Thoughts About This Battlefield 3 Trailer And Games That Last More Than A Year

Thoughts About This Battlefield 3 Trailer And Games That Last More Than A Year

1) I sure wish that a game like Battlefield 3 or any other online shooter could be as fun for neophytes like me as it appears in this trailer for the final expansion to Battlefield 3, but I’m sure I’d just die a lot of I tried to hope in and play.

2) There is plenty of grumbling about how Battlefield publisher EA and other big companies stretch their games out with paid, post release content that maybe should have been part of the initial launch version of the game. There are a lot of anxieties about that approach, where the publisher does everything they can think of to get you to pay more for the game and uses everything but superglue to compel you to not take the game’s disc out of your system tray (an increasingly obsolete notion as games go digital, I know).

For all the worries about how this could go down, this week and next are going to give us great examples of how it did go down.

This trailer up here, for Battlefield: End Game is the fifth major piece of paid DLC for a game that was released in the fall of 2011. It’s out next week. Out today is Mass Effect 3: Citadel, is the fourth single-player expansion for a game that was released in March 2012. That game also got multiple multiplayer expansions. In addition, both games received numerous, substantial patches. All of this post-release content turned both games into year-long affairs, making them more like short-run subscription games with episodic updates than like the fire-and-forget releases of old.

I’ve not played nearly enough of Battlefield to judge how this went (pre-End Game, this guy had). Any judgment on this whole Mass Effect project won’t be rendered until one of us on the team has played Citadel.

What we can know now is what a one-year(-plus) worth of support looks like from two very different styles of EA game. I have little doubt that this is going to be more of our gaming future: huge games with gobs of post-release content. They won’t sell us a game that’s “x” number of hours. They’ll sell us a game that’s “x” number of months. They’d already teased this back when they’d promise two years of support for a Dragon Age. That’s the kind of gaming reality we’re now in, at least from EA.


  • I don’t think point 2 is particularly valid in this case – there was a good number of maps in the game to start with.

    Personally, I much prefer this approach to that taken by COD. Put out 1 game every two years and keep releasing content and updates to keep it interesting for that long. As opposed to putting out a new one every year and having everybody start from scratch each time. I’ve got over 300 hours of play out of BF3 (that’s just the multiplayer, not counting the single player campaignor co-op missions), and still play it regularly so I’m sure that’ll be up around the 400 mark by the time BF4 comes out. Even with the cost of the expansions added to the initial cost of the game, I’m more than happy with that in terms of value for money. From a dollars-per-hour-of-gameplay point of view there aren’t many that can beat that.

    As far as point 1, I do think it’s time for FPS’s to ditch this idea of having to play for hours to unlock weapons, equipment, etc. It just adds nothing to the game – I’m having more fun now that I’ve unlocked everything than I did when I had nothing – and it just throws up a huge barrier to entry for anybody that doesn’t get in during the first month or so. Especially in a case like this where they want to keep the game going for 2 years, it seems smart to allow new people to come in and at least have a fair chance against the experienced players by giving them access to the same weapons. The experienced players already have the advantage in terms of having the feel for the game and the weapons, knowing the maps, having worked out tactics that work, etc. Stacking the deck even further in their favour by allowing them weapons that the new players don’t have access too is just unnecessary.

    • Fair enough, personally although I love Battlefield, as a console owner, Bad Company 2 was better as the maps were designed for the smaller player counts, paid DLC was an entirely separate proposition (Onslaught Mode, Vietnam) rather than COD flavoured map packs, they actually gave away maps for free on Bad Company 2! Imagine that!

      Still, the occasions where I still play I am greeted with the sight of a lot of “Premium” players so clearly people have bought in on the DLC experience, I’d love too but I play too many other types of games to spend all my time on just one.

      As for the weapon unlocks, I prefer being able to choose your loadout over the Halo method of scrounging for guns on the map only to lose them once you respawn

  • I am over this DLC that drags on. By the time they release this quality content, most people have moved onto other games. (New COD etc) Since getting the last DLC expansion I have found it hard to find people playing the latest content. At least with BFBC2 I didn’t have to pay for the extra levels. This time round I pay for extra levels and barely get to play a match. 🙁 EA is definitely pushing my further away from their products.

    • With BFBC2, most of the “extra levels” weren’t new levels at all. They were just unlocking different game modes on existing maps, e.g. allowing Rush to be played on a map that was previously Conquest only. There were very few “new” maps that were added for free – I think it was just the last expansion that added Oasis and Harvest Day (and maybe one or two others) – and even they were just lifted from Bad Company 1. Other than that, you DID have to pay for the Vietnam and Onslaught expansions.

      I’d hardly say people have moved on to other games – I never have trouble finding a game of BF3, there are heaps of people playing it (on PS3 at least, I don’t know how things are over on PC or 360).

      You do have a fair point about being able to find a server with a particular map you want to play, though. Since they allowed people to rent their own servers and thus choose their own map rotation, the EA/DICE servers have all but disappeared. And a lot of the private servers don’t have the newer maps on the rotation. To make things worse, half the time you can’t even rent a private server even if you’re willing to pay for it because it tells you that there aren’t any available.

      • I still find Im constantly playing old maps. If I limit the search to JUST the DLC maps, I might be lucky to get ONE server and that’s normally short lived, as it roatates back to an old map.

