DICE Putting "Special Effort" Into Battlefield 3 on PC

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DICE Putting "Special Effort" Into Battlefield 3 on PC

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The upcoming Battlefield 3 won't be a PC exclusive but EA DICE says the effort it's putting into that version of the game will be "extraordinary" even by its own standards.

Digital Illusions Creative Entertainment, better known as EA DICE, tends to draw a lot of water with PC shooter fans thanks to its high-visibility commitment to the mouse and keyboard. What that actually adds up to for PC gamers is a bit tricky to nail down but it sure looks good on paper and DICE hasn't been above leveraging its love for the platform to zing other studios and even fan the flames of the console wars a bit. Which isn't to suggest it's ready to ditch the consoles just yet, but the studio did put out a little reminder today about where its heart really lies.

"[Battlefield 3] will not be exclusive," DICE Lead Designer David Goldfarb wrote on Twitter. "We are putting special effort into the pc version, even for us, it's extraordinary"

There's no clue as to what the "special effort" is and it may not turn out to be much at all. Some PC gamers are so desperate for relevance that just telling them they're still important and loved is sometimes all it takes to keep them warm and happy for months. Then again, with console exclusivity facing them at every turn, it's not too surprising that they'll take what they can get. And who knows? Maybe DICE does have something big up its sleeve. We'll let you know if we hear anything.

Battlefield 3 is currently slated for launch in the second half of 2011 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC.

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"extraordinary effort into PC version by today standards" basically means to do it right

still, the closest thing to Battlefield game I've ever played was Enemy Territory: Quake Wars

but from what I've heard about the other ones, I'll keep an eye on this one

Isn't that similar to what they've said about Bad Company 2? Cause that didn't work out very well in my opinion. Sure it's better than CoD but what isn't...

words dont count for much show me results.

So the only thing we know so far is its name and that it runs on Frostbite 2.0, and that you need upgrade past DX9.

After their extraordinary lack of support so far (we're still waiting for that BF2 mod support you said you were giving us, now 3-4 years ago!), this might just bring them up to normal support.
Still, I don't think DICE's "extra effort" will ever match Notch's "normal effort" on Minecraft. And he's just one guy.

Yeah, essentially 'extraordinary effort' means taking advantages of the PCs superior power as opposed to playing a game hamstringed by console restraints. Fully customisable graphics options, utilising the PCs mouse and keyboard so we can have whatever control scheme we want, etc. Essentially, making it feel like a PC game, rather than a console game awkwardly limping its way onto PC in a mass of poorly designed menus designed to be navigated by the shoulder buttons of a gamepad. It's not really any kind of extraordinary effort, but that's what I've always taken the phrase to mean once run through market-speak.

klasbo:

After their extraordinary lack of support so far (we're still waiting for that BF2 mod support you said you were giving us, now 3-4 years ago!

You have played Bf2 mods, right?
The stunning Project Reality? The rather awesome WW2 mod, Forgotten Hope 2?

I want a demo/beta to confirm this "special effort" please.
But still, now my hopes are kinda high. I quite like the BF franchise, so please don't disappoint me.

I don't know what they mean by "extraordinary effort", but I'll give them the benefit of the doubt for now and go ahead and be excited. I love what DICE did with Bad Company 2, so I'm already excited for BF3. If the PC version is going to be extra special in some way, that's even better.

Maybe it will be mod tools or a map editor. The lack of mod tools were the reason I bought the console version of Bad Company 2.It's not worth putting up with all the hackers and aim bot users if there's no mods or free maps.

Awesome. I can't wait for this game. I'm glad they say this, but I really hope they stick to it. Combining the advanced aspects and giant maps of Battlefield 2 with the destruction of Bad Company 2 (although not as grandiose) and allowing more customization will make this the best team based FPS ever.

calling it, Subscription plans.

I stopped liking the PC Battlefield games after the abomination that was Battlefield 2142.

hell, I already know that they will nerf the sniper/recon classes even more, just like the crap that was Bad Company 1 and 2.

I take that back, at least BC2 gave the ability to one-hit kill unarmored infantry, but I still find it hilarious that we cant go prone with ANY class.

I saw it coming, if anyone can finally make a good PC game it's DICE!! I am sooo excited for BF3! I'm not a PC gamer, but I'm sympathetic to their plight.

Bring back the commander position and I'll be happy.

I hope "Special Effort" means they are taking everything about BF2 and adding a new war line, destructable environments, updated graphics, updated menu interface and will actually take the time to balance out the weapons.

