Soldiering On: Battlefield 3 Patched Up

By John Walker on November 22nd, 2011 at 9:42 am.

Sure, this is from Kirkland, but what the heck do I care?

Battlefield 3 has patched itself on PC now. Remember when we all used to scream and shout about games that needed patching after release? It was this massive faux pas, and we’d all condemn any who released a game “unfinished”. And now sites report the “news” that a patch is forthcoming for a game, as if it’s a free DLC bonus feature for us lucky players. Well, hey. That’s what you get when you don’t revolt in the streets. So it is that the free bonus patch for BF3 is now out for PC, and brings with it a raft of changes, which I’ve meticulously repeated below.

Of course, that doesn’t quite apply to online games. There you want refinements to come in reaction to how the game is being played, how it’s being exploited, and what needs nerfing. But of course if you read through the list below you’ll see as many game tweaks as you’ll see bug fixes, which we just let sliiiiide by these days.

Perhaps the biggest change is the Squad Refinements, and you can read all about that on the official BF3 blog, with pictures! But it’s basically about streamlining the experience, making it easier to join squads. Should you feel the need you can now share your stats via Facebook, Google+ and Twitter, because goodness knows, everyone needs to hear that. And they’ve somewhat smoothed out the need for multiple logins to use both Battlelog and Origin, with the former now automatically signing you in to the latter.

Apparently these aren’t the full patch notes, which can only be seen on Battlelog, and since I don’t have BF3 in my Origin account I’m not allowed to see that. Smooth. But their selected highlights are:

Selected improvements in the Nov 22 Battlefield 3 client-side update

• General performance and loading time improvements
• “Black Screen” fix for an issue occurring on some PC configurations
• Stereo and rendering support for Nvidia and AMD graphics cards
• Fixed several crashes that occurred when joining multiplayer and co-op sessions
• Fixed a problem with high speed mouse movement (aka “negative mouse acceleration”)
• You should no longer be able to damage a friendly vehicle when sitting in an open position
• Grenades now drop to ground if you get killed while attempting to throw it (dangerous in Hardcore mode!)
• You should no longer spawn too close to enemies in TDM, SQDM, or Conquest
• A large number of damage and range tweaks on a number of weapons to fine-tune overall balance in the game
• Added round duration and ticket summary at End of Round screen
• Fixed a problem regarding key bindings while playing
• Significant changes to the Join Squad interface, detailed at the bottom of this post

Selected improvements in the Nov 22 Battlefield 3 PC server-side update

• EOD Bot exploit fix
• Several crash fixes
• Anti-stat padding measures taken, disallowing ranked servers to run obscure settings
• Improved team kill kick configuration
• Support for unranked servers. Unranked servers do not report players’ scores to Battlelog, but server administrators can freely control all settings

Newly added Battlelog functionality – Share your stats

• Ability to share your Profile and Stats pages to Facebook, Google+, and Twitter
• User Profile and Stats pages on Battlelog can now be accessed without being signed in to Battlelog if you know a user’s URL
• Single sign on from Battlelog to Origin. If you’re not logged in to Origin and join a game server, Battlelog will automatically sign you in to Origin in the background and join the game server

Quick notes on Squad changes in the Nov 22 update

• Removed FIND ME A SQUAD option
• Allow players to join empty Squads alone, thus having 1/4 squad members
• Change order of options to LEAVE SQUAD, INV A FRIEND, SWITCH TEAM
• Disable Privacy flag when 1 man squad
• Reset Privacy flag from Private to Public when squad drops to 1 player
• All occupied Squads will now show up colored blue on the Squad Selection screen
• Players who choose not to join squads will also show up as Blue in the “Not in a Squad” line
• Squads that are currently empty will display as white — if you wish to join an empty Squad, you can choose the first one marked with white text

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56 Comments »

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  1. iARDAs says:

    Good.

    Can get back to BF3 now…

    Woud you prefer 570 SLI or 590 single for this game?

    • simonh says:

      I use a single 570 and can play on 1920×1200 indistinguishable-from-max settings at 45-60 FPS. I’d say that’s good enough.

    • Premium User Badge

      PoulWrist says:

      A single 5870 runs the game just fine at high at 2560×1440, a 590 would thus be complete overkill.

