Thoughts on the BF3 multiplayer update

Posted by SpawnMan (748 posts) -

Phew! Long time no write! Well, I come to you as a newly ranked Colonel in Battlefield 3, bearing gifts of insight and reviewershipiness on the new multiplayer update! Thought I'd cast my hand at giving you my thoughts on what is probably the most game-changing update that the title will be subjected to. For a full list of the changes, see here: http://blogs.battlefield.com/2012/04/xbox-360-patch-going-live-april-3rd/

Jeeps have horns. Gee this update is off to a good start. Here I was all ready to hate the new gameplay, and you throw a curveball like giving jeeps horns at me! Damn. Yes. Now speeding past enemies, guns blazing, horns blasting and wheels burning, is possible yet again, after being mysteriously absent from Bad Company 2. With the heat tanks bring though, your jeep musical number is bound to be cut short in a flaming smear of glory on the landscape.

Onto some major (although some would argue less important) changes; MAVs have been "fixed". And by fixed I don't mean broken-fixed. I mean fixed like a horny dog who just humped grandma. No more MAV riding and no more excessive roadkills with the dang thing. Which is a shame because I was just beginning to get the hang of squishing snipers with it.

And of course, major tweaking has been done to a fair amount of the guns. Stuff like reduced/increased recoil, accuracy, damage, etc. My favourite assault weapon, the AEK, has been nerfed a tiny bit, but if it means I am not being killed every second by a FAMAS lurking, somewhere, somehow, sometime, then I am happy. Luckily, IMHO the best PDW only got better (!) - they reduced the PP-19's recoil, and also increased damage. Now I was already pumping out a hefty amount of kills with it already, and now they're telling me it wasn't good enough and they wanna throw more good stuff at it? Fine with me lol!

Those are the only real guns I use, so I'm not too concerned with the rest of the nerfing. I heard from some players that the carbines were now rubbish, but I wouldn't know. I like meh classes, I stay with meh classes. One curious occurrence though is that my favourite M40A5 doesn't appear on the list of weapons altered, but the horizontal recoil seems faar worse now. I am very disappointed in this - it was basically the BF3 equivalent of the GOL in BC2. Super accurate, not too powerful, but a certain headshot. Now it feels spoiled. Like a hot wife who has cheated on you. No matter how much you try to make things like it was, with gifts and platitudes, it just isn't the same. Her body feels cold and you can't find her spots like you use to. She probably starts faking orgasms. Then you're getting a divorce and your two children tell you they want to "live with mumma" and you're left alone, afraid and end up folding a SVD for comfort (and $50 per hour). *Wipes tears from cheek*

Some other cool fixes I think will just make things better are of course the jet/heli/IR flare interplay. It just makes things a bit easier on ground troops, but also rewards pilots for smart flying. And giving all users IR flares automatically was a nice touch by DICE to help out those newbies who still can't fly to save themselves (myself included when it comes to attack helicopters). Dealing extra damage to the sides and back of tanks is also very appealing to me. It makes zoom optics a must have, allowing you to effectively thread the needle of combat and deliver a shell straight to the parts that hurt most. My personal request which I campaigned for was that the stationary guns on the ship in Kharg Island should be counted as stationary guns (pretty obvious I know!) as I've gone 16 and 0 several times on that thing without any reward. However, they went a biit too far in reducing their effects on ground troops, making them now near useless to me. Boo.

This brings me nicely into things I think they completely screwed up with the update. Gadgets like the SOFLAM have been improved, but with one hand they giveth, and the other they taketh away. Mortars. Absolutely useless on some stages now. It's hard enough to kill anyone with a mortar if your team isn't onto spotting enemies like bosses, so why on earth would you basically make them vulnerable pieces of sh*t? Take Seine's Crossing for example. I used to sit just in the spawn and rain terror down on the mortals below. Now I'm nearly brushing the balls of the opposition with my mortar stand. Which I could abide, if, and a HUGE IF it is, if the mortar had a shorter minimum range! On Seine you can barely get close to the MCOM stations to lay smoke down as the mortar over-shoots it and you cannot aim closer. Only further into the round do you get any use for the mortar and by then it will probably dawn on most people it is easier to just run up and do work with a gun.

