Battlefield 3 DLC Lets You Pay To Cheat (Basically)

EA is no stranger to allowing users to pay for upgrades most people earn the hard way. It's been doing it since the dawn of the DLC era. But a new set of unlocks for Battlefield 3 is beginning to take the piss.

Called "The Ultimate Shortcut Bundle", it costs 3200 Microsoft Points, and basically unlocks almost everything in the game that you'd otherwise have to play for hours and hours to get your hands on. Put another way, it lets the rich/stupid pay to get on the same footing as those who bought the game at launch have had to put in a lot of hard work for. This goes for vehicles, weapons and gadgets.

In addition to the big bundle unlocking across the board, individual unlockss and unlock packages are also available for slightly less.

Hilariously, it doesn't unlock everything, leaving some users - who paid more for the DLC than many outlets are selling the actual game for - upset. Try not to feel too sorry for them.

The packs were very quietly released for the PS3 version last week.


    No sir, I don't like it

      Thank you, Mister Horse

      "Put another way, it lets the rich/stupid pay to get on the same footing as those who bought the game at launch have had to put in a lot of hard work for. This goes for vehicles, weapons and gadgets."

      How about it lets the busy/time-constrained/new players to the game pay to get on the same footing as those who bought the game at launch?

      What's that? People who can afford to, can now purchase DLC and get the exact same weapons that I am using , or that I could simply play more and unlock further down the line if I haven't unlocked already??? RABBLE RABBLE RABBLE!!!! This is basically cheating right guys???

      Seriously - how did this retard get a job in video game journalism?

        Back in my day these things were called 'Cheat codes' and they were free.

          Cheat codes were never around in the days of online multiplayer.

          Singleplayer, sure.

          Have you actually played BF3?
          Sure without the vehicle unlocks you have a bit of hard time, especially the jets. Infantry is another story. The weapons you start with are perfectly capable. A few kills and you've unlocked a RDS (or similar) and your away.
          People who think their being owned because the other guy has a weapon that to time and skill to unlock or a "perk" just need to have some patience and learn to play. Everyone dies a lot to start, and if your not dying your obviously not helping your team with objectives.

            While I generally agree there are a few exceptions, with the most obvious USAS. EAsily the most bullshit gun in thegame.


        At the moment a new player is actually a liability to have on your team

        They don't have the unlocks to compete. At least COD gives you five standard enough class defile that you can still play competitively even if new.

        A new guy gets in a plane today. He doesn't have flares he doesn't have missiles in short the plane will be shot down.

        Yet the only way for him to get those unlocks without buying them is to get an arbitrary amount of kills before he's given even the slightest chance of footing against a seasoned flyer.

        Unlock trees like this have no place in what is meant to be a skill based shooter .
        Instead they reward the veteran players with more power and choices over the new guys which is really the opposite of how it should be.

        It can be extremely frustrating to get new people to play with you when they face a massive wall that they can only get passed with playtime. Yet their lack of playtime makes the wall worse.

    I'm all for this. Half the reason I don't play these games in the first place is that I'm stuck grinding to unlock weapons before I'm allowed to actually *play* the damn game. If you're putting "hours and hours" of "hard work" into the game rather than playing for fun maybe you need to look into getting a different hobby (or a job, so you can actually get paid for working)

    Sure, it's probably expensive (How much is 3200 Microsoft Fun Bucks in real money, anyway?) but more games need that option. Make it a free thing though. If you want to engage in the World of Warcraft-esque grinding to unlock gear with slightly bigger numbers so you can grind for more gear with slightly even bigger numbers then good for you but there should be an option for those of us who just want to play the game.

      That's how the free to play market should work

      I agree with this as well. I play a fair ammount of battlefield, i bought it several months before release because i love the franchise. However it drives me up the wall that i cant compete in some vehicles because i actually have a day job and only play 8 hours a week at the most (damn fighter aces) so i cant grind away to get the extra weapons and gadgets.

      I think it is also fair because most people who are interested in these packs dont have the greatest ammount of time to spend on the games or the inclination to achieve all of the relevant unlocks and just want to experience the whole game. However in doing this they knowingly give up the sense of achievement associated with earning the unlocks

      My thoughts as well. I see all these people playing hours and hours of BF3, I know if I wanted to play it, I'd be joining them with all this crap gear and nothing worth while. Unlocking stuff in single player games is a nice reward, but in multi-player games it's just giving better things to those who are already good. While the people starting out have absolutely NO chance.

      Same here. As I said in a post on a previous article, sick of hearing the 'missile lock' before I even get off the airfield. And before anyone says anything about 'IR Flares are the first unlock' - good luck getting to 300 points in a jet if you start playing now from scratch. That being said, I've spent a fair bit of time getting to level 10, so I'll probably just perservere for now. Also ' a lot of hard work' is earning a living so that you can have the luxury of a few hours a week playign a mindless game - grinding is just grinding.

