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  • "Mori4rte" started this thread

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Thursday, April 20th 2017, 10:18am

Constant search for new direction

Last three games that DICE made were experimental. One can say they tried to leave the comfort zone and experiment with various genres within the fps realm. First came the Hardline, which was inferior to it's predecessor (bf4) graphically, but a kind of a nice shooter overall. It was obviously a spin off from the series and was heralded as such IIRC - a new setting of cops versus robbers - heists, getaways. Appealing to younger audience I suppose, but straight downgrade for main series "veterans", spoiled by scope and richness of bf3 and 4. Still, nice little game, highlighted by shifted focus from vehicular to infantry warfare, something many consider fair, given what some cunning minds can do when they get into T-90.

The next experimental arrow was launched towards the star wars fandom - Battlefront. After some hype, the main point of which was graphics, of course, the audience quickly realized that graphics was not just the main point, but also - the only point to this game. The concept of heroes was thoroughly tested and the idea was deemed overwhelming success, to be reapplied in future BF games. Game quickly died off, it's online audience is currently a small fraction of what it used to be back in the day when it came out. It's worth noting, that apparently SWBF was great financial success for the company

'Star Wars Battlefront' powers EA's profit, revenue beat
| Reuters


Something not that apparent to avid critics of DICE experimentation and overall philosophy of changing costumes once a year.

Fast forward another year and new experiment hits the shelves - battlefield 1 which sees identical trend to both hardline and SWBF - hyped release, niche target audience and immediate and quick loss of interest from the players. Why is that? Well, if you ask me, my main point would be that the game is awesome, BUT.. if.. you ever played battlefield 3 or 4, bf1 will seem primitive and you will likely lose steam before 100 hours of play time.

This year will bring battlefront 2, and it is obviously going to be awesome, ask anyone!!!

While I think changing costumes is fine, the recurring theme of emptying servers will stay as long as DICE keeps moving main focus away from what it does best - the main battlefield series, modern (or near future) warfare. Also, I think EA is missing out financially by trying to kill too many hares with too many arrows, instead of nurturing and polishing a core game, while financing smaller side projects. As Carl von Clausewitz would likely say - they should concentrate, not dissipate.

In the end, I think they really nailed it with BF 2, 3 and 4 and the next title in the series can become what counter-strike became for the FPS community, which is not only going to have the wolves fed, but also keep the sheep intact. Of course, lots needs to be done for that to happen, however EA are among select few who have more than enough resource.

But do they have the will?

NoctyrneSAGA

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Thursday, April 20th 2017, 10:27am

Last three games that DICE made were experimental.

First came the Hardline


DICE did not make Hardline. AFAIK, any suggestion DICE made to improve Hardline was blatantly rejected or ignored by the people over at Visceral.

The last three games DICE released are Battlefield 1, Mirror's Edge Catalyst, and Star Wars Battlefront.

The next experimental arrow was launched towards the star wars fandom - Battlefront. After some hype, the main point of which was graphics, of course, the audience quickly realized that graphics was not just the main point, but also - the only point to this game. The concept of heroes was thoroughly tested and the idea was deemed overwhelming success, to be reapplied in future BF games. Game quickly died off, it's online audience is currently a small fraction of what it used to be back in the day when it came out. It's worth noting, that apparently SWBF was great financial success for the company


Star Wars Battlefront was specifically targeted for "Star Wars fans" so they can live "the Star Wars fantasy."

It wasn't for Battlefield fans specifically.

A survey had been conducted for why players left. The overwhelming answer: "I completed the game (max level and everything unlocked) so I have no reason to play."

While I think changing costumes is fine, the recurring theme of emptying servers will stay as long as DICE keeps moving main focus away from what it does best


The recurring theme of empty servers will continue if players feel the game is terrible.

It has nothing to do with DICE staying focused on its core. If the core is terrible, no amount of focus is going to make players stay.

Especially when competitors release games that have more attractive core gameplay.
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With this, I'll rid MGO3 of infestation. Sans bad gameplay MGO3 will be torn asunder. And then it shall be free. People will suffer, of course - a phantom pain.

Reddit and Konami will rewrite the records... And I will be demonized in human memory. But... The thirst for good gameplay that I have planted will infest MGO3. No one can stop it now. The Rebalance Mod will unleash that thirst unto the future.


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VincentNZ

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Thursday, April 20th 2017, 12:02pm

Yeah Hardline was not from DICE, Visceral made it. Personally, I think Hardline suffered greatly from being part of the franchise and trying to stick to the BF4 gameplay, while it should have been more experimental. Also GTA and Rainbow Six with similar themes came out.

Also the scenario was unfitting for the franchise. "Cops and Robbers" do not work this way. Hardline would have been better received if it had either totally moved away from BF4 gameplay to fit the setting more, or if it had been released as a standalone title for 30-40€ and had stayed more true to the BF4 gameplay.
I'll grant them though that Hotwire was the most fun mode, that was ever implemented into a BF franchise game. Until RPGs and C4, anyway.

ME Catalyst, this is the only game where I see DICE has taken a risk to do something they cared for. I played the first game, which was hugely underrated and I thank them for making a successor. Admittedly the Open-World approach does not fit the setting and was done to appeal to a broader playerbase. I can live with that. However the game could have been better, and I am sadly sure it was not a fincancial success. I am still very grateful that this project was indeed realised.

Battlefront indeed, was the most irrelevant game in DICE history. In order to appeal to the broadest playerbase possible they trivialised gameplay experience, which was unneeded, as Star Wars fans and Gamers often enough go together. Battlefront had been better with more depth to it and more similarities to the BF franchise, which was, with BF4 at it's peak. So it rightfully died of quickly. It left a stale taste in players' mouths though, since they just wasted 60€ on a sup-par product and it just fueled the accusations of DICE/EA being money grabbers, which for this game is not far-fetched. It was made for the purpose of selling well, not playing well or being praised.
Also the predecessor games were clearly resembling the BF-franchise more, and that is what players expected at the very least. They failed to deliver that.

BF1 sadly seems to suffer a similar fate. While not being irrelevant, players do seem a little frustrated by it. Somehow it seems that people are tired of the game, similar to Battlefront, but very likely for different reasons. I believe BF1 was a project dear to DICE, but the vision they followed for this game is obviously not shared by many players, and/or the design philosophy is not seen and not communicated. Inconsistent I would say. Still it was a major success in terms of revenue, I guess.

So I think, while players are not tired of the franchise, I think taking a step back from it and removing what is not working would help greatly. Players have certain expecations of how DICE games (shooters in particular) should work out, and it should either be clearly set apart from that or the experience should be closely matched. This means, that Battlefront should indeed play out like a Battlefield game, or be made into something completely new and not that you bloat up the game design with features that work mediocre. I guess calling it focus is not wrong, but is only part of the picture.
Communication of what a game is supposed to be is quite essential as well.
As a conclusion, I do not know if DICE is hurt by their policies, but EA surely has a reputation. The games still make large sums, which is all that matters in the long run, but personally I am not so convinced at the moment of their products since 2015.