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Forums > Submission Feedback > tomchick's Battlefield 3 review

This thread is in response to a review for Battlefield 3 on the Miscellaneous. You are encouraged to view the review in a new window before reading this thread.

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Author: fleinn
Posted: November 06, 2011 (08:36 PM)
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"More than any other graphics engine today," ..other than the one made for Killzone 2, I guess.

You could also mention that EA, in their infinite wisdom, installed a server-side patch this Friday that allowed infinite lag. This means that randomly joining a server might put you on a server on the opposite end of the world, or put players on the opposite side of the world on a local server.

The game doesn't actually handle infinite lag like this (no game does), meaning that the visual fidelity drops very quickly. This is more visible than normal because of the nuance in animation, and how the destruction works.

This was changed from what was deployed with the game - a system that prevented players from joining a server so far off they would be unable to play a smoothly flowing game.

You would think that EA would see the value of a smoothly playing game. But sadly, no.


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Author: WilltheGreat
Posted: November 06, 2011 (08:45 PM)
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if you're playing bf3 i feel bad for you son
its got 99 bugs and that shit wont run


"Either, sir, you're an ass or masquerading as one."
- Nero Wolfe


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Author: Masters (Mod)
Posted: November 07, 2011 (07:50 AM)
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Pretty sweet review. And that's what it is, isn't it: team player vs run-and-gun solo artist -- the Battlefield experience vs the Modern Warfare one.


I don't have to prove I'm refined - that's what makes me refined!


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Author: fleinn
Posted: November 07, 2011 (09:49 AM)
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..or EA marketing and support vs. Game Developers, I guess.

By the way - apparently someone at DICE had the console version running with 80 people, as a test. Which worked great, allegedly. But the final console-versions have 24 players max, versus the 64 in the PC version. And the maps have been scaled down to match this in Conquest (which is the real Battlefield mode).

So - why do we have 24 players? According to Sony folks, "24 players is just fine". Period. The DICE dev in question "couldn't remember" how they arrived at 24 players in the end. EA/DICE PR allegedly brought up bandwidth restrictions on the PSN and XBL. Which make DICE devs then silently suggests that perhaps it would be possible at a later time to allow 64 player servers - if you had the required bandwidth.

An enticing prospect, obviously.

So how much bandwidth are we talking about here? For BF3 to work properly with 24 players and a muxed squad-chat, we are talking about 15kb/s. The way the game is done/experiments on the PC version appears to suggest they double the bandwidth usage when they double the world updates. Because the destruction takes a lot of the updates, this doesn't mean you actually double the bandwidth by doubling the amount of players, though. So we are talking less than 30kb/s for the downstream, while around the standard 10kb/s for the upstream (the upstream tends to be constant).

In more readable terms, this is about 0,2Mbit. Which is still more than, say, Verizon used to throttle their customers to when downloading too much... in 2005.

Nowadays, you cannot buy a dsl connection with less basic speed than 0.2Mbit. You get 0.2Mbit on 3g (even if it's a really bad idea to use that to play online games, or attempt to use any kind of real-time online application with it).

0.2Mb is less than what OECD uses to define "broadband" in terms of building out internet in forgotten villages in Nepal and Africa and so on.

In other words - if you have internet - even if you bought it off the back of a truck in Teheran, you are 100% certain to have at least 0.2Mbps. ISDN is easily 1 and 2 Mbit, for example.

But presumably EA still figured out that 64 players was something that would make the game more difficult to sell. ..to villagers in Nepal, I suppose.

So what are the odds of the 64 player servers turning up? I would say about the same as that EA starts filtering the servers to avoid the worst lag-spikes. I.e.: slim to none.

Another thing - the "bugs" you refer to tend to have to do with the lag/no filtering as well. The game updates the character you control in the game-context, so if you are out of sync, you get inconsistent movement, strange pulling, etc. So.. vaulting, shooting, aiming, etc, starts to get wonky when the lag increases to the server.

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I mean, it's really, really sad. Because it's a terrific game. Even with just 24 players, it's an excellent game. For either people who like to run team deathmatch, or those who like a more strategic game.

But EA's network support leaves a few things to be desired, to put it like that.. I'm amazed they get away with it. Hell, I'm amazed they even come up with the solutions in the first place. It's not like they don't have access to people who know at least /something/ about networks.


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Author: holdthephone
Posted: November 07, 2011 (11:35 AM)
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Well they've been going for more compact, streamlined experiences with Battlefield since they shifted to console development. I imagine the smaller team sizes are just a part of that philosophy.

Is BF3 as small as Bad Company 2? Or are they going back to what Battlefield 2 did on PC?

Good review, just a question I have to any long time players =]


Mobius 1, engage...


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Author: honestgamer (Mod)
Posted: November 07, 2011 (11:57 AM)
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I wish I could tell you, holdthephone. Hopefully, I'll get the chance to play this one soon. Battlefield 2 was one of my favorite games of its era and the first FPS that I really played on a PC. It was a blast. Since then, though, Call of Duty really blew up and sucked all the oxygen out of the room. Developers have to create maps and such with the realization that eventually, CoD will come along and rob many of the players. So it's dangerous to design maps around the concept that you'll have 64 players or whatever. I was glad Tom mentioned that the map designs accomodate smaller numbers. One problem I had with Bad Company 2 online is that the maps felt like wonderful playgrounds where no one else was playing.


"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy on reality

"What if everything you see is more than what you see--the person next to you is a warrior and the space that appears empty is a secret door to another world? What if something appears that shouldn't? You either dismiss it, or you accept that there is much more to the world than you think. Perhaps it really is a doorway, and if you choose to go inside, you'll find many unexpected things." - Shigeru Miyamoto


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Author: fleinn
Posted: November 07, 2011 (12:59 PM)
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..I think they've done more or less the same thing as with the BF2 maps - created variations of the same area with different fences around the edges. So the console versions just have the shorter fences on the same maps.

Not really a console oriented game or not, in other words, just a focus on the smaller modes that also are available on PC.

Still - it's a solid game, imo, on either platform. Lack a few of the object traversal dependent lighting effects on a certain console version. But the mechanics, the detection of suppressive fire, how that affects the soldiers under fire mechanically and visually - and all the way to stepping on objects, vaulting over ledges, blowing out a wall, etc.. this is all extremely good work. Interference between mechanics, rules and gameplay rarely fit together this well.

..sadly, it doesn't really look that well with random matching, and the ability to join any server, and lag around the corners, etc. Then you get.. not just normal internet lag.. but all kinds of weird glitches. Weapons and explosives that don't work, shaky camera, hit-detection doesn't work, etc..


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