DICE Feedback – Part Deux

I posted yesterday about the forum link to provide DICE with feedback regarding glitches, bugs and gripes in BFBC2. To get the message to more people I’ve made a quick vid to put up on my channel.

I’m also making it available to everyone else who may be interested in uploading it to their channel so that we can provide as much feedback to DICE as possible. So anyone who’s interested can download the vid from the following dropbox link: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/5821041/dice.wmv

Here’s the vid:

And here’s the link to the DICE forum post: http://forums.electronicarts.co.uk/battlefield-bad-company-2-ng/1242516-my-biggest-issues-ng.html

Peas and loaves

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Give DICE Some Feedback…

http://forums.electronicarts.co.uk/battlefield-bad-company-2-ng/1242516-my-biggest-issues-ng.html

DICE are looking for feedback on issues/bugs with the game. They’ve posted a thread on the EA forums (thanks Mike and Donncha for the links) specifically for console users. Listed are a number of issues that they are aware of, but perhaps reiterating them will help ensure that they really get the message.

It also wouldn’t hurt to constructively point out any other issues you may experience in the game. However, if you consider weapons/vehicles/stationary weapons overpowered then perhaps you should consider playing Halo (it shouldn’t take six hit markers from a HEAVY MG to kill an enemy).

Here is the list of issues they have identified:

Issues that we [DICE] know are a pain and are looking into:

Ability to leave a server during map loading
Stats for new vehicles
Battlerecorder
Spectator mode
Server lag fixed
Insignia bug (no requirement for SPECACT)
C4 does not always work
Horn isn’t audible to other players
No vertical line on GOL Sniper reticule
Black Hawk’s HUD is frozen
Private matches (going public?)
Hind and Havoc cockpit too bright
Team talk, not just squad chat
Silent M-Com Alarms on Map Pack Rush maps
Knife Autolock is Broken
Decreased C4 damage vs mcoms
Deployment in CQ capturable after all flags have been captured by 1 team
Revive invulnerability

I’ve added that all explosive weapons should have their damage vs MComs reduced. I’d also like to see in-vehicle comms enabled: e.g. get in a tank with a random and be able to speak to them rather than just hop in for the ride and end up getting mortared because they sit in the middle of the street for half an hour.

It’s interesting to read on the comments some of the people defending the use of C4 on the MComs. Their view is that it’s only noobs that have a problem with it as a “legit tactic”. I’d imagine that these are the same people who ONLY play attack and back out of pretty much every defence game they play. Looking at the C4 scrubs battle stats seems to indicate a very high instance of attacking gameplay compared to defending so no wonder they don’t see a problem in doing it because they don’t play the game properly to begin with!

Peas and loaves

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DLC… again?!

I’m starting to sound like a broken record.

I am going to be revisiting some ‘issues’ that I’ve gone over previously due to the release of the BRAND NEW *ahem* Onslaught DLC for Battlefield Bad Company 2.

I haven’t turned the PS3 on since it came out so I don’t know how much it is, a couple of quid maybe, but to me: it’s too much. I’m not buying it. Simple as that. As far as I’m concerned it’s not worth the money, and while EA/DICE continue to leave other issues unresolved why should I give them more money to play a game mode that should have been included at retail anyway?

Pay to play co-op mode? Come on, seriously? What is the replay value of that? Those of you who have Modern Warfare 2 – how many times do you actually play the co-op missions on that (you know, the ones that were free at point of sale)?

From what Donncha was saying about the Onslaught pack it’s useful to hone your vehicle and/or sniping skills so you’re also paying for the training level that should also have been included in the original game!

You don’t get any new maps, just some different lighting/weather. Big fat hairy deal – if you play GTAIV the lighting and weather changes in that…. FOR FREE. I really don’t see the value for money. And talking of money, where does the money that people pay for the Spectat Kits and this Onslaught Pack actually go? It obviously doesn’t go to sorting out the servers.

Donncha also mentioned about an issue with lag when he was playing. StoneFaceLock is constantly complaining about lag, and even ooogbilly has now put up a vid showing lag problems:

This is the very reason why I avoided EA for over half a decade. They only respond to dollars and not feedback from the community. While people continue to give them cash for essentially nothing (and this applies to all developers/publishers – not just EA/DICE) they’ll continue to go “Ka-Ching! Would you like some fancy pants to go with that?”.

