Expectations For Black Ops 4’s Mauer Der Toten Zombie Map
Another season, another round of Zombies content for players to enjoy. However, this time is different as the midseason content for Season 4 of Cold War is a new round-based Zombies map. While completely different from the outbreak mode that players were enjoying during Season 3 and the beginning of Season 4, players found themselves yearning for the classic Zombies mode to make a return. With only two maps so far and the next call of duty coming later this year, fans worry that this year of Zombies content lacks substance.
We don’t know much about Mauer Der Toten, and while only a small fragment of the map has been shown, all players have to go on is the fact that the map is going to take place in Berlin, Germany.
While players wait until the midseason turnover for Cold War, I want to go over some of my expectations for the game’s latest Zombies map. Using my veteran status as a CoD Zombies player, I think it’s possible to find out where Treyarch can up their game for the upcoming ground-based map.
What I Want For Mauer Der Toten
Cold War has changed up the Zombies formula drastically and for the better. The newest Zombies title focuses on the sense of building up your arsenal, letting players upgrade their weapons in two different states: Rarity and Pack-a-Punch level. Combined with the removed perk limit, both of these have players always doing something while playing the game. However, this doesn’t come without its own disadvantages. Losing your weapons and working your way back to where you were at a higher round now takes longer, based on how many of the two salvage currencies you have. This is rectified slightly by the box’s output on higher levels for rarity’s sake, although the function of the points system is where the game suffers the most.
In the original Zombies Mode, every bullet that hit a zombie gave the player 10 points. Meaning shooting a zombie with a full 30 round magazine would net them 300 points. Now, points are based on kills, as killing a zombie net the player 90 points, and 130 if they melee to finish them. However, while this gameplay mechanic isn’t going to be changed for Mauer Der Toten, there are some issues with the previous two maps and the outbreak mode that can be changed for Mauer Der Toten to make it the best zombies map on cold war.
Map Size & Content Density
While Cold War’s Outbreak features some of the “biggest” maps in the Zombies game mode, the massive change to the rules of zombies makes it a shell of what it once was. Being the fact that Outbreak maps are the fireteam maps, reused from the multiplayer mode, the maps aren’t made for zombies and feel less like a zombies map and more like a playground, this removes a lot of the map progression in the game from the Doors, to the power and Perk Machines, some of the Zombies staples. While the gameplay is still the classic Zombies, players can’t just go for high rounds in the game since it’s just a different game mode entirely. Once completing the main objective for the map and opening the anomaly, players will see a significant decrease in zombie spawns, forcing the player to either go to the next area or exit. Round-based maps don’t do that, but the maps given to players for Cold War are smaller than some of the other maps that Treyarch has put out in previous titles.
Die Maschine was a small map, with the lower level being the biggest part of it, as well as a sizeable chunk of the map just being a reskin of Nacht Der Untoten. Firebase Z is a larger map, but most of the largest locations are used for a specific map gimmick. While the maps are big, they’re not content-rich enough to bring players to all these locations for more than a single round.
However, with Mauer Der Toten, this can be rectified by making every section of the map serve a purpose. Consider a map like Shadows of Evil from Black Ops 3. The map has three separate sections, all with their own twists and turns, letting players go from one end of the map to the other with the help of the Tram station. Each section of the Morg City map has players going there to retrieve a gate worm to unlock the Pack-a-Punch, and while they have to do this to set up for the game, a lot of the players have reasons to go back to these parts more than once. The Pier has not only one of the perk machines, but a build table where players will put the Apothicon Servant, and one of the fast travel portals and part of the upgrade to the sword that players can unlock by finding the runes on the tram as well. Firebase Z has no reason for players to visit certain areas of the map again, except for the perk machines.
However, when the Wunderfizz is sitting at the spawn room after the power is turned on, players now have no reason at all to return to these areas of the map. While the easter egg has players walking around all parts of the map to complete the main quest steps, not a lot of the Zombies players in the community will want to complete the easter egg after a single playthrough. Mauer Der Toten should make the map not only larger, as it is the city of Berlin, but also make the map content-rich enough to keep players from sticking to the same areas for their initial playthrough. Another addition to this rule is to keep the WunderFizz in a hard-to-reach location like behind the Pack-a-Punch. Players only have access to it for a short time, creating a risk vs. reward for using it.
