A Note On Battlelog And Battlefield 3′s SP

By Jim Rossignol on October 27th, 2011 at 2:54 pm.


Earlier today I mentioned, via the tweetohorn, that I was having trouble launching Battlefield 3′s single-player because the Battlelog website was offline or something. My confusion came about because the game’s single player directs you to a web page to launch itself. But it turns out that actually you just have to switch Origin to “offline” mode to get it running. Ha. Yeah. It’s a feature, you see.

Sigh.

It should also be mentioned that while all the stat tracking and stuff is a-mazing, Battlelog also the server browser, for some reason. Yep. The server browser for the game, is in your internet browser, and is a website. Not that we’re unused to external apps, but… well it’s no All-Seeing Eye, I tell you that. I miss you, All-Seeing Eye.

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76 Comments »

  1. kyrieee says:

    Yes, The All Seeing Eye was great. I too miss it.
    Games used to have terrible server browsers. Quake3, CS, they were practically unusable.

    • empfeix says:

      Loved All Seeing Eye. Oh the days!

    • fionny says:

      Ah I had forgotten about that, that was a useful program!

    • Frankie The Patrician[PF] says:

      In Baldurs Gate’s narrator voice: “And so the men talked about the great alas discontinued program called All Seeing Eye. Tears were shed, many a pint of beer drunk, and much rant about the cruel world had taken place.”

    • Premium User Badge

      Smashbox says:

      It would be cool if they put out an API so people could make their own web-based-browsers/custom filters/custom games/etc.

      #nevergonnagetit

    • xavdeman says:

      I loved the All Seeing Eye! Used it for Battlefield 2 all. the. time. I don’t get why they (EA/DICE) didn’t just buy it (it was bought by… Yahoo? I believe).
      Anything’s better than Origin, which is down RIGHT NOW.
      http://img32.imageshack.us/img32/2596/screenshot2011102720272.png
      “Origin is having problems with game activation, we are aware of the issue… blah blah can’t play BF3 single player because online DRM is down. IWNet all over again.

  2. StingingVelvet says:

    Even if Origin is in offline mode do you need to launch the singleplayer from an internet-connected browser?

    • Lev Astov says:

      No, I tried that last night. If Origin is in offline mode, when you click Play Game, it actually launches like a normal game would, menu screen and everything.

    • StingingVelvet says:

      Ah, good, thanks.

      I can now buy it when it reaches $20 or so, as I planned.

    • Premium User Badge

      Eric says:

      @StingingVelvet: Don’t pay $20 for the single player of BF3. Maybe $10. Maybe. If you’re not in for the multiplayer there are better games to play.

    • Frankie The Patrician[PF] says:

      What a evolution – you actually need to turn the “offline mode” on to have it start as a normal game (in the past) would….hahahahahahaha

    • runtheplacered says:

      You’re going to pay $20 and only play the single player? Wow, talk about ripping yourself off. There is 0 reason to buy this game if you don’t play Multiplayer.

    • D3xter says:

      Another, like easier way to do this without starting Origin at all would just be this: “bf3.exe -sp”; whyever you would want to play Battlefield 3′s Single Player when you have the MP right there waiting for you is a mystery you’d have to disclose though…

  3. Premium User Badge

    Shakermaker says:

    I was very sceptical about Battlelog beforehand, but after using it for the last couple of days I have become a fan.

    • by.a.teammate says:

      I really liked battlelog in the beta, I honestly dont see what al the hostility is about. Its a pity its not obvious that you can run the single player in a more normal fashion but its nothing a bit of internet searching can’t fix.

    • dontnormally says:

      ^ irony

    • Potunka says:

      So far I like that when I CTD out of BF3 I can search for servers again right away because my browser is still up!

      It definitely has various pros and cons. People are so very volatile in their reactionary stances.

      And thanks to Jim for posting this article. I missed out on some FB2 engine sensory overload 9 hours ago because I had no clue about Origin’s bizarro “Offline Mode.”

    • Premium User Badge

      PoulWrist says:

      I enjoyed it from the start. It makes for a very flexible platform that can update in many ways without needing to patch the game content. Also a better idea than to write a whole interface interpreter or make up some kind of scripting language for the game when you have browsers available and the many nifty tools available on the internet in general.