      The theory of all this sounds fine to me, but I've been playing F2P Tribes and you really have to put solid hours in (more than I've got) to get enough xp to compete, buying it is of course the other option and they've deliberately made it such a grind so you'll front up your cash quicker. That's a free to play game, so I'm not surprised or even begrudging them, but I already feel BF3 requires too much grinding already, and being able to skip it all for a price gives them more of an incentive to gear it that way.

    Eh. While I think it's stupid, I won't begrudge them for selling the shortcut or people for wanting it - levelling up and unlocking stuff in Battlefield can be agonisingly slow, especially if you're not very good.

    But, if they start selling overpowered weapons and gadgets that are ONLY available via paid DLC and give people who pay an unfair advantage, that's where I draw the line.

      Great response

      absolutely agreed. Im ok with it because theres nothing that cant be unlocked without grinding. as you said, once a paid advantage comes in, thats all sorts of wrong.

    "Rich/ stupid" is a bit of a rich comment imo

    What's the big deal, many players just don't have the time to "invest in unlocks". I see a niche for this.

    I personally don't play COD or BF3 and I own them both...why you may ask? Because I don't want to play on an uneven footing and have to play 5 hours everyday just to have a chance to kill my enemies.

    I don't mind customisations or progress at all. However when gameplay is imbalanced to the point of ignoring a somewhat level playing field I have better things to do. Specifically I mean where players can dominate other skilled players simply because of an unlock advantage it's just silly.

    What if I don't want to play co-op for 5 unlocks or horde, firefight modes for unlocks etc. Purchasing them is a viable option, afterall do I can about $30 odd bucks? Not really but I do care about 5-10 hours a day to unlock things.

    How on earth is that "basically" cheating? It means those that have money but not the time can play the game on something approaching an equal footing with the obsessives who have hours to play.

    Try getting into an online MP game even weeks after it comes out - you get monstered from the get go by people with all sorts of options that you don't have.

      Clearly you're cheating yourself of the hours of enjoyment you'll get from sitting in the back of the scout chopper with the repair tool to grind those vehicle unlocks.


    If the unlocks actually impact on gameplay, etc, then this is the only fair way of ensuring new players have the option of immediately stepping up a few notches - aka: it'd drive new players away if they're sitting there with a potato gun if the majority of other, more experienced players have body armour +10000 and gun +5-% firing rate +20% damage.

    In short - who cares if someone buys a gun rather than earns it? If they're good, they'll still be good. If they're terrible, it's not like they'll have an instant-win button. Besides, they might just go trade kills with a few guildies for a day or ten and unlock them anyway.

    Nubs with money are still nubs. Also "The packs were very quietly released for the PS3 version last week." is kinda incorrect. It was stated in the change log what was going to happen.

      precisely. a bad player with awesome weaponry is still a bad player. cant count how many people ive taken out with pistols in bf2 who had machineguns or shotties unlocked at higher ranks who plain sucked...

        Yup they won't have the skill instantly to use each weapon. But they don't have to spend time learning a bunch of different weapons they may never use again

      I couldnt agree more. With the exception of some of the Armour/Aircraft unlocks, all the basic kits are more than competitive.

    As someone who plays games casually on PC and iPad, whatev's. I can see how this would upset the neckbeards though. Surely player skill is more important than the gear you have anyway.

    I don't really have a problem I'd love to max out the last few (stupid jets) a little faster. However I think they should highlight that upgrade in game so everyone can see they paid to upgrade.

      Why? So us casual gamers can be ridiculed in game by players like this Luke Plunkett guy?
      Gee, thats going to keep the casuals playing.

    who cares stock weapons are the best in the game anyway

    If this happened in the Halo series I would stop playing it. In Halo there are no advantages to be gained by playing heaps other than improving your skills. That is how it should be for any online shooter.

    Is this Plunkett's ploy to make people stop bashing him for posting articles without content? Write articles with such horrible, troll content that we prefer he write nothing at all?

    There is no cheating going on here. You know have the option to pay for convenience, not for an unfair advantage. If unlocked weapons are outright better than locked ones, than that itself is a separate issue with regards to game balance.

    Not only that, this is old news, other sites reported this days ago AFTER IT WAS ANNOUNCED. Announced, not slipped under the radar.

    Who cares? THIS honestly doesn't really bother me, as far as I'm concerned no gun is better than another except in some special cases, if people want to dump money on this stuff in the hope it will make them better players, let them waste their cash :P

    I dont care either! Personal saticfaction - at the end of the day, if i have spent countless hours grinding on BF3 to get these weapons - im happy within myself. The next dude who kills me on the MP map doesnt. He doesnt look over my weapons and think 'Oh so sorry i killed someone who earnt all these weapons".

