What if World of Tanks was more like Battlefield 3? Well, people like Akeiko “Daigensui” Sumeragi would whine about it because in Battlefield, here’s how things work: a single A-10 Thunderbolt would spot her armoured column, and proceed to strafe it with its 30mm GAU-8/A Avenger cannon, killing all the tanks in the first 30 seconds of the battle, leaving Daigensui to spend the next 10 minutes watching the planes or infantry battle it out elsewhere on the map.
Contrary to what extreme World of Tanks and Girls und Panzer fans believe, tanks aren’t the only component of warfare. This contributes to why the Battlefield series is so enjoyable: the disciplines needed to help a team win in Battlefield is diverse, extending beyond grinding XP for higher-tier tanks. I’ve played Battlefield 3‘s campaign and short segments of the multiplayer in the passing in previous years since 2011, typically during Christmas; my first shot at the game was following a Christmas dinner of roast prime rib, rack of lamb and spring vegetables while inquiring about Battlefield 3, and eventually had the opportunity to give it a spin on the Playstation 3; that particular copy of Battlefield 3 was a new one, and as such, the campaign remain largely untouched. I thus played through half of the second mission, Operation Swordbreaker, before desserts were served. Last year, I played through Uprising following Christmas dinner. I decided against going any further, since the next mission, Going Hunting, would take a while to complete. Thus, I never really got far enough into the campaign, although having seen gameplay footage, I admit, I was quite interested in trying the campaign out for myself, if only to immerse myself in the Frostbite 2 engine. I’ll be doing the traditional “campaign playthrough with screenshots” posts here probably once the New Year rolls around, but today’s post is about the multiplayer; over the past week, I’ve spent some six hours and I’m currently rank nine. Somewhere back in August, at the blog Questionable Intelligence, a post was writen, supplying some well-rationalised reasons about why their author enjoyed World of Tanks. Today, I’m going to offer a small, equally well-written rebuttal, explaining the elements in Battlefield 3 that make it more favourable to me.
- This is my first real kill in Battlefield 3, a chaotic close-quarters knife kill after someone on the other team parachuted on top of a building I happened to be sniping from.
- The concept in Battlefield 3 is similar enough to War Thunder, where a basic starter plane can take out a high-tier plane if the player is skilled enough. In Battlefield 3, it is sufficient for a player to use the M16A3 or AK-74M effectively against players with the FN-2000. Reflexes and skill determine the outcome of an encounter, as it should. During one match, as an engineer class, I used the M1 Abrams to secure multiple capture points from inside the tank. That game yielded so many points that I unlocked the 7.62 mm co-axial LMG, which allowed me to take down infantry near my tank without resorting to the tank cannon. The M1 is an amazing vehicle and I’m now a short ways from unlocking the autoloader and improved optics, which will improve my effectiveness with the vehicle.
- There is nothing quite like getting ribbons for doing things for one’s team. This match represented my first win: games typically last anywhere from half an hour to several hours depending on how many tickets are available to each team. A team loses when they run out of tickets or fail objectives (or both). Reviving teammates is one of my favourite roles, and has the added bonus of returning lost spawn tickets to the team.
- The DAO-12 (also known as the Striker) was a weapon that I got with the physical warfare pack, which came with my copy. Early on, this was my preferred weapon, effortlessly downing anyone in two to three shots. Shotguns are all-class weapons and extremely powerful at close ranges, but leave one vulnerable to players with other weapons. See that “Promotion” award at the top? This is why Battlefield 3 is satisfying.
- The Type 88 has a poor reputation amongst experienced Battlefield 3 players, who cite its recoil as its biggest liability. Most veteran players wouldn’t pick this gun because it’s difficult to get kills with at any range, and I’ve since ditched it for the M249. How is it as a gun? Fired in short bursts, it’s a reasonable weapon and for me, is the second most used weapon in my inventory (losing out to the M249) because it was my first LMG for the support class.
Of course, the multiplayer component is what makes Battlefield 3 fun: back during the Thanksgiving long weekend, I was able to purchase Battlefield 3 on sale for eight dollars. I eventually decided against Battlefield 4 when I heard about all of the bugs and server issues: despite being older, Battlefield 3 is more stable and less costly. Insofar, I’ve spent about six hours in the game so far with the multiplayer and thus, at the time of writing, my stats are terrible; I play about as well as any first-time player would. With a win-loss ratio of only 0.8 and 275 kills to my name, I’ve died more times than I’ve cared to count. This sounds eerily like my experience with World of Tanks, and even Halo 2 when I first started playing some five years ago. I only play games that I find fun, and most are wondering why I would purchase and play a game I’m no good at. Some might even be thinking that I’m a hypocrite for refusing to play World of Tanks on similar grounds. The answer as to why I love Battlefield 3 after six hour’s worth of multiplayer is that I have incentives to play. I love the large scale environments and openness of the multiplayer. I can spend an entire match following a tank around and repairing it, acting as an auxillary gunner on the 50-cal where needed, or running around reviving people. In one match, I spent half an hour at a doorway, laying down heavy suppressive fire with my newly-unlocked M249 SAW and netted nearly 5000 points from doing that alone. The accompanying ribbons and match victory provided an additional 3000 points.
