Battlefield 3 "shortcut" options now purchasable; I hate

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#1 Edited by OfficerMeatbeef (90 posts) -

So yeah, this is now a thing:

Battlefield 3 developer DICE has started selling "shortcut" item unlocks for the PlayStation 3 version of its best-selling FPS.

As revealed on the game's official blog, there are 10 different items available now either in-game or from the PlayStation Store. The following bundles are offered:

  • Kit Shortcut Bundle: Immediately unlocks all items unique to the four playable classes
  • Vehicle Shortcut Bundle: Immediately unlocks all items for all vehicles
  • The Ultimate Bundle: Immediately unlocks all items from all other available shortcut packs

"If you're new to the game, this is the perfect way to gain some ground on the veterans online," explained DICE.

Has this happened before, in a non-free-to-play, retail product? I honestly can't think of anything else, but I'm fine with someone correcting me. It's certainly the only time it's been for something I give a shit about. There have been "early unlock" preorder stuff like with Bad Company 2 and maybe BF3 as well, but this is the first "unlock everything" "deal" I can think of.

Anyway, this makes me sad and disgusted more than I can probably get across with simple message board prose. EA selling "cheat code unlocks" for Godfather? Slimy, but single player only and I don't use cheats hardly at all these days anyway. Untold questionable DLCs that are becoming the norm these days, of various lengths or worths? Well, plenty are fine enough, some are great, many are ripoffs, but it's a case by case thing. But this?

Let me be clear up-front, and I know many (most?) may not agree with me on this fundamental point: I near-absolutely despise the CoD-popularized unlock system that has become de rigueur for nearly all multiplayer games these days (I was going to say "nearly all FPS multiplayer" for a second there, but then I remembered C&C4, and ME4, and AssBro, and AssRev, and...). This is not to say that I dislike systems that encourage "earning" of abilities, powers, status, etc. Instead, it is merely a belief that such things must be designed and metered out with care and concern for the construction of the game, especially in a multiplayer context. For example, giving out gear that looks shiny or whatever to players as they rank higher to show off their accomplishments: reasonable. Unlocking more advanced gear once (some) basic proficiency with more simple gear is demonstrated: very smart!

But locking away essential gear/items that have little to no connection skill-wise with items available at lower levels? Garbage. Bad design, period. I understand many developers (and of course, even more players) have become enamored with the "carrot-on-a-stick" design today. It is almost always simply a barrier between me and playing the game as designed; a barrier composed nearly entirely of that most precious and scarce resource a person has: time. Not too long ago I saw someone complain about AssBro's "endgame" happening too quickly, because they had unlocked all the (rather essential) abilities so fast. I was left absolutely boggled. To me, the unlocking requirements to gain all the various abilities in the game made me LESS interested in playing the game. How is it fun to be beaten by people who have both more experience actually playing the game, and more tools to choose from in how they destroy you? Why and when did the reasonably universal objectives of "your team won the round" or "you got first place" become so insufficient to people?

So to the specific example here: Battlefield 3. I have played and enjoyed loved every Battlefield since '42, with the exceptions of 2042 and BC1 (simply didn't get to them). But of all them, I honestly feel that BF2 perhaps came closest to realizing a perfect multiplayer FPS for me. BF3 is generally an excellent game, but for all its advances, I still find it in many ways a significant step back for the series.Before even the 360 and its achievement system, BF2 had its universal ranking system, its achievement-based medals, and even (gasp!) unlocks. But there was a key difference between BF2 unlocks and BF3's: there were no essential pieces of kit locked away in BF2.

Every time I got a new weapon unlock in BF2, I actually felt some rush of accomplishment, but I never ever felt like one of the alternate weapons I could obtain was essential to performing in the game. But with BF3, every time I unlock something, all I think is "Ugh, FINALLY". FINALLY I can use AA missiles on a goddamn AA vehicle. FINALLY I have mines to use to fortify a troubled point. FINALLY I have Javelins to use against those expert pilots. It's not satisfying, and it's not keeping me playing. I play for the excitement of me and my squad/team stopping a merciless enemy assault by smartly using all tools available, or shooting down that hotshot jet who won't stop harassing all our support, or sneaking into an enemy base and planting the sensor that lets my team mount a precision assault on enemy positions and take the thing.

