The Infinite Zenith

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Tag Archives: Multiplayer

Battlefield 1: Some remarks on being a marksman

“The role-based approach allows for an agent’s internal data to be structured neatly and also illustrate which parts of this data is shared, complementing object-oriented modelling. This approach is not effective if agents have overlapping or similar roles, since agents could operate on data while in the incorrect role, and the presence of multiple roles may also confuse observing agents that are predicting their behaviour.” -My lecture notes on role-based agents from CPSC 607, Winter 2015 term

Despite being the starting weapon for Battlefield 1‘s scout class, and contrary to uninformed remarks on Japanese Battlefield communities that the weapon is “ugly” or “inadequate”, the SMLE Mk.III marksman variant is perhaps the single most powerful weapon available for this class. The weapon is characterised by a ten round magazine, a moderate firing rate of 53 rounds per minute and a sweet spot spanning 40 to 75 meters. Being a remarkably unremarkable weapon, and lacking the ability to zoom in for sharp-shooting at longer ranges, the SMLE’s statistics sound average on paper – it is in the middle of the pack amongst the bolt action rifles and does not seem to excel at any one role. However, in practise, the weapon is incredibly effective at closer ranges, and with its ten round magazine, is very well-suited for engagements within its sweet spot: ten enemies can potentially be dropped on a single magazine by the most accurate of snipers. The marksman variant’s optics, a moderate-powered sight housed in a bulky enclosure, is initially a hinderance to use owing to how much of the screen it blocks out, but this disadvantage is quickly offset by the fact that the weapon has no scope glint. A careful scout can move into the sweet spot and decimate an enemy position without being spotted as a sniper, before retreating to safer grounds. It is with this weapon that I’ve been playing the scout class, and quite unlike any previous experiences I’ve had with the recon class in earlier Battlefield titles, I’ve been performing extraordinarily well with the SMLE Mk.III, placing close to the top of the scoreboard and making my own quest of unlocking the Kolibri closer and closer to reality.

The scout class has exceeded all expectations for its fun factor. Though I cannot heal, resupply or revive, I can fire spotting flares onto a contested objective and watching the mini-map light up gives my team a sense of what they’re up against. Lining up my optics at the head of an opponent some ways away, tapping “fire” and listening to the visceral “ping” of the round as I drop my target with a single shot has been an incredibly satisfying feeling. To chain consecutive back-to-back kills with the SMLE on a group of enemies bunched together induces a dopamine rush that is quite unlike the feeling I’ve gotten while playing as any of the other classes. The scout class certainly has seen some substantial changes compared to previous entries in the Battlefield franchise, and while fun, Battlefield 1 is where I’ve genuinely felt as though I’m contributing to the team effort despite hanging back from the action. Although a far cry from being in the thick of things healing, reviving and resupplying teammates, making visible enemy players and informing my team of where the enemies are is enough for them to adequately decide how to best handle a tricky capture point. Time and time again, I find myself surprised at just how entertaining it is to roll into battle as a scout, armed with a good rifle and steady aim to help my team out as effectively as I do when I elect to play as a medic or support class. Sniping simply feels fantastic, and nothing is quite as rewarding as picking off targets one after another at range.

Screenshots and Commentary

  • Why is there a post coming out this early when I should be at work, designing building iOS apps? Today is Good Friday, allowing me a day off, and after a Chinese-style lunch of beef ho fun, spicy noodles and Hokkein fried rice, in conjunction with Cantonese-style fried chicken, I contemplate my experiences as a scout. In this post, all twenty of the screenshots will be of the scout class, and a very large number of these will feature the SMLE Mk.III. The irony of all this is that during the Battlefield 1 open beta, I remarked that the weapon was quite tricky to use and ended up faring quite poorly when using the weapon owing to a lack of familiarity with its mechanics. I subsequently remarked that the Gewehr 98 might be more appropriate for its faster bullet speed and longer range, but since Battlefield 1 proper, the SMLE Mk.III has been my go-to weapon for everything scout related.

  • The “assist counts as kill” mechanic is something I’ve seen much more of as of late owing to how much time I’ve spent with the scout class: these typically arise when I hit a tricky target at range without killing them outright, and a teammate finishes the job. The teammate landing the finishing blow is credited for the kill, but I also get a kill for my troubles.

  • According to my Battlefield companion app, my longest headshot is 187 metres, although the best headshot I’ve scored in any of my screenshots is roughly 158 meters. I have an inkling that the ultra-long range headshots probably result from an immensely lucky shot made from a vehicle, probably the heavy tank, where I once shot someone camping near the top of Fao Fortress’ at point foxtrot with the passenger machine gun from across the estuary.

  • While snipers may prefer camping at long ranges, my approach is a highly aggressive one: I enjoy sniping at medium ranges and providing support for teammates as I can. During one moment on Sinai Desert, I took out at least four enemy players in a row who were attempting to take capture point delta, allowing my team to re-take it. I’ve found that sniping works best for me on this map if my team has charlie and delta captured, as this allows me to spawn into the town area and pick off anyone coming into town.

  • While best-suited for medium range sniping, the SMLE Mk.III has reasonable hipfire, and here, I down another player who’d surprised me while I was moving between buildings. I’m almost always on the move as a sniper, trying to get close enough to a capture point so that it’s within the sweet spot, and from there, it’s a matter of good aim. A capable mouse is required to aim well in Battlefield 1, and owing to my setup, I find it is often easier to make minute adjustments to my position before firing, since my mouse can be a bit imprecise owing to the lack of a good mousepad.

  • In spite of my team losing this match, I still performed well enough to end the match KD positive. Normally, victory or loss is determined by team composition (i.e. what classes players choose) and their coordination: I typically lose when everyone is unconcerned with objectives, and the page quote comes from my old lecture notes about different means of modelling a multi-agent system. As with a good role-based multi-agent system, performance is best when agents have a well-defined role. In my case, I usually PTFO and make use of my class abilities liberally to help my team, which is why I can end up in the top five of the scoreboards despite having a third or even a quarter of the kills.

  • It’s been some two years since I’ve finished the multi-agent systems course, which I took for the purpose of learning how to formalise and describe agent-based systems within my thesis. It was a fantastic course for all of the learnings I got out of it, and also for the project that saw me build a multi-agent rescue simulation with a team of graduate students. Our approach made use of a combined master-slave approach to link the robots together (they can only dig survivors out of rubble if paired), and subsequently use cooperation by information sharing to decide on the optimal decision. The system proved reasonably effective provided the agents could pair, and if isolated, the agents would fall back on an independent system, although this proved ineffectual.

  • I unlock the service star here for the SMLE Mk.III Marksman, and I remark that the weapon has now become my most used weapon in Battlefield 1, surpassing even the MP-18 Trench and Automatico M1918 Trench: in the narrow streets of Amiens, the environments seem quite unsuited for sniper combat, but the central canal, being lined with houses, proved to be an excellent spot to set up camp and pick off unsuspecting players on the other side of the map.

  • I was quite surprised I could hide in this house here for the period that I did without being zeroed in on and will attribute it to the weapon’s optics. The lack of scope glint on the marksman variant of the SMLE Mk.III is one of its biggest assets: this weapon is not meant to be an ultra long-range weapon capable of taking out someone from obscene distances, and when used in the manner it was meant to be used in, it is devastating. I’ve gone on some kill-streaks where I actually began running out of ammunition because of how many shots were fired.

  • One of the most entertaining match I’ve ever played in Battlefield 1 was against another player who claimed to be an apologist in their user name. They were sitting in an artillery truck and was spamming the chat, insulting other players. When the next match rolled around, I managed to shoot them in the head and, for good measure, did my customary Halo 2 tea-bagging. Subsequently, this player became so angry that they spent the rest of the match calling me names. Plainly lacking anything approaching a post-secondary education (evidenced by their lack of understanding of how the fundamentals of biology works), they went 4-23 for the remainder of the match, standing in stark contrast to the 20-5 they had in the artillery truck the previous match.