Better have a commander positon.

shaboinkin:
Bring back the commander position and I'll be happy.

That'd be awesome, especially with 64 players. Makes everything so much more intense. Personally I'm hoping BF3 will be in the future like 2142. All this "Modern" stuff is getting boring, and WW2 has been beaten to death.

I'll believe it when I see it. Infinity Ward also claimed that they put more effort into the PC version of Modern Warfare 2 than any game prior and that turned out to be an abomination. Or wait, maybe that does mean that they actually put more effort....more effort into butchering it.

While it's nice that DICE is expressing its support for the platform vocally, many have done so before and that didn't live up to expectations. At this point, only actions count for anything.

Allowing players to host their own servers rather than merely rent one would certainly be a nice gesture.

"Extraordinary effort".
So, they're gonna release a game that doesn't take 6 years to release the final patch?

The core BF franchise has always been purely for the PC platform, so the build should be of a high standard.

RobCoxxy:

klasbo:

After their extraordinary lack of support so far (we're still waiting for that BF2 mod support you said you were giving us, now 3-4 years ago!

You have played Bf2 mods, right?
The stunning Project Reality? The rather awesome WW2 mod, Forgotten Hope 2?

I help _make_ mods like this. iAndrew and Stoner are currently working on the Rushzone Mod (where I'm balance and metagame tester) and they've so far been able to steal stuff from BF Heroes (We have the Heroes maps fully working - even with bot support - in BF2), BF Play4Free and BC2 (the only usable netcode, BF2 v1.5 destroyed the netcode forever).

Has anyone in the mod community gotten any support from DICE? Hell no. Point of Existence 2 died, because every attempt to get help from DICE was downright rejected. 2142 had no tools, the only help First Strike had was the extremely helpful people over on the BF2 side, so they managed to modify the map editor to work in 2142 as well.

The quote "Enjoy your mouse support" has been a running gag in the mod community for a while now. It hasn't changed in the last 2 years. And since you mention Project Reality, I believe this quote actually originated on the TGN forums by one of the PR devs...

Also, zhinto said in one of the BashAndSlash podcasts that he would work towards getting esports support for BF3. We're still sceptical, as we saw the epic fail that was BC2, and now also the turns-out-to-be epic fail that is Black Ops. Dedicated Servers, my ass.

Owlslayer:
I want a demo/beta to confirm this "special effort" please.
But still, now my hopes are kinda high. I quite like the BF franchise, so please don't disappoint me.

Considering that almost no FPS's had demos in 2010, I'd be surprised to see one here.
If you're one of the people that for whatever reason bought Medal of Honour, you'll get a beta code eventually.

Over at Team Rush and co., our hopes are also high, but our expectations rather low.

lol...yeah , it will support a mouse and keyboard along with the 360 gamepad ( which will be the only gamepad officially supported ) :P

To be honest, BFBC2 PC did have a bit more PC features ( eventually )but DICE messed it up with the maps , they didnt release new maps right until the expansion was due and they needed some popularity , up to then it was old maps with new modes instead.
No modding or map editor was ever delivered, instead we got a windy escuse muttering about complex builds and reliance on 3rd party licenses as as reason mod tools wasnt forthcoming.
It couldnt possibly be that selling expansions and maps would be a bit hard if the community could make thier own now would it :P

... then there was the 1943 issue, oh PC version is delayed because we want to make it the best possible ver.... its still delayed!
That game was originally a PC game, boosted DICE to its current status ... and DICE listened to the requests for a remake from the fans, and only the PC doesnt have a version.

Prediction coming: 360 and PS3 versions will have a demo out, PC version will be delayed ( while they make that version the best possible ).
PC will have a late BETA where MoH players who pre ordered will get a key, where no issues will be fixed until after launch.
Modtools and Map editors will not be coming.
Dedicated servers will be to an exclusive provider only.

Lets be honest here, with multi platforms in this profit greedy market environment , making platform specific versions is too costly and eats into precious bottom lines... so mouse and UI differences only I am afraid.

"Then again, with console exclusivity facing them at every turn, it's not too surprising that they'll take what they can get."

This is a very odd statement.

Console exclusivity of what, exactly? We don't get PS3 exclusives, but we get plenty of the ones the 360 has and we've got numbers of our own anyway.

I'm struggling to think of many multiplatform games that don't go to the PC.

Well, colour me interested.

