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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BFBC2 Tracer Guide

Since the patch that upped the usefulness of the Tracer Dart Gun on BFBC2 I’ve been able to get some footage of its usage with varying results. Pre-patch I don’t think I managed to plant a tracer on a single helicopter as it was generally easier for me to crack out the CarlG or RPG-7 and use that instead.

Although the tracer velocity has been increased it is definitely not an easy tool to use. It is easy to miss if the helicopter pitches or yaws as your perfect shot reaches it. In the video you’ll see a couple of times where the tracer crosshairs are right on the target but after firing the helicopter moves slightly resulting in a miss. Although the dart is not affected by gravity, it moves at about the same speed as a grenade round which means that in the time it takes to get to the target, the target may have moved slightly resulting in the tracer over or undershooting. There’s a fine skill in getting on target and anticipating the movement of the target vehicle.

I include my many misses in the video for two reasons – 1: I’m not very experienced with the tracer gun and, 2: to show that you need perseverance when you first start using it. It would be simple for me to edit out all the misses but I think that that is a bit disingenuous to take out all the fails.

The main tips are:

  1. Take your time
  2. Anticipate the flight path and lead the target, or…
  3. Wait for the target to hover, get close, or execute a turn in your favour

Big thankyou to TyeWebb for the link to the War Room app that I use to show Mike Island on Isla Inocentes. To go to the app yourself, here’s the link: –
And just to put all the information in one place, here’s the vid on locking on to tracered vehicles too:

And here’s Geoff’s vid on taking out helicopters using the CarlG – Old School Styley!

Peas and loaves

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Hupdate (see what I did there?)

Yes, it’s another HogHug update. Play sent me an email earlier letting me know that the Hauppauge HD PVR I won from Geoff through his sasbenjr channel is now in the post:

Do you all still think Monday? Play state 3-5 days, but it’s not a peak postal time so I’m expecting it sooner…

If it arrives tomorrow I may be able to get something up on YouTube before Geoff jets off.

Also of note was Geoff’s webcast thing on It was good fun. I don’t know how long it had been running for before I joined so I just missed something about Afghanistan, but was in time to find out about three guys one hammer, and a revisit to two girls one cup (both of which I haven’t watched….or will be watching). We all got together for a group screen capture as well. A number of topics were discussed including the imminent BFBC2 patch.

In other news, DarkSydePhil’s channel has been reinstated. Derivative and transformative works for the Copyright win (but don’t forget that YouTube are still god on their own site).

Peas and loaves.

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The Definitive Wookie Definition (BFBC2)

There seems to be a little bit of confusion over what constitutes a Wookie in Battlefield: Bad Company 2 (BFBC2). I noticed this confusion while perusing the comments on Geoff’s latest video on YouTube. In the video Geoff, Josh and Gary created new accounts on the PS3 and go back in to BFBC2 as newbies to see how hard it is. You can find the video here.

In the video Geoff comes a cropper to a Bush Wookie, who very kindly stays put for the revenge kill. But Geoff’s reference to the recon guy as a “Wookie” created some confusion to the newly initiated. There were a couple of comments of “Wookie?” until someone answered, and then the answer was rebutted:

The answer is fairly straight forward and doesn’t really need to turn into a flame war:

Wookie – n. woo-key

Anyone using the Recon Class.

Alt. Bush Wookie – n. Boo-sh woo-key

Anyone running Recon who sits in a bush/tree, most usually at the spawn. Failing to fulfil the recon role. Not spotting, or helping their team in any meaningful way. May also be referred to as “A waste of skin” or “Deadwood”.

Rel. Camping Bastard – n. cahm-ping bah-sterd

Any other player who hides in a tree or bush to whore up their K/D.

Who coined the term “Wookie” and when did it enter popular culture?

Steven Speilberg c.1977

Why are Recon referred to as Wookies?

Peas and loaves.

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Now Showing! and mini Hauppauge Update

Mini Hauppauge update first:-

As suspected the guys and gals at were on a long Bank Holiday weekend. Which means that today they’ve ordered my order in the order in which I thought they would:

The status is now “Awaiting Stock” – all fine and dandy. Unfortunately Geoff’s probably going to miss the premiere of any vids due to offline commitments.

But talking of Geoff…..

Now Showing!

Geoff has uploaded a couple of vids over the past week. A two part rush attacking on Valparaiso (part one here) and another miscellaneous tips video (#8) which you can see here:

But wait…. Donncha and I are in it, along with the guy whose name I couldn’t say so referred to as ‘SK’ – all from one of the games reported in this post. I say we were in it…. our chattery tags are in it. I make a special appearance hiding in a building abusing the medic kit and not really helping. I do make a quick cameo when Geoff turns around to reload though:

Who's that handsome fella there?'s me!