    • iARDAs says:

      Thank you for the response guys. I already have a 570 and happy with it but I would either SLI it or get a 590. Though I decided to keep the 570 and replace it with the Kepler series cards. That was the reason for asking it.

    • Jeppo says:

      590 here. Running at 45-80 fps on ultra.

  2. Pod42 says:

    Good on ‘em for stability, but still missed a lot of things, like the obstructive chatbox, no improvement to comma-rose, still missing the point of squads, no voip, haven’t fixed the MAV exploit, oh I can’t be bothered typing all of it.

    • chris says:

      Here’s what crash had to say on some of the larger issues still pending,

      “So, here’s what I’m seeing.
      We’ve made progress that most of you appreciate and the fixes we are making are welcome. That being said, there are still some issues that you’ve been asking about that weren’t included in this patch. These include, but are not limited to:
      In-game VOIP
      Various nerfs including Taclight
      changes to chat window (size, positioning)
      Additional changes to squad interface, including the ability to make squads
      Beep beeps (Which will be implemented, just not in this patch)
      Squad and in-game interface changes (mostly revolving around the proposed fan-designed interface)
      EDIT: TV Missles – definitely known (can’t believe i left it off @_@)
      EDIT: Spectator/Battlerecorder – Another very popular request. (I can’t believe I left it off! I’d like this too _)
      Please know that these are definitely on our radar as top issues for community requests.
      Some of the issues addressed in this patch were brought to our attention by you guys, including the “negative acceleration” issue. We’re committed to continuing to act on your feedback!
      Not all of the issues we’ve solved are as impactful or sexy as some of you were hoping for, but I hope everyone appreciates how hard the DICE team has been working :)”

      Source – http://www.reddit.com/r/battlefield3/comments/mkxza/nov_22_patch_notes/

    • Pod42 says:

      Good news him saying they know about those issues then, hopefully this patch was just a priority one and they’ll bring those things in, just hope it isn’t another month..

  3. zoombapup says:

    Hurrah. It seems I wasnt the only one who was constantly getting spawned in front of a firing enemy!

    Although, the new squad stuff sounds a little bit of an improvement, it doesn’t say anything about allowing larger squads or doing squad joins in a way that keeps you together. It gets annoying when we have say 6 people on our voice server and yet we can only ever get 4 people together, usually with some of us being teamswitched to the enemy side too.

    Why not just allow some form of “keep squad together” option, so we can always stay in the same squad across servers. It already allows a party to be created via battlelog, so why not respect that in game too? The arbitrary 4 man limit on a squad is a bit silly really.

    • Premium User Badge

      PoulWrist says:

      Respawn! YES! BANGDEAD FUCK! RAGEQUIT!

    • Vagrant says:

      Finally I can survive more than 25% of all spawns!

    • Knufinke says:

      The 4 player limitation makes a lot of sense when you can spawn to every member of your squad. A 6er squad will be much more unlikely to be killed by chance then a 4 player squad. That means moving spawn points everywhere. So there is little to no motivation spawning somwhere else (grabbing an important vehicle while doing so that can possibly deceide a battle) and less penalty for death (if you dont care about about K/D like me).

      And I really would hate the Idea of respawning mobs on the frontline when I’m struggling with survival myself. God, I suck at staying alive. Just my 2 cents, anyway.

  4. Memph says:

    I’ve just played since the update. It first crashed twice before it agreed to load a map instead of once like before. Bargain. Then after about 10mins all my controls except ‘forwards’ lock up, i tab out to a black screened windows and have to reboot. Unstable it may have been, but it hasn’t locked up windows for me until now. Yikes.

    Edit: seems all good now. Squad system is better(ish), although half of the players on the couple servers I played seemed to be happy unsquaded now it doesn’t autojoin by default.

    Edit Edit: crashed after a couple rounds :E
    ‘Battlefield 3 has stopped responding….’

  5. The_Great_Skratsby says:

    Great news, shame there isn’t much in the way of team coordination tools at all, this side of text chat, and I see nothing about Operation Metro being fixed from its current state of being a terrible, terrible conquest map.

