• Tag Archives Battlefield
  • More content coming for Battlefield 4

    Yesterday, I reported on BF4Blog.com that Battlefield announced new content has been planned for Battlefield 4 that goes beyond the originally scheduled DLC. Unfortunately, they did not (“cannot”) say what this content will be. One extremely community-friendly dev, @tiggr_, accidentally built up hype about the announcement, thinking he was going to get to disclose more than the company allowed. His level of excitement indicates it will be something fairly significant, so the community is currently expecting a map pack, at a minimum. As I wrote on BF4Blog, it is unclear from the clues what this content will truly be comprised of, when it will arrive, and how it will be offered. I hope they offer anything further as a free download. Over the past year, the Battlefield community has unfortunately become rather toxic, with many feeding off one another’s frustrations, which has resulted in much more negative feedback on DICE’s decisions than they might receive otherwise. I am afraid asking for players to pay for this content will only serve to feed that anger, and will result in few players (beyond the premium members who will likely get it free regardless) actually playing the new content. The current clues indicate this may be the case, or at the very least, that devs agree with the sentiment.

    While it is disappointing they offered so little information, I can understand (and speculate at) the business reasons. Nonetheless, this is still positive information, as new content will be nice to have, especially if they are bringing back some well-loved (and well-designed) maps. I am really hoping they bring in some of the best Rush-specific maps from the Bad Company series to really revitalize that game mode. I really enjoyed it in BC2, but found it lost some luster in BF3 and 4. I still find myself able to enjoy an evening playing BF4, so I look forward to some new content, especially if it can make it at all a more positive experience.

    By the way, if you are a Battlefield fan and a Twitter user, consider giving @tiggr_ a follow. He is a great face for EA/DICE, and has been very helpful to the community.

  • Battlefield 4 MVP Ribbon

    Alright, so I just have to gloat for a minute or two. I am not a very good Battlefield player (I’m not good at many games, for that matter), but I do show signs of improvement from time-to-time. However, the other day I chose to play a few rounds during my daughter’s nap time. I had a lot of fun. I jumped on a server and found there to be a good number of people playing the objective, so I jumped in the action. My first couple rounds were rough. It was a custom hardcore server, using most hardcore settings, but had the mini map turned on, and maybe 3-D spotting as well. I had a lot of trouble getting into a rhythm and staying on my feet.

    However, as I started to consider turning off BF4 and playing some Beyond Earth, Wave Breaker came up, and I decided to play one more round focused on infantry combat on the middle three objectives. I was squad leader that round and just ran back and forth setting objectives. I had a great squad that followed the orders and pushed the objectives with me. We managed to keep a majority control on those objectives, and I had a great time doing it (PTFO FTW, anyone?). Because my squad played as a team so well, the points rolled in for me. On top of that, most of my modest kills were on the objective, netting me attack/defense points. Despite having total kills and a K/D under what many had, my score topped the board and I got my first ever MVP because my team played as a team and it was fun and exciting to do. Strangely, I managed to follow up with another MVP round on Propaganda, which really blew my mind. I had never really even come close to MVP, and now I get it twice in a row.

    I’m done bragging now. I was just so excited to do that; I didn’t think I would ever manage to top the leader board in a real match. Well, here’s the full round, uncut (though I did start recording about 30 seconds in, after my first death):

  • Rewards and unintended motivations

    Rewards provide an excellent source of motivation. People will often do things they may otherwise ignore if completing the task will provide something they wish to have. This is frequently seen in games – they offer achievements, XP, special in-game items, and other things for completing tasks in and out of the game. Such rewards always have an intended motivation, and it is often a path one is meant to follow in the game, such as defeating a boss or supporting a teammate. However, it seems that we often fail to notice, consider, or just blatantly ignore the fact that various rewards also have unintended motivations attached to them.

    In games, unintended motivations often result in players doing unusual, annoying, or unhelpful things because such behavior is rewarded in a satisfactory way. A shining example of this is Battlefield 4, in which players are handsomely rewarded with XP for long distance headshots. Doing so requires a player to sit in waiting at the edge of a map providing little to no benefit to their team in a very team-based game. With a couple well-placed (or lucky) shots, the player can top the leaderboard. One can easily argue the developers did not intend for this to be a common playstyle because the game is so team- and objective-oriented. Their original intent was to reward players for the added difficulty of headshots over range, thinking that such skills would be utilized in support of the team, rather than for self gratification while ignoring one’s team.

