Showing posts with label Battlefield. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Battlefield. Show all posts

Monday, June 03, 2024

May 2024 In Review

May has come and gone.  Here is a look back (late delivery due to vacation).

The Blog

 I still owe a larger post about my findings with "spam" abuse of my GA4 (Google Analytics) tags that made me realize most of my traffic tracked to my blog was not real.  With that said let me present two numbers for blog traffic in May.

 First; the Blogger provided number (last 30 days graph / May count over the top)

 Second; my much filtered Google Analytics number.

 Those pictures tell two very different stories.  16k+ visits according to Blogger but only 875 per Google Analytics after I apply traffic source filters to get rid of spammers abusing GA4 tags.

 So May saw between 875 and 16,000+ visits to the blog. I'll pretend the latter is correct because... reasons.

 In other metrics:

  • Posts:
    • Target: 15 (at least one per week day; except vacation)
    • Posted:17
    • Difference: +2
      • Woohoo!  Back on track this Month
  •  Search Trends
    • "best battlefield game", "best battlefield", "best battlefield games" blew up this month directing folks to my post: Best Battlefield!?
    • New World dominates the rest of the search queries across Bing and Google.  This month the champ was "new world roadmap 2024" which makes sense as May was the original timeframe for the 2024 roadmap to be provided (that has now been pushed to June 7th for the big news)

What I Played

 New World continues as my main game.  I spent a lot of time in 3v3 arenas (100+ wins this season).  With vacation I won't be able to make top 10 though on the leaderboard but hoping my main playing partner makes it in (he has a shot at #1).

 I also spent some time in Jedi: Fallen Order.  I really like the visuals and Star Wars story of the game, but the "on rails" corridor levels totally ruin the feeling.  That is why I am looking forward to Star Wars: Outlaws to give me an open world experience.

 Fallout fever died off as I gave up Fallout 3 (the game is too dated at this point for my tastes) and I didn't bother to grab Fallout 4/76/NV/whatever.

 I was accepted to the Combat Champions playtest but didn't get a chance to play due to vacation.

Years Ago

1 Year Ago

 In May 2023 we got the first news of Amazon Game Studios (developers of my beloved New World) were starting working on a Lord of the Rings MMO.  In kind we began digging New World's grave.

5 Years Ago

 May 2019 I was looking at Magic the Gathering and reminiscing about the guild I helped run for a while: Casualties of War!

10 Years Ago

 In May of 2014 I was running around Guild Wars 2 and decided to document where traits could be obtained.  How much that game has changed!

15 Years Ago

  May of 2009 was a busy month on the blog and in retrospect some important things happened.

 20 19 Years Ago

 Technically I have 20 named years on my sidebar, but mathematically 2005 is only 19 years ago.

 In May of 2005 I started a blog so I had that going for me :)

Wednesday, May 08, 2024

Bigger Badder Battlefield... but will it be Better?

battlefield
 

 News is out that Battlefield is doing what I always proposed that they do: create a Battlefield live service game that is meant to continue in perpetuity instead of a new game every couple of years.  Singleplayer is also intended to be part of the focus and not just multiplayer. From the article:

Sounds like the series’ steps into being a live service game will continue apace, then - though the implication of a “connected” single-player offering raises more than a few questions after the shuttering of Ridgeline and heavy multiplayer focus of the last few games, especially as Wilson insisted “compelling storytelling” is part of the formula.

 Apparently it's shaping up well according to the boss man over at EA

"A few weeks ago, I was visiting with the teams and I couldn't be more excited about what they showed and what we were able to play,” Wilson said.

 Of course no dates or further details have been provided.

 The real question though is going to be "will it be better?".  Battlefield (and for that matter Battlefront aka Star Wars Battlefield) have had a rough go over their most recent iterations.  Battlefield 2042, even though I rank it on my top 5 BF games, did not hit the mark out of the gate.  Battlefront 2, even though it changed course, was hated by the community for it's shenanigans.

 I am personally optimistic that a new live service focused Battlefield is the right direction for the franchise instead of chasing the Call of Duty model of a new game every year or two.  Throw in some singleplayer that weaves its way in and out of the service and even better.  But please, please make a good game first.

Friday, April 05, 2024

Best Battlefield!?

