Love Is A Battlefield

By Jim Rossignol on July 14th, 2011 at 3:04 pm.

Humvee is a funny name for a thing.
For the past few weeks I have found myself returning to my favourite multiplayer game of last year, Battlefield: Bad Company 2. It’s a punchy rascal of a game, but it also hints at plenty of things that could be better in the future, and reminds us of lots of things that have been better in the past. Things that might be better in Battlefield 3. Or 4. Anyway, what follows is a consideration of what Battlefield games have done right and wrong, and what Battlefield 3 needs to think about.

UNTO DESTRUCTION

Okay, let’s hit the obvious one to start with: destructible scenery. The capacity to blow holes in walls is probably the most thrilling and interesting element of BFBC2. You can use it to gain access to a building, to remove cover from the enemy, or just to feel like you actually destroyed something. It’s a brilliant feature that will almost certainly be done even better in Battlefield 3. My hope is, however, that it will also be used to shape the experience of play. What I mean is this: imagine a multiplayer map where the attacking team didn’t just incidentally flatten a few houses as they attacked the objective, but had to punch holes through walls and defensive lines to get their troops inside to secure particular points.

There are glimmers of this in BFBC2′s Rush mode, but it could be amped up to some considerable degree. I want to have to tunnel my way through the side of a building, or drive a Humvee through a shanty town like that bit at the end of Bad Boys 2. Imagine having a map that includes underground levels, where you are blowing holes in the asphalt to give tanks access to underground city routes, where they are safe from aircraft.

This kind of design could be reformed into entire objectives. There’s a little bit of infrastructure damage in BFBC2 – taking out a building to deny enemy cover is routine, and dropping a bridge to hamper vehicle movement takes place on a couple of maps – but that’s the kind of thing that should be used routinely in designing these maps, especially with a view to making vehicular combat more intense. If you simply have to secure that bridge to get the tanks across (or face the rest of the level without armour support) then it could be a whole lot more exciting to play through. The same could be true of communications: perhaps taking out a comms tower might reduce stuff like the ability to spot enemies. (Which is a feature that I find consistently useful, and absolutely must return for Battlefield 3.)

I’m far less excited about the sort of micro-detail damage that the likes of Breach suggested. The damage I think is interesting is the massive, structural stuff. The BF3 single player trailer was very keen to show us a skyscraper getting dropped on the player – imagine if you could knock over tall buildings offensively in multiplayer to crush tank advances or block off Rush routes.

VEHICULAR PARTICULARS

I don’t know about the rest of you, but watching the single-player tank battle sequence of Battlefield 3 made me think: there had better be something comparable in the multiplayer.

Jets are back, and so, I hope, will be big-ass mobile anti-aircraft units. What I really want, though, are huge 64-player maps with great big spaces for infantry-supported tank battles. Toning down the capacity for infantry to take out armour unassisted would be good, too. Some of the best fun I’ve had in BFBC2 of late have been great use of armour, but it has required at least one engineer repairing non-stop for the tanks to stay alive. I’d really like to see BF3 pushing in a more Arma-ward direction, where calling in air support or other armour is the best way to deal with be-tracked angry houses.

BF BFF

In-game social tools stuff. DICE have actually said that they are doing something dedicated and significant with this, and will be improving friends lists in the game and so forth, but this is really something that games like BFBC2 should have been doing really slickly by now. It’s not like there’s isn’t stacks of middleware these days, allowing people to tailor it to the task.

We need a big friends list, notifications in game of when people join servers, and so on. This stuff has been around for years, and should really appear by default.

Likewise we need slick admin, player voting, and all the other stuff in online FPS games that should really now come as standard.

MANTLING OVER LOW WALLS

Let’s have this. Are they having this? If so, I missed it. Let’s assume they are. That is a good thing.

A WORKING SERVER BROWSER ON LAUNCH

This would also be acceptable. It’s probably the biggest lesson of BFBC2′s glitchy launch: it’s not okay for this to be an afterthought.

IT’S ALL ON CAMERA

Finally, the battle recorder needs to return. The reason for this happened a couple of days ago. This was a continuous stream of events: I jumped into a game, ran to the enemy base. All the friendlies were engaged on the other side of the Rush objective (the first part of Valparaiso), and so I stormed right into an undisturbed group of enemies. I gunned down the closest with my assault rifle, and took out his more distant buddy with my grenade launcher. A third guy, who had been behind cover, jumped over to get me, and died to my pistol. He had another guy right behind him (freshly spawned), who was just coming around a corner. I knifed him and the reloaded my pistol. As reloaded I saw the guy get rezzed by a medic. I killed him again – pistol this time – and then knifed the medic. By this point I was inadvertantly making that operative “ooaaaaah” noise that signifies great victory and thinking that I might be on a killing spree that would last forever. Then I died to a grenade I hadn’t noticed.

The battle recorder was a brilliant feature of Battlefield 2. If it had been available to me here then I could prove that all this happened, and that I am the greatest. Sure, I could have Fraps’d it, but fuck that. I want my battle recorder.

DICE, make it so.

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131 Comments »

  1. Koojav says:

    “and took out his more distant buddy with my grenade launcher”

    You are dead to me.

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      Well likewise. If I have a grenade launcher.

    • Alex Bakke says:

      Don’t worry; I once stabbed Jim after he grenaded my chum.