I didn't buy BF3 right away for various reasons. I have friends who are only now getting into it. I have concerns that they won't stick around for long because they simply get tired of having to grind all the shit that makes the game fun for them, and for us. A real-world example: we want to play an anti-vehicle Javelin-based squad. Well, I'm the only one that has Javelins unlocked, my other friend is the only one with a SOFLAM, and the new guy has nothing. What if we need/want to swap roles? Nope! Somebody's gonna have to grind shit! It's not even like using a SOFLAM or Javelin requires any more skill than earlier unlocks for those classes; in fact, they're either completely unrelated to the skills utilized for their predecessors, or they're actually EASIER to use!

Finally, getting back to the impetus of this whole diatribe: To be clear, I have little to no problem with this kind of unlock structure in a free to play game. In a responsibly-designed case of free-to-play, you are generally making the choice to either commit your time to unlocking shit, or putting in actual money to gain the elements of the game that make it work quickly, and thus essentially "buying" the product. To create the kind of unlock system BF3 (a full-priced retail release) is misguided and frustrating. But to then implement a "shortcut" option based in ACTUAL MONEY is exploitative, greedy, and simply highlights how ill-conceived and manipulative the game's entire unlock system is.

Or in not so many words: isn't simply competing not enough for players anymore?

#2 Posted by Sackmanjones (4739 posts) -

While I think this is made for people who don't have a ton of time to unlock everything, it still is pretty nasty. But to unlock everything its like $40 and that is wayyyy too much.

#3 Posted by Example1013 (4834 posts) -

Old news. Never played Burnout Paradise or Hot Pursuit I take it.

#4 Posted by ImmortalSaiyan (4690 posts) -

The future of videogames right here.

#5 Posted by jonnyboy (2920 posts) -

EA has been selling cheats for years now. Pretty much all their games since Skate 2 have had 'Time is Money' DLC which unlocks all the game. This is basically the evolution of that.

#6 Posted by Skald (4369 posts) -

I like the Modern Warfare system of kit unlocks. It adds a lot of value to the game I would have otherwise glanced right over. I also think that only the first couple of levels are entirely defective, when you don't have anything in your slots, and I think that's bad design. The rest... is sort of like an RPG. Bad for balance, yes, but I like it anyway.

#7 Posted by Zella (773 posts) -

EA is no stranger to this and I'm completely cool with it. In the NHL and Skate games it's allowed you to pay for unlocks and bonuses for a few years now. I don't mind working towards the unlocks but I for sure see the annoyance of fighting against dudes with vastly better guns and equipment. If one wants to fork up the cash for it then no big deal, doesn't make them great at the game or anything. It also helps out people who have to start new accounts cause then they don't have to work towards earning everything again.

#8 Posted by EkajArmstro (390 posts) -

I totally agree on despising unlocks (unless they are only cosmetic). I suppose I can put up with unlocks if you start off with things that are balanced, but when the unlocks are like "now you get +5% this with no penalty" in a multiplayer game I almost certainly never play the game again.

#9 Posted by Willin (1282 posts) -

Why so much hate? If people don't have the time or skill to get those unlocks, why not give them the option to buy it? I see nothing wrong with this.

#10 Posted by Enigma777 (6076 posts) -

I see no problem with what EA is doing.

#11 Posted by Redbullet685 (6052 posts) -

I'm pretty sure they did the exact same thing for Bad Company 2. I don't get why anyone'd pay to unlock everything (I personally like unlocking guns, etc.) but if they want to pay for it, let 'em.

#12 Posted by Liber (648 posts) -

I am OK with this, I know I shouldn't be because its kind of a dick move but I kind of expected something like this from EA.

