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The lament of Battlefield... (a semi-serious rant/whinge)



Darren S

ClioSport Club Member
What has happened? Where did it all go wrong?

As an avid BF player from the original days of the BF1942 Tobruk demo, I've seen the series develop, evolve and progress over the years. The pinnacle (for me) without doubt was BF2142, where they balanced game progression with worthy upgrades. Standard kit was certainly decent enough, but to perfect your chosen class, you really needed the likes of the Pilum anti-armour rifle for the engineer or the Zeller-H for the recon/sniper. It was fun, intense and above all balanced in a way that I didn't think could be improved.

Then along came Bad Company 2. Not only did this have a really enjoyable SP campaign, but seemed to follow a similar ethos to how you progressed in BF2142. Map designs were great, though perhaps the biggest flaw with the weapons was when you progressed far enough to unlock the M416, that pretty much became your stock item. Accurate from the hip or scope, quick to fire and with decent damage - it did pretty much everything well.

The next inline was BF3 and this was where things started to derail somewhat. The controls were far more biased towards pad play (which doesn't work well being a life-long keyboard and mouse user!) and there was a worrying tendency towards the uber-unlocks. These allowed players who had played the game sufficiently to learn the map layout, the added bonus of equipping themselves with kit that was massively more powerful that the standard on offer. The gulf between pro and casual players started to emerge - the have and have-nots of the FPS world. The top flight grinding away for their next piece of kit while the new player got rinsed. Not a couple of times, but with cannon-fodder stats.

I was hoping BF4 would address this - dial it back somewhat to even the field and above all - make the game much more fun to play for everyone. It didn't. It felt more console-centric and with a hideous input method for PC players from the get-go. Though this has been addressed long ago - there are silly, stupid quirks that still exist to this day - having the 'R' key defaulting to pick-up weapons when the rest of the known universe has used 'E' for decades.

I've recently watched a few BF4 videos on Youtube and thought about having another dabble of BF4. It looked fun and maybe I misjudged the game in the earlier tries. Afterall, the putrid, fetid, steaming pile of puss that was BF1 online, must have come from good stock originally? The other benefit was having a much better PC now to play it on - so of course, all the eye-candy was set to Ultra for the definitive BF4 experience.

So I was set to go after the download and install. Only to see that I had yet another 14 gold battlepacks sat there, waiting to be opened. Really? So I go through those, shrugging slightly at the meaningless drivel of this bit for an MP7, this bit for an UMP-5, etc - config my inputs and have a dabble on the Test Range to get back into the feel of it. Tweak the input speeds a bit faster, correct a few defaults and it felt good. Turns out that I'm already Rank 30 from previous dabbles at it, but I have over twenty-six 100% XP boosters (plus others) that I can apply. Fooking lol. Deary me - OK, I'll go along with the BS and stick on a 100% booster for the next hour. Because as well you know, why just play the game when you can double your progression rate with a freebie plug-in? :rolleyes:

First round - I get utterly nailed - as to be expected. I think I was on 5-14 for a K/D total but it was on one of those boring infantry-only maps that I never play BF for. BF needs vehicles - that's what always distinguished it from the COD alternative. Entering into a constant meat-grinder of subways and corridors to be killed again and again, gets very boring, very quickly. Second round, I find a SINGLE server running Rush Mode...... I click on it and join a squad - running up the first sand-dune to join my nearby comrades, only for the round to finish and be told that our side has won. I scored more points in that ten seconds than I did for the entire round before and by some voodoo of boosters, I was now Rank 32 (pssst.... does that actually mean anything?)

Staying on the Rush server, I start the next round afresh - choosing my preferred engineer class and wanting to damage the opposing vehicle tally in anyway I can. I watch on the 2D map a red tank moving at ridiculous speed - not only forwards, but backwards too, presumably to get repaired. In-between dying I manage to hit the tank on four separate occasions with the AT missile - the most damage scored? 9 out of 100. I man the fixed guns, kill a few opposition and repair my friendly tank that's doing the rounds. I hit other vehicles with similarly ineffective toothpick-against-a-brick-wall results and then have to call it a day, several minutes into the round.

Before quitting, I glance at the scoreboard. The round has 42 minutes to go (assuming the objectives aren't destroyed first) - but look at the scores...

1588526759094.png


This isn't skill. This isn't ability or general fun for all concerned. It's two different people jumping into tanks and exploiting not only poor game-design by EA/DICE, but also in-game choices that allow them to literally run amok through the map, almost impervious to anything thrown their way. This didn't happen in BF2142. This certainly happened a lot less in BF:BC2. All the while, the constant bitching, moaning, hackorz and general insults are like a constant stream in the top left corner.

I loved Battlefield. It was my default go-to game for years on a Saturday afternoon. Some games awful but the majority a right laugh, tense and properly entertaining. I've aged eighteen years since the first BF title and I'm certainly not going to sit here and say that my reactions are as dexterous as back then. But for me, what BF was and to some extent, what it represented for a long time has just whittled down to this hollow husk of game that is a sad semblance of what it was in its hay-day.

