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Where To With Bf3?


PiratePlunder
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Been playing a bit of BadCompany2 MP recently and despite what I expected its really rather good. But it got me thinking where does this leave BF3 in terms of theme?

Looking at BC2 MP I don't see that much that can be added to the modern combat setting to warrant a new game. Sure 64 player servers, larger maps and aircraft but would that really be enough for people to hand over another wodge of cash. And thats assuming that 64 players (probable) and larger maps (less likely) can be done to a solid enough level. Obviously they could add mod support but that doesn't really relate to the theme, even if they did do it and more importantly wouldnt be a reason for console players to pay out again.

So if not modern combat where? WW2, Vietnam, Future? BF1943 (if it ever reaches PC) has WW2 covered and although DICE were particularly fond of BF2142 maybe its too soon for another one. Vietnam - I hope so.

Of course they may just say, we made our money from BC2, lets repackage the content, throw some shiny bones in with it (mod support, 64 player servers) and resell as BF3.

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Personally, i preffered the BF2142 setting over BF2. However, a setting better than future and modern is something like near future:

BFBC2 already has this. Some kind of setting where strykers are the mainstream APC with their missile defense system as seen in MW2 single player (to balance this you could make it have a time delay, so two ppl with rocket launchers could take it). The vehicle system should be streamlined with:

  1. 1 Main Battle Tank (e.g Abrams)
  2. 1 APC (e.g Stryker)
  3. 1 Attack Heli (e.g Apache)
  4. 1 Troop Carrier (e.g. UH-60 Blackhawk)
  5. 1 Boat
  6. 1 Jeep type (e.g. Humvee)
  7. 1 Quad Bike

i.e 1 per team

Otherwise it should be like BF2/2142- with commanders, assets, squads, spawning on squad leader etc.

Conquest Co op should definitely make a return, as thats a life saver when you're playing with just your friends

They should add a halfway point where there are mostly players, but AI Medics in every squad- cos it sucks to play Medic

As for health- a 3 bar Far Cry 2 style system would be good, where players have bandages to heal themselves in critical state, but only Medics have syringes to heal the other 2 bars

Artillery should be more powerful (i.e. guaranteed death for all in range)

Friendly fire should be off (not too realistic, otherwise it gets annoying)

Grenade and Melee Buttons

Engine-Wise-Like BFBC2 except:

  • Easier to destroy roofs/floors (perfect for artillery)
  • DX 11 definitely
  • optimise for PC, Graphics are good enough, but performance isnt
  • Dedicated servers should make use of GPU for better performance- allowing vehicle wrecks to stay and lots of bodies Click here

Other:

  • Troop Carriers dispense troops via ropes- for added coolness
  • Troop Carriers are heavily armed- but big and slow
  • Ammo system like BFBC2 not BF2/BF2142 (reload whole mags)
  • SNIPERS SHOULD DO LOTS OF DAMAGE
  • Settings: Middle Eastern, and Arctic

Campaign Mode like Enemy Territory Quake Wars- but with a set of about 10 maps- and the damage to buildings and vehicle wrecks are persistent

Edited by Mrblbshrtz
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its got to be nearly time for dice to show us something of bf3....anything!!!

.

theres a magazine article floating around saying that bf3 is set in modern times,i suspect they would go in that direction so theres lots of options for selecting weapon accessories and armour options for character customisation.

.

it would be really cool if dice made bf3 a combination of bf42,bfv,bf2 and bf2142...4 maps from each,and something new aswell.

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Engine-Wise-Like BFBC2 except:

* Easier to destroy roofs/floors (perfect for artillery)

* DX 11 definitely

* optimise for PC, Graphics are good enough, but performance isnt

* Dedicated servers should make use of GPU for better performance- allowing vehicle wrecks to stay and lots of bodies Click here

It already supports DX11 - I'm enjoying the nice tessellated models very much hehehe. You notice it on the guns and rocks - the shadows are better too. I agree about the floors and roofs though. In BC2 the walls are made of paper and the floors are made of titanium. If they used the GPUs for game servers, it could cause problems though. Most game servers don't have a video card at all, so if they coded it to assume they did have GPUs it would cause big trouble there - but more wrecks and bodies won't help performance hehe. Speaking of which, I don't think it's that bad. The only things separating it from a game such as Crysis is the below-par water and low-detail tree branches; so it's fair to expect a decent amount of performance hit.