 Jack Frags published a recent video going over the Battlefield Reddit communities vote for "Best Battlefield game ever".  Surprisingly the winner was Battlefield 1 which happened to also be available on Steam for the low sales price of $5.99.  Having not played BF1 and being apparently the "best one" I had to give it a go.


 Before I jump into my initial impressions let's review my last personal "favorite Battlefield" list (at least as far as I can find in my 20 years of blog content): https://www.heartlessgamer.com/2011/11/battlefield-3-is-step-back.html

My list at the time in 2011:

1. Battlefield 2
2. Battlefield 1942
3. Battlefield: Bad Company 2
4. Battlefield Heroes
5. Battlefield 3 

  Since that is 13 years (yikes) old let me update it:

1. Battlefield 2
2. Battlefield 1942
3. Battlefield: Bad Company 2
4. Battlefield 2042
5. Battlefield Heroes

 There.  All is right with the world.  The community has a different opinion with Battlefield 1, Battlefield 3, and Battlefield 4 being the top three.  Personally, I didn't jive with Battlefield 3.  I played a good bit of it but it didn't supplant the others.  I never played Battlefield 4 (because of my feelings about 3) and originally the theme of Battlefield 1 was not attractive so I skipped it.

 More recently I've had a side addiction to Battlefield 2042.  I didn't get it at launch so missed all the launch drama and came in well after the game had significant changes to make it more Battlefield-like.  I am in the minority listing this as one of my favorite Battlefield games.  2042 has a bad reputation from that launch drama.  For me though it hits a sweet spot in theme (near future) and a good balance between infantry and vehicle.  I really enjoy it and haven't enjoyed a Battlefield game this much since BFBC2.

 Battlefield 1

 On to Battlefield 1 then. I've put about 3 hours in so far and it is definitely a different experience than other Battlefields.  Part of it is the setting being World War 1 but also that the game seems stuck between the old days of server browsers and the new days of "quick match" push button experiences.

 Personally I couldn't get quick match to work as there was never enough players to start the matches.  The campaign mode also didn't seem to work.  This pushed me into the server browser and there were only a few servers to pick from with reasonable ping.

 Once in a match the visuals are top notch.  I grabbed some screenshots riding around on a horse as cavalry and for a game that is seven years old it looks pretty good.  The maps are also visually stunning and some feature a grand scope.  I stopped a few times to look at something.

A screenshot from Battlefield 1 showing horse cavalary

A screenshot from Battlefield 1 showing horse cavalary

 I can't say I've ever played a WW1 themed game so some of the aspects caught me by surprise such as the horse cavalry, the biplanes, and coolest of all: the armored train!  The first time I was on a map when the train came rolling through was pretty dang cool.

 With those surprises it made me realize there is a lot I don't understand about this Battlefield.  Sure there are points on the map to conquer and the classic Battlefield classes to pick from, but as far as how stuff like the train works I don't know.  The maps are also proving difficult for me to grok and some rounds are really rough learning where you can and can't stick your head out.

 I think I'll put a few more hours into the game but it's not grabbing me like 2042 did.  Its a good break from the faster pace and more technically capable vehicles of 2042 though so has a slot currently with New World being on the slow down.

Wednesday, March 06, 2024

Player density in competitive modes and individual player impact

an image for a blog post about too many players in an online game mode
The zerg approaches!

 I've jumped back into Battlefield 2042 recently and it has me thinking about player density and the impact that I, as a single player, can have on a competitive match.  Battlefield games are known for their large match sizes (up to 128 players!) and big maps, but with that scale comes a loss of any single player's ability to impact the outcome.

 Before we get into the larger match sizes of Battlefield games let's look at some common team sizes across games.  The most common team size I can think of is 3.  New World's arenas are 3v3.  Apex Legends and The Finals are both 3-person squads.  After 3 is 5 (and 6).  Many games feature grouping sizes of 5 or 6, but not always in competitive modes (for example; New World groups are a size of 5 but there is no 5v5 mode). I think 3 hits a sweet spot where each player's contributions are maximized.

 While 3 may be the sweet spot it doesn't evoke any sort of feeling of being in a battle and many games are targeting giving players that sense of battle.  As the player count increases per team/side the player's ability to impact goes down.  

