The Infinite Zenith

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Tag Archives: Battlefield 3

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.

The Infinite Zenith’s Firing Range: Sword Art Online II-style

“There’s a maniac out there! He’s shooting everyone in the head!” —Pure_Pwnage

This is the first post in The Infinite Zenith’s Firing Range, a new series inspired by LevelCapGaming’s Loadout series. The difference here is I’ll be running with various Battlefield 3 weapons that are seen in some anime (or approximate the loadout the best I can), rather than taking on a kit and customisation readers will choose, and instead of videos, I’ll be doing a talk as per my usual format. Unlike Loadout, I’ll only consider the gadgets and specialisations if required. Today, I’m running the M98B with the 8x rifle scope, straight-pull bolt and a laser sight, and my sidearm is the Glock G18C. To mimic Sinon’s speed, I’ve chosen to go with the sprint specialisation. This deviates slightly from Sinon’s Hecate II, which has bipod in place of the straight-pull bolt and no other attachments. In general, I’ll try to set up my weapon as close as possible to the loadouts seen within the anime, but because I captured the footage on short order, I forgot to set the customisations up properly in the images. With that said, Sinon’s choice of weapons is logical and doable: optimised for extremely long range combat, a bipod helps stablise the rifle and minimises scope sway. The rifle scope is well suited for long range engagements far away from the front lines. In Gun Gale Online, Sinon typically engages enemies from great distances, so high-powered optics make sense. However, in both cases, the optics obscures one’s field-of-view and leaves players without a good sense of their surroundings. Moreover, scope glint gives the player’s position away, forcing snipers to move from place to place to avoid being hunted down. For close-quarters combat, the G18C automatic pistol is an ideal weapon. As with Sinon, I’m going with the non-suppressed version, which deals more damage and has a slightly better range compared to the suppressed G18C. The weapon is remarkably effective in some cases: with a firing rate of 900 rounds per minute, it out-powers the 93R at close ranges, but is still woefully underpowered compared to the primary weapons.

  • In the few months after I had picked up Battlefield 3, I was downright terrible with the recon class. Bullet drop and scope sway meant that I was constantly missing targets, and my typical preference for close-quarters combat meant I was not doing well at all with the recon class in its intended role. However, that changed somewhat after I unlocked the SV-98, which performed quite admirably. My fondest memory was using it to take down an enemy sniper camped out on the crane.

  • Just a few days ago, in my Sabagebu! talk, I mentioned that I have no combat efficiency ribbons because I still play Battlefield 3 as I did Halo 2. However, the sniper loadout forced me to hang back, far from the front lines. I also happen to have Noshahr Canals’ entire layout memorised: there’s a corner of the map where the enemy team will sometimes spawn in large groups, and over a very short period of time, I managed to get a killstreak going, landing me my first-ever combat efficiency ribbon (to earn it, one must get eight kills without dying).

  • Bullet drop, though intimidating to beginners, isn’t actually that difficult to master. It will take practise, but making use of the sights (and understanding what the different markings mean) helps considerably. The M98B has the smallest bullet drop of any sniper rifle in Battlefield 3 owing to its muzzle velocity, and paired with some practise, getting headshots is reasonably straightforward.

  • During a chaotic match on Kharg Island, I encountered several snipers at close range, and proceeded to wreck them using the G18C. Some players will try to perform either no-scopes or quick-scopes in close quarters with bolt-action rifles, a range where firing rate matters more than any other statistic. They’ll fire, usually miss in a panic and be taken out without too much difficulty. Against the other weapons, I got wrecked when using the G18C.

  • I think Sinon’s loadout is quite viable in Battlefield 3. Compared to my usual play-style, it requires more patience and excellent decision-making skills to ensure that every shot counts. That’s it for the first post in The Infinite Zenith’s Firing Range. Next up in the series will be Maya’s M4A1: she uses the Close Quarters Battle Receiver, which isn’t available in Battlefield 3, but the EOTech holosight is. The timeline for this is going to have to be “whenever my schedule allows”.

In practise, equipping a bolt action rifle, automatic pistol and sprint specialisation is somewhat unusual: one would preferably go with the ammunition, suppression or anti-suppression specialisations (to carry more rounds, suppress enemies downrange more efficiently or prevent enemies from doing the same). There is little question that, at long ranges, nothing else matches Battlefield 3‘s premier bolt-action rifle. Easier to unlock that Gun Gale Online‘s Hecate II, the M98B is one of the most powerful weapons, dealing 95 points of damage and trailing out to 59 points at 120 metres, much greater than other sniper rifles. At closer ranges, players will sustain massive damage if hit, and even at long ranges, two shots will dispose of any opponent. The M98B also has the greatest bullet velocity, so one does not have to compensate for bullet drop or lead their targets quite to the same extent. To balance it out, the weapon has a slower firing rate of 40 rounds per minute and is limited to a five-round magazine (and an extra round in the chamber), although the limitations don’t impede the M98B’s overall performance, making it an excellent weapon at long ranges. For short range engagements, the G18C’s rate of fire allows one to hold out reasonably well, although in general, having the M98B in one’s loadout will leave one with a serious disadvantage in close quarters. When equipped with the M98B, players in Battlefield 3 will do well to follow a similar pattern as Sinon, having squadmates provide cover and moving from place to place to avoid being out-gunned, making use of the G18C as a last resort.

