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Origin – EA – Battlefield 3 – Shit

A picture says more than a thousand words. Here goes one:

Origin sucks. Language choice is not a choice. If you work and sleep, you can’t download or buy games.

_[Update at bottom] [Update 2: Feedback to EA. See Bottom.] [Update 3: on leaked, modded servers and banning Origin accounts]

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Read on for some more rage and thoughts about the iteration from Bf:BC2.

This, and seeing the UI IMO sucks again, and progressions have become worse, and map-DLC on release separating community, makes me not want to buy Bf3. And if I can’t even play the beta, I definitely will not buy it.

I was able to play Bf:BC2 Beta, but [the UI and other things sucked (I blogged about it)][1], so I did not buy it at release. I did later on, for a lower price though. The gameplay is pretty awesome, but the issues exist to this day. And it seems Bf3 does not make it better. It makes it worse.

For the interested: TotalBiscuit did some vids of the Beta. The first one is quite shocking indeed (check that awful weapon customization UI!):

So, let’s list the issues again:

  • Release-Map-DLC separating community
  • Origin, not letting you download, buy or play before sleep-time/late night (yes, I’m aware it’s not an issue once you have it in your owned games list)
  • Locked-Start – Experienced players have more weapons, skills, attachments, upgrades than beginners. Can you get any unfairer? (Well, you can, with CoD-style kill-streak-superpowers – that’s where we’re going at?)
  • Awful UI – taking control away from you

    Die -> massive UI instead of being able to see some gaming; spectating

    Menu and settings? Only if you’re in-game. But hurry, you may get idle-kicked!

    4 classes. Choose one and select weapons and attachements. Have 2 styles of plays with 1 class? Go through the hassle of configuring each bit again when you want to change. Take those 40 seconds when you just want to switch your loadout.

    Weapon customization – use the back and forward buttons to navigate through them … nuff said …

In W:ET from 2003 I had 5 fair classes with in-level progression. Everyone starts equal at the beginning of the round but you still get progression and some upgrades. But most of all, you already have enough choices to begin with. When you die, just watch the others play until you respawn. No full-screen-UI to annoy you.

If you want to change classes, use your mouse or keyboard. Number-keys for quick swapping. Scripting allows you to pre-define classes and loadouts; change it with a simple press of a button.

I wonder if I will be able to play the Beta. And I wonder even more if I will buy it. Two things for sure: The gameplay itself is, or can be, awesome. Being annoyed again and again does not help keep that excitement. And the other thing for sure: If release-date is over, I will not buy it anymore for some time, as I will not get the Map-DLC with it as preorderers do. And if I do buy it, I at least want the full game and be able to play everything with my friends. With missing maps I can not.

Update:

Actually, I found a work-around for installing Bf3 Beta. Go to http://www.origin.com/us/freegames while Origin is NOT RUNNING, click Get It Now, Log in, click Launch Origin.

Also, there is not a neat Trailer for the Open Beta: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8QzxLKSX8os

Often, people talking about the issues are referred to it being a “beta”. The trailer does not indicate anything about the term definition of beta though. To me it seem more like a time-limited demo. After all, they don’t seem to have to test Vehicles anymore.

Update 2:

Wow. I made myself a ton of work and posted excessive feedback. I wonder if anyone of EA actually checks it. And really processes it. Here you go, in the Bf3 Beta Feedback forum.

So, here I go with my findings:

First of all: If you (EA) really consider this a beta, why not put a promotive Feedback button in-game?

There does not seem to be a bug-tracker, (official) known issues list or anything. I just found this forum named feedback, so I’ll put it in here. Not feeling too comfortable with it though. Is it even being read?

But that’s just the beginning of missing usability. But I’ll save that for the end.

Bugs I encountered:

  • Light shining through from the top to the bottom level at one of the later stages of Metro.

  • When going into the menu (ESC), but then dying you are thrown into spawn menu. The menu is not visible any more. However, the greying-out of the “menu background”, or rather, everything is still active. When you spawn, you will play with a greyed, grained display. Work-around: Go into menu again and out.

  • I could not bind any mouse key.

  • When binding keys, it telling you to press a key, but you then ESC-cancel, the mouse pointer is gone.

  • Scoreboard, with scrollable list, clicking entries without scrolling or it being scrolled the scrollbar changes position. And that to a degree that when I was at the top of the list, then clicked the lowest entry, the scrollbar showed as being at the bottom of the list while it was not. In fact, it was still at the top, scroll-wise.

  • Can occasionally see ppl. teleporting through the map; seeing them like 2 times over the screen. (Maybe teleporting them/characters for respawn?)

  • The battlelog profile shows map-imgs only on winning row, nothing on lost.

  • The battlelog Time/Kit stats are displayed in shades of blue. Usabiltiy? No. Accessible (color-blind; other visual handicaps)? No! I certainly can’t make out the differences even without a handicap.

  • Unlocked sprint, was playing recon. Active for recon. Other classes: Do not display as active, but when clicking on the slot, shows as active selection in the list of options.