Reducing the splash damage of RPGs and grenade launchers is also a bit lame. I can barely get a hit marker with a 40mm now, and RPGs to the face merely bounce off some attackers. Adding decreased aimed accuracy to foregrips is strange, as is having claymores disappear 5 seconds after your death. And really, they've both fixed some of the ribbons and destroyed others. The MCOM defender ribbon limit has been dropped (thank God!), as has the number of assists for the Suppression ribbon, but on the other hand they raise the limit for the Avenger ribbon (I have not gotten a single Avenger ribbon since the update, except for one which I got whilst in a 1000 ticket, hour-long game!) and the Anti-explosives ribbon, which you don't even get a medal for anyway?

In addition to those, the changes to the repair gun (slowing it down to an agonizing repair speed) drastically reduce any chance of getting the Repair ribbon. I used to be able to repair about 1.5 tanks and get a ribbon. Now it takes me twice as long, exposed next to a tank. I'd have to be going for repairs and little else (along with copious amounts of luck) to get a Repairman ribbon, let alone more, in a game. I'm in two minds, as I know the repair gun was destroying helicopter gameplay, but if you had a team of even two Stinger-wielding engineers, or even one and another with a laser-guider, helicopters were easy to take down, so I don't think nerfing the repair gun THAT much was necessary. Wouldn't have making air vehicles unrepairable from the air make more sense?

So there you have it, a bit of whining, but to tell the truth, I actually like the game far better after the update. I can't pick WHY exactly, but I'm doing far better than I was before the update. I'm going positive every game, getting lots of kills and points, and generally having a more enjoyable experience (you know I'm happy if you don't hear me cussing out the screen every few seconds!). Maybe it's a combination of the guns I use getting a small boost, or that the guns others use being nerfed. Whatever the cause, I think DICE has really done a good job fixing what needed to without totally destroying the game. Or even destroying it all.

The best addition outside of gameplay is of course the rentable servers. Not only did it allow me to get the last of those pesky multiplayer achievements I was never going to get in this lifetime (shameful I know, so sue me...) but it also allows people to play the way they want to. Which is pretty much why you'll see a bunch of servers saying "24/7 Metro 1000 tickets..." or the like. And that's why you'll also see me on those servers, because I like long epic games. And on servers which aren't zero bar all the time.

So give me your thoughts below about what you think the BF3 multiplayer update got right, and what it got wrong. Like I said, I think it was a pretty positive outcome for the game, and can't wait to see how the next big "update" - the Close Quarters DLC - affects the game. Probably by bringing more CoD drones to play, but we live in hope...

#1 Posted by SpawnMan (748 posts) -

Phew! Long time no write! Well, I come to you as a newly ranked Colonel in Battlefield 3, bearing gifts of insight and reviewershipiness on the new multiplayer update! Thought I'd cast my hand at giving you my thoughts on what is probably the most game-changing update that the title will be subjected to. For a full list of the changes, see here: http://blogs.battlefield.com/2012/04/xbox-360-patch-going-live-april-3rd/

Jeeps have horns. Gee this update is off to a good start. Here I was all ready to hate the new gameplay, and you throw a curveball like giving jeeps horns at me! Damn. Yes. Now speeding past enemies, guns blazing, horns blasting and wheels burning, is possible yet again, after being mysteriously absent from Bad Company 2. With the heat tanks bring though, your jeep musical number is bound to be cut short in a flaming smear of glory on the landscape.

Onto some major (although some would argue less important) changes; MAVs have been "fixed". And by fixed I don't mean broken-fixed. I mean fixed like a horny dog who just humped grandma. No more MAV riding and no more excessive roadkills with the dang thing. Which is a shame because I was just beginning to get the hang of squishing snipers with it.