      I like it. The hostility is from angry old men who think that things were better back when we had to use 3rd party tools to be able to find a game server to join.

    • dwl says:

      Isn’t the browser is a third party tool you have to use to join a game?

    • Barnaby says:

      I’m not an old man and I think it’s a shitty idea.

      They could have made stats viewable from a browser without forcing you to join servers that way.

    • simonh says:

      The Battlelog site seemed a bit buggy and unresponsive for me in Chrome, but it works a lot better in Internet Explorer actually. Kind of ambivalent about it myself, at least it does it’s job okay.

      Since I don’t use IE for anything else, I’ve set the Battlelog as my home page, and pretend that IE is really BF3 :)

    • scatterbrainless says:

      @dontnormally – that is the most awesome attribution of significance to another person’s words I’ve seen, I am totally stealing it.

  4. sneetch says:

    More odd networky behaviour. I’m always amazed (and mildly annoyed) that Microsoft’s Windows Live isn’t primarily just an API intended to give Windows developers a standard set of server, server browser and other networking functionality so that every second PC game I use doesn’t require me to open another set of ports on my firewall or miss basic functionality (why can I rarely see ping these days?) That’s one of the best things about online console gaming; the games work the same.

    Maybe Windows 8 will provide that.

    • Potunka says:

      I have a theory that the lack of a ping display in BF3 is to make the users oblivious to the awesome and seemingly now standard high-latency that is modern FPS online gaming.

      I know in BC2 I would see servers in the browser at 60 ping and get 180 ping constantly in-game. Didn’t hold me back, but the biggest benefit is having an indicator of where your network woes are stemming from: Is the whole server lagging or is my bandwidth being eaten by porn gremlins?

    • Premium User Badge

      PoulWrist says:

      You get those values because ping is different from latency. The ping to the server was 60 milliseconds, but the latency was 180. It wasn’t laggy at all in my oppinion. But it didn’t need Quake levels of speed either.

      But there are some people who say they have a ping counter… it was also there in the beta. Wonder why it was gone, because it was the only way to reliably get on to proper servers.

    • Tankerwade says:

      You can get ping results in the web server browser, you just need to run your browser as an administrator in Win7

    • simonh says:

      I had a lot of problems with Battlelog in Chrome, it seems to work best in Internet Explorer. It’s more responsive and it doesn’t even require admin rights to display pings. I’m guessing it’s using ActiveX or some similar proprietary IE stuff.

  5. Lev Astov says:

    And remember, the BF3 browser thing was totally borked on the first day. It seems to be better now, and honestly, it works better than DICE’s ingame server browsers ever did. I’ll do my best to live with it.

    Actually, my one major complaint is the split between Origin and Battlelog. I was expecting the whole thing to take place within the Origin window, with my Origin friends as my BF3 friends. Noooooooo, I have to ‘import’ my friends from Origin and do everything in a separate window. When I play BF3, there are no less than three windows open. It’s worse if you try to chat to people. Using Origin, Battlelog, party and platoon chat, I can chat to the same person in four windows, easily.

    You’re going to need some integration here if you want to win people over to Origin, EA!

    • MistaJah says:

      To be honest, they used to be (at least until BF2) powered by GameSpy, DICE never bothered to do their own browser from scratch.

  6. mcol says:

    Completed the singleplayer today, having played it a lot over the last couple of days. Not had a problem with the browser at all. I was also a naysayer from the start, but actually quite like it now.

  7. Inigo says:

    That picture is much more entertaining if you imagine he’s stuck to the wall.

  8. Khemm says:

    The funny thing is Origin is awesome at switching to offline mode… You can do that manually, but it’ll also nicely go offline itself if there’s an internet outage – unlike Steam, which completely prevents me from playing my games if I forget to switch to offline while still being connected. It gives me the “go online or offline” window, but will still insist on connecting to Valve.
    1:0 for Origin for not screwing its customers.

    • Gunrun says:

      More like 1:[Quite a large number]

    • Nick says:

      considering Origin is rebranded EA Link/Downloader, its already screwed plenty of customers. If they changed the name of Steam and gave it a new app, would you forgive its past? Then again, you love GFWL so your judgement is questionable.

    • Premium User Badge

      wengart says:

      That’s odd. I can turn off my internet connection and still launch nearly all of my steam games. (I think TF2 might be hit or miss but I can’t recall)

    • stupid_mcgee says:

      Strange, because Steam does exactly what you described and has, for me, flawlessly done so numerous times.

