Battlefield 3 Q&A: DICE Talks Fistfights, Vehicle Upgrades

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Battlefield 3 Q&A: DICE Talks Fistfights, Vehicle Upgrades

Earlier this week, I was treated to a new demo of the rapidly approaching military shooter Battlefield 3, which promises to raise Battlefield’s sprawling formula to soaring new heights. After watching a 10-minute demo of the game’s campaign running on PS3, I secured a few minutes with DICE Producer Patrick Liu to address some questions from PlayStation community members…plus a few of my own!

Are you playing the Battlefield 3 Open Beta on PSN? Share your thoughts (and winning strategies!) in the comments below. For more information on the Battlefield 3 beta, or to report bugs, please check out the official Battlefield 3 Beta FAQ.

BF3 - MP - Caspian Border - Gamescom_01

PlayStation Blog: There are a lot of military shooters these days. What’s the biggest thing Battlefield 3 is bringing to the table?

Patrick Liu: It’s a number of things. For a very long time, the core pillars of Battlefield have been the destruction, the sandbox experience, the scale, and the vehicle gameplay. Those are all still pretty unique to Battlefield, I’d say. My first Battlefield game was Bad Company.

PSB: You showed off some new, complex fistfights in the single-player games. How did those come about? Why not stick with knife swipes like every other FPS in the last five years?

Patrick Liu: Apart from shooting and driving vehicles, we wanted to bring something new — something we’d never seen before. We asked ourselves the question, “what happens when enemies come near you?” So we focused on melee combat, making it a more visceral experience. It feels different and unique, and breaks up the combat in the campaign.

There are different kinds of melee sequences throughout the campaign. Some of them are a bit more scripted, but there are also fancy execution-type kills if you can get behind your enemy — and if you do it in multiplayer, you’ll collect a dogtag too!

PSB: Tell me about Battlelog. Was the concept inspired by Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit’s Autolog?

Patrick Liu: In some ways it was. I would say that Need for Speed’s Autolog is more geared towards competing with your friends — beating their records and so forth. Battlelog is more of a social network: your battle feed shows what’s happening to you and your friends in real-time. We built the server browser right into Battlelog, so you can actually join all your games right from Battlelog. What’s good is that Battlelog is web-based, so we can update it on the fly. Some players have been concerned about how that works, but I can assure you it’s no problem: everybody can access it, and you can access it from any PC or mobile platforms. It lets you interact with your Battlefield 3 multiplayer experience when you’re not sitting in front on your PS3. Battlelog lets you form up squads, form up platoons, track your stats, compare your progression with your friends from anywhere.

BF3 - MP - Caspian Border - Gamescom_12

PSB: Dense urban combat is a bit of a departure for Battlefield, traditionally. Why did DICE want to pursue it? What are you bringing to urban combat?

Patrick Liu: A lot of guys on the team, myself included, wanted to try out more urban environments versus the open landscapes you’ve seen in previous Battlefield games. We’re still doing those open landscapes and the sandbox experience, but now we’re offering a wider range of gameplay and flavors. The urban environments also give us more types of destructions, from the micro-destruction of chipping away at cover to the macro-destruction of big buildings in Paris falling down over you. If you stand below that, you’re going to die!

PSB: On that note, how have the destructible environments been improved or refined over Battlefield: Bad Company 2?

Patrick Liu: I’d say it’s mainly down to the range of different types of destruction. As we showed in the office shootout in the campaign mode, you can shoot through cubicles and walls in the office – papers are flying around, it’s chaotic. We couldn’t do that kind of destruction in Bad Company 2.

PSB: Shooting through the cubicle walls: I’d never seen a shootout quite like that.

Patrick Liu: Yeah. We’ve seen other games spraying out a lot of particle effects, but I’ve never seen destruction like that, integrated into the environment and into the gameplay in that way, where you’re shooting out cubicle panels to catch the enemies off-guard. It’s pretty fresh, I think.

PSB: You showed off a lengthy campaign scenario from the PS3 version, and it covered a huge amount of space – it was a very large level. But there weren’t any load times or hitches in the pacing. That’s technically very difficult for many games – is that a benefit of Frostbite 2?

Patrick Liu: You’re right — that’s Frostbite 2 and our new streaming technology. We didn’t have that in Frostbite 1. It enables us to build bigger maps, whether they’re interior maps or open exterior sandbox environments. We wanted to push the scale as much as possible, and our new streaming technology is essential for that.

Battlefield 3 - Operation Guillotine screenshots v1

PSB:That level you showed on the PS3 was huge, but it was also highly detailed — I saw mirrored floors, reflective surfaces, tons of special effects and physics with a smooth frame rate. Are you confident that PS3 players are going to get a great experience?

