The Infinite Zenith

Where insights on anime, games, academia and life dare to converge

Category Archives: Battlefield 3

The Infinite Zenith’s Firing Range: Stella Women’s Academy, High School Division Class C³-style

“Dude, did that guy just headshot me?!” —FPS_Doug

The latest installment of Firing Range deals with Karilia Hatsuse’s load out from Stella Women’s Academy, High School Division Class C³. In Stella Women’s Academy, Karilia is a boisterous member of the  C³ Club and is seen frequently wielding a P90. As one of the C³ club’s most effective performers, Karilia enjoys close quarters combat and prefers to outmaneuver her enemies at high speeds. Her choice of the FN P90 is well-suited for this role: in service since 1991, the P90 is a compact bullpup personal defines weapon with a unique top-mounted magazine and is chambered for 5.7×28 mm rounds. In Battlefield 3, the P90 is unlocked at level forty. Overall, it has one of the largest ammunition capacities of any of the PDWs, even without extended magazines, and also has a good rate of fire and low recoil. This is offset by its slightly lower damage, but overall, the higher magazine capacity means that players can equip the PDW with other attachments rather than being forced to rely on the extended magazines. Thus, the P90 can become highly versatile, and can be outfitted for stealthy combat by means of a suppressor, as well as slightly longer range engagements with the flash suppressor. This weapon is a beast in Karilia’s hands, but the question now is…how it perform in my hands?

  • The P90 is designed solely for close-quarters combat and is useless at long ranges. I’m running with the bare-bones loadout to mimic Karilia’s loadout, which stands in contrast with my usual preference for having the laser sight and a holographic sight. The iron sights are quite tough to use, and there is no improved hip fire bonus, so the default P90 was a little more difficult to use compared to the setup I’m most familiar with.

  • With that said, the default P90 isn’t a poor weapon, and its accessories can be unlocked fairly quickly. Even without a laser sight to further improve hip-firing accuracy, the weapon can deal out a massive amount of pain at close range owing to its insane firing rate, which compensates for a low damage from individual rounds. Here, I manage a double kill on two individuals who were close together in a Close Quarters Domination Match on Donya Fortress

  • Karilia’s speciality is (no surprises here) speed, and in an accurate setting, I would equip squad sprint. However, since one of my squad-mates has squad sprint equipped, to improve the diversity amongst our group, I’ll typically go with squad ammo so everyone can last longer without needing additional rounds. If I am playing as a support class, then additional frags or flak protection is also useful, but the choice of specialisation is strictly determined by what other members in my squad have equipped.

  • Whenever I get headshots with a PDW, it’s either because I’m firing on an enemy who’s unaware that I’m there, or else dealt enough damage to him and the recoil from the gun led the killing shot to be a headshot. Such moments are only possible in close-quarters matches, as the P90 is useless at longer ranges: to compliment it, one might be inclined to carry a scoped .44 magnum to have some effectiveness at longer ranges.

  • Karilia also runs briefly with an airsoft replica of the M60 in the second episode of Stella Women’s Academy. The M60 is quite powerful and superbly effective at laying down a large amount of suppressive fire, but is also quite difficult to use in its vanilla form. Nonetheless, I managed to get some kills with it. This post is the last of the Firing Range posts for the time being: through covering Sword Art Online IISabagebu!Upotte! and Stella Women’s Academy, I’ve covered almost all of the major weapons in Battlefield 3 (except for shotguns and pistols).

The answer is…surprisingly well. Generally, I love personal defense weapons because of their amazing hip fire accuracy: I remember back in the days of older shooters before Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare popularised the notion of aiming down sights, and one could always fire with perfect accuracy from the hip (aiming down sights usually involved zoom optics and was for longer range weapons). Without worrying about decreased hip fire accuracy, players could run around maps like Lockout (Halo 2) and Dust2 (Counterstrike: Source), engaging in frenzied, high-octane combat. There’s an accuracy penalty in Battlefield 3 for hip firing, but equipping PDWs allows one to play a high-paced, “up-in-your-face” approach. For this reason, I tend to do quite well with PDWs equipped even though they deal less damage than the other primary weapons. Close-quarters frenzies mean that as long as one’s aim is true, one can come out on top: it doesn’t matter if an assault rifle or carbine is more powerful if those rounds aren’t hitting anything, and the PDW’s good hip firing accuracy allows one to maintain a full field of vision, allowing one to gain a good bearing on where their opponents are. While they may try to aim down sights in close quarters, there’s also a delay to bring the sights up. The P90 has the added bonus of a large default magazine size, offsetting the lower damage output and making it better suited for taking out groups of enemies compared to other PDWs (like the MP7 and MP5-K). The P90 is an excellent weapon all-around, and while one can’t realistically expect to outgun assault rifles and carbines at long range, the weapon is suited for firefights inside buildings and the container mazes of Noshahr Canals. Thus, Karilia’s P90 winds up being a solid PDW all around, and one can perform quite well with this as their primary weapon in confined spaces.

