Gaming, Technology, Uncategorized, Video Games

What I Like About Battlefield 4 Multiplayer

This article may or may not come as a surprise to you. After all, I’ve written a lot in the past few weeks about how much I loathe EA and the issues I’ve had with Battlefield 4. With all that being said, however, I love the game when it works right. When it’s not bugging out, BF4 is the best online shooter I’ve ever played, and for many reasons. It’s a shame that the launch was marred (and is still being marred) with bugs and glitches galore, but I can’t overlook the fact that I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the Battlefield 4 experience when it’s at its best, and I’ve sunk nearly 60 hours into the multiplayer portion of this game in the past 6 weeks. Here are just a few reasons why I can’t get enough of this game.

First of all, it’s chaotic. There are choppers flying everywhere, tanks are taking potshots at you, ATVs are whizzing past at breakneck speeds, parachuters are raining fire from above, buildings are being turned to rubble by RPG blasts, snipers are methodically placing their shots, and stealhy assassins are constantly sneaking up from behind. There is so much to be paying attention to in this game, especially when a whopping 64 players are all dumped into the same map. The thrill one gets from bobbing and weaving through a hail of gigantic 30mm bullets is like none other. Sending a booby trapped ATV into a crowd of enemies and detonating it is absolutely awesome, and sending a well-placed RPG rocket into a chopper’s cockpit is extremely satisfying. With all the explosions and chaos, however, Battlefield 4 isn’t as unforgiving as it seems.

Amidst the chaos, I love the calmness and control I feel as well. True, I may be getting blasted by missles while I’m in my boat, but I always have an escape strategy; a jet-ski can be delpoyed when I’m in danger. Alternatively, I can exit my craft and repair it before hopping back in and eliminating the threat. When guided missles head for my chopper, I can set off infrared flares to mask my position. Even though I’m constantly in danger, I feel as though I control my fate to an extent. I don’t feel too vulnerable most times, even if I’m simply running on foot. Long story short, everything is well balanced so that there are pros and cons to nearly every vehicle, weapon, and gadget. Tanks aren’t inherently better than a couple of infantrymen with decent aim, and attack boats aren’t immune to missiles from overhead choppers, for example.

I also love the element of teamwork. With so much strategy layered into the multiplayer experience, it’s nearly impossible to succeed without good teamwork. I, for example, mainly play the Obliteration game mode. Both teams have three bomb sites they must defend, and a bomb spawns in the middle of the map. Each team must try to obtain possession of the bomb and plant it at one of the enemy’s sites before their enemy does the same. Because the bomb carrier is always visible on the radar, it’s nearly impossible for him to sneak though defenses or try to plant it on his own (usually). Most times, a bomb carrier is nothing unless he has a vehicle come to pick him up and take him to the site. Better yet, and armored vehicle with a decent driver and multiple gunners is ideal. Luckily, most members of the Battlefield community are smart enough to realize the importance of teamwork over personal glory.

I’ve been on the carrying end and on the chauffeuring end of the deal, and in both positions, I feel as though I’m doing something important to benefit the team. Others know where their place is in the team, and they play accordingly. Some players are exceptionally adept at flying choppers through crowded spaces; I know I can’t do this well, so I leave the choppers for others better than myself to use, lest I wreck them. Instead, I’m a very good attack boat driver; I have no shame in snatching the boat before anyone else because I know I’m likely to go on a decent spree. Others, rather than going solo, will willingly man my turrets and provide extra firepower; they know the importance of teamwork, and even if they aren’t in control of where they’re going, (when I’m driving) they go for the ride because they know they’re helping the team succeed.

In fact, teamwork is so vital to BF4 that I can’t think of a single match where I solely carried my team to victory; I always relied on others for assistance. Likewise, I can’t think of a time that any other player on my team has carried us to victory, and I always see that when my teammates are going for their own glory and forgoing teamwork, we lose the match. I love knowing that my decisions matter and that it isn’t about spawn points or who gets the first shot off.

I also love the way the point system works. Points are awarded in a very smart way, and points are given out for just about anything positive. One of my main gripes about the point system in Call of Duty was that even if I inflicted 99% of the damage to an enemy while a teammate took the killing shot, I only could earn a maximum of 50 assist points (I think); only half what I would have earned if I had gotten the kill with one extra bullet. In BF4, however, your assist score is determined by how much health you knock out of a player; only land a bullet or two and you might get 17 assist points. Maybe you really injured the guy and only needed to get that final bullet in; you might get 91 assist points, plus your assist will count as a kill on your Kill/Death Ratio. Since you did all the work, you get the credit for the kill, but because BF4 encourages good teamwork, whoever actually landed the final shot also gets 100 points and is credited with a kill as well!

