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Comparing BF1 to BF3: Let's Discuss

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Posts: 3,247

Date of registration
: Apr 26th 2013

Platform: PS4

Location: Arizona, USA

Reputation modifier: 15

Thursday, June 1st 2017, 6:31pm

Comparing BF1 to BF3: Let's Discuss

It's a pretty popular opinion that many of us enjoyed BF3 much more than BF1, but why is this? Marble Duck went ahead and tried to identify the reasons, however I think we can further develop his conclusions and draw some more. I played BF3 before my game science indoctrination yet I, too, found BF3 to be a more enjoyable game and I'm pretty sure it isn't due purely to nostalgia.

The magic of BF3 is almost indescribable. Almost. Despite terrible balance and awful networking, the gunplay was outstanding. But why? Class balance and weapon balance was essentially non-existent, yet the gameplay remained oh-so-satisfying. I think I have some explanation as to why (note that my conclusions are coming from a PS3 perspective, some won't apply to the PC aspect):

1. Map layout and design - it's no secret that BF3 maps were just better regardless of game mode. Unfortunately, I haven't contemplated this enough to figure out why. If you have an explanation then please inform us.

2. Extremely low time to kill - from a networking perspective this is absolutely terribad, however it lent to the "fun factor" of gunplay. Accuracy + extremely low time to kill = one man army. If you were an accurate player with superb positioning, you could erase multiple enemies from existence without them even having a chance to react. Nothing brings more elation than going on huge killstreaks in quick succession, however this is contrary to the 'teamwork' philosophy of Battlefield where one should need friendlies to dispatch multiple targets. This is where BF1 strictly enforced the necessity of teamwork.

(I never experienced 64 player chaos until BF4, so my main game modes were Rush and TDM with the occasional Conquest Small. 12v12 was perfect for these modes, especially Rush. The action was always concentrated, so there was always players to kill which couldn't be said for 12v12 Conquest.)

3. True "Battlefielders" - this is up for debate, but I would say the BF3 fan base were true Battlefield fans. By this I mean BF3 was their go-to game and not a game in a collection of games one would play. BF1 fans just don't seem as dedicated. This is detrimental for objective based game modes because there's a slew of players whose style is just very casual in nature; games aren't nearly as competitive, it's a blowout one way or the other.

4. No arm or abdomen multiplier - only legs had a sub 1.0x multiplier of 0.91x, so there was a lot more consistency when it came to BTK. In BF1, the arms and abdomen get a standard 0.96x multiplier. Often times in firefights, the arms completely cover the chest hitbox thereby reducing your damage output in a game whose TTK is already greatly increased given the amount of players concentrated in a single area (due to the map design around objectives). Does not change BTK, I'm a dunce.

5. Limited aim assist functionality - BF3's snap and track aim was sufficient, but was then taken to the extreme in BF1. The game essentially plays for you and turning aspects off places one at a significant disadvantage in many cases.
To Aim Assist or not to Aim Assist, that is the question.

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Quoted from "Zer0Cod3x"

the Sebstalder is quiet good since it can 3hit kill at any distanc ,but In my opinion i actually thikn the sweeper is better, its got a really really fast firerate that can beat alll those Noobmaticos, Helregall adn shitguns in close quarters , and its also really accurate out to like l;ong range,. overall great allround gun, jsut my 2\$ tho

This post has been edited 4 times, last edit by "JSLICE20" (Jun 26th 2017, 6:52am)

Posts: 1,847

Date of registration
: Jan 12th 2014

Platform: PC

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Thursday, June 1st 2017, 8:29pm

BF3 was novel. It was the first fully modern, mainline (not BC, or some FTP, or console exclusive) BF title since 2142. 1942, BF2, and 2142 belonged to an older generation. BC2 in Frostbite 1.5 was amazing but it lacked a lot of the meta of a "full BF" title. So BF3 really introduced a new generation of gamers to the Battlefield concept it is most fleshed out form.

BF4 was really just BF 3.5 in everything but name and technical problems. As released, BF1 plays like an expansion to BF4 in terms of content. It is way more like the Vietnam expansion for BC2 than a complete mainline title and the utterly glacial pace of content release is not helping to change that impression.