The Infinite Zenith’s Firing Range: Upotte!-style

“Sometimes, giving that cover fire is just way more important than getting the headshot.” —FPS_Doug, Pure Pwnage

In this iteration of Firing Range, we’ll be taking a look at the L85A2, a British assault rifle whose predecessor featured in Upotte!. Being one of Funco’s friends, Elle is an anthromorphic representation of the British L85A1, a weapon notorious for reliability and safety issues. Issued in 1985, the L85A1, or SA-80, was an ill-designed weapon that would misfire if dropped or struck, and jammed frequently owing to poor construction and design. By 2002, the limitations of the L85A1 could no longer be ignored: Heckler and Koch undertook an assignment to improve the L85’s design, yielding the A2 version. In combat, this upgraded weapon becomes significantly more reliable than the A1 variant. In Upotte!, Elle is depicted as being unreliable in combat and becomes ill frequently, but nonetheless endures for her friend’s sake. Hence, while her propensity towards jamming might be comical as a running joke within Upotte!, these issues were no laughing matter where an operational assault rifle could make the difference between life and death. In Battlefield 3, such a weapon would probably never be included: DICE decided to include the L85A2 in its stead, as one of the available weapons for the assault class. The L85A2 is unlocked through the Professional Russian assignment from the Back to Karkand DLC, which requires 100 kills with assault rifles, 20 kills with the underbarrel grenade launcher (using any type of ammunition), and five victories in squad deathmatch. In keeping with the Firing Range‘s spirit, I’ll equip my weapon as close as I can to what is seen in Upotte!: Elle appears to represent the default L85 with no additional customisations, barring the optics. While the L85 line originally uses the SUSAT optics (if memory serves, Elle is presumably using the SUSAT sights), newer versions make use of the ACOG sight, so I’ll run with a vanilla L85A2 equipped with nothing but the ACOG sights.

  • As with the previous Firing Range for Sabagebu!, I didn’t bother sticking to a specific squad specialisation or sidearm because these are never specified in Upotte!.

  • This conquest match was one of the longest I’ve played in a while, but a combination of persistence and luck meant I wound up with a positive KD ratio and a handful of flag capture ribbons. I found that with an assault rifle, I would be effective at anti-personnel combat and captured a few flags. However, the presence of vehicles put me at a disadvantage. For most conquest games, I stick with the engineer class so I have anti-vehicular capability.

  • While I’m not particularly fond of the ACOG sights for the most part, they’re actually quite useful on the L85A2 on maps with large, open areas, such as Karkand. Most players tend to take pot shots from across the map, and a good 4x sight offers enough magnification to see them from a distance while maintaining fair visibility. At closer ranges, though, the ACOG sights are difficult to use, but the stock L85A2 has good hip firing accuracy.

  • Operation Metro is another map that is conducive for the ACOG sights, featuring open spaces inside the metro station, and lengthy streets overlooked by apartments. This match was particularly harrowing, and was only won by a small margin. I don’t typically expect to do well when experimenting with different weapons: the M98B and M4A1 are excellent weapons for their respective classes, hence a reasonable performance with them. However, my preferred assault class weapon is the M416, so I hardly ever use the L85A2 (or the other assault rifles).

  • Because Upotte! was an anime about anthropomorphic weapons, there are a lot of firearms in the anime I could probably talk about, including the M16A4, G3A3, MP-5K and the Steyr AUG. However, for the present, I’m taking a break from Battlefield 3 so I can resume my adventure in Skyrim: it’s been a little under a year since I touched the game, and I’m still at level 23. The next Firing Range post will most likely be in December and be inspired by a loadout from Stella Women’s Academy.

With this loadout, most of my kills come from close-quarters engagements; the L85A2 has excellent hip-firing accuracy even without the laser sight equipped. At longer ranges, the ACOG sight provides reasonable magnification, but the chevron and obsctruction means it’s sometimes difficult to get a bead on where the next target is and ensuring that the shots will line up with them for a kill. However, the weapon’s low recoil makes this well suited for longer range combat. As an assault rifle, the L85A2 has one of the slower firing rates (at 600 RPM) and does similar damage to the other assault rifles. Paired with a longer reload time compared to other rifles, one is left with a slight disadvantage overall at close ranges; it’s more suited for longer range engagements, and equipping a heavy barrel will help this out to quite an extent. On its own, with just an ACOG sight, the L85A2 becomes slightly more difficult to use; during most of my matches, I was being out-gunned and killed while reloading frequently with the L85A2. Although this weapon thankfully doesn’t have the same issues that plague Elle in Upotte!, I typically prefer running with the HK-416 as my main assault rifle because it has a higher firing rate and smaller reload time without introducing too much additional recoil for those advantages. This is mainly because I’m typically going to do close quarters engagements, where faster firing rates and quick reload times become major factors. As such, it’s not unreasonable to say that Upotte!‘s Elle is frequently outgunned at close ranges even when she’s operating normally, and never has a chance to shine at longer ranges with a heavy barrel (one must wonder what that’d look like in Upotte!).

