Hello everyone, Legos here and I'm back with another blog, this time on CoD's supply drop system.
As you probably know, since Advanced Warfare, supply drops have since become a major aspect to the series. And with revenue for Activision being higher than ever as a result, there is little doubt that they will return in Infinite Warfare. Overall, the system isn't the most broken one. There is worse things, but at the same time there are numerous flaws to it.
If you have played Battlefield 4 or Hardline, you probably realize the similarities between their Battlepacks and CoD's Supply Drops. But at the same time, it can be argued that Battlefield 4 executed their system better than Call of Duty.
Today I am going to discuss the major differences between the two, why I feel Battlepacks were the better system, and how either could be improved.
This being the Call of Duty Wiki, I may as well start with this game's own system.
In Advanced Warfare, there were only a three possible item types one could receive from Supply Drops. Those were weapon variants, clothing sets, and reinforcements. Honestly, only the first one was relevant to the majority of the community. While the idea of weapon variants was good on paper, there was some major flaws to it.
Firstly, those who are more wealthy than the average player, especially those who play CoD for a living, are able to put forth large amounts of money in order to try and win these variants. This is where problems in the system begin to arise, as CoD begins to follow a pay-to-win style, which is not the type of game I want to play (Heroes is pretty close, but not quite to the same degree). There are some variants which are terrible, others that are good, some which don't do anything at all, and others that are outright overpowered.
As a result, those who have variants such as the Obsidian Steed, Insanity or Speakeasy have an overall advantage to other players because their weapon has either a higher rate of fire or a damage boost. And while it can be argued "everyone has an equal opportunity to get these variants", the supply drop system is extremely terrible in that one person may receive two weapons, while another gets simply three clothing items (or even one item entirely). And if someone is able to buy or play more, they have more opportunities to acquire these weapons. The worst part of the system is the chance of getting an item you already have or had.
Black Ops III
Treyarch claimed that Supply Drops would only have cosmetic items, such as specialist suits, taunts, camos, and even variants of attachments. None of these drastically change the game in any way. However, then they added melee weapons to the pot. Again, these are all functionally identical to the combat knife. But at the same time, they sometimes alter the game, or rather players in the game. For example, as one YouTuber put it, he was in a lobby and he used the MVP; and as a result, the other team was camping in spawn most of the match trying to kill him simply to pick up his weapon. This can be extremely annoying when it's your team doing that, and you are playing domination, demolition, or other objective based modes.
Not too long after that, Treyarch added actual weapons, such as the MX Garand and NX ShadowClaw. These weapons aren't necessarily overpowered in any way (maybe the ShadowClaw to an extent). But people begin to pour in cash trying to get these weapons, and so more and more weapons are continually added, per yesterday's case. While it isn't clear if these weapons will break the game by being overpowered, it still breaks the gameplay as players change their objective to simply "kill this player for their weapon".
And now I have gotten to Battlepacks. I will only be going over Battlefield 4 since I am yet to play Hardline. Battlepacks had a few more different item types to acquire. There were XP boosts, attachments, camos, dog tags, and emblems. But absolutely none of these are game breaking by contrast to Supply Drops.
While some attachments are extremely helpful depending on the weapon and playstyle, they are all functionally identical to at one other attachment, and effectively are only present as a cosmetic change.
Battlepacks do not have any weapon variations, or even any weapons at all. There are melee weapons, but these are identical to one another. Nonetheless, BF isn't the type of game where people are going to use just the knife, partly because maps are so big, partly because one can be countered. But even then, you aren't seeing anyone rushing at players for their knives in this game.
Why Battlepacks > Supply Drops
I think the main reason Battlepacks are better is because there is less monetization to them, by contrast to Supply Drops. There is little reason to want to buy them, and while there is an option to do so, they aren't exactly game changing, nor will they give the player any clear advantage over other players.
Everything is basically a cosmetic difference, with no changes in weapon stats at all. Supply Drops meanwhile, has CoD on the edge of being pay-to-win with weapons that can alter gameplay significantly.
There is little to change with Battlepacks so far as I can see. The XP boosts are the most useful item, in my opinion, while everything else is just a reskin of another item. Supply Drops shouldn't have weapons in them, even if they aren't game altering in terms of damage, rate of fire, etc.
The thing about BF4 is that its additional weapons are all DLC. And it isn't like you purchase the DLC and you immediately have your weapon. You have to complete assignments to unlock them. It is similar to BO2 and Ghosts, where the Peacekeeper, Ripper, and Maverick [A-2] were available with the DLC. That was much better than the supply drops, because everyone was able to get it with little trouble.
I think the biggest improvement for CoD would be for weapons to be unlocked through challenges. And nothing too over the top such as the Dark Ops challenges. But something, where completion rewards the Marshalls or whatever. Advanced Warfare would be much better in that sense. Instead of camo challenges, one would have variant challenges, and in order to unlock the challenges for the next tier, the current tier would have to be finished. Basically, elite variants wouldn't be like Gold Camo where it can be unlocked very early, and instead it would be more like Diamond or Royalty camos.
I know this probably isn't my best blog, but it had to be done. I hope you enjoyed this rant. Feel free to leave down your own thoughts in the comments, or otherwise let me know what you'd like to see me talk about next. Until next time, Legos out.