FIELD OPERATIVE

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Archive for BFBC1

Crysis 2 (Xbox 360) or the sempiternal inconvenience of host-based console F.P.S.

Crysis 2 multiplayer is lots of fun. Really. I like the armor/cloak gimmicks, I like the weapons, I like the game modes, I like the graphics, I like the maps.

What I don’t like is that Crytek must surely think console players, as opposed to PC gamers, are dumbasses. There is no other way to explain the fact that they dare to claim that they achieved a hi-tech, top-notch FPS when they don’t have dedicated servers.

I have lag most of the time and obviously there is a clear advantage for the host (if you press START and there is just one person with a connection of 4 green bars, that’s him). I even got the host once, which is totally ridiculous because I have a crap 2mbps ADSL connection.

Dear Crytek, DICE & Guerilla pwn you in the console territory. Ask your boss, EA, for dedicated servers next time…

Dear Crysis 2 console player, if you can’t stand to play with lag, there is just one way out: switch to a FPS with dedicated servers.

Dedicated servers means that there is no lag, or if there is a little bit all the players lag the same – there is no advantage for the host.

For a host-based title, the game picks up the player with the best connection and makes him/her act as the server. All the other players connect to him. He has a clear advantage because for example he can see other players before they see him.

If the host quits, then the game must migrate to another host. This procedure is known as host migration and it doesn’t work all the time. Actually it works half of the time at best.

All host-based games do not have the same network code. The C.O.D. games are notorious for having worst netcode than the HALO games or -more recently- CRYSIS 2.

The worst of them all was COD 4: Infinity Ward was supposed to get host migration to work which has never happened. Each time the host was getting pissed off because he was getting pwned (=that’s called “ragequitting”) or because his mom/wife was calling him, the game ended abruptly and the rest of the players were losing the kills they had make and their score. At least in Crysis 2, I observed that you don’t lose the count of kills you made if the match ends following a failed host migration…

For your convenience, you can find below a non-exclusive list with the host-based and server-based console FPS games.

Please do not hesitate to share with us your experience with console multiplayer F.P.S. games.

HOST-BASED CONSOLE F.P.S. GAMES

  • CALL OF DUTY series
  • HALO series
  • CRYSIS 2
  • GEARS OF WAR 1+2
  • RAINBOW SIX: VEGAS 2

CONSOLE F.P.S. GAMES WITH DEDICATED SERVERS

  • BATTLEFIELD: BAD COMPANY 1+2
  • KILLZONE 2+3
  • M.A.G.
  • HOMEFRONT
  • MEDAL OF HONOR
  • GEARS OF WAR 3 (supposedly – to be confirmed)
  • RESISTANCE 1+2

Life after BFBC2 aka a recap about present and future FPS

I haven’t played much to BFBC2 lately, that’s why I haven’t posted much. I have been a little bored of corpse, but it’s mainly because I had to take of other things and have seriously reduced  gaming.

+++ I still maintain that late Vietnam is an amusing expansion for a short while, but boring and less meaty in the long term.

+++ Map Pack#7 is possibly the best map pack released so far. All the maps are great and Oasis a personal favorite of mine. Thumbs up!

Life after BFBC2, huh?

+++ HALO: REACH. Well, I have never been initiated to Halo multiplayer and I gave it a try. It’s a great game really, but not my style – I’m more of a military FPS fan. Eventhough it is host-based, its netcode is far more solid and robust than COD’s – which is a joke.

+++ MEDAL OF HONOR was good, amusing and had dedicated servers for the console versions. But overall it failed to fill the gap between COD and BFBC2: it wasn’t fast/arcade enough for the COD crowd and it wasn’t deep enough for us BFBC2 players. It also didn’t have enough guns, and its realistic/modern setting proved boring in the long term. Plus the gamewas ridden with bugs (especially concerning spawnkilling) that haven’t been adressed fast enough.

++++Call Of Duty: Black Ops has been fun for a few weeks, but as far as console FPS go, having enyoyed the benefits of dedicated servers it’s impossible to go back to host-based games. having said that, COD:BO is the best COD since COD4.

What comes next?

+++ CRYSIS 2. My only desktop is a vintage Pentium II PC from 1998. I have never played Crysis for more than a few minutes, and I have been one of those console gamers who have been waited for a port.  Here we go now… I have played the open beta on Xbox 360 for many hours. The game is cool. It has top-notch graphics and interesting gameplay. I’d say it’s somewhere between Halo and COD. The invisibility cloaks, shields and holograms are fun gimmicks to play with. But for a game that pretends to be hi-tech and on the edge of the current generation, it is unacceptable that it doesn’t have dedicated servers. No serious man should buy a game which pauses your multiplayer match in order to migrate the session because some fucking kid (or fat adult for that matter) ragequit. FUCK YOU!

