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Wednesday, February 13th 2013, 4:20pm

Classic/Community/Pro/Infantry Only Presets, a.k.a. Ultimate server presets/filters discussion for bf3 and bf4.

This is the new home of the original Server Presets discussion. Due to personal reasons, the plug has been pulled on the old thread, hosted on another site; with close to 30k views, 9 pages and 220 posts, including those made by some prominent members of the battlefield community, it was a influential discussion. While that thread is lost, the show must go on - and I am looking forward to complete these proposals with your help.

Here, we will discuss the Classic, Community, Pro, and Infantry Only presets.

Bare with me, while I complete the transition. For now, only the completed proposals have been re-posted.

This post has been edited 4 times, last edit by "mega" (Feb 13th 2013, 9:55pm)


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Wednesday, February 13th 2013, 4:20pm

While this preset was scheduled for introduction by DICE with the End Game DLC, both on PC and Console game clients, a bug with the later - prevented it's introduction. Even though it appears that this preset will never be implemented into bf3, nonetheless on the small chance of contrary developments, this proposal is posted here, as originally made:

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I really went back and forth on this, and after much thought and exceptional feedback, this are my "final" points. "Final" as in: "what can we realistically achieve right now?". We really have to draw a line, between reality and wishful thinking.

1. I am "still" proposing a additional preset, albeit with a heavy heart. Community feelings are clear on this, and this summarizes it:



2.Preset should also be called "classic", even though it will not see changes to "main issues", as defined in my OP.

3. Minimum requirements:

Setting | Normal | Hardcore | Infantry Only / Classical

vars.autoBalance true true true true
vars.friendlyFire false true false false
vars.killCam true false true false
vars.miniMap true true true true
vars.hud true false true true
vars.3dSpotting true false true false
vars.miniMapSpotting true true true true
vars.nameTag true false true false
vars.3pCam true false false true
vars.regenerateHealth true false true false
vars.vehicleSpawnAllowed true true false true
vars.soldierHealth 100 60 100 100
vars.playerRespawnTime 100 100 100 100
vars.playerManDownTime 100 100 100 100
vars.bulletDamage 100 100 100 100
vars.onlySquadLeaderSpawn false true false true

Notes:
a. The list above has only been selected since it does not run into any game balance issues, and it has the most chances of being actually implemented.
b. Ideally we would love this: vars.soldierHealth any value over 120, as determined by DICE. No Audio Spotting and to have vehiclespawn/friendlyfire/3pcam :false or true, without affecting the preset. In other words, we should be able to play "Classic" as infantry only, or with friendly fire On or OFF, without server owners being
penalized.

This post has been edited 6 times, last edit by "mega" (Feb 13th 2013, 10:52pm)


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Wednesday, February 13th 2013, 4:20pm

Infantry Only and Custom presets.

After going back and forth on the whole "I/O" and "Custom" presets, here's my proposal on how things should work in bf3. I hope that you will agree, that is simple, intuitive and logical.

1. Infantry Only: Preset should be scrapped altogether, as currently it's useless, with no populated servers. In another post I wrote that "I/O" should be a sub-preset of all presets; however that would be neither “simple” nor "logical". There is nothing wrong with DICE trying to be innovative, however in this case, there is no need to reinvent the wheel. While "I/O" is dead, it still flourishes in bf2. So what makes it such a success in bf2:

a."Infantry only" was NOT a preset, but part of the "normal" game.
b. Selecting "I/O" servers was as simple as clicking on a box, called "No vehicles"

But, a video is worth 10000 words: http://www.xfire.com/video/5bdd92/

Solution: Eliminate "I/O" as a "preset". Instead have a new option right under presets, called "No Vehicles", with a "box" that selects the mode. By default it should be empty, which means "vehicles ON". If you want to play with "NO Vehicles" press it. Once selected, the server list should be updated and only servers having "vehicles spawn" set as "false" (OFF) should be visible.



This accomplishes two things:

a. Players can play infantry with ALL presets. In other words, you could play "I/O" as "normal", "hardcore" or "Classic".
b. It's simple, intuitive, logical and it's a proven working concept, based on it's success in bf2.