    • haradaya says:

      That’s exactly what I was disappointed with, the commo rose is absolutely useless what with your soldier’s outbursts basically turning into a whisper over all the explosions and gunfire around. People don’t hear when you request healing or ammo (something they gotta add back to the commo rose instead of this point at nearest medic bullshit), the resupply and healing icons aren’t obvious enough. The tools they put in for team coordination are so flawed right now they might as well be removed.

      It’s what got me hooked on BF2 and 2142 back in the day, how people could communicate and coordinate just by using the commo rose.

  6. Fierce says:

    • You should no longer be able to damage a friendly vehicle when sitting in an open position
    • Grenades now drop to ground if you get killed while attempting to throw it (dangerous in Hardcore mode!)
    • You should no longer spawn too close to enemies in TDM, SQDM, or Conquest
    • Reduced the physics impact of AA guns and Jet Cannons, players under attack from these weapons should no longer lose control.
    • Increased the damage of the 44 Magnum slightly.
    • Increased the range and minimum damage of the .357 Round from the MP412 Rex.
    • Decreased the maximum damage and maximum range of the G3 and SCAR-H 7.62mm weapons.

    You know, I’m not hopeful EA/DICE have turned over a new leaf entirely, but these kinds of patch notes so “soon” after release are really starting to give me hop-

    • Reduced the damage from FIM-92 and SA-18 IGLA missiles against aircraft.
    • Reduced the damage .50cal weapons do against Helicopters.

    OH GODDAMMIT EA/DICE!

    • Lord Byte says:

      You forgot:
      Increased the damage of Helicopter Miniguns, AA guns, and Jet Cannons against infantry
      Increased the damage of Helicopter Miniguns against jeeps.

      Solopwnmobile amirite?

    • roethle says:

      This game just turned into a long line to fly aircraft. Why bother walking away from your base’s aa gun if your going to die ten steps out. Once aircraft get flairs its hard enough to take them down as it is.

    • Beardface says:

      Helicopters and jets were damn weak before. Hell, on Caspian Border you would never see a chopper in the sky for more than a couple minutes as long as any engineers on the opposing side had any idea what they were doing. Those nerfs were needed.

  7. Nallen says:

    Can I use bind to my mouse buttons yet?

    • simonh says:

      Of course it’s no excuse for the developers, but if you really want your mouse buttons you can usually do the workaround of going into your Razer/Logitech/whatever mouse settings and bind the mouse button to a keyboard key. Then you bind that keyboard key to the function you want in game.

    • PitfireX says:

      I dunno about nallen but i have the wow mmo mouse because it has 13 buttons. and those cannot be bound to keys.

    • Premium User Badge

      Vandelay says:

      @simonh – I have a profile setup for my Logitech G500, using the horizontal scroll to select gadgets. This only seems to work sometimes though, so I imagine quite a few servers block external programs from making binds. It is a real pain in the arse when I have gotten so used to pressing my scroll wheel to quickly switch to defibs, only to find I’m suddenly not allowed to do that.

    • Shortwave says:

      I also use the horizontal scrool for weapon gadget (light/lazer) and Firing Mode. So good.
      It’s a bitch to have to make a custom profile but yea.. Hopefully we can.. I’ll check soon.

  8. Meusli says:

    Still no COLOUR BLIND MODE in this day and age, it’s pathetic.

  9. PitfireX says:

    Well guys dont worry about this patch….its making TONS of games lock up….mine included i posted on the forums and turns out 17 people are with me so far. Its sad because i love BF and ive been praising it against my friends (and my whole state it seems) and their MW3….looks like activision will get my money after all

  10. One Pigeon says:

    As above. I’ve only played the singleplayer this far, which was running very smoothly before on high settings. Since the patch it has crashed about 10 minutes into the game every time, after being a little bit stuttery while it is actually running.

    Nice patch.

  11. Alexander Norris says:

    The squad improvements aren’t improvements, based on that article – you can already join squads as described. Are you sure that doesn’t just apply to consoles?

    e; a Stinger nerf? Really? It’s already pretty worthless thanks to IR flares. :/

    • Memph says:

      Agree on the Stingers. They were only any use in tandem, or to scare off a troublesome plane or ‘copter short-term. Also the shotty buff I found odd, as i’ve rarely fired a shotgun at someone at middling range and not killed them.