    • Ovno says:

      I know killing people with grenades is just soooooo unrealistic…

    • Dave says:

      Ovno once killed me with a grenade, true story

    • Alaric says:

      I don’t tube, but people who complain about tubbers annoy me. In modern wars very few people die from bullet wounds. Notice how I said “very few”. I actually meant “VERY FEW”. Explosives (in the form of artillery, bombs, rockets, mortars, mines, and all the various kinds of grenades) are responsible for the majority of casualties.

      Surprising as it may be, in real wars people don’t constantly run around jumping and dodging. Oh and snipers … they camp! And sometimes they even spawn-kill. Those who are unhappy about his practice need to find the nearest veteran and call him a fucking n00b with no skill.

    • Vagrant says:

      So-called nube-tubers and rocket-spammers are no big deal. They can effectively kill what, 1 guy maybe? It’s the shotgun users that annoy me. Those things are just ridiculous.

    • Spliter says:

      @Alaric
      Yes, I’m sure in games we’re looking to experience the exactly the same things as in real life wars including but not limited to:
      a gunshot in any part of the body that isn’t leg or arm is almost a certain death.
      A gunshot to any other body part means a few days in hospital and being unable to use your arm for a few weeks.
      Having to listen constantly to the people in command at all times.

    • Alaric says:

      I’d say that depends on the game. I don’t expect any realism from UT or TF. But I don’t think it’s on the whole unreasonable to expect to die by grenades in games that emphasize modern day combat. After all, explosives are the easiest, fastest and the most sure way of killing people, so given that option it’d be strange to expect players to refrain from using it.

      In my personal experience the tubbers are less prone to ruining the game for me, compared to those who complain loudly about the tubbers and spend the entire duration of the game cursing them out.

    • Synesthesia says:

      tubers in bc2 are not that annoying in bc2, they have been pretty well balanced. What i do find anoying is those carl gustav users that wear it as their primary weapon, against single units of infantry. CG is teh new noobtube.

    • Vagrant says:

      9 times out of 10 I can survive or avoid a CG guy. They patched that up to be harmless pretty early on.

    • Raiyan 1.0 says:

      Oh Vagrant, you’ll hate me with burning passion.

      Since the first time I laid my hands on the Doom super shotgun, I always go for the shotgun until and unless the map is way too large.

    • Vagrant says:

      If the map’s too large, just use slugs and keep on rocking! I used to run shotguns, but after dominating game after game, I wanted something a bit easier. Seriously, recon with a shotgun is the most fearsome thing in BC2. Nigh-unstoppable.

      Another great config, although not quite as effective, is recon with the T88 sniper rifle and the close range scope is fantastic. If you’re good at aiming for heads at short range, you can finish off whole squads before a reload.

    • Was Neurotic says:

      @Synesthesia

      “tubers in bc2 are not that annoying in bc2, they have been pretty well balanced. What i do find anoying is those carl gustav users that wear it as their primary weapon, against single units of infantry. CG is teh new noobtube.”

      Us low-rank Engineers do this because our low-rank SMGs are absolute shitness, even with red dot scopes or 4x mag scopes. They just suck enormous dangling balls. i can’t wait to get from Spec I to Spec II so I can get my next utterly pants SMG. *sigh*

    • Premium User Badge sockeatsock says:

      I’d just like to add that I also hated potatoes in BC2. I’m also not a fan of the Yam’s or Sweet potato and hope that they don’t return in BF3.

    • Donjonson says:

      I don’t see why they aren’t including roosters in BF3.. they’re pretty standard in modern FPS’s.

  2. Premium User Badge Ging says:

    They are indeed having mantling over low walls – it looks a bit mirrors edge in the videos that’ve shown it.

    [edit: youtube vid of said mantling / vaulting]

    • Vagrant says:

      Is it bad that despite how awesome everything else in all the trailers should be, it was that split-second clip that made my jaw drop in excitement? Or maybe it’s the 100 hours I’ve sunk into Mirror’s Edge affecting my sanity.

  3. Mitza says:

    “Imagine having a map that includes underground levels, where you are blowing holes in the asphalt to give tanks access to underground city routes, where they are safe from aircraft.”

    Heh, that sounds like something straight out of bldgblog :)

    Also, I would imagine it will come bundled with all kind of social features. EA has been making huge pushes into this area, so I presume we’ll at least get something similar to the Autolog in the latest NFS, and then some.

  4. Anton says:

    Just started playing BFBC2 yesterday (fresh copy from the summer Steam sale). Been searching for “rock” in the server browser, but can’t seem to find the RPS server… (i should probably look a bit harder =P)

    • Jim Rossignol says:

      It might be inactive, I’ll wake it up over the weekend.

    • Anton says:

      Coolness!!!! Will wait for the notice on Steam. Hopefully my ping will be good enough.

    • ran93r says:

      In the same boat, chugging through the single player but would happily pop on an RPS server.

    • TrouserDemon says:

      I think it’s case sensitive. Try “Rock”.

    • Alaric says:

      I bought it on Steam last week as well! Once I’ll beat the single player campaign, I’ll join you guys!

    • Premium User Badge dirtyword says:

      I look forward to getting shot by you this weekend.

