A while ago, Battlefield fanboys claimed that I started a flame-war intentionally stating that the Battlefield 3 Beta was terrible for the title. While I stand by my statements, I didn’t believe there would be actual bugs fixed from the console beta, as the retail version of the title ran as smooth as a newly paved road. What I’m trying to get at is: the Battlefield 3 Beta wasn’t all bad.
Announced two weeks ago on the Playstation Blog, the Playstation 3 beta testers helped four different ways to fix the console versions of the title. According to the junior product manager Tommy Rydling, there have actually been ‘hundreds of changes and additions’ made because of the beta. The major highlights are improved squad functionality, more accessible settings menu, improved kill cam, and netcode optimization.
Improved Squad Functionality:
There will be improved squad functionality in the retail game (including but not limited to): the ability to create squads prior to launching into a game, sticking with your squad when joining a game and continuing together through future games (if team balance on the server allows it), inviting friends to a squad, and changing squads once in game.
During the beta if you tried to join a game with friends, you would be lucky if you were stuck on the same team as your friends. The only time I played with my friends on the same team was when I played with more than three people on my friend’s list.
To get put in a squad with your friends was near impossible. Fortunately with this update, you can jump into squads to play with your friends when the EA servers are working.
More Accessible Settings Menu:
The ability to modify your settings via the deploy screen has been added into the retail game.
This one is very self explanatory. For those who play a lot of first-person shooters, you will press buttons really fast on your controller. During the beta if you pressed the start button very close to after spawning then existed the menu, your screen kept that Battlefield blue background as a film filter on your HUD. I’m guessing this was updated at least within the multiplayer, as it was an obvious bug.
Improved Kill Cam:
In the Open Beta, the Kill Cam would sometimes behave erratically. This has been fixed for the launch of the retail game.
During the beta, players were able to travel through different levels of the game world: below the desirable playing surface and on the playing surface. Kill Cams were totally out of whack, giving close-up crotch shots and shots of the underside of some barricades.
With the level traveling issues cleared up in the final retail issue, there was obviously going to be little to no problems with the game’s Kill Cam. To clarify though, I haven’t played the final retail version, so I’m going off of what I’ve been told and what I’ve read from reviews.
The netcode is one of the many things that we tested as part of the Open Beta and it was not necessarily reflective of the final retail game. The DICE team appreciates, and has heard, the feedback you’ve provided and is further optimizing online play.
Optimization simply means to create a more efficient and effective way of doing something. With the beta due to limited server space, gamers weren’t always allowed to play which is frustrating for those who are on Xbox Live and could consider it part of their paid-service to play online.
With this fix, more gamers will be able to be supported on the same amount of server space saving money for EA and Sony for the game. This update to the netcode will hopefully make the game easier to play in the future when there is less of a demand for Battlefield 3 when the next Medal of Honor comes out. Oh wait…
The part of the beta that I harped heavily upon in my editorials (Beta and Demo / Beta was bad for EA & Dice) is the fact that most of the beta data was outdated and really won’t help the game at large as it should have. It was a horrible display of what the final retail version of the game is.
Now that the game has been released for a week how has the game done at retail. According to a statement released by EA’s CFO Eric Brown, the pre-orders for Battlefield 3 was 1.25 million across all the platforms including Origin. According to the NDA list released, Battlefield 3 was placed first out of ten for the UK list. According to a tweet from Jim Reilly of Game Informer, the game has sold over five million units within the first week.
Due to a recent reform, we aren’t able to release the exact sales unless announced by the publishing company. With how strong the Batman advertisement campaign has been, it’s hard to believe that it was beaten by another game. We messaged EA and DICE PR for more accurate numbers but have yet to receive any data on first week sales. Maybe, the Battlefield 3 beta wasn’t all that bad. Maybe it was just enough of a teaser to get more casual sales.