Mercenaries of Fortune will be another season of change for Call of Duty®: Vanguard and WarzoneTM in an already action-packed year.
Once again, all of Warzone’s studios contributed greatly to this update, set to go live on June 22 at 9 AM.
Among them, we want to highlight High Moon Studios, who contributed to every console and PC Call of Duty® release since 2013, and most recently aided in Caldera’s creation and upkeep. For this year of Warzone, they were given a key assignment:
“Our goal was to create a new ‘Rebirth Island’ sized map that featured Resurgence gameplay and provided diverse new locations to battle it out in,” said Matt Krystek, Creative Director at High Moon Studios. “We wanted to create an island that had a timeless feel that was as fun to explore as it was to shoot in.”
To kick off this new season, the studio’s map — Fortune’s Keep — will be in Warzone as the featured Resurgence experience, splitting time with Rebirth Island to give tactically minded Operators a new battleground to discover and master.
There will also be significant changes to Caldera: a reduction in foliage and visibility improvements, a reintroduction of a memorable point of interest in Storage Town, other point of interest updates, and several new items, including the return of keycards for new bunkers.
A Grand Tour of Fortune’s Keep
Nobody spoke of an alleged mercenary hideout in the Mediterranean — most likely because they ended up captured or dead. But with recent intelligence, our Operators uncovered the lavish Fortune’s Keep, a smuggler’s paradise complete with a medieval barracks of historical interest, a massive winery, and a bustling yet quaint village by the sea.
“Fortune’s Keep is a completely original map inspired by real world locations in the Mediterranean,” Krystek explained. “We wanted this map to be timeless and feel like it could be a real location that you could visit. Narratively, there is also some great contrast in having an area that was once used to fight against pirates now taken over by a group of mercs and smugglers.”
The island is about the size of Rebirth Island and is suitable for lobbies of up to 40 players in Resurgence. Outside of fellow and hostile Operators, there are other threats to face on the island, such as mercenaries who occasionally attempt to extract Gold.
Although the map breaks down further notable landmarks and areas, there are four main point-of-interest sectors: the Town, Smuggler’s Cove, the Keep, and the Winery.
The first main point of interest, working from west to east, is the coastal Town.
This densely packed community has it all: an old fortress bell tower, apartments with a bright and open aesthetic, bars, restaurants, a pier, a gazebo (nonhostile), and a mysterious graveyard…
Cobblestone alleyways and long-abandoned stairwells make for tight close-quarters battle (CQB) situations.
Swift and precise movement could separate elite players from the pack here, as it’s possible to parkour across rooftops and into windows, and take some mind-bending routes around the area to avoid the circle collapse or surprise a squad from different angles.
However, taking a trip on the rooftops means potential exposure to long-range weaponry: be mindful of long sightlines well above sea level, as well as around the gazebo and in the Graveyard.
Once the site of many a cannon-heavy sea battle, Smuggler’s Cove upholds its reputation for stockpiling illegally sourced cargo within deep Sea Caves. This entire area is where you’ll find a breathtaking grotto, collection of humble fishing shacks, a pirate Radio Station on the bluffs, and caches still rumored to be scattered around the shore…
From above the sea level — whether from the infiltration plane, Resurgence hold, or the Keep and Winery areas — Operators can choose to drop through several cavernous holes that lead straight down to the Sea Caves. Alternatively, they can pilot a helicopter through them or just enter the hollow tunnels from the bay and shoreline.
The most secluded of the four main points of interest, Smuggler’s Cove is where you can sacrifice mobility for more secluded routes around enemies and away from the circle collapse.
Outside of the cove itself, the caves have numerous two-dimensional routes, with the only big verticality areas being obvious holes in the map and a Lighthouse toward the Winery. That nautical tower is a potential counterplay position against enemies to the north; otherwise it is great for stocking up on items before rotating east.
This area is designed to have plenty of guaranteed Gas Mask placements and clear arrows displaying the nearest exit… But it also has the highest density of explosive gas canisters and an Occupation Scan device in the Radio Station, which can draw attention just as much as it outlines enemies.
Fortune’s Keep takes its name from this medieval monolith of a landmark.
Built centuries ago, the map’s largest point of interest is a glorious hotbed for gold and trouble. From ambushes in the grand banquet hall to parapets of ramparts and lofty watchtowers, a squad that controls the Keep could easily control the match — that is, if the circle collapse doesn’t roll over it and all challengers to the castle are quelled.
Sometimes, the best way into the Keep is through the front door, but most likely, squads will want to find smuggler’s passageways between its buildings and from other points of interest.
These tunnels, in addition to most buildings, are suitable spaces for close-quarters weaponry. Everywhere else, including the spacious halls and the rooftops, are prime locations for mid- to long-range weapons.
Like any great winery, the easternmost point of interest is one of the least structure-dense areas, opening up the natural island so that the Grenache grapes can root in the Mediterranean soil.