BF2142 nearly did a physics-abiding future game, except the Titan and those silly walker things were just ridiculous. EMPs can be defeated with certain precautions in the real world too, and if armies started actually using them then those precautions would be put in place. Anyway, I just don't think it's possible to predict the future realistically. What about artistic license you say? Well, the same events will always produce the same outcome, so unless you can predict the future you will end up with a game that doesn't actually make sense when someone thinks critically.

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* optimise for PC, Graphics are good enough, but performance isnt
That is probably in vain - most games nowadays are console-first because of the higher profit margins. PC games are cracked faster - remember why CryTek decided to do console support for the sequels of Crysis.
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Well I really can't say I could disagree more with the whole "Bad Company 2/Modern Warfare 2 is a console port" thing. Especially not for Bad Company 2.

Modern Warfare 2 uses the same engine that's been used for every CoD game before, but with minor changes between versions - so it's slowly evolved from PC into PC and console. It's not a console port.

Bad Company 2 is not a port either. Sure, the Frostbite engine was working on consoles first, but the way they've made the editor is such that it optimises it for all of the 3 systems, rather than going from the editor to a console and then to a PC - where it would still be optimized for a console rather than PC.

Considering the sheer scale of everything in the game, I'd say it was very optimised as it is. It's got screen-space ambient occlusion mapping (and a damned good one at that), pretty awesome skin shaders (you get the red glow from the skin when light scatters under the surface), microdetail in the form of additional normal maps... Various things like that, and it still supports big maps, full destruction and terrain deformation, and by far the best sound engine to date (even if it does use up a whole core of a CPU). The sound is probably the biggest avoidable performance drain, maybe they could have offered some settings to cut it down? Anyway, I think they did a good job - but at the expense of modding.

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You're right, technically bfbc2 clearly isn't a console port. However, unquestionably the game's been designed with consoles first and foremost in mind. Thats not to say I don't like it - I do, I love it, but it's the way of the world.

Back on topic though I still don't see what DICE can put in to BF3 if its a modern (or very near future) setting. Sure 64 player servers, modding capability etc might give PC players a reason to buy - but what of the consoles? Presumably BF3 isn't going to be a PC exclusive (that would be commercial madness) so what do the console players get to make it worth their while to drop another $40? A few new maps and some weapons (there can't be many not included in BFBC2) and perhaps a new team surely won't be enough.

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' date='30 May 2010 - 07:14 AM' timestamp='1275200059' post='98407']

That is probably in vain - most games nowadays are console-first because of the higher profit margins. PC games are cracked faster - remember why CryTek decided to do console support for the sequels of Crysis.

In terms of DRM, they could just implement the same system they use with BFBC2 except you have to login to play Singleplayer aswell. I'm alright with these kind of systems as it's safe to assume that 99% of people who want this game have reliable internet.

Or you could implement another system. Steam plus a kind of server list online superserver. They could scrap connect to IP, and then you'd have to connect to the superserver to see the list of online servers. But the superserver checks that it's a valid SteamID connecting, one that exists, isn't in 2 places at once, and owns BF3. The major problem with this is offline server emulation, but there is a complicated way around that which I cba to explain atm.

Edited by Mrblbshrtz
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Some more food for thought:

MAG (PS3) had 256 players and so was too chaotic. The problem was that so many humans cannot work together in a game environment. A good idea would be to have 256 player size maps (4 x 4 km) but have it so that there are only 64 players and every player, when he joins, has the choice to be the squad leader of an AI squad (max 4 AI per person). The AI will obey the SL (better Ai defo needed), and there will only be 64 humans. That way you can have large scale, but organised battles. 256 players just doesnt work. Everyone hyped up MAG way too much, and when they played, they realised that it just doesnt work.

