The Geekly Guy

This blog contains information regarding all things Linux, although any computer technology subject matter fits within the realm of this blog.

Friday, January 29, 2010

BFBC2 Preorder

So, I've prepurchased Battlefield: Bad Company 2 (BFBC2). As a bonus to prepurchasing, I've access to the beta environment. I downloaded the BFBC2 client, installed it, then tested things and played the game.

BTW, my gaming system stats are below:


Processor: AMD Phenom(tm) II X4 940 Processor, MMX, 3DNow (4 CPUs), ~3.0GHz
Memory: 3072MB RAM
Hard Drive: 1 TB
Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce 9500 GT
Monitor: Westinghouse 19" 1680x1050 @ 60
Sound Card: Realtek HD Audio output
Speakers/Headphones: Altec Lansing VS4121
Keyboard: Logitech cheap cordless
Mouse: Logitech MX1000 laser mouse
Mouse Surface: Neoprene
Operating System: Windows XP Professional (5.1, Build 2600) Service Pack 3 (2600.xpsp_sp3_gdr.090206-1234)
Motherboard: FOXCONN DigitaLife A79A-S
Computer Case: Ultra


Some things I've noticed:

1. In trying to remap keys, I've noticed a nagging issue. In every other game I've ever played (I first started gaming with Descent and Duke Nukem), I was able to map the Delete key as an action. I'm using something similar to this. See the keys above the arrow keys? The arrow keys and the keys above them are the ones I usually use for gaming...screw using the WASD keys! Well, BFBC2 won't let me map the Delete key, as it uses that key to delete mappings...WTH. Most games use the Esc key to wipe away mappings.

** Adhoc Update: **
Found someone else complaining about the delete button and the fact that you can't map it:
"There are problems with mapping some keys. Enter and the delete keys can't be mapped. Enter is used to bring up the menu and delete key cancels the input."


2. Within a game, when moving, you can't kneel without constantly holding the button that is mapped to that action. You can't lean left or right, either. You also can't go into a prone position.

** Adhoc Update: **
Found someone else complaining about having to continue to press the crouch key to stay crouched:
"Please add an option to toggle crouch, having to hold down to crouch is not good IMO."


3. Tanks are way too powerful. There are almost no ways to kill tanks until you gain experience enough to get the better weapons. That means that you're going to get killed again and again by tanks when trying to rank up enough to get the tank-killing weapons. IMO, the tanks should be neutered in the beta.

4. Sound is generally awful, but the artillery and big guns sound very good...the developers should find a happy balance between the two.

** Adhoc Update: **
Some links I saw of people complaining about sound issues:


5. The game itself felt like molasses were poured into the code. The game feels sluggish, even with a good internet/host connection. It is definitely not as fluid as games such as MW2.

** Adhoc Update: **
Found someone else complaining about "movement feels abit slow or sloppy":
"soldier movement feels abit slow or sloppy, dunno how to define it"



6. What's up with the infinite running ability? Wouldn't a real soldier get tired of running while carrying a full battle load?

** Adhoc Update: **
Multiple complaints of this in the whole feedback thread.

Note that I know this is a beta, but my thought is that this beta is being conducted close to the release date. The 'molasses feel' issue makes this game undesirable. No idea how they're going to fix that within a month.

One thing that's rather scary: I've participated in beta programs before, but I've never quit inside of 4-5 game sessions of the testing because of frustration. The guys I was testing with quit and went straight into an MW2 session (to go play something as controversial as MW2, no less)!

I'll update this entry with more feedback as I critique the game.

Update:
OfficialBFBC2 has publicized that a patch has been released for a client-side crashing issue, amongst other issues. See http://bit.ly/c5oBJy for further info.

Update #2:
Unlike the DICE forum comments, I've had no issues with the RC2 patching. I like the way the client updates itself (and even asking you if you want to update and giving you the chance to opt out). I prefer this over trying to download a gigantic file from a swamped mirror. I'm not having crashing issues like some are and I didn't experience issues with applying the patch (although some of my clan members did, and they're also experiencing other gaming issues with the beta client). I've noticed a speed-up (non-molasses effect) within the game, which is good. The key-mapping issue is still very annoying, though, with the fact that I still can't crouch without letting my finger off the keyboard, and the fact that I can't lean or go prone. I've also had to dial my video card WAY back, setting Overall Quality to low and running a resolution of 1280x1024. Any higher within either setting and the game gets like 20fps. Another thing I've noticed is that I can't map my joystick within the BC2 client unless I'm in the game...kinda hard to tune when you die within 3 sec. It's already tuned within Windows (XP here), so that's not the issue. The issue is with the mapping, as the default settings won't work, and you can guestimate but if you get it wrong, you're not going to be flying a chopper right (or at all, depending on how bad your mapping is). Lastly, this game, as much as they appear to be working on the 'molasses' issue, still doesn't 'flow' like its predecessors (BF2 and such). It appears your player moves and aims slower. Also, there appears to be a hitbox/damage issue is almost too tight...I'm hitting some people 7 times before they finally fall). Either make the damage model better or at least adjust the hitbox...something ain't quite right, there. [Note: see here for someone else complaining on this.]

