Battlefield Rep Unloads On Ungrateful Community

About a week before the Battlefield 3 beta began, the game's community manager had decided he'd heard enough shrill complaining about the fact that "Operation Metro" and not some other map would the only one playable. And so he went off.

Rewind: Operation Metro was revealed to be the beta map on September 20. Apparently, large numbers of forum goers thought some other map would be used, like one that allowed up to 64 players. The choice of Metro did not sit well with many, and the Battlefield forums were filled with great anger and profound disappointment. This is what Daniel Matros, DICE's global community manager for Battlefield 3, had to confront at the end of the day.

"Right now, I am not in the mood to even browse in here and check out most parts of the forum," Daniel Matros began on September 20. Saying that "the beta is a privilege, not a right", unless you got a key with a pre-order, Matros ripped into users, still with a measured tone that suggests he had to choose his words carefully.

"The vibe I'm getting now is just that tons of ungrateful people don't understand how much work we are putting on this game how many overtime hours we are doing and also how many meetings we are in to ship a game like this."

Matros thanked those who did provide constructive feedback. "To the rest of you -- grow up."

Two replies later, proving his point, someone wrote: "Why aren't you releasing Caspian Border in the beta?"

It should be noted that although this thread no longer exists (a cache of it does) even a cursory Google search of the forums turns up threads backing Matros.

As for why they went with Operation Metro, not something else, well, it's a beta. "We have already showed this map and made some big changes to it to enhance gameplay as well as get it more fluent than in the Alpha," Matros explained later. "Lots of new things have been added in closer to launch. Our rank progression system as well as customisations have made their way into the beta and it's very important for us to test these things before we launch. That is the purpose of the Beta as well as combining it with Battlelog and all of the features there. If you feel that this isn't the right map for you, then perhaps we don't really agree on what maps we want to see."

It is indeed hard not to be sympathetic. These games are not made by elves. We've heard plenty about "crunch" at the end of a development cycle, I'm sure the last thing anyone wants to deal with, amidst all of that, is inconsiderate sniping and snide questions from some entitled user who is unhappy that the free thing he's being given isn't optimised for his comfort.

It is, however, rare to see this kind of thing play out -- which is probably why the thread is gone. The Battlefield 3 beta runs until October 10. I hope everyone survives.

Battlefield 3: Ungrateful Fans Get an Earful from DICE [Game Bandits]


Comments

    i think the crutch attitude of "grow up" is a bad one. Your best critics are the people who complain about your game, if no one complains, you know you haven't made a good game.

      Except its a FREE beta, people who may not even end up buying the actual product are complaining about the content they're getting for free.

      Really?
      There is a massive difference between complaining like an entitled little bastard (hello gamers worldwide) and offering what is actually constructive criticism.

      There is nothing in writing saying that a BETA needs to be made available to the public at large, and CERTAINLY nothing that says "you MUST include map X and weapon Y".

      BETA testing IS a privilege, and complaining is just poor form. It's all about tense, structure and form. These people have worked damn hard on a game, so you have to choose your words well and actually give relevent feedback.

      For those who are STILL unable to comprehend this, here's an example.

      Complaint:
      OMG FUKING N00BS!! WHEREZ MA CASPIAN BORDER! WHORES GIVE ME CASPIAN - THIS IS TEH GAY

      Constructive Criticism:
      The map played on doesn't have the same sense of grandeur as i was expecting, and 'weapon x' needs to be adjested slightly as it's too easy to rack up heaps of kills

      pretty simple, really.

      TL:DR - gamers DO need to grow up

        This. I've spent a fair amount of time on the PC beta since last Wednesday, and the amount of people complaining about the map choice is unbelievable. I'll admit, Metro probably isn't the best map to show off the engine and everything BF3 has to offer, but it's a goddamn FREE beta. It's giving players a chance to try something out a month before it comes out.

        There are a few things to criticise, like the terrain deformation glitches from last week, a few other graphical and terrain glitches and the like. But for me (on PC) it's been running fairly stable. I'm eager to see what they learn out of the response and what they implement, too. Which is kind of the point, isn't it?

