Imagine that you’re one of two remaining players in a Call of Duty: Warzone match. You’ve outlasted 148 other people through sheer wits and only one remains. The circle shrinks to a tiny battlefield, but the last foe is nowhere to be found. Confused, you search for them as the circle shrinks to nothing. You suffocate in the toxic gas and die the loser. Where’s the winner? Relaxing on a rooftop miles away in the gas, laughing at your demise while injecting themselves with drugs.
Activision, it’s time to remove the stim.
The infinite stim glitch has become Warzone’s most notorious exploit. If done correctly, players can take advantage of the fast-healing stim tool to reuse it repeatedly and never take enough damage to die outside the circle. It’s a nasty trick to fall victim to. Jerks using traditional cheats like aimbots or wallhacks can at least be outsmarted by good players, but there’s no recourse against the stim glitch.
The worst part? The stim glitch has been “fixed” on four separate occasions since its first appearance in October 2020. A new patch this week claimed to fix the latest version of the glitch and, yet, some are already claiming it’s still possible. To Warzone players, this is hardly a surprise. Like a leaky faucet that the landlord keeps promising to fix, the stim glitch has become something we simply live with.
Except, we really don’t have to. It’s not a stretch to assume that Raven Software (or whoever is behind the Warzone wheel in 2021), could remove the stim gadget itself and effectively kill the glitch forever. It’s a bold move, but the stim has never been an integral part of Warzone. Health already restores automatically in Call of Duty and the stim just speeds it up.
There’s precedent for it, too. When Warzone’s new gun-mounted choppers were turning players invisible back in December, the aircraft was swiftly disabled.
In fact, removing (or “vaulting”) problematic items has been normalized in recent years. When Fortnite’s overpowered Infinity Blade completely wrecked the game’s balance in 2018, Epic didn’t hesitate to vault it. Rainbow Six Siege players are deeply familiar with balance-breaking bugs, too. Back in 2019, Ubisoft disabled an operator (that people paid actual money for!) to thwart an exploit that made her unstoppable. When it cropped back up in 2020, Ubi did it again.
That’s just the way this stuff works in 2021. We’re talking about gigantic games that are constantly being reworked. Bugs are part of the deal, as far as I’m concerned. But when a single exploit can completely ruin Warzone for days at a time, its caretakers should have a better grip on damage control. If it were Epic or Ubisoft, either would’ve probably dragged the stim into the recycle bin months ago. Warzone’s stim doesn’t have to leave forever, but until it’s not an instrument of evil, I can live without it.