- This match proved to be overwhelmingly entertaining. I leveled up twice thanks to a combination of resupply bonuses and suppression bonuses. The fact that we controlled all the capture points really helps, too. In general, I enjoy assault and support classes the most: I make it a point to always unlock the defibrillator first in any Battlefield game so I can revive teammates, and once Battlefield: Bad Company 3 comes out, I’m definitely going to grind for a defibrillator.
- I’ve since unlocked the holographic red-dot sight, which I find to be more useful than the optics owing to my preferred play-style. I love close quarters engagements more than anything, and initially, when I was playing Battlefield: Bad Company 2‘s multiplayer, I took my favourite Halo tactics and promptly got wiped out. I’ve since wised up to the fact that Battlefield is about ranged battles and teamwork.
- Team deathmatch or squad deathmatch is said to be one of the fastest ways to earn enough kills to unlock all the accessories to weapons. It also represents a good time to pair different classes with unusual loadouts to gain the points necessary for later unlocks. I’m looking for players to help me with the co-op missions at present, since those confer additional unlocks.
- In this case, I am playing as the recon class, armed with the PP-2000. The personal defense weapons series are available for all classes, like the shotguns, and excel at closer battles. I have a feeling I’m going to enjoy using these weapons to rank my recon class up so I can get some new rifles: the starting rifles are a little tougher to use in my experience, and I admit that I like close-quarters combat.
- I may occasionally return to share stories about my Battlefield 3 exploits, but for the present, I will be doing a talk about the entire campaign. I’m loving every aspect of the game, and though critics are correct about the linear scripted nature of the campaign, there is one thing I found the campaign to excel in: atmospherics.
The biggest advantage Battlefield 3 has over World of Tanks is that the game doesn’t punish its players for losing: a team player gets rewarded, and that is the true spirit of gaming. Battlefield 3 also does not punish players for being beginners like myself: armed with the starter rifles, I can shoot down players who’ve been playing since 2011. I get points for something as simple as spotting enemies, for helping damage vehicles or capturing bases. Thus, even though I lose games, I’m gaining experience. One guide out there said that the best way to get good in any game is to die a lot. It sounds quite similar to Scott Adam’s advice about success: to succeed, fail a lot. It’s a learning experience, and I’m quite willing to give this a shot simply because Battlefield 3 won’t punish me from a gameplay perspective. Someone will find my profile and mock me for having crappy stats, but I’m learning. If I die in a match, I respawn at my base, or on a squad mate, and I’m back in action. These things make it worthwhile to play even if I’m dying every other minute: I’m still getting points for helping out, and I’m encouraged to help as much as I can. Am I a hypocrite for not giving World of Tanks a similar chance? Not in the slightest: World of Tanks is nowhere nearly as forgiving. While the game does reward damage caused and objective completion, winning teams earn 50 percent more points. A novice player who dies is punished with reduced points, and players who die in battle are sidelined until the match ends, whereupon they are forced to spend most of the points they earn on repairs and ammunition. In Battlefield 3, the cost of a death is limited to the match only, and while extra points are given for a victory, no points are deducted for dying. Some well-written comments from other readers have informed me that it is possible for beginners to pick up World of Tanks, but compared to something like Battlefield 3, the penalty for dying is steep. I’ve also been informed that enjoying World of Tanks requires a time investment (just like Battlefield 3). However, I can hop onto any server in Battlefield 3, play a good game for my team, and earn some serious points, then leave after the match ends. In World of Tanks, there’s no server browser, so I’d probably enter a game, suffer a catastrophic kill, lose a tank, and repeat until I’m out of tanks. I only can offer one other reason for why I’m not to pick up World of Tanks any time soon: besides the friendlier scoring and unlocks system, I enjoy the diversity of gameplay and scale in Battlefield 3. Moreover, graphics do contribute to the immersive factor, and I doubt that Wargaming.net will ever use a game engine as sophisticated as Frostbite.