And of course, major tweaking has been done to a fair amount of the guns. Stuff like reduced/increased recoil, accuracy, damage, etc. My favourite assault weapon, the AEK, has been nerfed a tiny bit, but if it means I am not being killed every second by a FAMAS lurking, somewhere, somehow, sometime, then I am happy. Luckily, IMHO the best PDW only got better (!) - they reduced the PP-19's recoil, and also increased damage. Now I was already pumping out a hefty amount of kills with it already, and now they're telling me it wasn't good enough and they wanna throw more good stuff at it? Fine with me lol!

Those are the only real guns I use, so I'm not too concerned with the rest of the nerfing. I heard from some players that the carbines were now rubbish, but I wouldn't know. I like meh classes, I stay with meh classes. One curious occurrence though is that my favourite M40A5 doesn't appear on the list of weapons altered, but the horizontal recoil seems faar worse now. I am very disappointed in this - it was basically the BF3 equivalent of the GOL in BC2. Super accurate, not too powerful, but a certain headshot. Now it feels spoiled. Like a hot wife who has cheated on you. No matter how much you try to make things like it was, with gifts and platitudes, it just isn't the same. Her body feels cold and you can't find her spots like you use to. She probably starts faking orgasms. Then you're getting a divorce and your two children tell you they want to "live with mumma" and you're left alone, afraid and end up folding a SVD for comfort (and $50 per hour). *Wipes tears from cheek*

Some other cool fixes I think will just make things better are of course the jet/heli/IR flare interplay. It just makes things a bit easier on ground troops, but also rewards pilots for smart flying. And giving all users IR flares automatically was a nice touch by DICE to help out those newbies who still can't fly to save themselves (myself included when it comes to attack helicopters). Dealing extra damage to the sides and back of tanks is also very appealing to me. It makes zoom optics a must have, allowing you to effectively thread the needle of combat and deliver a shell straight to the parts that hurt most. My personal request which I campaigned for was that the stationary guns on the ship in Kharg Island should be counted as stationary guns (pretty obvious I know!) as I've gone 16 and 0 several times on that thing without any reward. However, they went a biit too far in reducing their effects on ground troops, making them now near useless to me. Boo.

This brings me nicely into things I think they completely screwed up with the update. Gadgets like the SOFLAM have been improved, but with one hand they giveth, and the other they taketh away. Mortars. Absolutely useless on some stages now. It's hard enough to kill anyone with a mortar if your team isn't onto spotting enemies like bosses, so why on earth would you basically make them vulnerable pieces of sh*t? Take Seine's Crossing for example. I used to sit just in the spawn and rain terror down on the mortals below. Now I'm nearly brushing the balls of the opposition with my mortar stand. Which I could abide, if, and a HUGE IF it is, if the mortar had a shorter minimum range! On Seine you can barely get close to the MCOM stations to lay smoke down as the mortar over-shoots it and you cannot aim closer. Only further into the round do you get any use for the mortar and by then it will probably dawn on most people it is easier to just run up and do work with a gun.

Reducing the splash damage of RPGs and grenade launchers is also a bit lame. I can barely get a hit marker with a 40mm now, and RPGs to the face merely bounce off some attackers. Adding decreased aimed accuracy to foregrips is strange, as is having claymores disappear 5 seconds after your death. And really, they've both fixed some of the ribbons and destroyed others. The MCOM defender ribbon limit has been dropped (thank God!), as has the number of assists for the Suppression ribbon, but on the other hand they raise the limit for the Avenger ribbon (I have not gotten a single Avenger ribbon since the update, except for one which I got whilst in a 1000 ticket, hour-long game!) and the Anti-explosives ribbon, which you don't even get a medal for anyway?