 Think about a Battlefield match with 128 players.  It is chaotic and tons of fun, but of those 100+ players how many are actually having a meaningful impact to the outcome?  Not many outside of maybe the elite helicopter pilot farming kills. Even with multiple points of conflict to fight over there is still likely a large number of players in any one area.

 Now look at a Battlefield match of 32 players with multiple points to defend/attack.  Spread out evenly that may be 4-8 players fighting over each point.  Losing one or two players is going to have an impact and it's more realistic to think that a single player could go Rambo and wipe out an entire team.  It also means the "elite helicopter pilot" is going to be that much more of a factor.

 In a game I am much more familiar with (3,000+ hours played and climbing) is New World.  There are a few modes we can zero in on: 3v3 arena, 20v20 outpost rush, and 50v50 war.

 I've spoke about team sizes of 3 earlier, but a common request I see in New World is for a 5v5 mode since the group size in New World is 5.  Personally 3v3 is the sweet spot.  While 3v3 can get bogged down due to healing/heavy tank builds that is not that common.  It is also possible for groups of 3 without a healer to compete.  If the arena was 5v5 there would be no way to go other than healer + clump strategies and the matches would boil down to which healer dies first.

 Jumping to the top end is war at 50v50.  Having played a fair number of wars and seen a fair number more via streamers I would argue there is a limited few individual players that have a major impact and almost always the "elite helicopter pilot" is the healer.  So I'd agree individual healers can have a massive impact on wars and thus anyone landing a kill shot on a healer has an impact, but otherwise war doesn't offer a lot for individuals to sway.

 This takes us back to 20v20 outpost rush (OPR) and where I feel the ceiling is for individual contribution. In OPR there are multiple objectives which change over the course of a match.  There are also activities that individual players can partake in that, when done well, can contribute to a team winning.

 As a quick aside here, as I am noting with OPR, a lot of what a player's contribution comes down to is the design of the game mode.  As we'll see breaking players up into various objectives decreases the population in any specific spot.  However, this has an eventual breaking point where if player numbers are higher it doesn't matter how many objectives there is because humans tend to always favor wanting unbalanced conflict and so you end up with "zergs" of players rolling over each objective.

 In OPR the 20 players per team + three main outposts to fight over with side events such as the baron fight results in a good mix of players across the match.  No part of the match is really 20 v 20; it is a of 3-5 player fights.  Within those smaller fights individual players can sway the match.  A single player can hold off a team trying to sneak behind and take a backline outpost.  A single player can gather supplies and show up in time to build doors on an outpost.

 In summary: too many players is too many players no matter the design.  Limiting player and providing divided objectives breaks up the action into a size where individuals have impact and when combined those impacts have an effect on the over all game mode.  It feels like the 16-20 player-per-side range is where that sweet spot is hit in my experience.

Monday, April 24, 2023

Steam Backlog: Battlefield Bad Company 2

One of the best!

bfbc2
Funniest Battlefield ever sir!
 Next on the journey through my Steam backlog: Battlefield Bad Company 2!

 I am too obsessed with Battlefield 2042 currently to jump back into Bad Company 2 so this post will just be about my fond memories of destroyed battlefields!  This is one of my all time favorite Battlefield titles!

 Not only did this game have great multiplayer, but it also featured a great single player game.  In fact its the only single player campaign in the entire franchise that I can remember playing.  The characters were memorable and I can still hear "Rainbow Sprinkles"!


 Just watching that video brought back so many funny memories from this game's dialogue. I would even go as far to say that if Battlefield gamers were turned into virtual soldiers these yahoos would be the result.

 And talking about the rainbow sprinkles on the top: not only was Bad Company 2 amazing but so was it's Vietnam campaign.  For years I returned to play the Vietnam multiplayer.  Great maps and even better features! Ever see a helicopter airlift a tank into the middle of the battlefield?  Well guess what you can do in BFBC2 Vietnam!  Oh and the river patrol boats were overpowered... just saying.

 Regardless of Vietnam or the game proper the underlying gameplay was spot on.  Guns felt great.  Map destruction was top notch.  Vehicles felt balanced.  And one of the most controversial changes was removing the prone position.  If you wanted to snipe you had crouch as your best bet.  