Yes, if you look at the tabs on the browser you can see that I’m checking out Azarimy’s sketchstation that Donncha posted about here. If you haven’t already seen that guys cartoons, you should check him out.

Peas and loaves.

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Hog Hug



You don’t know what I’m on about?

Where have you been? Do you not hang on my every word? No? Fair enough, I spout a lot of crap. But if you can make it past the next couple of sentences all will become clear. Not in a Buddhist enlightenment way, just in an “oh, why didn’t you just say that in the first place!” way. I like to build the suspense, and weed out the skim readers from the pre-MTV peeps.

The Count Down Begins

Regular readers will be aware of my previous pursuit of PVR perfection, and the stumble which pretty much scuppered my scheme for screen (s)capture (I was going for an illiteration QUAAAAD). But then………

So what? Some guy called MrCheapKills on YouTube won a PVR from some other guy called sasbenjr…. If that’s what you’re thinking then… Wow! You really are newly new to this blog, so welcome welcome welcome. And allow me to enlighten you: MrCheapKills is me. It’s my YouTube channel. sasbenjr is Geoff, and I’ve been bigging up him and his channel since I found it via WoodysGamertag back in February.

But let me just put that win into context. The last time I won a competition I was dressed as the invisible man at Pontin’s Holiday Camp……. a fancy dress contest (no, really!?), and it was about 1985.

I’ve previously and gratuitously thanked Geoff on many occasions already, both publicly and via private message. Thanks Geoff, I love you man…… that’s enough of that. On with the post.

Unfortunately there’s no easy or cheap way to get stuff from America to Britain as a consumer – well, no reliable way. So Geoff arranged for me to buy the Hauppauge direct from the UK. Awesomeness rating: Twixizity Bazillion!

As of today, the Hauppauge is ordered. shows it as having a delivery time of 1-2 weeks (I think they’re buying it to order or drop shipping) as it’s listed as “out of stock”. I don’t think this is an issue as it has shown as “out of stock” since I first heard about the Hauppauge back in late January and people have received them from in that time. So we’re looking at mid-May at the latest – hopefully sooner.

I’ve used before and they are usually really good, efficient and reliable. I’d recommend them to anyone.

I’ll post updates on the Hog Hug Status as and when I get them.

In the meantime, head over to Geoff’s channel and post him some love (….’no homo’ 😀 ).

Peas and loaves.

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Shoop da who? Da WHOOP!

Back on the 9th of April I posted that I’d made the shortlist for Geoff’s Hauppauge HD PVR. I don’t tend to win things – always the bridesmaid and never the bride….

Then my own Hauppauge fund got annihilated. As far as I was concerned that was going to be the end of the road Hauppauge-wise. Not the end of the world, I’d gotten back into making montages (the last one I made was in about 1996, in-line editing on tape…not easy). And then this:

The final list had a lot of really good posters on there and even those that didn’t make the list have helped make Geoff’s Channel one of the friendliest and informative places on YouTube so I’m doubly honoured: 1 – to have won and, 2 – to be a part of the community that Geoff has created.

I can has Hauppauge after all!

I know I keep saying it, but I really can’t articulate my level of gratitude at being chosen. So here’s a very humble (and hopefully amusing) video response:

I’m looking forward to getting some vids up that will hopefully be of use and entertain people.

Thanks Geoff.

And thanks to everyone who follows this blog, and contributes to Geoff’s YouTube channel.

Peas and loaves.

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Geoff Does Machinima, Copyright, and uber-PWNAGE

Geoff Does Machinima

Congrats to Geoff (sasbenjr) on his first Machinima video which went up today. It’s Rush game mode on Laguna Presa (BFBC2) and has a special guest appearance from Hugo, Javier and Barry – the red men. I think Geoff has raised the bar again in this commentary, and Machinima has already had an impact – almost 6000 subs.

Check out the vid directly here in full-size HD. Or click the YouTube icon on the bottom right of this preview:


I’ve posted a couple of times recently about copyright and YouTube and the pitfalls that are waiting for the unwary. Well BlameTruth posted a video about a chum of his called DarkSydePhil whose channel had been deleted for copyright infringement. DarkSydePhil does gameplays and it would seem that the publishers of the games he was playing felt he was infringing their rights. My personal view on this is that the people who actually make the games probably think it’s awesome that people play their games, but the legal teams for the publishers are arseholes. Interestingly BlameTruth in his video mentions that he has two copyright strikes against him on YouTube notably for GTAIV gameplay. I say notably because I would have thought that RockStar (but not necessarily Take-Two) would not have an issue with gameplays…..but I digress.