    • Stuart Walton says:

      I always wait for the pilot to pop flares before I re-acquire a lock. This does mean that they sometimes get out of LoS or range though, but at least I don’t waste a missile. Pre-patch an IGLA or Stinger missile would diasable any aircraft in one hit. This seems reasonable for fast air and the smaller helicopters, but the attack choppers are armoured and any hit away from the rotors shouldn’t disable it.

      Top strikes from any missile really should kill them outright though (Laser designated missiles top strike and IGLA/Stingers try to top strike but are slower and usually end up chasing the target).

      I hope this is how it works now, otherwise DiCE should have at least balanced this nerf by extending the lock-on range.

    • DrGonzo says:

      I found Stingers incredibly easy to rack up points with. Also it made flying choppers and planes pretty boring getting targeted and avoiding that all the time rather than having fun dog fights. Just remove the Stingers imo.

    • Memph says:

      Oh aye, on randoms servers you can clock up some kills with ‘em by waiting on the flares or by firing quickly again if still in range. But whenever i’m on a server with ‘that guy’ in the ‘copter and jets that know how to strike, retreat, repeat and only pop flares on the 3rd tier of alarm bells, I often end up just spamming rockets to keep them at bay, else I never end up pulling the trigger.

    • Stuart Walton says:

      If they are the kind to wait till the launch warning then you can still hit them if you fire when they are really close and closing in on you. Time it right and the missile can still air-burst near the target rather than detonating on impact and do just as much damage.

  12. Haydar says:

    • Grenades now drop to ground if you get killed while attempting to throw it (dangerous in Hardcore mode!)

    The thing above is as stupid as IRNV if not much more. Why the hell grenades are not dropped if you are playing in NORMAL mode?

    There’s not a human being that can explain this, i think.

    You’re sending a nade, just throwing then hit. So? What happened to the bomb in Normal mode?

    • Alexander Norris says:

      It drops as well. It’s dangerous in hardcore mode because of friendly fire and no grenade indicators, presumably.

      Reading comprehension!

    • Milky1985 says:

      I think they are dropped in normal mode, just even more dangerous in hardcore mode where you get killed a lot quicker

    • Zakkeh says:

      It’s worse in hardcore mode because of Friendly Fire and a lack of any indicator that you were throwing a grenade, thus maybe killing multiple unsuspecting allies.

    • Premium User Badge

      shaydeeadi says:

      If the throw annimation didn’t complete before then the grenade wouldn’t enter the world, now it falls by the feet of your corpse.

  13. Milky1985 says:

    So much for only needing origin at launch and not needing it running while you play, nice of them to make it load up all the time now!

  14. Premium User Badge

    Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

    Have they done anything about the fact that if you try to join a server with a friend it almost invariably helpfully puts you on opposite teams?

    Hint: I want to play on the same team as my friends. Okay, friend. I’m so lonely.

  15. BlueJohn says:

    no flashlight nerf
    no IRNV nerf
    No VOIP

    change things no one asked for
    DICE confirmed for fuckin clueless

  16. Magus44 says:

    Ugh. The hell. Played fine all yesterday, now when I load up, all I get is a black screen. I can hear people yelling and jets flying etc, but no graphics. Wasn’t this meant to fix it, not cause it.
    If I load up Skyrim now and thats broken as well there’s going to be hell to pay. And by that I mean “Use my day to do something productive. ”
    EDIT: Holy Jinx Batman. Now Skyrim Isn’t working. AWESOME. My day off and I’m doing work. WTH

  17. Nameless1 says:

    I still have half of a game, with no way to alter the mouse sensitivity for vehicles in the options (turrets, jeep driving, jet and heli piloting, etc with a mouse sens. too high for me to play with them)
    This is the last game I get from DICE, that’s for sure.

    • EmS says:

      you can fly heli absolutely fine with just a keyboard and if you have a proper mouse you can change mouse sensitivity on the fly

  18. Enso says:

    It’s not a big deal but I would like to see the ability to change loadouts during the 40 second waiting period. The stats take about 5-10 seconds to read so I’m sat there twiddling my thumbs. Then if I get an upgrade I’m missing the first minute of a new round. Perhaps even accompany this with a “Next map: X” feature.

  19. Kadayi says:

    As a counterpoint to Johns indignation I think it should be pointed out that AAA games have also gotten a lot more complex since yesteryear, so the chances are (esp with MP titles) that the odds of releasing a game which doesn’t require post release patching of some kind are slim to none these days.