      I really don’t understand why everyone who promotes Origin always has to include some ignorant remark that Steam doesn’t do “Feature X” very well or doesn’t even have “Feature X”, when Steam does in fact have it and does it just as well if not better.

      This stems, to me, to the whole problem with Origin’s promotion: It’s not based on its own merits, but on trying to downplay and discredit its biggest competitor; Steam. Rather than letting the merits of the service speak for itself, EA has used underhanded techniques, afforded to them by being one of the largest game publishers, to strong-arm Origin’s position into market. A market that they had marginally and flippantly tried to court for several years, despite having a greater means than their competitors to do otherwise.

      BTW, October is the 6 year anniversary of EA Link/Store/Downloads/Download Manager/Origin.

    • Saiko Kila says:

      And I don’t know why anyone who defends Steam has always to accuse other Steam users of ignorance, while apparently not being wiser themselves. Steam CAN work that way – it doesn’t mean it always works that way. Steam status is very easy to break. It’s prone to corruption, and it is possible to lock yourselves out of your games, you can repair it only after reconnection then. It happens too often for me to ignore. It seems only one “unclean” game may flag whole steam inoperable, and you can’t even change accounts then (until you get it online again, of course). And it happens more often to games you haven’t played in a while.

    • Premium User Badge

      wengart says:

      Steam isn’t that easy to corrupt though and as long as you follow procedure properly it works fine. Make a stable connection before going offline and you will be fine. Furthermore if you unexpectedly lose internet connection just leave Steam up and you can still play your games.

      Steam won’t kick you off for losing a connection.

  9. Premium User Badge

    Gundato says:

    Indeed. While I still think the SP Campaign should go nowhere near Battlelog, I like the thing.

    I haven’t gotten too much of a chance to play (same username over there, if anyone wants to go pubbing together), but from what I have, Battlelog is fun. It integrates the community with the game, provides a way to brag about my horrible stats, and gives a way to browse stuff out of game. Ironically, my one wish is that I could configure my soldier in it as well (set up all my attachments and loadouts).

    • Jibb Smart says:

      +1. It’s fantastic, and I’d love to have more customisation options from Battlelog.

    • Potunka says:

      Definitely need kit loadout options in Battlelog.

      Also, I want a maxplayer=64 filter.

  10. nubbuka says:

    Jim, haven’t you played the Open beta of Battlefield 3?
    The Open Beta was for testing the Battlelog and the Servers, and on another note,
    The Battlelog was offline because they announced a maintenance on the Battlelog at
    9:00 am to 9:20 am CET.
    Link to the upgrade’s info:
    http://battlelog.battlefield.com/bf3/news/view/2832654773948017837/

    Once when you join the Battlelog it is advised to check the “NEWS” tab at the right upper corner for information regarding Battlefield 3.

  11. povu says:

    Right now simple graphics options are considered exciting features, and are presented proudly when the PC version of a game is discussed. Soon it will be the same for ‘has an actual ingame main menu’ .

    • Premium User Badge

      Vandelay says:

      This is the main issue I have with the Battlelog, the absence of a real menu system (this from the Beta, so might have been improved.) I want to be able to alter controls and graphics outside of the heat of battle. I want to quickly be able to switch between single player and multiplayer too.

      I like a lot of the elements of the Battlelog. The server browser is very fast. The stats are great. The community features look good, although I didn’t get to use them very much. There is no reason this couldn’t be imbedded in the game though.

  12. Raidensoul says:

    Personally, I think the more pressing issue is the hundreds of PC gamers who can’t play the game for more than 5 mintues without it either crashing, or in certain cases, causing a BSOD; in Windows 7. It’s obvious that the game wasn’t fully tested before being released.

  13. Tusque D'Ivoire says:

    That reminds me of the Ace of Spades Server Browser, which is on the site itself, too, and pretty much the only way to launch the game. for that, it’s awesome. But for a game like BF3 it just seems ridiculously lazy and uncomfortable. making it a website is actually ok, you don’t have to fire up this hulk of a game to stats etc, but you could also make it show in somein-game browser, tf2-blog style.

