Clarity and Control - That's What I Miss

Posted by Seppli (10251 posts) -

Since BF:BC 1, I'm a huge Battlefield fan. I liked BF since BF1942, but BF:BC 1 made me into a believer. While I still love Battlefield, I hate so many design particulars of BF3, my dismay and frustration and anger often feels sickening.

  • General Lack of Visibility (Color Desaturation, Blinding Lights, Overly Dark Shadows, Too Noisy Picture)
  • General Lack of Visual Feedback (Lacking/Inconsistent Muzzleflash, Lacking/Inconsistent Tracers/Vapor Trails - every Kit being allowed to go 'Stealth' does amplify this issue further)
  • General Lack of Audio Feedback (Most Prevalent Example are what I call 'Stealth Tanks' - every Kit being allowed to go 'Stealth' does amplify this issue further)
  • Hate all Design/Mechanics Involving Actively Impairing Visibility and Control (Tactical Flashlight, Laserpointer, Suppression Blur, Suppression Deviation, Random Bullet Deviation)
  • Hate Prone Position (Badly Implemented, Players Clipping Into Walls, Looking Unnatural or like Corpses, Favors Camping Playstyles, Further Reduces Visibility)
  • Hate all Lock-On Warfare and Cooldown Timer Based Defensive Measures
  • Hate Indirect Gadgets, such as Mortar, Claymore, MAV, SOFLAM - pretty much all BF3-specific gadgetry.
  • Hate the high Movement Speed (doesn't mesh well with the tactical nature of Battlefield, favoring twich over tactis)
  • Hate BF3's Ballistics. Not enough recoil. Too high random deviation, kicks in too late - making high ROF weapons feel too powerful). Too fast projectiles across the board. Too low TTK. Reactive survival almost never occurs.
  • Hate Auto 2D-Audio Spotting
  • Hate the UI and HUD (the UI for being not-well-thought-out, and the HUD for overlapping and giving me misinformation - Silhouetting would do a much better job)
  • BF3 reintroduced 64 players. This larger scale doesn't do anything for me (opposed to what I believed before its release). I think the sweetspot scalewise is 24-32 players. Enough to bring an exciting theater of war to life, small enough to allow singular players to be instrumental. I believe Battlefield is at its best, when produced and balanced with such a scale in mind, rather than building it around 64+ players.

These reasons make BF3 my least favorite iteration of Battlefield to date. I still love Battlefield, but my love is strained and running thin.

I want clarity and control of my videogames. BF3 does its best to take that away.

#1 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

Since BF:BC 1, I'm a huge Battlefield fan. I liked BF since BF1942, but BF:BC 1 made me into a believer. While I still love Battlefield, I hate so many design particulars of BF3, my dismay and frustration and anger often feels sickening.

  • General Lack of Visibility (Color Desaturation, Blinding Lights, Overly Dark Shadows, Too Noisy Picture)
  • General Lack of Visual Feedback (Lacking/Inconsistent Muzzleflash, Lacking/Inconsistent Tracers/Vapor Trails - every Kit being allowed to go 'Stealth' does amplify this issue further)
  • General Lack of Audio Feedback (Most Prevalent Example are what I call 'Stealth Tanks' - every Kit being allowed to go 'Stealth' does amplify this issue further)
  • Hate all Design/Mechanics Involving Actively Impairing Visibility and Control (Tactical Flashlight, Laserpointer, Suppression Blur, Suppression Deviation, Random Bullet Deviation)
  • Hate Prone Position (Badly Implemented, Players Clipping Into Walls, Looking Unnatural or like Corpses, Favors Camping Playstyles, Further Reduces Visibility)
  • Hate all Lock-On Warfare and Cooldown Timer Based Defensive Measures
  • Hate Indirect Gadgets, such as Mortar, Claymore, MAV, SOFLAM - pretty much all BF3-specific gadgetry.
  • Hate the high Movement Speed (doesn't mesh well with the tactical nature of Battlefield, favoring twich over tactis)
  • Hate BF3's Ballistics. Not enough recoil. Too high random deviation, kicks in too late - making high ROF weapons feel too powerful). Too fast projectiles across the board. Too low TTK. Reactive survival almost never occurs.
  • Hate Auto 2D-Audio Spotting
  • Hate the UI and HUD (the UI for being not-well-thought-out, and the HUD for overlapping and giving me misinformation - Silhouetting would do a much better job)
  • BF3 reintroduced 64 players. This larger scale doesn't do anything for me (opposed to what I believed before its release). I think the sweetspot scalewise is 24-32 players. Enough to bring an exciting theater of war to life, small enough to allow singular players to be instrumental. I believe Battlefield is at its best, when produced and balanced with such a scale in mind, rather than building it around 64+ players.