I disagree with BlameTruth’s stance on the whole “wrongly suspended” message. YouTube is very clear on how it deals with copyright issues. It’s unfortunate that people trying to share their enjoyment of something get stomped on in this way – but it’s the reality of the situation. In fact I remember shortly after Gears of War came out some guy made a really cool anime-esque model/sculpture of the main character Marcus Fenix for his little brother. It was a really beautiful piece and he posted pics of it on the internet. Then the GoW lawyers wrote to him and told him that if he didn’t destroy it, the plans for it, and any other copies he’d made they’d sue him so bad his great-great-great-grandchildren would be paupers (or something like that). Thankfully in that scenario there was outcry in the gaming community and with a PR disaster looming the GoW legal guys backed down saying they didn’t realise it was a one off and apologised for being heavy handed. On YouTube you get some grumbling and the suspended guy opens a new channel.

So what’s the point of this post…..erm I’m not really sure. Probably how the concept and caveat of “fair use” in all current copyright law is ignored by the big companies while they ride rough shod over the people who support them.

While you consider that, here’s BlameTruth’s vid:

and lastly – uber-PWNAGE!!!!11!!1eleventy!1!

I’ve had some stinkers in my time. I’ve had some awful results and I’ve had my fair share of bad beatdowns…..but nothing as bad as this:

Sandy Ravage – you filthy filthy beast!

I’ve been David, and you’ve been awesome!

Peas and loaves.

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BFBC2 Tracer Gun Tips

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This is also available at G.I.N.

**Although the majority of the information in this post is still correct, there is now a Post Patch Tracer Gun Tips post here**

In Battlefield Bad Company 2 you have the option to equip a tracer dart gun on all classes. It’s fairly pointless unless you are playing as the Engineer class, or are in communication with an Engineer on your squad. In most random games you can’t rely on other players to have the RPG-7 or Carl G launcher equipped – or to even notice when an enemy vehicle has been traced.

So what does it do?

The Tracer Dart Gun fires a magnetic projectile at the target (even though it’s magnetic it does magically stick to enemy and friendly infantry alike). The tracer dart does not experience bullet drop like other weapons in BFBC2 so where your crosshairs are pointed is where the tracer dart is going to hit. It’s important to understand this when attempting to plant a tracer dart on a moving vehicle. You will probably need to “lead” most moving targets – and this can be tricky with aerial vehicles such as helicopters.

Once a vehicle (or person) has been traced you can achieve “missile lock” on them using the RPG-7 or Carl Gustav launchers.

How Do I Lock on to a Tracer Dart?

Only the RPG-7 or the Carl Gustav launchers can lock on to a tracer. When a vehicle has been traced it will have a small red flashing square on it which you need to aim your launcher at. Don’t just aim at it and fire! You have to lock on first. How do you do that? You just keep your aim on the square until the distance to target appears in white. When this happens you have lock – fire and forget.

Here’s a good video from psionuk illustrating use of the tracer gun behind enemy lines:

Top tip: You can achieve missile lock through the terrain (this could be a glitch so may get patched at some point). But you’ll still have to aim over/around any obstacles to hit the target… this (thanks Donncha):

Personally I find tracers to be best used against helicopters. Tanks are not manoeuvrable enough for you to miss when firing at them unassisted – unless your aim is off. In the time it takes to plant and lock on with the tracer you could have fired at least two rockets at the vehicle.

For helicopters that are being badly piloted (slow and low to the ground) save your tracers and just shoot them down unguided.

If you have trouble with hitting helicopters then check out this video from sasbenjr which shows how to use the aiming reticule on the launcher:

Part Two of that guide can be found here.

Hope you’ve found this helpful.

I’ve been David, and you’ve been awesome!

Peas and loaves.

Find me on PSN – evaDlivE

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The Cannon Fodder Theme

In the comment’s for Geoff’s BFBC2 – Taking out choppers (Warning: Cheesy Montage) Donncha mentioned the Cannon Fodder and Xenon 2 themes.

I had a thought forming in me head….. and it was going to be AWESOMMMMMME!

So I started putting the plan into action, I found the Cannon Fodder Theme, got the clips together that I needed. Now all I needed was a lightening storm and my creation would come to life muah, muahaha, muahahahahahHAAAAAA!

But wait! What’s this I see……an angry mob of villagers armed with pitchforks and flaming torches (as opposed to the Maglite variety) approaching the castle. They break in and make off with The Cannon Fodder theme – dragged kicking and screaming in to the night.

A rescue operation is needed, but help is at hand – the theme is put to work in a worldwide tour as backing music to Geoff’s video BFBC2 – Squad Rush. I was able to send in my crack squad of ninja squid to steal it back – and that is why Geoff’s version ends early.

So what did I do with the music?


And it’s all old school editing, no scripts, no plugin chicanery – every edit and effect is put in by my fair hands. And that’s proper legit – not 30 second nuke legit.

Peas and loaves.

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