  14. Phinor says:

    Not being able to a) set your in-game settings, keybindings etc. and b) not being able to change your loadouts through Battlelog seems like a huge, gargantuan missed opportunity. As it is now, Battlelog offers nothing but inconvenience for the player.

    Also queueing to servers would be nice to add at least a little value to this thing called Battlelog. So much more they could do with it..

    • Potunka says:

      Oh yes, the queue. That’s what is missing. Browsing for a game has turned into seeing how fast I can hit refresh and then click ‘join’ on a server that is at ~60+/64 players before it fills up. Mini-games everywhere!

    • Moraven says:

      Queuing would be nice. Used that a lot on CS server favorites.

  15. Dobleclick says:

    Has anyone noticed that the dead man from this article’s image can actually be seen ALIVE in the game? I mean yeah, by now every RPS reader has found at least 3 or 4 clone corpses of that guy, but right in the first mission, when you exit the transport vehicle, he’s being escorted as a prisoner by two marines!!!!

    So it was the marines who killed him ten times over!!! Shock!!

  16. S.T.A.L.K.E.R. says:

    I can launch Campaign from Battlelog when Origin is in Online mode perfectly fine. Not sure why it isn’t working for you.

  17. aircool says:

    So, wait? You fire up your internet browser? You find a game you want to join? The game starts up, lengthy splash screens, the lot? Then the map loads and you find yourself in a game where everyone has already left or something even more annoying?

    Or does BF3 support alt-tabbing (which is never 100% reliable with games that support it anyway).

    • buzzmong says:

      Handily, no, you don’t get splash screens. Just a pretty similar screen to what Bad Company 2 (hereby called Bacons) had when loading maps.

      Alt-tab seems to work.

      Not that I’ve really been able to test as I’m one of the many people whose game will load, only to get kicked with a “Kicked by Administrator” message after about 20 seconds of being in the game.

      Attempting to fix it via Punkbuster did nothing, then attempting to repair/update via Origin ate my install. Which was nice of it.

      Battlelog is ok. Would have preferred an ingame main menu though for options.

    • brian says:

      For singleplayer you click the singleplayer thing and then watch some splash screens and it just looks like a normal game with a menu and stuff.

      For multiplayer it’s really clever and not only reserves your spot immediately, it then loads the game and map in the background and tells you when it’s loaded, there’s no need to look at a loading screen at any point really. Alt tabbing works really well and immediately switches it to window mode so you can do other stuff during round breaks. It’s really remarkably well done and the only gripe I have is that you can’t do your customisation stuff from it.

      edit: Buzzmong you’re joining one of these weird quasi private servers that some dickholes have set up for their clans or whatever, it’s not the game messing up it’s some weird script they have running. If the game was messing up it would say you’re disconnected and usually before it loads proper.

    • Moraven says:

      I enjoy also how the game reserves your stop and launches in the background with the ability to alt-tab easily while waiting for a new map to load.

      I think the major gripe everyone has with the browser Battelog system is simply the inability to configure your settings outside of a match. It is annoying trying to figure out the keybindings for vehicles while fighting is going on. Default auto detect video settings have worked well for my system. Other than the game frozen a couple time loading a map and the server list not refreshing I have not had many of a problem. Game is a lot of fun.

    • buzzmong says:

      @brian
      Sadly not.
      I was getting said messages before BF3 had even loaded properly, tried on about a dozen servers.

      No Dice.

    • owenj says:

      Buzzmong, I also have been unable to play this game yet as Punkbuster kicks my from every server. Have tried uninstalling / reinstalling and all the PB update stuff to no avail.

      Very frustrating.

      Also ironic that this is the first PC game in as long as I can remember that I could not play on release day and had to wait to be fixed.

      For shame.

    • buzzmong says:

      Update:

      Reinstalled. Updated. Have to perform a release day check before I can run it….

      Failed as I’m not allowed to play it until the 28th according to EA.

      Fair enough, except earlier it sailed through the release day check and was fine with today being the 27th (as it’s the US release). I wouldn’t mind too much but my other friends who’d pre-ordered via Origin have been playing today, despite them being based in UK and Belgium.

      So I’m being penalised for being European and shock horror, buying a physical copy.

      Those oceans on the internet are getting to be a royal pain in the bumcheeks.

