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Archive for the category “Battlefield 3”

Get Battlefield 3 server status updates

EA has launched a “current server status” page for Battlefield 3, which should help alleviate the need to check the @Battlefield Twitter account every time the publisher’s servers get temperamental.

If the server status says it’s up and you’re still having connection issues, then be sure to check those ports for optimal server connection. If all else fails, Modern Warfare 3 will be out tomorrow.



Battlefield 3: Back to Karkand Gameplay Premiere Trailer

This December Battlefield 3 returns to Karkand with the Back to Karkand map pack.

This trailer we see the first ingame shots from Strike at Karkand, Sharqi Peninsula, Gulf of Oman, and Wake Island, from the upcoming expansion pack Battlefield 3: Back to Karkand. This expansion pack also features new weapons, vehicles, persistence, and the return of the classic Conquest Assault. The pack is out December 2011 at no extra charge with your pre-order, or available the same date at $14.99/1200 Microsoft Points.


EA: Battlefield 3 multiplayer will keep players coming back despite MW3 launch

While he neglected to sling any specific mud at Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, EA executive vice president Patrick Soderlund believes that Battlefield 3 multiplayer will make players “feel loyal” to the game, even in the face of Activision’s annual juggernaut. “We all respect what Call of Duty brings and what they’re going to come with,” Soderlund recently told IGN, though he believes EA has “an industry-leading multiplayer game that will make people want to stay with us, frankly.”

Soderlund sees Battlefield 3’s multiplayer as a service that allows players to “continually get updates and new content and hopefully improvements to the product as we go.” One such piece of content will be this December’s “Back to Karkand” DLC, which Soderlund promises will contain more destruction than the current multiplayer maps. “It’s a different level, even more so than in BF3,” he said, adding that the DLC team made a “deliberate decision” to ratchet up the destruction for the upcoming content. Sounds like fun, so long as it doesn’t destroy the servers too.


Free Battlefield 3 skins and dog tags available through Dr. Pepper promotion

EA has signed on with Dr. Pepper to release some exclusive DLC for Battlefield 3 this week. Every specially marked bottle of Dr. Pepper has a code in it that you can redeem on the official Dr. Pepper site, and that code will earn you special DLC for the game. This includes mulitplayer skins and a PlayStation Home avatar, to various special edition dog tags to display. You can see the dog tag choices above; they’re especially meme-y for some reason, like a whole six wolf moon to Hello Kitty, and a Rebecca Black-inspired beer bottle opener.

If you don’t want to shell out for the soda itself, you can get a free code through Dr. Pepper’s website (though you can only select the content for one platform, so choose wisely). The promotion ends on December 31, so make sure you put them in by the end of 2011. And give thanks to the ever-lovin’ gods of sugar water for the free BF3 DLC.


EA Insist That “Origin Is Not Spyware”

Battlefield 3 was the first game to use EA’s new digital service, Origin. In Germany, EA have been under fire from all angles by the media due to accusations of the program actually being spyware. Today, EA confronted the issues.

The controversy was sparked off by German publication,, when their suspicions led them to hire a lawyer to expose Origin’s Terms of Service. They supposedly found that EA have enabled themselves to gather all the information on a person’s computer and process the data, which has the potential to escalate in to a privacy violation.

With this news, the controversy spiraled out of control; people using process monitors to spy on Origin’s doings, returning open copies to shops, petitions for Battlefield 3 to be taken off shelves, and Amazon users giving the game the worst score on the site.

There seemed to be a lot of solid proof for the case that EA were being just a little bit sneaky about the use of user’s private information. However, a spokesperson for EA Germany has braved the task of addressing the issue head on with the following passage (loosely translated from German):

In recent days, some ambiguities have occurred regarding the license agreements and data collection of our Origin platform. We regret the confusion that has arisen and have informed our customers today on the state of things. Due to the recent discussion, we have summarized some of the essential facts as follows:

We have updated the End User License Agreement of Origin, in the interests of our players to create more clarity. The updated Origin licensing agreements are available here:

Origin is not spyware. Neither do we use nor install spyware on the PCs of users.

