Originally I was writing why I like BC2 more than BF3 for a forum. Over an hour it grew to this. I'm curious what other people think as well.
Quite simply from someone who tries to objectively view games I find myself in a situation where I can say, easily, that Bad Company 2 was a better 'game' than Battlefield 3.
There are numerous reasons why: Health/Damage disparity:
In BC2 you could take 1 or 2 more bullets from nearly every source. This made headshots worth more and made it so if you were skillful enough you could manage to get a kill when surprised by an enemy. In actuality you still have 100 hp... its the gun damages that were altered.
In BC2 the weapons of the offensive kits did about 14-16.7 damage per bullet. In BF3 they do 26-31. This means you die in 4 bullets in BF3 and 7 in BC2. The Guns:
"Man I really like the ak-47! It's just feels like the best for me." "Yeah man, I know that feeling. The FAMAS is just a killing machine in my hands!" That crap is an illusion. Here are the gun stats from BC2
In BF3 almost all the guns are homogeneous in every way. Every gun class (assault rifle, submachine, etc) may have 12 different skins but there are only 2 different guns. They vary in this way. Either one gun has a lower fire rate but more damage or a higher fire rate and lower damage. Of course once you categorize them this way you may notice that your favorite gun isn't the most statistically superior in the 'lower fire rate higher damage' category and is beat out by another gun with equal stats in everything except reload time. And even then the reload time is only .05 better.
Hell, here are Modern Warfare 3's gun stats
. They're almost identical to BF3's in every way. They even kill in the same number of bullets.
In BC2 you had more variety. Different guns had special properties. Some had their damage drop off in different ways at a distance, some didn't drop off at all. Some guns had unique firing modes. Some let you switch weapons faster. Some had different spread patterns (mostly shotguns). They had the same homogenization issue but on a much smaller level. Every gun had a statistically similar pair or two... but not 5-8 pairs.
I also enjoyed the potency of the pistols in BC2. The Maps:
The maps in BC3 were almost entirely designed for consoles (by that I mean their max player cap per server). There were very few maps that played properly with 64 players. Hell, on most maps even 32 was pushing it. Quite frankly... this is incredibly obvious from a design standpoint.
Hell, even the god damn vehicle spawns don't adjust for players. It's like they wanted enough vehicles for only 32 players at all times. This creates a situation where on 32 vs 32 on several maps in BF3 you literally don't have enough transportation out of your base. You could fill every seat on every vehicle and still leave several people walking absurd distances. And since most people roll off by themselves you get half your damn base walking.
Too much close quarters combat. They appear to have been trying to cater to the CoD crowd here. I know that sounds like something a forum troll would say but seriously... CoD maps are all about closed sightlines and close quarters combat.
Battlefield is about large maps and large amounts of players battling it out with tons of vehicles and armaments. There are plenty of open areas in BF3 but they aren't places where you should normally be fighting. The funnel the players via incentives and choke points. An incentive is having an objective in a tunnel. A choke point is having to go into a tunnel to get to the objective. BF3 made the mistake of having a god damn inventive in a god damn choke point.
The system that Battlefield's 64 player combat created was that you didn't need large amounts of incentives or choke points to control the action. How it worked was simple. There were so many players that you were literally incapable of not running into someone.
Of course there many subtleties. Since there were two main bases you knew which direction the player would be coming from. Since players could spawn from captured points you knew that was also a possible direction they could be coming from. If you manage to come from an unexpected direction you were almost guaranteed a kill.
This is why crap like Rush is just that, crap. You have one ingress through one or two choke points towards the objective. They know where you are coming from and where you are going. This creates what I like to call a killing field. A killing field is an impassable @#$% house of people camping behind better cover than you.
This includes: Respawns close to the objectives Better accuracy because they're camping (being prone) Smaller profile to hit (they're prone so you are going to have a hard time hitting/seeing them) Escalating advantage (you take out on point and then there is only one left. This makes it so you can't overwhelm one point when there forces are split. If 32 are fighting 32 and one side has a huge advantage I wonder who wins) The Vehicles:
Honestly this is a big one. So many things were changed. First off the unlock system makes vehicular combat incredibly unfair for new players. This is especially true for anything that flys. The unlocks for jets are what let them fulfill a function for your team. A new player in a jet has no way to defend themselves from the one billion rockets locked on to them or that Ace Pilot Lt. General RapeStorm coming his way with missiles locked on, his codpiece ready, and his extra large pack of flares.
No vehicle in a Battlefield game (hell, no games I can think of) should start of useless. You can barely attack anything that isn't another jet with the stuff it starts with. You have to 'unlock' crap that lets you actually contribute to the team below. Hell, a lot of jet players don't even take such unlocks and just continue to play the super fun jet mini-game in the sky that has 0 influence of the games objective. It's like everyone is playing Quidditch... except everyone on the ground is the chaser while the jet players are the pointless rabble of unnecessary extra positions.
The whole lock-on thing in general kinda sucks. It forces you to bring certain unlocks. It also raises another problem... too many players. The more players in the game the more lock-on sources... but the amount of vehicles doesn't change.
Bad Company 2 did it right and a bit wrong. Vehicles had a powerful presence and were hard to deal with but still being vulnerable to a foot soldier. Even someone ready to take one down would have to have a bit of skill to do it. You had two options hit it with dumbfire explosives (or the vaguely 'guided' launchers) or tag that beast with a tracer dart. This was a solid system because if they were flying in a way that made them hard to hit with the dart pistol then their crew had an incredibly hard time aiming.
