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Why No Commander in Battlefield 3

Eurogamer has an explanation from Karl Magnus Troedsson, general manager of DICE, on why there will be no commander in Battlefield 3, the next installment in DICE's military shooter series. "That's why the idea that we've had, the team-play elements of the Commander mode that we really like, we have tried to push down to the squads and the squad leaders," he explains. "We've tried to push this down into the squads so they can both fill the roles that the Commander had, but then also be an active soldier on the battlefield." Here's why:

"I don't know how many people have tried to play as a Commander in Battlefield 2, but it's kind of a strange experience. Everyone agrees that that actual role of the Commander is very, very cool. But the problem is that only one person per team could play it, and it was always the highest ranking one.

"But even for the people that played as a Commander, the first thing they did was what? They ran off to a corner somewhere and lay down there and tried to hide so the Spec Ops guy wouldn't find them when he was going to blow up the installations.

"They basically spent the whole match lying on the ground on some obscure corner of the map, hoping not to get knifed in the back and trying to support people."

Troedsson concluded: "There was something very cool about the Commander role and there was also something a bit flawed, we have to say."

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34. Re: Why No Commander in Battlefield 3 Sep 23, 2011, 17:47 zirik
 
DG wrote on Sep 23, 2011, 14:04:
Wow that that game attracted the most incredibly stupid people I have ever witnessed. They all beelined for the attack then transport planes, and proceeded to race to cap the first point with it. Especially the attack plane. First time I've actually seen something so stupid that I've been unable to comprehend it.

thats basically the same for every battlefield game. if you hated 2142 for it then you probably did not like 1942 or BF2.
 
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33. Re: Why No Commander in Battlefield 3 Sep 23, 2011, 16:01 Veterator
 
DG wrote on Sep 23, 2011, 14:04:
zirik wrote on Sep 23, 2011, 04:26:
i agree that 2142 had better game play but a lot of people were put off by the bad futuristic design of the vehicles.
2142 was a game almost to be really loved but instead utterly hated due to how shittily implemented it was.

Moving the Titan lagged the server extremely badly. The layout of the Titan meant attacking it was either utterly impossible or ridiculously easy, depending on whether the attacker or the defender got set up first. This assumes nobody is exploiting, which became very rare really quickly. Not to mention the huge array of other bugs which were unavoidable. First game I ever actually wanted a refund for.

The gameplay wasn't even well thought out. Nearly, but with a fundamental flaw: wins were almost always decided in the first 5 seconds, by who was the first pilots in the attack and transport vehicles.

Wow that that game attracted the most incredibly stupid people I have ever witnessed. They all beelined for the attack then transport planes, and proceeded to race to cap the first point with it. Especially the attack plane. First time I've actually seen something so stupid that I've been unable to comprehend it.

But it was fun as hell killing vehicles by drop podding it to death. Especially attack planes who camp points or your titan. Land a pod on it, blow up 1-5 people.

But yeah the game was not fixed. It was put on the market very quickly after BF2 and forgotten nearly as fast. The only patches I remember 2142 getting were based on BF2 fixes being put out at the same time, they never actually seemed to fix anything specific to 2142.

It got really crazy when people would exploit into your titan before the shields were even down and could kill the titan while the shields were still up. Or kill everyone on board by glitching into the walls. I am not aware that those things ever got fixed.
 
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32. Re: Why No Commander in Battlefield 3 Sep 23, 2011, 14:04 DG
 
zirik wrote on Sep 23, 2011, 04:26:
i agree that 2142 had better game play but a lot of people were put off by the bad futuristic design of the vehicles.
2142 was a game almost to be really loved but instead utterly hated due to how shittily implemented it was.

Moving the Titan lagged the server extremely badly. The layout of the Titan meant attacking it was either utterly impossible or ridiculously easy, depending on whether the attacker or the defender got set up first. This assumes nobody is exploiting, which became very rare really quickly. Not to mention the huge array of other bugs which were unavoidable. First game I ever actually wanted a refund for.

The gameplay wasn't even well thought out. Nearly, but with a fundamental flaw: wins were almost always decided in the first 5 seconds, by who was the first pilots in the attack and transport vehicles.

Wow that that game attracted the most incredibly stupid people I have ever witnessed. They all beelined for the attack then transport planes, and proceeded to race to cap the first point with it. Especially the attack plane. First time I've actually seen something so stupid that I've been unable to comprehend it.
 
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31. Re: Why No Commander in Battlefield 3 Sep 23, 2011, 09:47 briktal
 
Teddy wrote on Sep 22, 2011, 20:55:
Sepharo wrote on Sep 22, 2011, 20:52:
I will be amazed if anyone is actually upset about this.

Leave the commandeering to Natural Selection.

I take it you haven't seen the EA Battlefield 3 forums. Apparently, if there's no commander mode or 6 man squads, it's not a "true" battlefield game. They ranted for quite a while when it was first announced that it wasn't in.

This is why is can be a little hard to take all of the anger at "<franchise> turned into FPS" stuff seriously.

