While Blackout seems to have taken the Battle Royale scene by storm (and rightly so), Black Ops 4’s multiplayer modes are still very popular for PC players. Having sunk tens of hours into the multiplayer modes, I’ve found that Team Deathmatch and Free For All are the safest bets for finding a game quickly. This comes as no surprise thanks to the fast-paced, action-packed enjoyment that they’ve consistently delivered for years. That said, there’s one other mode that players seem to default to when it comes to hitting that queue button.
You’re likely familiar with the concept of Kill Confirmed; a game mode rooted in the foundations of Team Deathmatch with the added requirement of players having to collect the dog tags of their fallen foes. Although judging by BO4 gameplay alone, you wouldn’t necessarily gather that that was the objective. While the aim of this mode is pretty straightforward, it’s a notion that appears to be lost on the majority of Kill Confirmed participants. Instead, countless players have submitted to the same shoot-kill-continue routine of Team Deathmatch, omitting that game-deciding factor of collecting 60 dogtags to secure a win. Which begs the question: why on earth are they playing this mode?
With the same map pool utilised in both the Team Deathmatch and Kill Confirmed modes, both have descended into an arena filled with camping Snipers. Although this is a debatably boring way of racking up eliminations, it’s difficult to argue with players picking sniper rifles in Team Deathmatch, particularly when maps like Icebreaker appear in the rotation. However, in Kill Confirmed, opting for a sniper rifle as your primary weapon doesn’t make any sense, as playing at long ranges greatly diminishes your chances of confirming your eliminations and contributing to the objective. So why are multiple players choosing sniper rifles in Kill Confirmed? It’s hard to believe that players would queue for this mode with the sole intention of sniping when the queuing times for Team Deathmatch and Free For All are roughly equal to that of Kill Confirmed, while also being much better suited to sniper play. Yet if you were to drop into a Kill Confirmed match at any time, you’ll likely encounter at least one sniper on each team. The only way these players are having a positive impact in this mode is if they are queuing with friends, equipped with SMGs and assault rifles, who are coordinating with their team to mop up the tags from their sniper frags. The likelihood of this actually happening is incredibly slim though. In reality, these players are selfishly ignoring the objective, offering very little in contributing to the team.
Seasoned Call of Duty players will be somewhat used to the strange phenomenon of snipers appearing in Kill Confirmed mode in great numbers. This has been an issue since the mode’s inception back in 2011, in Modern Warfare 3. Over the years, people have tried to offer up some sort of explanation as to why players would choose to use sniper rifles in this mode, besides being selfish and impatient to hop into any mode that has the shortest queue time. One suggestion, albeit an incredibly weak attempt at justification, outlines that snipers watch a specific position with the intention of sniping enemies and then defending their tags, luring other enemies over to be sniped in the process. Again, this seems like a weak strategy in a fast-paced shooter that spawns players in all over the map as it serves to draw the game out, hindering progress for both teams.
As frustrating as all of this is, it would be unfair to pin this misunderstanding of the Kill Confirmed mode entirely on players who opt for the sniper roles. While they are a huge part of the issue, they are not alone. Players equipped with other weapons also frequently ignore the objective, running past enemy tags after eliminating them and ignoring their own team’s tags, making absolutely no effort to deny the opponents’ kills. If these players have no interest in contributing to the single deciding factor that determines team losses or wins, then why are they queuing for this mode? It’s clear that an alarmingly large portion of the Black Ops 4 community does not understand how to participate in Kill Confirmed mode. As a result, you’ll often see player’s EKIA stats greatly outweigh their Objectives stats, unless they are one of the few players who have actually grasped the point of the entire mode.
Player’s ongoing misunderstanding, or more likely, choice to ignore the Kill Confirm objective will have a lasting effect on the mode, as well as the type of players that continue to queue for it. Many players will have already witnessed the negative impact this has had on the community, with some players who initially took the objective seriously, giving up on Kill Confirmed and moving to other multiplayer modes to avoid further frustration. While you can’t exactly blame them, this demonstrates that the community has opted to avoid the issue rather than solve it. Instead, we’re left with the same, problematic players joining a mode that has pretty much lost its sense of competitiveness and meaning.
There’s, no doubt, a great deal of players who continue see these matches through and, participate as the developer intended. Sadly, as time goes on, it seems as though our chances of encountering these players are noticeably depleting. Solo-queuing participants will only take so much before calling it quits and heading into Team Deathmatch. Therefore, it goes without saying that if you’re looking for the best ‘Kill Confirmed’ mode experience, you’ll have to get your friends involved.
In its current state, Kill Confirmed mode is not taken as seriously as it should be, rendering it one of the most frustrating multiplayer modes to play in Black Ops 4. It appears as though its additional, challenging layer of confirming kills is too much for many members of the community to handle. As a result, it currently exists as a redundant version of Team Deathmatch, with a loosely respected objective. That said, a simple solution sits glaringly in front of the community’s face: if you don’t want to collect tags, remove Kill Confirmed from your playlist, and spare the players who actually enjoy and respect the point of the mode.