When every player can lock-on to your vehicle with a two hit kill launcher from anywhere on the map you need to have a system for the pilot to be able avoid those lock-ons. This results in a single individual being almost incapable of taking down a choppejet.
The only problem was when you had a blackbird at the top of the skybox. This created several problems... namely that you literally couldn't stop it. They were higher than you so you couldn't ascend up to them in another blackbird because you couldn't aim your guns straight up... so they would spray you with miniguns until you exploded. They had a permanent floating spawn point.
My solution... lower the damn skybox.
My last issue is the disabled vehicle status in Battlefield 3. It caused several problems. 1. Investment vs reward: In order to take it down in a traditional manner you need to role engineer. You risk life and limb to fire 2-5 rpgs at this beast. You may get lucky and have the rear be exposed or you might risk even more trying to get a line of sight on its ass. You take your shots and bam... 100 points. They all get out of the disabled pos and either get away or get picked off by the rest of your team. Sure you can nab one too but what the hell.
You rolled engineer to blow these things up. A big hulking monstrosity full of players being destroyed should result in the points for 1x hulking monstrosity and 4x players housed within.
The Server Browser:
- Only two good ways to blow them up and be properly rewarded. C4 or landmines. C4 is for active destruction (see a tank and blow it up). You can destroy it all at once and everyone inside. Landmines are for passive destruction (ambiently protecting your bases and maps). Land mines have the same property of being able to destroy armor in one go. You need 3 each to completely destroy a vehicle. Additionally landmines don't despawn when you die (which I agree with... but not when launchers aren't viable like they are in BF3) which further compounds their advantage.
Holy crap. The battle-log is just that... a nice floating log in a toilette. When it works it works well enough. But it never works. Either someone appears offline for no reason, the chat doesn't work (voice/text), the chat does work but randomly omits certain things, and so much more. Playing with your friends on the same team has never been so difficult.
My main complaint is it has all sorts of unique issues in every browser. It's a hulking crapsack. Battlefield has a history of releasing unusable server browsers but in this day and age... come on. It feels like BF2142 all over again. The Ranking System:
Not too many gripes here. It takes a bit too long to level up into class defining mechanics. Hell, it takes too long to level up without resorting to stupid crap like MAV point farming (float the thing to the top of the map and just get points for marking crap and get 1st place at the end of the round). The Little Things:
Lets start with scope glare. Well all sniper scopes have the same two types of glare. A crapload or none at all. That's right that 6x has the same amount of glare as a 12x. Fine, sun glinting off glass is sun glinting off glass. I find it renders snipers and even more compromising class. Not only with all the new players role recon/snipe1337assassin... they will now role one and be easily targetable at a distance. It also discourages scouting via scope and instead only shooting at enemies you can readily see without a scope.
The flashlight. I just personally find it retarded. Sure even in real life you can temporarily render someone incapable of seeing properly if your light source has a high luminous intensity. I might also add that your eyes aren't nearly as susceptible to this if they are adjusted to daylight.
How certain unlocks are unlocked on a per-gun basis. I don't know what kind of mentally handicapped soldier I am that I can't just remove the scope I unlocked on one gun onto another. Hell, I can even put it onto another that uses the same kind of accessory rail. This exists solely to pad out unlocks. Destructibility:
How BF3 has less destructibility on maps then BC2. Buildings don't collapse, very few walls are destructible, very little cover is destructible, and generally less crap being blow-up-able. This is just another feature that was lost. I enjoyed the changing dynamic of the maps during a game. In the first ten minutes people took cover in this building. At the twenty minute mark that building was a hole in the ground so they all moved on to new locations. That rooftop where all those noob snipers camp bothering you? Blow it the @#$% up. Realism is not equivalent to fun nor is it the antithesis:
People complain about realism in games or want more. If realism adds to the game in a positive way then implement the feature. If it doesn't... then avoid it like the plague.
I'd like to talk about skill in Cod games. Your aim in CoD is far from the most important thing a player needs to succeed. The only real skill in CoD is your ability to move around the map in a way that offers you the most advantageous sight lines while denying your opponent theirs. Being able to do this in an unpredictable manner is the highest level of skill in that game.
As a gamer who enjoyed Unreal Tournament, Quake, Halo, and more I understand how this kind of skill is important... but I also understand how being shot at and dying with zero chance of retaliation in a 'game' is not fun.
Creating a game that has reasonable health pools along with this skill in using sight lines is what creates a competitive fps game with a high skill cap. People often mistake this for the argument of health vs damage. It isn't. It's encounter duration vs player ability (using sight lines and accuracy).
CoD is popular because it's modern setting which appeals to a wide demographic (and it's a setting which lets new players adjust faster and become invested in quicker due to it's familiarity) and how easy it is to do good (and bad). In Closing:
Battlefield Bad Company 2 was a lot closer to the sweet spot in 'encounter duration vs player ability' and differentiated itself from the competition.
Battlefield 3 while advancing graphics steps further from that sweet spot while attempting to play like its competition. These two factors make for a game that is less fun, less skillful, less strategic, and a game that no longer exists within it's own niche.
To me personally it feels like Battlefield 3 wanted to become CoD like draw in its user base and instead of evolving the features of the Battlefield IP (large combat, vehicles, etc) simply used them by saying "hey we have this feature and CoD doesn't".
I like CoD (as a player, not a consumer) and I like Battlefield. But I don't like what Battlefield 3 became. All it did was get better graphics, appeal to CoD's user base, lose a ton of features, and stagnate.
EDIT: Small edit for grammar and an addition to the lock-on complaint.