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Black Ops 4 multiplayer makes you think you’re better than you are

No, you haven’t suddenly become a crack shot

Russ Frushtick is the director of special projects, and he has been covering the world of video games and technology for over 15 years. He co-founded Polygon in 2012.

Let me start by saying that I am a fine Call of Duty player. Which is to say that I can generally not be a detriment to my team overall. In previous Call of Duty games, I would average slightly more kills than deaths, which I view as a victory over the youngster masses.

But I noticed something weird in Black Ops 4. I was doing, like, way better. I was consistently racking up overwhelmingly positive kill-to-death ratios the likes of which I had never seen before.

And then I realized what was causing it.

Treyarch seems to have made a big change to its scorekeeping. Specifically assists are now counted as kills. Here, see for yourself:

It’s a little unclear, but in this clip I do not get the final shot on Powerman1469. My teammate does. I did, however, land at least one shot, and apparently that’s enough to give me the kill, statistically speaking.

In fact, we both get the kill. Here, take a look at the scoreboard:

You can see that the team on the left has three points, but the kill/death ratios equal up to four — because my assist is treated as a kill. We don’t get bonus points for it or anything, but it does make “staying positive” much, much easier.

It also makes playing Black Ops 4 multiplayer a little less demoralizing. Over the years I’ve had those games where you just get trounced and air raided non-stop. Closing out a match with a .3 kill/death ratio is just bone crushingly sad.

But with Black Ops 4, not only is the stats screen a little kinder, you also get satisfying on-screen pop-ups when you nab those assists. Not to mention you get full value for the kill to earn your next UAV or supply drop.

Granted, in terms of your stats, this is all relatively meaningless. All they’ve done is shifted the goalposts. Whereas before a 1.0 kill/death ratio was kinda decent, now it’s arguably pretty bad, with the average maybe being pushed up to 1.3 or even 1.5.

Destiny 2 tracks kills and assists the same way on the stats screen, and if you show up bragging about your 1.0 k/d, you’ll undoubtedly be laughed out of the lobby. I’m sure it’ll be the same way with Black Ops 4. Until then, though, ignorance is bliss.

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