Patrick Liu: Oh yeah. We’re very confident – we’re pushing the hardware big-time. Of course, we have a performance budget that we have to hit. Everything counts into that: the scale costs performance, destruction, animation, special effects…those are all the things we cram in there. I feel really good about where we ended up with on the PS3.

PSB: On the multiplayer side, how does the character progression stack up? What will I be able to unlock when I play multiplayer, and what’s different from other multiplayer shooters?

Patrick Liu: Battlefield 2 kind of started that formula, with the persistent multiplayer character and unlockables, and we continued it with the Bad Company games. Battlefield 3 will push it even further, with tons of weapon customization. And for the first time, we’ve brought vehicle customization: you can increase your speed, increase your armor, add different gadgets to your favorite vehicle, different missiles for your jet, UAV-type radar to your jeep, and so forth.

PSB: So far, what’s your favorite multiplayer mode?

Patrick Liu: I would say probably any of the Squad versions of the game, Squad Rush and Squad Deathmatch. It’s a little more intimate: each player counts. It really brings out the teamwork.

PSB: And what about your favorite weapon in multiplayer?

Patrick Liu: Probably some of the LMGs, such as the M240, maybe. It’s fun to spray down the subway in the Operation Metro level — laying down suppressive fire is super helpful. Suppressive fire is something completely new that I’ve never seen in another shooter, and gives the Support class a much clearer role: supporting the team! If you spray fire near somebody, it will make their vision blurry and impede their aiming. It also earns you points, so it’s rewarding.

PSB: Tell me about the Sniper class — how are you balancing campers?

Patrick Liu: Either you love or hate snipers. We wanted to make snipers much more of a recon class, so we’re giving that class a lot more gadgets and features to aid their spotting ability. And to counter camping snipers, look for the gleam of his scope if you can’t tell where the sniper fire is coming from!

PSB: Just a few days ago, DICE announced that full-blown expansion packs would debut first on PS3. Can you give PS3 owners a peek at the DLC plan?

Patrick Liu: We have a plan of long-term support for Battlefield 3. The launch is just the beginning for us, so you can expect new content and tweaks regularly. The expansion we’ve announced is Back to Karkand, which is free if you pre-order Battlefield 3. It’s going to be an epic map pack and it’s just as ambitious as the Vietnam expansion to Bad Company 2. It brings back Strike at Karkand, which is probably the most popular Battlefield map ever in addition to three other popular Battlefield 2 maps, new weapons and mods.

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6 Author Replies

  • Here’s my experience on the PS3 Beta.
    Start off my Sending out Invites to friends that are Online or Online in the Game Menu and they except the invite or I accept the there invite.

    Get in the Squad room while in the main menu. While in the MAIN menu ONLY (can only talk on the mic in the main menu ONLY)

    I Start the Match or they start the match.

    The Whole Squad gets Split up when the game starts.

    ►Seen where where both on different Teams (sides) but also seen times where both on the same team but in different squads.

    ►Also another experience I have had is when you Join a Friend from the MAIN Menu it will also send you to the other team or squad.

    ►Yesterday I had a experience where I Joined a friends Invite and got sent to the Squad chat room in the MAIN MENU the other person was in the game playing and I never got sent to the game and there also was another person in the Squad in the Main Menu and they also never got sent to the game.

  • ►My Previous Comment on Comment page 2 Comment #100◄
    Over all I think the squad system needs allot of work to get 100% correct to have a wonderful experience. I like to join a friend from a Invite or from the Main menu without them having to send a invite and join in there game and be on the same side in the same squad.

    I can understand unable to join your friend due to the game is full or there in a full squad and no room for another person in the squad.

    When Someone sends you a Invite that Invite she leave a open spot just for your friend in that squad he/she is in so they can have a great experience in a game.

    They also should have it if you choose to join a friend if they are in a full squad you should be told there is no room in your friends squad would you like to join a different squad on the same team.?
    ( X ) Yes
    ( O ) No

    The main CORE experience playing a game is the point of joining a friend and having fun with that friend your wanting to play with or join with and chat with him on a headset without having any issues with headset communication.

  • I am getting really sick on comments about graphics. Let me explain it quickly for you. Look, the graphics shown in the Beta are not the real version of the graphics. They’ve dummed it down so that it doesn’t take so much space. If you choose ultra, you don’t get on ultra, you’ll still be on Medium or High, because the highest graphic settings are locked until full-release. The screenshots now are obviously from the full game, so that is what we can expect. Just wanting this to get clear, so please PSB, don’t take this comment down.