 So many good memories here and this spot in the backlog is also timely as, unfortunately, EA is desisting Bad Company 2.

 

This post is part of my running series: My Steam Backlog (see all MySteamBacklog tagged posts).  

Friday, March 10, 2023

Having Fun In 2042

Topping the Scoreboard In Battlefield 2042

 I've been enjoying Season 4 of Battlefield 2042.  The game is in a really good spot.  I wanted to take a break from my normal "support" role and play the more aggressive play style with the Assault class and specialists.  I've become a big fan of Zain and landed some great matches; either topping the scoreboard or landing in the top squads.

 While I am more "aggressive" playing assault I am still "support" in my non-existent heart so I spend a lot of time watching flanks for the team.  It is surprising how many kills you can get when you learn the spots where better players flank and just wait for them.  They never expect someone to be waiting for them and I have been able to wipe entire squads.

 Oh and the new sticky grenade is mucho fun.

heartlessgamer battlefield 2042 scoreboard
Look Mom! First place again!

 

battlefield 2042 squad 1st place
Look Mom! The team carried me!

battlefield 2042 squad 2nd place
2nd place is the first loser... err wait!


Thursday, March 02, 2023

Some Fun in 2042

Some fun in Battlefield 2042 Season 4

 Patch 4.0 is out and Season 4 is here.  A couple screenshots from last night's session.

battlefield 2042 scoreboard
LOOK MOM!!!! I'm in first place!

most revives battlefield 2042
I'll pick you up when you are down (seriously it's what I love to do!)


Tuesday, February 28, 2023

It's The Little Things That Matter in Battlefield 2042

Ah the little things...

 Battlefield 2042 Season 4 is here and the community is excited about the little things.  Mainly some improvements to minimap scaling.

  • Increasing the size of the minimap will no longer also increase the size of the icons.
  • Added an option to allow customization of the scale of the minimap icons.
  • Added an option for the scale of the minimap icons to scale with the view distance of the minimap (Enabled by Default).
minimap scale bf2042

 I don't really care but the community is excited: It's finally here!

Monday, February 20, 2023

Assistant with an OV-P Recon Drone

When you just need to get that weekly challenge done in Battlefield 2042!

Flying the OV-P Recon Drone around is so much fun sometimes.  I can't do it every match but when the weekly challenge encourages me I love breaking it out; especially on maps like Discarcded.

And took home an outstanding performance for most assists!



Sunday, February 19, 2023

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

What bringing the class system back to Battlefield 2042 has done

 Battlefield 2042's latest update brought back the class system of Battlefield history.  Players now select a class that limits gadgets, throwables, and specialists that can be chosen.  This is Battlefield and I am happy to see it back.

 Prior to this latest update players could select any combination of specialist, gadget, weapon, and throwable (grenades).  This meant I could play as Irish (a support specialist), carrying anti-vehicle rockets, and at the same time carry the proximity sensor (grenade).  On top of that I could use any gun (assault, SMG, LMG, or sniper).

 To be honest it was pretty sweet as I noted in my post here and here.  I was a mega super team support player with my Irish setup.  I could do everything except shocking non-squad members back to life.  But that is where the problem lied.  Everyone could do everything and thus the Battlefield developers had to make many things "balanced"; for example since everyone could carry anti-vehicle it was weaker than it would be if it was less limited. It was fun but then also not fun.

 With the class system back in place the developers have been able to make things like anti-vehicle stronger per shot (since there is less of them now).  Vehicles should in theory feel less threat over all because not everyone is rocking anti-vehicle tech.  There is far less proximity sensor spam as it is restricted by class (even if that does break my nonexistent heart).

 The development team also figured out an approach to continue to allow all classes to use any of the main guns.  If I want to use an SMG as an assault class I can continue to do so (in prior Battlefields the SMG was limited to Support).  There were proficiency added (as covered in this post) to certain classes to favor certain weapons, but they are not so dramatic as to penalize someone for opting out to another class of gun.

 After having played several rounds under the new system the game does feel better over all.  I actually got in a vehicle without immediately getting blown up!  There seems to be more medics and thus more revives.  I have a much better understanding of what my teammates are capable of because I can see what class they are.  The only thing I really miss is my proximity sensor as I am not a fan of the other grenades, but I understand sometimes less is more.