In addition to those, the changes to the repair gun (slowing it down to an agonizing repair speed) drastically reduce any chance of getting the Repair ribbon. I used to be able to repair about 1.5 tanks and get a ribbon. Now it takes me twice as long, exposed next to a tank. I'd have to be going for repairs and little else (along with copious amounts of luck) to get a Repairman ribbon, let alone more, in a game. I'm in two minds, as I know the repair gun was destroying helicopter gameplay, but if you had a team of even two Stinger-wielding engineers, or even one and another with a laser-guider, helicopters were easy to take down, so I don't think nerfing the repair gun THAT much was necessary. Wouldn't have making air vehicles unrepairable from the air make more sense?

So there you have it, a bit of whining, but to tell the truth, I actually like the game far better after the update. I can't pick WHY exactly, but I'm doing far better than I was before the update. I'm going positive every game, getting lots of kills and points, and generally having a more enjoyable experience (you know I'm happy if you don't hear me cussing out the screen every few seconds!). Maybe it's a combination of the guns I use getting a small boost, or that the guns others use being nerfed. Whatever the cause, I think DICE has really done a good job fixing what needed to without totally destroying the game. Or even destroying it all.

The best addition outside of gameplay is of course the rentable servers. Not only did it allow me to get the last of those pesky multiplayer achievements I was never going to get in this lifetime (shameful I know, so sue me...) but it also allows people to play the way they want to. Which is pretty much why you'll see a bunch of servers saying "24/7 Metro 1000 tickets..." or the like. And that's why you'll also see me on those servers, because I like long epic games. And on servers which aren't zero bar all the time.

So give me your thoughts below about what you think the BF3 multiplayer update got right, and what it got wrong. Like I said, I think it was a pretty positive outcome for the game, and can't wait to see how the next big "update" - the Close Quarters DLC - affects the game. Probably by bringing more CoD drones to play, but we live in hope...

#2 Posted by scaramoosh (179 posts) -

As long as they have Battleog and Origin I wont bother playing, it adds nothing to the game other than creating more pointless steps. Basically they spread two UIs over the game and Battlelog so you have to use each one to do different things, why not just build the whole UI into the game like BFBC2? Why can't we customise our characters in Battlelog for example? Why can't we change settings in Battlelog? Why do we need Origin to launch the game? It does fuck all...

I just hate it /spit DICE ruined by EA and consoles.

#3 Edited by Tennmuerti (7951 posts) -

Suppression is now king and makes guns stats useless after the first bullet flies by you.
Running around with a blurred screen half the time is not fun.
A sniper  misses you now you are suppresed and can't even shoot back woop.
Plunk down an LMG in an alley and dominate everything, getting suppression ribbons like it's your birthday.
I've gotten 1.5k+ streaks without breaking a sweat
    

  
The extent to witch DICE buffed the suppression mechanic is riduculous, it completely ruined any fun that was to be had out of gunplay.
 
Tanks are now all paper thin armor, with a single RPG/javelin dude enough to completely fuck you over. Get into any big PC 64 player servers and you migh as well not get into tanks. 
2 dudes with RPG/Javelins will bend you over take off your pants and put a fat one in your shit pipe faster then you can turn a turret.
Survivability of tanks even with smokes+reactive armor is a joke. 
Tanks vs. tank was supposed to be the only buff to damage in the patch, but it wasn't.
Add to that a practically halfed repair speed and tanks can no longer ever be used as something to even move your team forward in Rush matches. They are for all intents and purposes - irrelevant.
With rocket pods doing more damge and tanks being as armored as jeeps, an air supperiority fighter (not even talking air to ground planes here) can destroy a tank in 1 pass now, have fun, and if he doesn't you will not be able to repair in time for second pass because repair torch sucks now.
 
Which brings us neatly into Air-rape territory of the patch.
Stingers and IGLAa are now basically useless, their range was already negligible, now? pshhh. No one bothers equiping them anymore, the range is so bad.
A heli has to be right in your face for one to lock on and a plane, shit planes don't care, they will be in your range for max a second.
SOFLAM + javelin? fucking whatever, flares now block that shit and the range on SOFLAM is likewise nerfed
AA missles are now also exploding behind jets all the time now, both from IGLA's Stinger, from mobile AA, and from other planes.
So good luck taking down anyone but complete scrubs in planes, and even then not with AA launchers.
    
