During the week of August 1, 2022, “Verdansk” began trending on Twitter as an influx of players and influencers like ModernWarzone pleaded with Activision to bring back the beloved Call of Duty: Warzone map. Caldera, the map that replaced Verdansk in 2021 failed to resonate with players, even after numerous improvements and updates.
— ModernWarzone (@ModernWarzone) August 4, 2022
As we approach the release of Call of Duty Warzone 2.0, a brand new game expected to launch in 2022, many are nostalgic for the first game’s original map. It’s unclear if Verdansk will be featured — at least in some fashion — in the new game, but players have expressed interest in seeing it one last time at the end of Call of Duty: Warzone’s life cycle. But why are fans so eager for Verdansk to return?
So far, we have not heard anything about Verdansk returning in Call of Duty: Warzone Season 5 despite pleas from fans. While it’s unlikely Verdansk will return to Warzone in a traditional 120-player battle royale mode, its return could work as a scripted limited-time event. Unsurprisingly, Activision hasn’t responded to the community’s requests yet as it’s focused on the development of Call of Duty Warzone 2.0 and maintaining Call of Duty: Warzone’s current maps: Caldera, Rebirth Island, and Fortune’s Keep.
As popular YouTuber JGOD says, it “would probably be impossible for Verdansk to come back unless [Activision has] been secretly working on it like they were with Fortune’s Keep.” Still, this hasn’t stopped the community from tweeting about it.
BRING BACK VERDANSK FOR SEASON 5
— Isaac (@IceManIsaac) July 31, 2022
Sure, Verdansk had its flaws, but it’s widely preferred over Caldera. Funnily enough, after a year or so of Verdansk, players complained about it, asking Raven to add a new map. We didn’t know how good we had it then. In many ways, nostalgia has a lot to do with it, but when it comes to design, it’s easy to see why Verdansk is so beloved.
One thing it had going for it was the sheer amount of variety in its points of interest (POIs). It had a densely packed downtown area, lots of apartment buildings, a carnival, a moving train, and the beloved Storage Town section. I long for the days of “hot dropping” at Superstore, a large grocery store POI full of little details that gave it personality. While Caldera certainly has a more vibrant color palette than Verdansk, it lacks a lot of variety from a design perspective, with fewer interesting areas throughout.
Verdansk also had a slew of little areas that felt like they had a story tied to them — they felt lived-in. For instance, the crashed plane in the field on the north side of the map, or even the airport, which had a giant hole in the runway, leading to an underground area. This all helped the city feel like a living, breathing world. Caldera has — on occasion — implemented similar ideas, but overall, the map still feels soulless at times with fewer memorable areas.
honestly bring back verdansk please
— marshmello (@marshmello) August 1, 2022
The biggest issue with Caldera is how its POIs are arranged. In the center is a tall mountain called Peak, which is a hotspot. The rest of the interesting POIs like Docks, Capital, and Arsenal, are mostly found on the outskirts of the map, with lots of emptiness in between. This makes the middle to late portions of a match feel like a slog since most players will be pushed to these empty areas while attempting to move towards cover. You’re practically a sitting duck as you make your way through the barren stretches of land. And even if you don’t get taken out before you reach safety, the trek through these areas is often uninteresting.
Playing on Verdansk had less downtime thanks to its design. It wasn’t perfect, but the sections between major POIs usually were usually littered with cover, making it more interesting and easier to get from point A to point B.
A lot of players took to Twitter to express interest in playing on Verdansk again, saying it would bring them back to the game. While Call of Duty isn’t in any danger in terms of its player base, the franchise has lost over 50 million users since March 2021, so the reintroduction of the beloved map might be lucrative for Activision.
Only time will tell if Verdansk will make its return, but given the franchise’s history and knack for nostalgia, we wouldn’t be surprised to see the map again someday. Hopefully, Activision can make it happen in Call of Duty: Warzone 2.0.
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