 Have you given the update a try?  If so, what are your thoughts?

Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Closing in on that sweet 1:1 K:D

 Maybe not an achievement for the chad gamers of the world but for us old fart gamers getting to a 1:1 K:D in games like Battlefield 2042 is an achievement.  I was at 1:1 for a period but I've had some terrible  rounds after coming back from a hiatus.

 Also I am finding myself pretty terrible at some of the original maps (they suck compared to Spearhead IMHO) and feel like I am either getting spawn killed or getting shot in the back because I don't know where to expect enemies from.

 Anyways here is my progress:




Thursday, February 09, 2023

How to add the "Inside Battlefield" podcast to Pocket Casts

 I have used Pockets Casts as my podcast manager as long as I've owned an Android phone.  One of the things that happens from time to time is a new podcast is launched and you just can't find it on the Discover tab of Pocket Casts.  The recently launched "Inside Battlefield" podcast from EA/Dice is one such example, but I got around the issue and was able to subscribe to it via Pocket Casts.  Here are the steps.

 In Pocket Casts go to the Discover tab.

 Searching by Inside Battlefield or EA or any search term will not work.  Instead enter the URL for the Apple iTunes page:

https://podcasts.apple.com/se/podcast/inside-battlefield/id1589510289?l=en

 Searching by that URL in Discover should bring up the podcast and allow you to subscribe.  Note: this does not work for all iTunes podcasts so I am sure there is more to why it works for this one and not others.

 Hope this finds someone in need and solves the same problem I had.  Enjoy!

Saturday, November 26, 2022

Going to give Battlefield 2042 a try

I have been itching to pull some triggers so I grabbed Battlefield 2042 on sale for $20.  Will share my thoughts as I play it.

Thursday, October 13, 2022

Games I'd Play: Battlefield-as-a-service

 Every once and a while I find myself day dreaming about games I'd like to play.  One that recurs to me is a Battlefield-as-a-service game where instead of releasing a new iteration of the Battlefield franchise every year instead we'd have a single Battlefield game where they just release new maps and campaign settings (WWII, modern, future, Vietnam, etc) as part of the service and throw a battle pass on it to tease money out of our wallets.  I honestly wonder why this doesn't already exist.  I'd play it.

My theoretical Battlefield game would also take us back in time to the style of game that Battlefield 2 was.  Battlefield 2 had two amazing features I have missed in every Battlefield game I've played since: commanders and replay.

Battlefield 2 allowed a single player to take on the role of commander and instead of going pew-pew around the battlefield that player had a top-down view directing squads of players to objectives and calling in artillery strikes on areas.  The enhancement I'd make to bring this feature back would be a ranking system for commanders that way its not just luck of the draw on who gets to take on this key role.  Yes, this would gate keep some players but I think its one of those key roles that could make this sort of game that much better.

Battlefield 2 also had a replay system whereby you could go back and replay the entire match.  Many games have this system to a degree, but Battlefield 2 is the only Battlefield I am aware of that has had it.  I spent hours replaying matches, watching epic fights, rewinding them, re-watching them from different angles, and then capturing epic combat footage.  I made a good number of videos (which sadly were lost to the now defunct Google Video platform that Google had before they acquired YouTube).  

Yes, we live in a world of streaming and super simple video capture, but a replay system allows for so much more than just what a single player's view was.  With the content creation tools that exist today a replay system would be an amazing capability and I have no doubt would result in some epic community created content.

I also think graphics engines are at a point where you could use a current state engine for years without a concern about it looking "old" in a couple.  This would be a key element to making Battlefield-as-a-service.  

Of course I mentioned battle pass and I understand that may tilt some players, but I think its the reality of the current market for these types of games.  If it was combined with new maps, weapons, and campaign settings it would be almost no different than buying "Battlefield version 2022/2023/2024/2025" and the improvement is that your investment per pass is building on all previous passes.  Compared to when I started playing Battlefield 3 it didn't matter what I had accomplished in Battlefield 2.  Ideally a battle pass would focus on cosmetic and "battle medals" type awards and not any power increases (i.e. don't tie unlocking access to a weapon behind battle pass).

If this game were made I'd play it.  Would you?  If so, leave a comment.  If not, believe it or not, still leave a comment.