Aside from that, good teamwork is promoted through a variety of ways. If you’re driving a vehicle and a buddy spawns on you, you get 25 points. In return, for every kill you get in your vehicle, all the passengers get a point bonus as well, even if they didn’t take a single shot at the enemy; the fact that they’re sticking with you and working as a team is enough to net them points. You can spot enemies by pointing at them and causing a marker to hover above your heads; you get 25 points if a teammate kills the enemy while they’re marked. You get 10 points for a suppression assist if you are shooting at an enemy but don’t land any shots; the fact that you were trying is enough to earn you points. Throwing down ammo or health packs for your friends nets you points, repairing a teammate’s vehicle nets you points, defending the bomb site while a friendly detonates the bomb nets you points, and the list goes on and on. Even better, there’s a communication system that has simple phrases such as “I need a ride!” or “need ammo!” If you help a friend who calls out that they need a ride, for example, you’ll get extra points for following orders. These incentives work remarkably; they truly encourage good teamwork.

The unlock system works well also. In order to unlock new snipers, for example, you must obtain a certain number of points with that sniper class. This goes for every gadget and weapon, since some items are only available to certain classes (which are Engineer, Medic, Recon, and Attack). Rather than unlocking a shotgun for leveling up even though you only use machine guns, you’ll actually unlock what you need. The upgrades are well thought out, and there are a dizzying number of combinations and permutations from pairing together different scopes, under-barrel attachments, suppressors, and grips. Again, this feels balanced and I love it.

Finally, I love how Battlefield 4 lends itself to insane “Only In Battlefield” moments. I’ve parachuted and landed perfectly in the turret of a moving vehicle, which took me directly to the bomb (today, actually). I’ve led RPG bullets that met perfectly with the nose of a chopper and created a blazing inferno. I’ve gone on Roadkill sprees where I ran about a half dozen enemies over with my buggy in about a minute. I’ve blown up tanks by using nothing but my repair tool. I’ve ramped my ATV onto the roof of a building where I ejected at just the right time to slip through a hole in the roof and into the top floor where the bomb planting site was located; I planted the bomb and won it for the team. I’ve parachuted down and assassinated a bomb carrier the moment I hit the ground. I’ve killed a man by running my chopper into his and creating a gigantic explosion. The list goes on and on; I might have to make a video montage in the future. There’s nothing like this thrill Battlefield 4 provides.

With all this being said, I’m sure there’s a lot I didn’t even touch. The multiplayer aspect of Battlefield 4 has serious depth, and now that it’s working with minimal issues, I can say it’s amazing. However, I still will not be buying any more EA games, I refuse to finish the campaign because I was reset by a bug over halfway through, and I cannot review this game with a numerical rating because of the saga of crappiness that I’ve endured over the past 6 weeks to get to this decent point. I have a love/hate relationship with Battlefield 4, but I can’t really recommend it to anyone… sigh… It’s a rough life.

Hopefully this review was helpful or even enjoyable to you. Leave a like or a follow if it was either, then check out my friends’ LP channels in the “Links” tab.

Until Next Time
Matt

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16 thoughts on “What I Like About Battlefield 4 Multiplayer”

  1. sounds like a decent game. I’m sure they’ll work out the bugs because well they kind of of have to. It’s one of EA’s biggest IP’s. Although they’ve made dumb decisions before so who knows. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Glad you enjoying it. All the best

    1. It is a decent game, especially now that most of the bugs seem to be gone on my system. It’s just a shame it took over a month to do so, and it left with with a bitter taste in my mouth, you know? I enjoy the game… but there’s always the asterisk of “but wait! there were bugs!”

      Even still, fun game haha

  2. EA is just the publisher of Battlefield 4. They didn’t actually make the game. I think it’s funny how everyone blames EA for buggy games instead of the developers that actually made the game. A really good example is Mass Effect 3. Everyone blamed EA and not Bioware :]

    1. Well, I know there’s a difference, and it isnt directly their fault… But I cant help but think that there had to be some correlation between buggy games being published by EA and why it must be. After all, SimCity, BF4, and Madden (which they’ve been sued for in the past) are all from EA and they all have their fair share of issues. Do they push their developers? Rush them? I just find it hard to believe it could just be a coincidence that EA happens to publish all the buggy or bad or money-grabbing games lol. Besides, they did win the Golden Poo for worst company in America 2 years running.. ๐Ÿ˜›

      1. EA doesn’t publish all the buggy games. Every game Ubisoft released last year was buggy as hell. Just about every game I played last year had a lot of bugs and I played close to 130 games. Even Bioshock Infinite had some bugs. GTA V, Last Of Us.