  • I couldn’t stop laughing after the match ended, having wrapped it up 21 and 13 (on account of being so close to the front lines to support my team out with captures). I’ve never been too fond of folks who wear their beliefs on their sleeves and make it a point to let the world know what they believe: to see them grow so riled when challenged non-verbally with a teabag was downright hilarious, and I can only wonder what would happen if I were to go down the premium route and teabag such players while sporting an emblem bearing Cocoa Hoto or Miho Nishizumi’s mien…perhaps my emblem would be reported.

  • Reaching past rank four for the scout class means I have access to all of the weapons in the scout class for purchase, but rather than buying things without information, I usually exit the game and then take a look at what’s available among the options that suit my style before spending the warbonds. I’ve purchased the M1903 Sniper already, and it might make sense to look at the Gewehr 98 as the next weapon for slightly longer range firepower. One thing that I did pick up immediately was the hatchet, since that melee weapon can punch through barbed wire and makes it easier to move around.

  • This match on Amiens proved to be incredibly enjoyable: I was landing kills left, right and centre, and even the presence of an armoured train did little to slow me or the team down. Although a bit slower in pacing than the other classes, the satisfaction derived from landing kills with the sniper rifles is immense, and in conjunction with playing the objective, allows me to perform reasonably well. While I spend most of my time in conquest, rush and operations are two other game modes that would be a fantastic place to do some long-range shooting. Conversely, domination and TDM are better suited for close quarters weapons.

  • I paste another fellow’s pate here with the M1903 Springfield’s sniper variant, which has a sweet spot beginning 100 meters out and extends to 150 meters. While the bullet velocity is not remarkably fast in order to balance the weapon out, the shots this weapon places can be quite accurate, making it a good choice for maps with wide open spaces, such as Fao Fortress. The sweet spot mechanic turns the different sniper rifles into CS:GO‘s AWP: CS:GO balances out the AWP in competitive team play by assigning it with a high purchase price in order to offset its one-shot kill power, and even in TDM, where all weapons are free, the best way to deal with an AWP is to keep moving and close the distance, where the AWP’s slow rate of fire makes it less effective.

  • The M1903 also has a marksman variant, but at the ranges I’m typically using it at, having the higher-powered optics makes it easier to see a target at the expense of scope glint. On some maps, the chaos is sufficient so this becomes less of a concern, but when I see scope glint, I duck away for cover immediately, uncertain if I’m about to be one-shotted by a patient sniper.

  • I normally run with the spotting flare and K-bullets, the default gadgets for the sniper class. These two offer the class the most versatility, allowing me to quickly spot opponents and impede vehicles from repairing (or even outright destroy them, if the timing is right). The other gadgets that are highly useful include the tripbomb, which is fantastic for defending a position and prevent attack from behind, and the trench periscope, for its application in peeking over cover to spot enemies and gauge distance.

  • I’m usually a very mobile sniper, unlikely to stay in one spot for extended periods of time, and I always check my surroundings before moving around. A well-coordinated team can still take me out if they so choose, but at the minimum, I’m not totally oblivious to my surroundings – JackFrags has encountered some snipers with serious tunnel vision in his absolutely hilarious video, titled “HUNTING FOR SNIPERS“. Spanning fifteen minutes, it’s done in the manner of a Nature video and provides non-stop comedy for its duration.

  • On a very tight match of conquest on Suez, I managed five headshots in a round. I’m very fond of headshots and will aim for the head for stationary and slow-moving targets, but uncertainty with hitting faster moving targets at range means that I will try for centre mass instead: when I park myself in the sweet spot, I have managed to earn consecutive kills. In some occasions, I’ve even raised my KD from negative to positive owing to the powers conferred by the sweet spot.

  • While the sweet spot is a highly useful mechanic, all of the sniper rifles remain useful outside of these areas. They will take a bit more finesse to utilise properly, and it can be a little tricky to keep a bead on faraway targets obscured by smoke, gas and particle effects. Looking through this post, it is telling that I can tell stories for twenty images’ worth of figure captions with just the scout class alone, and what was initially a class I was apprehensive to try out has quickly turned into a class I’m in love with. In fact, the support class is now my least-used class, but this is likely a consequence of me playing it the wrong way: LMGs are not like their Battlefield 3 or Battlefield 4 incarnations. I have a feeling that playing at longer ranges might turn things around.

  • I wrap this post up with me reaching rank six; I’m now 62.27 percent of the way to my target of reaching the Kolibri for some Hikari-on-Neuroi Hive humiliation. At this point in time, I’ve also reached rank 40 in Battlefield 1: when considering that I’m rank 42 in Battlefield 4, I’ve gotten quite a bit more out of Battlefield 1 despite the latter having less content and unlocks in its progression system. All of these factors together, coupled with the fact that a sale on Battlefield 1‘s premium package is unlikely owing to the game being relatively new, contribute to my decision to upgrade. It brings to mind my decision three years ago to upgrade to premium in Battlefield 3, and that was a decision I’ve never looked back on.

With the incredible amount of fun I’ve had fulfilling the role of a mid-range reconnaissance agent more than capable of holding out against other opponents to capture or defend a point, I’ve advanced from rank one to rank six for the scout class. This means that I’ve now passed the medic and support class in rank, matching my class rank for the assault class. Quite truthfully, this was unexpected, and I had not imagined that the scout class would offer enjoyment of this calibre (I shy away from sniping for the most part in Battlefield 4, although in Battlefield 3, the M98B became my favourite weapon for the sniper class, and I unlocked a service star with it). After some consideration, and a glance at my pocketbook, I have reached a decision – I will be purchasing the Premium upgrade for Battlefield 1 so that I can explore additional maps and access new unlocks. This is not a light decision: Battlefield 1 has kept me entertained to a non-trivial extent, and glancing at my stats, I’ve been improving since I picked the game up. Contrary to prevailing sentiments that the game is growing “stale”, I’ve been finding plenty of motivation to play Battlefield 1. At this point in time, I’ve still not bought all of the weapons and their variants yet, but I am growing a little weary of experiencing the same maps in every match I play (Suez and Fao Fortress are two maps I’ve seen more than my share of); it would be nice to get more variety, and admittedly, I much prefer the French maps in Battlefield 1. Adding Premium to my library will allow me to fight on more French maps, and in the upcoming DLC, I will get a chance to play “Brave Witches in the Frostbite Engine” as the battle takes me into the snowy landscapes of Russia.

Battlefield 1: I Shall Not Pass- A Spring Patch Reflection

“A man is usually more careful of his money than of his principles.” –Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

Although I am well aware that the first Battlefield 1 DLC is titled They Shall Not Pass, I’ve chosen to title this post “I Shall Not Pass” because of my present decision to not purchase the DLC or Premium upgrade. While I’ve been having a fabulous time in Battlefield 1 as of late, I’m likely to remain a little more reserved until I learn more about the remaining DLC packages. From the footage I’ve seen of They Shall Not Pass, the French maps look wonderful (and a part of me purchased Battlefield 1 simply so I could light things up in Gallia France): one map features a field abloom with poppies, while another features a sleepy French village that Yoshika might find herself stopping by while visiting Lynette and Perrine. There’s also a map with a large fortress at its center whose close-quarters layout could make it the new Operation Locker. The new weapons are interesting, adding new dimensionality to the play, as well. There is a new Behemoth and French tank, along with the Trench Raider elite class. So far, the DLC looks reasonably fun, and personally, the French maps are the most appealing element of this DLC. With this being said, the next DLC is going to be titled In The Name Of The Tsar, and if the Russian maps provide snowy environments for combat, I will almost certainly purchase the Premium upgrade, if only for the fact that I will be able to experience both the Strike Witches (Gallian) and Brave Witches (Orussia) fronts in the Frostbite 3 Engine. I am surprisingly close to my stipulated goal of having two classes at rank ten, so the Premium purchase could be very real on my horizon.

