Does anybody else hear that terrible noise? It sort of sounds like two baby hyenas eating each other alive while a third yells racist slurs. That's right: It's my last round of Plunder in Call of Duty: Warzone. When the clock strikes zero, Warzone's chillest game mode becomes an absolute nightmare.
During the 30-40 second post-game lobby, everyone who isn't lucky enough to leave beforehand is locked in an open voice channel with everyone else. A hundred bored players with pent-up aggression and a captive audience—you can imagine the colorful language you hear. And if you can't, here's a clip I recorded this morning.
That wasn't even that bad compared to usual. On top of hate speech, there's typically at least one person that lets out a wailing scream for absolutely no reason. Activision, why is this still a thing? What good is supposed to come from 100 people howling words at each other? Surely this "feature" can go.
Plunder's open mic problem is an anomaly in a game that otherwise makes clever use of voice chat. My favorite feature, known by the community as 'death comms,' tunes into an enemy's mic for the few seconds after you kill them. I always enjoy hearing the reactions of the folks I best, which can range from "Where did that guy even come from" to "What a [bleepin] [bleep]."
Sometimes an enemy's death rattle can even have strategic value, like if they reveal that their teammate is close by or that they dropped a powerful gun. Crucially, death comms only travel one way, meaning it's impossible for the killer to taunt back or pile on with insults.
By default, you can only hear voice comms from your own squad of four, but you can also tighten the leash to mute everyone outside of your party or friends. So, yes, it's technically possible to mute every enemy and silence uproarious Plunder lobbies, but doing so also silences death comms. That's not a sacrifice I'm willing to make. Hearing the displeasure of my fallen enemies is a perk that you'll have to rip from my cold, dead hands.
The past few days of unbearable Plunder lobbies have taken me back to a time when CS:GO was plagued with a similar problem. Players used to be able to speak with the other team between halves and at the end of the match, which predictably led to a lot of toxicity. Valve finally disabled cross chat a few years ago and never looked back. Instead of blanket-muting everyone, Activision should follow Valve's lead and put a muzzle on Plunder.