I did consider getting Onslaught because Donncha, Mike, Geoff, Gary and probably everyone else is getting it and it would’ve been fun to give it a go – but decided against it when I realised that EA/DICE have effectively offered nothing for the money. No new maps. Your scrore in Onslaught doesn’t count towards anything. The servers are still laggy (or empty if you play after midnight due to the EU/US segregation) and let’s be honest, co-op mode should have been included out of the box.

When EA/DICE actually offer something that provides value for money then I’ll get it. But currently we’re been spoonfed shit and being told it’s caviar. I’m not swallowing that.

Peas and loaves.

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Medal of Honor Beta – First Impressions

I’m trying very hard to focus on the positives here. It is a bit difficult, I know that it’s a beta, but there are some problems that really shouldn’t be in a beta – they should have been picked up in QA prior to any public launch (closed or not).

So I’m going to get the negative bits off my chest first otherwise I’ll just be sugar coating them.

1 – Freezing – when playing as Afghan/Local/Insurgent if you check the scrore screen during spawn the PS3 freezes, if you score 40 points with your gun the PS3 freezes. I think it may be an anti-terrorist measure, but it’s definitely annoying and worrying too. I don’t want my PS3 freezing! What happens if it freezes and the magic smoke escapes – I’m pretty sure that in the T&Cs I agreed to to play the Beta there would have been a section that says something like: “Your PS3 may explode, we accept no responsibility for such situations….” so I’m thinking that either I’m not going to play the Beta until this issue is resolved, or just not play as the locals. Which brings us nicely on to….

2 – Unbalanced Teams – it seems that the only people who actually choose to play as the locals, or let the system choose for them are the new players like me. The freezing issue means that people are opting NOT to play on the locals side, and those that do get frozen out of the game as soon as they manage to string a couple of kills together. So you end up with hugely unbalanced games. I thought it was just DICE’s awesome team balancing effort again, but on ponderation the reason is now clear (see 1 above).

3 – Arse Backward Weapons – Weapons that should be strong are weak and vice versa. Especially the tank – it’s redundant and pointless.

4 – Non-destructible environments and pointless vehicles – I don’t understand the reasoning for having indestructible environments, especially when you have tanks in the mix. Fair enough don’t have guns damaging buildings, but RPGs and tank rounds should damage them, or at least injure people hiding behind them. Do I really have to get a perfect headshot with a tank against someone hiding behind a MUD BRICK wall before they can fire a rocket at me from their impenetrable fortress of dust? Come on, it’s ridiculous. Almost as ridiculous as the vehicles themselves. The tanks should really just be stationary heavy MGs or something as the maps make it that you can’t go anywhere in them anyway. The maps are too small and the battle areas are too cramped for tanks.

I think that’s the negative bits out of the way…. so on with the positives:

It looks nice.

It also rewards players who put the time in with godly powerful weapons, but that’s a bit moot if EA/DICE continue with their pay-to-boost business model.

As andresparra said to me about the game: “it combines all that the Battlefield fanboys hate about COD with all that the COD fanboys hate about the Battlefield saga”. I think that fairly sums it up in its current state.

Let’s not forget that this is still in the Beta stage so any and all of the negative aspects will probably change. It’ll be interesting to see the difference between this beta and the demo (if they bring a demo out) or the full game. Currently I don’t see this game being high on my list of games to buy. You can’t be all things to all people and this is what Medal of Honor is attempting to be.

Peas and loaves.

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EA to Kill Second Hand Games Market

Just as I was getting to like EA again it seems that they’re still the money grabbing, Fagan-Shylock, penny pinchers that they’ve always been.

What are they planning on doing now? Charging people who have the audacity to purchase one their games second hand, and then have the front to actually want to play the whole game! As it stands, game companies only get a cut when a game is purchased new…… just like every other industry.

When a game or other item is sold second hand then the vendor keeps the profit – if there is any. This is an “issue” that has been considered by most industries for a long time, but in general the second hand market has not really been a cash cow worth the hassle of milking.

However, as the popularity of video games increases the greedy green eye has swivelled its unerring gaze in the direction of the second hand games market.

Apparently EA is planning to charge second hand owners roughly $10 (which will most likely miraculously translate into £10 here in the UK) to play their sports titles online. To be honest – this isn’t an issue for me as I don’t play sports titles, just as I don’t play Guitar Hero – I’d rather do the real thing. But where one company leads, all are bound to follow.

So logically, EA will first start with sports titles, and then move on to their other genres while the other publishing companies look on thinking: “Well, if it works for them….”. I can see this being the beginning of the end for the second hand games market (and after the paltry amount I got for my games recently it may not be a bad thing) – but it’s another step in removing control and choice from the consumer.

