A big first patch has been released for Battlefield 3 on the PC, with the console versions coming shortly due to the lengthier approval process. Included in the update are a variety of new features and a host of bug fixes.
Included will be general performance and load time improvements, plus several factors causing the game to crash have now been sorted. For PC gamers specifically, there’s now single sign-on from Battlelog to Origin, plus unranked servers if you fancy a more relaxing game of Battlefield, although there’s no indication whether this might lead to community modifications at some point in the future.
You’re also able to share profile and stats pages to Facebook, Twitter and Google+, but more important for most of us are the gameplay changes, which include fixes such as ‘You should no longer spawn too close to enemies in TDM, SQDM or Conquest’, plus tweaks to damage and range on a number of weapons, and grenades now drop to the ground if you’re killed mid-throw.
The EOD Bot exploit has now been fixed, there are improvements to the ‘team kill kick’ configuration, and there are a lot of changes to the Squad and Platoon options, which are definitely going to improve the console experience shortly.
Battlefield 3 patch: Squad and Platoon changes:
Players can join empty Squads alone, and the ‘Find Me a Squad’ option has been removed. Instead, you’ll now be able to cycle through available squads, which will make it a lot easier to actually play alongside your friends, rather than spending one or two rounds messing around changing teams and constantly jumping from squad to squad to find them mid-game.
Empty squads will display in white to show there’s space available, occupied squads will be coloured blue, and although squad privacy flags will be disabled if you’re in a 1-man squad, two-player squads can still go private.
General performance and loading time improvements
• ”Black Screen” fix for an issue occurring on some PC configurations
• Stereo and rendering support for Nvidia and AMD graphics cards
• Fixed several crashes that occurred when joining multiplayer and co-op sessions
• Fixed a problem with high speed mouse movement (aka “negative mouse acceleration”)
• You should no longer be able to damage a friendly vehicle when sitting in an open position
• Grenades now drop to ground if you get killed while attempting to throw it (dangerous in Hardcore mode!)
• You should no longer spawn too close to enemies in TDM, SQDM, or Conquest
• A large number of damage and range tweaks on a number of weapons to fine-tune overall balance in the game
• Added round duration and ticket summary at End of Round screen
• Fixed a problem regarding key bindings while playing
• Significant changes to the Join Squad interface, detailed at the bottom of this post
• EOD Bot exploit fix
• Several crash fixes
• Anti-stat padding measures taken, disallowing ranked servers to run obscure settings
• Improved team kill kick configuration
• Support for unranked servers. Unranked servers do not report players’ scores to Battlelog, but server administrators can freely control all settings
• Ability to share your Profile and Stats pages to Facebook, Google+, and Twitter
• User Profile and Stats pages on Battlelog can now be accessed without being signed in to Battlelog if you know a user’s URL
• Single sign on from Battlelog to Origin. If you’re not logged in to Origin and join a game server, Battlelog will automatically sign you in to Origin in the background and join the game server
• Removed FIND ME A SQUAD option
• Allow players to join empty Squads alone, thus having 1/4 squad members
• Change order of options to LEAVE SQUAD, INV A FRIEND, SWITCH TEAM
• Disable Privacy flag when 1 man squad
• Reset Privacy flag from Private to Public when squad drops to 1 player
• All occupied Squads will now show up colored blue on the Squad Selection screen
• Players who choose not to join squads will also show up as Blue in the “Not in a Squad” line
• Squads that are currently empty will display as white — if you wish to join an empty Squad, you can choose the first one marked with white text
More than 1600 hackers and cheaters have been banned from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 according to Infinity Ward creative strategist Robert Bowling. He revealed on twitter, than ‘any attempt to cheat, hack or glitch in #MW3 will not be tolerated’ and in addition to patches and updates, he asked players to continue to report offenders. Apparently Infinity Ward is holding daily meetings to investigate the causes and solutions of any exploits.
The first round of action against anyone attempting to boost their rank actually went out on launch day, November 8th, but Activision Blizzard did give some leeway to anyone who had managed to get hold of an early copy of the game, simply asking that everyone waited until after the official launch to start playing.
This follows the banning of hundreds of accounts in EA’s Battlefield 3, when players were found to be able to boost the points won during a match via a glitch. Offending players have had their stats wiped, and a patch has been developed to counter the glitch on all platforms (Xbox 360, PS3 and PC).
Every November a new Call of Duty arrives, and with each game there are always major and minor changes that can disapoint or annoy gamers who have been playing the previous installment right up until launch night. Ignoring the usual server errors that occur when a few hundred thousand people all arrive home and go online for the first time, it’s usually a case of getting used to new maps, new weapon weightings and changes to killstreaks.
All of that is true with Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3, which not only reverts back from Treyarch’s Black Ops approach, but also makes some significant changes to what we were used to in Modern Warfare 2. Different perks and kill streaks, particularly the new Support streak which stacks up whether or not you’ve died in the progress, have made big changes to the feel of multiplayer.
