September 26, 2013

Battlefield 4 Beta Details

The Battlefield Blog has more details about the Beta, which begins next week.  These details include information on game mode and map, a link to the beta feedback forum, caveats that the beta may have down time and connection issues, information on dates and how to get in, and confirmation that you must have a 64-bit OS on PC to run the beta.  They also go into detail about partnering with a new Gameblocks for a new anti-cheat engine called Fairfight, in addition to continuing to use Punkbuster. I will be curious to see how this works - will it effectively reduce the cheaters?  Will it cause legit players problems like Punkbuster has in the past?

Lastly, those participating in the beta will receive an "exclusive" dogtag when BF4 launches.

September 24, 2013

BF3 Rush Tactical Gameplay Analysis

This is a very good analysis by Fets (@Fets25) of 11BravoGaming of some rush gameplay provided to him by Kulprit008.  I certainly enjoy videos like this, as they give me new ways to think about how I play Battlefield and how I adapt to the events in a round.  The best thing about tactical analysis of real gameplay videos is it gives you an on-screen example of doing something well or poorly, which often helps to recognize similar situations while playing.  I am not great at Battlefield, and I am certainly not a great tactical thinker while in-game, so I watch as much of videos like this as I have time for.  Give it a watch and see if you can learn a little something for your next round of rush.

September 20, 2013


This is how the EOD bot should be used....this is awesome!  I really hope it is less glitchy to drive in Battlefield 4 so I can try stuff like this.

September 19, 2013

This is Battlefield 4 Multiplayer Trailer

Real life is keeping me a little busy right now, so I haven't had time to provide any thoughtful posts. I hope to do so soon; I am thinking of trying to analyze some of the maps we've seen so far.  By the way...less than two weeks until Beta starts!!

In the meantime, if you have not seen it, check out the "This is Battlefield 4 Multiplayer" trailer.  It has a bit of recycled footage we have all seen before, but it provides views of some new maps.

After that, take a look at LevelCap's breakdown of the trailer, which focuses primarily on the new maps.

September 13, 2013

More BF4 Game Play - DICE Studio Event

Recently, DICE flew a group of YouTube game play video producers out to its LA studio to play and record on the latest build of Battlefield 4. This week, we started seeing the first videos produced from this session, giving us some fantastic insight into what is new to BF4, and what we'll see in October's Beta. 

One of my favorite so far is Daskro's coverage of all the engineer's launchers, largely because of the quantity and quality of information he provides. Many have worried, speculated, suggested, and demanded regarding the launchers of BF4. I believe many concerns have been addressed well. We have the return of the wire-guided launcher. We have a significant weakening of damage of the "fire and forget" launchers.   Slightly higher damage launchers, like the javelin have become lock and hold. The most significant takeaway seems to be that they all are unique. Lastly, he shows us a previously unseen battle pickup launcher.

Daskro uploaded another video (also with incredibly informative commentary), giving us a first look at game play with the remote-controlled mortar. I wrote up some of my thoughts on this over at bf4blog.

Drift0r gives us Obliteration game play from an "outsider's" perspective (the primary focus of his YouTube channel seems to be COD videos, including really nice weapons analysis, though he is quite familiar - and good, it seems - with Battlefield).  He notes there were some things they could not show, including a few knives, so hopefully there is some great stuff to look forward to there.  He also gives us a good look at a heavily scoped .44 magnum.  Lastly, he expresses concern that the attack boats may be too powerful because of the amount of damage it seems to require to take them out.

LevelCap is producing videos the fastest, choosing to focus on the weapons of each class and analysis of the field upgrades.  So far, he has provided us the assault weapons, PDWs, and the following video showing the LMGs.

TmarTn also uploaded a number of videos.  The latest shows Obliteration game play.   Around the 0:52 mark, he seems to drop the bomb without dying, leaving me to wonder if there is in fact a way to drop the bomb intentionally, as many on reddit have requested.

Some of the first trolls and fails are provided to us by WhiteBoy7thst and MinnesotaBurns.

Stay tuned, as I imagine LevelCap will also be doing videos on sniper rifles, carbines, shotguns, attack boats, and scout choppers, as those were also available during this event.  I also would not be surprised if Daskro provided us some videos on other specific equipment and spectator mode.  There were a number of other players at the event from the Battlefield and COD communities, so I am sure I missed a few.  Be on the lookout for videos from others, and share your favorites in the comments!

