“I only do this because I’m having fun. The day I stop having fun, I’ll just walk away.” —Heath Ledger
It’s been two years to the overcast day where I had picked up Battlefield 3 during Origin’s Black Friday Sale, and around one-and-a-half years since I upgraded to Battlefield 3 Premium. I’ve logged around 125 hours in the campaign and have reached the rank ten colonel milestone. According to this blog’s archives, I had around ninety hours as of last year, so a quick bit of subtraction shows that I’ve played a comparatively paltry 35 hours this year. That I’ve been going through other games, like Wolfenstein, Metro 2033: Redux and Sakura Angels, accounts for why I’ve put in fewer hours into Battlefield 3 this year. With that being said, the sporadic games I have played in Battlefield 3 this year have been quite fun, and after two years, I definitely feel that I’ve become accustomed to the mechanics. This is reflected in my stats: while I’m not a competitive player by any definition, the stats have helped me track my progress, and it’s fun to see how far I’ve come since playing my first few games and finding myself being decimated by more skilful players. When I started, my score-per-minute and KD ratios were quite underwhelming: a month after picking up Battlefield, I was averaging a KD ratio of 0.48 on most games, and had 226 points per minute. At present, I average around 530 points a minute and my overall KD ratio is 0.86 (although I consistently average around 1.5 to 2.0 in most games I play, so these numbers are more reflective of my current performance). It appears that I’ve plateaued in Battlefield 3 performance now, and indeed, a quick look at my performance history shows a graph not dissimilar to that of a Michaelis-Menten plot. So, after two years, where do I stand on Battlefield 3?
While I played much less Battlefield 3 this year than I did last year, the matches I did partake in had a greater frequency of amusing and epic moments. I’ve earned all of my combat efficiency ribbons within the last year, and have gone on some impressive streaks with various weapons. I’ve also begun experimenting with different loadouts just to see how those handle, and to see whether or not they work well. Thanks to my premium account, I’ve also been unlocking new weapons and completing assignments, albeit at a much slower rate this year. With that being said, it feels as though I’ve fully gotten my Battlefield 3 experience over the past 125 hours: while I’ve not reached rank-100 colonel, nor have I unlocked everything yet. Nonetheless, it’s been an immensely entertaining journey. I remark that I do not play with a dedicated microphone, and I am fully aware that communication is core to the Battlefield experience; all serious players make use of good communication to keep one another going in objective-oriented matches, so I cannot say that I’ve fully experienced the team-driven aspect of Battlefield. This is perfectly okay with me, since I’m quite happy to enter a random server, play a few matches and then go on my way. In the end, for the total cost of Battlefield 3 and the Premium upgrade (20 CAD), I definitely got a fantastic deal out of the sale.
Screenshots and Commentary
- I spend around half my time in Noshahr Canals, Battlefield 3‘s equivalent of Halo 2‘s Lockout, but I’ve done my best to ensure that not all of my screenshots in this post come from Noshahr Canals. I’ll start with a screenshot of me getting a kill using the defibrillator. In most cases, such kills happen because I’ve just finished reviving someone and an enemy rushes me at close range, too quickly for me to switch back to my primary or secondary weapons. There are some cases where I’ve gone and sought out a single player such that they could be humiliated with the defibrillator or repair tool, owing to their attitudes or actions, but that’s quite rare.
- Until this year, the M16A3 was not really a weapon I used: while a superb weapon in all regards, I did not wish to use it until it was available for both factions, such that I could more efficiently unlock attachments for it. Thus, I stuck with the M416, and it’s presently still my most-used weapon, although I’m definitely learning the joys of the M16A3.
- Battlefield 3 is a team-based game, and so, despite lacking a microphone, I still do my best to help my team out where I can with objective captures, resupplies, healing and revivials. I imagine that with a microphone, I could ask my teammates where the opposing team’s players are, and then flank them more effectively to avoid deaths. Part of the reason why I wind up near the top of a scoreboard despite having a large number of deaths is because I play very actively, but otherwise, do not have full knowledge of where the other players are.
