Combat pacing has been advertised as a new core feature of Call of Duty: Vanguard's multiplayer package. However, many are confused as to how exactly the system works as well as how it plays into SBMM, or skill-based matchmaking. In this article, we'll tell you everything you need to know about Vanguard's combat pacing system.
In short, combat pacing is essentially the next generation of playlists for Call of Duty. For a long time, Call of Duty multiplayer has been split into different playlists that contain different maps, modes, and player counts.
Sometimes, you'll have playlists for more players on traditional 6v6 maps; sometimes you'll have a playlist of just remastered classic maps. But regardless of what the playlist is, it has an attached set of modes, maps, and players.
Combat pacing in Vanguard is a setting that will allow players to directly select how many players they want to play with in-game and thus adjust the intensity of the experience by way of four different modes: All, Tactical, Assault, and Blitz.
There's currently some contradictory information out there on just how many players will be in each mode, but Tactical will have the smallest player count; Assault will be in the middle; and Blitz will have large player counts. All will contain each of the different combat paces.
As the information currently stands, Tactical is likely the 6v6 mode; Assault is likely a traditional Ground War type mode with between 10 and 12 players on each team; and Blitz will have in the range of 20 to 24 players per team. Reports also suggest that depending on the map, player counts may be tweaked. So a certain map in Blitz may only have 18 players on each team, while another map may have the full 24 players on each team.
According to the developers of Vanguard, Blitz is designed to bring the intensity of Modern Warfare's shipment to every match, which is making many Call of Duty fans happy because of how efficiently they can rack up kills to earn camos in high player-count game modes.
Combat pacing isn't limited to specific maps, though, and all 16 6v6 maps Vanguard is set to launch with will fall under the umbrella of combat pacing. It's also important to remember these 16 core maps have been described by Sledgehammer as traditional 6v6 maps.
This is notable because of the large player-counts each map will support might suggest to some that the maps will be specifically designed for large-scale encounters, like Ground War in Modern Warfare. This is not the case, though it is likely that maps in Vanguard will be on the larger end of the size-scale of Call of Duty maps to make sure whatever mode is being played will feel appropriate.
Many have also suggested that combat pacing is being introduced to help ‘cancel out' SBMM in the game or at least to give players the option to play with a more gentle version of SBMM that will match them up against players of all skill levels.
This is not true in the sense that combat pacing is designed to do that or this is its intended goal; however, like the larger player-count matches of Warzone or Modern Warfare's Ground War, combat pacing will likely have an effect on SBMM.
The more players there are in a single match, the more difficult it is for the game to match you with someone it thinks is at your exact skill level. So, like in Warzone, lobbies will be created through SBMM but they will include more of a range of skill levels to compensate for the fact that there need to be more players in each match.
So, if you're interested in playing Call of Duty with the least amount of skill-based matchmaking, Vanguard's Blitz mode will be your best bet. This comes as good news for fans because many who like to go for high-kill games focus on larger player-count matches and often want a broad range of skill levels in their lobbies to keep the game feeling interesting and dynamic.