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Post by Steve Farrelly @ 05:16pm 14/09/12 | 11 Comments
Battlefield 3 is a beast that can sate no one person. You have the newcomers, the old-school guys, the casual shooter fans progressing on from Call of Duty and, of course, the green-as-grass console players experiencing the magic of the series for the first time ever.

Keeping all of these groups happy is no mean feat, but with the latest Battlefield 3 DLC pack, Armored Kill, it looks like DICE are on-track, and all they had to do was go back to their own roots.

Armored Kill offers up the largest map ever created for the series, while also giving players new modes, vehicles, weapons and themes across each map for the most unique BF3 experience yet.

Click here for our full in-depth review to learn more.



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Latest Comments
Stalfax
Posted 05:55pm 14/9/12
keen for this
IVY_MiKe
Posted 06:16pm 14/9/12
not keen @ $50 for 'Premium'.
Especially given EA/DICE's track record for 'producing bug riddled junk' on day 1 anyway.
GunSlingerAUS
Posted 08:00pm 14/9/12
Hey Mike

It's not $50, it's $24 - for $50 you get FIVE expansion packs (four, if you've already got B2K). I don't know about you, but for me $24 is incredible value considering I'll easily get 50 hours of fun out of it. These are definitely up there with Battlefield's best maps, and there are very few bugs. Well, except for the new rocket artillery defensive weapon, which knocks off 99% of the driver's health when activated! Dice says it'll be patched this week.
FSCB
Posted 09:16pm 14/9/12
The reality is this sounds great in a review, but doesn't eventuate during play.
Vehicles and anti-vehicle warfare have been the worst part of BF3 to date, they remain the most buggy part of the BF3 experience.
A lot has been tweaked over the past year, but the hard focus on vehicles in the AK expansion just amplifies the affects.

-Random tank damage, you can flank an enemy tank, shoot 3 shots into its rear or rear side, and still not get a kill.
The enemy tank will turn and often destroy you with 2 shots to front of your tank. Almost like BF3 rolls a dice to see who wins tank battles.
-Similarly, sometimes you can shoot with tank at an enemy infantry hidden behind a small boulder or rock outcrop and get 3 or 4 hits before a kill occurs.
-Enemy vehicles which have been "disabled", often drive away at full speed behind the nearest hill etc.
-The range on the AA is still very small, so carrying the stinger/igla is not going to get you many points nor prove an effective deterant against flyers.
-Heaps of tanks and TDs = excellent, but only 2 choppers per map = poor, considering the AA tank is on most maps.
-Jets can often turn in a very small radius even when the jet is coming out of a nosedive, ie has a very high velocity.
-AC130, basically a nothing addition; flies in a set circle, can only protect itself from enemies at higher altitude and has near pissweak AT guns, especially on softcore.
-Jet ramming is still a roll of the dice. Failgamers often ram their jet into other jets/helos and can make it through the other end alive, while the target jet explodes in the air...sometimes the ramming jet will survive even if it has already taken damage, ie has lower "health" than the target jet.
-Multitude of poor gamers who take vehicles without gunners/passengers
-Poor gamers who fly full helos but use them purely as a way to skip walking long distances, leaving the helo to crash land killing all those still inside- yep BF3 vehicles at its best, amplified to 11 in AK.
FSCB
Posted 09:19pm 14/9/12
Oh yeah and 1 more massive one I forgot:

When playing 64 player servers, you will be waiting for vehicles. Most maps only have ~8 tanks and 2 choppers, 1 gunship, 1 artillery for each side.
And with most gamers just taking a tank for themselves and driving off, you will wait and wait with frustration...
or take a quad and go AT infantry.
IVY_MiKe
Posted 09:25pm 14/9/12
^ this is not an alt account I swear.

I agree with everything he just posted tho, does that make me a bad person?
Eds
Posted 11:00pm 14/9/12
-Random tank damage, you can flank an enemy tank, shoot 3 shots into its rear or rear side, and still not get a kill.


Isnt that factually correct tho? That a tank has more armor on its sides and not its front?

GunSlingerAUS
Posted 11:41pm 14/9/12
Hey FCSB

Just wanted to explain some of what you're seeing:

-Random tank damage, you can flank an enemy tank, shoot 3 shots into its rear or rear side, and still not get a kill.
The enemy tank will turn and often destroy you with 2 shots to front of your tank. Almost like BF3 rolls a dice to see who wins tank battles.

Tanks take more damage at the rear, as well as certain "weak spots" on the vehicle such as turret rim, ammo compartment, etc. I believe the angle of the shot also affects the damage - glancing blows do less damage. If you google it you'll find some really deep research done by players showing how complex tank damage is modeled.
-Similarly, sometimes you can shoot with tank at an enemy infantry hidden behind a small boulder or rock outcrop and get 3 or 4 hits before a kill occurs.