The Infinite Zenith’s Firing Range: Sabagebu!-style

“Maybe some arm shots or leg shots. Maybe, you know, try to stay away from that head.” —FPS_Doug, Pure Pwnage

For this Firing Range, I’ll be doing a talk on Maya Kyoudou’s preferred loadout from Sabagebu!, and in keeping with Maya’s lack of sidearms and other equipment, I’ve just rolled with the M4A1 with a random assortment of squad specialisations. In Sabagebu!, Maya runs with the M4A1 with Close Quarters Battle Receiver and an XPS variant of an EOTech holographic sight. The shortened barrel makes the weapons more compact and allows it to excel at close quarters, so for gathering footage here, I’ve stuck primarily with close-quarters engagements. To mirror Maya’s loadout, I’ve equipped my M4A1 with the holo sight and a flash suppressor. In Battlefield 3, the M4A1 is considered to be the best all-around carbine for the engineer class, with a high rate of fire (800 RPM), low recoil and fast reload time (1.85 seconds if there’s a round chambered, or 2.48 seconds from empty). In close quarters, this weapon is roughly the same as an assault rifle with regards to damage output, but thanks to the low recoil, the M4A1 remains useful at longer ranges, allowing one to perform reasonably well in a variety of situations. Outfitted with the flash suppressor and the holographic sight, I found that the flash suppressor did not do too much for the weapon, as the vertical recoil is already quite low. The holographic sight, on the other hand, helps with longer range aiming, affording a bit more magnification while retaining the same aiming speed as the red dot sights. At close quarters, the weapon is quite accurate even when fired from the hip, and allowed me to hold my own against assault rifles and even shotguns.

  • My typical setup for the M4A1 is a red dot sight, foregrip and heavy barrel for longer range combat, or a laser sight for close-quarters death match battles. The laser sight helps improve hip-firing; in older games like Halo and Half-Life 2, hip firing is the norm, and aiming down sights is only used for weapons with optics; when I go back and play classics, I have to remind myself not to keep trying to aim down sights.

  • It’s been more than half a year since I bought Battlefield 3 Premium, and it was only recently where i was able to play a match on Wake Island, a classic Battlefield map. I wound up joining the losing team, but somehow managed to make my way into first place on my team in the scoreboard on the virtue of capturing many flags and, on top of that, maintaining a positive KD ratio all the while. This stands contrary to my typical performance in Conquest matches, where I wind up dying a lot but score many points for my team.

  • Because the M4A1 is a carbine, this post will feature a lot of carbine ribbons. I recall that, back when I first started playing Battlefield 3, my KD ratio was roughly 0.65, but I’ve managed to raise it. Because I’m an objectives-focused player, my KD ratio tends to be quite low, but my score per minute remains quite good. These metrics are fun and shouldn’t be taken too seriously, although I have experienced several cases where there were people using aimbots (it’s easy to tell when someone’s killing me from across the map with a G17, which does 13 points of damage past 50 meters).

  • I admit that a lot of my headshots with automatic weapons happen without me thinking about them too much. As of late, the setup on Kharg Island means that it’s become one of my favourite places to go and play around with different loadouts. In team DM, The map consists of a large building on one end and containers on the other. Some players immediately parachute onto the roof, which overlooks the entire map and proceed to snipe players, but I’m familiar enough with the containers’ layout so I know where to counter-snipe without being too open a target. During this particular match, I went on a short killstreak and got another combat efficiency ribbon, but died shortly after.

  • I’m quite comfortable with the M4A1 now, and up next in the Firing Range series will probably be a talk on Upotte‘s L85A2, or “Elle-chan”. I’ll roll out talks on Sora no Method and Amagi Brilliant Park this Friday, and as I’m a ways into Shirobako, so a talk on that should be out by Hallow’s Eve at the very latest. I’m pushing back the Aldnoah.Zero talk indefinitely, as I’ve encountered some difficulties with the post and will work on it only if time permits. I also noticed that my feed at some anime aggregators have stopped working, probably because I have too many gaming posts; it’s their loss, since I offer unusual discussions not found anywhere else.

What is the verdict in Maya’s loadout? One would be inclined to say that Maya probably is just really unlucky, because the M4A1 performs quite well. Except at extreme ranges meant for sniper rifles, I was able to perform quite consistently at close and medium ranges, scoring headshots on targets up to 50 meters away and holding out at close ranges against even shotguns. Through this loadout, I warmed up to the holographic sight, as well. The flash suppressor was chosen to best mimic the Close Quarters Battle Receiver; the M4A1 in Battlefield 3 has the standard barrel. Flash suppressors are intended to reduce muzzle flash and make one less visible on a map; as well, they reduce the vertical recoil. The already low recoil means that typically, I would probably prefer a heavy barrel to improve long-range engagements (the hip-fire accuracy can be supplemented with a laser sight, which I did not equip for this discussion). Ultimately, the M4A1 is an immensely versatile weapon, and Maya’s loadout is effective in and of itself: her infamous propensity to get shot down first is a part of the humour in Sabagebu! and does not suggest that her weapon and customisation was a poor choice.