Origin captures limited information that is necessary to allow users to buy, download, and play games and gaming content. The information is also needed for online connections with other players and so that extra content and software updates can be delivered directly. The data is also used to detect the occurrence of smaller software errors to ensure they are repaired immediately.

We do not have access to information such as pictures, documents or personal data, which have nothing to do with the execution of the Origin program on the system of the player, neither will they be collected by us.

All information we collect with Origin and use is to ensure that our customers have the easiest possible access to their games while enjoying the full service and the best gaming experience that EA has to offer.

EA takes the privacy of its users very seriously. We have taken every precaution to protect the personal and anonymous user data collected.

The license agreements of Origin match industry-standard privacy policies, as they are used by many other popular web services. Where necessary, we will of course work together with the relevant Government agencies to ensure that our policies are and remain legally compliant.

The CEO of Electronic Arts Germany, Olaf Coenen, is quoted as follows:

We regret any confusion that has emerged with our customers. Origin is there to enable a world-class online gaming experience – and all the data collected in the system is used solely for this purpose. I am confident that the revised licensing agreements bring significant clarity to our customers.

So there you have it, EA remain steadfast that they have not tried to violate the personal privacy of any of their Origin users. With the persistence of the community and societies love of a good scandal, it is unlikely that EA’s words will stop those investigating the matter. Fortunately for the publishing giants, the scandal has not spread anywhere else around the world, and it certainly has not stopped Battlefield 3 selling over 5 million copies in its first week.


Battlefield 3 lead platform ‘switched to consoles’ mid-development

The DICE boss shared the news in the latest issue of PSM3, where he revealed that despite Battlefield 3 looking very much like a shooter designed for advanced PC hardware, the latter stages of Battlefield 3’s construction lead on PS3 and Xbox 360 in order to meet release on time.

“We said originally that the PC was the lead SKU of the game, but in mid-production we switched to console as lead platform to make sure we could get all the versions done for release,” Troedsson confirmed.

“Our ambition at DICE is to use the power of each individual platform to get the most out of the game,” he added.

“In the case of the PS3… I understand that if you compare it to a high-end PC, it’s not going to look as good. But if you compare it to other games on the PS3, including other games we’ve done previously, I have to say I’m very happy with how it looks.

“Hopefully people will agree when they look at it in the same way.”

EA previously said it lead development on PC because that audience “has been the one complaining.”

Exec producer Patrick Bach said: “We actually haven’t heard any complaints from the console audience. We are letting the PC audience make use of the very expensive hardware that they just bought so they can tick all the boxes and go for the 64-player fights.”

In the press release announcing Battlefield 3’s impressive “estimated” 5 million week-one sales, EA said it’s making “daily improvements” to multiplayer servers.


EA Offers Limited Edition Posters With Origin Battlefield 3 Purchases

EA is currently offering a limited edition poster with all Battlefield 3 orders. This is the first poster of a series of four to be released and will only be available while supplies last. If you haven’t already picked up your copy of Battlefield 3, now is the time you should do so. Below you will see a preview of what poster will be shipping for this promotion or you can click the images below to proceed on to the limited time offer.

Battlefield 3 leaps ahead of its time with the power of Frostbite™ 2, the next installment of DICE’s cutting-edge game engine. This state-of-the-art technology is the foundation on which Battlefield 3 is built, delivering enhanced visual quality, a grand sense of scale, massive destruction, dynamic audio and incredibly lifelike character animations. As bullets whiz by, walls crumble, and explosions throw you to the ground, the battlefield feels more alive and interactive than ever before. In Battlefield 3, players step into the role of the elite U.S. Marines where they will experience heart-pounding missions across diverse locations including Paris, Tehran and New York.


Online Problems For Record-Setting Battlefield 3 Almost Fixed, EA Says

Battlefield 3‘s launch was plagued with online issues, blocking gamers from going online with the popular multiplayer shooter, booting others and causing wide-spread server issues. But in an interview this morning with Kotaku, Electronic Arts says that after shipping 10 million copies of the game and having more than 2.2 million players log in to play, they think most of the online problems are behind them now.