    I am also pre-ordering this today.

  • ****Warning—Complaining Below—****

    I know some will hate me for this, but… it just doesn’t feel the same anymore. First: I thought these guys are meant to be wearing armour, I get straight into the action and then it’s just a matter of luck as I would get killed in the first second. Might as well be playing as a streaker, you might have better luck then.
    Second: Where’s the teamwork?? Throwing ammo or health to your team is WAY TO SLOW. Reviving has a massive cooldown time.
    Third: That annoying voiceover guy, I hate his voice! Bland and ugly!
    Fourth: Defending is absolute bulldust! 100 kills to win!? What!? Also arming is so awkward as the “new” M-Com AKA a TV on a cabinet has to be approach from a certain angle to interact with, equals you getting killed.
    Fifth and finally: Why do we start off with only one weapon? I am pretty damn sure I had around 4 in BFBC 2.

    and that’s the way I feel…

  • ok i have my own question and id apreciate an answer will our rank from the beta carry over to the full game or do we have to restart either way is cool but i just wanna know

  • The beta would be a lot more fun if you couldn’t fall out of the map in that one area! Because #1 if you fall you can’t get yourself out, and #2 I can’t help but get shot because other players can use it to shoot at me but I can’t flank or shoot back at them! I know it’s beta, but it’s extremely frustrating at times.

  • @27 Rorek_IronBlood

    Whats up with people complaining on the EA Online Pass? If you buy new games, it shouldn’t effect you. If you are a cheap gamer and want to wait a few months before someone trades it in just so you could save 5 bucks, than you are retarded. Buy full price and you play online. Save 5 bucks and you… pay 15 bucks for online, so you lose 10 bucks! instead of the 60, you just spent 70 on it. Nice going coupon saver!

    How are you going to say this is a Demo and not a Beta. Its a Beta, not a Demo. Its an old build of a Beta that they previously had. its not current. Those glitches might actually be fixed already. I for one actually like the “Saving” all the time thing. I don’t notice any slow down, and If you do decide to quit the game, you will still get everything you unlocked during that match. Its a win-win. At first I too thought the recoil was too much, but after playing a while, you get better at it. And its supposed to be military grade weapons, which means they are more powerful than their civilian counterparts so expect a little more kick in them. I’ve shot an AR15 (Civilian Weapon) and the recoil on that is nothing compared to its Military Version.

  • as for knifing they said you have to sneak up behind people to do it that way people cant just run at you and you shoot them in the chest 4 times and they just stab you and move on one thing i hated about bbc2 the thing about the beta i dont like other than all the glitches is that i shoot people alot and hit them first and they shoot me once and i die and another thing i hate is that people still dont spot please push select on ps3 to spot do it do it do it you stupid noobs recon noobs really need to learn to spot if your gonna camp a mile away at least spot so people on your team know where the bad guys are spot spot spot you noobs !!!!!!!

  • Can’t wait to check this game out. I have already got this game on pre order. Buddy up with me on launch (ID: Wyrebender).

  • Dice is there a way to make ps3 32 players online please try i know thath you dont want to make the xbox community mad but battlefield is more of a ps3 exclusive like call of duty on xbox

  • I’m playing the beta now on PC just to compare, and there’s a huge difference, I’m not gonna buy this for PS3 sorry, graphics just sucks, on PC i can play with ULTRA settings. also sound is better, i was expecting more from PS3.

    PS3 graphics are getting old and weak, and of course i really hate 720, one of the most anticipated games at the end of 2011 is at 720 on the most powerful console….. with bad graphics and lame sound.

    again, I’m not gonna buy this for Ps3, no way, I’m just gonna get exclusive ps3 games like uncharted 3.

  • just to say I’m comfortable, I’m using my PS3 controller on PC :)

  • The beta was totally great, I enjoyed it a lot but there are a lot of glitches on bomb site A and without mentionating anothers. But it was really cool keep the good work.

  • pretty nice graphics but sooo many glitches.. i colapse under the ground and sometimes all the screen flash in color pink, and i think, is the game or my console its to hot… so disturbing , so we need a patch to try this game nicely.


  • will my rank in the beta move over to the real multiplayer? or do i have to start over again

  • okay so there is a big issue in the beginning outside level of operation metro. When you go prone in many parts of the grass, you tend to go under the map. In fact, there was a hole so big that three people fit into it. The only way out was by committing suicide. Now I know this is a beta but the game comes out in a month or so and the problem should be addressed.

  • @108: Yes! That’ll be awesome!

  • Why doesn’t ps3 have a full battlelog on the console? CoD elite is gonna have a full version on the console.