  
Personally I've all but stopped playing after the patch. 
#4 Edited by Canteu (2821 posts) -

@Tennmuerti: There has been no change to Infantry rockets vs tanks. Just thought you should know this.

#5 Edited by Tennmuerti (7951 posts) -
@Canteu said:

@Tennmuerti: There has been no change to Infantry rockets vs tanks. Just thought you should know this.

Patch notes do not reflect this but it is not only tank vs. tank shots that do more dammage.
Tank armor as a whole is now weaker and RPGs also do more dmg.
As well as Javelins that can also now take down tanks in 2 shots without even SOFLAM.
#6 Posted by chan05 (318 posts) -

I loved the FAMAS (I know I know....) but after the patch you really can't use it anymore since they redcued the ammo and increased the recoil. Managed to get 2000 kills with it before the patch and now I'm not able to hit a target standing right in front of me. I switched to the P90 and really like it so far but I might try the PP-19 after what you wrote. And I have to agree I really love the new rent a server feature. Playing on a 500 ticket Team Deathmatch only server is amazing! However I also have some complaints: In my opinion spwan points are worse than before, sometimes spawning me right in front of enemys. Also whyyyyy didn't they nerf the USAS-12? I'm really fed up with getting killed by USAS-12 kiddies with frag rounds. And finally I was also hoping they would fix the somehow unreliable melee kill animations...but they still feel totally random.

#7 Posted by SpawnMan (748 posts) -

@Tennmuerti: Jesus, that video cracked me up! C'mon though, it's meant to reenact the natural instinct to survive. If you have ever played paintball, you'll know that you're not going to die, but you can't help but turn away or look for cover or mess up your shots if someone is laying down fire on you. It's just natural. And really, those guys on the video were TRASH. Running through like retards with no grenades lobbed in or flanking. It was very impressive, but not a true show of that the game is broken.

But yeah, I have to agree that the combination of increased damage, weakened tank armour and the nerfed repair gun have totally screwed armoured combat. I got killed in one shot, yes ONE shot, from a javelin when at full health - only once, but I was like "WTF??!!!!". Even I'm surprised when I hit a tank in the side and see that I've disabled them in one hit. And like you said, helicopters totally destroy tanks now. The number of times I've gotten out foolishly as an engineer to try and fix the tank and it hasn't even half repaired the damage before the heli comes back for a second bite of the apple, killing both me and the tank. TOO SLOW.

@chan05: Yeah the FAMAS is near useless now. Definitely give the PP-19 a try. One of my favourite guns, perfect for running and gunning. : )

#8 Edited by Tennmuerti (7951 posts) -
@SpawnMan said:

@Tennmuerti: Jesus, that video cracked me up! C'mon though, it's meant to reenact the natural instinct to survive. If you have ever played paintball, you'll know that you're not going to die, but you can't help but turn away or look for cover or mess up your shots if someone is laying down fire on you. It's just natural. And really, those guys on the video were TRASH. Running through like retards with no grenades lobbed in or flanking. It was very impressive, but not a true show of that the game is broken.

It does not matter what is it trying to reenact. :/
Realism doesn't have to do anything with game balance.
Everything in Battlefield is unrealistic in the first place. :)
 
Those guys were trying to shoot him. They could not due to suppression.
This video shows 2 things how much the suppresion breaks all shooting mechanics, it makes you spray all over the palce. Hence why he survived for so long even when people were shooting at him. Pre patch he would have died in a split second coming out in the open and hip firing like that.
Secondly that because it was buffed so immensly suppression assists are now insane in terms of how easy they are to get.
The video is just an example, i have descibed the actual problem in the post itself.
 
