With the release of Battlefield 3, I feel it is neccessary to republish my favorite article and revise it for Battlefield 3. While the overall message is the same, the major changes to gameplay mechanics requires that I change sections of the article.
Feel free to comment and suggest things. I love feedback of all kinds.
Ride your armor until it's deadEveryone knows that this game has vehicles. Both light and heavy tanks can turn the tide of a battle. For the sake of balance, when one team is given more tanks than the other, the team with less tanks get Stationary AT guns. So, when you're operating your tank, don't bail out of it. Tanks don't re-spawn until the original is destroyed.
In Battlefield 3, vehicles do not get destroyed right away. They first become disabled, which sets it on fire and prevents it from moving. Once a vehicle has become crippled, it must be fully repaired by an engineer before it's totally operational again. Otherwise, the integrity of the vehicle will continue to degrade until it is destroyed. So, unless there is no way for you to repair your vehicle, you should never abandon it. If you are forced to abandon your vehicle, make sure it is totally destroyed before leaving. An engineer from the opposing team may appear and repair the vehicle, and turn it against you and your team.
In a tank-on-tank battle, the best thing to do is attempt to disable the opposing vehicle, even if it results in your own being disabled. If you do not disable their vehicle, and instead bail out, the other tank has suffered no loss. If a vehicle is not disabled, it will repair damage over time on its own. So, while you may have damaged the tank, it's can be fixed without the driver needing to exit the vehicle. To defeat a tank, you must disable it.
Don't touch my tank
In other games, stealing tanks was a huge problem. But in Battlefield 3, it's really not. Engineers need only to exit their vehicle for repairs if it has been disabled. Otherwise, the tank repairs itself. So, if some asshat were to attempt to steal the tank, the engineer can simply stop repairing it. Until the tank is back to 100%, it's still disabled, and can go back on fire and start loosing integrity again.
Blow shit upYou'd thing it would be enough, having the destruction of environments and objects as key elements of game-play. Sometimes, you just have to realize that shit needs to be blown up. That's the purpose of the grenade launcher, to make walls go away.
The number one spot where this applies is when you've trapped an enemy inside of a house. Do not go inside the house and get yourself killed. Just blow open the house. See an enemy in a window? Take out the whole wall so he can't scurry away.
But that doesn't mean you aught to go around destroying things willy-nilly. Destroy enemy cover. You and your team need things to hide behind, too, so just limit what the enemy can hide behind. It's hard to judge what should and what should not be destroyed, so just use your common sense...assuming you have any.
Now, I've been throwing around the term hard cover a lot and I haven't actually defined it, so here it is. Hard cover is cover that can stop bullets. That includes house walls, concrete, rocks and boulders, stone, what have you. The other kind of cover would be visual cover, which will conceal your position but will not stop bullets. That would be fences, foliage, and such.
Now, about blowing things up. Blowing open cover does not dampen the explosive force at all. Anyone on the opposite side of the wall or fence still gets the full brunt of the explosion.
Watch where you shoot
When you're playing on defense in rush, your objective is to protect the M-Com. Protect. For those who don't know, and I don't know how you could not know this, if the building the M-Com is in collapses, the M-Com is destroyed. You do not want to M-Com to be destroyed, so don't blow up the building. Avoid destroying the walls, please.
As for hardcore mode, you better watch where you shoot. Friendly fire is a very stupid thing, so watch what you're doing. Team mates have blue arrows above their head, so don't shoot them. They can't shrug it off, either, because there's no health regeneration in hardcore. Team-kills still count as a lost ticket, so watch it! Don't blow open a building if your team-mates are in it!
Ambush the enemy
The ambush is probably the easiest tactic there is to use. Some people call it camping. Those people are the same people that run full sprint into a building without checking their corners just before being turned into hamburger meat, and then they have the nerve to complain about it.
Here's how to ambush:
- Find a place to hide
- Acquire the enemy in your sights
- Wait until the enemy is close enough
- Jump out of your hiding place
- Yell "OOGA BOOGA BOOGA BOOGA"
- Shoot enemy in the face
(War cry optional)
On the opposing side, expect the enemy to ambush you. While sprinting will get you places faster, it also lets you get ambushed. It takes a crucial second to slow down and ready your gun, which is just long enough to have a bullet put in your mustache.
Back/Select/QThe spot button is a very important button. I think, or at least hope, that we all understand the importance of spotting. Well, that button can be used for a lot of other things, too. Chiefly, to communicate stuff to team-mates and squad-mates. Stuff like "I need ammo," "Attack Bravo," and "Hey, I just got shot in the face and I need some serious bandaids." To ask for ammo, all you need to do it point yourself at the nearest assault and tap your spot button. Same goes for health from medics and repairs from engineers.