While I’ve not tried the new maps, weapons or vehicles, the release of They Shall Not Pass has also brought some changes to the gameplay in Battlefield 1: grenades are now lessened in count, forcing players to finally run with fewer gas grenades. Weapons have also been modified, with the most noticeable change coming for the medic class’ self-loading rifles. Spread increase and magnitude has been reduced for these weapons, allowing them to be fired more accurately, with the optical versions acquiring an even more appreciable decrease in spread. The net effect of these changes mean that medic weapons are now more useful at range while being able to maintain a respectable rate of fire (for semi-automatic weapons): in practise, this allows me to hit distant opponents at longer ranges, and during one match, I landed a headshot on another player from around 150 meters. Although they ducked behind cover, that I can now have more confidence in engaging targets at this range is a huge boost. The medic class is my second most-used class, so having better weapons offers a much better experience; I know that I can hold my own at long ranges now while healing team-mates, although better shot placement could also make my close quarters engagements a bit more manageable.

Screenshots and Commentary

  • I’ve now got some 28 hours in Battlefield 1, and my performance has been steadily improving with respect to contributions to the team. Although I don’t top the scoreboards or have the best KD ratio, I do manage to score quite well despite having a smaller number of kills because of my emphasis on team play beyond merely camping at a capture point. Compared to most folks, I actually don’t game as often or as hard: while my interests suggest otherwise, I’m actually quite casual.

  • In a match of conquest, after spawning into a Mark V whose cannon was jammed despite the vehicle being in full health, I died and respawned, switching out to the medic class so I could try out the M1907 SL Sweeper, a medic self-loading rifle with the option for automatic fire. Because of the setting, options for a good RDS are non-existent, and so, I tend not to do so well with the iron sights. With this being said, it is immensely satisfying to land a good shot with the iron sights, especially at longer ranges.

  • I usually find myself in the thick of things owing to how I play Battlefield, although how hard I push will be determined by which class I’m running with. The medic can occupy the mid-range role quite nicely, allowing me to hang out behind attacking teammates to heal or revive. There are other occasions where I will die from carelessness, but because I’m pushing forward with my team, I will likely get revived by a friendly medic. I don’t communicate with other players with a microphone, preferring the text chat to ask for support or instructions as required.

  • The medic ribbon for getting seven kills in a round looks quite nice, and I obtain one here after lighting up another player with the M1907 Sweeper. As of now, I’ve purchased around four primary weapons for each class except for the scout, but have done nothing about sidearms or melee weapons. For folks who play more Battlefield 1 than myself, the DLC might just be worth it to gain more variety, but in my case, I’ve got a ways to go before I yearn for more diversity in my gameplay. With this being said, the new maps in They Shall Not Pass look beautiful and, while more experienced Battlefield players may digress, seem to be worth the price of admissions.

  • After being given increased horizontal recoil in the previous patch, light machine guns are a little trickier to use, but during one match of domination where my team was steam-rolled by the other, I finally acclimitised to the recoil patterns of the BAR Storm and scored seven kills to obtain the support ribbon. In the latest update, ribbons now give 500 experience points rather than 300, making them even more rewarding to obtain.

  • Post-patch, the BAR Storm remains a formidable close-quarters LMG. As of late, I’ve found less time to play Battlefield 1: things have been rather active in the real world. This past weekend was a double experience weekend, but I only got three conquest matches in. On Saturday, I visited the International Truck and Auto Show, stopping by a restaurant in the neighbourhood to have Chinese-style fried chicken marinated in oyster sauce and a grilled fish with deep-fried bones. Yesterday was my dōjō’s annual Spring Banquet (a buffet style luncheon featuring sweet and sour pork, ginger beef, fried noodles, spring rolls, fried chicken, gaozi and beef skewers, plus mango tapioca). I attend with my family every year, although I skipped last year on account of the banquet being set on the eve of my flight to Laval.

  • In a particularly brutal match of TDM where my team was losing, I managed to find a flamethrower and went on an 8-killstreak, burning to death players who tried to knife me. It was enough to raise my KD ratio and turned the entire match around, with my team winning by exactly one point by the time everything was said and done. I’ve been in several losing matches where my team would somehow mount a comeback and win by a very small margin, sometimes, these were as close as one point.

  • It’s the first day of Spring today, being the Vernal Equinox. This bitterly cold winter comes to a close, although with the weather in the Foothills, I imagine we could be hit with a handful of spring snowstorms before warmer weather sets in to stay as the days grow longer. Last week marked the beginning of Daylight Savings time, and while it did mess with some schedules out there, in addition to potentially reducing the amount of time one sleeps, it also marks the welcome return of light.

  • A sharp-eyed viewer will note that I only do major posts for the winter and summer solstices: the transition from winter to spring, though welcome, is set in the month of March, which has always been a quieter time of year for me. During my school days, it would be midterm season, and in the present, I’m pushing further into the ResearchKit and CoreData frameworks for my work. It feels a little strange, but very liberating, not to have a number of assignments, papers and exams on my plate: while work is definitely more high-paced than university, gone are the days of rote memorisation to pass exams.

  • I tended to end up KD negative or lose on Sinai Desert, making it one of my least favourite maps. However, this is a map that is quite unsuited for close-quarters weapons in most areas – I’ve had the most success either by equipping a good weapon with optics, such as the Mondragón sniper here to shoot someone from a ways away, or else simply stayed within the town area to pick off lone players with close quarters weapons. This particular match turned out quite entertaining, and I did quite well.

  • I definitely will need to go back and give all of the weapons I’ve unlocked a shot; at the minimum, I should get service stars for all of the weapons I’ve already got, and aim to try the weapons whose specs are less suited for my play-style. The concept of weapon mastery returns from Battlefield 4, with a special codec entry unlocking for folks with five hundred kills in a weapon. The counter only began with the winter patch, so it’ll be a while before I get to any weapon masteries in Battlefield 1.

  • During one match of conquest, I spawned into a light tank, having forgotten to set it to the heavy tank in the menu earlier, but I went on a 9-killstreak with the tank, rolling over the hill and blasting the enemy team with the canister shells. Playing more carefully and strategically allowed me to last much longer than I usually would: my efforts very nearly allowed my team to catch up in scoring as we captured points charlie and delta on Giant’s Shadow.

  • The light tank remains my favourite vehicle in spite of how toned-down it is in Battlefield 1 compared to its beta incarnation: as a single-seater, it means that if I am surrounded as a result of ill-fortunates or carelessness, then only I die as a result. With a heavy tank, a successful kill can lead to the deaths of up to six team members. The ribbon here is for scoring seven or more kills with a tank in a round, and now, with ribbons present, there is definitely more incentive for me to try out other play-styles.

  • With my team losing and a terrible driver operating the armoured train, I was on the verge of death here, but managed to get another kill to earn my first-ever ribbon for scoring three or more kills with a behemoth. I typically avoid spawning into the driver seat, since I lack the means to effectively communicate with teammates on where the behemoth should go. Instead, my most effective operation of the armoured train is when I’m given access to a weapon for defending the train from threats. I’ve never used the sixth seat before, but the 20mm auto-cannon wrecks both light vehicles and infantry. There was a landship bombarding us from across the map, and although the 20mm rounds did negligible damage, its firing rate meant I could put enough shells down-range to force it to retreat. Ultimately, an incompetent driver meant the train contributed minimally to the team’s attempt at a comeback, but it was fun to try the 20mm auto-cannon for the first time.

