Road to Battlefield 3 - Part 1

We're about three months away from the Battlefield 3 release. 
This is what i consider the beginning of the last phase of fan anticipation and developer announcements.  
Up until last week, we were in the second phase where we knew enough about the game to have a general idea of it, and we even got hands on the game in the the Alpha Trial to see how the game feels and handles.  

Now that we're in the beginning of the last phase, where we only need a few more things confirmed in/out, and where we need to see the second main mode of the game (conquest mode), and finally get our hands on the beta,I thought i'd create this three-part blog:  
*Part 1 (this entry) will revolve around new random information. Everything we're able to gather before GamesCom 
*Part 2 will discuss BF3's appearance at GamesCom, which is promised to be huge and full of surprises. 
*Part 3 will be about the beta, in the few weeks leading to the game's release.

So let's begin!

No Caption Provided
This blog is filled with good news!
Based on DICE's negligence to the PC in the last 5 years, including a poorly optimized console port last year, and after seeing several developers ditch their unique design styles and spew out money-grabbing explosion-filled run-and-gun gallery killfests, I didn't have much hope in Battlefield 3 when it was announced. 5 years without a PC title? the console-oriented BC2 ? the CODmania that is allowing developers to half-ass their products and sell them for full price? Why on earth would i think that BF3 will have anything to do with its pre-MW tactical team-based predecessor ? All the indicators of the developer's recent history, and the industry, point otherwise. It only made sense to think negatively of the title.
However , more and more good news (or rumors) has been surfacing, which is giving many old fans some hope.

Secret Alpha Trial Files & Promising Tweets

Thanks to a tip from my GB friend Darksaw , in addition to several threads on the official forums, there have been a few people who've been digging deep into the alpha trial files  on their PCs and came across some really interesting and promising information!  
1. Multiplayer has 12 maps!!
 This is the first thing that caught my attention and made me reconsider about the game's direction. 12 multiplayer maps on day 1 just like BF2, and unlike BC2's 6-7 maps? That is really great news. 
  • Testrange_Rome_MP05
  • MP_001
  • MP_001SR
  • MP_002
  • MP_002SR
  • MP_003
  • MP_004
  • MP_004SDM
  • MP_005 (Rome)
  • MP_005SR (Rome)
  • MP_006
  • MP_006CQ
  • MP_006SDM
  • MP_007
  • MP_007SDM
  • MP_008
  • MP_009CQ
  • MP_009SDM
  • MP_009GR
  • MP_012GR
  • MP_012SR
What we can learn from those listed items: 
  • 12 different multiplayer maps, some of which have more than one size/version, which makes the total mp map amount 20.  
  • There's an mp map called Rome 
  • The game modes we can see are SR, CQ, GR and SDM. What could they mean? Well, for now, lets focus on the important mode, Conquest. As you can see, there are 10 conquest maps in Battlefield 3, two of which don't have any other size versions (conquest exclusives).  
 2.  Game modes:  
  • teamdeathmatch
  • teams_small
  • teams_large
  • conquest_small (CQ)
  • conquest_large (CQ)
  • squadrush (SR)
  • squaddeathmatch (SDM)
  • rush (GR?)
  • KingOfTheHill (As written in Alpha Config)
In addition to a mode that @repi and @Demize99 vaguely tweeted about a few times, called "Ship Mode ". So many modes man, how amazing is that? Rejoice!  
Wait, did someone say King of the Hill ?  WAT THE FU--  

3. Battlerecorder: One of the reasons games like Halo  and Call of Duty  are very user-friendly and youtube-friendly is because they have their integrated easy-to-use theater modes that allow players to video capture their matches, pause, rewind, fastforward, toggle camera and view, etc.. and create awesome montages without having to go through running Fraps, encoding and compressing their videos, etc.. 
Well, thanks to BF3 brand manager Kevin O'leary, who said in an interview that Battlerecorder is not included, Zh1nt0 (community manager) had to come out and say otherwise 
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Zh1nt0 mentioned several times that DICE are aiming for the E-Sports audience again, so all we needed was a confirmation that Battlerecorder and Spectate mode are in, and there you have it :D 
Here's an alpha video showing spectate mode, it's sooooooo awesome:  
(Don't mind the video's title)
4. Rewarding teamwork properly : 
A)  When it comes to in-game awards (ribbons and medals), DICE have regained my trust. They have a full catalogue listing tens of ribbons and medals, which rewardeverything  you do on the Battlefield, not just killing and blowing shit up  
Awards? Check. Teamwork stats? N/A 
Awards? Check. Teamwork stats? N/A 
B) However, we still do not know whether the end-of-round stat screens will give any attention to those who worked for their team's benefit. I hope those KD/R and Killstreak stats will get mixed with Flag Capture and Repair stats and the like..  
There's even a new award system called Service Stars, you can read all about this on the latest Battleblog .
5. Vehicles: DICE seem to be stepping up their game when it comes to the combat vehicles they're using in the game! (taken from another source
Here's a taste of the game's vehicles:
  • HMVWW (Humvee)
  • LAV
  • AH-6 & MH-6 Little Bird
  • SH-60B Seahawk (blackhawk)
  • M1A1 husk (obviously)
  • T-72
  • Harrier
  • A10 Warthog
  • Shilka
  • ZU-23 
6. Commo Rose: (this is what a Commo Rose  is) 
I'll just leave this here -
Let me try to express how i feel.. 
7. Singleplayer & Authenticity: I was doubtful of DICE's ability to create a single player component that is worth playing, especially after learning that this game willalso  feature russians, and that the novel being written by Andy McNab is even entitled "The Russian" 
However, after learning that the game will have 13 different single player maps, in addition to the many interviews and news articles on the sp campaign and the book, i can clearly see that DICE are determined to give us an unprecedentedly authentic and "emotional" experience of the life in the military. They wanna give us that feel and they wanna do it right.. Can't deny that i'm officially excited to play BF3 single player. 
8. Bullet damage has been reduced, health regeneration has been slowed down (and it freezes when suppressed). They also tweaked the sniper scope glint and the sniper rifle sway.. I'm glad they care about the little things. They're also working on 3D spotting..
I hope this means something! Anything. 
I hope this means something! Anything. 
9. Unlocks: According to the latest Battleblog (linked above ^), the game has 10 times the amount of unlockables of Bad Company 2.  Apparently, vehicle unlocks have their own trees!
This of course is very exciting news that will keep the game feeling fresh and progressive. 
10. Factions: Some other findings where the L96A1, L86, L86 LSW and the final vehicle they found in some random stuff was the Jackel, which is a British vehicle. This might mean that there will be a third faction  in the game! (not just US vs. RUS). At least as DLC .. 
Also, the Back to Karkand DLC is said to be "the size of Bad Company 2: Vietnam". Not only does it have the 4 BF2 maps but also all of its original weapons and vehicles.. which leads to believe that those maps will have the original MEC faction in them! 
So that's US and Russia (confirmed), MEC in the game's first DLC (kinda confirmed), and maybe even the British Forces (based on hidden files)

I hope you enjoyed this blog entry! Tell me what you think, and thanks for reading.

I'll leave you with this video

 Make sure to keep a tissue box near you. Things are about to get intense