I think the novel vs fatigue thing for a certain generation of gamers is really a huge issue. BF1 feels tired because they've been cranking these suckers out once every 1.5 years with little deep change in substance. BF3 felt objectively pretty different from 1942, BF2, and 2142 because of the jump in engine and game tech. You'll notice that 2142 also suffered from similar fatigue as BF1, but actually had the content and quality to be reasonably beloved, even if it never supplanted BF2.

We see a similar dynamic with BF4 and BF1. But BF1 doesn't have anything like a cult following. I think this is because BF1 is simply really frustrating:

1) Map design + conquest scoring + crappy fast move mechanic = frustrating conquest. Basically every single map in BF1 is designed around either a line of flags, or a dominant terrain feature. Sometimes both like the ridgeline and flag line on Suez. This means that teams can dig in early and dominate consistently. This is frustrated by the lack of scoring/winning value of back capping and the lack of tactical mobility in the form of fast movers to allow for decisive plays. On infantry maps it's just blobbing around, but really this is just a poor design issue that persists from metro-lockers. It's just more painful in BF1.

2) Crummy vehicle meta. The vehicle spawn system sucks in basically every way. The choices are shit with only 1-2 viable vehicles/variants, even after a supposedly MASSIVE balance patch. Fighting tanks is frustrating in BF1. It's actually fairly well balanced with all the repair changes and durability changes but I don't think rocket gun mechanics or close range HE attacks are terribly "fun". The tanks are frustrating to fight with up close, and the RG is simply frustrating to use.

3) Unfun weapon balance mechanic. The whole rock-paper-scissors balancing of weapons, particularly into very rigid niches of effectiveness is undoubtedly good balancing, but I don't think it results in a terribly fun gameplay experience.

4) Constant stacked fights. BF games have always had asymetric fights, that's part of the fun. But BF1 has taken that to painful extremes. You've got stacked fights against tanks on foot. Stacked fights in tanks/planes against dedicated counters (TH sucks to fight against in another tank, but then TH sucks to use outside of fighting tanks - balanced but unfun IMO). Stacked fights of weapons outside of their useful range vs weapons inside their useful range. Sure skill/positioning can compensate for some of that but average players are provably getting caught with their pants down, especially when trying to use longer ranged weapons. Then you've got to fight elite classes and cav. All this RPS counter/counter-counter stuff is not great at giving you agency which is part of the fun.

5) More frustrating gunplay: The RPS balancing of guns by range, low mag counts, ADADADADADADADA mechanic in 1v1s, bayonet charge, dominance of melee, low TTK. All seem to have combined to make a frustrating shooter experience, which is basically the core mechanic of BF.

@Marbleduck

You need to get better at cutting chaff, no one wants to watch your 30 min videos with such low rate of actual info delivery. That's longer than your typical scientific conference talk, which conveys a much higher density of information.

Posts: 68

Date of registration
: Mar 2nd 2017

Platform: PS4

Reputation modifier: 1

Thursday, June 1st 2017, 8:40pm

I personally don't understand why BF3 is suddenly the gold standard, when I thought post-patch BF4 was generally regarded as a better game but with worse maps.

I've been playing BF4 for the past few weeks (never played BF3) and it's incredibly fun not going into each gunfight with 20-40 health because you got hit by easy-mode auto-aim snipers from the middle of nowhere. Because of the lethality of full auto weapons even at range, gunfights are more strategic and positioning is key if you want to stay alive which is a good thing, but my number one pet peeve with BF4 is the verticality. The maps aren't great but every now and then you get a good game even on your least favorite maps.

I think you guys just need to take BF1 as it is, a different flavor of Battlefield, a more polished and less crappy Hardline, because I honestly don't see how any changes could be made without upsetting the class balance of the game. To fix BF1 would be to change the core of the game, removing superfluous elements like behemoths, elites, bayonet charges, sweet spots, changing the CQ ticket system, reducing TTK across the board, etc. I have enjoyed BF1 more than BF4 for the most part, but after revisiting BF4 (and tweaking my sensitivity to be the same for both games to make switching easier) I find that I've been playing more BF4 recently, but that might just mean I'm burnt out on playing BF1. Playing the same 10 maps (that's being generous, Giant's Shadow, Sinai and Suez can barely be considered actual maps) for the past 7 months (looking back, TSNP was a hot mess imo), using the same 2-3 guns (I only play Assault sue me :p), and getting frustrated by the same things (snipers, elites, and the fuck-you-for-playing-the-objective behemoths) every game has taken its toll on me.