  • I don’t normally run with the scout class, but like every Battlefield before this one, I’ve always taken up the scout class last. Sniping has never really been my speciality in multiplayer shooters, but with some time, it’s a class that I can perform modestly well with. Battlefield 1 has proven especially friendly to new-time snipers: the SMLE Mk.III Marksman variant, the starting sniper rifle, also happens to be one of the best weapons. With a sweet spot spanning 40 to 70 meters, it’s ideal for closer range engagements, although as I learn here with a 158 meter headshot, it’s also effective out to longer ranges.

  • Although dealing little direct damage to vehicles, the main utility of K-bullets is to stop a vehicle from repairing at range, allowing one’s teammates to finish it off. My first ever kill with the K-bullets, however, came on a match of conquest. I was running from capture point echo to foxtrot and noticed a heavy tank nearby, so I hid in some foliage after spotting it. Some teammates began shooting at the tank, dealing some damage, and I fired a few K-bullets at it. What I did not expect was for the tank to explode after I fired my third round. Through all of this, the tank driver never noticed me sitting in the bushes.

  • My team ended up winning this round by quite a margin, and I was surprised at how much fun the scout class can be. While I cannot heal or resupply teammates as a scout, I can use my spotting flares to help friendlies determine where hostile forces are – it’s fun to fire a flare into a capture point, watch as the map lights up with hostiles, and then watch as teammates come in to clear it out.

  • This conquest match of Suez was quite one-sided: my team pushed forward and quickly captured every point except for alpha, pushing the enemy team to one side of the map. They dug in and soon, most of their players had taken up long range weapons, going prone. I managed to go on a kill-streak thanks to these stationary players, racking up a number of sniper kills on these players. On some occasion, the other team would sneak up and take capture point delta, but alert teammates would expediently recapture it.

  • Here, I end up with another scout ribbon after making my fourteenth kill in the conquest match. I ended up placing fifth overall on a team of thirty despite having only a small number of kills relative to those who placed in the top five primarily because of my PTFO styles. All of these points contribute to my scout score, so I’m not bothered as to whether or not they come from kills or team contributions. During the course of this match, I also made rank two for the sniper class, allowing me access to the Gewehr M.95 marksman variant and M1903 marksman, plus new melee weapons that can cut through barbed wire.

  • After a hectic match on Monte Grappa to test out the longer range medic weapons, I ended up on a flank that saw me cut back to capture point echo, where I shot an unsuspecting AA operator in the head. I proceeded to nearly finish capturing echo with some teammates, with the game ending before I could fully capture the point. With the ending of this post and the beginning of spring, we look ahead into the future: upcoming posts will include Sora no Woto‘s finale discussion, plus a talk on Croisée in a Foreign Labyrinth to coincide with my setting out for Laval a year ago.

Looking ahead, Battlefield 1 continues to play well, although regenerating grenades has not been welcome, taking away from the traditional Battlefield feel of having a necessity to depend on a good support player. Recent news of the prospect of regenerating consumable gadgets is equally unwelcome: being able to resupply these only with a support player’s assistance contributed greatly to the team component of earlier Battlefield games, and to be able to allow these to regenerate on their own would decrease team play. Hopefully, negative reception from the community will prevent this feature from seeing the light of day. The joy of Battlefield for me is being able to resupply and heal players, so if players have no incentive to seek out a means to replenish their stores of gadgets, then it means the support class would become next to useless. Team play is an integral part of Battlefield, and while I might not be the best shooter or vehicle operator, I do my utmost to help my team out using the means available within the game. This is why a Premium purchase will likely wait until both more DLC is released and to see if DICE is intending on reducing elements that encourage players to work together towards victory — if DICE is responsive to the feedback and continues to deliver DLC that adds variety to Battlefield 1, I could see myself going down the premium route. If that happens, one might also reasonably expect to see a GochiUsa emblem if they fall to me.

Battlefield 1: Winter Revision, Ribbons and The First Behemoth Kill

“I think there’s a part in each one of us that wants the impossible to happen, and that’s what surprises are.” —Gina Carano

The latest Battlefield 1 revision brings several new things to the game, including the much-welcomed return of ribbons for achieving different goals during the course of a match, weapon mastery codecs that also offer a twenty five thousand experience bonus for reaching five hundred kills with a certain weapon, and increasing the class rank cap from ten to fifty. Under-the-hood adjustments have also been made, altering the way the different weapons handle. The submachine guns and light machine guns now have increased horizontal recoil, while the medic’s self-loading rifles have increased reload delay and slightly reduced recoil to improve their accuracy. Aside from these modifications, multiple bug fixes have also been implemented to improve the game’s stability and performance. In addition, gas grenades have also been downgraded, giving them a reduced time of efficacy. Overall, the most noticeable change is the addition of ribbons, which brings back a portion of Battlefield I was very fond of. The news that ribbons are the first stage in the progression system is most welcome; Battlefield 1 has had a dramatically simplified progression system compared to its predecessors, and as one of the most entertaining aspects was having the things to unlock, so I’m hoping that this will mark the return of different weapon accessories and attachments for obtaining a certain number of kills with a weapon. The modifications to the weapons are minor: post-patch, I’ve been having more trouble with the LMGs, but beyond this, the guns remain very usable. The lessened duration that gas persists after being deployed is also a welcome change: I’m not fond of the extent that gas is used, as it cripples the medic class at close quarters.

One feature that would be a powerful addition in conjunction with the return of weapon accessories would be to modify how spotting presently works in Battlefield 1. While each of the weapons in Battlefield 1 presently come with a set of options that allow for some customisation, it would be nice to be able to unlock barrel modifications and under barrel grips to modify the weapon’s stats in a very minor manner to allow one the choice of fine-tuning their weapon further. The return of different barrel types, suppressors and foregrips would be fantastic; while perhaps unrealistic, it would definitely bring back the level of customisation available in earlier Battlefield titles. In particular, barrel modifications (suppressors, extended barrels, compensators) would allow for the spotting system to be altered. At present, spotting can only be done via hitting the spot button or else using spotting flares; in Battlefield 3 and 4, firing a weapon would put one on the mini-map. Because players are now able to stay hidden for longer, this encourages camping, allowing them to merely wait at a spot and blow away unsuspecting targets. The proposed change would allow players within 10-20 meters of someone who’d fire to hear them, placing them on the minimap for several seconds. This forces players to fire their weapons more tactically, and apply different weapon modifications to accommodate their play styles (e.g. folks who enjoy camping could equip a suppressor that keeps them off the mini-map at the expense of bullet damage and travel speed). For now, however, Battlefield 1 remains remarkably fun, and in this post, I recount some of the misadventures I had following the application of the Winter revision, which, among other things, saw me land the finishing blow to a behemoth for the first time.

Screenshots and Commentary


  • Today, we’re not here to poke fun at the RNG mechanics of Kantai Collection that cause players to go ARGH: this post is purely about Battlefield 1 and the whacky adventures that I’ve been on since my last post. All of these screenshots were taken over this past weekend, so the moments of me trying out the Gewehr M.95 and the M1097 SL Sweeper have not been included. Here, I’ve returned to my medic tryhard weapon, the Selbstlader M1916 Marksman variant. The map Ballroom Blitz has a great deal of open areas in Conquest, making weapons with a suitable mid-to-long range optic an essential.

  • The ribbons caught me by surprise; when I was playing through this match of conquest, I managed to get ten kills, leading my first-ever ribbon to appear. They’re well-designed and reward consistent play-styles, offering 300 XP when acquired. This means that I’ve now reached rank five for my assault class, and rank four for the medic class. In most conquest matches, I’ll switch frequently between the assault and medic classes; depending on what my team needs, I’ll usually choose a role to revive them or else take out the vehicles impeding our progress.

  • After a traditionally weak start in Battlefield 1, my KD ratio’s leveled out and is holding steady: for the past few weeks, my performance has been sub-par as I focus on playing objectives, but having acclimatised back to the different weapon updates, I’ve stayed positive for most of the rounds. Some of my better matches, I’m finally managing to hold a ratio of two or greater, and when that happens, the text chat usually has players remarking how easily our team is holding against the other team.