Now, I know what a lot of you guys are thinking: "But Zealot_Guy, you charismatic stallion, I do ask my mates for stuff by way of the spot button, yet I am ignored! What do?" Well, sorry to say, but there's nothing you can do. The person you are requesting stuff from is clearly a total moron. When you use your spot button to request things, a cue also appears on that guy's radar. Your blip, that is normally a little triangle, turns into your request. Requests for ammo turn into flashing bullets, requests for health turn into flashing pain-pills, requests for repairs turn into flashing wrenches. It also appears over your head when you make the request. Also, when the person who can supply looks at a person in need, the icon will appear over their head. Assaults will see flashing bullets above people that need ammo, you get the idea. If the supplier presses the spot button on the person in need, they will actually cue "Hey, I've got some ammo for you!" or "Hey, I'm a medic; I'll take care of that," or "Woah, man, pull over; let me fix that thing up."
Pressing the spot button on a friendly vehicle will cue a request for a ride.
Quite frankly, there's no excuse for not helping your team mates. Everything is right there, so pay attention!
Look at your damned mini-map
The mini-map is an important tool, unless you're playing hardcore. Everything is on your mini-map. The location of vehicles, team mates, medics (when injured), injured players (as a medic), downed players (as a medic), damaged vehicles (as an engineer), tracer'd vehicles (as an engineer), active motion mines, players requesting anything from you, and enemy troops that have been spotted.
When an enemy is spotted, an orange triangle appears above their head for every player on your team sharing line-of-sight. Regardless of line-of-sight, everyone gets a blip on their radar. So look at the mini-map.
You have real-time knowledge of everything going on around you, right in a little box in your screen. Why don't you look at it? You should never have to ask "where are you?" to anyone. They're on your map.
When the shit hits the fan...
When the shit is about to hit the fan, it's a good idea to distance yourself from the fan to avoid being covered in the shit. Easier said than done, I'm afraid. Simply put, it's all about being aware of your surroundings. Line of sight works both ways: if you can see them, chances are they can see you, too. If a tank is rolling in spot it then hide. Don't stand there and watch it. Don't get me wrong, it's a good idea to peek out and keep tracking it but if that thing's turret turns your direction you better have something very solid to get behind.Also related: if you're in a situation and you're expecting shit to hit the fan, have a fall back plan. Never lock down behind cover if there isn't another piece of cover near by for you to run to. Don't gloat over your awesome kill because someone is planning on killing you.
Rules of the Road
Tanks are big and roads are narrow. Don't drive down the center of the road and swerve around like you're drunk. Accidentally hitting friendly vehicles will still damage them, plus it's downright annoying. Light-skinned vehicles such as the CAV, quads, and any of the trucks or 4x4s can hold multiple people and move pretty fast. So, please, fill up the seats before driving off; no one wants to walk.
Some guy just took your dogtags... for the 5th time... In a row. You're probably a little ticked off, right? No, you're really ticked off. You need to kill this guy, and kill him hard. So you go for it. What happens? You fail, and you always will. The reason you failed at getting revenge is because you made it personal. Don't make it personal.
Be honest, do you really think that guy cares who you are? He doesn't even remember your name, nor does he want to bother. The only reason he came after you is because your death is just another kill to him. To the enemy, you are not another player; you are a statistic. Why do you kill in this game? To get closer to the objective, to defend the objective; maybe for the pure sake of killing! The moment you make it personal your judgement gets clouded and you make bad decisions. It's not personal, so don't make it so.
The whole concept of the dogtags being taken from other players is soley for humiliation. Now, here's a simple question. Once you have successfully taken that guy's dogtags, what are you going to do with them? Nothing, that's what. The combat knife is a weapon of necessity and practicality, and should be used as such. You sneak up on someone unheard? Shank them. You know someone is right around the corner? Surprise them with the knife. Caught in a CQC engagement? Naked Snake says a knife is more useful than a gun in those scenarios. What I'm trying to tell you is: do NOT prioritize the snatching of dogtags over eliminating the threat. It's vital that all threats be dealt with quickly. If you're chasing someone for their dogtags for more that two whole seconds, just shoot them.
Let's face it, guys: your streak of success will always come to an end eventually. You should not be in any hurry to embrace your fate though. Don't get upset when you are finally taken down. Just give yourself a pat on the back for having a good run, then get ready to do it again.