One more point: Engine wise: they should do that Dx11-tesselation-scalable-LOD thing

if they implement that, that would sort out the bad water effects aswell as Long distance viewing- Would make for EVEN BIGGER maps (maybe 8x8 km ONLINE)

Edited by Mrblbshrtz
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Bet we wont see any more than 64 players.

Firstly lag will increase - assuming the next logical step is 128 then that's a lot of extra connections (plus more data about player locations sent to each and every connection). I guess that the reason for fewer connections in frostbite titles so far is to make up for the extra information sent from the server about destructible buildings etc.

Along side that you've got all those extra players running around which are generally fairly high poly and although LODS will usually take care of that, unlike buildings you could never be sure that you wouldn't have all 128 players within a very small area and so all rendered at high poly lods. That doesn't even consider the cost of players providing their own 128 player servers (ouch!) especially if DICE continue to withhold server files I just don't see the point in fans paying for their own servers.

The general trend with BF titles has been towards fewer players, not sure why people expect DICE to suddenly reverse this.

Edited by PiratePlunder
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Like it or not BFBC2 and (if it ever gets released) BF1943 are BF games - even if not core ones. Hence the statement that the number of players on the battlefield series is trending downwards. As they're also frostbite releases they're far more relevant to what can be done for BF3 than any of BF2, BF2142, BF1942 or BF Vietnam.

So far there's no reason to believe that frostbite is even playable with more than 32 players. The documentation/files (admittedly in BFBC2) states that the maximum players are 64 - presumably a frostbite reference rather than a bfbc2 reference as its 32 player max. I'ld be a little surprised if BF3 didn't have 64 players but like I say, the step up to 128 is huge and we haven't even experienced the step up to 64.

Not only does the server have to send 128 player status reports to each client but there are now 128 clients to send data to. Add in to that there's now 128 hand weapons running around firing twice as many projectiles causing twice as many explosions and almost certainly twice as many static weapons and vehicles to play with. 128 players would also require a larger play area - so more statics and importantly more destroyable buildings also having to be reported to the clients. I'm no expert on servers but I'm guessing that's a significant additional load placed on the game server which would lead to a higher cost/worse performance trade off. That's assuming that the server can handle the computational side of things at 128 players.

Aside from that is BF3 really being developed solely/primarily for the PC? That would seem odd given the cross platform nature of frostbite.

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battlefield_3

BF3 is more PC centric, whereas the BFBC series is more console-centric. I see a split, and later BFBC titles will definitely be more geared towards consoles, and worse for the PC. BF3 is an entirely PC release so they will up the game a little. I'm not asking for 128 players, just HUGE maps (maybe not 8x8 km possibly about 5x5) plus plenty of AI. Its the PC (plenty of Power in the ded servers, and if not, jsut implement GPGPU) and plus they could implement some kind of system whereby they make sure Server has plenty of bandwidth, but clients only have to stream data specific to their area (important on a large map)

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Sounds like something approaching an MMO style of working. That would be okay but it might cause problems with keeping track of which client knows what so it can update them when they move into a destroyed area for example. If the maps were REALLY big it might be worth it, but 128 is somewhere in the grey area between MMO and conventional online play.

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Don't see any facts in that wikipedia article (and the references) other than repi's lengthy interview about DX11 beyond that bf3 is in development. More importantly I don't see anything to suggest that BF3 will be PC centric (while I totally agree with you that BFBC2 is console centric). Interestingly the better PC sales of BC2 compared to XBOX and PS3 might persuade DICE to focus more on PC once more.

I'ld be interested to know what would change compared to BFBC2 - not details about jets, numbers of vehicles but gameplay. I guess comparing bfbc2 to bf2 bc2 is more fast paced (a console thing - although I like that) so perhaps bigger maps would pull this back. In bfbc2 the only way to get a slow paced game is to have a maximum of 4v4. Does bfbc2 play more 'arcady' than bf2? I guess its slightly more run and gun at times - although a good squad working cleverly will still dominate. Perhaps the smaller maps concentrate the action and promote that kind of play where as in bf2 there was usually one or two areas like that but plenty of space for playing how ever you wanted (seemingly for most players that was queuing for a jet or team killing those queuing or standing in front of a jet so it couldn't take off - oh good days)

Personally the more I play BC2 the more I like it and the more I couldn't see myself going back to BF2.

