Developers dropping the ball on the balance of an in-game item is hardly rare, and rarely hard to fix - these minor issues also do not typically throw an entire experience to whack. As such it's understandable that the developers in such a case might even make light of the situation with a little easter egg - Treyarch has done just that amid complaints about Call of Duty: Vanguard's Ray Gun in Zombies.
The Ray Gun is an iconic element of the undead apocalypse subline of Treyarch's CoD games that has been running for some time now. While Vanguard's take on Zombies was something of a reboot, some things are here to stay.
Wiping shambling hordes away with a few colorful discharges, mercilessly (mercifully?) returning dead flesh to the grave, the Ray Gun was a ray of hope for Zombies players, and truly deserving of the wonder weapon status. It wasn't present in the latest iteration of Zombies at launch, but after months, Treyarch has finally added it to the game.
Alas, things turned out a little less peachy than eager fans had anticipated. The Vanguard version of the Ray Gun is rather underpowered, with regular weak enemies tanking multiple hits and no discernible advantage being granted at all when fighting tougher zombies. The fans were, understandably, unhappy.
We’re planning on increasing the Ray Gun’s effectiveness in an upcoming #Vanguard Zombies update. Stay tuned!
— Treyarch Studios (@Treyarch) February 14, 2022
Luckily the complaints of the player base hit home, and Treyarch has already announced that fixes are on the way. Since this ought to be a fairly easy problem to fix, with just some balance tweaks needed to buff up the Ray Gun, we anticipate that those fixes will arrive sooner rather than later.
As we wait for actual balance tweaks, it seems like some cheeky developers at Treyarch decided to enshrine this classic blunder with an in-game easter egg. Recently discovered in the Terra Maledicta map following the official Tweet from the devs, it can only be a reference to the entire balance problem.
There is a location along the Merchant Road in Terra Maledicta where players will be met by a context prompt labeled "Dig". Interacting with this location will result in a glowing Ray Gun rising from the sands, fooling gullible players that they got their hands on a free wonder weapon - or possibly even a buffed up "true" Ray Gun.
Just as quickly, your hopes will be dashed, as the floating, glowing Ray Gun will disappear and a smaller throng of zombies will immediately spawn right behind you, intent on ruining your day. Of course, mowing them down with a proper Ray Gun would be trivial.
Hopefully we'll see those balance fixes implemented soon.