Thus far I would call Call of Duty: Elite somewhat of a letdown, especially based on what Call of Duty: Black Ops offered in-game. While it’s nice to see stats when not on Xbox, the usefulness of said stats is somewhat limited. The most useful feature seems to be looking up the stats of opposing players to see if they are good, or you just suck. This was one of the many things that could be done in-game in Call of Duty: Black Ops, but for whatever reason was not put into this game. Here are the top five features/stats missing from Call of Duty: Elite.
1. Pointstreak Stats
One of the best in-game stats from Call of Duty: Black Ops was information about what are now referred to as “Pointstreaks” or “Strike Packages”1. In Black Ops, the game would provide not only the number of times a particular streak was used, but also how many enemies were eliminated with said streak. This was incredibly useful when deciding with killstreaks to select since it essentially let the player know what were the most efficient per use. Deciding between the AH-6 Overwatch and Reaper in Modern Warfare 3 is difficult without this kind of information. There is potential for players to greatly improve their efficiency by making it easier to select what works best for them.
2. Stats By Map
This information was not something that Call of Duty: Black Ops had, but again seems obvious. Although the “Improve” section of Call of Duty: Elite includes heat maps and general tips about the maps, this information appears to be generic and somewhat static. For example, there are certain hiding places2 that would be useful to point out, rather than things like “the far right corner is a great haven for snipers”3. The heat maps on the other hand, don’t provide much value. They show where deaths took place instead of where the player was who got the kill. Knowing where to look for enemies is more useful than just knowing where not to go.
Useful map stats would include several things. First and foremost, kills, deaths, etc. broken down by map seems to be the most obvious, but being able to look at any stats and filter by map would also be a huge boost. For example, on Interchange, the AH-6 Overwatch seems to be great because the middle area is open and the map doesn’t have any elevation changes4. On the other hand, Predator Missile probably isn’t all that useful on Interchange because there is so many places for it to hit concrete overpasses or stray metal.
3. Easier Player Comparison
Another stellar feature of Call of Duty: Black Ops in-game stats was how easy it was to compare any stat to a friend’s. It was done with pretty graphs/colors on any stat page pretty much. On Call of Duty: Elite, it appears that the only comparison that can be made is the rank on game type leaderboards. In other words, where does a player rank on say, Domination, either overall, this week or this month. These “score” numbers don’t seem to add a lot of value, because a player can accrue a lot of points in Domination or Kill Confirmed without adding a lot of value to their team. Comparing other weapons, perks and point streak stats would also be useful.
4. Perk Stats
Selecting Perks plays a big role in a player’s effectiveness. If they opt to arm a Launcher as their secondary weapon, using Blind Eye to lock on faster could make a lot of sense. While on the other hand, using Assassin might not be as necessary because they will be able to eliminate enemy UAVs. Of course, this is just a theory. There is no way to validate how much a perk effects a player’s effectiveness or stats. Again, it seems like it would be so easy to provide players with the ability to kill/death ratio, as well as other statistics while using specific perks.
5. Enemy Gun Stats
One of the best parts about Call of Duty: Black Ops in-game stats was that it also showed the number of times a player was killed by a particular weapon. This helped users know what guns were popular, and perhaps, most effective, so they would have a better idea of which things to use. This also included the same information regarding attachments. Besides asking people or watching killcams, there is no way to determine what the most popular choices are5.
6. Game Type Stats
In Call of Duty: Black Ops the different game types showed different stats during games. For example, at the end of Domination it would show how many “captures” and “defends” a user had, as well as their kills and deaths. This was a great feature since the way to win Domination is to hold the points on the map by capturing and defending them. While some of this information can be gleamed from looking at a player’s score, this is more direct.
In Modern Warfare 3 this would be huge in Kill Confirmed, where points towards a victory are earned by collecting opponents’ dog tags. The number of times a person picked up tags, their tags were picked up, and times they picked up a teammate’s tag (thus “denying” a score) would go a long way towards showing who really contributes the most. There are times where a player leads their team in scoring but dies 30 times. In all likelihood that person isn’t adding much net value, but it’s hard to tell. This information only appears to be rolled up by at a career level for the person and not show anywhere on Elite at all.
Call of Duty: Elite is a great concept, but the lack of useful or unique information that it contains is very disappointing. One of the major selling points to Elite was that members would get access to all Downloadable Content (DLC), not only first, but for free. It seems clear now that is the only real benefit. And even at $15 a pop, it will take 4 DLC packs for a member to get their money back. Since most players probably don’t/won’t buy that many, it’s likely that this tactic was brilliant on Activision’s part. Overall though, most player’s probably feel a bit cheated