        On Caspian Border, I played it - it was epic. It shows just how awesome the full release is going to be. The tiny glimpse I had of that makes me very, very excited for release.

        Though I definitely agree that all this complaining is childish I don't like the generalisation that gamers all feel entitled and need to grow up is fair.

        Many gamers are young and so they come off that way, but definitely not the majority. Many more have valid complaints they just word them poorly and again sound childish. Too often I see people making constructive complaints being accused of being whiny and getting told they should be thankful for what they get.

        There could have been people on the forums simply stating 'oh I would have liked it if they chose a bigger map' or a map with more vehicles or more weapons. Unfortunately they get buried under the amount of childish threads you refer to.

          Sorry mate - i didn't mean to generalise - i was actually trying to say that there is a vocal populous that makes it worse for everyone else, if you get what i mean

          This is why you should read more than the TL;DR summary ;)

      Critics critique, not bitch about what map they get to play on.

        The Insufferable Señor Steengo hit the nail on the head. Plain and simple, those members were a whiny bunch of ungrateful little shits. Don't try to kid yourself if you think otherwise. Or I'd be willing to be you're one of those people also complaining about not getting your precious Caspian Border map. I'm surprised Matros didn't just let out one big sarcastic "BOO HOO".

          because that would have been TOO awesome

      Critisim is one thig, Stamping your foot because you don't get what you want (for free mind you) is another.

      I got a chance to play Casp Border in Beta and had a ball but I considered it a treat, not a right.

      Beta's are for feedback for developers to iron out bugs prior to a game release to avoid justified complaints on a rleased game.

      It's NOT there to make people happy...

    My question is: They had Caspian Border implemented into the beta already. Why didn't they just allow us to keep playing it anyway? Wouldn't have been any loss to them and would have made a lot of us happy.

      wanted to use the BETA to TEST something other than what they had already tested?

      It's not a demo..

        Thing is buddy, this "beta" is pretty much a demo...

          No

          A demo is a demo

          A beta is a pre-release version of the game released to iron out as many kinks in a game as possible

            How many kinks can you iron out on a) only one map of so many and b) one of the less intensive 32 player maps in the game.

            And participating in any beta shouldn't be a privellege. We're supposed to be helping you to finish your game before release. The reason I've been complaining about the map choice is that this map limits testing. Battlefield is all about huge 64 player battles and vehicles - and yet neither of these factors is being tested on a mass scale. That just seems counter-intuitive.

              "Our rank progression system as well as customisations have made their way into the beta and it’s very important for us to test these things before we launch. That is the purpose of the Beta as well as combining it with Battlelog and all of the features there."

              Sometimes beta's aren't exactly testing all the gameplay kinks and stuff, they have teams for that. They want to know if people are satisfied with the things like the BATTLELOG and if the progression system is satisfying and working well.

              People aren't complaining on the Diablo 3 forums that they didn't release the WHOLE of Act 1 and Hardcore mode. This is probably because Diablo fans are bit more "grown up" than people who play shooters.

            Then why does it say "Battlefield 3 demo" on the Xbox Live description?

            This "Beta" came out way too late for it to be a beta. This was more for promotional purposes than actual feedback and gameplay assessment.

              Did you guys not see the absolute lagstorm that was the Caspian Border map?

              I'm pretty damn sure that was a test for their server loads.

              Just because you don't see something, doesn't mean it isn't there... or that they're testing for it.

            I agree with Chuloopa.

            This is a beta, and I hope it's old code. If this was a demo, then I think there'd be a lot of people NOT buying BF3. You can tell it's an actual beta anyway as it's riddled with bugs and glitches and overall unfinished.

              i think i'm a great example of this

              if it was a demo, i wouldn't be buying the game, because it isn't working for me, but because it's a beta, i know that this isn't reflective of what the full game will be like.