“We are happy to report that PS3 and PC players experienced server stability all weekend, and Xbox 360 servers are at 95 percent and climbing,” an Electronic Arts spokesperson said in response to Kotaku‘s emailed questions. “There were a number of different factors that impacted server connectivity across the platforms. Regardless of the cause or platform, our Online teams are standing by to identify the issues and addressed them as they arise. We will not rest until we’re at 100 percent.”

The PC version of the game ran into issues with its use of Punkbuster anti-cheat software, a problem that EA tells Kotaku has since been fixed.

“Punkbuster is not new to EA games, nor is it limited to PC titles,” the spokesperson wrote. “We are always evaluating technology partners in order to deliver the best possible consumer experience, but Punkbuster provides the a great balance between effectiveness and user friendliness.”

The Xbox 360 version of the game seems hardest hit, with EA acknowledging early this morning that problems still exist for some gamers trying to get into Battlefield 3 matches on the Microsoft console.

“There are a number of different factors impacting server connectivity on Xbox 360,” the spokesperson said. “It is a particularly complex server architecture and we continue to work with Microsoft to improve connectivity. Our Online teams are standing by 24/7, identifying issues and addressing them as they arise. We are gamers, too, and understand how frustrating it is not to be able to play the game without interruption. We appreciate their patience and promise, it will be worth the wait.”

Part of the issues seemed to be caused by the high number of people going online to play Electronic Arts’ game. More than 2.2 million people logged in to play Battlefield 3 in the first 24 hours and over the weekend, we were told.

“Peak Simultaneous Users set a new single title record for EA,” they said.
While acknowledging the rocky kick-off for their game, Electronic Arts refuted any suggestion that their new Origin online service was a central part of the problem.

“Origin is still a new service platform that, even in these early days, is off to a great start,” the spokesperson said. “In the first 48 hours of launch, a small amount of Battlefield 3 PC players using Origin experienced an authentication issue. This is a known issue which has now stabilized. We continue to monitor the situation and are standing by to quickly resolve any future issues that might arise.”

Electronic Arts said solving the problems that were causing online issues for Battlefield 3 players has been a company-wide, global effort. That means that teams from The Executive Leadership team, DICE studio, IT, Online Services, Operations, Origin, Customer Support, QA, Marketing, PR and external partners have all been working together around the clock

“At a high level, the tech process has been: identify, hypothesize, reproduce, fix, test, publish, verify and communicate,” they said.

While the solution seems to have cleared things up within the first weekend of the game’s release, I asked Electronic Arts why it happened in the first place. Afterall, the company were tracking their high pre-order numbers and ran an extensive beta that led to a myriad of last-minute fixes.

“The game is spectacularly popular,” they said, in response. “We’ve shipped 10 million units, sell-through is good and we are already receiving re-orders. The key feature for most players is the incredible (multiplayer) experience. With such huge interest in the game, demand outstripped even our best expectations coming out of the beta. This is an evolving process that we are committed to improving. Even with a successful beta, systems under load will reveal new opportunities for optimization and improvement. When we see those opportunities, we would rather move immediately and create short-term inconvenience (maintenance period) to improve the long-term experience for all players.”

With a mostly hitch-free weekend, according to Electronic Arts, the team now things they’re over the hump in terms of Battlefield 3 problems.
“We’ve turned a corner,” the spokesperson said. “We had a great weekend with solid server stability on PS3 and PC. Xbox 360 servers are at 95%, as a small percentage of people are experiencing intermittent volatility which we are addressing. We believe that the major issues are behind us, but our Online teams will not be happy until we’re at 100%. We continue to work on solving for each issue.”

Do they plan on trying to do anything to make up for those early issues with the game? No.

“We are always looking at ways to generate customer satisfaction and our number one road to their happiness is to get everyone playing smoothly and ensure 100 percent stability.,” they said. “We are gamers, too, and we understand that no gift will match the experience of getting in the game and playing with friends.”


