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J0hn-Stuart-Mill

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Saturday, October 19th 2013, 3:14pm

Preparation for the Open Letter to DICE

** This post continually updated with new suggestions, and is the rough draft for the final version **

Ok guys, so when I was at the BF4 unveil, I got to speak to Patrick Bach for 15 minutes. One of the things I asked him was about how our community could help most with our feedback. What could we do to make our feedback as constructive and helpful as possible. This community is full of many smart and sincere fans of the game, and we all want to help make the Battlefield series as good as it can be, so what is the best way for us (Symthic) to communicate that to Dice. He said that they do love feedback, but that they can't get into endorsing one source over another, or people might feel like they're playing favorites. They also are cannot say "we implemented so-and-so's idea" because that just makes everyone else who had the idea mad, and people who disagree with that idea resent it and feel like their voice wasn't heard.

So that means that Dice cannot engage directly with our community, but what it does mean is that we can collaborate on an open letter, keep it short and concise, and publish our primary concerns and ideas for Dice to mull over. So that's what we're doing. This first post will be continually updated over the next few days, but this is going to be a relatively quick process. I'll start by giving some examples of what we will and will NOT be covering in this letter:

Things that will NOT be in this Letter:

PLEASE MAKE AK12 1,000 RPM BURST
PLD TOO STRONG
BRING BACK BELOW RADAR FOR AIRCRAFT
RE-MAKE DRAGON VALLEY FOR BF4
I NOTICED AN OBVIOUS BF4 BUG, TELL DICE

Reason those things will be left out: Simply we do not have enough information to form an informed opinion on those things. Until we know more about the weapons, the attachments, what all the gadgets in the game do, both individually and working as a part of a team, and before we know more about all the vehicle unlocks, we aren't in a position to give a relevant suggestions. Until we see the whole picture we can't jump to conclusions on what we have seen in the beta. Wish list items like bringing back certain maps or weapons is not the point of this Letter either, nor is this a bug report. So you might be wondering, what IS the point of this letter?

The point is just to bring attention to big picture stuff. Things that make the game more fair, competitive, or rewarding are great. Also good are suggestions that reduce or remove negative experiences in the game. It is hard for me to explain what that is exactly, but let these examples speak for themselves: (This is the list we have come up with so far over the past few weeks)


Flag Neutralizes
It is probably too late to add a flag neutralize ribbon, but we would like to see an increase to the points for neutralizing a flag, both the neutralize itself as well as incremental scores. The reason is that neutralizing is much more difficult than capping a flag, in fact, once a flag is neutral it's almost a formality to finish capturing it. Before it is neutral, however, the entire enemy team can still spawn on the flag to defend it, but once neutralized only players with squad mates still alive in the vicinity can spawn and help with defense. With Flag Captures now getting their own ribbon and medal, it's time to incentivize and reward the players who are "first on a flag", and who do the dirty and perilous work of neutralizing.

BF3's Expanded Mini Map
We hope to see BF3's "Expanded" Mini map, because the mini map is extremely important, and it's never been more important now that some people will have access to the full screen Battlescreen mini map on a second monitor. We love Battlescreen, BUT we are concerned that having a second monitor or tablet dedicated for this purpose is a very high barrier to entry just to gain this advantage in the game. Battlescreen gives a significant advantage over people who are not using it, and those who do not should still be able to run their mini map in "expanded mode" like BF3 had.

Spawn Points on Conquest Flag Capture Radii
Spawn points on Flag capture radii are a problem, because simply spawning helps your team maintain the burn, this has the negative effect of turning a given flag into a spawnkilling meatgrinder, as more and more enemies show up to take it, the more spawnkilling happens simply because the attackers cannot neutralize the flag with so many enemies spawning directly onto it. Even a few meters off the flag radius is enough to fix this problem. Ideally zero spawns in Battlefield would be directly on the capture radius, but we know it's not always possible. Spawnkilling is a bad thing for everyone involved, and just makes players extremely frustrated, and encourages them to NOT spawn on a contested flag in the future.

Automatic Stationary AA Guns
Automatic Stationary AA is a great idea, but only if it is implemented correctly! If a Stationary AA's purpose is to protect spawning air assets, then give it PERFECT line of sight towards those assets, and absolutely zero line of sight towards the playable map. Also, requiring an enemy player or vehicle to be spotted before the Auto AA starts shooting is no better than having it be unmanned, because the WHOLE premise is to protect air assets when players from that team are NOT PRESENT. Also, at the very least, if a player manages to get into an enemy air asset and begins to steal it, the Stationary AA should have enough line of sight to be able to kill it before it leaves the Stationary AA's line of sight. Vehicle theft might be an intentional gameplay aspect for some game modes, but if you intend for out of bounds stealing of spawning aircraft to be not intended, then it is important to implement that game mechanic carefully.

Map specific, and game mode specific playtime stats
We just think it would be a fun addition to the stats, and it's something we miss from the BF2 stats. Also we expect player stats to be public, but we just want to mention how important the stats API is to detect hackers, stat padders and boosters.

