Hello, there! Z here with yet another outpour of thoughts that may or may not interest random people on the Internet (aka a blog post).
Having had a quick but careful read through the latest Battlefield 3 tweaks list , destined for the next patch, I've come to a number of conclusions about how it would change gameplay and what I'm personally happy and not so happy about. Bear in mind this is a quick writeup of the things that stood out most when I read through the list.
I originally wrote this as a comment on AnonymousTom's Full Tweaks list news post, but it quickly got too wordy to post there.
I may write another blog post in the future analysing what the changes will bring to gameplay, but also geared towards those who don't want to read the full tweaks list or don't quite understand what the combination of all these changes will do to general gameplay. This would be published at around the time of the patch (to incorporate any late changes).
OK, let's jump in...
Some quick thoughts
'Holy CRAP are there a LOT of changes!!!'
- ~ Me on the list of tweaks
It feels to me like the dominance of vehicles will be reduced. Now a great deal of teamwork (more than 1 person repairing) will be needed to keep vehicles going. This is due to the reduction of the repair tool's repair speed, the increase in damage values for the RPG-7/SMAW, Javelin and Stinger/Igla launchers against various vehicles, and increases in the distance and reduction in lock on times for laser designations, Javelin, AGMs, SAMs and heat seeking missles.
I'm not so happy with changes to helicopters. I think helicopters are fine as they are with regards to their ability to take each other out and the Attack Helicopters' gunner's ability to take out vehicles. Damage against ground vehicles is fine as it is, as only a good pilot/gunner combination can effectively neutralise heavily armoured vehicles and only a good pilot/gunner combo can demolish enemy AA and helicopters (I'm often part of these combos). What I am delighted with is the removal of the ability for missles to kill a pilot or gunner instead of just damaging the helicopter and not affecting its passengers.
I'm somebody who isn't so happy with the MAV changes. Removing the elevator capability is a good thing, IMO. However, some places previously unreachable that have been made reachable via its use should be made accessible - it really added some verticality to the game. I guess we'll have to use vehicle launches to get there now. The ability for the MAV to kill and survive impacts was something I quite enjoyed. It was something that required skill to achieve and was similar to running over people with the UAV in BC2, something I also enjoyed a lot. I think it should remain in the game, but maybe with the removal of the one-hit-kill ability, or with a smaller lethal hit area on infantry, or with the MAV taking, say, 20% damage with each successive hit. I'm going to have to get a support to keep resupplying me with the damn things to keep killing with them. Without these abilities, the Recon kit seems very inert and passive - engaging enemy snipers at long range (doesn't help the objective) and scouting for spot assists, whilst being forced to use a PDW or shotgun to do any sort of objective offence/defence. The only effective objective defence snipers seem to be the semi-auto ones, and only if with a battle rifle setup (RDS/Holo/ACOG).
C4, I believe, *should* have the ability to be detonated after a respawn. It was a great way to stop tanks which seemed impossible to destroy (thanks to my team making no effort to help) after I'm spotted and killed. It'll also make it harder to C4 enemy jets and vehicles at their spawn points - something I find amazingly fun - though it shouldn't be a problem unless the enemy team has a good AA guy.
FRAG ROUNDS ARE NERFED!!! THERE IS HOPE!!! DEVS DO LISTEN TO PLAYERS (even at EA)!!!
Seems like the FAMAS will be a little harder to use, and will hopefully reduce its dominance over
the other ARs all other weapons.
No more M224 Mortar spam from unreachable locations is fantastic news, as those things were ridiculous in choke points on Seine Crossing and Grand Bazaar, especially when the only way to get rid of them was to counter-mortar (but, of course, when you put down your mortar, it flashes up on the map for a moment, so you have to be very quick to get rid of the enemy mortar before it gets you). Should make it harder to hold off enemy advances unless the mortar is well-protected (+1 for teamwork!). Maybe giving the MAV the ability to lock onto the mortar only when it's in use and having a very low lock-on range, so a Javelin can take it out might not be a bad idea, but this would be too unbalanced if the mortars are no longer allowed in secluded locations (deployment areas).
The changes to explosives spotting will bring the game back to how it was in previous titles, but, I believe the time that spotted explosives remain on the map should be more than 15 seconds.
What I don't see for some reason is the fix to the MG36 and QBU-88 glitches on the Back to Karkand maps. I've killed people with the long-range arms of death, but it's a little inconvenient, as the advantages of such deadly weapons are outweighed by a distinctive lack of being able to see anything at all due to the size of said arms.
Finally, HORNS ON JEEPS!!! yay
Overall, a positive set of changes; I'm very happy with the changes and I really think it will shake things up a bit - many will have to adjust their style of play, but only very slightly - just enough to make the game fresh, but without making it too different from before. I think it is going to shift combat very slightly towards infantry vs infantry. Despite my unhappiness with the C4 and MAV changes, it will definitely remove some annoyances from the game, and that is what this patch is all about - balancing and removing what's annoying (yes, horns on jeeps are key to game balance).
So, I guess that's it for now! Stay tuned for more random drivel about Battlefield!