I am OK with this because I don't expect a new player who bought the shortcut bundle to properly handle higher tier unlocks like the AN-94.

#13 Edited by WilltheMagicAsian (1546 posts) -

@Liber said:

I am OK with this, I know I shouldn't be because its kind of a dick move but I kind of expected something like this from EA.

I am OK with this because I don't expect a new player who bought the shortcut bundle to properly handle higher tier unlocks like the AN-94.

Edit: Eh, nevermind maybe I just read it wrong. I still don't agree that there are weapons in BF3 that are hard to grasp.

Anyway, I haven't been a fan of the way Dice has handled unlocks and their class system for a while. I hate that, going into this game with a fresh account, they make you unlock key class equipment.

#14 Posted by easthill (351 posts) -

There is practically no difference between the starter guns and the later ones, with the only exception being for the recon class.

Sure there's small differences (rate of fire, firing modes etc.) but nothing that makes the later weapons better than the starting ones.

#15 Posted by Jimbo (9863 posts) -

Give 'em an inch and they'll take a mile.  You can thank the industry apologists for that.

#16 Posted by Drazat (169 posts) -

I see no problem with this people with plenty of time can unlock it all and people with less time can buy it.

Online
#17 Posted by Extreme_Popcorn (842 posts) -

I play BF3, I don't care. The ability to be good at the game is about so much more than what gun you have.

#18 Posted by SomeJerk (3296 posts) -

Guess why EA desperately want to buy Notch's company and take over Minecraft.

#19 Edited by GS_Dan (1405 posts) -

Being a level 1 without unlocks isn't fun, I can at least understand this on some level.

If you're playing the game for the meta-game then you're doing it wrong anyway

#20 Posted by Cherubim (29 posts) -

Why are there unlocks in the first place? Isn't customization in itself good enough? I absolutely despise the trend of having unlocks in every first person shooter. There should be no need for this carrot on a stick, the fun of playing the game and playing around with the customization options should be enough.

Selling it only underlines how ridiculous this has become. Paying 40$ to use the gadgets that are in a game you have already paid for?

#21 Posted by Vodun (2370 posts) -

Some of us work for a living, and don't have time to spend 100+ hours to grind out unlocks. We do however gain something through this "work" called "money". This system allows us to spend said "money" to get the unlocks which we wouldn't be able to get otherwise.

#22 Posted by Macabros (37 posts) -

I am not upset about it, the game is out for some time now and if this helps to bring in more new players (that don´t want to invest the time to get all the gear) , I´m OK with that. No matter what gear you have access to, the difference in experience will show. And the good players will still outplay the noobs. Also you unlock pretty good guns early in the game ( for exeample the M249 with 11000 support points) so even players that don´t invest are able to compete.

#23 Posted by clstirens (847 posts) -

@OfficerMeatbeef: Burnout paradise had "unlock" packs a few (maybe ten) months after launch, too. Didn't bother me then, doesn't bother me now.

Why? Because both of these games were balanced for the unlocks to be a natural progression, and the shortcut pass added later for people with zero tolerance for upgrades. Am I one of those people? No, but hell, if it didn't affect my enjoyment when the game first came out, and is optional, why not? (however, there are instances where this sort of shit does bug me, it just depends on when and how it's implemented.)

#24 Posted by Bell_End (1208 posts) -

this type of this is not going anywhere.

devs and publisher like money.

no matter how greedy or filthy you think that is the fact remains that if people want to buy this type of thing the publishers and dev would be fucking idiots not to take the cash.

#25 Posted by kalmis (1559 posts) -

I don't see anyhting wrong with this. Especially in a game like BF3 that requires some actuall skill to be good. Unlocking all the perks make a little difference.

#26 Posted by N7 (3594 posts) -
@Vodun said:

Some of us work for a living, and don't have time to spend 100+ hours to grind out unlocks. We do however gain something through this "work" called "money". This system allows us to spend said "money" to get the unlocks which we wouldn't be able to get otherwise.