The problem with the commander is that in order for it to be a fun, powerful role, it needs to be an important factor in the outcome of a round. But as it becomes more and more important it becomes easier for that one person to end up ruining the round for the other 20-30 people on the team.
 
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30. Re: Why No Commander in Battlefield 3 Sep 23, 2011, 09:14 eRe4s3r
 
If by succeeded you mean produced commercial failures.. then yeah  
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29. Re: Why No Commander in Battlefield 3 Sep 23, 2011, 08:53 Verno
 
Veterator wrote on Sep 23, 2011, 04:11:
Can't help but look at this as the way they stopped allowing ships in the 1943 re-release of 1942 to be moved. Or how they've moved steadily away from the midway type stuff and seem to be more urban in their games (like the OTHER game out there).

It may be one guy who can be in the role, but they could have addressed the problem instead of completely removing it. Just like it really sucked when people beached the destroyer in 1942 or drove it off the map and everyone was getting killed when they spawned.

I hope that one day they go back to a simpler, but more diverse play style like 1942, spruce up the graphics and improve some of the mechanics. Like spotting for snipers, that was near impossible to make sense out of it especially when your spotter could put up a new spot and mess up your orientation again. Bring back mobile ships and subs and have a variety of maps so you aren't doing infantry crap 90% of the time in a game that was made popular by vehicles.


Or at least some other company comes along and eats Dice's lunch by actually putting that kind of content back on the PC with all the bells and whistles. 2142 was kind of a decent change of pace from BF2 and more of a throw back to 1942, but they stopped supporting that release pretty friggin fast.

Well said and totally agreed. If I want urban FPS games they are a dime a dozen, what set BF apart from the rest was the wide open expanses and mix of infantry/vehicle action. It was pretty crazy flying a bomber and having people in the gunner turrets or driving a carrier with 4 people on the AA cannons. It's really a shame that the modern console gamer has no idea what he's missing, BF1942 was something special despite all of its technical problems.
 
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28. Re: Why No Commander in Battlefield 3 Sep 23, 2011, 08:17 zirik
 
Veterator wrote on Sep 23, 2011, 06:31:
The thing that set the negative tone for 2142 was the in-game ads.

oh the ads! i remember the day ghost rider was released on dvd. they announced it on the billboards in 2142. everyone playing on the server i was in were laughing because they put a date on the ad which contradicted the time frame of the game. after that they held a contest just to fill up the empty billboards. i never saw a winning entry get posted.
 
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27. Re: Why No Commander in Battlefield 3 Sep 23, 2011, 07:38 yuastnav
 
So basically DICE failed where Unknown Worlds and S2 Games, among others, succeeded.
Why exactly didn't DICE pursue it further? Did they decide that to implement something like that is too complicated for their little heads?
We may never know!
 
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26. Re: Why No Commander in Battlefield 3 Sep 23, 2011, 06:54 spindoctor
 
entr0py wrote on Sep 23, 2011, 01:42:
[
The reason for that in the alpha was that 95% of squads were bugged so that there was no squad leader, and no squad spawning possible under any circumstances.

I hope they didn't make that change as well as the change to the objective placements based on the alpha, because the squad leader bug threw everything off.

I'm aware of that squad spawning bug, and you're right, it did have a significant impact on alpha gameplay. However, it still doesn't invalidate my point... if you have bad squad leaders, it will make life a lot more frustrating for the other players in the squad. Spawn only on squad leader works if the squad leader is good, and on pubs that is not a given.
 
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25. Re: Why No Commander in Battlefield 3 Sep 23, 2011, 06:31 Veterator
 
zirik wrote on Sep 23, 2011, 04:26:
Veterator wrote on Sep 23, 2011, 04:11:
Bring back mobile ships and subs and have a variety of maps so you aren't doing infantry crap 90% of the time in a game that was made popular by vehicles.

its amazing we all forgot what made the game popular in the first place. vehicles set the battlefield series apart from the call of duties and the medal of honors.

i agree that 2142 had better game play but a lot of people were put off by the bad futuristic design of the vehicles.

I thought 2142 was good, the unlock system made the classes utter shit for a grueling amount of time. The titans were novel, but not a spectacular implementation especially with the myriad of exploits they never bothered to fix.

The thing that set the negative tone for 2142 was the in-game ads. They weren't even really pervasive, but people were just pissed over that...and when the ads failed miserably that game received zero support after the first expansion. Which the first expansion added more interesting vehicles and stuff, but they stopped fixing exploits. It only received support for about half the time BF2 did if that.

 
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24. Re: Why No Commander in Battlefield 3 Sep 23, 2011, 04:30 zirik
 
Bishi wrote on Sep 23, 2011, 04:20:
Troedsson also said that the power had been transferred to the squad level more and they get all the toys to play with, such as the UAV

did they really expect every squad leader to cooperate with the others on the same team? especially when they dont allow friends to form up a squad.
 
