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Call of Duty: Black Ops 4Credit: Treyarch

If your K/D ratio has been skyrocketing since the release of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, I’ve got good and bad news for you. The good news is that it’s not a coincidence and that your numbers really are getting better. The bad news is that it’s not because you’re getting any better, it’s because the game has changed what qualifies as a kill. Both assists and killshots now count towards your statistics, which should be good for team harmony overall.

I first noticed the change after reading about it in Polygon, because the quick time-to-kill can actually make the change a little hard to notice. There’s more extensive proof of the new system over there. But the upshot is this: if you land a shot on an opponent and that opponent dies before their health starts recovering again, you get credit for the kill. That means there are more kills than deaths going around in a single match, and that’s why you’re K/D ratio is going up.

I noticed something similar last year in another Activision property, Destiny 2. All of a sudden I was doing much, much better in Crucible, and it quickly became clear that it was because Bungie had decided to recognize my efforts as a team player as on par with those lone wolves out there. It wasn’t a complete change: the game still asks you to get "final blows" for certain challenges, which are more akin to old-style kills. It’s more neccessary in a higher time-to-kill game like Destiny, where teamshooting is a regular occurrence, but it’s also nice to see in something like Call of Duty.

It’s a great change, and feels pretty necessary for keeping the mental peace, particularly in a matchmade game. Nobody wants to be sitting there getting mad at their own teammates for stealing kills, and it ensures that less-skilled players are still getting that little dopamine rush every time the notification flashes across the screen. Over a year of Destiny, my mental outlook has more or less equalized: I’ve just sort of moved the goalposts on what I consider to be a good crucible performance, and I’ll wind up doing the same for Black Ops 4. It’s still nice to get that little notification, though.

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Call of Duty: Black Ops 4Credit: Treyarch

If your K/D ratio has been skyrocketing since the release of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, I’ve got good and bad news for you. The good news is that it’s not a coincidence and that your numbers really are getting better. The bad news is that it’s not because you’re getting any better, it’s because the game has changed what qualifies as a kill. Both assists and killshots now count towards your statistics, which should be good for team harmony overall.

I first noticed the change after reading about it in Polygon, because the quick time-to-kill can actually make the change a little hard to notice. There’s more extensive proof of the new system over there. But the upshot is this: if you land a shot on an opponent and that opponent dies before their health starts recovering again, you get credit for the kill. That means there are more kills than deaths going around in a single match, and that’s why you’re K/D ratio is going up.

I noticed something similar last year in another Activision property, Destiny 2. All of a sudden I was doing much, much better in Crucible, and it quickly became clear that it was because Bungie had decided to recognize my efforts as a team player as on par with those lone wolves out there. It wasn’t a complete change: the game still asks you to get “final blows” for certain challenges, which are more akin to old-style kills. It’s more neccessary in a higher time-to-kill game like Destiny, where teamshooting is a regular occurrence, but it’s also nice to see in something like Call of Duty.

It’s a great change, and feels pretty necessary for keeping the mental peace, particularly in a matchmade game. Nobody wants to be sitting there getting mad at their own teammates for stealing kills, and it ensures that less-skilled players are still getting that little dopamine rush every time the notification flashes across the screen. Over a year of Destiny, my mental outlook has more or less equalized: I’ve just sort of moved the goalposts on what I consider to be a good crucible performance, and I’ll wind up doing the same for Black Ops 4. It’s still nice to get that little notification, though.

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