Especially when it takes so goddamn long to level up.
 
Having a job, and not very much time to play the game, was my decision to stop playing it for good. I just didn't want to deal with the low-level BS and then have it take sooooo loooong just to level up.
 
I'm not sure that I would have bought the level up stuff anyway, but it's certainly a great option to have when you put all options on the table.
 
Also they did this with a bunch of other games.
#27 Posted by SeriouslyNow (8534 posts) -
@Cherubim said:

Why are there unlocks in the first place? Isn't customization in itself good enough? I absolutely despise the trend of having unlocks in every first person shooter. There should be no need for this carrot on a stick, the fun of playing the game and playing around with the customization options should be enough.

Selling it only underlines how ridiculous this has become. Paying 40$ to use the gadgets that are in a game you have already paid for?

It's not a trend with regards to BF, it's standard and it's always been part of the BF system.  Pay 2 Win sucks but for people with talent and skill it doesn't matter that much.  Sure, it'll definitely skew some stats but it takes time to learn how to use all of the stuff even if it's all there waiting for you.
#28 Posted by MildMolasses (3223 posts) -

As long as anything that is being sold can also be unlocked through playing, I see no problem with this. However, if they start selling stuff that gives players an advantage that cannot be unlocked any other way, then there is an issue. If people like a game, but don't have the time to dedicate to getting all that stuff I have no issue with them being able to buy their way to it

#29 Posted by drag (1223 posts) -

kind of okay with it? i don't know

certainly shows up how busted the unlocks are in BF3 anyway - for vehicles anyway. you can make do on foot okay, but getting in a jet or something with just a machine gun at your disposal vs. someone with everything unlocked, that's not even amusing.

#30 Posted by JacDG (2127 posts) -

@N7 said:

@Vodun said:

Some of us work for a living, and don't have time to spend 100+ hours to grind out unlocks. We do however gain something through this "work" called "money". This system allows us to spend said "money" to get the unlocks which we wouldn't be able to get otherwise.

Especially when it takes so goddamn long to level up.

Yeah, part of the reason why I stopped playing the game was because it felt like ages before I got the new stuff, which honestly wasn't fun at all for me. Other games handle unlocks better, at least in my opinion.

#31 Posted by Korolev (1714 posts) -

I agree with your stance that the unlock system for BF3 is quite poor (I mean, no Flares until I get a level in jets? Well, great, I just love being shot down over and over and over and over and over again). I'm not really against the idea of "pay to unlock everything". If that's what people want to do, hey cool for them.

#32 Posted by Funkydupe (3321 posts) -

@ImmortalSaiyan said:

The future of videogames right here.

Convenience. Shortcuts. Complaining about endings.

#33 Posted by AhmadMetallic (18954 posts) -

Meh, a good system for those who work and make so much money that they barely have time to play.

#34 Posted by mosdl (3229 posts) -

Perhaps this will curb cheaters who try to get the unlocks using hacks?

#35 Posted by AlexW00d (6302 posts) -

Tbf, 10 years ago this would have been achieved with an unlock cheat code.

#36 Posted by Kiro (288 posts) -

This would be like sanctioned gold-buying in MMOs, which i have no issue with. Sometimes shit just takes too long and is not worth the time investment. Better to work for a few hours just to buy the weapons then to play for half a day. Same with the multiplayer in Mass Effect. Takes 40 minutes to complete a gold level which gives you enough gold to buy a spectre weapon pack, compared to the half-hour you gotta work to afford 3 with MS points.

#37 Posted by Ubersmake (754 posts) -

I can understand the ire, but I'm ambivalent on the issue. On one hand, the prospect of paying for unlocks rubs me the wrong way. On the other hand, I'm never going to pay for those unlocks, because you don't really *need* a lot of those unlocks to contribute to the team. And no piece of equipment is suddenly going to make you a better player, especially in BF3.

As infantry, you can do a lot of good with the default kits.