TL;DR, BF1 is a different experience and should be regarded as such. If you're used to our prefer the older style of BF games, you should probably stick to those because I don't think BF1 could be tweaked to become more like those games.

Posts: 181

Date of registration
: Mar 5th 2013

Platform: PC

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Thursday, June 1st 2017, 8:57pm

Quoted from "oba"

I personally don't understand why BF3 is suddenly the gold standard, when I thought post-patch BF4 was generally regarded as a better game but with worse maps.

BF4 IS a better game as a whole these days since all the patches.. for instance the weapon balance is just miles above anything in BF3.

its just BF3 had much better maps unfortunately and I think a lot of people gave up on BF4 in the early days when it was buggy and unbalanced as hell

rant time...

BF1 I play as well, but purely as a reckless deathmatch game. There is a far far lower skill cap, generally more chaotic gameplay and less variety in the weapons and gameplay style.
#1 The maps are far too open which lends to...
#2 it is FAR too easy to snipe (which doesn't help when sniper is already such a popular class)
#3 the gadgets are dull and / or ineffective. I miss RPG and C4 so much.
#4 there is just so little variety in the weapons, the variants all feel almost the same (yes I know the differences) and between different weapons or entire weapon groups the weapons feel the same (Battlefront anyone?)
#5 The vehicles are in general too strong. Mainly because there is no easy way to take them out or find cover from them on a fair amount of maps and with the sheer damage over range possible infantry doesn't have much chance against a skilled tanker
#6 This is a big one, because of the blandness of the gameplay 'Battlefield moments' are basically non-existent. No longer do you see the guy parachuting out of a plane, rpg-ing a tank on the other side of the map before using his pistol to take out a sniper on a tower, only to get back into his plane. Pretty much every game is just run-shoot-die

/rant

I enjoy BF1 for what it is but it will get old quick and I can never see myself sinking in the almost 1000 hours I did into BF4. Disappointed really, just hope they follow up with a new BF soon. I have the most hours in BF4 but I reckon BC2 was the pinnacle so far.

Posts: 25

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: Jan 1st 2014

Platform: PC

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Thursday, June 1st 2017, 9:25pm

A couple of points off the top of my head (many of these also apply to BF4 vs. BF1 though):

- snipers are more powerful in BF1
- BF3 had no casual gimmicks like elite classes, Behemoth, bayonett charge, etc.
- there was no Automatico
- better maps with more cover, mainly relevant for Rush/Operations (this might be coloured by nostalagia)
- Battlelog was great in retrospect, never believe I'd say that, but compared to the BF1 server browser it was downright brilliant
- muzzle fire/smoke obscuring your target is also a problem, especially with iron sights
- lighting in general is atrocious, on some maps you can't see inside or out of buildings because everything is glaring white

The things BF1 does better than previous titles:

- no more auto-spotting on the minimap when shooting
- the netcode
- the unlock system

The one thing all of the BF games do equally bad is using the community-splitting Premium DLC model.

This post has been edited 3 times, last edit by "eRa" (Jun 3rd 2017, 6:22pm)

Salt Miner

Posts: 3,393

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: Mar 19th 2014

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Thursday, June 1st 2017, 10:16pm

Quoted from "oba"

I personally don't understand why BF3 is suddenly the gold standard, when I thought post-patch BF4 was generally regarded as a better game but with worse maps.

For sure. BF4 is a great example of great (not perfect) balance that also remains fun.

Just finished the video, and while I take issue to the glitchy movement elements being a positive, I agree with the intention and tone, and with the rest of the video. I'm really tempted to throw BF4 back in for the first time since BF1 came out now.
Who has fun, wins.

Posts: 68

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: Mar 2nd 2017

Platform: PS4

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Thursday, June 1st 2017, 10:45pm

Quoted from "BleedingUranium"

For sure. BF4 is a great example of great (not perfect) balance that also remains fun.