+++ KILLZONE 3. I liked Killzone 2, I played it for quite a bit. Recently I even bought the map packs – too bad almost nobody is  playing them. The game has been strongly  influenced by the Battlefield series. It is part of what I would call the N.W.O.S.F. (New Wave Of Swedish FPS) – any heavy metal fans reading? 🙂 I just downloaded the beta today and gave it a try. The game seems ultracool, but to be honnest I haven’t seen any major differences from the previous one. I like the fact that it’s possible to swap R1/R2 and L1/L2 because I am using the XCM cross battle adapter: the Dualshock is simply not for FPS, and I use my Xbox 360 controller instead on the PS3, which is perfect for that with its real triggers and everything. Version 1 of the adapter, which I have, doesn’t give the possibility to configure the triggers, and for games like KZ2 you’re forced to shoot with the bumpers instead of the triggers.  So yeah, I will buy and play KZ3. Great graphics, deep gameplay, more varied settings and locales than KZ2 (the snowy “Frozen Dam” map of the beta resembles to KZ2 maps though) AND DEDICATED SERVERS!

+++ HOMEFRONT. Made by a team of notorious ex-Battlefield modders (the same people who made the cool Frontlines: Fuel Of War), this one will be a winner and will take for sure a part of the BFBC2 crowd. From the videos it looks great. Reportedly it’s easier to pilot a heli than it is in BFBC2, and this certainly sounds good to me! Drones seem cool tool. The weapons appear very MW-ish, so the transition from the COD/MW will be possibly smoother to some. Can’t wait…

+++ BATTLEFIELD 3. One of my friends on XBL, who has a PC gaming background, always tells me how BFBC1+2 are shallow compared to Battlefield 2. He is also telling me that is impossible to reproduce the authentic Battlefield experience to console. According to his comments, DICE have quite a challenge in front of them. Being an avid BFBC2 player, I am certainly ready for an even more strategic and deep experience. We’ll see what the Frostbite 2 engine will be up to! For the moment there’s not an videos or information disclosure whatsoever, DICE just declared that it wants it to be the biggest BF ever. Which is normal I guess. At the end of the dat, there has been a good thing with buying M.O.H.: it will give me access to the BF3 beta…

Battlefield Who’s Who Edition 1

Here’s the most proeminent folks of the BF community.

The possibility of a BFBC1 map pack for BFBC2…

If DICE were to do a Bad Company 1 map pack for Bad Company 2, what maps would you like to see?

That’s the status of the official Battlefield facebook page, and there is already 700+ comments! If that is not fuel for speculation, then I don’t know what is…

Personally, I have played BFBC1 online for a  few minutes only, so I certainly would not mind for such a map pack, under the condition that it would be free of course.

Medal Of Honor beta “coming soon”!

As you know, we are talking about forthcoming Medal Of Honor game, because it is somehow BFBC2’s little brother since DICE is doing the multiplayer component. We also hope it does right what MW2 did not, letting down hardcore COD4 players.

The recent “Leave A Message” trailer features very little gameplay, but on the end it announces that there is a BETA coming soon! It is reasonable to assume that if you preorder you’ll get automatic access. What about BFBC2 players? I would not be surprised if there was a way for them to get in as well…

Concerning public betas, all major recent military FPS’  had one (COD4, COD:WaW, BFBC1, BFBC2, M.A.G.) except MW2, which was also the one that was the most riddled with glitches and cheaters!

To Convert A Zealot: Battlefield Bad Company 2 vs Modern Warfare 2 [v1.0]

Abstract

After the tremendous and unexpected success of COD4:MW,which has redefined online shooters, MW2 has achieved world domination. While Activision and IW were savouring their success, DICE from Sweden were studying its weaknesses and the negative feedback from the field, in order to surpass it with BFBC2 and take as much of the MW2 crowd as they could. Indeed BFBC2 is a better online game than MW2. It is also an entertainment experience for grown-ups, deeper than the more arcade-ish and appealing to kids/teenagers MW2.

Intro

I have been a COD4 zealot and invested more than 1000 hours in the online component of the game, mostly in XBL (a bit in PSN). I have anticipated MW2 with the highest expectatations and even defended Infinity Ward in the forums prior to the release  (“these guys are on top of their game, they will fix everything all right, you’ll see”). I guess that the fact I have been converted litterally overnight, is the perfect illustration of what managers tend to repeat in the  customer support business: “it’s hard to gain a customer, but very easy to lose him“.

NETWORK CONNECTIVITY: MW2 is an EPIC FAIL!

While COD4 had stellar gameplay, its network weaknesses were revealed very quickly. There was a lot of lag. Due to the peer-to-peer scheme, not only the player chosen as host had a big advantage, but he also had the power to terminate the match at will, screwing the rest of the players. You could dominate the enemy team all match-long, but if the host was in the opposite team and didn’t want to lose, he could chose to end the game and laugh sadistically in his couch.