In vehicles, I still feel unlocks are totally broken. The short road to IR Flares/Smoke was a frustrating one.

#38 Posted by Evilmetal (468 posts) -

Some of you guys don't care about what they are doing right now. They may not be charging for weapons outright, right now, but they are preparing the customer for their future business model.
 
"Are we giving away too much for free?" 
 
These are the words straight from the horse's mouth, as they say.  The BF:P4F developer has a dude that considers these angles.
 
It's not about the game anymore and having fun. The developers don't even play their game. Plainly, it's about creating a product that will take advantage of psychological, and mental weaknesses of the mind of the gamer.  "Just a few more points till the next unlock" , "I gotta unlock them all". They are looking at the gamer these days as a drug junkie that is addicted to their product.  "Ohhh... they sell unlocks in another product too, big deal if they do it here too." What?  There are many people on the forums who have varying degrees of the addictive weakness, some more than others it appears...
 
Soon they will get you in a position to make "affordable" emotional purchases. "Oh this asshole just got me with the AUG?! fuck this."   *you quickly take out your credit card to buy some EA online tokens to buy a weapon unlock* 
 
If you take a moment you can see how the dance will evolve. 
 
The worst purchases are the emotional ones. Logic gets thrown out the window in these cases.  Right now, $40 to unlock everything is extreme. But they will find a way to make it 'accessible' ... "We listened to our customers. Many of them just want to unlock one weapon and its accessories only, and our priority is to satisfy our customers. So we are making available the purchase of single weapon unlocks."  They want to come out looking like the hero, as if they solved hunger or something, when in fact they are the ones who created the problem.
 
They won't say that they have customers who despise the unlock system and just want to play a game without unlocks and just focus on strategy. EA won't be speaking to them, they are not the customers that will be making the shareholders happy. EA will be speaking to the addicted gamers only, those who have OCD or other issues that make them more... mentally open to accept the model.
 
I guess the way you need to speak to people online about how publishers/developers are taking advantage of people, isn't in a way where you assume the other party has common sense. You may need to speak to them under the consideration that they are addicts and need help.
 
The pillars of their business model should be identified; emotions, psychology, and peer pressure I'd say are the main ones. 
 
Peer pressure is another area that cannot be forgotten. If your buddies play the game, then if you want to have 'fun' with them... you will need to buy the game too.  It has similar qualities to what they taught in school about drugs. How some kid says "smoke this man, you'll be cool too. You'll be one of us".  But instead of drugs, in this situation it's video games. In Asia they have rehabilitation centers to get people off of game addiction. It's a real thing, I'm not making this up.
 
So with peer pressure, you can get tangled up into the addictive business model. Your friends buy an unlock or an expansion pack, you will need to make the purchases in order to maintain parity with the crew. It's a trickle down effect. You see EA's Battlelog, Facebook clone. The same vices that exist with Facebook are wanted to exist in the Battlelog environment as well, to help with the business. So they want you to make friends in Battlelog, this way you can succumb to peer pressure, ... jealously, etc.
 
 The psychology portion includes two properties[there are more]: the susceptibility to addiction, and the reasoning.  The addiction is straight forward. They use the profile, ranking system, and unlock system to make you come back for more. "Look at this ribbon, bitch! I am the man! I'm a fuckin' war hero brah." They want the gamers/customers to become 'invested' in the game. When you become invested in the game, down the line the publisher can offer an expansion pack and/or additional content for sale and you will be open to making the purchase. "I've come this far already, what's a little more going to do?" or another way "I've spent $59.99 already,  what's a few more?" , etc. These questions start touching on the other aspect, reasoning. The customer tries to reason with the situation, to come to terms with it.  "It's just the cost of a lunch, I spend this much almost everyday anyway".  The reasoning goes hand-in-hand with the addiction.   You start creating excuses to help you continue on.
 