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BC2 sold more on PC? That is good news indeed!

BC2 is definitely far more "arcady" than BF2, squads have no structure and there is no commander - plus sending orders consists of pointing at something and pressing Q. This would have definitely been a console-geared decision, and since the main Battlefield series have always been more tactically based it stands to reason that the extra buttons of a PC would be advantageous. I think BF3 (if it comes) will be PC-oriented.

The thing about Bad Company 2 is that it feels like a really good CoD game more than a Battlefield game, and their water method is a real step backwards. Battlefield 2 had a really clever cubemap method, where the UVW space would morph around as time goes by and dependant on position - so essentially the water never repeated itself, and it could dynamically move around in a very natural way. Bad Company 2 just has 2 intersecting normal maps being lerp'd between. Yes, it has nice Fresnel effects and the underwater "fog" is more natural (where it's based on observer angle as well - depth*sqrt(1+sqr(tan(arcos(dot(observer_normal,water_normal))))) - instead of just based on depth). But you can see very clearly where the water is repeated, and the rivers look downright awful.

Edited by UberWazuSoldier
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Nevertheless, we don't have to go back to clunky old ways. I suggest using C for squad control- whereby you press it once to issue a move order, or if you press it on a vehicle, it's enter vehicle. Double tap to do a follow me order, and hold to bring out a commo rose. Lots of contextual changes , so if you are pointing @ something it would be different. E.g tap c on an enemy, marks enemy for termination (good for stealth). Mark multiple enemies then double tap C to give the order "engage marked targets". It should also incude a much more details map-based squad control system like Operation Flashpoint 2, whereby you can control your squadmates on a map.

Edited by Mrblbshrtz
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OFP:DR took a fair bit of flak for that command system (even though I personally love it), but DICE has gone perhaps a bit far the other way. I really like all the spontaneous yelling when something happens, but it really ruins my stealth when my character yells out "WANT SUMMA THIS?!" when breaking a fence down, or screams "FUCKIN' A, I CAPPED THAT BITCH!" after killing someone with a silenced assault rifle as I try to sneak through their base. I think some more control in general would be nice for that reason. :P

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You've got to keep in mind that Frostbite isn't optimized for 2x2km maps with 64 players.

BFBC2 works in the way that its maps are actually divided into several smaller maps which are loaded while playing. This is why initial loading is fast, and why it's got a higher weight ratio on the CPU then the GPU, compared to BF2.

For BF3 to support 64 players, with 2x2km Karkand-style maps, with the same amount of content as BF2 at Frostbite's standards, it will either need to

a.) Downscale graphics

b.) Downscale dynamic/destructible environments

c.) Wait years for the average high-end computer to handle it

d.) or for Dice to invent some revolutionary technique for increasing performance

It's the same reason we don't see full scale all out war style games on the Source engine, even though if properly optimized, modern computers should be able to handle it. This is 6 years after the source engine's release. Back when BF2 was first release, I remember endless comparisons to Source, saying it demanded better hardware even though its graphics were worse, people didn't understand why this was.

Also, EA's investors are the ones who decide what to make and what not to make. I find it unlikely they will ever opt for larger scale if it sacrifices the graphics or destructible environments. Graphics and destructible environments look much better on paper. So I find options c and d much more likely. Also, even if clients are capable of handling it, the servers must also be. There's a reason that BF1942 and BF2 got such crappy physics.

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  • 7 months later...

A game using the frostbite engine focused on 2142 would be absolutely awesome. I'm getting tired of the modern and ww2 setting and the possibilities available for games taking place in the future are rather unlimited.

I love that idea.. I'm hoping they would make something like bf2143 all huds and vehicles will looks sooo cool. Later in life we will be telling our kids, that games didn't look like that before... heh :D

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