Eventhough BBFC1’s gameplay didn’t reach COD’s heights, it has still built a solid reputation with its dedicated servers and acceptable (if not nil) lag.

We were hoping IW would take appropriate measures in order to adress those issues. Instead of focusing on its root cause, which is the outdated peer-to-peer scheme, they chose just to patch it by implementing something that was supposed to be delivered in COD4 but has never been: host migration. If the host quits or disconnects, the game choses the next best host. This method was proven to be semi-working. What is even worst is that they have expanded the peer-to-peer scheme in the PC version of the game, disappointing and enraging thousands of COD4 fans.

BFBC2 has dedicated servers as BBFC1 did. There is no unfair advantage to the player hosting the game, this is a dream come true for thousands of disappointed and frustrated COD4/MW2 players.

Furthermore I consider that DICE/EA respect me as customer, while IW/Activision didn’t give a fuck because apparently they considered that the game was going to sell anyway… why bother? Kids don’t notice this kind of things after all!

RIDICULE

By trying to expand the COD4 experience and gameplay, IW did for MW2 some things right (eg.rewarding for all kinds of things) but also has added a saddening level of ridicule.

  • The atomic bomb rewards the player who is the biggest camper. Simple as that. It is also the biggest and unrefutable evidence that MW2, regardless of the numerous game modes, is one big deathmatch. Fuck teamwork and the objectives, viva les kills!
  • Either by glitching or by taking advantage of the lightweight/marathon/tactical knife perks, you have players running all around and knifing. This can be fun for free-for-all or TDM, but for the rest of the modes it’s ridiculous to have some players working for the objectives and one or two assholes pissing everybody off.
  • The HALO jumps weren’t there since the beginning. They started to be popular in the middle of COD4’s lifespan and continued to be possible in MW2.
  • Something that looked cool in the beginning was akimbo. After a while it grew old, and seeing people dual-weild SMG’s and shotguns was just something that removed any seriousness from the game. Kinda like watching RAMBO shoot a light machine gun with just one hand.
  • COD4 had cool weapons. I cannot comprehend what was on IW’s mind and they have included bullshit weapons such as the 1884 or the ranger – especially when you can dual weild them. Instead, BFBC2 has some nice legacy WWII weapons such as the M1 and the Thomson…

CAMPING

In COD4 there were campers, but they couldn’t hide forever… We would hunt them down like dogs early in matches and they would eventually quit mid-game. In MW2 the maps are so big, and the game so camper-friendly, that what was an annoyance has became a plague that ruined the game.

This is of course due to the fact MW2 is mainly a big deathmatch. In BFBC2 there are of course campers, but the game is built in such a way that there is a balance.

  • campers are not rewarded so much nor can they show off as much as they can in MW2 (kills and deaths are not displayed in the BFBC2 lobbies)
  • one shot one kill is much harder for snipers
  • there are no silencers nor pussy-ass heartbeat sensors for sniper rifles
  • there is no prone: no faggot cowards waiting like snakes in the grass for easy kills!
  • when you’re firing you appear as red triangle, and if you press “Select” while aiming at a red triangle, all foes will appear to your team’s radar,
  • everything is destroyable, therefore you cannot camp to the same spot forever,
  • stationary guided rockets (or portable rocket launchers) can definitely help you take out any snipers, even if you don’t play as a sniper
  • and of corpse, no atomic bombs rewarding supercamper douchebags

BFBC2 is a game for grown ups

I don’t deny I had my share of pleasure in COD4 and MW2 shouting obscenities to annoying kids/teens who wouldn’t shut the fuck up! But BFBC2 is a game for grown-ups and it’s so much better focusing on the game! You can’t hear the enemy team on the lobby, not even your entire team, except your own squad. You’re rid once and for all of screaming kiddos/teenagers. Fuck them!

MODES & TEAMWORK

The whole Battlefield series in general established objective based FPS multiplayer, and this applies to BFBC2 too, as opposed to MW2 which is one big deathmatch, regardless of the mode (except Demolition maybe).

The amount of kills and deaths for each player are not displayed publicly on the lobby, just the score, only you can view your stats. There is no psychosis about the kills and the K/D ratio.

ACCESSIBILITY

MW2 is more arcade and BFBC2 more tactical. Therefore MW2 is easier to get into even even without teammates, while BFBC2 is harder to master and can be a little be crude in the beginning if you’re playing like a lone wolf.

In the long term, BFBC2 is more rewarding because you use your brain more, you elaborate tactics and you truly cooperate. It feels like the real thing, it feels like war!