Consider the map Kino Der Toten from the original Black Ops, where going to the Pack-a-Punch was an event; players had to use the teleporter to get into the projection room and upgrade their weapons. However, a timer only gave the players a certain amount of time to upgrade their weapons, which was enough for all four players to go at once and upgrade their weapons once. The risk of going to us the Pack-a-Punch came into play when the players made their return trip through the teleporter, as they restarted in the spawn room and were forced to take on the horde they left behind as they funneled through the doors leading to the stage. This risk vs. reward should also be brought into the Pack-a-Punch area and the WunderFizz in Mauer Der Toten.
An Interesting Wonder Weapon
The Wonder Weapons for Cold War have lacked in charm and character. While they do fit the story of the game, the previous Call of Duty Zombies titles have made the Wonder Weapons realistic and not only powerful but fun to use. Die Maschine was on the right track with the D.I.E. Machine, a vacuum cleaner that shot massive bursts of energy and was powered by zombies. The weapon was fun to use and entertaining when picking up an instakill, letting players participate in undead spring cleaning. However, as powerful as Firebase Z’s Wonder Weapon was, the Rai-K 84 was lacking in personality and charm, upgrading it through the regular Pack-a-Punch Machine was a letdown, as it lacked the quest needed to bring the gun to full power. The quest to get the base gun was also extremely convoluted and required waiting rounds just to unlock it. The Rai-K was also a modified version of the AK-47, while the Die Maschine was a device made by the Nazis who ran Projekt Endstation.
Weapons from previous Black Ops titles had the players use a custom-made air bazooka in the form of the thunder gun or two scientific blasters that combined would turn the zombies into popcorn. While goofy, it made sense in the world of the game. The Rai-K, by comparison, felt bland and something that players were expecting to use, rather than something unexpected. Upgrading weapons in previous games still had players upgrade through the Pack-a-Punch Machine, like the Staffs from Origins, the Acid Gat from Mob of the Dead, or the elemental upgrades for the D.I.E Machine. Players should be able to go through quests to acquire the weapon and upgrade it as well, and it should be simple and fun for them. Players should want to use the Wonder Weapon rather than regular weapons in the game being more powerful by comparison.
Easter Egg Steps & Boss Fight
The steps for the easter egg in Cold War have been easy to understand and tell a consistent story, which is a better option compare to the loose, confusing steps from Black Ops 3, or the bland and formulaic four challenges and a boss fight steps from Black Ops 4. However, this makes the steps for the easter egg easy to solve due to some key factors that are included in the game. Items that players can find and pick up are outlined in a gold-ish hue, which makes finding easter egg steps easier, but it gets rid of the mystery of finding the steps. While this is being used to help novices with the game participate in the easter eggs without having to consult a guide, a workaround for this would be to use audio and dialogue to help the players find the easter egg steps while they’re looking for them.
For instance, In Firebase Z, the player has to find the essence traps, to complete the easter egg, and while the player is looking for them, they’re highlighted once they reach that step in the game. Instead, an audio cue, such as, “Go to the Data Center and look for the machine with the four handles on it,” would give the player the clues they need to find the machine while not telling them explicitly where it is. Another issue I’ve found with the main quest that should be rectified with Mauer Der Toten is the fact that players should have some more steps to complete the easter egg.
My main issue with both Die Maschine and Firebase Z is the fact that both of the main quests felt too short, Outbreak’s first main quest included, and that the steps are too easy. While I’m not asking for the steps to be extremely challenging or convoluted, I am hoping that Mauer Der Toten will ask the players to think harder than they have since the release of the game, without making an arbitrary puzzle. Let teamwork be key to solving the puzzles faster. To give Cold War some credit, however, none of the easter eggs require there to be four players in total to complete the easter egg, which is admirable, as previous maps in the Black Ops series such as Shangri-la, and Shadows of Evil, required four players to complete.
A final mention about Cold War’s Main quest is the difficulty of the boss fights, while I have completed every single boss fight in Black Ops, as they were introduced in Black Ops 3, the previous boss fights mostly consisted of surviving an onslaught of zombies to finish the game, Black Ops 3 was the first game to introduce the concept of boss fights into the game, with the players being able to take on one massive enemy while still fighting the zombies around the arena. However, while Die Maschine had the horde play the role of the final boss, players encountered the Orda instead in Firebase Z. While this is a great idea for a boss, the Orda is extremely weak and has even shown up outside of the easter egg in Firebase Z and Outbreak. Players have been able to complete the Orda boss fight within a matter of seconds.