The reasoning aspect is dangerous. It's coming to terms with the shafting; making excuses of how the shafting is NOT shafting, but rather a 'nice feature', or 'optional feature' .. a 'friendly feature', etc, even though it is in fact outright shafting.
 
The emotions, I touched on that earlier, you get angry or emotional, you make a purchase.  If you had to physically go to the store to make the purchase, a family member could zap you out of it; but today with credit cards and online transactions, it's just a few clicks away to arrive at an 'emotional nirvana' without intervention by another person.  This makes the gamer become vulnerable to the methods employed by the publishers/developers.
 
It's a wild situation. You also should consider how publishers say that their games are examples of "Free speech". So they are angling, they are positioning themselves to protect their actions; their business model. It's not the content they are fighting to protect. Their objective is money, and control.

#39 Posted by Sjupp (1910 posts) -

I think some people read too much into this. This is more of a "Pay for convenience" thing than it is "Pay to win". While the latter is the worst, I am completely okay with the first.

#40 Posted by Shakezula84 (443 posts) -

I have no problem with this. It provides those who lack time to give the "higher" tier stuff.

For example, im not to good at jets, but if you are good at jets you unlock stuff that makes life a little easier. For example, the first unlock is flares. Can you imagine how frustrating it is when you are flying a plane for the first time and heat seekers are downing you all the time from the other teams jet? Ill give you an idea. F'ing frustrating.

Ill be buying some of these shortcuts when the next expansion rolls out (I lost my copy, so I wont buy another copy until then). I can only put into this game maybe an hour a week (more if lucky). I got a wife who wants to use the TV, and a son who grabbed my glasses off while I was playing last night.

This only becomes garbage if its the only way to get it. Like preordered bonuses. If they show up eventually to buy separately, I have no problem.

#41 Edited by squirrelnacho (331 posts) -

@Vodun said:

Some of us work for a living, and don't have time to spend 100+ hours to grind out unlocks. We do however gain something through this "work" called "money". This system allows us to spend said "money" to get the unlocks which we wouldn't be able to get otherwise.

It makes sense from a business perspective. You will get the impulsive people who either aren't very good at fps games, or aren't going to put the time in I guess.

I sort of view unlocking things as part of the fun of playing a game, kind of like an RPG. If they offer paid shortcuts for this, why not offer paid cheats for Skyrim and every other game with unlocks? You paid for all that "on the disk" content too. This just happens to be a multiplayer game. I'm not going to unlock everything in battlefield 3 just by playing it, but it doesn't really matter. You can enough unlocks to make the game enjoyable with hardly any time.

The good news is they waited until half a year after the game came out, it will make little difference now. Not to mention theres going to be 3 DLC packs with more weapons and unlocks everyone else will be using.

#42 Posted by canucks23 (1087 posts) -

I'm honestly surprised this stuff wasn't out on day one, considering they've done this with bc2 and some other games already. I don't really have a problem with it, because a lot of the people still playing already have most of that stuff, so it's not like this is putting people way ahead of the curve. I wouldn't buy any of it, because unlocking all the new things is fun, but for people who just want to play on the rare occasion and want to try out all the cool things then whatever this is fine.

#43 Posted by kindgineer (2767 posts) -

Don't care. I'm not saying I support this kind of attitude with the way the gaming industry is going with pay2win, but there needs to be a line where gamer's decide what is right in the field and what is really wrong. There is no clear definition of what a developer can do, and when a person jumps on the crusade-wagon it only hurts his appeal for change. I'm not sure where in the rule-book of the gaming-industry about this kind of thing being such a travesty. Don't buy it or be a part of it, or don't play the title they are supporting. There is only one way to tell a developer what will not be tolerated, and that is blatant refusal to purchase and enjoy their game.

In the end, people will open their mouths and spout crap about these types of transactions, much like other popular titles, yet still log in to the servers and wonder why this kind of stuff gets filtered into their entertainment. It's why I refused to buy Mass Effect 3 due to the On-day DLC and terrible (from word-of-mouth) ending. Instead of enjoying the game and acting like a 10 year old by jumping on the forums and yammering about right and wrong, I did what should have been done my thousands, and simply did not purchase the product. My wallet may seem tiny in the whole matter, but if more people echoed this sentiment, one closed wallet would represent thousands and would make a company think instead of snicker at the ignorance of half it's gamers.