Battlefield 3- Revisiting the multiplayer

“Are we almost done with this post? ‘Cuz you know what, it’s almost headshot time! Boom, headshot!” —FPS_Doug

It’s been some four months since I began playing the multiplayer component to Battlefield 3, and now, I’ve accumulated a total of 34 hours of time spent in-game. I now win roughly half the games I stay the full-length for (and I leave around a third of the games I play owing to real-world reasons). At the time of writing, I’m rank 32, and now, I think I’ve got a reasonable idea of what the Battlefield 3 multiplayer component feels like. If I had to keep this thought short, I will say that I’ve found my replacement to Halo 2 Vista in Battlefield 3: between 2009 and 2013, Halo 2 Vista was my most-played game, and I spent most of my Friday evenings getting killtaculars on Lockout and Beaver Creek. Battlefield 3 has since stepped up to that role, and now, I spend most Friday evenings on Noshahr Canals or Seine Crossing mowing down people with weapons. Battlefield 3 has definitely served as a hugely entertaining experience, aided in no small part by the unlocks system, which constantly gives replay incentive. Of course, the team-based aspects further the game’s enjoyment factor: I have gotten very high scores in games from constantly resupplying, healing, reviving, repairing and spotting for my teammates, even if I had half as many kills as the players up top. I can only imagine what it must be like for a veteran to see a lowly rank 32 player directly underneath him in scoring despite him having double my kills.

  • I hardly ever get to use vehicles outside of conquest matches, but when I do, I have a great time with them. I just unlocked the HMG for my tanks, and I also got the missiles for my anti-air vehicles. Ironically, I unlocked those points by killing infantry trying to capture an objective, rather than through shooting down aircraft.

  • I’ve also unlocked the F2000 assault rifle, but despite its higher rate of fire and general supremacy at closer range, I still find myself preferring the M416 for my assault rifle needs, although I should probably learn my way around it and the other rifles I’ve unlocked so I can get all the attachments.

  • The DAO-12 is my favourite shotgun: I unlocked it via the Physical Warfare pack that came with the game, and its relatively high rate of fire, coupled with a large magazine size, makes it ideal for pumping  buckshot into crowds of hostiles in close-quarters frenzies, like those at Noshahr Canals. The weapon’s downside is that it has a very long reload time.

  • Jets are remarkably difficult to shoot down, making this image particularly impressive, when I destroyed an enemy jet, for the first time, with two Stinger missiles. Ideally, I’d have a teammate with another anti-air missile launcher so that after I fire my shot and flares are dumped, my teammate would fire his missile. There’s a delay in reloading the flares, so we’d be able to score kills on the jets. Alternatively, I’d have a Javelin and SOFLAM combination, although teamwork isn’t generally coordinated enough for me to try this.

  • On occasion, I do play Battlefield: Bad Company 2‘s multiplayer, and as of late, I’ve excelled (or, if I may even say, dominated) with the Engineer’s SCAR-L there. This prompted me to give Battlefield 3‘s SCAR-H another go, and that landed me my first-ever carbine ribbon.

  • Now comes the fun part of my post, where I get to tell some of the more interesting stories about my experiences in Battlefield 3 and in the process, show off some of the medals I’ve unlocked. Part of the challenge is actually getting the screenshots themselves without them either disappearing, or me dying, before I can get the image; the medals may appear at unexpected times once the appropriate number of ribbons are earned, and so, I found myself missing some of the screenshots when my first few medals began appearing either because I was slow in typing out the command or getting shot in the face while trying to take the screenshot. The repair one was easy enough: I just camped in a container while the resupplies were coming in to capture this screenshot.

  • The medical medal was particularly difficult to capture, since I usually die after reviving people while making the switch from the defibrillator back to my weapons. I realised that I would probably miss the medal if I died, so I decided that I would try to capture the medical medal in the slower pace of a conquest match, where the enemies were further away. It worked out nicely enough, leading to this screenshot. Expand the screenshot to see someone raging away!

  • Despite being three months after playing Battlefield 3‘s multiplayer for the first time, I hardly ever use the text chat, preferring to just shoot and help my teammates complete objectives. Here, I’ve unlocked the PDW medal, a rather nice-looking medal reflecting my affinity with the personal defense weapons. I’ve unlocked the PDW-R now, although I still prefer the PP-2000 over all the other PWDs, even in spite of the former’s long reload time.

  • The suppression medal caught me by surprise: I was helping my teammates with some cover fire but had emptied out  my LMG at that point, so I switched to my pistol rather than reload. Firing blindly at the street corner below, my teammates were able to kill a few people, earning me enough suppression ribbons to get the medal. This moment was completely unexpected, and I’m glad the medal lasted long enough for me to type the command for a screenshot into the terminal to get this image.

  • This rush match on Operation Metro saw me with a different loadout than I am wont to using normally: my M416 here is equipped with a 6x rifle scope and bipod for longer range engagements. About halfway into the game, the server switched me to the (losing) attacking team, although I was still able to utilise this loadout to get some long distance kills in the hopes that my team would be able to arm the MCOM charge. Despite failing, I still got enough kills to earn the last ribbon and unlock the assault rifle medal.

At the current rate of progression, I will probably reach Rank 45 by June, by which I will have unlocked all of the all-class weapons and specialisations. By then, my Battlefield 3 vanilla experience will largely be complete (minus the Co-op), and I’ll be left wondering whether or not I wish to continue playing or spend my time elsewhere. I am presently considering purchasing the Premium edition expansion pack once that goes on sale so I have access to the assignments and new maps. I’m only really interested in the Close Quarters expansion: while players may feel that the new maps included make the game handle too much like Call of Duty, I personally enjoy close-quarters combat for the chaos it brings. The other weapons and maps from Back to Karkland seem quite nice, too, and I would also look forward to playing with the X-Bow variants in the DLC. If I still can’t play Co-op by then, I’ll likely just buy those unlocks during a sale. For now, though, I’ve still got thirteen ranks’ worth of items to unlock, and I look forwards to earning more medals in the game. Of course, given how much fun I’ve had in Battlefield 3, I do sometimes wonder if I’ll ever finish Skyrim or Deus Ex: Human Revolution.