2. Custom: Originally I was pushing for the re-introduction of the "Custom" preset, which would select all servers with variables that are defined as NOT "normal", "hardcore" or "infantry only". This is still viable, however there is a simpler solution - but it requires re-arranging that whole column.

a. Current state:


b.The only reason why currently there are ZERO custom servers, in other words and as a example, you currently CANNOT play the "normal" game with Squad leader spawn only is because: even though you press on the "advanced settings" tab, your current preset is still selected, rendering any search pointless. Here is the proposal:

aa: To start with, it makes no sense to have the "advanced settings" tab at the bottom, after the "Detailed" options. Since these filters select servers, and work in conjunction with the presets - they should be right under it. "Detailed" should be at the bottom.

bb: The current "advanced settings" should be split in two:




cc: Have 2 separate check boxes, under "advanced settings". 1. "Game settings": Once you click on it AUTOMATICALLY DESELECT any preset. 2."Player settings" This should work with any preset selected.


So basically the whole column re-imagined:

This post has been edited 2 times, last edit by "mega" (Feb 14th 2013, 12:37am)


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Wednesday, February 13th 2013, 4:21pm

Classic preset for Battlefield 4.

Acknowledgments: This paper is based on battlefield players forums posts at EAUK(closed), mordor and reddit. Additionally, it relies heavily on the work of Micheal Csíkszentmihályi and Curtiss Murphy, as well as other authors and thesis on game design.

Purpose: The goal of this paper is to build a bridge between the veteran community and future Battlefield series titles. Its ultimate intent is to deliver design consideration for a new preset, named Classic.

By conducting a study of player’s forums posts and a literature study in parallel, with the addition of my own subjective views, a design space was mapped out, in order to provide a structure upon which this
new preset can be built. Primordial consideration was given to balancing the challenges posed to the player, and adjusting the learning curve of the game, in order to strengthen the game experience and to help engage this community better into the franchise.

Flow: Flow is a psychological concept introduced by Micheal Csíkszentmihályi in 1991.



A full exploration of this concept would require considering many facets. Fortunately, I am not interested in its every aspect, but two:

1. The skill-challenge balance: In a nutshell, it says that a task must be simultaneously challenging and achievable. For games, this means that objectives must be challenging enough(and not overly long) or we become bored and lose interest. In addition, as we play the game, our skills will naturally improve and the challenges have to increase to match. When drawn out, this creates the flow channel. (Curtiss Murphy)


Balancing Challenge and Skill (Dr. Pamela Rutledge)

2. The conclusion that: Flow is a description of experienced engagement in an activity over time rather than at a single point. The Flow channel represents the player’s experience path of continual interaction between challenge and learning. In well designed games, players perform at the edge of their competency guided by clear goals and feedback. In the Flow state, the experience of play is fluid and is intrinsically psychologically rewarding independent of scores or in-game successes (Csikszentmihalyi)

In order to design a game for broader audiences, the in-game experience can’t be linear and static. Instead, it needs to offer a wide coverage of potential experiences to fit in different players’ Flow Zones.



To expand a game's Flow Zone coverage, the design needs to offer a wide variety of game play experiences. Different players should always be able to find the right amount of challenges to engage during the Flow experience. These options of different game play experiences need to be obvious, so that when players first start the game they can easily identify the corresponding game play experience and delve into it. Hence:


Conclusion: Design guidelines for this preset should consider team work and the skill-challenge balance at its core.

This post has been edited 3 times, last edit by "mega" (Mar 15th 2013, 1:05am)


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Wednesday, February 13th 2013, 4:21pm

TEAM WORK TOOLS

Team work: At its core traditional battlefield game play is centered on team play. Its apogee was reached in bf2/2142, with DICE offering such innovative and remarkably thought out tools as two Commo Rose (one for regular players, and one for the squad leader), the Commander position and squad leaders being able to mark waypoints/attack/defend spots on the map. These should all return to the series,
in one form or another.

There is no need for DICE to spend costly resources in developing new tools. A simple “polish” and/or improvement of previous designed tools would suffice. The added benefit of choosing this route is twofold:
1. They are established working concepts.
2. They are familiar to the existing player base.

A. Commo Rose: The existing bf3 one has the following deficiencies which would need to be addressed:
1. The volume is barely audible.
2. There is no separate text feed with the name of the player that requires assistance. A suggested improvement would be to have the name above the soldier requesting help flash, when viewed by his team mates.