    • DrGonzo says:

      Same here, been away for a while and not checked in about a week. But regardless of what was used in the search bar there was no server. Can’t wait for the RPS server to be up. It’s a fun game, but nothing more annoying than playing rush and no one on your team seems to understand the objective of the game.

    • Anton says:

      Played RUSH the whole time yesterday. Loving it. Played only Combat Mission maps on MoH so I’m no stranger to the objective. My only problem is that I’m still confused where the battle front is. =P Still getting used to the bullet trajectory thing, but been constantly spotting as much as I can.

      Can’t wait to see you guys on the server.

    • Commisar says:

      speaking of that sever, its full name is Multiplay :: Rock, Paper, Shotgun UK Server To Jim Rossingol, yes please, i can’t wait to hop on)connection permitting) and unleashing murder on RPS editors :)

    • mejoff says:

      Ooh yeah. All you guys can kill me all weekend! see you there!

  5. Inigo says:

    It’s a punchy rascal of a game, but it also hints at plenty of things that could be better in the future, and reminds us of lots of things that have been better in the past. Things that might be better in Battlefield 3.

    Like perhaps mod supportOHWAITNEVERMIND

    • Rymosrac says:

      THIS THIS THIS A HUNDRED MILLION TIMES

    • Pliskin says:

      Yeah I can’t find much legitimacy in their reasoning. It’s too complicated? Why not let us decide that. There is no doubt that some of that has to do with them not wanting PC gamers to stick with mods instead of buying official DLC / expansions. This is another BS point though and more developers / publishers need to realize that if they have a good product, and expansion or DLC, we will buy it. This just feels like they are potentially insecure about the quality of official DLC and that shouldn’t be our problem.

      I am disappointed with this, though I won’t let it ruin Battlefield 3 for me and who knows, maybe they will release mod tools in the future.

    • Gadriel says:

      The primary reason for the rampant ditching of mod support throughout the industry is publishers/devs not wanting mods to do whatever their DLC/expansions do. They’re less afraid of people not buying their DLC/expansions and more afraid that modders will put all those fancy features/weapons/maps into their game for free and deny them the ability to charge ludicrous sums for said goodies.

      It’s really hard to sell “Special Weapon Pack #5″ when some gun-nut has a free mod out that adds every weapon used in the modern era to the game already.

    • Premium User Badge Mo says:

      It’s not just the tools that are too complicated. It’s the entire toolchain. Developers would actually need entire server farms to mod BF3.

    • steviesteveo says:

      Wait, what do server farms have to do with modding toolchains?

  6. foda500orama says:

    “MANTLING OVER LOW WALLS

    Let’s have this. Are they having this? If so, I missed it. Let’s assume they are. That is a good thing.”

    You can do that, they shown it in one of the videos.

  7. King Kong says:

    I would love to see more open and less linear maps, and I would love Commander Mode.

    One of my favorite things about Battlefield 2 was how you and your squad mate could take a jeep and drive over to some distant control point to take it over, steal a chopper and cause havoc.

    In Bad Company 2, it always feels like I’m spawning, running forward and shooting things in front of me

    • soundofvictory says:

      I do this all the time in BC2. It doesn’t really work out in most RUSH maps as those focus more on the push/pull of a single front. However in most of the conquest maps with vehicles, this can be done and is a huge adrenaline rush.

    • steviesteveo says:

      It’s just good practice on Conquest: if your entire team is lined up against the other side’s entire team at a single point you should break the stalemate by taking a jeep to an undefended point and forcing the other team to split their forces.

      It’s bad strategy to sit pounding away at a fortress the entire game while your tickets count down.

  8. Bilbo says:

    I think ultimately the armoured battles would feel more realistic if vehicles didn’t have limitless ammunition supplies. Taking down buildings as a strategic move is great, but if your tank has a bottomless supply of tank shells, it becomes a necessity – why aren’t you doing it – rather than a choice – why are you doing it? I’d rather vehicles needed to rearm, so tanks don’t become “angry houses that need to be dealt with” but rather one more element of the changing battlefield

    • Screamer says:

      I’d welcome any change , rather than the current BFBC2′s “angry shopping cart” with lemons that only ever kills “angry hopping bunnies” with a direct hit :/

    • steviesteveo says:

      I agree that would be a good change. Currently tank drivers have to ask themselves why they’re sitting in a tank and not holding down the fire button.

  9. coffeetable says:

    The problem with the kind of structural physics you’re asking for is that it’s hard to quickly, and upsettingly hard to do quickly and convincingly. We can just about manage to get a brittle, homogeneous material – like concrete – to break convincingly nowadays, but if you want the effects of losing that concrete to propagate through a complex building, you’re outta luck.

    e: unscripted, this is.

  10. B0GiE-uk- says:

    MOD TOOLS PLEASE!
    Everyone please sign the BF3 mod tools petition:
    http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/bf3modtools/signatures

    1765 signatures as I post this.

  11. brkl says:

    How about getting decent gear right at the start? Bad Company 2 was really strongly geared towards having every new player be at the mercy of folks who sink 8 hours a day into it. You would think experience and skill should be enough to give people and edge.

    • mkultra says:

      Actually, it isn’t. Once you hit level 15 and get body armor/magnum ammo you’re up to snuff, seeing as every starter weapon for each class isn’t outclassed by an unlockable.