MATCHMAKING

In BFBC2 you cannot form a proper team or lobby, like you can do in MW2. You must do it the hard way: form a 4-member squad, join a match and then invite the rest of your friends little by little and communicate together via a XBL party. If  your team is full, you must expect someone to leave in order to get everybody in. This definitely sucks…

AESTHETICS/PRODUCTION

  • BFBC2 has by far better sound effects. Shots are echoing and sound full. There really is a big difference. IW is one step behind in this field, since already BBFC1 was better than COD4 sound-wise.
  • Eventhough this is a detail, BFBC2 has better cover artwork, MW2’s is crap and a lot worst than COD4!
  • Both games have more or less equivalent graphics. MW2 has better looking and more varied characters.

LOADOUTS/CUSTOMIZATION

In BFBC2 you can customize the loadout between respawns.You can also use the items unlocked, eg. the 4x scope, straight away. In MW2 you have to define your classes before the match starts.

GRENADE SPAM

In BBFC2 there are few choke points, therefore there is less grenade spam…
SPAWNS

You have to walk longer between spawns in BFBC2, but you can spawn on your squad which adds another piece of tactic.
GLITCHES

There’s less glitches until now in BFBC2. MW2 has been unplayable during the biggest period since its release due to cheaters and glitchers.  Indeed during the first months there’s was a mainstream glitch/exploit every two weeks.

Some might argue that this is due to MW2 not having a beta, while COD4 and BFBC2 did. I will not, because I am not a game developper but having a beta sure helps.

WEAPONS

In BFBC2 you cannot fully customize the weapons, but still it’s cool. i consider a lot of the MW2 customizations to be exaggerated and superfluous such as the heartbeat sensors.

SPEED

MW2 is a faster game and is supposed to run in consoles at 60fps. BFBC2 has a slower pace in general. Therefore it is less suited for hyperactive teenagers, and I wouldn’t mind if they never try it at all!

BFBC2 on the other hand has more things happening inside the game with the vehicles, etc.

CONTROLLER SCHEME

More or less equivalent for both games. Having to click on the right thumbstick (either to stab or kneel) sucks because in the ehat of the action you often do wrong movements which can ruin you. Don’t tell me about Mad Catz MW2 controllers who have an extra custom button for stabbing because they suck and also they’re not even wireless on the Xbox (ok, that’s Microsoft policy’s fault and greed, but still).

SNIPING

Sniping is more challenging in BFBC2 because of the gravity effect and because one shot one kills are harder. As I have already mentionned there’s not heartbeat sensors and silencers.

KNIFES

BFBC2 brings the humiliation of stabbing your foes to a whole new level, since you collect their dogtags and can view them later knowing who you have pwned.

HANDGUNS

There is something of sublimely old-school in having a rifle as a main weapon and a handgun as a secondary. In MW2 you could have whatever as secondary weapon. In COD4 you could swap your secondary weapon, and this was also a cause to many stupid deaths (getting killed while you were trying to pick up a cool weapon in order to replace your handgun).

In BFBC2 you cannot swap your handgun, you can pick up  from the battlefield and replace your whole kit. You have to rely on your handgun once again!

SINGLE PLAYER

I am mostly interested in the online experience but yet a good SP campaign is memorable and can hook you up into the multiplayer part. To be honnest I enjoyed more MW2’s, eventhough you get mote attached with the BFBC2 characters, while MW2 is more personal. There’s also some moments in the BFBC2 that feel like deja vu, sort of rip-off’ed to COD4/MW2, like the moment you rescue an hostage by a pistol headshot… What is cool in BFBC2 SP is that there is an extra tactic element in the sense that you can customize your loadouts, ie. chose your weapons.

POSSIBLE/DESIRED FIXES

BFBC2:

  • matchmaking which allows a proper 12-member team to be formed

MW2:

  • servers to be added replacing peer-to-peer
  • atomic bomb to be completely removed

CONCLUSION

BBFC2 pwns MW2!

Later in 2010 MEDAL OF HONOR will be released, with the multiplayer component done by DICE. Since it’s expected to have a more direct, less tactic gameplay than BFBC2 (like MW2 it does), it’s reasonable to expect that it will be the last nail into MW2’s coffin..

Most of my MW2 comrades@XBL have been converted to BFBC2…

Before MW2 release, during the COD4 frenzy, each time a new mainstream shooter was getting released, people in the forums were making bold statements like “Soon, most COD4 fanatics will start playing X”. I read that about BFBC1, Rainbow Six Vegas 2, Gears Of War 2, plus maybe one or two more I don’t remember right now. Of course, this hasn’t happened!

As the frustration about MW2 kept growing, fun started to diminish. It became obvious that the conditions were right for me and most of my XBL friends, to migrate away from the series. As of now, 80 or 90% of my XBL list of friends is playing BFBC2.

MW2 can rest in piss, unless some tremendous new development occurs, like dedicated servers being added replacing the crap peer-to-peer scheme, but that won’t happen so that’s it.