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Yep, they have been with us since the beginning of Modern Call of Duty games. UAV Jammer, Camouflage, Cold-Blooded, Ghost and Assassin have all been there, their effects barely changing from game to game.
Nobody complained about the UAV perks in 4 or WaW, I'm not sure about MW2, but ever since Ghost and Black Ops it has suddenly became the most b*tched about perk type in the series.
I admit that Ghost is very powerful, as are most of the other perks in Black Ops. It grants immunity to UAV, grants you the ability to be undetected by Chopper Gunner/Gunship/Helicopter and no red name appears above your head. However, people don't seem to realise that of those four killstreaks that Ghost Pro grants invisibility from, only one of those killstreaks is unable to kill a person using Ghost Pro, and that's the Helicopter. Let's face it, Gunships and Chopper Gunners will kill everybody on the map unless they are in a building. Ghost Pro is just an immunity to 2 killstreaks.
However Ghost isn't even the most powerful Tier 1 perk. The winner to that prize is Flak Jacket (and Flak Jacket Pro). It grants you immunity to the China Lake, M72 LAW, Semtex, Claymore, RPG, a killstreak (the Valkyrie Rockets), Grenades and heck even the mighty Grenade Launcher can't score a 1 shot kill on Flak Jacket users (and contrary to popular belief, Black Ops launchers are powerful enough to kill in 1 shot).
With the Pro version (whilst hard to obtain), you get everything Flak Jacket gives you, with the added benefit of "reduced" fire damage. This essentially makes you immune to another killstreak (Napalm Strike) and the Flamethrower attachment.
So let's count numbers then.
Ghost Pro at full health
No. of Perks it counters: 0.
No. of killstreaks it counters: 4 (2 completely immune), Chopper Gunner, Sentry Gun, Gunship and Helicopter.
No. of weapons/attachments it counters: 1, the Thermal Scope
Flak Jacket Pro at full health
No. of Perks it counters: 0.
No. of killstreaks it counters: 3 (all completely immune), Napalm Strike, RC-XD and Valkyrie Rockets.
No. of weapons/attachments it counters: 8 (China Lake, M72 LAW, Semtex, Claymore, RPG, Grenades, Grenade Launcher, Flamethrower Attachment)
Flak Jacket is far too powerful, it's CoD 4, WaW, MW2 and MW3 equivilants are far weaker compared to it. So why do people complain about the UAV perk? Because it isn't used as much? Maybe. But I feel that hatred for Ghost/Assassin (it may have spread to the previous ones after Ghost/Assassin), is unjust when there are more powerful perks, even in the same group!
MW3 section is to be added very soon.