#44 Posted by bwmcmaste (850 posts) -

@OfficerMeatbeef:

Since nobody else has mentioned it yet, I'm just going to point out that this exact feature was present in Bad Company 2. They sold the full kit (everything you could unlock) for each individual kit and a bundle package which included all of the kits. They also sold "SPECACT" packs for each class, with a bundle option as well. The SPECACT packs were just a different skin for the player model and a single weapon per class (I should note that these skins were present in the single player, so it wasn't even new content).

So, yes, this has been done before in the game that immediately preceded this one.

#45 Posted by OfficerMeatbeef (90 posts) -

First off, I want to clarify something from my post: I don't really have much of a problem with the basic new gun unlocks such as rifles and pistols. Assuming they're balanced properly, each of those should be just as valid as the other when it comes to killing dudes, just biased more to your style of play. It is the unlocks of gear that serves specific and unique tactical purposes that truly bothers me here. This is the fundamental design issue that I feel is hurting the game, and any others that use such a system.

For example, it is not very difficult to adapt from "rifle that shoots slowly but accurately and does more damage" to "rifle that has a high rate of fire but is less accurate and less damaging", and even if one works out as "better" than the other in the numbers, each is more or less equally capable and do the same job of "shoot bullets into people". But kit items like, say, AT mines, or mortars, or Javelins, or motion sensors: all of these perform a unique function or have a special capability not reproduced by another item, and not having access to them can mean the difference between holding onto a key point or getting demolished.

With vehicles, this is even MORE pronounced: AA vehicles without their missile unlocks are nearly useless at their primary role of, well, AA, while beginning jet pilots are at severe disadvantage both because of their lack of experience (fine, unavoidable, as it should) but also because more experienced pilots aren't just more skilled, they actually have jets that are superior mechanically to the same jets the beginners are in! That's just bad balance and bad design.

Prime example:

said:

I have no problem with this. It provides those who lack time to give the "higher" tier stuff.

For example, im not to good at jets, but if you are good at jets you unlock stuff that makes life a little easier. For example, the first unlock is flares. Can you imagine how frustrating it is when you are flying a plane for the first time and heat seekers are downing you all the time from the other teams jet? Ill give you an idea. F'ing frustrating.

While I don't know if I'd call something as essential as flares making life a "little" easier, this is what I'm talking about. However, I will admit that I was first a little boggled at how someone could point this out immediately after saying they "have no problem with this". Then I realized the source of the confusion, and so I wish to clarify and refocus my original point, as I feel it may have been lost in some of the initial waves of disgust and anger that seeing this announcement filled me with:

The selling of essential unlocks isn't the thing I have the real problem with. The real problem is that they're unlocks in the first place. Selling quick access to them is simply a symptom of the core disease.

said:

I sort of view unlocking things as part of the fun of playing a game, kind of like an RPG. If they offer paid shortcuts for this, why not offer paid cheats for Skyrim and every other game with unlocks? You paid for all that "on the disk" content too. This just happens to be a multiplayer game. I'm not going to unlock everything in battlefield 3 just by playing it, but it doesn't really matter. You can enough unlocks to make the game enjoyable with hardly any time.

Further clarification: I rarely use cheats these days, and I'm fine with (and typically actually very much enjoy) unlocking things in single-player games. "Cheatcode DLC" is horrendous, but I fully support someone's right to cheat their way through a single player game in any manner they see fit. Enter a code to make you invincible? Sure, go for it. Edit a text file to unlock every weapon and episode? Go nuts! You're often just going to hurt your enjoyment of the game, but who cares? Who is anyone to judge how you enjoy a single player experience?