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23. Re: Why No Commander in Battlefield 3 Sep 23, 2011, 04:26 zirik
 
Veterator wrote on Sep 23, 2011, 04:11:
Bring back mobile ships and subs and have a variety of maps so you aren't doing infantry crap 90% of the time in a game that was made popular by vehicles.

its amazing we all forgot what made the game popular in the first place. vehicles set the battlefield series apart from the call of duties and the medal of honors.

i agree that 2142 had better game play but a lot of people were put off by the bad futuristic design of the vehicles.
 
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22. Re: Why No Commander in Battlefield 3 Sep 23, 2011, 04:20 Bishi
 
Troedsson also said that the power had been transferred to the squad level more and they get all the toys to play with, such as the UAV  
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21. Re: Why No Commander in Battlefield 3 Sep 23, 2011, 04:11 Veterator
 
Can't help but look at this as the way they stopped allowing ships in the 1943 re-release of 1942 to be moved. Or how they've moved steadily away from the midway type stuff and seem to be more urban in their games (like the OTHER game out there).

It may be one guy who can be in the role, but they could have addressed the problem instead of completely removing it. Just like it really sucked when people beached the destroyer in 1942 or drove it off the map and everyone was getting killed when they spawned.

I hope that one day they go back to a simpler, but more diverse play style like 1942, spruce up the graphics and improve some of the mechanics. Like spotting for snipers, that was near impossible to make sense out of it especially when your spotter could put up a new spot and mess up your orientation again. Bring back mobile ships and subs and have a variety of maps so you aren't doing infantry crap 90% of the time in a game that was made popular by vehicles.


Or at least some other company comes along and eats Dice's lunch by actually putting that kind of content back on the PC with all the bells and whistles. 2142 was kind of a decent change of pace from BF2 and more of a throw back to 1942, but they stopped supporting that release pretty friggin fast.
 
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20. Re: Why No Commander in Battlefield 3 Sep 23, 2011, 03:09 zirik
 
bhcompy wrote on Sep 23, 2011, 01:57:
It worked okay in BF2. Could have theoretically kept it. That said, they make it sound like it's undoable. I'd say what was effectively the commander in Tribes(whoever manned the command console, basically) worked real well.

i played very little tribes but what i do remember is the game had a dedicated location from which the commander can operate. and it was still vulnerable to attacks which required the team to put up a defense in order to maintain the commander capabilities. battlefield 3 could easily put the commander in a forward bunker or a flying command aircraft.
 
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19. Re: Why No Commander in Battlefield 3 Sep 23, 2011, 03:04 zirik
 
kinda odd that everything they put into BF2 to make it more of a team based game are slowly being removed in favor of a simple death match. the squad play in the battlefield series of past has been the draw for me and my friends. now we cant even form into a squad and instead get thrown into a bunch of strangers who could care less about trying to play as a team. i blame the popularity of XP points and awards for the devolution of battlefield.  
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18. Re: Why No Commander in Battlefield 3 Sep 23, 2011, 03:01 Muscular Beaver
 
Ah, you couldnt get it right last time, so you remove it completely.
Thats the true console-spirit! WTG!
 
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17. Re: Why No Commander in Battlefield 3 Sep 23, 2011, 01:57 bhcompy
 
spindoctor wrote on Sep 23, 2011, 00:44:
LittleMe wrote on Sep 22, 2011, 23:27:
Then why not fix/improve the role instead of eliminating it?

That's exactly what I was thinking when I read this. Why not design the role better instead of complaining about how it was a bad idea because of weak design?


It worked okay in BF2. Could have theoretically kept it. That said, they make it sound like it's undoable. I'd say what was effectively the commander in Tribes(whoever manned the command console, basically) worked real well.
 
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16. Re: Why No Commander in Battlefield 3 Sep 23, 2011, 01:42 entr0py
 
spindoctor wrote on Sep 23, 2011, 00:44:
LittleMe wrote on Sep 22, 2011, 23:27:
Regularly having to respawn right at the back seriously affected the flow of the game in the alpha test. I'm glad they're getting rid of the problem.

The reason for that in the alpha was that 95% of squads were bugged so that there was no squad leader, and no squad spawning possible under any circumstances.

I hope they didn't make that change as well as the change to the objective placements based on the alpha, because the squad leader bug threw everything off.
 
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15. Re: Why No Commander in Battlefield 3 Sep 23, 2011, 00:44 spindoctor
 
LittleMe wrote on Sep 22, 2011, 23:27:
Then why not fix/improve the role instead of eliminating it?

That's exactly what I was thinking when I read this. Why not design the role better instead of complaining about how it was a bad idea because of weak design?

Teddy wrote on Sep 23, 2011, 00:25:
Spawn only on squad leader got removed after the Alpha.

And thank god for that. It would be so annoying if you get idiot squad leaders like the Rambo who runs around everywhere trying to get frags instead of focusing on the objective, and consequently spends most of his time in the respawn queue... or the sniper who will lay prone 3 steps in front of the spawn point for the duration of the match.

Regularly having to respawn right at the back seriously affected the flow of the game in the alpha test. I'm glad they're getting rid of the problem.
 
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