- Combat efficiency ribbons were definitely a rare sight for me: last year, I got my first one while doing the Sinon loadout challenge, where I was rocking a setup similar to that of Sword Art Online II‘s Shino Asada. It proved quite effective at extreme long ranges, and a combination of bad spawns with a bit of luck meant I was able to take out eight in a row.
- Despite being quite proficient with the bolt-action rifles and bullet drop now, I nonetheless prefer close-quarters combat. My tendencies in Battlefield 3 are perhaps more akin to that of a Call of Duty player, where run-and-gun techniques are more viable, and consequently, I accumulate more deaths than most players of my rank.
- In a particularly one-sided conquest match, I capture an objective with limited assistance from my squad. It’s actually quite surprising as to how rarely people will equip squad ammunition or squad sprint, so if a squad I join lacks either, I will pick squad ammunition first to ensure that players have an increased ammunition pool to work with.
- While I typically roll with the MP-412 as a secondary weapon for its balance of stopping power and firing rate, there are some cases where I’m equipped with a close-quarters primary weapon and need a scoped pistol for versatility’s sake. Unlike Battlefield 4, pistols can’t be customised, so I usually pick the scoped .44 magnum if I’m running with a PDW or shotgun as a primary weapon. By this point in time, I’ve finally become acclimatised to aiming accurately with a chevron crosshair, although I still prefer the precision offered by a red dot/holographic sight.
- Back at Noshahr Canals, I put the SCAR-H to the test and got a combat efficiency ribbon out of it. Firing the 7.62 x 51 mm NATO round, it hits harder than most carbines at longer ranges and is balanced with a twenty-round magazine, making it suitable for matches on Caspian Border and other larger maps. At closer ranges, an accurate shot means downing opponents in as few as three rounds.
- The MP5-K is phenomenal at close ranges when equipped with extended magazines, plus the laser sight. The extended magazines are almost mandatory, since the high firing rate means the gun will burn through 21 rounds in no time at all. Already possessing high hip-firing accuracy, the laser sight means that the MP5-K’s hipfire is as accurate as its aiming down sights accuracy. I used it to absolutely wreck other players and earned yet another combat efficiency ribbon.
- The Heckler and Koch MG36 is a derivative of the G36 with a heavy barrel, fulfilling the role of an LMG. One of my reasons for picking up Battlefield premium was to fire this weapon: ever since seeing it in Enter the Matrix, I’ve wished to use it elsewhere. While it’s not a fantastic LMG, it’s got a reasonably fast reload rate. With the extended magazine equipped, it can hold 100 rounds, allowing it to reload faster than the belt-fed LMGs even from empty (although the L86A2 reloads faster overall, it only holds 60 rounds with extended magazines).
- During one particularly hilarious match on Davamand Peak, I spent most of my time with the M224 mortar near the map’s back, fulfilling the role of a counter-mortar. Some players on the enemy team were incessantly spamming their mortars, so I decided to help my team out by taking out the mortars. I wound up going on a ten kill-streak, since the opposing team’s players never took a hint and continued to set up their mortars after getting killed.
- Thus, it became a simple exercise for me to move around, locate the enemy mortars, take them out, and then move to a different position. The main disadvantage about mortars is that they are stationary, and consequently, are excellent targets for snipers (or players with repair tools). Here, I blow away a persistent mortar player whose name vaguely resembles Super Sonico with a taste of their own medicine, but the impact was apparently so intense the Frostbite Engine registered it as an environment kill.
- The M39 EMR is a marksman rifle chambered for the same round as the SCAR-H, dealing similar damage as the Mk11 Mod 0 and SVR. In TDM, I only play the recon class if there is a need for a counter-sniper, and admittedly, it feels great to take down someone camping on the crane. Because they’re nearly stationary targets and must expose themselves to fire, it’s always fun to counter-snipe them. Some of my longest range headshots come from taking out crane campers, and it’s surprisingly entertaining to watch them spout profanity in the text chat after being taken out.