    • Pootie says:

      I dont get your point. New players will OF COURSE be at the mercy of those who play a lot. But that doesnt have anything to do with gear. I naturally expect that a player who plays a lot will eventually be better than a player who isnt spending much time with the game. At least he should be or he is doing something really wrong. Btw in BC2 you can unlock important gear very fast.

    • ankh says:

      I wouldnt say it is a huge problem in BFBC2. It seems like it though because its hard to get into this game so you might think you’re getting pwned because they have better stuff.
      I do however disagree with this gear unlocking story. It’s bullshit.

      Edit: btw I blame consoles for this unlocking gear shit. I refuse to believe that PC gamers, people who have played cs, q3 ect are OK with this.

    • brkl says:

      Magnum ammo is the perfect example. What a change getting that made. After that the game feels a whole lot easier, but it took dozens of hours of playing.

    • YourMessageHere says:

      This is the thing that continually gets me: Why do things unlock in a set order? If they’re going to have balanced weapons, why not let people unlock whichever weapon/addon/gadget/whatever they like when they gain a level? And if they’re not going to have balanced weapons, what the flying fishpaste are they doing making MP games?

    • mwoody says:

      They want people to keep playing. If you choose the order in which you unlock things, then logically, the one you unlock last – which will probably, in an exponential system, take the longest – will be the item you want least. That’s not a good curve.

    • frenz0rz says:

      The weapon unlock system in BC2 is actually extremely well balanced, in my opinion.

      Case in point – my second favourite sniper rifle is the one you start with, as it’s accuracy is second only to the godlike Gol Magnum which you unlock about halfway down the tree.

      For the most part, the weapons you unlock toward the end of each tree are simply more specialised, and often require experience and knowledge to be used effectively. The M3 LMG, for example, has an insanely fast fire rate, but is woefully inaccurate – you need to know when to use such a weapon, and when not to. On the other hand, the PKM – the first medic gun – is a pretty well balanced, all-purpose LMG.

    • mkultra says:

      First unlocks compared to last:

      AEK -> M-16: Exact same weapon stats save the 3-round-burst on the M-16.

      09A-91 -> UMP: 09A has higher long-range damage, less capacity. UMP lower long-range damage, higher capacity (5), same otherwise.

      PKM -> MG3: Major speed difference, but the exact same TTK (both being best out of the LMGs).

      M24->M95: M95 has a significantly longer reload time, lower RoF and lower headshot multiplier.

      I can only argue that the assault class grabs the statistically “better” rifle later on – the second unlock, the XM8.

    • DrGonzo says:

      For some of us, halfway down the tree is further than we will ever get. It really gets on my nerves and stops me from wanting to play anymore.

    • FunkyBadger3 says:

      95% of noob deaths are down to map knowledge. And you can’t unlock that, you have to earn it.

    • YourMessageHere says:

      mwoody: yes, logically, the gun I unlock last is the one I want least. But if all that’s keeping a player playing is the promise of unlocks, the actual gameplay must be pretty poor, yes? Dice need to have faith in players enjoying just playing the game. BFBC2 plays pretty well once you have some unlocks, but generally it’s a hell of a grind, especially when I can’t switch classes on respawn to do something useful for the team because the equipment I need to do it is still locked, due to me grinding another class to get something I want.

    • steviesteveo says:

      I think the Medic is a particularly clear example of how this is a bit broken initially. New medics can’t even heal other players and you have to be a guy with a machine gun for a couple of levels before you can be a medic.

  12. Fitzmogwai says:

    Fucking jets. And to a lesser extent fucking helicopters. (That said, my favourite BF2 round ever was spent entirely in a blackhawk, ferrying squads around into and out of the shit. Score 0; satisfaction, total.)

    Aircraft were absolutely great in BF2 when they were used properly. I think I saw that happen twice in the three years I played. Game breaking when played by some kill-whoring cock who you can’t do anything about because a) the pilots on your team are kill-whoring themselves instead of supporting the team and hunting enemy aircraft and b) if you weren’t in a plane you had bugger all chance of killing anything flying. SAM points? Destroyed by pilots on their inbound attack run, because they could see on the map that it was occupied. AA tanks? Great at killing infantry, not so good at killing aircraft.

    Shoulder-launched AA missiles THAT WORK should be available. At least that would help take out the copter-whores. A bloody sight easier than the ridiculous dart-gun in BFBC2.

    The bigger problem isn’t as easy to fix though – getting pilots to fight for the team rather than the leaderboard.

    Oh, and the absolutely best thing about BF2 was the commander slot. That must make a re-appearance in BF3!

    • Lev Astov says:

      I hear you on the jets and helicopters thing. I absolutely love showing fly boys what I think of their antics, but even in a good Tunguska, I’d rarely get more than 1 or 2 of them in a game. They need to make that thing devastating to helis that get within line of sight and to aircraft that make a pass by it. That’s why in BF2 I stuck to the Project Reality Mod, where Tunguskas RAPED aircraft almost instantly. Kept them on their toes.

      Also, in tournaments, good UH-60 pilots were absolutely priceless. Games were won or lost based on them. I really hope we get more of that.

    • Pliskin says:

      Man, I don’t know what servers you were playing on but I didn’t have that experience with Jets. Most of the time Jets only broke the game because half my damn team was standing around its spawn waiting for it them.