Just finished the video, and while I take issue to the glitchy movement elements being a positive, I agree with the intention and tone, and with the rest of the video. I'm really tempted to throw BF4 back in for the first time since BF1 came out now.
Exactly, I found it ridiculous that features like jumpshots, dolphin dives and zouzou jumps were being touted as missing features. I'm glad people don't jump around corners and mow me down skillfully with an AEK in full auto. Sounded to me like pro players asking for extra crutches to wreck noobs with.

Now I don't follow the pro scene, but my uneducated opinion is anyone who jumps a corner with an AEK instantly gains a huge advantage over the opponent around said corner, without requiring any skill whatsoever to execute (and scufs are a thing, console plebs I know) but much more difficult to counter. I'll be happy to never see that in any future Battlefield titles.

Posts: 63

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: Feb 1st 2017

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Location: Somewhere safe and boring

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Thursday, June 1st 2017, 11:14pm

I would like to mention BFH a little bit. I never play BF3 before but I think BFH is a carry-over to BF3. Maps are fresh and have a very good flow in it (except grow house and block...). Weapons are a balance disaster but after K10 and M82 nerf. it is still enjoyable and capable of creating fun gameplay. The damage is high and TTK is lighting fast. However, the game didn't survive at all....

Posts: 201

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: Jun 9th 2012

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Friday, June 2nd 2017, 12:49am

@oba
All the features that you mentioned in your post are the changes I want in BF1 =D

@JSLICE20
Map design is a significant part of why BF1 and BF4 maps are frustrating to play on. From what I have deduced from my experience, a good map needs cover between capture points. And you generally cannot shoot from one point to another. Now think BF1 Ballroom. The sniper structure in the second floor overlooks the B and D points of both sides, with little to no cover. This is bad, extremely bad. Frustrated the hell out of me. Another example Suez. Capture points are just islands in the middle of the desert (like every other BF1 map), and it is very frustrating to run across while there are no ways to dodge sniper fire. The only map I can think of that plays out well is Argonne Forest, but NOT WITH 64 PLAYERS GODDAMIT. 24 to 32 would play out perfectly on that map, without elites and behemoths.

Now an example that is not infantry only and is large, Strike At Karkand. In general, each point does not overlook another capture point directly, with no cover. D point, despite having high ground, does not overlook C or B. The exception is F and G, and this is okay because this map is played as CQ assault. Russians have 2 flags to fall back to.

Also I agree with the arm multiplier thing. It should only apply to snipers just like in BF3.

General note on BF4 vs BF3 gun balance: If we disable the Hbar in BF3, defensive perk in BF4 and buff BF4's standard damage back to 25, I think both games have very similar gunplay, except the hit detection in BF4 is much better. What made BF3 weapons so lethal is that with Hbar, you can hold on to MB1 and still get a reasonable hit rate on the 5th or 6th bullet.

@tankmayvin
Exactly right about fighting tanks. The rocket gun is just nothing compared to the ready-to-fire RPG and SMAWs. Infantry need to be able to peek tanks, unless you remove all the splash damage from tank shells, which is ridiculous. Compounded with the removal of ass shot disable, infantry also lost the positioning advantage.

Posts: 1,847

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: Jan 12th 2014

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Friday, June 2nd 2017, 1:33am

Quoted from "BleedingUranium"

For sure. BF4 is a great example of great (not perfect) balance that also remains fun.

Just finished the video, and while I take issue to the glitchy movement elements being a positive, I agree with the intention and tone, and with the rest of the video. I'm really tempted to throw BF4 back in for the first time since BF1 came out now.
Exactly, I found it ridiculous that features like jumpshots, dolphin dives and zouzou jumps were being touted as missing features. I'm glad people don't jump around corners and mow me down skillfully with an AEK in full auto. Sounded to me like pro players asking for extra crutches to wreck noobs with.

Now I don't follow the pro scene, but my uneducated opinion is anyone who jumps a corner with an AEK instantly gains a huge advantage over the opponent around said corner, without requiring any skill whatsoever to execute (and scufs are a thing, console plebs I know) but much more difficult to counter. I'll be happy to never see that in any future Battlefield titles.