As some of you might well know, I kinda hate Battlefield 3.
Armored Kill is around the corner, and watching the launch trailer gave me shivers all over again. I know it's all still there, the stuff I don't particularly care for, but hot damn do I love the consumer experience I have with the game since I got Premium - it has become a sustained source of awesome and excitement - great entertainment. While launch was admittedly rocky, and the selection of maps and modes were far from my favorite in Battlefield history, the game has come a long way since, and has still so much more to offer, before it has run its course. It's well on its way to becoming the best Battlefield consumer experience to date.
Hats off to EA/DICE, for designing a living breathing game - Battlefield as a service - and keep it fresh with ever new content to play, gradually approaching 'endless replayability and absolute value' - because truely, when Battlefield 3 is all wrapped up content-wise, I could see me playing just Battlefield 3 for the rest of my life, and never run out of fun things to do. By the time one aspect of the game grows stale, another aspect of the game feels all fresh again. And all that without ressources from the modding community.
Battlelog too plays into this, and despite me using it in the most rudimentary of ways - as a stats-site, and to post and read in the forums every now and then - there's something to be said for such a centralized online presence. Everything of relevance about the game is right there. Between Battlelog and BF3 Premium - this is definitely the way to go for EA/DICE and the Battlefield franchise. Premium sustained content and community support, that's the Battlefield consumer experience I always wanted, and now finally it's here.
All what's left to do, is to get better at it. Better and more frequent community events. Better communications and feedback. Cool stuff like 'Test Servers' for new maps and modes for example. Get experimental and involve the playerbase directly into the iterative creation process within the lifecycle of a Battlefield game. Come up with special live events, like a Paintball weekend, with nothing but paintball decals instead of destruction. Screw with physics for super floaty jumps. Triple lifepools and cause explosions on knife attacks in a knife & pistol only event. ATV king of the hill checkpoint races. Scout Chopper deathmatches. Live entertainment.
Battlefield as a consumer experience has gotten way better, and even if I hate Battlefield 3 - I do love Battlefield 3. This paradox wierds me out in a good way, because it gets me excited for Battlefield all over again! Go get.