But having felt uneasy since first playing MW3 on launch night, I’m now convinced that Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer have made a big error, regardless of initial sales figures.
Where Modern Warfare 3 goes wrong:
It isn’t the single player campaign, which although feeling a little disjointed, is still enjoyable and fun. It isn’t in the Spec Ops Missions or the new Survival Mode, both of which are great, although it would have been nice to have had up to 4 players for survival mode.
It’s in the key area for Call of Duty – Multiplayer.
Initially I couldn’t work out why I felt so unsatisfied after an evening of MW3 multiplayer. After all, I’ve played Call of Duty pretty much constantly since the original Modern Warfare, and no matter how bad my performance or the occasional lag issue, I’ve always managed to at least come out of an evening with a few good games.
But when I thought about the structure of multiplayer I realised the problem. It’s all one note.
‘One note gaming’? This ain’t Guitar Hero
What I mean by one note is that great films, music and novels all have moments of quiet to contract with the moments of action. Even blockbuster action films like Con Air or Bad Boys 2 allowed for a bit of character interaction and reflection before the next huge gunfight and explosion sequence, and that’s necessary, because otherwise you just get bored. It’s the same in music, whether you’re talking about a classical orchestra, or The Pixies, Nirvana or Metallica.
But Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is all noise.
The stated desire in development was to have players able to quickly get into the action, but the problem is that you can’t choose to get out of it, even for a moment. Essentially the maps, weapons and killstreaks all end up feeling like you’re trapped in 101 variations of Nuketown.
And even worse for many of us, the two set-ups which are currently working well are the ‘run and gun’ sprinting around approach with an SMG, or the ‘no-scoping’ with a sniper rifle.
That’s pretty frustrating for anyone who enjoyed wandering around with an assault rifle, trying to balance movement with some type of care for their self-preservation. It’s also annoying if you’re not on a hyper-fast broadband connection, as previously you could play around the problems to some extent by sneaking, flanking and catching players from behind.
That’s all gone. What you’ve got now is a multiplayer for the most extreme elements of hardcore players, that enjoy relentlessly running round at ridiculous speeds and endlessly no-scope their way into killstreaks in mechanical fashion.
I don’t know the exact set-up at Infinity Ward before Zampella, West and a number of other employees left, but it makes me feel like Modern Warfare 3 is the result of the kids being left alone with sugary sweets and fizzy pop when the parents have gone away.
I’m not suggesting that small maps and frantic action aren’t a lot of fun, but there needs to be some balance – for every Nuketown and Firing Range, you should have a WMD or Jungle. For every Rust and Highrise, you need a Derail or Underpass.
And for every absolute hardcore gamer who whined like crazy at the thought of no-scoping, you need to consider the silent majority of gamers who are getting disillusioned with Call of Duty after jumping into MW3 games to find themselves constantly spawn-killed with no chance to collect their thoughts.
It’s ironic that Battlefield 3 set itself up foolishly against MW3 – akin to Michael Mann pitching Heat (Wait for ages, have one awesome shootout, wait for ages more), against Die Hard (Quick set up, then shooting and explosions all the way). If they’d actually pitched it as an alternative, I suspect that many more people would be trying it right now, as the reaction of the majority of the dedicated Call of Duty players I know is that they’re feeling tired of the franchise at this point, and as they’re all people who have put in 15-20 days of time on Black Ops and MW2, it’s not Call of Duty which is grinding them down. It’s the one-note, constant fighting multiplayer.
Free-to-play military shooter Cross Fire has had a free update released today with Thanksgiving-themed weapons and equipment, four all-new wpeaons, and ‘Orbital Station’, with is a new science-fiction themed Team Deathmatch map featuring low gravity and high-flying fighting.
The new wepaons include a Gold AWM, a Scar Heavy with camouflage skin, a new M4A-1-S Patriot and the LR300 ML rifle. To encourage the new map, if you make 500 kills between November 17th-20th on Orbital Station, you’ll get a special Solder Tune-Up Package which includes a 7-day rifle magazine clip, a 7-day blue smoke grenade, and a 7-day advanced military compass.
World War 2 zombie shooter Karma Online: Prisoners of the Dead will get a major content boost with new maps, characters and weapons in the forthcoming content patch.
Several new maps will be arriving, including a “Rescue” map focusing on melee combat, and “Crete” which will be both a Demolition and Team Deathmatch map. Two new characters will also appear, with Ju-Deock joining the Allies and Yamamoto becoming a member of the Axis teams. Weapon changes include the arrival of the Desert Eagle and AWP LE, and many other items available have had changes in stats or prices.
Throughout November and December there will also be various events happening including “Countries with the Most Assists”, “Silver Rush” and “Predomination” which is a challenge for players to become king of the new maps.
The Karma Online series remains the top online FPS shooter series in Kora, and is also available in English, German, Spanish and Turkish.