                I think you're in for a shock. Considering this beta is out three weeks before the final product, it is fairly representative of the final product. The game ideally should go gold a few weeks before release, which is pretty much as soon as the beta ends. They're not going to be able to fix the plethora of bugs in a few days/a week. Unless the beta is using a build that is a month or a few months old.

                  I love how you know exactly how long it is going to take them to fix the bugs, bottom line is you have no idea, so don't make assumptions about something that only a member of the dev team would know.

                  Everything that has been done for the Beta including the map choice IM SURE was done delibratly and with much thought and consideration.

                  It boggles my mind people who think they know so much about game design and development just because they play them.

                  ToastyFresh, as pointed out the Beta code is possibly as old as 4weeks, + 4 weeks from release to the actual product release.. that's nearly 2months of bug fixing..

                  Even if the game has gone gold Origin allows them to patch it anytime they like. Digital Downloaders wont even know its happens and those who buy it at retail will likely have a day one patch..

                  A lot can happen in that time..

                  You can play semantics with the wording on Xbox all you like, but my guess is that its more likely a Microsoft and their renowned restrictions on their service that's the culprit.. fact is that it is a beta and its been marketed as just that.

        i love it how the comments are about the spoilt brats demanding stuff and then ToastyFresh comes along and proves them right lol

          I personally don't really care what maps they choose to include. The one in the beta is fantastic and I love it. If you'd read my original comment you'd realise that all I was saying is that it seems to me a little odd that they would go to the trouble of putting the map in the beta, having it open for testing for a short while then just removing it instead of leaving it for people who wish to play it anyway.

    Considering that the main sell point of BF3 is the expansive maps and vehicle combat, you'd think they'd want to get that right. Considering the game-crippling bugs in the beta (falling through the map, corpse glitches, client crashes) only weeks out from launch, I'd be surprised if there wasn't some day zero patches.

    Without a beta test you'd have the same issues like Brink and FallOut: New Vegas had; Horribly unplayable at launch and by the time it's fixed, everyone has moved on.

    Sure, a lot of the complaints are immature crap, but you have to take the good with the bad.

      The Casp Border that I played was pretty solid. I would say they focused on the vehicle combat because it does make or break the product.

      It looks to me like this Beta was more about the Battlelog and Ranking system.

    I'll admit I wish Caspian Border was on the Beta as well as for me Battlefield is all about vehicles.
    But I'm not having a blow-out whinge about it, I know this is a Beta and it's more for the devs to get data to make the game right on release.

    People complain so hard about this beta as if DICE owe them something, it's bloody ridiculous. In fact, people complain full stop. The amount of crying and whinging and "lol pc master race vs console peasant" bitching that has come from the release of this beta is disgusting.

      Gamers = entitled bunch on shit heads

      Seriously pisses me off something hard.. that's why i like kotaku so much more than any other site - it's not populated by entitled dipshits :P

      I would be interested to know, what percentage of people who have played the beta have even submitted feedback (not that there seems to be much info on how to do that via the xbox version)

    Wait, it's not as though he went ballistic and started screaming at them. "Unloads" is a pretty loaded headline to describe what the article called a measured tone.

    DICE have no obligation to anybody; if people want to complain about the free content given to them in a beta what do they expect?

      Yeah that's a really fair point lol

      What's he unloading, exactly?

    And this is what happens when you start using betas as demos/preorder incentives... Betas are meant for testing the game, but when you use them as a carrot on a stick, people expect them to taste better.

      That's the smartest thing I've heard all day.

      Also, what's with the screenshots we get all the time (ie. the one above) from BF3...these cinema quality pics with extreme depth of field. I know it's a beat, but from what I've played on PC and Xbox, it doesn't look anything like these shots.

    Should have taken a "don't like it don't play it" approach and kicked every whinger off the beta. Maybe not the best solution PR wise but would have provided many a laugh.

    Who cares?
    Its just another shooter, this years Medal Of Honor. Yes gamers do need to grow up....and play something else!