Spawn Protection
Many of us feel that spawn protection should be limited based on how you are spawning. For example, spawning onto a flag, or a beacon should give you spawn protection until your screen recovers from the black screen spawning effect. However, when spawning on a teammate, the player should not be given spawn protection, or perhaps a shorter duration of spawn protection. He has the first person camera feed, and can see if he's spawning somewhere dangerous, and that is the risk he is taking. The reason for this adjustment is simply that a player in a gunfight shouldn't have 2-3 guys spawn on him and suddenly there are 3 more invincible enemies where a second ago there were none. It is frustrating to have done everything tactically correct, and still be killed by the last squad mate appearing. This is even more common now in BF4 with 5 man squads, and game modes like obliteration.

Jet Pilots Bailing out of bounds
If a jet pilot bails out of bounds and 10 seconds later dies from being out of bounds, suicides inside his own jet, or bails out and then dies in the crash or dies from the fall, whoever disabled his jet should get the kill. In BF3 there are so many jet pilots who intentionally kill themselves in these ways just to keep the other player from being credited with a kill on them. It's a negative gameplay mechanic that should be discouraged by still rewarding that kill.

Map spawning vehicle assets
Siege of Shanghai did it right. The tanks that spawned at A and E only spawned for the team who's uncap was closest. That's the right way, but in BF3 many maps saw vehicle assets spawn for BOTH sides, and that leads to insurmountable numbers of enemy vehicles on the map, and makes comebacks very difficult, and utter blowouts, very common. BF3 maps with this problem were: Gulf of Oman, Kiasar Railroad, Operation Riverside, Nebandan Flats, Armored Shield, and Death Valley. (Caspian, Canals, and others did it right)

Exits from Map Uncaps
The border between a team's uncapturable base, and the area "in bounds for everyone" should be large. The more escapes from the uncap you can add to a map, the less likely a team is to be spawn trapped. Siege is a great example, 2 roads leaving, both teams have a transport heli that has some cover while leaving the uncap, and both teams have multiple jet skis with very quick access to the middle of the map. Great map design. As long as there are many ways to leave the uncap, spawn traps will be rare, and that's a wonderful thing, because getting spawn camped is extremely boring for both sides. It also leads to the highest amount of namecalling and other completely avoidable friction between players.

Battlelog Friend Limit is Too Low
This game is so great, it's easy to make friends. This will get easier now that everyone has VOIP. If playing together as a team is something you want to encourage, Dice, then please increase the friend limit on Battlelog. Right now the only solution is deleting friends, and that's not a good solution.

MVPs Ratio
If in the final game, there is no longer MVP2 or MVP3, that presents the problem of small player counts awarding a higher proportion of MVPs. One player in a 5v5 wins MVP (10%) but less than 2% of players in a 32v32. One easy solution is to award multiple MVP Ribbons proportionate to the number of the players on the server. Perhaps one MVP ribbon given out for every 16 players on the server. Battlefield is all about large player count multiplayer, and shouldn't award small player count games more heavily.

Transport Vehicle Leaderboard
It would be great to have Battlelog leader boards for transport vehicles, just like all the other vehicle classes that have unlocks. It wouldn't necessarily have to be based on kills- but point based, simply, points accumulated in transport vehicles would work well with the new vehicle assist points. Implementing this feature would open up another play style for players to compete in, and give selfless transport helicopter pilots and AMTRAC drivers something to be proud of.

Headshot Crosshair in Personal Killfeed
We hope this returns in BF4. Both when you are hit, and when you land a headshot, it's a nice visual indicator that it happened.

And just for fun, a purely cosmetic recommendation:
The BF3 repair tool uses the classic look and even a similar fictional logo to what is a propane torch. But Propane is rarely used in welding, as it's used in soldering or other general low temperature heating applications. What is used in welding is Acetylene, and acetylene generally is recognized by it's characteristic red tanks. Totally irrelevant to gameplay, but I figured it would be a fun thing to point out. :)



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

Alright, this first post will see many edits in the near future, so lets hear your ideas. I know Dice likely can't implement most of these ideas in the next 10 days, but if that is the case, then they are already working on the first patch, and if so, then these might get into the first patch.
My father used to say, We find our true friends on the Battlefield! - J0hn Snow

This post has been edited 15 times, last edit by "J0hn-Stuart-Mill" (Oct 25th 2013, 9:48am)


AdmiralGiggles

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Saturday, October 19th 2013, 3:43pm

BF3's Expanded Mini Map:
instead of having it BF3 style, i'd like to see a minimap that has a customizable size of itself and the zoom.

Spawn Points on Conquest Capture Radius:
afaik on shanghai all spawns were outside of the capture radius, so DICE did a good job there. not sure about the others maps of course.

Jet Pilots Bailing out of bounds:
bailing out of disabled jets should be not possible.

Sunglare:
srlsy get rid of it or make it customizable.
those sunglasses, they do nothing...

Maveco

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Saturday, October 19th 2013, 3:58pm

About jet bailing, what about having an ejection mechanic?