  • While only yielding forty-five-point-seven percent of the points I scored last time I shot down a plane with the Mark V Landship’s main cannon, this particular shot remains an impressive one because I manage to shoot down a much more nimble fighter. Intended for anti-air dogfights, fighters are quite weak and compensate with their superior maneuverability. Thus, using the slow-firing 57mm cannon to shoot down a plane counts as a wow moment: I thought it was an attack plane about to strafe capture point alpha and fired, watching the shell arc and graze the plane. A hit marker appeared, and seconds later, the plane exploded.

  • Here, I make use of the anti-tank grenades in their intended role of damaging vehicles and successfully destroyed my first-ever behemoth. Only a small bit of health remained, and the train had stopped. I tossed the granade towards the final seat, thinking to contribute to the armoured train’s destruction, but instead, the train exploded completely, netting me a cool thousand points for my troubles, a new codex entry for my troubles and some remarks in the text chat from teammates thanking everyone for working together to take the behemoth out. I’ve come close previously, using the fortress gun against the Zeppelin on Monte Grappa, but was killed before I could do too much damage.

  • Shotguns have seen a bit of modification throughout Battlefield 1‘s lifespan so far; the game launched with the Model 10-A dominating all of the other shotguns, and the subsequent autumn update gave the M97 Trench Gun and 12G Automatic minor improvements so they would be more competitive, while at once reducing the upper range the Model 10-A could one-shot someone. In this patch, the 12G Automatic has been further upgraded so it has a slightly longer damage drop-off.

  • I’ve gone back to try the Model 10-A Hunter now that I’ve unlocked it, and while perhaps not quite as powerful as it was prior to the patch, the weapon line still stands among one of the most frequently used shotguns in Battlefield 1, with the M97 Trench Gun used with a slightly reduced frequency. Here, I focus on helping my team defend and recapture points to preserve our lead and make certain that my successful behemoth kill was not wasted.

  • Suez, despite the several changes made to the map earlier, still remains horrendously unbalanced in that once the Ottoman team takes a lead, they will likely retain that lead. Here, however, I play on a short TDM round and while my team is devastated, I manage to get a few interesting moments with the Sentry kit and with the Automatico M1918: I’ve not seen a squad saviour ribbon since Battlefield 4.

  • I now run with the AT Rocket Gun primarily as my long range weapon, since most of my weapons as the assault class are not particularly useful at medium to long ranges. Aside from the cool kill I get here on a sniper, I also stop to admire the clouds in the sky: they look photorealistic, far better than the clouds in any Battlefield  game I’ve seen previously, and are dynamic elements, moving through the sky and affecting lighting.

  • In a match of conquest on Giant’s Shadow, I noticed capture point foxtrot was still occupied, but with no one outside and teammates dying, it was probable that the enemy team was camped out in one of the buildings. I tossed an anti-tank grenade into the building, which took out the guy inside. Another fellow running outside to escape the grenade was met with fire from my MP-18 and by this point, I’m finding the MP-18 to be a reasonably effective SMG.

  • On a foggy conquest map at St. Quentin Scar, I drive a light tank over two players taking shots at me, splattering them. I’ve actually spent very little time in vehicles since purchasing Battlefield 1, preferring to act as a gunner for a vehicle already in operation or else going on foot. Incidentally, this morning started out quite foggy, but by the time I arrived with the family for Dim Sum (it’s the Family Day holiday today in my province), the skies had cleared up. It’s been a while since I’ve had Dim Sum, probably in excess of a year: 炸蝦角 (fried shrimp dumplings) were the first to arrive, followed by the customary 蝦餃 (shrimp dumplings) and 燒賣(pork-and-mushroom dumpling). The fare at the restaurant is as good as I remember.

  • With clearer skies, I took a stroll around the core, through Prince’s Island Park (incidentally, the place where I did the simulated date with Nagisa Furukawa) before heading home. Returning to Battlefield 1, here, I destroy an artillery truck that’s been maligning my team with the AT rocket gun. The artillery truck is capable of laying down incredible firepower and is more than capable of defending itself against infantry, being counted as an underappreciated vehicle in the game. With this in mind, I am not fond of players who spawn in an artillery truck and spend entire matches camping out on some far corner of the map going 50 and 1, so it is incredibly satisfying to destroy an artillery truck and deny them of this play-style.

  • I’ve heard that the bayonet charge challenge ends today, and I’ve only gotten two of the six bayonet charge kills required for the dog tag, so I’ll have to wait for another encore event if I’d like another stab at the dog tag. Bayonet charges are a fun element of Battlefield 1, allowing players to charge into any infantry and take them down in one shot, although the use of this feature is balanced out with a cool-down time. The screams and battle cries associated with the bayonet charge is hilarious.

  • This domination match was one of the best games of Battlefield 1 I’ve played since buying the game: the match was up to 150 points rather than the usual 100, and I maintained a 2.1 KD ratio, scoring 7502 points during the match’s run. In conjunction with the bonus, this netted me a total of 12678 points, pushing my assault class closer to unlocking the Hellriegel, and here, I get another shotgun kill to earn a shotgun ribbon.

  • All of the shotguns are equally viable to use now, each having their own advantages and disadvantages. While the M97 Trench Gun seems to have the slight edge in general, I return to the Model 10-A Hunter to tear apart the enemy team. It’s been quite some time since I’ve really had this kind of performance in Battlefield, but now that I’ve become a bit more familiar with the map layout and mechanics in Battlefield 1, I’m slowly beginning to perform more consistently.

  • It is fantastic to see Battlefield 1 reward players for helping their teammates, and here, I get a kill assist ribbon when I fire on a distant opponent, dealing a bit of damage to the target who is subsequently finished off by a teammate. “Assist counts as kill” is also a fantastic and fair way of rewarding players for having done much of the work in shooting at an opponent who is finished off by a teammate.

  • While our team was steam-rolling the other team, near the end of the match, they began playing in a much more coordinated fashion and began mounting a comeback. However, it was too little too late, and we managed to hold onto our lead. At one point, I found myself critically low on health and crawled underneath a train to await regeneration. I saw a sniper peering down at me from the other end, switched out to the AT rocket gun and fired, taking him out, then continued crawling over and killed two more people with the shotgun.

  • After a fantastic match of domination with the shotguns, I swapped over to the Automatico M1918 Trench for a round of TDM, and despite the slow start, I managed to even out my KD ratio and obtained the submachine gun ribbon. The Automatico M1918 is the king of close quarters DPS, balanced out with a small magazine size, and under the foggy cover of St. Quentin Scar, I flanked my opponents and unloaded magazine upon magazine into unaware players.

  • This was actually quite a close game: we only won by a point, and the lead continued shifting throughout the match. I ended up with a KD ratio of 1.81 and 6078 points in a victory. While Battlefield 1 has done a better job of balancing out the classes than Battlefield 1, by now, I’m finding myself gravitating towards the assault class more frequently owing to how this class seems to have the best time-to-kill out of any of the other classes.

  • With the fog lifted, I enter the streets of St. Quentin Scar and find myself impressed yet again at just how strongly it reminds me of Strike WitchesBattlefield 1 is the closest we have to Strike Witches in the Frostbite Engine, and will continue to hold this position until DICE announces their next major project. A full-fledged World War Two shooter will allow me to replicate the Witches’ loadouts more faithfully, but for the time being, one setup that I will be trying soon is the Charlotte Yeager loadout — BAR Storm, M1911, repair tool (she loves tinkering with her Striker Unit to boost its speed) and limpet charges to stand in for the 500 pound bomb she used in the Operation Victory Arrow OVA.

