Better Spawn Points
The one thing that annoys me most in Battlefield 3 is when one team can camp out the other team. In Conquest you capture all the flag areas then go to their base and just sit there picking off everyone. In some maps its actually rather hard to control this, but in others (like Metro) it’s not hard at all. What sucks even more is being on the team being camped, not being able to do anything.
My solution to this? Having at least two spawn areas for each team. They can be on the same side, just a good distance apart, and make them large. This way it’s too hard for another team to spawn camp. If one area is getting dominated, then spawn at the other. Also provide a lot of alternate routes and hidden areas to get out of each spawn on area on every map. The odd thing is that older Battlefield titles actually did this well, but for some reason the idea was abandoned in Battlefield 3.
I’m sorry but the countless matches I’ve been in where one team is literally just sitting there for 15-20 minutes gets old fast. It isn’t fun. On the attacking side, it takes no skill to pick off people trying to make a run for it. On the defense side it’s impossible to do anything because there will be enemy spawn beacons behind every corner.
Better Server Selection
I honestly quit playing Battlefield for a while because of “custom servers” on consoles. When I was only a PC gamer, server selection actually annoyed me. When games got older, the server selection became “player selection.” You could get kicked for any reason and half the time there wasn’t one. Then DICE decided to bring that to the consoles. People can pay to rent, or slap their name on a server, and then have some control over things. Of course there are rules nobody follows and are not enforced, with minimal things to change.
Rentals quickly turned into extended matches, stupid rules, and noob admin’s that would kick you for being good. It’s beyond the point of annoying, and the only way to avoid it is to filter out “DICE” in the browser and find an official server that isn’t empty or full. Press quick match, and you’ll most likely end up in a rental server.
Why not change this? Why not make Quick Match select only from DICE servers? Or how about it only selects servers from your favorites list? Remember this is only for consoles, and quick match on consoles suck. Make it more streamlined so we can all get a good experience fast. It would also be nice if you could easily filter the server browser to only DICE servers.
Go All In, Or Go Home
Battlefield 3 featured a single player experience along with a Co-Op experience. Both of which were rather lackluster and repetitive. It’s completely obvious the meat of the game was geared towards online play, as it should be with the series. So why tac these modes on in the first place? The single player campaign had its awesome moments, don’t get me wrong, and it looked and played excellent, but it was short. The Co-Op was much the same; having great moments here and there, but ultimately repetitive and short.
Bad Company features one of my favorite FPS single-player campaigns out there. Its goofy, fun, and longer than usual FPS titles. Battlefield 3 was basically like every other shooter out there in terms of single player: ambush, lots of explosions, army lingo, and then a grand finale filled with slow motion and a quick attempt at emotion. Meanwhile there’s Medal of Honor, also from EA, where the issues are the complete opposite: a good single player experience paired with a poor online component (maybe the two studios could work together down the road?). We need more open levels, more levels of destruction (caused by us and not pre-scripted material), and more importantly, characters that we care about. I was also surprised that vehicle combat was pre-scripted in the single player too. Why was everything that made Bad Company so awesome tossed out the door for this linear experience?
With the Co-Op, why not expand it into squads, but also allow AI partners? The entire online experience is built around squads, so why not allow 3 or 4 people to compete in this mode? Make it more fun and a bit more complicated. It’s honestly hard to find a friend that will play the mode as two people and help get everything done. My team swept through it, but finding strangers to do it is all the more challenging. With only two people it’s a lot more focused on timing, I think with added people it gives the opportunity to mess up, but clean up fast so you remain “perfect.” Plus it’d be more fun!
With an added AI aspect, it allows people that don’t play online, or don’t have friends with the game, to still enjoy the experience. You can add in commands or something to get the AI to do what you need it too. I mean the core single player was what…4 hours long? It sucks for anyone who doesn’t go play online right after.
Avoid The Usual EA Excuse
Almost every major game releasing under EA has been met with “unexpected demand” when jumping online. The EA server issues with Battlefield 3 nearly crippled the game before it even got a chance. It was a good month or two before BF3 even functioned thanks to EA servers and all they had in response was the same excuse as usual, “unexpected demand.” Well EA, expect BF4 to have more players than Call of Duty this time!
Along with EA making sure their servers are not broken, DICE needs to go through extensive testing to ensure the game isn’t broken. When Battlefield 3 released, players had amazing amounts of input lag, voice chat issues, and other issues that hindered the experience. Eventually, and we mean eventually, the game was patched and improved upon. Since Battlefield 4 is pretty much done, I don’t expect all of these changes to happen (I’m crossing my fingers though) but with Star Wars Battlefront, and other games coming in the pipeline, perhaps, DICE can be sure to solve these issues by then.
It would be nice if past features in the series would also make a return. In Star Wars Battlefront, one of my favorite battles was the space battles. You could fly around and battle in space, then crash into the enemy base and battle on their ship. In Battlefield 1942 we had air battles as well, and those were fun as hell. It would be awesome to see that come back in both Battlefield 4 and Star Wars Battlefront.