Home Editorial Balance The Wookie: He’s Here Without His Fur

These are not men. They are furry space people with big guns.

So I’ve played Battlefield Bad Company 2: Vietnam for a while now, and I have a fairly good handle on how the game runs, the weapons (what’s good and what isn’t), the maps (which are good and which aren’t), and the players (today’s topic, besides parentheses). Of course, as I know you all can read (at least really big text), the topic of this post is what the Battlefield community affectionately refers to as Wookies.

The Recon class, which is missing only one really important thing in Vietnam (motion sensors), is of course the long distance combat class. Your job being to spot enemies and take them out either with precision or acting as long range cleanup for already wounded foes. However, without the use of motion balls- the reason recon players need to get up close to the objectives- the recon class becomes something different. Instead of a versatile kit with semi-automatic rifles for closer encounters and the advantage of always knowing where enemies are, you’ll now find most people in recon sniping from spawn.

Now I know that technically you can equip the flamethrower, the Thompson and the Shotgun and still play recon, but really… is that at all common? So few people know how to properly throw C4 (TNT). Since the mortar strike is a fire and forget weapon, and the M40 has a one-hit kill range of 40 meters, the logic of most players is: sit back, crouch and shoot.

I have seen quickscopers in Vietnam, don’t get me wrong, and good Recon players can be super powerful with their TNT and a Thompson. However, in all my hours of gameplay, my deaths by Recon occurred at fifty meters or more 95% of the time.

What I’ve spent all this considerable soapbox ranting trying to get at is this: Battlefield Bad Company 2’s Vietnam expansion does not teach Recon players to play their class well. BC2 Vanilla (what DICE has taken to calling the original game), with motion balls, tracer darts, the choice between mortar and C4, and the variation in weapon loadout all, in their own ways, made the Recon class one that could severely hamper both offense and defense maneuvers. If you wanted to snipe from long range and were effective, great, just spam the spot button on your PC/console of choice. Call in mortars on objectives as you see your teammates arming them, not after. However, if you were to really be effective, slap on a general kit automatic with C4 and get up in the action, throwing motion mines to alert you and your teammates to incoming threats while having the ability to blow the living hell out of a camper in a building. In Vietnam, this is still possible, but due to its much higher difficulty curve compared to just sniping, people rarely do it.

Am I saying that motion balls need to make a return in Vietnam? Of course not. That would be a betrayal of both the time period and all the money people spent knowing what they’d be getting. Do I think the Recon class needs removal from Vietnam? No, because snipers played a considerable role in the war, some firing only a few dozen yards from their enemies. What I am complaining about, and this is certainly complaining, is the rampancy of snipers, not Recon players, in both Vanilla and Vietnam. It’s easier, there’s a higher reward for less effort (if you’re good), and you don’t really have to listen to the complainers if you mute your chat (though you might still read the chat box on PC).

What Vietnam is doing is reenforcing this boring playstyle without a viable way for a Recon to use a sniper rifle up close. He has to either grab an automatic, flamethrower or shotgun… but then he’s really better off just playing one of the other three kits.

4 replies to this post
  1. It is what I call the Counter-Strike AWP phenomenon. If the game has snipers, it is probably going to turn into a sniper-only game

    • True, though I think what Xiant saw (and what I saw when I was playing BFBC2, which I NEED to get back into) is that after a while Recons started realizing they got more points, kills, and were more useful when they used ALL their tools, not just sniping rifles. Since they had motion detection beacons they could really help teammates out on the front lines and near the objectives. However, since this stuff isn’t in Vietnam and their new explosives are harder to use, people just default to LOLSNIPING.

  2. wow I’ve never realized this.

    Come to think of it, almost all of my games that involve sniper-rifles have a fairly large chunk of ”super-l33t sniper lolololo–”

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