These reasons make BF3 my least favorite iteration of Battlefield to date. I still love Battlefield, but my love is strained and running thin.

I want clarity and control of my videogames. BF3 does its best to take that away.

#2 Posted by Donos (1194 posts) -

Well.... that's unfortunate I guess. Running down the list, I wouldn't want any of those things changed except for the bug-related ones. Parsing information out from the game's effects is a skill, and I like being able to use it to my advantage.

Because of its production (studio size, budget, time, etc), Battlefield 3 is in a unique position for this information game, being able to produce more "noise" than other games while maintaining the fidelity of gameplay information hidden therein. If you don't want this to be part of your game, there are plenty of lower-production shooters with less noise. I'm glad to have BF3 filling its niche for me.

#3 Posted by mosdl (3228 posts) -

I like the lack of visibility, it requires you to be on your toes at all times.

#4 Posted by Baal_Sagoth (1256 posts) -

@Seppli said:

  • General Lack of Visibility (Color Desaturation, Blinding Lights, Overly Dark Shadows, Too Noisy Picture) (1)
  • General Lack of Audio Feedback (Most Prevalent Example are what I call 'Stealth Tanks' - every Kit being allowed to go 'Stealth' does amplify this issue further) (2)
  • Hate all Design/Mechanics Involving Actively Impairing Visibility and Control (Tactical Flashlight, Laserpointer, Suppression Blur, Suppression Deviation, Random Bullet Deviation) (3)
  • Hate Prone Position (Badly Implemented, Players Clipping Into Walls, Looking Unnatural or like Corpses, Favors Camping Playstyles, Further Reduces Visibility) (4)
  • Hate all Lock-On Warfare and Cooldown Timer Based Defensive Measures (3)
  • Hate Indirect Gadgets, such as Mortar, Claymore, MAV, SOFLAM - pretty much all BF3-specific gadgetry. (3)
  • Hate BF3's Ballistics. Not enough recoil. Too high random deviation, kicks in too late - making high ROF weapons feel too powerful). Too fast projectiles across the board. Too low TTK. Reactive survival almost never occurs. (5)
  • Hate the UI and HUD (the UI for being not-well-thought-out, and the HUD for overlapping and giving me misinformation - Silhouetting would do a much better job) (6)
  • BF3 reintroduced 64 players. This larger scale doesn't do anything for me (opposed to what I believed before its release). I think the sweetspot scalewise is 24-32 players. Enough to bring an exciting theater of war to life, small enough to allow singular players to be instrumental. I believe Battlefield is at its best, when produced and balanced with such a scale in mind, rather than building it around 64+ players. (7)

These reasons make BF3 my least favorite iteration of Battlefield to date. I still love Battlefield, but my love is strained and running thin.

1) This is a pretty huge development and change for BF but I consider it a strength. I understand why one wouldn't like it and respect that but it adds to the strategic options and war atmosphere for me personally.

2) Probably the most disappointing flaw of BF3 in my opinion. DICE kicked so much ass in this department before and neither the gunporn aspect nor the variety of sounds or even general feedback are up to snuff unfortunately. I'm pretty dismayed about the lack of quality concerning sound design. Except maybe the BF theme remix and its use ingame everything else seems pretty poor to me. It's a significant part of my lack of enthusiasm for the game.