Crates are Non-Discriminatory
Ammo crates and med-kits are awesome things. They give you much needed ammo and heal your wounds. But, there's one thing you need to keep in mind: those boxes do not differentiate friend from foe. Ammo crates can and will resupply enemies. Med-kits can and will heal enemies. Never leave those boxes out somewhere. Also, boxes are highlighted on the HUD for everyone, including enemies. Tossing down a box while attempting to hide could actually give away your position.
Subvert ExpectationConquest game start. What do you do? Attack the closest base or the farthest base? In all likelihood, you're probably going to attack the closest one, right? And then move to the middle flag? And then clash with the enemy until you can push through to their flag and capture it? Well, that's what a lot of players do. You need to do the unexpected. Attack the farthest base first; don't advance, hold and defend; flank directly and set up between bases to ambush advancing enemies; Ignore the bases all together and attempt to boobytrap enemy vehicles. You need to do things the enemy won't account for. That's the basis of the saying "stupid enough to work."
If you're under fire and pinned down, don't attempt to return fire. Retreat and attack from another angle.
— Sun Tzu
Always Fight on Your Own Terms
— Sun Tzu
If the enemy retreats, do not pursue him. If you need to break cover to give chase, it's a bad idea. That guy knows his fight is going badly. The purpose of retreating is to shift the status quo. If you pursue, you're now fighting on his terms, and put yourself at a disadvantage. Never attack a well defended position; that's why it's being defended. If the enemy is prepared for you, do not bother to flank him; it will actually serve more productive to bypass the position entirely. If you begin capturing a conquest flag or plant a bomb on an M-Com without alerting the enemy to your presence, you're doing it right. The enemy will be forced to move to you if they want to defend the objective, and forced to fight on your terms. From there, you can be prepared to defend from the counter attack.
Make Them Run Away
— Sun Tzu
When playing Rush mode, every time you destroy the 2 M-Coms the map boundaries shift and the defense is forced to retreat. Many, many players will attempt to rush in and kill any residual defenders. This is a bad idea. Death of defenders does not help the attackers win, but death of attackers most definitely helps the defenders win. If a defender is attempting to retreat, don't bother attacking him; it's not a priority. If you do kill him, he's just going to respawn over at his new base anyway. Not to mention that if you begin firing at him you're going to give away your position and any enemy with line of sight will open fire on you.
Keep Your Objective In Mind
Forget Squad Deathmatch exists for a second, here. What is the main objective in rush? To kill? Of course not; the objective is to destroy the M-Coms or prevent the M-Coms from being destroyed. Conquest? To capture and hold the flags. In rush mode, many players become distracted by the killing part they forget about the objective. This is especially prone to happening to defenders on rush. While killing the attackers is the grounds for victory for the defense, it should be remembered that all of those kills are for naught if the attackers destroy the M-Coms. In conquest, killing will reduce the enemy tickets, yes; but having control over the majority of the bases also causes tickets to bleed. I've seen teams on Atacama Desert lose even though they were whoring the helicopters and killing everything simply because they didn't capture the bases. The ticket bleeding effect from controlling the bases is usually faster than ticket loss due to killing.
While this is a video game and deaths are hardly a huge deal, you should always obey your instinct for self preservation. Avoid doing things that will get you killed in vain. Choose your fights carefully. If you encounter a situation that you know will end with you dying, think twice about if it'd be worth it. Can I position myself to ambush the group of enemies and kill them all? Can I wait till the enemy tank passes, and hit it in the back for more damage? Can I get to the AT-launcher and use that to attack? Will this cover provide sufficient protection? Would sacrificing myself for this be worth it?
If you're trying to sneak your way through somewhere, being aggressive and engaging enemies will give you away. Don't feel the need to shoot EVERYONE you see. If you can spot them, do that at least. An Assault with a 40mm grenade launcher is not about to take down a tank single-handedly.
Give give a little forethought before shooting.
Take the Initiative
Have you ever heard of something called "Onlooker Apathy"? It's that event when people think "someone else will do it." Someone else will destroy that tank. Someone else will shoot down that chopper. Someone else will defuse the M-Com.
Here's some news for everyone. No one is going to. Don't assume for a second that someone else will do anything. You do it. You shoot at the tank. You fire at the chopper. You haul ass to that M-Com and disarm it. You fall back to defend the flag that's being captured. You move out and secure the flank. You throw down the ammo pack. YOU do it.
If others follow suit and help, awesome. But don't assume they will. Because if no one else does it, then nothing gets done!!