I have myself completely dominated 64 man servers with most players on multiple prestiges, by simply holding down the fire button untill I run out of bullets and firing in the general direction of the enemy.
You can literally just start prefiring like a motherfucker when coming around a corner and blur everyone on the other side before they even see you.
I've had 2-3 enemy snipers looking directly at me and they could not do shit, because I supresed all of them by firing a MG before they even had line fo sight around the corner, i was just standing there upright in the open, against several dudes like it does even matter, because it doesn't.
It's nuts!
In sniping duels shit snipers can now shoot and miss you, yet you will not be able to shoot back, because you are blurred as fuck, making you a target without an ability to retaliate.
The current levels of suppression are breaking the part of the game where you shoot guns.
It does not hugely affect large vehicle maps.
But because of this smaller maps like metro, siene crossing, damavand peak are basically a blur fest.
TDM? - forget it. Non stop machine gun fire is the flavour of the day.
I'm not running BF3 on high-ultra to see a blurred screen half the time.
 
And what is the effin point of all the attachments, guns stats, etc when the first stray bullet will increase your kick and spread tenfold?
For the first shot of the engagement? No thanks.
 
I thought suppression was too weak before, with that i will agree, but it was buffed to much, to the point where basic game mechanics are breaking down.
Shooting and leveling up different guns, seeing how they feel, was one of the big things i enjoyed in BF3.
To me that's simply no longer the case, I'm honestly no longer able to enjoy this aspect of the game due to supression.
Even if I abuse suppression myself it was only fun for so long. :(
#9 Posted by SpawnMan (748 posts) -

@Tennmuerti: I'm not sure I agree with you too much on the suppression side of things - I feel I've been suppressed LESS since the patch, if that makes any sense - but f*ck damn sh*t, I'll agree with you again on the air rape. I thought yesterday was bad! Geez, today I was in one lobby where the people on the other team flying were goood. And a good pilot and the new flying gameplay equals nigh invincible. I couldn't drive out of spawn more than 10 seconds before I was locked onto by a heli or jet, prompting me to get out and make a feeble attempt to repair my now flaming tank. All to no avail as I was quickly finished off on the next round. This happened several times before I tried my hand at firing a stinger at the suckers. H.O.L.Y. S.H.*.T. Have they just gone "Meh, I don't like the stingers, let's make them f*cking useless?" I was pointing right at a jet and it wasn't until it was right under my nose that it finally locked on. Now they won't lock onto anything more than 100 metres away! And they don't lock onto MAVs! Which BTW, do NOT always blow up if they roadkill you! I was killed about 3 times today by snipers who killed me with their MAVs and then kept using them because they didn't blow up! FFS! Even I, lover of BF3 and most things in the update, am being to get rubbed up the wrong way...

#10 Posted by Tennmuerti (7951 posts) -
@SpawnMan
 
The sad thing is that i was really looking forward to the patch, as soon as I read the notes, i was like Fuck yea! and went back into the game a week earlier to get warmed up.
On paper most of the patch changes were great! I was super excited for most of it, you can read my impressions on the notes before the patch came out here: http://www.giantbomb.com/battlefield-3/61-27006/bf3-finally-a-complete-game/35-536870/#42
The only misgivings i had before the patch came out were about air dominance and countering air. Which turned out to be true.
I was even not minding the increased tank vs. tank damage, but it was not limited to that :(
 
There are actually a huge number of great little changes in the patch.
Just that they became outweighted by a small number of changes with much more significant effects.
#11 Posted by Vestigial_Man (310 posts) -

I don't go nearly deep enough into mechanics to notice any of the weapon changes do I can't comment on those. However, I do have a new issue with constantly losing connection to servers. I'm playing on PS3 and before the update the servers seemed fairly stable but now I find myself being dropped every 5-10 minutes on almost every server I try.

#12 Posted by duggshammer (158 posts) -

Good post. I'm happy they nerfed the mortars... those were annoying as shit.

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