As we move towards the electronic market place, the second hand market becomes more and more marginalised. You won’t get any bargain bucket wonder finds any more because every purchase you make will be full price and permanent (and don’t kid yourself that prices will come down due to lower production costs – have you seen the price of e-books?). If you don’t like a game – tough. You won’t be able to return it, sell it on, or trade it in, your only option will be to delete it – is that value for money?

Let’s hope that book publishers don’t get a similar idea otherwise we may find ourselves being blinded by spring loaded hot pokers if we don’t pay the publishers extra within fourteen days of buying a second hand book.

Here’s the source from hothardware.com (via)

Peas and loaves.

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Infinity Ward – Is this the end for gaming?

This post relates to the sacking/quitting of Jason West and Vince Zampella by Activision for “breach of contract and insubordination”. Now the only people who currently know what really happened are Jason West, Vince Zampella, and Activision. I’m not in a position to speculate on what happened, or who did what to whom and why (there are plenty of other resources to look at if that’s your thing) but I did want to touch on one rumour that was bandied about when the news broke. Allegedly Jason and Vince had had a meeting with EA Games and Activision got wind of it. How true that is may or may not come out in the wash, but the very notion of them being in discussions with EA fills me with horror.

To understand why, we need to step back in time……..

2002 – Medal of Honor:Allied Assault (developed by 2015 for EA) was launched to much fanfare and it was for the time a relative commercial success. It was my first real online PC shooter and I had just got the wonderous new technology called broadband so I was able to pwn some noobs (that’s not strictly true, I’m as bad at shooters now as I was then). It was a great game, except for cheating, hacks and exploits online being used by certain groups in the gaming world. At one point it became almost impossible to find a decent game. EA didn’t really address the issues to any meaningful extent and promised that everything would be sorted with the Spearhead expansion pack.

So the Spearhead expansion pack came out for a small amount of time everything was rosy. The expansion pack was good, the maps and new stuff added a new dimension to the game…..but then the cheats, hacks and exploits crept back in and we were back to square one. There were calls for EA to implement PunkBuster or similar technologies, or at the very least….do something.

Then two of the 2015 Medal of Honor guys left, founded Infinity Ward and there was word of a new WW2 shooter called Call of Duty in the pipeline. There was much discussion on the forums and within the groups that I was playing online with about the title. Don’t get me wrong, Medal of Honor was a fantastic game and I spent many hours playing it, but the title was sorely let down by EA. In the end it was obvious that EA only cared about retail sales and had no interest in resolving issues that the gaming community had.

When Call of Duty came out it really was a “Wow!” moment. The game was amazing. It was innovative, it looked good (for the time) and it pushed the boundaries. But even more important was the fact that Infinity Ward actually responded to the gaming community concerns, there was PunkBuster and even more crucially – they patched hacks and exploits quickly. It was like the Golden Age had arrived and its heralds were…..Jason West and Vince Zampella.

So for them to allegedly to have been meeting with EA would have been the end of gaming for me because I no longer buy EA games. Since 2003 every EA title I have purchased has been a disappointment. On the surface the games are pretty, but after playing for a while it’s obvious how repetitive and ugly they really are with clunky controls and glitches. Sometimes when playing EA games it feels like I’ve paid £45 to be a beta tester to find bugs that won’t get fixed – in 2007 I said enough was enough and blacklisted EA.

So there we have it, potentially the end of Infinity Ward as we know it, and unless someone else steps up to bat the end of FPS gaming for me (I don’t like Quake or Halo).

And in other news:

I’ve taken the Cheap Freaks off my controller due to slippage – read the update at the bottom of this post for more info.

It’s the weekend so I’ve been getting my arse handed to me online. I’d like to blame it on the fact that I couldn’t use my headset last night for the majority of time I was online, but in reality all that would have improved would’ve been the forewarning that I was about to get shot in the face. No scores or maps listed as it really doesn’t matter – I went negative on most of them. It was so bad I was considering ringing a victim support line…..

One highlight though was playing HighRise. I decided to try and play a bit more tactically on there after watching sasbenjr’s YouTube videos. Unfortunately there was some idiot running around with commando and the tactical knife…..and it wasn’t me! So after the third time he got me I changed to my Game Rage class but he was still getting me. Using some of sasbenjr’s tips the tac knife commando numpty became my bitch as he kept using the same route! After the fifth time killing him in the same place he became a bit more wary……which just made it easier. He was even the game winning kill cam to my MP5K – HOORAY! So even when you spend the evening being violated, there’s always a bright side.

Peas and loaves.

Find me on PSN – evaDlivE