Now, there are some things I like. I can form a squad with my friends and if the group of friends is big, we can have several squads of clan members. The map (Port Valdez) is also BIG!! The selection of vehicles (while I hate vehicles) is pretty good. There's a Blackhawk, along with an Apache Longbow. There's one main tank for each side (M1A2 and T90), and also an IFV for each side (Bradly vs. what looks like a BMP). There's also the Quads and the UAVs (which is VERY cool).

If I'm sounding so harsh, it may be because, while I can afford $50 for this game, the last few games that I purchased in the last six months (OF:DR and COD:MW2) were serious disappointments. OF:DR has an issue with multiplay (and there are next to NO servers running for this game, no matter how hosting is implemented); COD:MW2 has a development team that thinks their shit doesn't stink and won't listen to their userbase. Well, either its time for a new hobby or its time to start playing hardball by being anal about my future gaming purposes...its one or the other, but either way, it will mean that game makers will have to be more open-minded about working with their end-users and providing a proper game.

I'm not raging about this but I felt I needed to be as detailed as possible since I've already had one person comment about my beta review being too personal. Thanks for taking the time to at least leave a comment, though, Snipeor.


Update 3:
http://tinyurl.com/y8hrkyn lists EA's forum tracking of the beta, focusing on suggestions and feedback. It appears most of my concerns are already listed. This is a wealth of information and a good read if you're participating in the beta testing.

Update 4:
Noticed something else last night. I shot down a UAV as a sniper. I'm not saying that this can't be done IRL, but I shot it 3 times without missing...that's a bit far-fetched, as bullet deflection and aim angle are key in getting a hit. It was like I used a laser to shoot the UAV and I believe it was at max height. It was TOO easy. I may report this to EA as feedback, if someone else hasn't already commented on it.

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3 Comments:

  • At 12:52 PM, Blogger Snipeor said…

    Way too harsh, a lot of these are silly problems that only really affect you personally, And its easy to avoid being killed by tanks. Most of these are very minor personal issues I do however agree with the last point, why not make the sprint speed the default speed if they do this?

     
  • At 11:58 PM, Blogger Ron said…

    As I said earlier, there are a LOT of issues that need to be hashed out. If I'm going to pay $50 for a game, it had better be to my liking.

    The fact that I always go back to crappy MW2 speaks for itself. There's nothing harsh about wanting a game that's stable, conforms to standard key-mapping, and that is balanced.

    If you've a tank and you stand off at a distance, you're going to get quite a bit of kills before someone kills you, especially if you're at the beginning of the Port Valdez map and you're the attacker. There's also the issue of people rushing behind and getting as close to the next set of attack objectives as possible, just to get the freaking choppers and tanks.
    If I like anything about the MW franchise, its that they don't have playable vehicles.

    I have to hold down the crouch button to stay crouched. I don't agree with that, but you think that's personal. How so? I can't lean or go prone. I'm an Army veteran and I can't do half the stuff I was trained to do IRL within the game. Ask any soldier what would happen if they can't go prone or lean and they'll tell you that they'd probably die. These issues are not as silly as you think, especially since EA is having financial issues. Crappy game, crappy sales...

    I don't consider my comments personal, but those issues take the fun out of wargaming. If I wanted to play an FPS standing up and not being able to lean, I'd play one of the Halo games on my Xbox 360. This is the same mindset that people hate about MW2. The coders need to learn that there's a difference between PC and console gaming.

    We'll see if the clan can tune our server config to neuter the tanks and choppers (we've done it before with other game servers we run), but to be honest, several of the clan members are considering cancelling their preorders...and I'm getting ahead of myself, because we may not even purchase a BC2 server if not many clan members are turned off by some of the issues I mentioned.

    I'm still on-the-fence on puchasing the game, but if a game isn't balanced, I'm not going to be playing it much...that's a waste of $50, IMO.

    Any opinion about any game will be personal, no matter who's giving their opinion...really, I don't know many professional gamers but I've been gaming long enough to know what's abnormal. And this is a personal blog, so you're going to read things that may be considered personal. So at least half my clan have a similar assessment, so it can't be all that personal, right?

    We'll see how the beta progresses. A good portion of my clan are running the beta client, so we're all beta testers. Everyone that's currently accessing the servers are beta testers, which means they should be vocal about their thoughts on their gaming experience. That's the only reason for public beta testing. I'm glad DICE is allowing public beta testing, but with the full release close to 30 days away, they've a LOT of work to do and if I'm not happy, I will kill my preorder.

     
  • At 1:14 PM, Blogger Snipeor said…

    its fair to say now I have noticed a lot of bugs and am at best concerned about how they are going to fix them. But I have faith in the battlefield series, lets just hope they get their asses in gear and sort it out before release!

     

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