Warzone 2's wiping DMZ progress and players don't quite know how to feel about it

warzone 2 dmz
(Image credit: Activision Blizzard)

Call of Duty is trying out something new with DMZ, and the reaction is all over the place. It's a server wipe of faction tiers (i.e. completed missions) and players' inventories, which is fairly common in this style of RPG-lite shooter but new to Call of Duty.

The official announcement kind of buries this under the news that new missions will be arriving in season two and optimistically calls the wipe "a refresh of your current Faction mission progress and an inventory (Contraband and Keys) reset." This comes alongside a major rebalancing of the mode's AI and an acknowledgement that the difficulty curve of the faction missions "was too aggressive for many players" and is being smoothed-out.

But it's the progress wipe that's caught the attention. There is nothing to start off your week like a CODbro sending an angry tweet about such changes saying "casual players are going to fucking lose it!"

Those filthy casuals, always losing it. Grizzviollent, meanwhile, somberly warns that "Infinity Ward's reputation may never recover from this decision." Some players were more precise about why this might be annoying. "To be clear, your plan for CoD Season 2 is to reset our DMZ faction mission progress, which means about 300-400 hours wasted by my friends and I to unlock a 2nd insured slot," writes Duke Skymocker. "This feels like a 'fool me once' situation. We're not grinding missions to unlock the same shit again."

It should be said, however, that it's always easy to find COD players complaining about something, and there's plenty of more reasoned reaction too: Not least because server wipes are common in games that are like DMZ, the most obvious example being Escape from Tarkov which resets everything roughly twice a year. It's always been clear that DMZ was modelled on the likes of Tarkov, and an attempt to make what's good about that game more accessible to more players. In Tarkov's case you have a somewhat more hardcore playerbase who tend to play it as their primary game though, and mostly welcome the opportunity to do it again but better (Tarkov also has a player hideout at its core which is fun to start over with, and DMZ has no equivalent).

Warzone does have a much broader appeal than Tarkov and so the consequences here are going to be more widespread and, arguably, will hit the players who aren't obsessives harder. I haven't completed the faction paths in DMZ, for example, but it is kind of annoying that what I have done will soon be gone.

Horses for courses. These games are huge time sinks and, if a group of players get invested, a decision like this loses an enormous amount of collective time. Some may well have the time to play games over and over again but others don't.

I can't speak for others, but the difference for me is that Tarkov wipes tend to re-ignite my interest, because the nature of that game makes repeat playthroughs different every time. Hearing this about DMZ doesn't quite pull me back in the same way, but then perhaps that's why it needs such an overhaul of missions and difficulties. Either way the wipe is coming February 15, so get ready for much wailing, gnashing of teeth, and Youtubers with aghast faces asking "Greedy Activision did WHAT?!?"

Rich Stanton

Rich is a games journalist with 15 years' experience, beginning his career on Edge magazine before working for a wide range of outlets, including Ars Technica, Eurogamer, GamesRadar+, Gamespot, the Guardian, IGN, the New Statesman, Polygon, and Vice. He was the editor of Kotaku UK, the UK arm of Kotaku, for three years before joining PC Gamer. He is the author of a Brief History of Video Games, a full history of the medium, which the Midwest Book Review described as "[a] must-read for serious minded game historians and curious video game connoisseurs alike."