- Whereas I typically do not use C4 because most servers will kick players for using them, there are some servers lacking such rules. Consequently, defending an objective becomes as simple as planting some C4, waiting for indications that it’s being taken, and then blowing said C4. To counteract against this, players can fire a tank shell, rocket or grenade to destroy the explosives.
- Of all the DLCs, I’ve played the Close Quarters maps the most frequently, and Armoured Kill with the lowest frequency. I feel that, even though I never really played any full matches on Armoued Kill (or Endgame) all that often, the discount meant that it was quite nice to have all of the different game-types and weapons available to me.
- I don’t play vehicular game modes very often, preferring infantry-on-infantry combat. However, there are some cases where some hilarious moments arise as a result of using vehicles. Last time, I shot a scout helicopter out of the air using a well-timed cannon round, and here, I somehow manage a headshot on a target 400 meters out using the heavy coaxial machine gun in the M1A2.
- Spoiler alert: I bought the Battlefield bundle during this year’s Origin Black Friday Sale. I had learnt of it while looking through the Origin store with a plate of Opa fries in hand on the 25th, and picked the bundle up later that evening. It turns out that the 25th was the 100th anniversary of Albert Einstein’s presentation of his world-changing General Theory of Relativity. I was watching a NOVA special that succinctly explains the differences between Special and General Relativity: it’s consistent with my simple explanation and would’ve been useful for Cocoa and Chiya‘s discussion, where they bring this up in an effort to impress Chino, Megu and Maya.
- One of the more recent strange loadouts I’ve been experimenting with is the suppressed P90 with a laser sight and Kobra sight. With a larger base magazine compared to the MP5-K, this setup is surprisingly effective, as the suppressor keeps me off the mini-map, and the larger magazine allows for some error, allowing me to go after groups of enemies without being spotted.
- I recall that my last Battlefield 3 post featured a greater number of screenshots with medals. Because I’ve been playing Battlefield 3 for a nontrivial period of time, medals are more frequent, appearing in low-light locales, and I don’t make quite as large an effort to take screenshots at present. However, I’m still only around halfway to unlocking the class and faction medals.
- In some of my last few games, I decided to finally give the
scrub gun AEK-971 a try: it seems like the go-to weapon for lower-level players who favour the spray-and-pray tactics. Its insane firing rate makes it downright lethal at close quarters, but its balanced by a slower reload time. I imagine that this will be the last Battlefield 3 post that I publish for the present, as I aim to finish Crysis 3, Valkyrie Chronicles, and get into Sniper Elite II, plus the Battlefield: Hardline campaign.
The question thus becomes: where do I go from here? On Wednesday, I picked up the Battlefield bundle during this year’s Origin Black Friday Sale; the package includes the base Battlefield 4 and Battlefield: Hardline games. There was no debate here, given that I was getting two triple-A titles for the price of an IMAX movie. I enjoyed Battlefield 4 when I tried it on Game Time, and was hoping for a chance to go back through the campaign and find all of the unlockable weapons. Moreover, I’ve been looking for the occasional game on maps like Zavod 311, and there is some free DLC content that would make the base game sufficiently feature-rich, considering that in the upcoming year, I likely won’t have too much time to play competitive multiplayer titles like Battlefield (making the other DLC unnecessary for me). With the understanding that Battlefield Hardline‘s multiplayer community is very limited, I nonetheless wish to explore the campaign even though it’s considered to be quite short: through TheRadBrad’s videos, I feel that there’s enough to do in the campaign so that I could get at least two play-throughs. I think that my time in Battlefield 3 is largely over, and it’s been a phenomenal experience over the past two years. I’ll keep the game installed for the days where I sure could go for some TDM on Noshahr Canals, although I foresee that I will not be playing Battlefield 3 as frequently as I have previously.