3) All of these are developments for the worse but only slightly. For me they are more nitpicks than serious flaws, they wouldn't prevent me from enjoying the game on their own. I'm confused as to DICE's thought process for including this stuff and wonder if there are people who actually love this stuff or if there's hope for these features to disappear in future games.

4) It's an obvious concession for the BF2 fanboys who never stopped fucking whining about every post-BF2 release being inferior in their opinion. As are the poorly implemented jets that destroy the atmosphere and serve no real purpose in my opinion. I think the re-introduction makes the game actively worse but I could probably live with it on it's own as much as I want to strangle all the fucking campers and hate how succesful they can be in this game.

5) Another poor change of direction. This one seems to be aimed at pleasing CoD fans but that's just my guess since I'm not very knowledgeable about it's MP gameplay. When I remember my G3 runs in BFBC2 and the sense of artistry it seemed to take to control the recoil and deliver 2-3 bullet bursts just right onto the target I can only look down on BF3's gunplay. Especially seeing Mike Horn's TNT performance and his usually high efficieny while dumping in full auto relentlessly was very indicative of BF3's new direction. I personally fucking hate it and miss the deliberate and very peculiar feel of older BF games a lot.

6) It's flawed and unneccessarily cumbersome when trying to adjust kits ingame. Players that don't have a varied playstyle and just do their one thing over and over are favored a lot and experimentally minded guys like me have to struggle through countless submenus to vary even little things. Almost as if they wanted you to never do anything except play Assault with M16A3 and medic abilities ever.

7) I agree with you but again, it's not neccessarily a huge deal to me. 24-32 is perfect and more than enough but I feel BF3 has enough options and modes to accommodate for that preference pretty well. Another concession to BF2 fanboys but in this case I think it doesn't hurt the game much or even at all.

I played all the PC BF games except 2142 after immediately falling in love with 1942 right from the get go on the Wake Island Demo and all that followed that amazing game. And I have to agree with you in that BF3 is the weakest game so far. For the record I do not regret the purchase and had my fun with it so I actually do think it's a good game all things considered but a disappointing entry into an excellent franchise. Though I suppose it has been a success since it is closer to BF2 like many fans seemed to want (for me it was my prior least favorite entry in the BF series) and it crept up closer to CoD levels of success which seemed a definite design focus as well. I have some hope for another BF game for my particular taste in the future, maybe with BFBC3? Who knows...

#5 Posted by big_jon (5723 posts) -

I agree with a lot of this.

BF3 grew on me, but it will never hold the place in my heart that BF:BC 2 does.

#6 Posted by AhmadMetallic (18955 posts) -

@Seppli said:

  • Hate all Lock-On Warfare and Cooldown Timer Based Defensive Measures

+1

  • BF3 reintroduced 64 players. This larger scale doesn't do anything for me (opposed to what I believed before its release). I think the sweetspot scalewise is 24-32 players. Enough to bring an exciting theater of war to life, small enough to allow singular players to be instrumental. I believe Battlefield is at its best, when produced and balanced with such a scale in mind, rather than building it around 64+ players.

These reasons make BF3 my least favorite iteration of Battlefield to date. I still love Battlefield, but my love is strained and running thin.

You... Hate that Battlefield 3 has the option to go 64 players, and that is a reason for your BF3 love running thin?

Go play on a 24-32 capacity server, what's your problem?

#7 Edited by seannao (226 posts) -

There was a FXAA Injector that adjusts the post-processing BF3 uses, but I think it's getting people kicked/banned for use. Some of the before/after images are incredible. It removed the blurriness that still exists even if you turn post-proc to off and boosted color saturation to normal levels.

http://forums.electronicarts.co.uk/battlefield-3-pc/1454675-better-sharper-custom-fxaa-injector.html

You can check it out there, but I don't recommend using it at all since it exists in a kind of grey area :( ..

But anyway, it was like. The look of the injector reminds me of older gaming where all the post-proc stuff wasn't really all that important and actually pretty inconsistent because of the lens flare you get from the Sun.. which.. is sometimes advantageous to another side by default.

