I’m on a Battlefield kick right now, I guess, but I have to get this off my chest.
First, there are beta complaints. “It damaged sales! I don’t like the direction they’re going! This isn’t Call of Duty! It’s boring! The guns kill too quickly!”
Blah fucking blah. I’m not going to use the “It’s a Beta” excuse here. Instead, I’m fed up with people putting DICE in a corner with no good way out. So you want your new game to be good, right? Beta test. Break the game so that the developers can make sure those cracks in the code get plugged.
I’ve heard the argument that the beta shouldn’t have even happened. So you want any bugs caught in beta to stay for the retail game? Oh, I hear them now… “There should have been a beta! DICE and EA are idiots!” But wait, they whining is already adapting: ” The beta sucked! DICE and EA are idiots!” What the fuck do you want from them people? Really?
So they have good intentions? Whatever.
I understand that many of the people complaining loudly are those who only want the best for the game, and their feelings on the beta are in fact legitimate. I’m no more a fan of one month old code being released than the next guy. I’m not happy about the fact that some of the stuff in the beta was fixed even before we got our hands on it (flashlights).
But what people don’t seem to understand or care about is the infinite hoops DICE had to jump through just to get the beta out. Releasing a console beta requires certification, and while I’m aware that DICE knows how long that sort of thing takes, they cannot predict how any one company will respond to the code being put through their systems. Because of delays in the Xbox 360 clearance, the code had to age two more weeks. If DICE had wanted to put out a more recent build, they would have needed to start the whole process from scratch as Xbox and Playstation 3 reevaluated how to handle the new client.
Another thing that gets me is that even after the beta ends, people can’t stop being negative about the thing. All of the outspoken ones are, I know, aware of everything I’ve said above. Yet for some reason they cannot think positively. They can’t find it in themselves to consider that much of what they’re whining about is probably already dealt with. And they don’t seem to grasp that what they’ve played is not a full game. Every gripe I hear says “Battlefield 3” this and “Battlefield 3” that. Goddammit this isn’t Battlefield 3. The gun mechanics aren’t the same in the final, there are more maps. There is improved coding, post release support, DLC, and so much else that hasn’t, and can’t be done for a fucking beta!
Give me a break!
Just today I heard someone say that DICE is releasing an “incomplete” game. That did it for me.
There is no game released in recent years that was complete in the definition of the word. Post release support is essential, and something we must come to expect and cherish. I mean, hell, when TF2 released, it had, what, four or five maps? Is that a complete game? Battlefield 3 has nine release maps… and have you looked at them? They are fucking huge.
If you’ve never designed a map before, and I know these people bitching haven’t, you have no reason to complain about release map count. I played Caspian Border, a balanced map if ever there was one, and that thing is enormous. Do you have any idea how hard it is to create a map of that size without balance? Hundreds of hours of terrain and prop placement, building and spawn location placement. And they did this nine times! Does it seem fair to ask DICE, or any developer for that matter, to create sixteen maps of such scale, complexity and balance and still expect them to release it on time?
And the whole “just delay it” argument is bullshit too, if only from a business standpoint. EA, and DICE perhaps, want and need to compete with Call of Duty. Battlefield was initially a PC exclusive, but because the market shifted to being console based with PC as a secondary (for the most part), DICE shifted their focus with the Bad Company series.
With BF3, they’re trying to appeal to everyone, and attempting, at the same time, to compete with the 90% market shareholder, C0D, a primarily console based franchise. To delay a game’s release to be in direct competition with, rather than preemptive of, such a competitor, is just downright stupid. More than that, delay’s cause anger among your customers, and the voices on YouTube should understand that getting people any angrier than they already are at the “crappy beta” would be the misstep they’re trying to pin on the beta.
So what I’m saying is this: Shut the fuck up and hold every single one of your complaints until you have full evidence and support for them. I’m done.
Time for a relay!
You, the reader, get to decide the topic of the next article. Binerexis will be handling it, but what should his bearded bitching be about?
People raging at item/loudout servers being down or DPS players in World of Warcraft?
Edits: There has been some more positive talk since this post was written. Regardless, I think the arguments are legitimate.