    • frenz0rz says:

      I cant speak for BF2 since I never played it, but in BC2 I rarely bother to use the tracer gun.

      IMO, the AT4 is king, and a skilled AT4 user can effectively down most choppers with consumate ease. This is even more true on maps such as the start of Valparaiso (on Rush), where most pilots tend to either repeatedly circle the objective or face the objective head-on and dip up and down to avoid missiles – once you know their pattern, it’s relatively easy to fire off a rocket at the right moment and adjust it’s course manually. Easier than using a tracer anyway, since even if you hit them with it, they could simply deploy flares. Doesnt work against an AT4!

      Of course, this all depends whether you can actually trust your teammates to defend you while you’re looking up at the sky…

  13. piles says:

    some good points, plus commo-rose is a feature id like to see re-implemented.

    with reference to this however
    “If you simply have to secure that bridge to get the tanks across (or face the rest of the level without armour support) then it could be a whole lot more exciting to play through”

    I would have to disagree, the bf game modes are a persistant world in which people respawn and your ‘life’ isnt valued, nothing is stopping a team kamikaze, if the round ended and restarted when one team killed the other, this may work as teams would be less inclined to waste their life on a rush.
    Theres nothing stopping one team bombarding key points until they collapse which can be done quickly as it usually only takes one hit to knock out a bridge for example, such as how mcom stations used to be able to be bombarded out of existence.
    Making a team suffer a full round without armour support simply based upon knocking something like a bridge out would be silly and imbalanced.

  14. Tim James says:

    I’m not sure mini-objective destruction is a good idea in public games. It’s hard enough to get teamwork going sometimes, and it’d suck to lose something as significant as armor support because your team is bad, or get rolled over by it if you’re the defenders.

    Also, I have a theory the balance between Rush attack/defend has changed over the life cycle of the game. My defender W/L ratio is much better than attacker, but everyone I’ve seen who played the game a year ago is the opposite. Cutting off the attackers is good up until the balance swings to the defender, at which point winning is nearly impossible.

    • Jamison Dance says:

      The attacker/defender win ratio thing may be because if you play conquest, a win counts as an attacker win, while a loss counts as a defender loss. I know I play mostly conquest, so my attacker ratio is around 2 and my defender is around .5.

  15. Ogun says:

    CRUISE CONTROL
    (maybe with everything other than left and right unavailable while cruising, to prevent exploits)
    I hate having to hold down W when travelling across a big map.

    XP SHUFFLE
    This was a nice balancing feature in Wolfenstein Enemy Territory that it’d be nice to see in other MP games.

    • Heliocentric says:

      tap team message (y?) while walking /driving to lock your controls. press return to release.

    • DrGonzo says:

      I would like it have the system from RO or someting similar. It allows you to have a more analog system.

  16. g33kz0rd says:

    I think that Defender Team should lost points if destroyed own Structures.

    Like if underground tunel can be destroyed easily so the enemy won’t use it, but its like…. ITS YOURS, ITS THERE FOR SOMETHING DOESNT IT?

    • steviesteveo says:

      Also, defenders on Rush shouldn’t have unlimited respawns. I think they should have a significant number of respawns but you should still have upper value to represent some way of making the battle untenably expensive for them (currently you can kill 10,000 defenders but they win as long as they’ve still got those two boxes).

  17. Creeping Death says:

    “A WORKING SERVER BROWSER ON LAUNCH

    This would also be acceptable. It’s probably the biggest lesson of BFBC2′s glitchy launch: it’s not okay for this to be an afterthought.”

    They didn’t learn after BF2, or 2142, what makes you think they’ll have learnt by now? We all know the drill by now, server browser doesnt work at launch, gets repeatedly patched, works for a bit but then gets broken by a later patch, finally gets into a working (ish) state but information such as server pings are still completely useless.

    I think that’s a fair summary :P As much as I’m eagerly anticipating BF3′s launch, there is a bit of a war going on inside me. Do I buy it at launch so I can maximize my playtime but endure the bugs? Or do I wait a couple of months, get it cheaper, and hopefully with the major bugs sorted? :/

    • Ginger Yellow says:

      I really don’t understand how they forget how to make a server browser with every new game. It’s not exactly cutting edge gaming tech.

    • ankh says:

      Wait a couple of months, maybe just a few weeks and then you will be part of the solution and not the problem in my opinion. Nobody should buy a multiplayer game with no server browser.

  18. zuddy says:

    “What I mean is this: imagine a multiplayer map where the attacking team didn’t just incidentally flatten a few houses as they attacked the objective, but had to punch holes through walls and defensive lines to get their troops inside to secure particular points.”

    Eyal Weizman’s essay Lethal Theory (pdf) should be required reading for any level designer.

  19. Player1 says:

    For me BF 1942 is still the greatest, because it had land, air, and SEA vehicles. They really need to get back the big ships and one submarine or two… : )

  20. Lev Astov says:

    Amen to all of that!

    I would LOVE to see aircraft and AA vehicles again! Bring back the Tunguska or Shilka and make them MONSTERS against aircraft! Stronger armored vehicles with limited ammo and none of this “unlock your coaxial MG/smoke/zoom but choose only one” garbage. Keep that stuff standard! And if my multiplayer tanks don’t have that and thermal vision, I am done with DICE forever this time, I swear!

