It’s become something of a pastime lately. I sit on my computer for a couple hours longer than usual. I scan for anything interesting and I click when a promising target appears. Seconds later, he’s killed and lies unchanging as others appear nearby, carrying the torch for their fallen brother.
Many gamers have been logging hour after hour into the Battlefield 3 beta since it has opened. There have been technical issues as well as modded server issues and a general cloud of discontent over one of the biggest releases of the year. It has definitely been an experience of sorts.
Is it all that bad, though? I really don’t have anything too negative to say about it. I’ve enjoyed the preview opportunity that we’ve all been given.
I believe that a lot of this bad blood stems from the vocal minority that gets upset and immediately heads to the forums to vent with their arms flailing dramatically. Here are a few things that have helped me have fun in my beta experience.
I’ve treated it as an unfinished product
This goes without saying but EA and DICE even felt that people needed to be reminded. This build that we’re all playing is a beta build and stands on shaky legs. It looks great (in my opinion) but it still has plenty of bugs, a lot of which have fixes on the way.
I’ve had my share of random framerate drops along with the most annoying clipping issues I’ve ever seen. But, I’m confident that an important franchise like Battlefield will get the tweaking and care that it needs to fulfill everyone’s AAA expectations.
I’m just glad I never got this bug.
I’ve experimented and experienced
Have you gotten very comfortable with the M16 as a the Assault class? Why not try a different experience and go Engineer (don’t attempt to rocket jump).
When I first started the game, I simply went Recon every time. I liked having a mobile spawn point that I could deploy to set up flanks but I also liked counter-sniping and stopping rushes. I quickly got bored but switching classes alleviated that.
It’s just as satisfying to set up in a forward position to suppress defenders as it is to headshot careless sprinters from across the map. Each class (and weapon combination, for that matter) is a different experience with different expectations and roles.
If you’re staying as the Assault class all game then you’re gimping your team as much as you are gimping your experience. Oh and give the shotgun a whirl, you might like it.
I’ve consciously avoided tunnel vision
This was a tough one to do. In a game like Battlefield 3 where you can spawn on top of your team, it’s very tempting to just go with the pack and get annihilated together. Countless times, I’ve gone into a corridor with a group of 4 people and ended up dead because we all ended up getting flanked by an intrepid defender.
It’s great to go with your team and cover each other’s asses but I’ve found that you can do your team a service by simply coming at your objective from a different angle.
If you manage to get behind enemy lines and scatter their offensive then you may find that your team inevitably spawns on top of you to give you cover. Stick together but spread the love, people.
Most of all..
I’ve treaded lightly on the forums and took everything with a grain of salt
Many people who are enjoying the beta or playing for fun have no vitriolic reason to go to the BF3 forums. Perhaps they’ve visited once or twice to find out if the servers are down for maintenance or if Caspian Border will be making an appearance on their console of choice.
Then you get threads that completely miss the mark and just blindly hate on an unreleased game. You want DICE to kill the game because flashlights are extra effective? Relax, breathe, and try again.
Of course, there are also proper threads with proper arguments and outlined reasoning on why a feature’s inclusion (or lack thereof) is harmful or dissatisfactory to the game experience. For example, the full release will probably see some sort of revamp to the squadding functionality. DICE and EA have probably seen the myriad of threads on that issue. People want to play with their friends. Let’s call them out on it, because this is a major oversight.
Sometimes you’ll find threads that point out flaws about a certain gameplay decisions (e.g. sniper glare). These go back and forth then someone eventually comes up with a “this feature isn’t implemented realistically” argument. The popular retort is that “Battlefield 3 is a game and not real” then we land in a situation where names are called and the general forum public prepares some popcorn and enjoys the show.
We can’t really measure everyone’s true feelings about the beta even if there was a simple one question survey at the end of each match asking the players if they enjoyed the experience or not. Teams that get stomped would vote with a resounding ‘Hell No’.
I’ve come to a realization that if you want to make the most of your time (in this beta) then you’re going to have to look for the fun and explore a bit more in this version than you might in a completely polished version. Besides, all your stats are going to get reset anyway.
Hopefully, there are more people enjoying the beta than not. If you’ve still got beef then don’t give them your money when the game gets released. It’s as simple as that. There are plenty of other game choices this season.
There’s still time before release and it’s been said by DICE that this version is an older build with fixes already in place. Before you jump on the hate bandwagon, please realize that we’re probably here to test the server load, Battlelog integration, and pump up the hype more than anything.
Yes, we are guinea pigs but you can always turn it off if you don’t like it.
Keep mentally positive, stay critical of developments and enjoy the free ride.