The increased level cap and presence of weapon masteries now means that there’s plenty of things to do in Battlefield 1 in order to unlock everything conceivable, and with the DLC “They Shall Not Pass” coming out in March, I’m curious to see what the new maps, weapons and vehicles are like. If this DLC, and the upcoming Russian one offer exciting new maps, I will likely pick up the Battlefield 1 Premium upgrade: it’s rather pricey now owing to the fact that Battlefield 1 is a relatively new game, but if the new maps are well-built and offer atmospherics unparalleled (in other words, maps that remind me of the Strike Witches and/or Brave Witches), then I will pick up the Premium upgrade during a sale either during the Easter holiday or Black Friday. Despite all of the complaints levelled at Battlefield 1 and remarks that the decreasing player-base is a sign that the game is “dying”, I’ve continued to have fun in an environment quite different than that offered by Battlefield 4, and for the present, there’s still my journey to the Hellriegel, which I’m halfway towards unlocking, and the Kolibri, which I need to put a greater amount of effort towards so that I may replicate Hikari’s kill on the Neuroi hive in Brave Witches’ finale.

Battlefield 1: Kantai Collection in the Frostbite Engine and reaching the rank three weapons for three classes

“And that’s not the worse of it. I’ve experience [sic] THREE complete runs where Hime was the only one left, star shells and spotlight trigger and… yet no [sic] one crits or cut-ins. I’m angry, and I had to walk away for a bit. I was that mad.” —On the Kantai Collection Fall 2016 Event

A sniper’s round sends me back to the spawn screen as the English-accented announcer informs me that a friendly behemoth is en route. Moments later, I am sitting behind the guns of a dreadnought modelled after the HMS Iron Duke-class, laying down heavy fire against ground targets using the BL 13.5-inch Mk V cannons. Enemy armour and positions are smashed, but their coordination remains solid, and soon, the match ends in defeat, but not before I use the behemoths manage to turn my own KD ratio around from negative to positive. In a later match at Amiens, my team finds itself outmatched. A train spawns in, and the coordination amongst the operators manage to turn the entire game around. Far more than Battlefield 4‘s Levolution mechanic, Battlefield 1‘s behemoths add a new variety to gameplay, giving members of losing teams the incentive to stick around and hold out for the behemoth: when properly utilised, these vehicles can help the losing team mount a comeback. By this point in time, I’ve sunk around twenty-one hours into Battlefield 1 and have greatly enjoyed using the behemoth, having had the opportunity to operate all three now. I’ve also reached rank three for the assault, medic and support class, allowing me access to all of their weapons (save the level ten ones) in this time — curiously enough, the support class has taken off as my most used class, followed closely by the assault class. In addition, I’ve also managed to unlock rank one for the scout class as I slowly acclimatise to the bolt action rifles: as it turns out, the SMLE MKIII Marksman is the best rifle for my style of gameplay, so the weapon I most need also happens to be the one I start out with.

The ability to drive and man the guns of a dreadnought brings to mind something prima facie unrelated to Battlefield 1: naval vessels with large-calibre weapons bring to mind the warships of Hai-Furi and Kantai Collection. World War Two-era naval topics are of interest in Japan, and from what I know, Kantai Collection is a wildly popular Flash-based RPG-style card game where players engage in battles to gain experience points for improving their fleets. I’ve heard that its popularity is attributed to the combination of moé elements with a cast of all-star voice actors, but from what the folks who’ve played it have said, the game requires that players divert an inordinate amount of effort in order to complete some of the seasonal events: some recollections on how tough some events are serve as an indicator that this game is perhaps not my cup of tea. One might ask how this is relevant to Battlefield 1, and the answer is simple: there is quite a grind to reach rank ten even when optimising one’s PTFO strategies and participation solely in Operations or Conquest matches. A bit of extrapolation finds that, if it takes an average of twenty one hours to rank up ten times (three for each of the assault, medic and support class, plus one for the scout), it will take a total of eighty-four hours to reach rank ten for each class. When one considers I’ve only spent seventy-seven hours in the Battlefield 4 multiplayer, this means that there is a long journey ahead. So, what sets the Battlefield 1 journey apart from the seasonal rage-inducing events of Kantai Collection? Battlefield moments are the answer — the game continues to be full of surprises stretching across the amusing and epic spectrum of things, ranging from the spectacle afforded by watching a Behemoth explode, to something as simple as poking an unsuspecting an enemy mortar operator to death with the standard knife.

Screenshots and Commentary

  • This post features forty screenshots, double that of an ordinary post, because I’ve experienced so much crazy stuff in the past month, and because requests for the Tawawa on Monday OVA post motivated this one to be pushed back. So, this post might be considered as a double-feature. The first time I spawned into a dreadnought was in a conquest match on Fao Fortress, I somehow wound up in the driver’s seat and could only manoeuvre the vessel slightly. It certainly wasn’t enough to turn the tide of the battle and led to the vessel being destroyed, but I did have fun firing the main batteries at land-based targets.

  • Being a novice at driving the dreadnought, the behemoth’s contributions to my team’s attempt at a comeback were minimal. World of Warships has nothing on Battlefield 1 as far as fun factor goes, and it is for this reason that I never did get into World of Tanks: I’ve found that Battlefield games are generally more approachable than any of’s titles. With this in mind, AnimeSuki’s Mädchen und Panzer appears to be derelict now that Daigensui has been banned, which means that my wish to test my mettle against Girls und Panzer‘s finest will probably not be realised. I’m totally okay with this, since time is precious.

  • A ways later, on the Empire’s Edge map, I decided that, in the interest of keeping the behemoth alive longer by letting a more experienced operator helm it, I spawned in and immediately switched into the gunner’s seat, simultaneously fulfilling the roles played by Hai-Furi‘s Shima Tateishi, Hikari Ogasawara, Michiru Takeda and Junko Heki. Over the course of the behemoth’s lifespan, I managed to take out some infantry, destroyed several vehicles and cleared several objectives.

  • It is quite fitting that I reached rank three for the medic class while reviving a teammate. Reaching rank two gave me access to the Selbstlader M1916 Marksman: while I’ve also unlocked the Mondragon Sniper and purchased the M1907 SL Sweeper, as well as the Autoloading 8 .25 Extended, to fulfill roles at extremities, the Selbstlader is an excellent all-around weapon I am continuing to field to this day, although the Autoloading 8 .25 Extended proved to be quite entertaining to use.

  • The MG15 is the closest Battlefield 1 has to a proper belt-fed light machine gun. In its Storm configuration, it is an excellent weapon for closer range engagements; in one chaotic firefight, I somehow managed to remain alive despite being surrounded by five players, and it was only the MG15’s magazine size that kept it this way. The Supression version has optics and a 200-round magazine, making it more suited as a longer range weapon for defending a position.

  • This is probably my Greatest Grenade™ Of All Time: during a conquest match on Argonne Fortress, some squadmates and I were trying to capture objective Alpha, and I noticed some folks running around outside, so I threw out a grenade. Seconds later, the grenade exploded, killing not one, not two, but three enemies to score me a triple kill. The next goal: go for a killtacular.

  • Capturing an objective in conjunction with completing an attack order, while healing up teammates, managed to net me a cool two thousand points. Immediately after this capture was completed, I hopped off the bridge, grabbed the flame trooper kit and torched five enemy players before someone knifed me. By this point in the game, players have figured out how to quickly take down the elite classes, so while they are an intimidating presence on the battlefield, they certainly aren’t invincible (and therefore, not overpowered).

  • The MP18 is my most-used weapon at present: despite not having the same damage-per-second as the Automatico M1918, it is a balanced weapon that has slightly longer usefulness over range. Here, I unlock my first service star of the game with it, and note that the Model 10-A is following closely behind.