EA: Battlefield 3 server stability now at 98.9%

Following reports of a highly problematic Battlefield 3 launch, Electronic Arts has sent us a note to say things are much better. The game was plagued with server issues which EA blamed on an overwhelming amount of players, but the publisher says that server stability is almost at 99% now, which should ensure everyone stays online.

“We are happy to report that we had a great weekend with server stability at roughly 98.9%,” said EA’s Pete Nguyen. “While some players experienced intermittent outages of online services due to high volume, internal estimates show that servers and service stabilized, ensuring that players were connected and enjoying the game.

“With a commitment to support the game as a software service, EA is listening to consumer feedback and is making daily updates and improvements to ensure an optimal online experience for all. With such huge interest in the game, demand outstripped even our best expectations coming out of the beta. This is an evolving process that we are committed to improving.”

Server stability is something I can understand. Broken online passes are not excusable, since they’re a problem that never needed to be there. Still, at least those who weren’t unfairly locked out of the multiplayer can at least get on.


Battlefield 3’s five biggest failures

You’ve read about Battlefield 3’s high points – now, witness its lowest moments. None of them make this a game worth ignoring, but they do make it a game worth occasionally screaming at.

Close the curtains and read on. Our review paints a more well-rounded picture. Beware spoilers.

1. The villain’s pathetic
There’s a bit towards the end of Battlefield 3 when Solomon, Sergeant Blackburn’s balding, finely accented nemesis, appears to be on the verge of explaining why he’s decided to kill everybody with nuclear bombs. “It was never about victory,” he screams. Then you hit him with a brick. Shame, because we have literally no idea what the man’s beef is. Fearful, presumably, of appearing too interested in the mass-murderer mindset, DICE has left Solomon’s backstory and motivations up to guesswork. He’s a blank tablet with the word “terrorist” scribbled at the top.

2. EA’s fudged the Online Pass feature
We have mixed feelings about EA’s Online Pass system. On the one hand, we accept that developers have server and on-going game maintenance bills to pay. On the other, we still cling to the wholly unreasonable, laughable belief that when we buy something we’ve actually bought it, rather than the capacity to buy it again if we don’t have a box code. The latter complaint picks up pace when the code in question doesn’t actually work – as seems to be the case with many copies of Battlefield 3. Being told we should ask the shop for a new code is… unhelpful.

3. Enemies are hyper-accurate, or completely oblivious
Battlefield 3’s levels are vast, and generally awash with effects like grenade blasts, muzzle flashes and clouds of brickdust. This makes the presence of enemies who become aware of your presence milliseconds after you enter the scene more aggravating than usual. If I can’t see that guy standing behind the explosion two hundred metres off, how the hell can he see me? The only exceptions to the rule are the bogies the game wants you to kill stealthily, like the man in Operation Guillotine who manages to spend a whole 10 minutes with his back to a raging shoot-out.

4. The bottlenecks make our blood boil
Later in the campaign there’s a sequence where you’re assaulting a villa at the head of a Russian special forces squad. Passing the security checkpoint, you exit onto a road full of black Range Rovers. Explodable black Range Rovers. Not by you, though. You can’t explode the Range Rovers. There’s an RPG wielder at the top of the slope, an RPG wielder who blows up the cars in scripted sequence. And there are men with shotguns. And they can’t be killed while they’re getting out of their cars. All these elements are maddening enough by themselves, but crammed onto a single 50 metre curl of tarmac? Damn you, Battlefield 3.

5. It won’t let you do stuff
Can I open the door this time, DICE? Can I? It’s not like I’ve got a flesh-and-blood co-op partner to wait for. Why can’t I open the door by myself, DICE? I want to open the door, DICE. You need to let me open the door, DICE, or I’ll run off and write a feature about how you wouldn’t let me open the door. THE DOOR. HOW IT MOCKS ME. I’VE GOT HANDS, DICE. FINGERS TOO. SEE HOW I FLEX MY FINGERS, DICE? YOUR THROAT, DICE, MY FINGERS ROUND YOUR THROAT.


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