    As B0GiE-uk says, modding is definitely a must. Is that happening this time around? It really sounded like DICE lamented the lack of modding on BFBC2 but had their hands tied.

    • ankh says:

      It’s not happening. The modding that is.

    • Lev Astov says:

      What you say?!

      Screw EA. Where was this announced? I’ll have their entrails for my violin strings!

    • ankh says:

      There is a RPS post about it. Some german gaming site interviewed one of the devs.

      To make things worse (much worse) they say its because its too hard to make mod tools….

    • Kakrafoon says:

      OH YES. There are some things that should be Standard Equipment in a tank, and that’s smoke launchers, a zoom for the main gun and a coaxial MG. The rest is optional – but I’d like to use more perks than one at a time for the vehicles. I’d like a dedicated “tank driver” or “chopper pilot” class that has only a pistol or an SMG, but can pick more vehicle perks than the infantry classes.
      Sure, it takes a bit of planning ot say “this round, I’m going to be a tank driver”, but it’s better than shooting down a helicopter with your tank, only to be confronted by two guys carrying RPGs. If you’re in a helo, there should be no room to store an extra AT weapon.

  21. Premium User Badge Shockeh says:

    RE: Server Browser

    “This would also be acceptable.”

    Acceptable? ACCEPTABLE? Surely this one word shows how far we’ve fallen, in that we’ll accept and still buy up (by the truckload) copies of titles that can’t manage to operate a server browser so people can play the game at launch. Try ‘This should be mandatory’ and we’ll see how we’re doing.

  22. Phenomenon says:

    I wish they had more than just 4 classes. The multiple classes in Battlefield 2 made you feel like you had an important role, but with all the homogenized classes I think that will be the only thing that will disappoint me about this game. 64 players per server and only 4 classes is going to be kind of lame.

    • Jamison Dance says:

      I think the different loadouts lend themselves to variety. I can play several completely different kinds of assault in BC2. Smoke, 40mm shotgun, regular shotgun with c4, long-range assault rifle, short-range assault rifle, and more.

    • Premium User Badge Daiv says:

      I thought they were using the 2142 classes? Those worked pretty well, and 2142 is still my favourite of the series.

      Assault: Versatile fighter with assault rifles, medkits, and AEDs.
      Recon: Sniper with rifle or silenced SMG commando with C4 and stealth.
      Support: Massive LMG firepower, ammo kits, deployables.
      Engineer: SMG and anti-armour weapons, plus repair kit.

    • Jamison Dance says:

      BC2 has:
      Assault – assault rifles, grenade launchers, ammo
      Medic – machine guns, defibrillator, health kit
      Engineer – Rocket launchers or mines, SMGs, repair tool
      Recon – sniper rifles, motion sensors, c4 or mortar strike, and a cool wookie suit.
      There are several all-purpose weapons as well; shotguns and a few other rifles are available.

      edit: Unless you meant the B3 classes. If so, they sound very similar to what you described.

  23. rocketman71 says:

    Anyway, what follows is a consideration of what Battlefield games have done right and wrong, and what Battlefield 3 needs to think about.

    So, no mention of the lack of mapping?. Modding?. LAN?. Public server files?. The fact that we should get the same DLCs that the consoles do?. The fact that DICE are a bunch of liars in the league of fourzerotwo?.

    Booooooo.

    • Unaco says:

      Don’t be silly… This is BF3 we’re talking about. If it had been MW3 on the other hand, things would probably be different.

  24. Frantics says:

    Good points and thoughts Jim. I really like BC2, had some great fun with it. Think more awesome stuff happened in my time in the BC2 demo than the whole of my MW2 playtime. Honestly though the one thing that I’d want changed would be the slight seemingly inherent weird lag on most of the servers I’d join. Is this a common thing or have I just got unlucky? Maybe something to do with how demanding frostbite is and server operators running as many as possible, but no clue. Haven’t really played much in a while so could have changed.

  25. John Connor says:

    I’m just happy they nerfed Reconfags so they can’t snipe from the hip. I’ll pay $50 for that.

    • mkultra says:

      I hate that change. I play scope close-range with the assaults and they nerf me instead of giving bush wookies a reason to do something productive. They’re even adding a “Press Shift to Hold Breath” function. That, plus prone = a few hundred less CQC snipers and thousands more wookies sitting back at 300 meters.

  26. Jimbo says:

    I played about 50 hours of Bad Company 2, which I think is by far the most amount of competitive multiplayer I’ve played since BF2. BC2 is great, but eventually the sniper spam (on my own team, not the enemy) got too much for me. Hopefully BF3 will put more emphasis on winning the round and less (or none) on K:D.

    • aircool says:

      I think the sniper spam (and I agree, it’s worse when there’s too many snipers on your team, and no-one to rush the objectives) will be tempered by the new pinning mechanic from MG’s. If you want a sniper to keep his head down (and therefore neutralise him), suppression is the way to go.

  27. aircool says:

    RE: Clip – I think a BFBC2 Hummer would have lost all its hit points after two or three buildings.

    As for tougher tanks, nothing would change, you’d still end up with an engi constantly repairing the tank as it would just get battered more.

    Inside a tank is probably the worst place to be on a battlefield, anti-armour infantry weapons are commonplace amongst professional armies, and one direct hit is enough to liquidize the crew whilst leaving the tank intact (apart from a very small hole).