#8 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

@AhmadMetallic said:

@Seppli said:

  • BF3 reintroduced 64 players. This larger scale doesn't do anything for me (opposed to what I believed before its release). I think the sweetspot scalewise is 24-32 players. Enough to bring an exciting theater of war to life, small enough to allow singular players to be instrumental. I believe Battlefield is at its best, when produced and balanced with such a scale in mind, rather than building it around 64+ players.

These reasons make BF3 my least favorite iteration of Battlefield to date. I still love Battlefield, but my love is strained and running thin.

You... Hate that Battlefield 3 has the option to go 64 players, and that is a reason for your BF3 love running thin?

Go play on a 24-32 capacity server, what's your problem?

I'd rather have DICE build the game and all of its systems and mechanics and balancing - as well as the maps - for 24-32 players, and allow 64 player servers for their PC audience. BF3 seems all over the place, and nothing really meshes too well. It kinda shows that Battlefield is many things to many different people, and there isn't a clear consensus.

Playercount is certainly divisive, because most believe 'more players = more fun', which is simply not true. Of course there is an audience genuinely into the 64+ player scale and what such a thing actually adds to the game, but I am definitely not one of them. For me, the entirety becomes too random, the average encounter is bound to be more unbalanced numbers-wise and way less predictable, reducing player freedom and tactical awareness tremendously, forcing boring and passive 'herd behaviour' on me. The whole 'minute cog in a huge machine' thing isn't for me.

Guess they'll have to do a clean split between the more mil-simmy core Battlefield franchise, and the more playabilty-over-'whatever BF3 does' Bad Company games - because I'm not really down with BF3 (I like it well enough, don't get me wrong - but I'm far from loving it like I did BF:BC 1 & 2 & Vietnam Add-on & BF1943).

#9 Posted by Seppli (10251 posts) -

@Donos said:

Well.... that's unfortunate I guess. Running down the list, I wouldn't want any of those things changed except for the bug-related ones. Parsing information out from the game's effects is a skill, and I like being able to use it to my advantage.

Because of its production (studio size, budget, time, etc), Battlefield 3 is in a unique position for this information game, being able to produce more "noise" than other games while maintaining the fidelity of gameplay information hidden therein. If you don't want this to be part of your game, there are plenty of lower-production shooters with less noise. I'm glad to have BF3 filling its niche for me.

Well - I much prefer the higher fidelity destruction and ground deformation, genuine ballistics simulation, and denser foiliage of the Bad Company games. BF3 feels lower fidelity in these regards.

I'll never understand how they had this sharp looking game, and decided on adding a system which makes the picture all blurry everytime somebody shoots at me. Ludicrous.

Yeah - Battlefield always was about awareness, but it wasn't about actively impairing awareness with blinding and blurring post effects, as well as pitch black shadows. BF:BC 2's Laguna Presa map in Rush has gameplay relevant lighting too - Defenders shoot against the sun in maptiers 1 & 2 - and it's just about as much as feels natural and 'good' to me.

#10 Posted by big_jon (5723 posts) -

@Seppli said:

@AhmadMetallic said:

@Seppli said:

  • BF3 reintroduced 64 players. This larger scale doesn't do anything for me (opposed to what I believed before its release). I think the sweetspot scalewise is 24-32 players. Enough to bring an exciting theater of war to life, small enough to allow singular players to be instrumental. I believe Battlefield is at its best, when produced and balanced with such a scale in mind, rather than building it around 64+ players.

These reasons make BF3 my least favorite iteration of Battlefield to date. I still love Battlefield, but my love is strained and running thin.

You... Hate that Battlefield 3 has the option to go 64 players, and that is a reason for your BF3 love running thin?

Go play on a 24-32 capacity server, what's your problem?

I'd rather have DICE build the game and all of its systems and mechanics and balancing - as well as the maps - for 24-32 players, and allow 64 player servers for their PC audience. BF3 seems all over the place, and nothing really meshes too well. It kinda shows that Battlefield is many things to many different people, and there isn't a clear consensus.