      Yeah.. i'm not much of a huge FPS gamer, but for somone who is saying that people need to grow up, you, yourself, seem quite immature with what you say.

      So because you don't like something it means that people should stop playing it?

    What this guy needs to understand is that we are helping them test the game and essentially fix it. Why can't we have some fun while we do it and play with some vehicles. Most of us are going to buy it. It feels like some marketing strategy to deliberately hold out on us so we buy it.

    Okay, I wanna complain about the beta, as NOT because of the maps, I want to complain because i only managed to play one very brief round, then the game crashed, and I haven't been able to join a game since.

    I know it's a beta, so I hope that when the full games out it'll work properly, and I hope I have the ability to not use the battlelog to play, because running it from a browser is the stupidest idea ever.

    I'm still gonna buy the game, but I'm still angry at how unplayable the beta was for me.

    Are they actually giving us something "for free"? We're testing the game for them. In a way that's providing them with a service. They're acting like doing an open beta is just out of the goodness of their hearts. It's partly us testing the game for them, and it's partly a demo for marketing purposes.

    People got very excited by the large scale battles and air combat seen in trailers, you can hardly be surprised that they're annoyed when the only sample of the game is an extremely linear and confined map with no vehicles. Also, the map isn't the only complaint people have with the game.

    I managed to play Caspian Border before it got shut off, and loved it. I'd be very turned off the game if I hadn't played it. From a marketing perspective the decision to shut it down was awful, and I don't see how Operation Metro would have been a more suitable choice for testing. (Surely a large scale map with vehicles would be much more prone to bugs?) I saw more bugs in Caspian Border than I have so far in Metro.

      "Are they actually giving us something “for free”?"
      - Did you pay for it? If the answer is no, then Yes - it's free

      "We’re testing the game for them. In a way that’s providing them with a service."
      - which the could have allocated to a much smaller and much more select group.
      The thing to keep in mind for this point is that you get to Beta test it so that YOU can enjoy a bug-free game on release.

        "which the could have allocated to a much smaller and much more select group."
        They did that. Then they opened it up for large scale testing, not just because they wanted us to have a try of the game, but because they had to test it and aid marketing.

        "The thing to keep in mind for this point is that you get to Beta test it so that YOU can enjoy a bug-free game on release."
        Well yes but it's also so they can release a bug-free game which will earn them a large amount of money on release. Game devs aren't charities, they're businesses.

        It just annoys me when they behave like they're doing us some massive favour. Both the consumer and the developer get something out of this. If there's a lot of people complaining, whether "constructively" or not, that's pretty useful feedback for them to use. Don't complain about criticism, just fix the things that people are criticising. Then you end up with happier consumers and more sales.

          No, it isn't free:

          We're providing a service for a service. They're giving us a demo of a game, they're both testing and marketing the game.

          That said, whining isn't the way to do things. Wanting another map isn't constructive criticism. Constructive criticism is telling them what bugs there are, for instance, "I just saw a corpse gliding around the floor and up some stairs".

          Asking for another map is missing the point of the Beta. You're meant to be testing the map and the items they give you, not the maps and items you want.

            True, but just because something isn't constructive criticism doesn't mean it isn't useful information. If the vast majority of your users are ineloquently demanding a bigger map which is (I assume/hope) more representative of the full game, then that's telling you people want battles to remain mostly large-scale. Which means you can devote future map packs to bigger maps, and given that half the purpose of the beta seems to be marketing, release a bigger beta map to drum up interest and sales.

            Whining about the inevitable (I mean seriously, did they not see this coming?) isn't going to solve the problem.

    I downloaded the beta of of psn and wasn't impressed, boring map might as well have been call of duty or homefront or any number of military f.p.s.'s.Where were the tanks and F-18's?
    I think a map that set BF3 apart from the pack would have been in their own interest as much of anyone else.I canceled my preorder on for the ps3 version but might pick it up for the p.c. when upgrade as I need win7 just to play and I thought the ps3 version looked ugly.