    This can often be seen in one’s day-to-day life as well. A great example that has motivated me to discuss this briefly is a recent sponsorship event through the Freedom! network. I am a member of the network, which I will discuss in greater detail at another time. They recently launched a $100,000 year-long sponsorship program for small channels, in which they choose a member channel each day to whom they give a product from one of their sponsors (which generally consists of gaming gear, like headphones and mice). Their announcement of this indicated they would likely choose the more active members of the community for these sponsorships. I imagine there was at least some intention in this to get members a bit more active and push the community toward being the supportive foundation for small channels they wish it to be.

    While this has motivated members to be much more active than before, the unintended part is that the quality of that activity is not what it was before. The forums and video comments have suddenly been spammed with members offering to do channel and video reviews, hoping to get noticed as an active and helpful community member. However, a quick look through some of these finds critiques that offer little more than, “Dude, ur awesome! ur banner is cool! u deserve ur subs.” I imagine most of this reviews are done with very little effort. If you look through the Freedom! forums in the reviews and critiques subforums, nearly every thread is someone offering reviews, where they used to be primarily threads asking for a review. Threads asking for reviews are still there, but they get buried and are largely ignored, which seems very strange considering there are 10’s, if not 100’s of people looking to do reviews, yet these same people seem to have no interest in doing reviews on someone else’s thread because they are less likely to be seen doing them. I can only imagine the original intention was much different than this result.

    So it goes with rewards and motivations. We introduce rewards to elicit behavior, only to find the human mind can come up with many and more ways to get the same rewards with other than intended behavior. If there is anything to take from this discussion, it is to take an extra moment to think about how people of different minds may take various paths and whether or not the rewards or rules should be modified to safeguard from unwanted paths.

  • Battlefield 4 – How to EOD Bot

    If you play Battlefield 4, hopefully you are at least vaguely aware of the EOD bot, the engineer’s remote tool for repairing and destroying vehicles, as well as eliminating enemy mines and other explosives. It is a nifty little gadget, but it does not always get a lot of attention, like a lot of things in the game than have a very niche utility.

    With the Dragon’s Teeth DLC, the EOD bot has suddenly received some extra attention due to an assignment called Remote Operator, which requires the player to destroy an enemy vehicle with the EOD bot, as well as get some kills with the new RAWR, and perform other functions with remote-operated gadgets. Because the EOD bot is seldom-used, many find themselves wondering what to do to attain this achievement. Check out my video below for some instruction on the EOD bot, and also go over to BF4Blog for some more details about this handy tool. Once you’ve got that vehicle destruction down, don’t forget to sneak up on a few unsuspecting recons with your EOD bot; it is quite satisfying!

  • Hardline Singleplayer – 12-minute preview

    Battlefield recently released a 12-minute preview of their singleplayer campaign, playing through what appears to be a full episode (they described the singleplayer as coming in episodes, like a TV crime drama). In it, you are Nick Mendoza, a cop captured by some criminals, who must escape and recover some evidence along the way.

    What I took from this gameplay was that it will feel a little different from what we are used to in Battlefield campaigns, which is a good thing. I believe we saw an example of some of the “non-linear” choices available, such as how you approach the camp. I am curious just how much of an impact on the game these choices have, or if it is simply different means to the same end for each episode. “I crawled under the fence this time, but I’ll climb over next time,” does not sound like a compelling reason to replay the campaign to me.

    What I found really interesting was how, as the player approaches the camp, they can use the scanner to spot enemies, identify enemies by type, and identify VIPs to take down. This felt very much like the camera in Far Cry 3. In fact, the whole scene had that vibe, which is not necessarily a bad thing; I really enjoy Far Cry 3’s singleplayer.

    I look forward to this, as I think both the different theme and Visceral’s approach to singleplayer gameplay could make this an enjoyable experience.