      2. I wonder why people love to hate EA then, if that’s the case, because honestly, aside from ACIII, I haven’t heard of a recent buggy game from Ubisoft. I’m not accusing you of lying by any means; I’m just wondering why their buggy games aren’t being torn down and brought to the forefront of people’s hatred like EA titles, you know?

      3. I don’t hate EA or Ubisoft I just don’t trust them. Every game I played from Ubisoft last year had a ton of bugs. Splinter Cell Blacklist, and Assassin’s Creed IV being among them. Then there’s Sega. Don’t even get me started about Sega rushing Creative Assembly to make Rome II.

    2. Let’s be fair about the amount of force a publisher can apply to a project and not underestimate that reality. As well, we need to be fair about the amount of rope a publisher will give to development studios that have clout, like BioWare. Finally, let’s keep in mind that games aren’t often released in a truly finished state and that has become acceptable, so either the developer or the publisher could truly have convinced the other to just release a given game because it can be patched or they’re working on a patch post-release.

      I think that the bottom line isn’t so much who is truly at fault but who is involved. Would I be inclined to buy another EA or DICE game if I was Matt? No, especially not soon after release.

      1. I don’t even know what to think anymore haha. I’m just going to buy games at launch from the companies I 100% trust, and I’ll wait for price drops for all the others. No matter whether it’s a developer’s fault or publisher, buggy games are still everywhere and it’s a shame. Who should we blame? I have no idea; I just won’t be buying the games, which is punishment enough for both the publisher and developer, I hope.

      2. “Who should we blame?”

        The people that think it’s acceptable, on all sides of the equation: the developers that come to the table without enough time in pre-production; the publishers that push without understanding; the non-gamers who just want to fuck off with pretty pixels; the suits that don’t play the games that they deal in.

        There’s a lot of blame to go around and a lot more that I can say but I’ll leave it at that.

  3. “I also love the element of teamwork. With so much strategy layered into the multiplayer experience, itโ€™s nearly impossible to succeed without good teamwork.”

    This is what I absolutely loathe about multi-player games. When things are going well and people are paying attention and focused on the task, whether silently just ‘getting it’ or talking to make a plan and execute it, there’s little that compares in gaming. But these situations need to be noted as universally small compared to the overwhelmingly majority of people that rage, ‘play for the lols’, refuse to communicate, intentionally feed and many others. It’s difficult to communicate or point out a problem because you’re so often marked as mean-spirited, rude or a ‘tryhard’.

    I loathe this because these games can be so damned fantastic but because of other players they are not. Developers know that they are using a system where players actually are the content, not simply the game itself. Yet developers take virtually no responsibility for this content and that shows given what I’ve mentioned above and what, I think, so many of us can agree to have experiencing. This means that the developers are allowing an ostensibly broken game and it’s unfortunate that so many people are ok with it.

    Is there an easy way to fix this? No. Will any fix(es) shrink the player-base? Yes. But the playerbase NEEDS to shrink so that people who actually want to play these competitive games competitively can do so without people who genuinely want to be there are there and not interfered with by the people who just wan to fuck off or don’t care at all about team play.

    Pretty and I have been playing Left 4 Dead on Expert again and have been having a blast with it. This is because we’re both skilled enough to not only play at that level but enhance each other’s gameplay and experiene because of it. We’re also working through beating each Killing Floor map on the higher difficulties as well. We can do this not simply because we’ve been a team for nearly four years now but because we both always want to get better and give all of our attention and skill to the game, something that can be read as we’re focused on the game and the other people playing in a positive way.

    Yet when we played with other people and play games like Smite with other people it all breaks down when it doesn’t go perfectly. So many people are afraid to so much as get touched in Smite that they play with such passivity it’s honestly disgusting to behold. If I attempt to make a play on the Assault map to take the focus of enemies returning from the base by pushing a low-health enemy away from a tower, fully knowing that I am going to die but the team can take out either (1) most of the tower’s health and put fear into the enemy team or (2) the tower itself and, again, put fear into the enemy team, it’s something that will work 40% of the time. When it works I actually don’t have to say anything because the team understands what is happening. When it doesn’t work the responses I hear run the gamut and there is, truly, no talking to those people.