  • In another match of conquest, I managed to spawn into the anti-air seat of the armoured train and managed to shoot down some aircraft, as well as take out a few ground targets. While not sufficient to help my team mount a comeback, I did manage to get enough kills to balance out my own stats: on tougher matches where enemy players have superior coordination, I die quite frequently, but usually take one or two out with me.

  • While my team would go on to lose this particular match, here, I got one of the coolest kills with the Madsen MG that might even surpass shooting down a bomber with the tank cannon: here, I shoot a pilot out of a bomber with the LMG, which somehow caused the bomber to explode, too. One of the best features in Battlefield 1 is that small arms can deal damage to aircraft: no longer am I forced to rely on Stinger or Igla missiles to do that job, when LMG fire can harm or outright destroy air vehicles owing to their light wooden construction.

  • The support class was the second of my classes to reach rank three, and with rank three comes the unlocking of the BAR Storm. I’ve found that on some maps, I’ll have consistently good performance, while on others, I’ll be terrible in the KD department: I generally do quite poorly on Fao Fortress and Sinai Desert, but on Monte Grappa, St. Quentin Scar and Amiens, I manage to perform okay. With this being said, my score per minute, kills per minute and contributions to the team score has been much higher in Battlefield 1 than it has been in Battlefield 4, even if I do feel my performance in the latter is better than the former.

  • Sometimes, a quick response to an opportunity yields a cool moment worthy of a screenshot, and here, I use the AT Rocket Gun for its intended purpose of demolishing a boat on Fao Fortress. One had landed itself close to capture point Foxtrot, and its users were preparing to disembark when I noticed them and put one round into the boat, which exploded to land me a double kill and rank up.

  • For the first post since I actually bought Battlefield 1, I’ve run with the scout class for a full round and managed to score ten thousand points by playing the objectives. I’ve experienced difficulty in adjusting to the sniping in this game, but the starting bolt-action rifle for the scout class, the SMLE MKIII Marksman, is actually the perfect weapon for the aggressive mid-range scout: its sweet spot is between 40 and 75 meters, which is what ideal for my style of trying to be close to capture points. Here, the “enemy hit” metric shows that I’ve gotten a kill off at the sweet spot, dropping the other player from full health to zero with a single shot.

  • The marksman variants of the bolt action rifles have one additional advantage over the sniper variants for medium range combat: while their optics are bulkier and more obtrusive, they do not give off scope glint and allow a scout to be more stealthy. Maps like Fao Fortress and Ballroom Blitz are perfect places to snipe, while at once offering (mostly) enough cover for me to hide around and capture points.

  • Shortly after taking objective Alpha on Ballroom Blitz in one match, I unlocked the first rank to the scout class, which unlocks the Gewehr 95 Infantry and M1903 Experimental. While some folks may use the scout class to achieve insane long distance kills, the most widely-accepted way to use the scout is in a more aggressive role to spot enemies and actively being near capture points. To this end, it appears that the Gewehr 95, with its straight-pull bolt, is probably the best for the style of play; while lacking a sweet spot, it has the fastest firing rate of any bolt-action rifle.

  • As I can get an average of ten thousand points on most matches where I play the objectives, and the scout class only requiring thirty thousand points per rank, I might be able to punch through to level ten and unlock the Kolibri on short order before the next big Origin Black Friday sale. So, my next weapon purchase in Battlefield 1 will be the Gewehr 95 (I’m hesitant about the M1903 Experimental because it is a five-shot kill at close ranges and that using it for an extended period of time can actually cause real-world wrist damage).

  • This capture on Monte Grappa comes after a particularly nasty triple kill with the Automatico M1918: three guys from the other team had managed to sneak in around one of the side rooms, and I managed to shoot all three down using the Automatico, before rushing back in the main tunnel to rejoin teammates in capturing the point, which happened to be an attack order. As of right now, Conquest is my favourite game mode in Battlefield 1, and as I score quite well most matches, I’m actually levelling up faster than I did in Battlefield4, where I predominantly played TDM until recently.

  • Here, I use the fortress guns on Monte Grappa the way they were meant to be used: the enemy team was aggressively pushing over the hill to capture Delta objective and were coming up over the ridge. It’s actually fairly amusing that a direct hit with the fortress gun can occasionally deal 80 damage, even though they are firing naval-calibre shells, but here, I manage a double kill on some folks who’ve come too close to the weapon.

  • The enemy team must’ve realised that objective Delta was putting up a much greater defense and sent a Mark V up to try and even things out, but the driver seemed a little slow: I destroyed the tank shortly after, and brought my score up to 11-1. After that, I left the stationary emplacement to play the objectives and ended up with a fabulous match.

  • Although this post does not feature the M97 Trench Gun, I’ve actually been enjoying its use quite a bit since I unlocked it. Since the December patch, the M97 line of shotguns fire one more pellet than they did previously, and the Sweeper variant has been boosted slightly. It’s actually quite effective, having a higher firing rate than the Model 10-A, and I went for a spectacular run in a match of domination at St. Quentin’s Scar.

  • The Domination game mode combines elements of conquest with TDM, being a close-quarters frenzy where shotguns can be quite effective. However, depending on the teams, these matches can also be quite short: I’ve had a situation where the final score was 100-14 or similar because the other team was being outplayed at the objectives. Despite winning and having a positive KD ratio, I scored quite poorly since I was only defending capture points and getting kills, as opposed to capturing objectives.

  • I was curious about the War Pigeons mode, and while an interesting game type, resembling Halo‘s Oddball, it doesn’t quite have the large scale appeal that is available in Conquest or operations. Here,  I shoot out another player while trying to write a message; I’ve lost every match of War Pigeons I’ve played, but the game mode does seem quite fun to test out weapons, as other players are occupied with the pigeons.

  • This was a fun airburst mortar kill against a sentry camping out in one of the towers: the airburst mortar is an excellent indirect firing solution for lobbing explosives into enemy positions, and I’ve made use of it to clear capture points when the minimap is swarming with red indicators indicating the presence of other players. Like the mortars of Battlefield 3 and 4, the mortar in Battlefield 1 leaves players exposed to sniper fire, or as a fellow will find later in this post, melee attacks.

  • While fighting a losing match on Giant’s Shadow, I spawned into a Mark V tank and assisted with the capture of a point to reach rank three for the assault class, giving me access to the Model 10-A Hunter and Automatico M1918 Storm, as well as the 12G extended. Save the scout class, by this point, I’ve unlocked virtually all of the weapons for purchase, so it’s on to the elite rank ten weapons. I’ve heard that the Hellriegel and Martini-Henry are the weapons worth the progression for: the medic and support rank ten primary weapons are outclassed by the others.

  • I look forwards to the day when I unlock the Kolibri and can humiliate camping snipers the same way Hikari humiliates the Gregori Hive in Brave Witches‘ finale. Here, I get a kill with the M1911 under a panorama that captures the main attraction of Giant’s Shadow: while most of the map is plains and open ground, there are villages close to the deployments for either team. Sniping here is a viable option, although a longer range rifle, like the Gewehr 98, is more suited than the SMLE MKIII.

  • I was curious to give the 57 mm cannon a try when the behemoth spawned in, and while powerful, by this point in the game, players were cautious about trying to attack the train using the tanks. I managed to damage a few tanks, but they retreated before I could get any kills on them. The match ended when the driver moved the train to capture point Alpha, and I left the train seconds before it exploded from sustained enemy fire.

  • I’ve been reading about how the upcoming DLC for Battlefield 1 will add the French faction and offer four new French maps, which is enticing: my favourite maps in Battlefield 1 are those set on the Western Front. There might also be a Russian-themed DLC later in the future, so for now, my plan is to wait for more DLC to release before I decide whether or not I’m interested in going Premium for Battlefield 1: my criterion are the same as that of Battlefield 3, where I decided to make the jump after learning that I did enjoy the game quite a bit, enough to want the extra features.