This just "happening" to be a multiplayer game, however.... that is kind of a huge "just". A well-designed single player game gives you tools, unlock-based or otherwise, as necessary for your progress. You probably won't ever be asked to defend against a huge armored attack without any anti-tank weapons, for example. By contrast, BF3 multiplayer is designed in a standard manner: it is a grand series of checks and balances, units and counter-units. With the unlock system, it is totally (and frequently) possible for you to be stuck in a situation where you are being destroyed by the opposing team, know exactly what gear you need to turn it around, and still be completely unable to do so because you (or someone you need the support of) don't yet have access to the necessary equipment for your class.

Also, I do have to take issue with that last sentence I quoted: "you can [get] enough unlocks to make the game enjoyable with hardly any time." Ignoring the subjective "hardly any time", that really depends on the player. Some people surely unlock everything within a day. However, I play with a friend who has had the game nearly as long as I have, but he still hasn't unlocked Javelins. This can significantly limit our squad's flexibility for no sensible reason; using a Javelin is very simple, and the skills one "learns" from other Engineer activities have no real prerequisite to it, so arbitrarily delaying access by "unlocking" is simply an irritating waste of time.

@bwmcmaste said:

@OfficerMeatbeef:

Since nobody else has mentioned it yet, I'm just going to point out that this exact feature was present in Bad Company 2. They sold the full kit (everything you could unlock) for each individual kit and a bundle package which included all of the kits. They also sold "SPECACT" packs for each class, with a bundle option as well. The SPECACT packs were just a different skin for the player model and a single weapon per class (I should note that these skins were present in the single player, so it wasn't even new content).

So, yes, this has been done before in the game that immediately preceded this one.

Thank you (and the others who mentioned it) for pointing this out. I played BC2 on the PC, where the SPECACT packs are available but the "Unlock Kits" stuff was not, so I was not aware/had forgotten of this. However, it is still even more aggravating in BF3 due to the greater number of vehicles and much larger number of potential unlocks. (Something DICE actually proudly touted in the leadup to the game, funny enough).

Thanks for all the responses folks, I hope I've clarified my position on this a bit better.

#46 Posted by Intro (1208 posts) -

I prefer games where everyone has as many options as everyone else.

Getting into BF3 and ranking up things like the jet suck. Especially when the other team is decent and you don't even have flares. While they 2 jets on you with heatseaking missiles.

Being able to buy your way out is still dumb though.

#47 Edited by MrKlorox (11209 posts) -

It's been long enough since release and the price is high enough that I don't care. The people who want to unlock things manually still can, and the people who have money to burn can skip the massive time commitment. It's not like it costs $5 bucks and came out day and date with the game.
 
@Intro said:

I prefer games where everyone has as many options as everyone else.

Getting into BF3 and ranking up things like the jet suck. Especially when the other team is decent and you don't even have flares. While they 2 jets on you with heatseaking missiles.

Being able to buy your way out is still dumb though.

The latest patch finally gives everybody flares from the beginning. That was a dumb thing to keep locked away in the first place and they've finally realized it.
#48 Posted by Superfriend (1564 posts) -

@Vodun said:

Some of us work for a living, and don't have time to spend 100+ hours to grind out unlocks. We do however gain something through this "work" called "money". This system allows us to spend said "money" to get the unlocks which we wouldn't be able to get otherwise.

This system allows you to get "ripped off" but I guess you don´t really care about that. Maybe they shouldn´t design their games that way. Maybe unlocking essential stuff for gameplay should NOT take forever.

BF 3 is a pretty good example of a game that hides too much stuff from new players. If these "shortcuts" are accepted by everybody, games will go even further in this direction. Expect to grind a whole lot in BF4 if you don´t want to pay extra.

#49 Posted by McGrittles (92 posts) -

It's cool for people who only play one class so if they change class they don;t have to use shit

#50 Posted by Mikemcn (6996 posts) -

These aren't attachment unlocks though, the guns and vehicle upgrades are relatively trivial to unlock.

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