Delayed bailing, having the player to be ejected according with the cockpit's direction and maybe automatic parachute activation would make bailing a jet upside down or at 1'000 meters up in the air away from the map either hazardous to your health or yield some good 10 minutes of parachuting

ViperFTW

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Saturday, October 19th 2013, 4:04pm

You've outdone yourself this time J0hn, well done. I'm all for everything on this list (Even though I don't even use Jets, still sounds like a good way to balance it out) but I'm particularly fond of the minimap, stationary AA and uncap exit ideas (*Has Vietnam War-style flashbacks to shitty games of Grand Bazaar CQ as RU*) :)

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Song currently stuck in my head is: Red Cold River by Breaking Benjamin!

Aenonar

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Saturday, October 19th 2013, 4:11pm

tbh we don't really have enough data or experience on how BF4 handles compared to BF3 atm nor any way to actually get stuff checked rather than fading memories of a fraction of the beta. A sudden couple of days to gather up ideas is pretty short for that matter, but it wouldn't be enough for the game release either way since they should be printing discs already...



About the minimap: Would be nice if you could customize the UI a bit more, it's fairly limited even now so if you want something bigger or smaller you have to make everything bigger or smaller


Smoke trail on snipers: Just no... BF3 worked fine and BC2 was great. It doesn't help sniping one bit unless you make it really thin and distinct (rather than a jet engine) nor do you need any more help to know you're being sniped and from where with that massive scope glare, which is silly to begin with.

Now that we have more attachment points there could be a glare cover for that matter.

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(14:06:57) Riesig: I should stop now. People might get sig material again

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Saturday, October 19th 2013, 4:16pm

If one could work in a movement speed for spotting, that'd be great.

ie. someone sprinting 400m away won't have to be aimed dead on to be spotted, but someone prone 400m away requires more precision.

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Saturday, October 19th 2013, 4:29pm

excellent points john

i would like to add

spawn protection:

when spawning on a fixed point or a vehicle in base there absolutely should be spawn protection. I do not think there should be spawn protection when spawning on a player or another mobile asset, this promotes teamwork and discourages squad bombing. With the new voip system it is easy to communicate with your squadmate about you spawning and with the overhead view everybody has a clear sense of what is happening in the area they are spawning into.

spectator movement:

1.moving through buildings is necessary for a smooth experience when spectating, specially in modes like obliteration
2. detaching camera from 3rd person into freecam

e:
vehicle health regeneration
im not really sure how to improve it , but vehicles cant regen health at all stages of damage. There has to be a point where someone needs to repair it for the vehicle to become mobile again after being disabled.

This post has been edited 1 times, last edit by "o1oo1" (Oct 19th 2013, 4:37pm)


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Saturday, October 19th 2013, 4:33pm

Hello there,
I'm an ex x360 Battlefield ''Veteran'' player now converted to PC gaming.

My biggest issue with the BF4 Beta was with the Squad Spawn system.

With squads of 5, I cannot count the amount of times I started shooting at someone only to have his Squadmate and sometime SquadmateS Spawn with invulnerability, right on top of him and suddenly ending up with myself being completely outnumbered.

The Solution here would be to prevent Squad Spawn on someone who's Spotted or Suppressed (both as a condition).

My second Issue is again related to Squad Spawn,

But this time it's about Spawning on normally inaccessible rooftops and by that I mean, the ones without elevators

It can often be Gamebreaking to defend against infinite waves of enemies parachuting down from buildings you don't have access to, other than by air.
With 2 Choppers for 32 players you can't always just take one and do it yourself.

Of course I realize that this issue won't be as bad as it was in the Beta, with Commander's being able to bomb the top of the buildings in the retail version
but then again Commander's probably won't be in every game mode.

Here are a couple of ideas that could probably be used to prevent what I see an an Issue:

-Prevent Spawning and deployment of Spawn Beacons on top of buildings without ladders or elevators.
-(to a lesser extent) Prevent Spawning and deployment of Spawn Beacon on top of buildings which you can never get a reasonable vantage point on
-Add a timer on the Parachute once used ( this could slow down the spawning/jumping down from inaccessible rooftops issue)

''The best way for a skydiver to make sure that all of this happens is to pack the parachute carefully and follow the manufacturer's folding instructions. Most experienced skydivers do their own packing, and it takes 10 to 15 minutes to do the job.''

So there it is

Thank you!

Carl C.

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Saturday, October 19th 2013, 4:41pm

Keep posts productive and ot or bam! Delete.c
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<Haemoglobin> I was like LOLOLOLOL HERE COMES THE PAIN
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<J0hn> if it's a computer, i touch it... professionally
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Saturday, October 19th 2013, 4:53pm

Spectator mode should really be accessible from in game. It's really inconvenient to have to close the game, start up as spectator and then quit out and restart again just to check if someone is cheating etc.


No more inaccessible roofs. Every roof should have some means of getting to or they should be made inaccessible or easily cleared by some other means, like just destroying the whole building.

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