See above

-Enemy vehicles which have been "disabled", often drive away at full speed behind the nearest hill etc.

Actually, each vehicle has a specific % of damage where they're disabled, which was changed on some vehicles in the last patch. Again, extensive user testing backs up this claim.

-The range on the AA is still very small, so carrying the stinger/igla is not going to get you many points nor prove an effective deterant against flyers.

400m is the limit, but with the recent disabling of "Below Radar" choppers are now much more vulnerable to Stingers. As an engineer it's made my day

-Heaps of tanks and TDs = excellent, but only 2 choppers per map = poor, considering the AA tank is on most maps.

Most players complain about air being too powerful, so any more than this and we'd have a community crisis.

-Jets can often turn in a very small radius even when the jet is coming out of a nosedive, ie has a very high velocity.

Again, community testing has shown that the optimal speed for turning is around 300 knots. Any faster or slower and you'll have a wider turn radius. There are plenty of YouTube tutorials illustrating this.

-AC130, basically a nothing addition; flies in a set circle, can only protect itself from enemies at higher altitude and has near pissweak AT guns, especially on softcore.

Oh but it's so much fun!

-Jet ramming is still a roll of the dice. Failgamers often ram their jet into other jets/helos and can make it through the other end alive, while the target jet explodes in the air...sometimes the ramming jet will survive even if it has already taken damage, ie has lower "health" than the target jet.

Agreed, this is an issue. Thankfully most pilots don't do this any more, it's a question of honour.

-Multitude of poor gamers who take vehicles without gunners/passengers

Yep, 45% of BF3 players are douchebags, it's a fact. However, they're still much better than most other FPS ;)

-Poor gamers who fly full helos but use them purely as a way to skip walking long distances, leaving the helo to crash land killing all those still inside- yep BF3 vehicles at its best, amplified to 11 in AK.

See above.

Just wanted to point out that what you see as bugs or flaws are actually quite deep systems modeled in the game. It's this depth that has kept me playing for over 250 hours.
Mephz
Posted 08:07am 15/9/12
Isnt that factually correct tho? That a tank has more armor on its sides and not its front?
Nah that's the rear you're thinking of.
Tanks have the most armour at the front, less at the rear. Sides are still heavily armoured almost the same as the front.

You can check up some of the old tanks like the king tigers to see just how many mm of armour they had over each sections. The Tigers were crazy not a wonder they were so powerful
FSCB
Posted 04:27pm 15/9/12
Hi GunSlingerAUS,

I agree that BF3 is an extremely complex game in terms of its physics modelling, as has been with previous BF games.
But even with all these models and physics algorithms they have used to build the game, to me, it still comes across as luck-based and buggy. Almost like it has 80% of the true world physics model, but missing the rest to make it actually feel correct.

I say this because I try to shoot at enemy vehicles where I believe they should be weakest...and often get let down. I don't know, maybe I'm just unlucky!
A simple example, shoot a tank at its wheels. Does what? Standard side damage.
Real life, shooting a 30kg shell at ~800m/s into a 150mm thick steel wheel flange would obliterate the wheel and leave nothing much of the tracks. Engineering calculations can show this and modelling in programs like Solidworks or similar can show this visually. The odd thing is I would have thought programmers of complex modern games, like DICE, would have access to such visual enigneering modelling systems.
However, in their systems they are 'making' the physics to balance the game rather than using real world physics and applying certain conditions depending on choice of weaponry.
This is what I find wrong with BF3 vehicle/anti-vehicle warfare.
badfunkstripe
Posted 04:41pm 15/9/12
I have been finding AK really requires squad work. Which sucks because these team play features are basically non existent in BF3.

BF3 generally didn't need a commander but AK maps definitely do.

When I play with mates chatting on Skype as a squad it's amazing. I have played with a couple dudes just using the chat to co-ordinate and it's been really great. The problem with out VOIP and proper team play tools is that it doesn't encourage people to play in squads. Still too many people trying to lone wolf.

AK works best as a squad capturing and holding an area of the map. This is where a commander to direct squads to different area's would be perfect!


My biggest pet peeve is helicopters. Quite often the really good players who are at that, "how on earth are they so accurate and always know where I am and can fly perfectly" level. Can just dominate. You go to stinger. They just flare, fly away until flares reloaded. Then with the stinger you're useless against tanks. If there was co-ordination with teams, maybe air would fight air more. In a few bad maps of these, i've gotten air, and even though i'm a good player. Air players who are good are way above even a much better than average air player. So you don't have a chance. I personally would like AK maps with a no attack heli option.
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