    So…yeah, I loathe that these games exist and people with no real care can simply jump into them. I take very long breaks from team-based games because I don’t have the temperament to deal with the totality of the situation, from the developer’s lack of a response from building systems initially to reacting to what they see to the players themselves.

    “However, I still will not be buying any more EA games[…]”

    Because of my experiences with World of Warcraft I was absolutely unwilling to consider Diablo III. Blizzard has shown me that it takes them an incredibly long time to develop content and that the content they develop can be looked at by the player with the thought of ‘do you folks actually play the game that you are putting this content in?’ firmly in mind. For years my much-loved Warlock class had the piss taken out of it by Blizzard over and over again, being the most complicated class that required ALL of its skills and abilities on the bar, required the most attention and use of skills to reach the levels of damage other damage-dealing classes wrought for far less, had a number of critical bugs and, unlike the other pet class (later classes with the Frost Mage), could NOT survive without its demonic minion.

    They did a lot to fix that in the Mists of Pandaria expansion and it made me wonder why, in the years I played, it was never addressed until that point.

    After trying like hell to enjoy Path of Exile, getting to Merciless solo with my Duelist (now deleted) and getting to Merciless with Pretty (Marauder and Witch), I had to stop for all the reasons you’ve read before and I’ll post later again. I was willing to look at Diablo III, so we downloaded the ‘Starter Edition’ and began to play together. After beating the first real boss, the Skeleton King, I was pleased and bought us the game. I’m now half-way through Act IV solo with a Demon Hunter and have thoroughly enjoyed the experience, so much so that it’s really become my main game since I started to play it.

    But this is after the game has been out for nearly a year and a half, giving Blizzard time to demonstrate that they care about it enough to fix serious problems and even release an expansion to demonstrate they are interested in seeing it continue. This is also after watching the fantastic job they’ve done with Hearthstone and seeing that they have something interesting in the works with Heroes of the Storm.

    My experiences with Blizzard were very, very bad and I honestly didn’t think I would ever play another Blizzard game again. I only came to it by watching the company do some things right and then being able to give a game I was interested in purchasing a test-run to see if I’d actually enjoy it. I won’t be playing World of Warcraft again, but I’m willing to give their other games a shot again.

    This is very difficult to apply to Electronic Arts because of the size of the company, but being willing to wait quite some time to see if the kinks get worked out of games is something we need to be willing to do in this generation before getting into business with a company we have real reservations about.

    …now to play some Diablo III.

    1. I think a lot of the issues you talked about comes down to genre. I, for example, would have a tough time playing the games that you enjoy, simply because I’m unfamiliar with the genre and the strategy. Of course, I would be smart enough to play a single player mode long enough (if single player is available) to learn what works and what doesn’t. But in a genre where everything is precisely calculated and strategy is absolutely necessary, it can be pretty easy for one dummy to ruin it all…

      Which leads me to wonder why a dummy like that would even buy such a strategic game to begin with?

      What needs to happen is this: there needs to be a “judging room” of sorts where the game can put you through a series of challenges, grading you as you along. Then, by skill, you should be separated so that you play with others who performed similarly well, while the stragglers have their own crappy little division where they can Leeroy Jenkins all they want (look it up if you don’t know the reference lol).

      The nice thing about Resogun, on the other hand, is that although there is strategy, it’s more of a “method to the madness.” The game doesn’t truly allow for much strategic planning, but there are things you and a friend can do to assist each other. For example, one can distract the end boss while the other attacks the weak points; not a tough strategy to come up with, but it adds a layer to multiplayer that you don’t get solo.

      Even if you’re playing with an idiot, as long as they manage to stay alive, they’re helpful because they draw enemies off you. He can be the least strategic guy out there, but he’s still helping. Luckily, people like that don’t get the chance to ruin Resogun.

      But, for the reasons you mentioned, this is why I switched from COD to BF4. There’s no strategy at all in COD and the majority of players are little kids that just run in like morons. Granted, BF4 players aren’t perfect, but I guarantee their average IQ is much, much higher because I can sense a level of thoughtfulness and strategy in their play, even though we don’t speak to each other.

      Oh well, I guess. The search for a perfect game continues.

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