BF3 Respawn Invulnerability… Seriously?!

One thing that used to frustrate me in Bad Company 2 was respawn invulnerability. Some people claim it doesn’t exist, but when I fire an AT4 at someone I expect it to kill them if there’s a direct impact (skip to 12m10s):

Having played the BF3 beta for a little while I’d encountered what I thought was respawn invulnerability a couple of time, but put it down to me just being paranoid about it. But no, it is in BF3 too!

I saw this video:

And considered that maybe it was dodgy hit registration on the shotgun because it’s not like that hasn’t happened before. But the video that proved it for me was from Geoff (sasbenjr)

In this video there are a couple of incidences of respawn invulnerability and Geoff confirms that it appears to be the case.

In terms of the respawn invincibility itself it seems that it’s also a perspective issue, with the player model appearing to the enemy momentarily before the actual player is spawned. That would explain why players spawning report being killed straight away. But here is where my problem with respawn invulnerability lies: the spawned player model is not only invulnerable, but they are also impervious.

This means that if they block your line of sight to the person they spawned off they are acting as a shield for that player. This is a problem when you flank a squad of buffoons and are taking them out with a weapn with a low ammo count. As soon as someone spawns in the middle of them and soaks up your bullets you can be left high and dry while the other players turn around to see where the shooting is coming from.

I don’t actually have a problem with respawn invulnerability as a concept. It’s useful for those that are being spawn trapped, but that to me, is the only time it should be happening. And if invulnerability needs to be in the game for those people who choose to spawn in to a dangerous situation then they should not be impervious and soak up all the bullets intended for their squad mates.

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David Nicol is a gamer, blogger, podcaster and video creator based in the UK. Find me on:
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BF3 – the story so far

The Battlefield 3 Beta has been out since the 26th of September now and I started playing it yesterday. Why so late? I wasn’t one of the special people who either pre-purchased BF3 via Origin (because I won’t be playing it on PC, although I have it pre-ordered elsewhere), nor did I buy the truly awful Medal of Honor. This meant that the Beta was not available to me, and everyone else until the 29th. Sure, I downloaded it on all three platforms (PC, PS3, XBOX) on the 29th, but it was a nice day so I opted to go outside (BLASPHEMY!) rather than play video games.

There was another reason why I wasn’t in a rush to play the Beta. I’d already played it. Not the Beta itself, but the Alpha a couple of months earlier. The Alpha was Operation Metro, the Beta is Operation Metro. Some players on PC were invited in to Conquest on Caspian Border to load test the servers, but that map/game mode apparently will not be available to console players. Ironically, despite all the big talk about dealing with those who broke the NDA on the alpha, at least one of the players who broke the NDA was on the Caspian Border map…. using the same gamertag as in the Alpha. That is a total pisstake by that player, and also EA/DICE for allowing it to happen (unless of course they were allowing him to “leak” the footage to begin with).

So at this point I’m a bit fed up of the same map all the time. The good news is that there have been a number of changes between the Alpha and the Beta. For example, the LAV. This was an attacker armoured vehicle but is now absent from the Beta. When I first spawned I went looking for it, but it wasn’t on the map. It took me a while to realise it wasn’t there.

The positions of the MComs on the first base (in the park) have also changed for the better. The locations are more accessible for both sides without having direct lines of sight from spawn.

You no longer vault over everything, it’s possible to leap small obstacles without doing an impersonation of Daley Thompson’s Decathalon. The vaulting is still there, and it is a cool animation, so it’s good that it’s limited mainly to objects you would normally vault.

Flashlights are in. These were mentioned in pre-Alpha posts but weren’t in the Alpha. They are a gift and a curse. The flashlight, which I’m going to call a torch from now, since I’m not American, and it takes less to type are a gift when you see the beam coming and you fire at the source to get the kill, but a curse when you’re totally blinded (especially by a team mate) and get killed. In the Alpha there was only the RDS or laser sight which caused a red blinding effect, this is also in the Beta.

The biggest hinderance I’ve had so far has been a single team mate with the damned torch. Trying to hold down an MCom is not easy when some window licker keeps running past, blinding you. It’s a bit like the team mates who blow up your mines in BC2…. “thanks dude, that was really helpful”.

What about the weapons? Well the MLG Pro are using the PP2000 and UMP45 this season as those laser death cannon kill you before you know it. The M70 shotgun is an adequate counter – but requires you to be up close and is mostly a two hit kill unless you get a head shot.

It’ll be interesting to see what others make of the different weapons and unlocks as you have to unlock each attachment for each weapon. For some I can see them getting to the level where they unlock the UMP45 and not using any other weapon unless DICE “balances” the damage characteristics.

Lastly on this let’s talk about graphics. PC understandably has the best graphics out of the three available platforms (mainly as it’s outputting on current hardware rather than components that are over half a decade old). From there it’s pretty subjective, platform of choice. Both the PS3 and Xbox360 have positives and negatives against them in the graphical department, but nothing that really puts one much much much above the other. Here’s a visual comparison between the platforms:

But don’t forget: IT’S A BETA
Which means that DICE are looking for areas that they can improve on.

That’s it. Stop reading now.