Season 02's reset. However, that still leaves open the question of whether players will have to complete old challenges again.