B. Squad leader functionality:

1. The ability of the squad leader to place markers on the map, with basic attack/defend and waypoints should return.
2. If commander is to return, then the implementation of the second commo rose would be needed.
3. Separate key (caps lock in bf2) should be provided to access the squad page.
4. The ability to rename squads should also return. This may sound trivial, but in actuality it is not. Right now when you join a team there is absolutely no indication of what the intent of each squad is. If squads could be named “teamwork”, “flanking”, “air support”, “armor”, etc – the player could make an informed choice regarding what squad to choose.
5. Squad leaders’ position should be shown on the mini-map. Mini-map, in addition to showing the state of the flags (existing feature), should also indicate to the squad members, when the squad leader orders to attack/defend a flag.
6. A full map showing all the objective and squad leaders’ orders/waypoints should be re-introduced.
7. Deploy menu should show the squads.

C. Six man squads: At first look this may seem like another frivolous request, but again, it is not. Many players assume that the current number is 4, simply because there are 4 playable kits in battlefield 3, and so a squad is designed to have one of each kit into it. In reality, the size of the squad only determines the amount of concentrated firepower available to defend/attack an objective, or to hold a position on the map.

First, DICE switched from 7 classes (bf2) to 4 classes in 2006, with battlefield 2142, yet 6 man squads were retained.

Second: Having one player of each class in a squad is not a viable engagement tactic. Depending on the map and mode, having multiple squad members using the same kit is preferred, such as 2 engineers on a vehicle heavy map, or 2 medics in a urban environment. That leaves the squad without the benefits of the missing class(es).

Two people make all the difference. It is more powerful than a 4 man squad, but it does not have the capability of being twice as powerful. Right now, if one squad is not enough firepower for a particular
situation, you would need the assistance of a second one, which means 8 players. That is overkill.

Besides allowing for a healthier mix of classes in the squad itself, increasing the size to 6 members should also help with the diversity of kits seen on the main battle field (around objectives). Most
vehicle maps for example are currently engineer kit egocentric. There are some support players, the odd assault class player, and then you have the Recon class, mainly found in static elevated positions, far from the objectives themselves, and not integrated into the main push for a flag.

D. Command structure: One of the most commonly found critique to battlefield 3 game play is that squads do their own thing individually, leading to redundant tasks and empty back flags. This is
attributed to the fact that there's no tool to coordinate the efforts of the team. The current efforts are described as “headless chickens running around in circles, from flag to flag”.

Let’s dissect and analyze a bit the pro’s and con’s of the two different systems offered so far:

For Bf2/2142 the commander position was introduced. The player had to volunteer for this position, and if he was the highest ranked player to apply, he would be accepted. Besides tools to coordinate squads, his main assets were intelligence (scan and uav), logistics (supplies and vehicle drop) and direct support (artillery). The commander position is viewed by the veteran community as the ultimate team work tool, by providing a chain of command, and structure on the battlefield. Further, in their eyes – it made battlefield more than a generic shooter, but a tactical game.

This position was such brilliantly designed, that there are only a few suggested improvements:

1. Mutiny: Due to the large amount of votes needed to vote kick an ineffective commander out, this function almost never worked in practice. On the better administrated servers, this was solved by
administrators manually applying a kick to the player in question. A simpler solution would be to have vote kick restricted to squad leaders, with three such votes vacating the position.

2. Commander spam: Audio and text feed: This is the number one source of negative feelings towards this position. Every time the commander
would manually spot after using the scan function, a text feed “enemy X spotted” would needlessly clog the chat box. Additionally, a voice over was broadcasted to every player. While the game provided a slider to lower the commanders’ output, the slider did not function. A simple suggestion would be to remove both. Players would consult their mini-map/map for enemy positions.

Every time commander is discussed in public forums, there are attempts to provide arguments against its reintroduction. “Attempted” because the arguments provided, have little to do with the tool itself.

Most of them center around the fact that some commanders would be “fighting, not helping”, “only helping his friends”, “only taking the position for the points, he would do nothing to actually help the team”, etc. All of these arguments are a matter of player skill and dedication, not of game design. Further, this cannot be controlled from a development standpoint. Following these arguments would mean that jets should be removed from the game, because some players use them to “taxi”, choppers because some crash them upon takeoff, or the support class because some players do not provide ammo.