    Easiest solution: not happy, don't play it.
    I have pre-ordered, but I didn't pre-order so I could play a buggy, incomplete game beforehand. That's what all the impatient people who are playing it are for ;)

    Pretty much sums up what I think of as well. Such an ungrateful lot.

    I am enjoying the beta. Still getting used to the increased AR kickbate. <--- is all.

    A large portion of gamers are teens whom are yet to grow up. Surely thoughtless feedback was expected.

    Well I'm having a blast. Everyone should just relax and take it easy. It's not like you payed $100 for one map.

    we all know if they just had the "other" map someone somewhere would have a little bitch that they didn't have metro

    I don't mind the map. I just find it horribly unplayable due to lag.

    The bugs are there, but sparse and hardly game-breaking. I think once when I spawned suppressed, the suppression (blue-tinted blured vision with lower light) stayed until i was killed, and I could see through a tree once.

    All i can say, is that had I pre-ordered this game, I would be cancelling my pre-order. Mainly due to the sole issue of lag. If it was a smaller (& poorer) developer and publisher, then I would be more liable to accept it.

    AAA 100+mil budget and they can't accommodate for enough servers in what is ultimately off-peak?

      "The bugs are there, but sparse and hardly game-breaking. I think once when I spawned suppressed, the suppression (blue-tinted blured vision with lower light) stayed until i was killed, and I could see through a tree once. "

      Hitting ESC seems to fix that.

        ahhh cheers (im playing on PS3 but i guess i'll just press start)

          I would assume it would be the same (going to menu and out again) :)

    to preface, i have the special ed. preordered, but haven't played the demo, dont have the time atm.

    i find it a little odd though that in both this and bc2 dice has chosen to field a "beta" build, possibly months old, and this time doesn't even allow them to gather data on vehicle use/balance/bugs.

    i was under the impression that the the purpose of a beta was to generate data on issues that may arise when the final product is released, or if possible fix them.

    as it stands i dont see how it is possible that dice can get much if any useful information other than early game infantry balance, which historically is not the focus of battlefield games.

    all this said, WAH WAH I WANNA PLAY BATTLEFIELD!!!!!

      Beta seems to be more about gather server side information and improving server stability.

        Well they need that because frak me it's actually the biggest problem with the beta - the sheer number of connection drop-outs - now that may be due to large quantities of people playing - but they'll wanna have that capacity once the game ships just incase its a big hit.

    Still, it IS the guy's *actual job* to deal with this stuff.

    More importantly I read this headline as "Rap" rather than "Rep" and even got my headphones out ready to listen.... :(

    This is one if those rare occasions where the collective experience of gaming offered by the Internet derogates from the experience.

    I'm gonna side with DICE rep here. When I'm playing the beta I can see how much work there is left to go in that thing. It needs a lot of polish, and that means a lot of overtime. If they don't want to support more than one map for the beta that's there choice. The game comes out on the 27th and from my experience in the games industry, the beta shows the game won't be ready for release by then. But I'm still confident they'll pull it together and get it ready by then, so go DICE go, and just ignore complainers, you're too damn busy to be reading forums anyway.

    Why is it when people are granted access to a free OPEN beta, they choose to complain about every little detail?

    I must admit i was a little dissapointed to hear that i wouldnt be able to play a conquest map, but i very soon got over that dissapointment and moved on with my life.

    I mean seriously, I am sure that DICE hasn't just released a beta to the public to entice people to purchase the game (although that may be a side effect).

    Has anyone thought that perhaps this map and gametype might be the least refined of all the other gametypes/maps? I'm sure that DICE are aware that the large part of their customers really enjoy big 64 player maps with vehicles zooming around everywhere and would have worked to remove alot of the kinks already.

    If a game developer were to release a game without bugs I would be awesomely suprised. Even a game such as Minecraft which has had an extensive period of testing will most likely have many bugs on the full release of the game.

      People complain the most during betas because it is when the devs have their ears open and are most likely to listen. But you're totally right about people bitching because they can't play on Caspian.

Join the discussion!