Home Strategy Tactical Thursday: Den Kirson, hero of transparency

Den Kirson

Knowledge is power, and this is what power looks like.

It’s a tragic scene which we’ve all witnessed before. A fresh, beautiful young couple spitting profanities across their cafe table,choking back tears of frustration, locked in an argument about Call of Duty. They cite the in-game weapon stats, and screenshots of bullet holes spread across a brick wall. The look in their eyes turns from disbelief into hatred. Their relationship is speeding towards a premature end.

“How could I possibly love a tomahawk whore?”

“What kind of a man doesn’t use the FAL? His mother must have neglected him terribly.”

These poor people are just the latest victims of that all-too-familiar culprit: complete bullshit. Game balance is made of numbers, but those numbers are almost always invisible, forcing players to make guesses, turn to pseudoscience, or worst of all, to believe the stats provided in the game. Bullshit is the enemy of truth, but now gamers finally have a Prometheus to bring us truth’s fire: Den Kirson.

Many of you might already know about Kirson. Xiant’s breakdown of Battlefield Vietnam is fueled by his data. His site belongs in any serious shooter fan’s bookmarks – he has comprehensive and well-presented balance statistics for an impressive number of games, with more coming as they’re released. I shouldn’t have to tell you how useful a precise understanding of your guns and perks can be, and not just for telling whether your date is a scrub. The mechanics of “pwning noobz” aren’t always as simple as they seem, and knowing all the details is the first step towards the perfect custom class.

Take Black Ops for example. Did you know that dual-wielded Pythons reload faster than a single Python with the speed loader? That the primary difference between the FAL and M14 is that the latter is more headshot-focused? That you are terrible for not knowing these things?

Kirson may not be the first data-miner, but he’s certainly the most dependable and organized I know about. Why don’t you take a moment to read more of what he has to offer?

Do you have another great source for the numbers underlying the games we play, or any other excellent sources of strategy and tactics? Submit them today, or tell us in the comments!

8 replies to this post
  1. Wow, that’s a LOT of information. I’ve Not really been exposed to all these flashy numbers before so, although I’m in awe, I don’t really understand it.

    • If you have a specific question, I might be able to help you out. Just be sure to read over his pages carefully, it seems esoteric at first but he has explanations for everything.

      • I don’t have any specific questions really, that’s the problem. If there was a clearer chart of weapon comparison that works on the same scale as the other weapons, I’d feel better.

      • Basically it seems for each gun, the first numbers are the most and least damage the gun does. The little line graph shows how damage drops off over distance. For some guns it’s gradual and for others it basically sucks after a set distance.

        Then there are a lot of stats about how accurate the gun is, which he tries to explain above the charts. On the far right is how much more damage the gun does on a headshot.

        I don’t get all the accuracy numbers, but in general higher is bad, it means the gun moves more.

      • The numbers for recoil and such I believe still aren’t figured out exactly, other than it is known that the bigger the numbers, the higher chance of recoil in that specific direction. Since the numbers are just ‘units’, they are arbitrary and only mean something relative to each other. Also, the centerspeed is the rate (unknown units as well) at which one shot fired will return to the center of the screen. There’s still some information on those charts that have numbers but it’s not perfectly clear what the meaning is

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