If BF3 turns out to be a a worthy successor to 2/2142 it might be the excuse for a new gaming rig I've been looking for. Live in hope, if it's Bad Company multiplayer plus a little I'll be a sad, sad man.

ASnogarD:
Lets be honest here, with multi platforms in this profit greedy market environment , making platform specific versions is too costly and eats into precious bottom lines... so mouse and UI differences only I am afraid.

I'm going to disagree with you here, on the grounds that BF2 is still selling steadily (and getting the occasional update) four years later. If they develop it right, the PC version will be generating income longer than the console versions where three years and cut support seems to be the norm. This is the first Bf 'proper' game since 2142, I don't think they will risk killing it's long term appeal by exclusive server deals and nixing the mod community.

I also think trying to control those things is like waving a red rag at the pirate/hacking communities, hopefully such a detail won't have escaped DICE's notice.

From my understanding , the last BF2 patch was a while back and DICE are trying make a 2142 version of that patch ... which due to it adding anti dolphin and anti insta scope kills wasnt very popular on BF2.

The exclusive deals for dedicated hosts has a precedence , see Medal of Honor.
BFBC 2 PC also took away server software from the communities, only allowing communities to rent from EA server 'partners'.
BFBC2 PC also has zero map editor and modding capability...as I explained, there was a long escuse about how Frostbite needed propriety libraries to build and a public user editor wasn't possible without including these libraries.

I definetly dont see server software downloads for the community to host, I dont see maptools and editors as BF3 uses roughly the same engine ( same escuse ), and I cant see a PC release at the same time as the 360 and PS3 ... there WILL be a delay ( and escuses ), mark my words.

Hey, I hope I am wrong and BF3 is all a BF should be ( massive maps, massive player numbers, highly modderable , community maps , community servers ) so both the console gamers and PC gamers get a great game suitable for each platform.

Actions speak louder than words.

Make it count for the PC gamers, I am a console but I hope you people get your due.

Andy Chalk:
Some PC gamers are so desperate for relevance that just telling them they're still important and loved is sometimes all it takes to keep them warm and happy for months.

So who unlocked that BF Vietnam map? And who was given it? lol.

IronCladNinja:

shaboinkin:
Bring back the commander position and I'll be happy.

That'd be awesome, especially with 64 players. Makes everything so much more intense. Personally I'm hoping BF3 will be in the future like 2142. All this "Modern" stuff is getting boring, and WW2 has been beaten to death.

Yeah. People can pick about the details like prone and weapon balance and class variety and the like, but when it comes right down to it the defining features of a battlefield game are, for me:

1. Big maps, with a wide range and number of vehicles to use, land and sky.
2. Teamplay in squads with voice.
3. The commander position.
4. The server control.
5. Big Team Sizes. Looking at you, Bad Company. 64 should really be the target, especially with games like MAG around. C'mon.

The last promise dice made was proper environmental destruction for bad company 2. Seeing how well that went, promising extra effort for the pc version probably means there won't be one until 2015, and it'll have ps2 graphics.

As somebody who games primarily on the PC, but also enjoys console gaming (so mostly, but not quite, unbiased), I must say that I read a lot of bias in this article against PC gamers. I believe that, because of this, you're missing what makes DICE's (or any company's) dedication to PC gamers noteworthy.

To say that PC gamers are "desperate for relevance" implies that they are irrelevant, something that several articles on the Escapist have shown is simply not true. Though consoles make up a significant portion of the video game market, and mobile and browser-based games have carved out their own pieces of the pie, the PC is still a significant part of the video game market. Especially with the surge of indie productions, the PC has become a platform where broad accessibility and ease of entry have resulted in a lot of opportunities for new and interesting games, just as they have for decades. Even as far back as the 8-bit era, PCs have been the breeding ground for new ideas that later found their way onto the more controlled, affordable, polished consumer-friendly consoles. Both PC and console have been and continue to be key to the development and adoption of video games.

As somebody who plays games on the PC, it's not relevance that I am looking for; it's attention. Whatever their reasons, AAA game studios have been producing video games designed and targeted at the console market, then porting those to the PC. As both PC and console gamers will agree, the two domains are quite different. The A/B/X/Y buttons and analog sticks of a console controller don't map well to the 104-key keyboard and 3-button mouse that most PCs use. Each has its strengths and weaknesses and each is more suitable to certain styles of interaction. Taking a game from one platform and blindly porting it to the other always results in something that has the worst of the limitations of both platforms and lacks the benefits of either platform.