Treyarch saw this and attempted to make a proper final boss for Outbreak’s first main quest. However, the issue with this boss, a massive tempest named Legion, is the fact that it’s on the complete opposite end of the spectrum in terms of difficulty. I’ve played this main quest both solo, and within a group, and I’ve found it impossible to beat, having never been able to damage the boss enough during its weak phase to even complete a third of the boss fight. Combined with the timer that will kill the player if they fail, this makes it ten times harder to beat. I hope that Mauer Der Toten’s final boss is going to be more forgiving in terms of its final boss.
Remaking Kino For Mauer Der Toten
While the map is practically out already, there’s one thing I’m genuinely crossing my fingers for when it comes to the release of Mauer Der Toten in a few days; I genuinely hope that Mauer der Toten is not a remake of Kino Der Toten with more added to it. Die Maschine was a remake of Nacht der Toten, with the addition of the base being underneath the first Zombies map ever made. However, with “der Toten” in the name, and the map taking place in Berlin, there’s a high likelihood that Mauer Der Toten is going to contain some parts of the fan-favorite map in the game.
Firebase Z is the first map in the Aether Story canon to be a completely new map, and while the Dark Aether story in Cold War contains many aspects of the previous Aether story, it’s still taking place in a mirror universe of the previous games. The last map to be wholly new, and not remade in the Aether story, was Gorod Krovi in Black Ops 3. Black Ops 4’s Aether story maps were remakes of, Five, Mob of the Dead, Nuketown, and Call of the Dead, all maps from previous titles. If Mauer Der Toten is a remake of Kino Der Toten, while still including some new areas, that will make Mauer a massive disappointment in my eyes, as I liked Firebase Z for being something new.
However, the one thing I didn’t like about Firebase Z, was the fact that there was a massive map gimmick due to the holdout rounds every 10 rounds. By round 15 players would have to fend off a massive horde of zombies from a centralized location. While this seemed fun in concept, this stopped the flow of the game, and for players who were trying to complete the easter egg, this made the rounds feel like players were wasting their time when they could be completing steps during these rounds. Treyarch should refrain from using these map gimmicks during their next Zombies outing, or at least offer an option to stop the gimmicks from happening, as a way to attempt to please everyone.
Mauer Der Toten Should Not be the Last Zombies Map
The final expectation I hold for Cold War’s newest ground-based map is that Mauer Der Toten should not be the final Zombies map for the game. Players received Firebase Z in the middle of Season 2, but two seasons have passed since then, and players were given outbreak and its two main quests. This makes me worried as a player that Zombies is receiving less content than before, and the fact of the matter is that with the next game in the series being so close, that could be the case. Firebase Z was released on February 4th. With Mauer Der Toten coming out on Wednesday, it will have been 6 months between the release of Firebase Z and Mauer Der Toten. Outbreak hasn’t really scratched the itch for most Zombies players, with some of the community calling for the release of another round-based map.
However, the sad truth is that this could, in fact, be the last Zombies map for Cold War. If players were forced to wait another six months for the release of another map, including July, players wouldn’t receive another map from Treyarch until December of 2021, and at that point, the fact is that 2021’s Call of Duty WWII: Vanguard will be out, and players will be focused on that game as well, as according to leaks Treyarch is also working on the Zombies mode for that engine as well.
With only five main quests, will that be enough to tell the Dark Aether Story? Or will it fall to the wayside like the ending of the chaos story, left on a cliffhanger and remaining to be unanswered for the rest of time? My hope is that Mauer Der Toten will not be the final round-based map, and players will at least get one more final Zombies map before the release of 2021’s Call of Duty title. Some players insist that Cold War will be getting some kind of Year 2 for Zombies, as Treyarch has done this before, with the release of Zombies Chronicles during Infinite Warfare’s year.
Mauer Der Toten seems to have a lot riding on the Zombies community, and with the uncertainty of Cold War’s Zombies mode, will Mauer Der Toten be able to deliver as the next round-based map? Or will it falter on the mistakes of its predecessors?