  20. buzzmong says:

    It’s not a bad patch list, what strikes me as odd though is the the games Lead Designer thinking the Flashlight change was indeed in the patch (but the patch notes were wrong), before investigating and then confirming they weren’t.

    How odd, seems unusual that a lead designer doesn’t know what’s happening with his game.

    The Reddit thread posted earlier in the comments is interesting, more responses from a person at DICE than they’ve made on the entire official forums :/

  21. Bobtree says:

    This seems to be a halfway patch to get people playing again, most notable being the list of things that was crashing servers and otherwise causing mass disconnects.

    C4 on jeeps is bugged in a new way: it often disappears when you jump out now. The old bug (which is still be present) left you throwing an infinite number of packs instead of letting you detonate them after jumping out. [fact checked and updated]

    The RPS servers need a better rotation setup. My favorites list is full of servers that play air maps (those with jets: Caspain, Firestorm, Karg, and Canals – some omit the latter), and I vastly prefer high ticket games in conquest because the default rounds are so short (like 10 minutes, so double or triple or higher tickets). Lastly, please do NOT use an instant vehicle respawn setup, as it really sours the balance and should not be permitted on ranked servers IMHO.

  22. zoombapup says:

    Out of interest, anyone care to tell me what is meant to happen with the patch? I’ve got battlelog open and it says “installing game” but has been doing that for a long time now. How do you know if the patch is indeed in progress? Does it show anything at all?

    I’m confused.

    Ok, so I click on “Update” in the game manager in battlelog. That opens up a window on the origin store.. then nothing. Not a bean of info. I click on the battlefield item in my games list and “check for updates” and it says its up to date. But wont launch just takes me back to game manager which says update.

    Anyone? no idea what I’m meant to do.

    EDIT: Ok, I chose “repair install” by right clicking the BF3 icon in origin and that seems to be applying the patch now. But wtf?

  23. Haydar says:

    ***crash7800BF3 Community Manager[S] 159 points 9 hours ago*

    So, here’s what I’m seeing.

    We’ve made progress that most of you appreciate and the fixes we are making are welcome. That being said, there are still some issues that you’ve been asking about that weren’t included in this patch. These include, but are not limited to:
    In-game VOIP
    Various nerfs including Taclight
    changes to chat window (size, positioning)
    Additional changes to squad interface, including the ability to make squads
    Beep beeps (Which will be implemented, just not in this patch)
    Squad and in-game interface changes (mostly revolving around the proposed fan-designed interface)
    EDIT: TV Missles – definitely known (can’t believe i left it off @_@)
    EDIT: Spectator/Battlerecorder – Another very popular request. (I can’t believe I left it off! I’d like this too _)***

  24. Kadayi says:

    Thumbs up on the nerfing of the SCAR-H & G36. Way too deadly.

  25. Sigvatr says:

    Have they fixed the bug where teh game sucked? plolopp;lol

  26. Sigvatr says:

    I can’t wait to hear all the banter about how the game is ruined once I get into a server today.

  27. Weed says:

    I hope they haven’t mucked it up before a holiday weekend. This news of a patch making it more unplayable is not good. Everyone one I play with gets the initial “BF3 has stopped working” on their first load into the game already anyway. Random crashes after minutes of playing??? Really?

    Hopefully they fix it quickly. Here are some other updates/enhancements I like:
    * Joining the queue of a game in progress (like in BC2)?
    * Server side options to limit types of vehicles? Planes only, helis only, tanks only, transports only. instead of just vehicles on or off.
    * In game VOIP (that works) or in game party join or something to get squads talking.
    * PLEASE move that annoying chat window. Glad it’s on the list.
    * Between round kit configure! Don’t need to see every ribbon four hundred times.

    Would be interesting to see the stats of weapons they are nerfing/beefing up. You know, see the kinds of info they see, and maybe a little into why they are making those changes. It all seems too soon. Everyone has an exploit for almost everything. So I get wary of dynamic changes like these. It just takes time for players to learn all the current exploits. Every game has them. Right? I hope they don’t remove the fun. There is a lot of it to be had here.

  28. aircool says:

    Yay! Still no colourblind options, what a bunch of bastards!