  • The main reason why I never ended up with premium for Battlefield 4 was because the Road to Battlefield event gave away all five DLC packages for Battlefield 4 to owners of the game for free. Having complimentary access to all of the maps, weapons and assignments was a pleasant surprise, and while I cannot build emblems to feature Miporin or Chino’s faces to make salty my opponents (I run with the simplified Ooarai or Pure Pwnage emblem), the free DLC gives me virtually unlimited options to enjoy Battlefield 4.

  • As seen in the previous posts, this past weekend was the Chinese New Year. On Friday, I went out with the company for wings and ginger ale: we’ve been working hard on our apps and have pushed most of them into TestFlight status for pre-release testing over the past month, so this outing wa sa chance to relax. Besides sweet, hot and fried wings, potato skins and fried calamari was also on the menu. This event coincided with Chinese New Year’s Eve, although I had the presence of mind to not eat too much: owing to busy schedules, we had a simpler dinner on Friday to celebrate Chinese New Year’s Eve.

  • The player here learns the hard way about tunnel vision whilst operating the airburst mortar: I found a guy using the mortar and poked him with the knife. There was no take down animation, so I attempted again. It took three strikes to neutralise him, and curiously enough, he never flinched once, taking all three hits until he was sent back to the deployment screen. The moral of this is, if one starts taking damage while using a mortar, it’d be smart to leave the mortar and figure out what’s going on, rather than remain oblivious and allowing oneself to be poked to death. Normally, I leave my mortar immediately when I take any damage to seek cover and figure out where the fire is coming from.

  • With the highest rate of fire of any of the shotguns, the 12G Automatic is actually quite fun to use at extreme close quarters. While the adjustments to the shotguns’ performance since the patch have lessened their efficacy at long range, I run these weapons for close quarters encounters, where spread and damage drop-off are a lesser concern: the weapon becomes very inconsistent past ten meters and I’ve died because what might’ve been a one shot kill didn’t land fully, leaving the opponent with enough time to melt my face before I could get another shot off.

  • The BAR Storm is worthy of its praise: with a high rate of fire and manageable recoil balanced out by low magazine capacity and longer reload, the weapon handles like an assault rifle and is excellent for aggressive support play-styles. In the short time I’ve unlocked it, I’ve gotten forty kills with it: on a kills-per-minute used basis, the BAR Storm is more effective than the Madsen MG Storm. I run with anti-air sights on all of my LMGs since they offer a better sight picture than the standard iron sights.

  • In a match where we were winning, an enemy behemoth was deployed, and since I had access to a fortress gun, I was finally able to see for myself just how effective these weapons were against behemoths. While they are severely limited by their elevation angle, the fortress gun deals massive damage against the behemoth. In this screenshot, all of the damage done was from the fortress gun alone, and I manage to destroy a gondola. The shells have substantial drop, but if one adjusts their aim accordingly and aim for the L30 Zeppelin’s main body, large chunks of health can be taken out. I was hoping to destroy my first behemoth, but someone on the other team ended that wish with a grenade.

  • Here, I watch the flaming wreckage of the behemoth crash near capture point Alpha. By this point in the game, my team has very nearly won, so I was content to stop for a moment and watch the spectacle. On Saturday was Chinese New Year proper: I celebrated with the family, and went out for a prime rib buffet at the Elbow River Casino. Besides the prime rib au jus and snow crab leg, I also had sweet and sour pork, breaded shrimps, spring rolls, roast potatoes, spiced sausage, Salisbury steak and halibut. Thanks to having lifted earlier in the day, I was able to try everything out, closing the evening off with mixed fruits and a slice of chocolate cheesecake.

  • Back in Battlefield 1, I light up some bad guys on capture point Foxtrot with the BAR Storm. While this was a match we would lose, I had played earlier in the day a round of conquest on Suez where I joined the losing team, but somehow, application of the armoured train and a huge push from my team, plus some cheeky kills from Yours Truly here and there meant we staged a remarkable comeback.

  • While being rewarded with big points for landing an objective is always satisfying, a part of me misses the old ribbon and medal system of earlier Battlefield games. Simple in concept and allowing players to be rewarded for playing their preferred way, Battlefield 3 and 4‘s ribbon systems enabled players to work on all ribbons, all the time. In Battlefield 1, particular actions only count when a medal is active, and because of how infrequently I play (i.e. only on weekends), I never get around to finishing all of the assigned tasks to unlock the medal.

  • Losing a game in Battlefield 1 isn’t so bad: if I personally was playing the objective and accumulated a good number of points, I know those points will go towards my journey of unlocking the Kolibri and Hellriegel. Winning a match offers bouns points to sweeten things further: it’s a far cry from what I’ve heard about Kantai Collection, which can be quite unforgiving. I understand people’s desire to unlock a kan-musume of their liking (it’s like working towards a gun in Battlefield), as well as their frustrations about the game’s random number system causing them to lose what might have otherwise been a winnable game.

  • Here, I rank up yet again from playing objectives to earn more money for purchasing more weapons. The whole problem surrounding battlepacks in Battlefield 1 is directly reminiscent of the random number generators in Kantai Collection, and it is for this reason I express a general disinterest in battlepacks. While I will open any I unlock, I treat it as simple fun that is quite unrelated to the actual game itself. With this in mind, I can imagine that it is frustrating to get duplicate weapon skins for those who drop real-world currency into battlepacks, but I’m ignorant as to why people would get so worked up over what amounts to a free-to-play Flash game.

  • Here is another game where I joined in to a losing team, but managed to contribute to a win by helping out with the objectives. Skill-based games tend to be a lot more fun that those dependent on a random number — even supposing that Kantai Collection became an accessible game that has a standalone installer, run locally as an application rather than through Flash in a browser, and was given full English support for menu items, UI and subtitles, I am unlikely to pick it up unless there is a much larger skill component (i.e. “I should be able to unlock the things I want through my own improvement in the game, rather than through luck alone”).

  • My team is on the edge of a victory as I somehow kill a flame trooper with the BAR Storm. While there have been some irritating moments in Battlefield 1, on the whole, I’m having fun, much more fun than the individual quoted above. To take a leaf from Matimi0’s book, it’s not healthy to play a video game and leave in such a state — I generally avoid games of this type, since my objective is merely is play things for fun, although the individual I’m quoting might not be so willing to consider suggestions (least of all from me, thanks to our history). That’s perfectly fine; all I care for is having a ball of a time en route to the Hellriegel and Kolibri 🙂

Owing to the relative difficulty of its setup (I’m not jumping through a million hurdles to hook up a VPN, grab an API endpoint and play the lottery system with the hopes of getting an account, compared with Battlefield 1‘s “buy and launch”), I do not foresee myself playing Kantai Collection anywhere in the future. However, if Kantai Collection were to be adapted into the Frostbite Engine as a skill-based game, complete with kan-musume and their associated effects, I might double back and reconsider: the dreadnought in Battlefield 1 alone was very fun to man, making full use of the engine to bring the world of Kantai Collection (or Hai-Furi) to life would be quite interesting to behold. With that being said, I imagine it will be very unlikely that such an endeavour would occur, so for the present, I’ll focus on Battlefield 1. Having reached rank three for each of the classes, I’ll probably put a bit more focus towards the scout class with the goal of unlocking the Martini-Henry and Kolibri someday in the future. In addition, the Hellriegel submachine gun is also a potent rank ten weapon for the assault class, and I’m itching to try it. There’s no random number generator determining whether or not I’ll unlock these weapons, and thus far, no match in Battlefield 1 has made me feel quite the same way that Kantai Collection can make some of its players feel. With a ways to go yet, it’s going to be an interesting journey, although one whose outcome will be attributed to my own skill and time commitment, rather than anything to deal with whether or not whatever Kantai Collection‘s equivalent of System.Random.Next() method is working as it should.