  • Game was going back to windowed mode every time it loaded the next map. Dunno what caused it. Probably losing focus, where it goes windowed as well, once. Then it just kept doing it on loading.

  • Probably bug: Having placed radio, then switching classes, radio stays in place.

  • Probably bug: Picking up radio, I first have to reload it before being able to place again.

  • Dunno if bug: Placing radio, dying. Then wanting to place radio: Can not. Have to pick up first??

Usability:

  • Add scroll-wheel capability to elements/lists with a scrollbar. (I really have to tell you?)

  • Can’t use ESC for menu where I want to. (Same issue as in BC2) I want to go into the menu EVERYWHERE! Why can I not fucking quit the game when the round is over? I have to load the next map? Really? (Up to now I always quit with ALT+F4 …)

  • I was rather confused if I was attacking or defending at the beginning. Always spawning facing the wrong way did not help either. (Although I faced the wrong way every spawn at the beginning, playing some more, it was not always the case. Still, relatively often.)

  • Add Ping display. Especially with the often to be experienced second delay I’d be interested if it is ping, or just bad netcode. (Probably the second.)

  • Why can’t I quit the promotions-slideshow? Why can’t I scroll through it myself? Why can’t I go back to it while waiting for next map anyway?

  • Why is there no tooltip or description on the loadout screen? I can not and do not read and remember all the unlockable descriptions when they are initially unlocked.

  • The weapon customization is awful. A back and a forth button? Really? Why make it so different from the loadout UI? Both design-/layout-wise as well as functionality and descriptive-wise?

  • Often spawning the wrong way.

  • Screen blacks out when spawning. Occasionally, pretty long (0.5 secs? of blackness). If I spawn at my teammate, makes it necessary to re-orientate where you were looking at your teammate and in the correct direction right before anyway. Just don’t black it out.

  • Do not freaking take away control! If I die, I don’t want to stare on the spawn-/loadout-panel. Let me watch my teammates, look around from where I died, or spectate all together!

  • Why the heck can I not access the main menu and settings while I am not playing OR not being alive? PC-focus my ass. Did anyone ever use the menu before beta? And the best part: If you die you’re thrown out of menu.

The 1s delay is awful.

Point blank shotty hit an enemy. Die myself. Wait 1 s. Enemy dies.

Or (happened severals):

Shoot rocket, hear sound. Die. No rocket projectile appears.

Some more personal feedback you will probably discard – but I hope not:

  • EULA sucks. I don’t want Origin to spy on my apps and data on my PC. I don’t want it to read my timely unique IP address (which is considered personal data in some countries for a reason). I don’t want it to read my world-unique MAC address. And hell, I don’t want it to the internet. To EA. And HELL, I don’t want EA to send it to third parties. Like that? I’m not gonna fucking use Origin.

  • Origin sucks. I had to work-around getting the Bf3 beta. Just because I live in Germany? It denied installation/downloading/activating/accessing for protection of minors. Bullcrap. German law does not require that, that princible with „closing hours” is bullshit. Take it out.

For anyone interested: The work-around was going to the website in browser, clicking install or what, logging in, clicking start Origin. But all that with Origin NOT RUNNING. If it was running, did not work.

Also, even with English language selected in Origin I get MOST of everything in German. Way to go with a language selection. At least the settings turned English …

  • I don’t like the idea of progression and tons of unlockables. Makes it even harder and unfairer for new players. And players only playing occasionally.

Also, I feel fucked. Because I can’t play like I would like to. (Right away anyway. And god knows if you will actually unlock something specific or stop playing before you do)

  • What, what recoil. Not sure I like that. Shoot -> don’t see anything any more. Esp. with snipers. Maybe for balance? Dunno …

  • Release-DLC with maps. Are you effin serious? How do you handle maps vs no maps? Kick me players when the map changes? Not let me onto the server from the beginning? Either way it separates communities. And if I want to play with friends, I’d like to play on the same basis, with the same, at least map-, content.

There you go.

Not having much hopes as AAA-gaming went more and more into this shitty direction. I can only see PC-focus in graphics. Not in usability, customizability, controlability, communitiability, optionizability or anything else.

I do hope you tested vehicles better than the rest of the game. And I wonder what the focus of the beta is. My assumption at this point: time-limited demo for ppl. Still, I put work into this so I hope someone notices it and actually considers and processes it.

Hope anyone enjoyed reading this.

And a quick follow-up:

Oh, btw., did you know? By providing feedback you discard all rights to EA. Or sth. Via EULA.

And with all that data-gathering and what-not, they have a good reason to not contract you in your country. Instead, for all europeans you make a contract with EA swiss. Bah.

Feels like Sony. „Agree to not mass-sue us.” Fucked up.

Update 3:

Server files leaked and modded servers appeared, it seems. DICE announces (found via reddit): If you connect to them your Origin account may/will be banned with all its games. (Do they expect every unexperienced and maybe first-time Gamer to read the forums and act accordingly? No mistakenly connecting to modded servers, or just not knowing better? The way they announced it seems like the servers were/are in the official server list!?)

[1]: https://kcode.de/wordpress/1036-battlefield-bad-company-2-%E2%80%93-first-impressions “”