Porting has been a nuisance for as long as there have been multiple platforms. Awkward text-based adventures ported to low-res, D-pad-controlled consoles died miserably on the early generations of consoles. Fighting games with D-pad-sliding combo moves were blister-inducing on the sharp-edge keys of the PC. Early console FPS games left us spinning idly without the precise positional control of a mouse, while racing games with their analog throttle and steering have excelled on consoles almost as quickly as they have declined on the key-controlled PC.

For quite some time, it seemed that developers would either specialize on a particular platform or would develop independent versions for each platform. With sky-rocketing expenses and the tightening of consumer budgets that come with economic turmoil, companies have been trying to maximize their market coverage while minimizing costs. And that's where porting has made an ugly return.

It seems that, more often than not, AAA games are being developed for the consoles first, then ported to the PC. I'm not sure why that's the order, but it seems to have become a de facto standard. Often the porting will even be done by an entirely separate company with different standards of quality. The result is that the PC versions are often filled with bugs and ridiculous control schemes that didn't exist on the consoles, without taking advantage of the increased processing power that newer PCs can deliver.

This is why PC gamers care about developers paying attention to them. They don't want their games to be second-rate, with console games getting the premium treatment. So long as we are paying just as much for our games and even more for our systems, we expect to get just as good of a game.

Should any gamer be treated as a second-rate citizen just because of his platform choice? Whether console, desktop, mobile, or otherwise, we as gamers should be demanding quality in all of our games. PC gamers are sore because lately they have taken a backseat to the growing mobile and console gaming platforms. It's not about being the best or most relevant; it's about getting good quality games for our dollar. I think that's something all gamers want.

ReverseEngineered:
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Well-stated, agree 100%

At the risk of sounding like a biased PC-hating moron, what does this mean for the console version?

I mean, if you manage to make the ultimate Battlefield game on the PC, then hooray! But does that mean the console version will be gimped in order to make it work within said consoles limitations? Such as, limiting the player count and no command trees?

Danny Ocean:

IronCladNinja:

shaboinkin:
Bring back the commander position and I'll be happy.

That'd be awesome, especially with 64 players. Makes everything so much more intense. Personally I'm hoping BF3 will be in the future like 2142. All this "Modern" stuff is getting boring, and WW2 has been beaten to death.

Yeah. People can pick about the details like prone and weapon balance and class variety and the like, but when it comes right down to it the defining features of a battlefield game are, for me:

1. Big maps, with a wide range and number of vehicles to use, land and sky.
2. Teamplay in squads with voice.
3. The commander position.
4. The server control.
5. Big Team Sizes. Looking at you, Bad Company. 64 should really be the target, especially with games like MAG around. C'mon.

What he said. Also, Battlefield 3 should include a remade Strike at Karkand map, because that map kicked ass.

But yeah, those 5 things are important as well. Especially the Battlefield Commander and 64-player sizes. The sizes allow for large-ass battles, and the commanders stop everything from devolving into lots of players running around aimlessly, kind of like conquest matches in Bad Company 2.

Jonny49:
At the risk of sounding like a biased PC-hating moron, what does this mean for the console version?

You have to realize, you're playing on a machine which is 5 years old. (If you're an Xbox player, that is.)

During the course of those 5 years, PCs have moved quite a bit head of the consoles, we're able to do a lot more than your Xbox can, and do it faster at that.

So, yes, you're going to get gimped if they have to force the game to be compatible on that kind of hardware.

Cingal:

Jonny49:
At the risk of sounding like a biased PC-hating moron, what does this mean for the console version?

You have to realize, you're playing on a machine which is 5 years old. (If you're an Xbox player, that is.)

During the course of those 5 years, PCs have moved quite a bit head of the consoles, we're able to do a lot more than your Xbox can, and do it faster at that.

So, yes, you're going to get gimped if they have to force the game to be compatible on that kind of hardware.

Oh yeah, it's inevitable that the console version is going to get gimped in one way or another, but I'm just concerned with what's going to be taken out and what's going to be left in.

Otherwise it may as well be Bad Company 3.

Oh. Oh great. You know what the last game we heard was getting 'special effort' put into it. To make sure that it was as good as it could be when it gets it's PC release. Fable 3; several rounds of DLC for the XBox360 version later, and us PC users are still waiting...

I for one just hope that the PC version of Battlefield 3 reclaims the PC it's crown for First Person Shooting on a massive scale; I mean come on, M.A.G. got to 256 player servers before us, and that's a PS3 game.

Just get rid of Punkbuster and I'll buy it.

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