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I assume that the purpose of hardcore mode is to make the game "more realistic" and "less arcadey", which, if you ask me, is totally cool. I agree with most of the game-hardening options therein:
- Easier to kill? Yes. In real life, a single bullet, even from a low-powered weapon like a 9mm pistol is often enough to stop people forever.
- No automatic health regeneration? Again, this seems plenty realistic, and also an encouragement to rely on teammate support.
- No kill cam? This actually makes snipers worthwhile.
- Friendly fire? Not only is this realistic, and discouraging of unconsidered use of grenades and irritating, retarded shit like hiding C4 by flags, but it also encourages idiots to not run in front of you while you're trying to shoot someone.
But no useful spotting? That doesn't make sense, and here's why: In order to make Battlefield fun, and not boring (like the Project Reality mod), the scale of battles has been reduced while the speed of action has been drastically increased. Furthermore, one's ability to interact with one's allies has been tragically neutered, especially since I have not witnessed a single instance of anyone using the in-game voice communication functionality in my 85 hours of playing Bad Company 2. In a real battle, you'd be able to say, "hey, there are dudes coming over that ridge to the south by the crates at the leftmost edge", or "the enemy helicopter is heading from Position Bravo and going to pass just east of us", and it would be helpful. In Battlefield, by the time you've spat that out, the dudes coming over the ridge are fifteen meters away and have filled three of you with lead already, and the helicopter is already picking shreds of you out of it's teeth. Plus, in reality, you can elbow your machine gunner in the ribs and point, yelling, "there!" In Battlefield, even with the aid of Ventrilo or TeamSpeak, you have no such luxury; you still need to awkwardly try to articulate where the enemy is, and where he's heading. Often, all you get out is "TANK!" before you expire.
The spotting function, with red triangles on the minimap and in your regular field of view, does an excellent job of making up for this deficiency of the medium. So, you can't point, and you don't have a realistic amount of time for a verbal description, but there's a pretty good game mechanic in place to make up for it. Sure, it's unrealistic to have a red triangle hovering over your enemy's head, broadcasting his position, but it's also unrealistic to be expected to have any kind of situational awareness when you a) can't articulate where the enemy is and b) don't have time to, anyway. Not having spotting makes having teammates mostly useless; the game becomes Team Deathmatch in Quake 2 all over again.
So, if you want to run a hardcore server, think twice. Turn on friendly fire, sure. Reduce health? Yes. But don't neuter spotting. It makes the game less realistic.