    • pepper says:

      The problems you guys are having sounds a lot like the release of BF2. Anybody remember that? The DC clan I was in at that time jumped on the game, it was a lot of fun, but buggy as hell. We even switched to CS:S temporarily because BF2 was just unplayable for many. Most of the patches where quite a bit of a hit n miss.

      Aaah the good old days. Anyway, not unexpected for DICE.

      Oh, tell me does BF3 have a cancel loading button or do you have to reload the next map before you can quit after a game as BFBC2 does?

    • D3xter says:

      Update Punkbuster manually: http://evenbalance.com/index.php?page=pbsetup.php

      If that doesn’t work (or the PunkBuster initialization gives you errors) it might be a Port Forwarding problem e.g.:

      “If you are playing on PC, please enable the following online ports on your connection:
      TCP: 80, 443, 9988, 20000-29999, 22990, 17502, 42127
      UDP: 3659, 14000-14016, 22990-23006, 25200-25300″

      Unfortunately I have no idea which one of those are PunkBuster specific, and which is for all the other useless stuff like Origin, Battlelog and so forth.

    • owenj says:

      I have updated Punkbuster manually and the Punkbuster test if its working application reports it operating fine.

      It does remind me of the BFBC2 launch. I would’ve just expected DICE to sort this stuff out. Especially with all the money and dev time behind this game.

  18. DartsVenom says:

    Can i join the RPS platoon? Whats the linky?

  19. celewign says:

    Don’t buy this game. We need to stop supporting games released so buggy. The game is unplayable for me in multiplayer, and the single player is nothing but a bland collection of tropes. And I am really, really forgiving of bad plots. This is too much. I immensely regret my preorder.

    • Sardaukar says:

      I immensely value mine! The game has a few wibbly spots, but for a proper Battlefield game, this is a rather smooth release.

  20. theleif says:

    Boy, you’re lucky. Right now the BF3 activation server is overloaded, so i’m sitting here, staring on a spinning wheel of death.

  21. Land says:

    Ok… working all day and hoping I get BF3 in the mail today… I finally come home and to my delight I find a package waiting for me! I happily unpackage, and begin installing. First update drivers, then update origin, I’m ready to go! Ok, insert DVD… Install…

    PAGE LOAD ERROR

    Game activation appears to be unavailable at the moment. Please try again later. If the issue persists, please contact Origin Help.

    Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu-

    • Land says:

      Found a workaround. Go to https://activate.ea.com and wait for it to load… could take up to 10 minutes, but at least it’s better than waiting for nothing in Origin. Once it loads, fill in the serial key, and your EA login. After this wait a couple minutes again, and: Product Successfully Activated!

  22. Shooop says:

    Somehow, after not one, but two incredibly terrible releases in a row I just knew something like this would happen again.

    Welcome to the shit list DICE.

  23. FupDuk says:

    Origin is currently experiencing issues with game activation.

    We’re aware of this issue, and are working to resolve it as soon as possible. We apologize for the inconvenience.

  24. Kevin says:

    The whole launching the game from a browser really irritates me as an Opera user, As Opera (my default browser) isn’t fully supported, you can see where I take issue with it. That’s on top of the fact that on average I have 17,000 tabs on while using it.

  25. Etherealsteel says:

    holding off BF3 until it gets to be $20 and all the bugs, balance fixes, and a few patches are fixed. I think my main grip is battlelog. It’s fine to have it, but it should be a option for people to use, not must use. Do they not think that hackers won’t exploit this, hell they will.

  26. Epskampie2 says:

    For those interested:
    A Rock, Paper, Shotgun platoon

  27. buzzmong says:

    Oh my god. The ingame chatbox.

    It takes up nearly an entire quarter of the screen

    What were DICEice thinking.

  28. gayylalgli says:

    I was trying to bind Pitch Down (or Up, whatever) to S, and while that worked, it would still also decrease throttle, even though I had tried binding it to Left Ctrl. And Left Ctrl wouldn’t work anyway for that, so I had no way of effectively slowing down a Jet. Hence why I had to install AutoHotkey.
    At the moment I have it working but I had to setup Left Ctrl to act as the S key, and the S key to act as Down Arrow, and I bound Pitch Down to the Down Arrow.
    Such a pain in the ass. I should add that I had tried fiddling with the config file but couldn’t get the game to stop trying to use the S key for Throttle Down and had no way of binding it to Left Ctrl.ares