For battlefield 3, DICE attempted to integrate the bf2 commander structure into bf3, by transferring some of its abilities at squad level, rather than relying on a designated player. This was done in the
name of squads being completely self-reliant. Further, Mats Dal also publicly declared : “I think we’ve kept that line of thought by expanding on squad order functionality”.

As such, the “intelligence” assets were transferred to the Recon class (MAV and tugs), the “logistics” to the Assault (health packs) and Support (ammo packs) classes, and the “direct support” again to the
Support class (mortar). The general sentiment is that this has not translated well into practice. A simple comparison of the two systems answers why:

1. Generally speaking, the more people are relied upon for a task, the more inefficient the system is.

2. Even with the increased number of players, the current system is still less effective. For example even with multiple mortar users, their combined output is not a real substitute for the artillery strike,
as mortars do less damage then a grenade. Or, multiple classes, such as engineers/assault/support are needed to provide the basic functionality of the “supply drop”, which healed and supplied nearby soldiers, and repaired close proximity vehicles.

3. Team work cannot be forced upon players. The first system relies on a volunteer mechanism, in which a players’ sole desire is to coordinate and support the team, while the second one relies on the chance that some of the classes with team support capabilities, would actually use them beneficially. Even at its best, this system cannot provide comprehensive support, due to the sheer amount
of players required.

4. The currents system does not provide structure.

Whether DICE decides to improve upon the commander position from bf2/2142 for re-introduction, or decides to implement a whole new system, a chain of command and basic team support features are needed, preferably dependent on a single voluntary position.

Conclusion: Finding teamwork is not an issue per se. Playing the game with limited teamwork assets is.Team play is an essential part of game design. It is a core consideration and a requirement for this preset. However you define it, regardless of how you achieve it, you must have it.

This post has been edited 4 times, last edit by "mega" (Feb 13th 2013, 5:47pm)


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Wednesday, February 13th 2013, 4:22pm


The skill-challenge balance



A. Server settings: We do not know what server options would be available for bf4, so a general overview based on bf3 settings is provided:

  1. 1. Friendly Fire: This setting should not affect the preset. Players should be able to experience this mode with both options. If this is not possible then in should be OFF. This is based on the fact that only some teams/clans, with a large enough dedicated admin team can comfortably deal with the inevitable team-kill dramas.
    2. Kill Cam: OFF
    3. Mini Map: ON
    4. HUD: ON
    5. 3D Spotting: OFF. “Doritos” severely degrade the skill required. In addition, currently it makes some vehicles, jets and attack choppers in particular, seem imbalanced, as they can engage effectively from very long distances. This also creates the negative effect seen in bf3, where teams are easily “capped out”, and not being able to break through from their spawn area. Besides being easily spotted from air, all the opposing team has to do, is to shoot at the orange dorito above the players head, rather than the player themselves.
    6. 3P Cam: ON.
    7. Regenerate health: OFF.
    8. Vehicle spawn: Selecting this ON or OFF should not affect this preset. Classic should be played both as a vehicle game and as infantry only.
    9. Soldier health: Based on bf3 Time to Kill (TTK), this value should be over 120, as determined by DICE. Less health rewards initiative, adds luck and slows the game down. More health means
    the game rewards reaction, aim and speed.(granto)
    10. Squad leader spawn: ON
    11. Vehicle spawn time: Under no circumstances faster than “normal” time should be allowed. However, increasing the spawn time should be allowed without affecting the preset status.

The following existing game mechanics should be made server variables, if they are to return to battlefield 4:
  1. 1. Audio spotting: OFF. Instead of relying on skill to find opponents, they are shown on the minimap with their current orientation position, simply because they fired their weapon.
    2. Disabling: OFF. Vehicles should just start to burn out at critical health. This mode does not have regenerate health system for them, so taking damage is considered enough punishment.
    3. Suppression: Whether ON or OFF, this should not affect the preset. Suppression in itself is probably the most controversial game mechanic introduced. Further, the intent of this mechanic was never officially explained. If the intent of this mechanic is to raise the TTK, then with the already higher such time, this would not be needed for this preset.The same conclusion can be reached if assumed that this mechanic was introduced to limit the skill gap between players (a valid design concern). In this context, attempts to “re-design” this concept would be futile, as all proposed solutions would ultimately render it ineffective for the original intended purpose. As such it should be turned OFF for this preset.