Of course, this wine business is a front for nefarious activity — the open cellar is stockpiled with loot, and that is just what can be found in plain sight. The rest of this area includes the north bay and a military camp to the island’s eastern border.
This area is the only one with access to two separate redeploy balloon options, along with multiple places to set up shop for sniping: the bell tower, rooftops, and the fermentation building. At a developer level, High Moon noted that the Winery complex mostly follows the “three-lane style” traditional level design: several large structures interconnected with hallways and a central courtyard.
It may be the tannins talking, but the Winery gets the best reputation for folklore and rumors, even if the other three areas have their own quirks. Before the Winery’s…uninvited tenants took it over, it was tradition for farmers and winery workers to toss a coin into the fountain at the start of growing season, hoping it would bring them a successful harvest.
And we don’t think we’ll have to worry about whispers of the cellar being haunted…yet.
Fortune’s Keep Black Market Supply Run and Cash Extraction Event
This new map is built for fast-paced, Resurgence gameplay. Outside of being a completely new playspace, Fortune’s Keep features two new key additions to Warzone: the Black Market Supply Run Contact and the Cash Extraction event.
A lucrative yet chancy Contract that mixes a Supply Run with a Supply Drop, the Black Market Supply Run brings the mercenary’s powerful black-and-gold Buy Station into Fortune’s Keep.
Meant for mid to late game, this Contract will drop a Black Market Buy Station somewhere on the map after it is accepted. On their map, Operators must look for a yellow circle over an infinite-snake marker that shrinks as they get closer to the store’s location. The store also plays an audio cue that reveals its exact position.
After finding the store, the team who activated the Contract can exchange their Cash for one of many potentially tide-turning items. Afterward, any other squad on the map can use this Buy Station for a few minutes before it deactivates.
The least costly item, at a suggested starting in-game Cash price of $500 for Fortune’s Keep, is a Sequencer Grenade, which scrambles the enemy’s HUD and distorts audio like an EMP, as well as plays those infamous Numbers from that sleeper agent broadcast. Battle Hardened reduces the duration of these effects, and Stim injections immediately counter it.
Next are a collection of gold-plated [[REDACTED]] weapons — the only secret about them is that they are incredibly rare Weapon Blueprints. The Shotgun and Sniper Rifle cost less than the SMG, Assault Rifle, and Light Machine Gun, and all of them have their own uses around the island.
Last are three items that range from the mid-four to five figures: a Nebula V–loaded Minigun, the all-seeing Foresight, and a Specialist Bonus, which grants the Operator every Perk in Warzone. These do not come cheap, so either complete this Contract later in a match or pool together some Cash to get them.
Cash Extraction Event
Need Cash for that Black Market or for other reasons? The mercenaries occasionally perform a Cash Extraction, a public event that may happen multiple times during a standard Fortune’s Keep Resurgence.
When the event begins, the tac map will show a flashing gold circle and money bag icon. Simultaneously, a flare fires into the air to signal a helicopter that will rappel a black-and-gold bag down to the extraction site (similar to when a Contraband Contract happens). Near this bag, a squad of five agents — non-Operator mercenaries — will take up positions just before the drop.
Operators can eliminate these mercenaries and plunder the bag by interacting with it to get Cash, Ammo, Armor, and Equipment. However, be warned: these mercenaries have multiple reinforcement waves, and that’s on top of you not being the only Operator in the lobby who may want these rewards.
The event is over once the bag is completely empty, the helicopter is destroyed, or enough time has passed.
Raven Software is bringing back a memorable piece of Warzone history, in addition to clearing out some overgrown areas, adjusting over a dozen points of interest all over the island, and adding a new vehicle.
And that’s just the tip of the spear when it comes to other gameplay adjustments to be revealed in their patch notes.
Back and ready for war, Storage Town is located between the Mines, Airfield, Village, and Dig Site.
The lockers, water tower, and central buildings are similar to how they were in the past (or, canonically, the future). However, because it is built on the side of a hill, this version of Storage Town offers solid sightlines to adjacent areas, rather than being caught between a massive swimming pool structure and other high ground.
Use the nearby hill to get a jump start across the rooftops, and dig through every last open container to find Supply Boxes and other items.
The two auxiliary buildings have their own lines of sight over the complex and nearby areas, with a Buy Station able to potentially spawn near the one closer to the Airfield.
Armored SUV (In-Season)
Need a boost?
The newest vehicle in Warzone is a four-passenger Armored SUV, with available means of defense for all squadmates inside or out.
In addition to two other passengers in the vehicle, the Armored SUV has a turret seat where one Operator can climb aboard to use a Heavy Machine Gun. This is extremely effective against other vehicles, although the Operator using it will be at risk to incoming fire moreso than their fellow passengers.
The vehicle’s driver, meanwhile, has access to a Nitro Boost. This gives this vehicle an immediate acceleration boost, great for clearing gaps, escaping trouble, or full sending into an engagement.
Caldera’s lush jungles and expansive foliage is being cleared out as Operators rush to uncover what mercenaries hid on the island.