Please EA/DICE - just stop and think. You're driven by sales, by DLCs and 'add-ons' that status hungry players want. I get that - your bean-counters demand that. But don't forget what you're supposed to be providing for the mainstream player. You've a legacy to maintain - an expansive back catalogue of some great titles, yet you're ruining the core experience with meaningless tat whilst rewarding players so far up the leaderboard and bragging rights, to be pretty much unstoppable.

What BF6 will bring is anyone's guess. But if it's anything like the recent offerings, I'm out. And that is such a shame.
 

Darren S

ClioSport Club Member
A good read, mate... and covers many of the reasons why I just cannot be bothered with the modern online gaming experience anymore. :(
It was a soap-box/on-my-high-horse bicker more than anything. 😊

It just got under my skin really about how the format of the game was so enjoyable, balanced and thought out. Yet over time it has become a mess, even if you negate the arguments of paid-for boosters, battlepacks, etc - there are features in it that shouldn't exist. The tank on our side that I spent a fair amount of time repairing had the turret speed ramped up to such an extent that the player could make 90 and 180 degree swivels in the blink of an eye. It looked stupid for one, but single-handedly made the tank (with its never-ending ammo supply) a long range, very powerful sniping tool for any infantry he saw. More so when played in 3rd person view.

The tank (as it was in previous titles) should be that double-edged sword. Massively capable yet particularly vulnerable when used incorrectly. When those basics are ignored, you're looking at score tables like that above - meaningless numbers where tank drivers taking advantage that the game allows them to get hit by an AT round and not even see 10% health lost.
 

Greeny.

ClioSport Club Member
  182 + 330d
BF3 was an amazing game, went downhill for me after, BF4 was fairly awful, BF1 slightly better and BF5 better still. If you put all the cosmetic shite aside which is obviously only put into the game to keep console kids interested it’s actually a really fun game, nothing on BF3 but still great fun.

My favourite was battlefield bad company 2 vietnam though, a very close second being BF3.

There is no DLC in BF5, just paid cosmetics, they sort of learnt their lesson with that one.
 

R3k1355

ClioSport Club Member
As a console user BF1 was 'almost' as good as Bad Company 2, it was a riot online. For no apparent reason they completely fucked up every single server and ruined it (about 6-9 months before BFV was released)

on release BFV was utter s**t, like monumentally bad. They'd taken advise from streamers and pro gamers, making a game so f**king bad and boring no-one but utter helmets wanted to play.
I didn't properly play it online for till recently.

It's supposed to be fun, and it's supposed to be fun if you're just starting out or you've put 100's of hours into the game.
 

McGherkin

ClioSport Club Member
The last Battlefield I enjoyed was Battlefield 2: Modern Combat. Most modern games are s**t
compared to their forefathers.

I’d much rather play Splinter Cell Chaos Theory than half the newer shooters on the market. In fact I’m just finishing off Bioshock at the moment, lol
 

Matthew

ClioSport Club Member
I’ve not played online for a long time. From memory, I’d spawn, take a few steps and some c**t with a million times better weapons would wipe me out. That happened time after time. Sacked it off as it was boring. I generally play on War Thunder these days.
 

R3k1355

ClioSport Club Member
I stopped playing BF when all the freaks just sat in their spawn in tanks

Tanks in BFV are very much stand-off, you can smash out kills at distance but get in too close and the infantry totally f**k you up.
They have also made ammo resupply a pain in the ass, you gotta spend several minutes finding more when it runs out.
 
Tanks in BFV are very much stand-off, you can smash out kills at distance but get in too close and the infantry totally f**k you up.
They have also made ammo resupply a pain in the ass, you gotta spend several minutes finding more when it runs out.
For good reason though mate. BF4 was full to the brim with c***s sat in spawn with unlimited ammo and a passenger gunner playing engineer who repaired every time a heli went over
 

Darren S

ClioSport Club Member
Tanks in BFV are very much stand-off, you can smash out kills at distance but get in too close and the infantry totally f**k you up.
They have also made ammo resupply a pain in the ass, you gotta spend several minutes finding more when it runs out.
That to me is actually a good thing. It stops the vehicle wh0res firing with impunity with the off chance of getting a kill through splash damage.

Going back to BF2142 - you had two different walker units - one for each faction. The small token of design genius that DICE put into them is that they had alternating ammo requirements. Both walkers could accommodate two crew - the pilot/main gunner and a top gunner - the latter mainly acting in the anti-infantry/anti-air role. For one faction, the walker had unlimited main cannon rounds, but a limited number of top turret rounds. Similarly, the opposing faction had limited main ammo count, backed with an unlimited top turret ammo store. Either way, they needed to revisit the ammo drops at some point, or resupply by other methods. This made them vulnerable and not the untouchable super-vehicles of the later BF games.

Above all, it worked.
 


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