    On the other hand, this concept if not introduced as means to limit the players’ skill or to artificially raise the TTK, would be considered as a beneficial tactic in certain situations. A few suggestions:
    · Only vehicles such as jets/choppers/tanks should induce its full effect.
    · Any randomness factor should be removed. The guns should always shoot where pointed.
    · Screen blur and other visual effects should be dialed back considerably. While not really a problem in wide open spaces, urban environments with more than 48 players (for example: Strike at Karkand with 64 players), severely degrade the playing experience.
    · Limited only to bipod Support class weapons.
    · Only hitting the soldiers’ cover should induce it.

    Bottom line: It’s more likely than not, that a solution which pleases everybody cannot be implemented. Let he server owners decide if they want this mechanic ON, or OFF.


B. Lock on weapons: As one of the main factors that negatively impact the skill-challenge balance, they should be removed from this preset: Also, it should be noted that most experienced players, do not even use them now. There can never be such thing as a “skilled lock on user”; basically no player can practice in order to get better with them. Further, relying on them only teaches players’ bad habits
(standing still and exposed), and essentially it becomes time lost, as for example transitioning to be a better jet player would require them to re-learn how to shoot with the main gun, and how to use rocket pads effectively.

a. Javelin should be replaced by either AT4 or a wire guided solution.
b. Heat seekers missiles should be completely eliminated from all aircrafts. They are currently not even being used in jets, and they are only used in choppers because there is no better alternative. Such an alternative existed before, when the rocket pods tracked better the enemy air targets. This should be re-instated. Scout choppers should only rely on their mini-guns, however this will require a significant boost in speed/agility.
c. MANPADS should be completely reassessed by DICE. Since their elimination would require map design changes, by offering stationary AA encampments – we cannot reasonably propose that. This is
something we will defer completely to DICE.
d. Guided missiles should not be available in this preset.

Ultimately, they impede flow and decrease motivation, while adding distractions (lock on tones) and compound with the Paradox of Choice.

C. Squad perks: As this is a team work oriented preset, these only discourages from it, and they should be removed. Further, two additional factors should also be considered:

1. The Paradox of Choice. Some choice is good, but too much choice is bad! (Barry Schwartz).

2. Opportunity Cost. The cost of an option includes the value of the option itself, plus the cost of missed opportunities. This adds regret and a sense of loss. (Buchanan).

Ultimately they artificially increase difficulty via:

· Option paralysis.
· Postponed decisions.
· Increased cognitive load.


Others factors that were considered, but not expanded upon: Unlimited ammunition and a gun reload system based on magazines, not the number of bullets.

Certainly, this paper is not a comprehensive exploration of this topic.

To sum it all up: Classic preset will differ significantly from the base game. Beside a few server settings changes, it would offer extended teamwork tools and a greater reliance will be placed on individual skill. Its learning curve will be much higher than that of the normal game, but this is a desired/intended effect.








This post has been edited 1 times, last edit by "mega" (Feb 13th 2013, 6:27pm)


  • "mega" started this thread

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Wednesday, February 13th 2013, 4:22pm

Reserved 6.

ToTheSun!

something cooler

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Wednesday, February 13th 2013, 4:40pm

6 reserved posts? Shit's about to get real, gentlemen.

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Wednesday, February 13th 2013, 4:41pm

6 reserved posts? Shit's about to get real, gentlemen.

this

This better be good...

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Wednesday, February 13th 2013, 4:42pm

Now that is a new kind of post :) Let´s see what´s coming up...

BTW...wouldn´t it be easier to type everything in wordpad and then copy-paste it here?

"I´m just puting random shit in here so I don´t need to clean up my signature"



Quoted


17:37 Riesig: Revolver
17:37 Riesig: Asked me for cat on human porn
17:37 InternationalGamer: Anal'ed you
17:37 Riesig: ... he was shocked
17:37 s0urce: ...should i sig that now...
17:38 Riesig: yes


Quoted from "Sym"

In other words, this game's code looks like it's written by 5 year old kiddo compared to how DICE did things with BF3.



Quoted from "LB"


"Is Disney World the only people trap operated by a mouse?"
Yes! It's Micky Mouse's Magical Buttrape House


Average game in BF3

HINT: There are exactly 63 M16´s in this picture....