Playercount is certainly divisive, because most believe 'more players = more fun', which is simply not true. Of course there is an audience genuinely into the 64+ player scale and what such a thing actually adds to the game, but I am definitely not one of them. For me, the entirety becomes too random, the average encounter is bound to be more unbalanced numbers-wise and way less predictable, reducing player freedom and tactical awareness tremendously, forcing boring and passive 'herd behaviour' on me. The whole 'minute cog in a huge machine' thing isn't for me.

Guess they'll have to do a clean split between the more mil-simmy core Battlefield franchise, and the more playabilty-over-'whatever BF3 does' of Bad Company - because I'm not really down with BF3 (I like it well enough, don't get me wrong - but I'm far from loving it like I did BF:BC 1 & 2 & Vietnam Add-on & BF1943).

It's true, the idea of 64 players does nothing for me either, I think 32 would be the sweet spot.

#11 Posted by Donos (1194 posts) -

@Seppli said:

I'll never understand how they had this sharp looking game, and decided on adding a system which makes the picture all blurry everytime somebody shoots at me. Ludicrous.

Taking your argument to its logical conclusion, there should be no smoke grenades. They created a game where information was readily apparent (your "sharp" game), then added mechanics that allow players to obscure that information. If you dislike the new mechanics that's fine, but they're just a logical extension of the mechanics from previous games.

As for playercount, you're pretty much right. 64 tends to feel out of control, and that's only fun for a little while. On the other hand, 32 players severely limits vehicle play (like it did in BC2 on PC. 3 tanks and a Helicopter is half your team) which is perhaps the most important thing in a Battlefield game. I'd be interested to see some 48 player games.

#12 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

@Donos said:

@Seppli said:

I'll never understand how they had this sharp looking game, and decided on adding a system which makes the picture all blurry everytime somebody shoots at me. Ludicrous.

Taking your argument to its logical conclusion, there should be no smoke grenades. They created a game where information was readily apparent (your "sharp" game), then added mechanics that allow players to obscure that information. If you dislike the new mechanics that's fine, but they're just a logical extension of the mechanics from previous games.

Whilst good looking smoke is something that impresses me, and there is still a ton of room to improve on current smoke tech (respectively distributing sufficient processing power to the masses to actually employ current smoke tech in non-smoke-centric games, since many modern engines could do so much more with smoke, given enough processing power), simply blurring the screen with a post effect - as if I was a halfblind chicken - does not impress me in the least. Suppression blur depresses me.

I'd count smoke as a simulation and representation of the reality, whilst suppression blur is a gameplay system - it tries to convey the idea of stress and being under heavy duress when under fire - it is however not a simulation of anything tangible.

#13 Posted by Seppli (10251 posts) -

@Baal_Sagoth:

btw. sound becomes muffled and non-directional when suppressed, yet again another reason to dislike that system. When suppressed, you are forced into a deaf and blind state, and to add insult to injury, bullet deviation is drastically increased.

God do I hate that entire concept of design around the active impairment of visibility and control. Makes me throw up in my mouth a little just thinking about it.

And now off to playing more CQC, because somehow, due to its high pace, I don't give a shit about all the dumb stuff pissing me off so much.

#14 Posted by Baal_Sagoth (1256 posts) -

@Seppli: Yeah, the severly increased bullet deviation is what really pisses me off with that, personally. Oh well, what are we going to do?!

I'm not into the game so much anymore that I would buy more stuff. While it is a wholly fair offer I fear it would be a waste of money for the few hours I'll play myself in a very casual manner from here on out. I'm a bit of a fanatic in that I'm too proud to accept my place as cannon fodder and I'm bad enough that I need significant training to leave the novice's ranks. So I'll rather leave BF3 be for the most part. That being said, I have been doing practically the exact same thing. Using small scale TDM modes and the like to casually enjoy a little virtual war tourism without getting to frustrated due to my lack of experience.