September 9, 2013

Knife Takedowns Unrevivable - BF4

In a recent tweet, Alan Kertz (@Demize99) revealed that players cannot be revived after a knife takedown in Battlefield 4.
This should add an interesting new dynamic to Battlefield, providing a bit of a tactical advantage to the knife takedown that goes beyond simply collecting tags.  Players looking to stealthily move behind enemy lines can not only take out their enemies quietly with a knife, they are also have the advantage of they player they took out not having a revive icon over them alerting other enemies of their presence.  Of course, they still have VOIP with their squad...
One concern that arises from this, however, is that this could be a level of incentive to risk too much in getting that knife kill.  Depending on how sound works in BF4, that enemy may hear your not-so-ninja footsteps as you rush from behind with your knife, completely turning the tables on an easy kill.
A question brought up in the reddit discussion of this news is whether or not knife kills will count toward the kill streak for the commander's High Value Target ability.  Many are concerned about how easily an otherwise successful stealthy flank could be ruined by the Commander lighting you up like a Christmas tree.
The original tweet that resulted in this news also inquired whether headshots would be unrevivable as well.  The fact that Demize responded only regarding knives, and then later stated that it (assuming the unrevivable status) was "specific to the knife", leads me to believe headshots will still be revivable.  Though many have requested otherwise, this makes sense to me, as it gives the knife takedown a unique tactical element.  Also, the knife takedown is a very intentional action, while many headshots are simply the luck of uncontrolled recoil, and therefore relatively common and very random.  I am not saying it is a bad idea; we would only know for sure if we tried it.  I am speculating, however, that it would make the revive function seem far less significant and defib paddles may become as common as ammo bags in BF3.
I look forward to seeing how this and other game play changes impact the meta game of Battlefield 4.  I certainly appreciate that DICE puts thought and effort into finding ways to tweak Battlefield and give us these new tactical elements to consider.  Battlefield 4 is certainly shaping up as something that will offer a different style of game play that will hopefully make coordinated team play fun and rewarding.

September 5, 2013

Battlefield 4 Gaming Rig

I am very excited for Battlefield 4.  Unfortunately, my PC is no longer top-notch (honestly, it has always been a budget build).  Thankfully, I upgraded my GPU a while back and should be able to run BF4 on medium-high settings.  I worry most about how my processor and hard drive will handle it, though.

Needless to say, I am wishing I had the budget to build a new PC for the release of Battlefield 4.  It is very difficult to sit still when you are excited for a game and have the PC building itch at the same time.  I also really want to go beyond simply building a PC and get into modding themed rigs and creating elaborate water cooling systems.  So, in an effort to tame that desire, which only resulted in torturing myself, I started looking at some mods online.

With that rant aside, I leave you with an image of one of the cleanest and sexiest builds I have ever seen, found here:

September 1, 2013

Battlefield 4 - Hints of New Map and Submarine

In the latest “Road to Battlefield 4” blog post, the Battlefield devs discuss how Commander Mode was created for Battlefield 2 and how the idea evolved to what it has become in Battlefield 4.  Within the blog post is an animated gif of some Commander Mode concept mock-ups for Battlefield 4.  The primary images of this gif are the familiar top-down view of Siege of Shanghai.

However, if one is to break the gif down to its individual frames for more careful viewing, we can see what appears to be a new map.  On the right side of this new map appears to be a dam.  They have already discussed a levee that can be breached to flood an urban map, so whether or not this dam will do the same we will have to wait to see.  It seems fairly clear to me this is not the same map, however, because the levee map shown in the Levolution trailer was more of an urban environment with tight streets and many more buildings than this map shows.

Another interesting item seen in the image is a commander asset not seen before. The asset appears to be a submarine, or more specifically, the AGSS-569 USS Albacore.  Will the commander have access to a submarine on certain maps?  If so, will it be a player-driven vehicle, or will it operate more like the AC-130 Gunship?  The possibility of a sub on a map such as this certainly implies that the dam can be breached to create an almost all-water map.

Dam map sub

Keep in mind that the images in this gif are apparently meant to illustrate the evolution of the Commander Mode concept for BF4.  I would assume that any map images this detailed used for these concept images is likely from a real map created for the game.  However, much about the commander UI, assets, and other things seen in these images is certainly subject to change, so this certainly isn’t confirmation of a submarine in the game, although it is confirmation they have considered it.