So far, I’m loving Battlefield 3 – it’s great fun, and, I feel, an improvement on Battlefield Bad Company 2.
It’s not without its problems; though – here are my thoughts on what I’d like to see fixed:
Flares should be available by default
Flying is very difficult indeed, due to the fact that flares are an unlockable item, requiring you to score sufficient points in that type of aircraft to get them. So, you’ll take off in a jet armed only with its cannon, and no flares to shake off heat-seeking missiles; as soon as you’re airborne, people will be firing missiles at you, and, with no flares to throw them off, you’ll struggle to shake them, and will likely be shot down quickly, or spend your time in a series of desperate manoeuvres trying to shake off the missiles; you’ll not stay alive long enough to chalk up enough kills with the puny machine gun/cannon to score enough points to earn the flares
This means that players who have already unlocked the flares and missiles have a massive advantage over those players who haven’t yet, making it very hard for those who haven’t yet unlocked them to take part in jet/helicopter flying.
I’d like to see flares changed to standard equipment rather than an unlockable, so that you can at least have a chance of defending yourself while you try to get enough kills to unlock heat-seeking missiles yourself (something which, I believe, you’ll need to repeat for each individual type of plane in the game…).
Splitting parties on joining a game
Match-making can be a little shabby at times, too – invite friends to your squad, join a game, and you’ll quite often find you’ve been split up across different squads, and, often, even on opposing teams (even if there were only two of you) – a big failing for a game where teamwork and co-operation is important, in my opinion.
I think the match-making code needs to be able to look for servers with sufficient space to take all members of the party in a single squad on the same team without the game becoming unbalanced, and ignore that server if it’s not suitable.
(Note that I play on PS3; I do not know if the above points are valid for XBox / PC players)
EDIT: going by the number of people reaching this post with search queries like “battlefield 3 party join not working”, “battlefield 3 party problems”, “can’t join party battlefield 3”, it seems I’m not the only one annoyed by this.
EDIT 2: Looks like this is being worked on – EA blogged:
2) JOINING SQUADS AND STAYING THERE
Status: Fix pending in the very near future
Some people have experienced difficulties joining and staying in squads on console. We have identified the cause of this problem and will hopefully have a fix ready to roll out very soon. […] We will return tomorrow with an update on when this fix is live.
They also suggest following their guide to using the BF3 server browser. It’s not entirely clear, but it sounds like the filter settings chosen in the server browser apply also to the “Quick Match” feature, too.
M98B seems excessively powerful
The M98B seems to be excessively powerful compared to other sniper rifles in the game (although it may just be that I’ve just been unlucky and just seen it in the hands of very skilled players who managed a headshot every time – although I’ve been taken out with it in Canals was set up as an industrial harbor, featuring a mix of infantry, land vehicle, and boat gameplay. The attackers in Rush start out on an carrier ship and can reach the beachhead by amphibious vehicles, boats, and helicopters. All of the bases on the map hava single hit even whilst running a few times…)
You can’t quit after a round
When a match is complete, you see your stats, but there’s no option to quit – you have to wait for the timeout, then for the next map to load, and finally, when you reach the spawn selection screen, you can then quit. The most logical time to decide to quit is at the end of a round, so why not provide a quit option there? That would save a lot of wasted time, save the effort of loading the next map for no reason, and perhaps even give the server a better chance of making sure the teams are balanced, etc (it can have a clue who is planning to stay in the game, rather than doing balancing etc, only to see people drop out afterwards). Pure logic and usability would suggest allowing you to select to quit as soon as the stats from the completed round are displayed, I feel.