  • @113
    Not a chance. You never see that with beta gameplay. The Uncharted thing is a complete MP, but this is still a beta that is being worked on.

  • Had very high hope for game even though it’s a beta it’s heart breaking how bad it is. The graphics at least on the PS3 are very bad very square literally and massive amounts of cliches and errors like the ground turning upside down on me and going through objects. Huge fan of this BF 2 and PS3 but really hope the actual disc game plays very different from the Beta.

  • i loved the gameplay of the game but the bugs are really annoying and their are some pixel issues in the game as well, if the games ships out like that (probably wont) then i wont get it then

  • GREAT BETA ! BUT ALOT OF BUGS ! like when u sprint it jams and the squad needs fixing there should be a yes put me in a squad or no and im already in a squad

  • This is really hard. I’m so used to Black Ops. I get owned in this game.

  • Well, I loved the beta right from the start and I still want the game without a doubt. After playing for a bit, though, I canceled my pre-order. It has nothing to do with the glitches and I’m not disappointed. My thing is I just recently bought the ultimate edition of Bad Company 2 right before the codes expired and I got whatever updates that didn’t already come with it. Because of that, BC2, along with the Vietnam, Onlsaught, and Battlefield 1943 that came with it, is very fresh for me…

    …and B3 didn’t feel like a big enough jump up from it to warrant paying full price. I decided that I’ll play BC2 for a while until the price comes down a bit. I still enjoy it more than Call of Duty, though I love both, but boy, with Rage coming out the same month, it helps for me to cut spending a little when I already have something that feels so similar (only more rural).

  • I’m not a Call of Duty fan ( & never will I ever be ) and so far playing the Beta version of Battle field 3 … it’s just a copy of C.O.D. with more color… I won’t be purchasing this game … I am a “GREAT” fan of the KILL ZONE & KILLZONE2 games except KZ3, ( Although I finished it.), Where they tried so hard to take away our freedom of choice and make it more like C.O.D. … If I were head of this company I would have FIRED these game designers for lack of insperation and creativity and mimicing othergames. [ The term ( “EASY MONEY” ) must have came to their minds for following the formating of others designs]…. you lost a great “IDEA” venturing away from the individualization of KILLONE … It was the original KILLZONE that got me intrested into gaming… I should say thanks for waking me up from this online coma and bringing me into the real world again of real interactive reality..

    Those that are open minded & know what I am stating. “GOOD LUCK IN GAMING”… SEE YOU AROUND!!!
    Those that oppose … You have the right to state whats on your mind. Just don’t expect any feed back.
    P.S. You can challenge me … if you want to test your self !



  • i love the game. that is why it is called beta. it is beta to play it on ps3 than xbox(trust me i know). oh and while i was playing it my ps3 froze =( but still pretty awesome

  • Out of all the 123 comments so far I’m gonna have to say that about 90% of them are total FACEPALM moments. One, after another, after another………after another….. lol. Crazy people! My face is starting to hurt!!!!

  • It has this old school look and feel to it, like old socom did, it doesn’t look amazing but its not pure crap, but man it plays great, i wanted to hate it because the graphics are so strange. After you get used to it, the mechanics are great, the shooting, the recoil, the guns, I sold socom 4 for rage, and i got origin discount thanks to my birthday, so 44.95 is a great deal for the ltd edition of this game. I love how it plays. Still some problems with the mic system not working sometimes. Some map glitches still exist where you fall out the bottom.

    I love this. Team work pays. This might end up begin my favorite shooter because the mechanics are spot on. Great guns as well. So stoked to be playing this.

  • I think they should put in a lvl like on Modern warfare 2 where it test your skill lvl and puts you with other people of the same lvl….and I only suggest this because i get stuck with people who have a skill lvl of like 2 out of 10 when mine is 6 out of 10 and they keep dropping like flies and then I die because i cant seem to get any where when my whole time dies. :(

  • I love the beta it is great other than the ground bugs. but thats all i have experienced. If u want to Hit Me Up on PSN

    Gamertag: xXmr_jeff_hardyX

  • The beta is very good, and it obviously IS a beta, rather than a glorified demo, so people shouldn’t worry too much about the final build of the game. Look at how good BFBC2 was, I think BF3 will be better.

    I did an in depth write up of the BF3 beta here:

    Check it out for more of my impressions

  • i had the beta for the pc. and well lets say this they did not even test it . i mean come on cant install… biggest issue on pc forum for this game at bf3 site. really its the engine for the game that makes a difference. and i want to know what it look like when it does come out on all 3 platforms

  • The beta is good although I wanted to try something like the Caspian Border map and some of the vehicles. Also the bugs and glitches are stubborn hope Dice fixes them starting by the squad management.