Expect cleared sightlines across numerous areas on the island, partially due to small camps cropping up from outside the Resort to the Runway. Specifically, here are the most major changes:
The seven main bunkers on Caldera are now controlled by the Mercenaries – to access them, you need a Key Card.
Long-serving Operators know that Key Cards are rare drops out of Supply Boxes, Contracts, or even enemy Operators who found them during their mission. A Key Card is bound to the Operator who picks it up and can only be used once on any of the seven bunkers.
Once used, the bunker will open to reveal a lion’s share of riches: Gold, Weapons, Equipment, and more. Get you and the squad in here and out quick, because there could be other squads trying to ambush and take the spoils of the Warzone for themselves…
Scaffolding and bridges can be found at the Capital, linking together the busy central district that contains the Fire Station and apartment complexes by their rooftops.
The Dig Site will no longer have skulls and bones after a successful excavation, eliminating multiple cover points in this sunken area.
A drydock in the Arsenal now holds a ship — explore it for items, Supply Boxes, and potential CQB engagements.
New staircases and slight alterations to the Peak’s summit make it easier to maneuver around the area…
…and that’s just one change coming to Peak: look for a new industrial area north of the Peak as a great place to stock up on supplies
There is also a new military camp that takes up the open space above the tunnel east of the Summit…
…and some deforestation along with green military tents at the Gondola Station. There is also a new steplike incline from a dried-out riverbed, spanning from the Gondola up to the Peak, as well as a similar staircase-like rock outcropping leading up to the main station from points northwest.
That is not the only river that dried up: look to the foothills southeast of Peak to see one of the major bodies of water completely evaporated and dammed up.
The shallow water near the Docks has receded, making this area easier to run through.
Other bodies of water that will disappear include the pool atop the cliff bridge in the massive Fields overlooking the Capital. The farmland below this bridge is also dried out due to the unexpected heat wave.
Don’t expect any more quick dips near the Radio Station and Factory either — the rivers are dried up here, offering dry steps to take cover on.
One final area where the drought will hit hard is the Village. Its main river will be completely dried up, giving Operators the chance to explore its riverbed for items.
Not all water is gone from Caldera — look for shallow pools instead of a river at the north and south ends of the Mines.
These cover a good chunk of changes coming to Caldera, but there are still more to explore with this update. See where you can find a new Logging Station, as well as other minor area updates, while exploring this new version of the map.
Top Ten Tips from the Developers
Although we know our way around a good Warzone lobby and keep our own “meta loadout” documents for after-work sessions, uncharted territory calls for High Moon and Raven Software developers to help us craft these tips:
1. Fortune Favors the Curious. From knowing the tale of the farmer’s fountain to leaving no (grave)stone unturned, Fortune’s Keep is loaded with secrets. Notice where enemy Operators are trying to pull off unusual stunts, and investigate your surroundings often.
2. Golden Opportunities. Mercenaries left piles of gold in plain sight around Fortune’s Keep. Check the Banquet Table in Keep, the Winery’s Cellar, the Graveyard, the Town Docks, and other areas to potentially find some stacks.
3. Keep Out. Operators will want to defend the Keep from the fortress’s walls. Use Redeploy Balloons at the Grotto or on the coastal path from the Town to fly over the parapets and jump right into the action.
4. Fancy Footwork. The Town is a prime spot for learning parkour and jump spot strategies — notice small gaps between buildings, as well as objects like umbrellas and signs, to find new ways in, on top of, and around this bustling point of interest.
5. Wind Down at the Winery. High Moon developers suggested that the island’s eastern section is the least complex of the new point of interest. Newer players, or those looking to start slow but strong during a Resurgence game, may want to set their drop point near here.
6. See You at the Crossroads. A high-traffic area of the map is a four-way intersection between the Winery, Camp, Lighthouse, and Keep. It’s central to traversing the map quickly, but offers little cover and is highly visible, making it a risky route across multiple points of interest.
7. Escape Smuggler’s Cove. Especially during circle collapses, Operators can get easily trapped within Smuggler’s Cove and its intricate tunnel system. Use arrows painted on the cave walls to find the nearest exit, and be sure to pick up those free Gas Masks lying around.
8. Get Cash Before Visiting the Market. The Black Market Supply Run Contract offers a potentially game-changing strategy that only gets more lucrative with more Cash. Complete the Cash Extraction event and other contracts, or explore Fortune’s Keep to stack up those gold reserves before taking on this new Contract.
9. Same Storage, New Tricks. Storage Town’s new location in Caldera makes it a prime position for sniping adjacent areas such as the Airfield. Use your past knowledge of this fan-favorite area to scavenge for items; then take to the nearby cliffs or warehouse buildings to wrest control of this area.
10. You Got Boost Power! The Armored SUV’s most powerful weapon might be its turbo boost — use it to get out of open areas, escape intense engagements, or make long jumps to create shortcuts across Caldera.