    Get a grip.

    I can sort of agree with most of the 'what if we don't want to do the work' comments but it does ruin the integrity of the work people have put in. It's a lot like steroids in that department.
    The other often forgotten group who gets hurt by this is the casual players. The ones who have slowly built up their gear since launch. Those guys tend to be the ones who played fair and are most invested in their gear. They don't play for 60+ hours a week so finally maxing something out actually means something to them.

      This is the most reasonable argument put forth against this concept.

      However, if Battlefield 4 launches with this system in place, then is becomes a moot point.

        It would be less of an issue but I think the core of the problem would remain in that there's a lot of pressure to either be the obsessive neckbeard people picture when they get sniped by a guy with 1000+ hours played or be the guy who rocks up and just pays for the upgrade.
        The game wouldn't strictly require you to be in either of those camps so I can't blast the idea entirely but I still don't think it's quite fair to put that much pressure on people in a competitive arena who already brought the game to pay more, dedicate their entire life to the game or be left in the dust.
        The problem still exists without micro-transaction upgrades (or in this case I guess macro) but paid upgrades only serve to further divide/shrink the groups. It splits the more casual end of the playerbase into two essentially unbalanced groups. That casual skill level end of the arena is also where the difference is felt more.

        I dunno. Both sides have valid points. Maybe I just don't like the idea of Battlefield loosening up. Not everyone likes it but I enjoy that it embraces/rewards a hardcore attitude. It's not for everyone but it's part of what I enjoy about the series.

    Oh Luke, yet again you've taken a rather moot issue and tried to make a mountain. This isn't a pay to win style unlock system, Battlefield Heroes has that. You pay to unlock everything that everyone else can/already has. All the weapons are balanced around each other and there is nothing setting the paying player apart from those that worked to unlock the guns and equipment.

      I love reading the comments on Plunkett's articles more than the article itself. I agree, he writes as if it is an afront on our personal liberty.

        I'd love to know how this guy still works in journalism after all this time.

    I think it's ok for the vehicles, but not for the classes. Earning all the usefull gadgets doesn't take long, and along the way you're more inclinded to "practise" with what you have unlocked to see which role on the team you're best suited for (I still see players refusing to drop med packs and ammo crates). I still use one of the first weapons for the Support class.

    The vehicles on the other hand aren't really capable in most fights when you have no gadgets. Unless you started using them from the start, you'll most likely leave them alone, but the unlocks allows the player to sue those vehicles and have a chance against other users. They still need to learn how to pilot it and have their team backing them up, but at least now you won't have people camping their spawns in order to use (At least now you'll get people who'll only camp them because they think they're OP).

      Totally agree. I would consider paying for vehicle upgrades, since I haven't played with planes and helicopters a lot. I can only imagine myself taking off and getting shot down straight away.

      The classes I don't mind 'grinding' for weaponry, as it gives me something to strive for, and keep me engaged knowing the the next unlock is a few kills away.

    i will only have a problem with this if the new DLC weapons are unlockable this way, straight after launch.

    And it's very little wonder why people are say BF3 and/or COD sucks balls.

    Err unless they're getting access to something everyone else doesn't I don't see how this is cheating.
    It just gives people who are late to the Battlefield party (or don't have time to grind all the unlocks) the chance to play with all the content in the game.

    Lame, anybody who uses this is a CHEAT.Whats the point in playing if you cheat anyway?Might as well get an aim-bot and be done wiyh it.If a hollow victory is what you want then go for it.I mostly play engineer and still use the first gun and usealy come 1st or 2nd.

      So... you usually do well with a gun that is unlocked to begin with, against people who are using unlocked guns, which indicated that having unlocked weapons is not an unfair advantage over just having starting weapons.

      And then you say that obtaining these unlocked weapons is cheating? Cheating by not giving themselves any advantage?

    If your playing BF3 on a console your failing already anyways.

    working to unlock kit is kinda the whole point. thats like starting Gran Turismo in a Zonda, you've missed out on the game

      That's basied on the assumption that the game in Gran Turismo is unlocking cars. For me, the game in Gran Turismo is DRIVING the cars. I'd be just as happy to have the whole lot there available and let me choose what car I want to drive when I want to drive it. Driving a Zonda is fun. Driving around in a Toyota Yaris just to earn enough points to buy a car I WANT to drive is not so much fun.

      But in Gran Turismo, you aren't racing against Zondas when you first start playing. If you had to lose some large number of races before you could get a competitive car, you might see value in some kind of shortcut.

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