  • @103 Armour doesn’t make you a walking tank. It takes the same amount of bullets to kill someone in cod aswell.

  • Been playing the beta all day and i love it.

  • If the beta is already Top for me, imagine how will I fill about the final product :):):)

    Very good job DICE!!

  • LOL i laugh when i read some of these comments about graphics and starting with 1 gun idk if u realized when u download this off of psn but THIS IS A BETA.You should all know this is not the full game theres limits to what we can have just enjoy the beta if you dont like it who cares go play call of duty.

  • Yesterday i was playing in a squad with other 2 chaps, all goes well excepto 2 things:

    audio conversation was cutted randomly
    sometimes the match in my ps3 was frozen a couple of seconds and after this it goes normal

    A couple of time when i quit the game the screen goes black with a lot of text in the bottom side enforcing me to quit the game using the ps button.

    in bad company 2 if a friend was playing but without slot to join does not appear the join button but here always appears even if no slot is available.

    For the rest, it’s rock. I have reserved it and waiting for it.

    Sorry for my english it’s not my native language.

  • I thoght the graphics were goin to be a little better bt still neat, i hate all the players whho hids in bushes the whole game, and the kills? well its juss too easy to get killed

  • Lol. This feels like Bad Company 2 with a few new animations.
    Hell, it even has the same problems. The only difference is the Shotgun actually works in all versions of the Beta.

    Getting sniped through solid rock is funny.
    Crawling through the solid rock to knife the guy who shot you is even funnier.

  • Too bad the sniper shoots thru solid rock at least it isnt as played out as MW2……I found myself shooting thru rocks and metal even with a pistol in MW2…..what ever happened to “cover” in these games……I hope all these comments help with the final design because I look more forward to this game than I do Modern Warfare even thou Im buying both…..Great job with the destructable enviroments you practicaly sold me the game due to that and the article I read in game informer…..Good Luck with the final stages of development

    Yours Truly, Null

  • @123 Deaf-Blind-man
    I Trully agree with you….I didnt play online gaming till Half-Life Counterstrike….but my first PS online experience was with Killzone1…..since that game in my opinion Killzone fell off….lets face it they took away the alternate fire which was an Epic fail then they turned the multiplayer into a COD replica….I dont like any of the new weapons or characters in part3…..was the girl assassin with the pistol and knife in killzone1 the ballz or what…They had no buisness taking her out of the series….I liked how they brought back the cinamatic killz when you melee thou……I dont look forward to anything Killzone in the future as they only seem to amuse the masses and not true gamers like you and I…..However I do see hope with Dice and the frostbite2 engine

  • @123 DeafManBlind
    I Strongly Agree
    Killzone 1 was good but all the others sucked cause they took out the alternate fire and the girl with the knife and pistol How come I cant shoot a 203 or shotty shell in a sequel I thought ps3 is a newer system yet I feel like im playing a generic shooter…..they only amuse the masses and turned their multiplayer into a COD replica… I dont care for the new weapons in killzone either cause they used to be more conventional in part 1 but in K3 im shooting lasers at the end of the game WTF EPIC fail….I dont look forward to anything Killzone in the future However Dice and the new Frostbite engine look very promising

  • im a fps fan and i was really excited after seeing the trailer ….but after playing the beta im very disappointed in the graphics and the game play didnt feel new at all . so i guess MW3 it is

  • i think operation metro was a poor choice for the beta map im still getting my pre order but i had some worries hopefully the other maps are better

    p.s. you should have had caspian border map for the beta instead that looked really cool

  • Very disappointed about the game and the graphics.The people from DICE are liars,they show us only the PC version,with high end graphics card.The game sucks like COD.These games start getting soap opera,one episode each year with minor improvements.

  • For all of you guys who say the BATTLEFIELD 3 BETA is terrible. READ THIS!

    DICE Community Manager, Daniel Matros, has posted a comment on Twitter which confirms that the beta version runs on older code, which explains its instability, numerous glitches, and visuals that many have considered disappointing. The post states:

    “A lot of what you are seeing in the BETA doesn’t exist in the main game already. 1st Party submissions mean we couldn’t give a version of the latest code in the BETA but the retail game is well ahead of what you are seeing now with a lot more bug fixes already in place.”

  • + TheIrishFool

    Caspian Border is a PC exclusive map, because it is for 64 players combat, and console only supports 32 players.

  • @AbdiHMA You got your sources wrong, every map is available on the console version, including Caspian Border. But of course the map size is small to accommodate small number of players on the console.

  • Praise The Sniper

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