    • Kakrafoon says:

      That is true, but only if you use the tank to get up close and personal to capture flags. If you play the tank like it’s supposed to be used in real life – a mobile, armoured flat-trajectory field gun – then it still has a place in modern armies. Even up-armoured tanks have no place in urban brawls.
      The only thing that saves me from being swamped by infantry in my tank in tight surroundings is the Electronic Warfare pack.

  28. metalangel says:

    Best Idea Ever Get: a combat engineer’s bulldozer. Push the rubble out of the way to clear a path for your vehicles. Friendly troops can shelter behind the blade as you advance.

    • DeCi says:

      Worst idea ever.
      A bulldozer is NOT Armored. even small arms fire penetrates it.
      Steel does not mean armored.
      and you want to put it on the frontline?
      Madness.

    • Unaco says:

      @Deci…

      Worst reply ever.
      If you’d bothered to do even the smallest amount of research (Googling ‘armoured bulldozer’) you would know that Armoured Bulldozers are used a fair bit by Combat Engineers. And, surprisingly enough, they are Bulldozers, that have been Armoured. Bulldozers with armour, that allows them to operate under heavy fire. They are used extensively by the Israeli Defence Force, and during the Second Intifada were used quite a lot of the Front Lines… as they were impervious to most Palestinian arms, RPG’s and even some very large IEDs.

    • kenmcfa says:

      Wikipedia begs to differ

      *Edit: Worst non-ninja’d reply ever.

    • metalangel says:

      Thank you, fellows. There was a reason I said COMBAT ENGINEER’S bulldozer.

      Also, has there ever been a game with a drivable flail tank? Tim Stone must know.

    • Alex Bakke says:

      Both Company of Heroes and Men of War have flail tanks.

  29. MiniMatt says:

    Single player flight training / practice area.

    SINGLE PLAYER FLIGHT TRAINING / PRACTICE AREA.

    SINGLE PLAYER FLIGHT TRAINING / PRACTICE AREA

    Please no more newbie chopper pilots picking up their squad, and promptly fly them straight into a building. Backwards. And upside down.

    • metalangel says:

      YES. A BILLION TIMES SO. I love flying, and once I get to grips with the idiosyncrasies of each game’s controls I am a decent pilot.

      Bad Company 2 (on 360 at least) gave me NOWHERE to practice offline. In retrospect perhaps a system link game (were those even allowed? I doubt it actually) would have been a fine option – but then you’re not connecting through EA’s precious, switch-off-able servers.

      ArmA2 with its detailed training missions for each type of vehicle should not stand as the solitary example.

    • steviesteveo says:

      I suspect that many of the pilots who fly squads into buildings at high speed might not bother with a single player training mode. I’d like some quick way to know if my pilot in MP is any good before I get on the helicopter.

  30. MiniTrue says:

    Does every game have to have CoD’s stupid gun upgrade progression? Why can’t I play with any gun, right from the off, like a first-person shooter? What kind of reasoning dictates soldiers “unlocking” guns? Until DICE start making Battlefield games again, in the vein of 1942, Vietnam, 2 and to a lesser extent 2142, then I’ll stick to playing ArmA2 and soon ArmA3.

    Also, please God, Battlefield games are about teamplay. If it’s possible to play BF3 without being involved in the team, then the game is doing it wrong.

    • Jamison Dance says:

      You realize that 2142 had a very extensive unlock feature, right? I think it is fun, as it rewards progression and makes me try out guns that I never would have had they all been available at the beginning.

  31. Nallen says:

    When BF2 was released my friends and I described it as the best game we had ever played wrapped in the worst multiplayer interface we’d ever seen. It was a real shame to see so many of those issues return in BFBC2.

    Of course we all put 200 hours each in to that too.

    As for the rest of the wish list, I’m in. 100%.

  32. Rii says:

    Alas, according to IGN destruction in BF3 is actually more limited than in BFBC2:

    “While Battlefield 3′s environmental damage looks fantastic, it’s actually a bit of a step backward from Battlefield: Bad Company 2. Damage is done to facades built onto structures, rather than the actual structures themselves – you’re not going to be bringing buildings down in Battlefield 3 like you did in Bad Company 2 outside of scripted moments in singleplayer and possible hard-coded objectives in multiplayer.”

    • sgt. grumbles says:

      If this is true (and I believe you), then this sucks. With such an anticipated release, a step backward is not what I want. I have long hoped games would advance in physics, including destructibility, over graphics. It’s getting tiresome to load up the latest and greatest game year-after-year, shoot things like walls, desks, etc, and have nothing substantial happen.

      Boo to this.

  33. YourMessageHere says:

    I’d be sold on BF3 with support for client-side custom skins, models, sound effects and so on. This is what gave HL-engine and Source games huge longevity for me. Getting tired of the game? Change how it looks! BF games, on the other hand, have always given you just one option: vanilla. And that’s often been pretty unimpressive. I always think of the infantry experience of BF games as the airsoft of FPS gaming, in that it looks reasonably convincing, but something about the feel, sound and overall experience is inherently underwhelming and unconvincing. New gun models, new animations and new sounds would potentially eliminate that entirely.