        The private server thing bugs me too. Tried MULTIPLE times to rent a server for the weekend and never got one.

        PS3 sounds like a happier place to me. Might have ot sus it out.

  • At over 300 hours in BF3 I can happily say that the DLC had been worth every penny. That doesn’t mean it’s a good move.

    Regularly now I try and join games on a particular map (DLC) and just can’t find any. It’s because the additional content has fragmented the player base instead of growing it.

    I don’t know how they’re going to overcome this but Devs need to find a way because I’ve really enjoyed the new settings , the new strategies and the new toys with each installment.

    • It’s not the content that has fragmented the player base, it’s the removal of the EA / DICE servers (which could have most/all maps on them) and replacing them with user-rented servers where people just select a few of their favourite maps and leave out the rest. Resulting in some monumentally dull rooms… “Operation Metro 24/7 1000 tickets!” etc.

      • +1 on this, I get so sick of seeing those 24/7 maps, I think I even saw a metro 24/7 2k tickets once, gah that would just get so monotonous, hours of rockets flying down corridors and up escalators.

      • Yeah agree with that too. I’ll regularyl jump in and only see 1 Dice Server available. – It’s usually empty.

  • I play ME3, and have 500hrs for the MultiPlayer alone. SinglePlayer 0hrs. That should say a lot about the quality of the content for MP which has all been free.

  • Personally, the staggered release of DLC for BF3 has brought me back again and again after hiatus. You can’t be glued to one game for too long, especially in the current climate.

    While I have my gripes with EA and with some of DICE’s new business practices I have to say, buying the premium membership has been well worth it!

    I look forward to dropping from an Airplane in a big ass tank and ridding a motorbike while my team mates lay waste.

    Bring on end-game, it’s been a great series.

  • the only part of BF3 i enjoyed was the close quarters maps/game mode.
    The rest was garbage, as a sniper you were gimped by a flashlight attached to your scope, and if you couldnt fly a plane/chopper you were fodder and nothing more.
    the server connections for me and most of my mates were iffy at best trying to find a good ping, for anything other than “big maps all vehicles 24/7 2000tickets”, was painful.

    I bought the premium kit as i hoped it would be as much fun as BFBC2 was, but it just never was.
    All the non vehicle maps had massive choke points that lead to 2 hours of spawn rape almost every time.

    I did like how much content you did get over the staggered release for such a small price tho.

  • ermm the trailer I see above has nothing to do with Battlefield, its just a guy strangling another in an Elevator??

  • Am I the only one who noticed how bad this sentence was?
    “but I’m sure I’d just die a lot of I tried to hope in and play.”

    • It’s a truly horrible piece of writing that I could swear was written by someone either drunk or not a native english-speaker. I’ve seen a few bits of that slip by, recently. Hopefully patched up after someone pointed them out.

      But for the sentiment of the statement? I am in agreement. It’s a significant turn-off to try and match the skill+gear+perks bonuses held by the pros who are still playing if you’re a dabbler who only just ‘got around to’ trying it out. Your experience will pretty much consist of getting farmed for points, and if you were to have the temerity to grumble about how that isn’t much fun, you can expect a spittle-laden, sneering tirade from fans demanding that you ‘put in your dues’ and practice your skill over weeks and months to actually compete in this arena, doing the hard yards that everyone else had to do (even though they didn’t, because as early adopters they were starting out on a more level playing field than newcomers).

      So, shrug. Whatever. I got better things to do with my gaming time than help someone else feel like a hero.

      • Yep, I agree – see my post at the top. I reckon it’s time to scrap this idea of having to unlock gear. The experienced players will already have an advantage through their acquired skill and knowledge, they don’t need an additional advantage in terms of equipment.

        But then, of course, EA couldn’t try to sell the unlock packs where you can pay money to unlock everything at once.

  • I am sad about the ME3 DLC. It’s kind of weird to play DLC once you’ve finished it, knowing that it doesn’t change anything, you know the outcome and the outcome is bad. It’s just adding a few extra toppings to your legacy, I guess.

    I saw that Bioshock Infinite has a season pass. So… multiple bits of DLC. I don’t know about other people, but when I’m done playing a game, I want to be done with it. I don’t WANT to keep firing it back up every time there’s a new piece of DLC, try to remember what I was up to, or how to play… I want all the content at once, in a series of dedicated sessions, then I want to put it away.

    So yeah, won’t be buying Bioshock Infinite for a few years, I guess. Very tempted to just write letters to publishers when they release games. “Love the look of your game, but it’d be great if you could just let me know when it’s done, rather than when it’s launched.”

    Does anyone else remember when people launched games AFTER they were finished making them? Anyone? Am I that old?

    • yes.. they were called expansion packs.

      although the DLC doesn’t change the outcome of ME3, neither did playing ME1&2…

      • And if you remember the good old traditional expansion pack, they were usually fully-fledged extensions of the story, rather than inserting a weapon or map into the existing campaign, here and there.

  • Just for the record, you drop a Stryker or ASLAV from a Herc (assuming you can fit it in one first!) from that height, with an arrest rig like that, you’re going to have a Stryker/ASLAV pancake when it touches down. You wanna airlift something like that, you’re going to need LAPES and a low altitude approach.

    But then again, the in-game AC-130 has anti-air LAU-17 gattling turrets for self defense, so maybe I should stop nit-picking factual inaccuracies… :p

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