#15 Posted by bemusedchunk (689 posts) -

@Seppli:

While I do find things like being blinded with a flashlight and having blurred vision during suppression fire to be annoying, I also think it adds another layer of complexity to the game.

Without those elements it would feel somewhat generic. There has to be something that makes the atmosphere stand out, and yeah - I understand that it's all for mechanics in the end. But the fact that they even attempted this is pretty nuts (last battlefield game I played was 1942).

#16 Posted by SeriouslyNow (8534 posts) -

I believe you owe Ahmad an apology.

#17 Posted by kgb0515 (411 posts) -

I just really,really hope they make a Battlefield Bad Company 3. I played BFBC 2 the other night for several hours, and I realized how much I missed that gameplay. I'm not saying that I don't like a lot of the elements that BF3 explored, but I can't stand by the constant babying that DICE is doing to the game. I started in on BFBC 2 pretty late in the game, but I feel like they had things polished up pretty well, and then left it alone. I want that to happen with BF3 so I can just settle in some. I feel like every time I experiment with new strategies and weapons in BF3, DICE goes and flips the script on me again.

#18 Posted by wardcleaver (172 posts) -

I have to agree with the first point on your list. I appreciate the concept of simulating going from dark to light / light to dark and needing time for your vision to adjust, but it just seems off.

I must be in the minority, because I actually like the suppression effect. IMO, if you are playing as support with a SAW, one of your main responsibilities, along with passing out ammo packs, is suppressing the enemy so that your teammates can move in for the kill, move from point A to point B, etc. Sure, there are times when you should be shooting to kill, but to me, suppression is your primary duty.

Of course, I hate it when I am suppressed, but I also hate it when someone kills me, so...

#19 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

@wardcleaver said:

I have to agree with the first point on your list. I appreciate the concept of simulating going from dark to light / light to dark and needing time for your vision to adjust, but it just seems off.

I must be in the minority, because I actually like the suppression effect. IMO, if you are playing as support with a SAW, one of your main responsibilities, along with passing out ammo packs, is suppressing the enemy so that your teammates can move in for the kill, move from point A to point B, etc. Sure, there are times when you should be shooting to kill, but to me, suppression is your primary duty.

Of course, I hate it when I am suppressed, but I also hate it when someone kills me, so...

The thing about supression, that really makes me hate it - it negates my skill. I was running bolt action sniper yesterday in CQC maps (normal setting) - dicking around with the new sniper rifle and earning the essential unlocks. Often, all I get is one shot - I miss and I'm toast. Now if somebody shoots at me, and I get to take one shot, and my aim is a spot-on headshot, and due to suppression the shot veers off target - that's bullshit.

I don't play a FPS for it to systematically diminish my skill. I hone my skill, and expect to be rewarded for my progress as a player. In so many ways, DICE decided to implent systems, mechanics and designs which actively diminish my skills as a player.

P.S. I'm playing lots of BF3 recently, and god damn do I hate it. Like the sun blotting out every detail on many a map, and the only way to get a semblance of a clear view, is by going into ADS and magically the post effect sunglare disappears. So unnatural and retarded, I cannot fathom who thought this would go over well with the world at large. Whatever man - I'm going to play some more, let's hope I'm not going to break my keyboard today. Got close yesterday. Started to twist a corner with my left hand. Almost broke the thing. So angry. So very angry.

At least it's rarely making me sick to my stomach anymore.

#20 Posted by big_jon (5723 posts) -

@Seppli: What platform are you on?

#21 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

@big_jon said:

@Seppli: What platform are you on?

BF3 on PC, the disparity is just too big between the versions playercount-wise, why?

Not that I prefer 64 player Conquest, if I crosscheck memories - I much prefer 24 player matches on consoles - but it's what it is and I wanted it at the time. Now so much is riding on the account, which sadly ain't cross platform, so switching isn't in the cards either. Oh well, BF3 ain't a proper multiplatform game anyways. It's PC-centric, and worse for it.

And if it's about post FX injectors, to increase visibilty and such. I consider it cheating and I won't be doing it.

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