Black Ops 4’s new battle royale mode will not feature item rarity.
“It’s too confusing for the rest of the game(…) I would call that messy design” director David Vonderhaar stated, when asked whether Blackout would get a item system akin to those in PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and Fortnite. Weapons in the Call of Duty series have only ever been ranked by players for their base statistics, and it appears that this system is here to stay for the time being.
This comes as a surprising change from the typical battle royale formula, which has seen many other games adopting the mechanic in a bid to offer players tactical advantage or level the playing field. Players of Fortnite, for example, can turn the tide of battle if they luck upon a coveted Rocket Launcher, or Boogie Bomb.
Call of Duty games have conventionally never included, nor arguably needed to include, item rarity, although some signs do indicate that the series famed supply drops will make an appearance in Blackout, which will be earned by a more conventional combo of luck and skill. Just imagine how much fun a claymore could be in battle royale.
However, Blackout has already diverged from other battle royales, with the introduction of the series’ classic zombies. The introduction of a PvE element to a purely PvP genre is unconventional, though Treyarch has hinted that zombies may also pose as an advantage to certain types of players, perhaps in another bid to equalise the huge battles.