A new Battlefield 3 PS3 update lets raw recruits dive into multiplayer with the same hardware as toughened vets – for a price.

Any military historian can tell you that you need two things to win a war: manpower and materiel. Now, if you don’t have enough time to fight opposing forces in Battlefield 3 for the PS3, you can invest capital instead. A substantial update for the popular military shooter hit PS3 servers today, and along with some map tweaks and server options, the developers have included a number of “shortcut kits.” These kits will unlock various class- and vehicle-specific items, weapons, and upgrades usually reserved for players who serve countless hours in multiplayer. While they range in price (and, no doubt, utility), this move is sure to cause some bad blood between fans who want to preserve the game’s learning curve/reward system, and those who simply don’t have the time or inclination to see Battlefield 3‘s multiplayer content the long way.

Tommy Rydling, otherwise known as Battlefield: The Official Blog keeper H Brun, shared the update with fans. “Today, we are also offering 10 different shortcut items for sale for Battlefield 3 on PS3,” he wrote. “If you’re new to the game, this is the perfect way to gain some ground on the veterans online.”The shortcut packs themselves include unique item unlocks for every class and vehicle in the game, as well as weapons usually unlocked through co-op. They range in price from $4.99 (for the co-op weapons) to $39.99 (for everything), although each item and upgrade contained within them can be unlocked through normal play.

The update also includes a number of tweaks, bug fixes, and map redesigns, although perhaps the other most controversial feature will be the ability for players to rent their own servers. Instead of using the standard Battlefield 3 servers, players can now rent their own and customize all parameters, from respawn time to minimap display. The rentals last from one to 90 days, and range from $1.49 to $64.99.

Shortcut packs are hardly new territory for the Battlefield series, as it offered the same kind of package for Battlefield 2: Bad Company. Even so, the comments section on the Battlefield blog already runneth over with bile from both sides of the debate. If you prefer a good old-fashioned level grind to a quick-and-dirty unlock, that’s your prerogative, but remember: Someone back home has got to fund the war effort.

Source: Battlefield: The Official Blog

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