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BF3: Extending The Fun

January 17, 2012

I was talking to Johann on Sunday evening and he voiced some frustrations with the squad system and community gaming, specifically as regards to getting a squad/party together in a single room. The fact is, more often than not, when we jump on and want try to join with our friends this is what happens:

1. XBL Party system doesn’t let us all jump into an 8 person party. So, we spend the first 20+ minutes just trying to party up, sending frustrated XBL text and voice messages back and forth, some doing so while playing!
2. When we do finally get into a party, four emissaries, as it were, jump into an almost empty room and secure a spot for the remaining members of the party.
3. The BF3 lobby system splits up the four emissaries, not just into different squads, but on opposite teams.
4. The emissaries scramble to get on the same team while the remaining party members try to join their game with not even a hope of getting on the same team.
5. In the meantime, XBL party chat breaks down and everyone is tossed like sticks in the wind. Some are able to rejoin the party, others not. More time is spent sending out party invites all the while trying to get on the same team and simultaneously play the game.
6. Inevitably, a straggler pops online and we all try to get that special friend in the room, too.
7. Party chat still isn’t working, so we abandon it and go to game chat. Ah, finally it works (but none of us can hear all of us).
8. Friend X has to go for whatever reason. We scramble again to say our byes, and get the 9th friend to fill the open position.
9. Our team wins or loses the match while several of the players were so busy in the dashboard they didn’t even get a chance to play.
9a.   At this point, 30 to 60+ minutes later, we still may not all be in the same room playing together.
9b.   Some of the players are experiencing extreme lag. The question is asked whether we should bail to try and find a new room.  LOL

All of this is exacerbated by untimely but very necessary piss/snack breaks, and broke ass headsets that cut in and out, that we have all spent a fortune on in an effort to make communication easier.

Can you relate?  That has happened almost every time I have tried to play BF3.    Proposal after the jump.

So, I was thinking that maybe we should just try to get into parties and games that our friends are already playing.  No more pulling people out to “party up”.  Wanna play with someone, join on them.  Over the course of a couple of rounds, eventually everyone will be able to get in the room, and eventually everyone may even be able to get on the same team.  If not, c’est la vie.  No problem.  Roll with it and play with (or against) whomever you can.  What do you think?

I know that some of us have very limited time budgets, and it is doubly frustrating when most of the time is spent just trying to start gaming.

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Aside, the awesome posters above are from Battlefieldo.com. Brilliant if you ask me. Love it!

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6 Comments
  1. January 18, 2012 5:11 am

    Disappointing. Long gone are the days where we rolled 12 deep.

    I think we just tackle each situation as it comes. Once a squad of 4 is assembled, anyone others that want to join the game do so on “their time”.

  2. 3Suns permalink*
    January 18, 2012 2:54 pm

    Joining on “their time” is the key, I think.

    Also, I am not sure, but I think there is an option to toggle between squad and team speak, so that once in the game, even if in different squads, by going team speak, we should all be able to hear each other. Please correct me if I am misunderstanding this. If there is team speak, and it isn’t just a proximity voice thing, then we don’t even need party chat once we are all in.

  3. FrenkoFrenik permalink
    January 18, 2012 8:52 pm

    It’s frustrating beyond belief. Honestly that’s one of the reasons why I enjoy time alone and not really in a rush to jump into a party or a game.

    I think once private games were out of the window, the whole vibe of gaming as a group changed. It became a tedious task just to stay in a squad and playing a game consistently.

    Even games that you don’t have as many hurdles like BF3, there’s always something else be it lag, OP weapons, waiting for games to start or not finding enough players.

    I think the golden age of Big groups is done, and it’s just better to just hop in whenever possible to small squads.

  4. January 19, 2012 9:06 am

    I really don’t enjoy playing BF3 with randoms, and the last few nights that I played video games, I played Bad Company 2… In two nights, I made two new XBL friends. Total number of new friends gained from all time playing BF3? Zero.

    I’m not done with BF3, but it is not conducive to an easy fun time for all.

    • Average permalink*
      January 19, 2012 12:09 pm

      Try Team Deathmatch, Rush and Conquest I don’t enjoy solo either.

      Though, you won’t meet people in TDM, it’s easier to have a good time. And Herandar, I’m not sure I have you on my list, “AverageTreFlip” is my GT if you are looking for more people to play with.

  5. 3Suns permalink*
    January 19, 2012 3:03 pm

    Thanks for chiming in everyone.

    Herandar, specifically to your points, the two games are like arcade (BC2) and simulation (BF3) in their differences. BF3 is not a casual game. It is tough.

    Please don’t misunderstand me. I actually don’t think the squad/party/play together difficulties are insurmountable. I just think that solving the problem is going to require a reverse approach. Instead of everyone jumping out and trying to squad up. Pick a room with a friend already playing, and join on them. And everyone, just keep joining. Remember, often times you can even queue up. If you start the first round on the opposite team, just work your way over as soon as you can. Voice communications will also come together eventually. That way, there is no try/fail or time wasted frustration.

    Even though it is so much more difficult, I like BF3 more than BC2 in almost every way. Also, though it is actually a part of the problem, the fact that the teams are constantly being balanced (and thus we are sometimes split up) makes for a room that doesn’t suddenly just shut down because everyone on one team left. Whenever we rolled more than 5 deep in BC2, we would only get 1 or 2 rounds before we had to find a new server. The enemy team would simply quit. That doesn’t happen in BF3, and I am glad for it.

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