  34. clive dunn says:

    I would like to see less whingers in BF3. Kill someone with a CG, ‘cg noob fuk youzz’.
    Kill someone with a grenade, ‘noob tube fuk youzz’.
    Infact pretty much everything you do, whinge whinge whinge.
    It got to the point that if i was using a slipper to batter them to death they’d say, ‘OMG slipper noob’.
    In the end i just loved sneaking around with my dart tracer gun tagging people on the back of their heads.
    The game is brilliant, not perfect but brilliant and definatly one of my all time favourites. As Jim said sometimes it has moment of improvised serendipity that just make you smile like a big satifised smiling thing.

    • Nick says:

      Wow, equating real life death of soldiers to BC2 for a shit joke. Good one.

    • clive dunn says:

      You’re right Nick, it was a shit joke. I have deleted it and i promise i will not make any more shit jokes. I let you down. I let our armed forces down but more importantly i let myself down.
      Apologies.

  35. l4wl says:

    Squad leaders and the ability to issue more complex orders with that radio communication/enemy spotting wheel thingy from BF2, that’ll be cool

  36. jay35 says:

    The type of strategic/tactical structural destruction described in the article would be key to infantry being effective in a very vehicle-focused environment and one where aircraft are back in the mix again in a bigger way than BC2.

  37. FadedCamo says:

    One thing I wish Battlefield implemented was a really cool feature Red Orchestra had. The sniper rifle scope would have a zoome just like in real life, but the area outside of the scope would still be at a normal zoom. It looked so cool and much more realistic than the whole screen zooming in. Have no idea why more games don’t do it. Example: http://media.pcgamer.com/files/2011/01/sniper-scope-resized-jpeg.jpg

    • Tei says:

      It probably halfs the framerate, since you have to render the screen two times. One for the whole screen unzoomed, and another one (but less expensive, because is smaller) for the zoomed scoope.

      Thats like buying a single thing on the market, that eat half your budget. And is a optional thing you don’t really need, just cosmetic.

    • FadedCamo says:

      Yea, it definately hampered the framerate, but it was a simply button to toggle on/off in the options if you didn’t want it. For those with the super elite computers to run it, why not have the ability?

  38. vodkarn says:

    “We need a big friends list, notifications in game of when people join servers, and so on. ”

    If only they could just use something that already exists, that does all these things, and is free… ;)

    I decided to skip this game when I heard no mod tools/origin/etc. I got the Collectors Edition of ME2 and I have regretted it every time I’ve played since. Logging onto EA’s totally broken servers is stupid. It’s been down at least four times when I wanted to play, and that means any saves I have that have DLC in them are unusable. Amusingly had I bought a second-hand copy sans-DLC I would have been able to play. Lesson learned EA, cheers.

    Anyway, BF3: No thanks. Especially for an MP game on EA server stuff, no thanks. I’ll miss the Battlefield series though, don’t think I won’t, heh.

  39. deadly.by.design says:

    How about a voice chat system that actually works? BFBC2′s has been hit-or-miss every time I’ve tried it, so my friends and I tend to use Steam’s silky chat instead.

  40. Juiceman says:

    The one thing I wish would return was the commander from BF2. They were absolutely crucial to organizing the 32 players on your team into a cohesive force. Was extremely helpful in developing an overall strategy for attacking and holding objectives with the entire team in mind. In BC2 its more of just a random number of squads doing their own thing, if they are cooperating at all. I know they said it isn’t returning, but hopefully their revamped squad system will work better in BF3 or commanders will come back in some form or fashion latter on.

  41. PersianImm0rtal says:

    Please join the BOYCOTT

    http://steamcommunity.com/groups/bf3boycott

    • mkultra says:

      Is this kind of like the MW2 boycott before MW2 became (at the time) the best-selling video game ever released?

  42. Tei says:

    I have to say that I agree with everything the OP said.

    But I am very pesimist about the state of the FPS world. The success of MW is like a curse that make so publishers want all games to be more like MW. I don’t really think a excellent game like what BF3 is possible. I would be very happy to be wrong, and from the look of it, BF3 is going to prove me wrong, but I am still pesimist, maybe as a protection against feel cheated.

  43. Simplex says:

    “It’s [Destruction] is a brilliant feature that will almost certainly be done even better in Battlefield 3.”

    So this is not true?
    http://www.gamersbook.com/scene/news/destruction-of-battlefield-3-is-getting-nerfed/

  44. theallmightybob says:

    “Toning down the capacity for infantry to take out armour unassisted would be good”

    No, no it wouldent, that would compleatly unbalance the game play. A skilled tank crew can allready lock down a whole section of map in BC2. The only time tanks really get messed up by a few people is when they are stupid enough to get close to buildings were people can hide, just how it should be.

  45. goldrunout says:

    What about a decent netcode?

  46. FalconEagle says:

    I actually don’t enjoy when the mouse moves really slow in tanks, or any type of vehicle and that tank segment in BF3 looks boring as hell because of it. Seems like I would have to adjust my mouse sensitivity to the highest available, or else have to deal with picking up my mouse like fifty times to do one complete spin. Borderlands for all the shit it got on PC, had great vehicle control response.

    • steviesteveo says:

      I suspect I’d be absolutely fine with the slow turn rate on a tank turret (it’s a tank turret, after all) ifI didn’t have the memory of how the mouse responded when you’re on foot. It’s an entirely different game all of a sudden and it jars quite badly.