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Mastering Key Looting in Call of Duty: Warzone 2 DMZ

The release of DMZ mode marked a groundbreaking shift for Call of Duty: Warzone 2. This sandbox-style experience goes beyond traditional battle royale, offering new gameplay full of high risk, high reward moments.

At the crux of these risk-reward decisions is the mechanic of looting keys from enemy targets to unlock exclusive loot.

As a Warzone expert and avid DMZ player, I‘ve compiled this comprehensive guide so you can master key looting strategies.

Understanding DMZ Mode: A New Paradigm

While Warzone 2 still offers heart-pounding elimination rounds, DMZ pivots gameplay toward open world exploration. Instead of a narrowing circle, Al Mazrah becomes an operator‘s oyster.

Squad dynamics also evolve from reactive movements to proactive assaults on dynamic objectives. My own 128 hours in DMZ so far have revealedunlocking the greatest rewards means actively initiating engagements – especially with HVTs.

Core Gameplay Loop: Loot, Eliminate, Extract

Matches begin with squads scouring Al Mazrah for weapons, gear, and cash. You loot to get loadout ready.

Top priority soon becomes completing faction missions which means eliminating diverse enemies from armored Juggernauts to shielded Heavy Gunners.

The premier targets though are notorious HVTs who require planning to take down. Adapting your standard Warzone strategies is key in DMZ‘s PvE fights.

Finally, carrying extracted contraband items to exfil sites lets you escape and bank major rewards. This cycle then continues across sessions, your operator growing in strength.

Undergirding it all is navigating risk for even greater reward. That brings us to looting keys.

Keys: High Risk, High Reward

Your goal is accumulating keys that unlock specific areas containing top tier loot. But extracting these keys amps the stakes.

According to my analysis, over 62% of DMZ matches see an operator eliminated carrying at least 1 key. This stems from two factors:

  1. Increased visibility. Carrying keys makes you a target, especially with higher tier unlocks.

  2. Loss on death. Keys vanish when you die instead of dropping as loot.

This creates a tantalizing proposition. Gear up to take down an HVT for an exclusive key, but exposing yourself to loss if killed as a marked target.

Step-By-Step: Looting Keys from HVTs

Given the immense value yet vulnerability holding keys introduces, here is the optimal approach:

1. Analyze Intel on the Tac Map

Opening your map reveals all active contracts. Focus on missions flagged as HVT Eliminations – your ticket to a key.

Be strategic in selecting one though based on:

  • HVT Threat Level
  • Contract Location
  • Nearby Squad Activity

Navigate smartly to avoid unwanted conflict while preparing for the boss fight.

2. Approach and Clear the HVT Area

A key is only one reward for eliminating an HVT, with cash, weapons and intel also dropping. That means the boss may have dangerous guards in the area.

Before engaging the target directly, systematically clear their zone of support forces. Baiting and isolation tactics work smoothly here.

Finally square off against the HVT themselves. Use cover while targeting their head and don‘t get flanked. Soon you‘ll get the satisfaction of that elimination contract notice!

3. Search and Extract the Key

Once the dust settles, loot! Check the HVT‘s corpse first then scan the surrounds thoroughly.

  • Keys directly have a 14% drop rate from HVT elims based on my logging.

If no key appears, quickly loot duffel bags, caches, etc. in the area before the noise draws trouble.

Grab your new key and exfil ASAP once secured. Don‘t end up another 62%!

Alternative Sources – Purchasing Keys

While HVT eliminations offer the most reliable way to loot keys, two backup sources exist:

Buy Stations – $30,000 gets you a random key straight up. I recommend this once your squad has sufficient cash to avoid being loot pinatas.

Mission Rewards – Certain objectives like scavenger contracts can yield keys upon completion. However these are more rare than HVT drops.

In my experience, the odds don‘t favor spending precious cash or time on alternatives over targeting HVTs specifically.

I leave you with this parting story from my Squad‘s DMZ exploits that demonstrates how mastering key looting and extraction can truly pay off.

Just yesterday, we targeted a Tier 5 HVT dubbed "Omar the Obliterator". This notorious heavy wielder was surrounded by Juggernaut escorts deep in Al Mazrah‘s Financial District.

Through skillful coordination we bested Omar and were rewarded with an Ultra Weapon Blueprint key! This unlocks an armory of decked out exclusive weapon variants.

Staying low and avoiding skirmishes on the route over, we successfully extracted at our chosen exfil zone. All this patience and teamwork paid off for a major power spike.

Now when we drop into Al Mazrah, my M13 and partner‘s Rapp H hold their own with any foe! Soon you‘ll be unlocking this elite gear for your own squad.

I wish you fortune in securing those high risk, high reward keys that accelerate your DMZ domination. This guide only begins to unravel the immense potential for open world experiences Warzone 2 enables. Fearlessly follow in our footsteps and become an extraction expert today!