A Fireside Chat with Michael Condrey – Advanced Warfare's New Weapons, XP Bonus for Gear Sets, The Console Transition, and You

By SHG_Hammerman
June 22, 2015


It’s hard to believe that over 7 months have passed since the release of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare.  A lot of exciting things have been happening, and our fireside chats are great opportunities to connect with fans. We have a lot more in store for you in the coming weeks and months ahead, and I’d like to take today to discuss some of the newest additions to our game, including XP Bonus for Gear Sets and Royalty Weapon Variants.


Beginning June 23rd, players with complete matching gear sets will be awarded an in-game XP Bonus. We heard from you that new ways to earn XP Bonus were important to the way that you level up and prestige, and we also heard that building complete character gear sets was equally important. This new feature delivers on both. For more information on XP Bonus for Gear Sets, read the complete blog here.


In May, we rolled out the first set of 10 Royalty Elite Variants to Xbox One, and those weapon variants launched last week on PS4 and PC. For more information, check out the blog here. After extensive testing, we decided to take a conservative approach to our first 10 Royalty Elite Variants. We walk a razor thin line between interesting variants and global gun balance being maintained in an effort to not create any super over powered weapons. We continue to balance many of the weapons in the game, and there are a number of highly competitive weapons for players to choose for their play style. For the first round of 10 weapons, we needed to make sure that these changes wouldn’t upset the weapon ecosystem. We strategically chose to buff the ammo supply stat as the key change for these weapon variants. The extra ammo stat doesn’t give a material advantage to these weapons, but provides an option to run without the scavenger perk. In addition, the purple gunmetal camo makes them some of the most desirable looking weapons in the game. We feel confident that these give meaningful choices to players, but do not unbalance the game. Future releases of Royalty Variants will include stat changes as well, and our approach will be very similar – new weapons available through Supply Drops and Advanced Supply Drops that are well balanced against other popular weapon choices in the game.  The next batch of Royalty Elite Variants featuring increased reload speed will launch tomorrow, June 23 on Xbox One, and will be coming soon to PS4 and PC.


We mentioned that both the SAC3 non-akimbo weapon variants and the new Royalty elite variants were coming out on Xbox One, PS4, and PC. Many of you have asked about them coming to prior gen consoles. Since launch, we’ve been committed to delivering a seamless experience between the two console generations and PC. We have hit a hard memory limit on last generation consoles. This memory limit prevents us from adding more weapons to those platforms. We don’t like it any more than you, because we care about Advanced Warfare players on all platforms, but it's a limitation that is outside of our control. People far smarter than I spend a lot of energy trying to solve this hard development limit, and we simply can’t deliver new content at the rate we’re currently producing it for next generation devices (Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC). Delivering a true next generation experience has always been our focus, and at times it forces us to make difficult decisions between the two console generations. However, please note that this will not affect the DLC Season, and we’re planning to release DLC4 for all consoles later this year.


Our team is dedicated to providing you with the best experience possible, fun and new ways to play Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, and we’re always listening. I value these opportunities to give you more context around the decisions we make at the ground level in development. We’re glued to social channels, so be sure to drop us a line on Reddit, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, etc. if there are other meaningful topics you’d like addressed. We’re in this together, and we’re committed to making it fun for the entire community.


Thanks so much for your time. I hope to hear from you, and we'll see you online.




Studio Head & Co-Founder of Sledgehammer Games



* The hard memory limit that had previously affected weapons coming to last generation platforms, will now limit gear coming to Xbox 360 and PS3. As of 9/29/2015, all new gear will be available first on Xbox One and will be available shortly after on PS4 and PC.