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BF3 Close Quarters: Impressions

June 13, 2012

The mayhem depicted in the picture above is not inaccurate.  Life is hectic and short on these maps.

I played a couple hours of Close Quarters Conquest Domination yesterday. The follow are my reflections on the new expansion pack.  This article isn’t to persuade or dissuade others on the purchase of the DLC.   Rather, it is just me extending the fun I had last night, and talking out loud about some of the pitfalls and potential of these four maps.

While not as impressive as the PC videos would lead one to believe, the HD destruction is cool. The maps are pretty, detailed, and quite fragile. Though there isn’t any of the total building destruction that we saw on the awesome Arica Harbor from BF:BC2, for example, most walls and railings come apart quite easily.

The maps are very tight but not in the least small. All are laid out on at least three different levels, the resultant vertical skirmishes of which are new to Battlefield gaming. The closest analogy I can think of is the gun play offered at the first MCOM stations on White Pass, where people inside the building could fire down on the base from the second floor catwalks.

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  • At the end of my two hour session I was just starting to get a feel for where everything is, and how to get where I need to go quickly. It is going to take me another 4 hours or so before I know the shortest routes to all important locations.
  • Neutralizing a base takes about 3 seconds and then capturing it takes only a second or so more, so the bases change hands quickly, and pour out points like pinatas. Capturing a base without squad mates is a very risky endeavor as most bases are vulnerable from an entire sphere of directions. On the other hand, when there were three or more of us running with defibs, we were almost always successful.
  • Life expectancy is considerably shorter on these maps than it is on the sprawling outdoor maps, or even on Metro and Bazaar. I am convinced, however, that if decent slayers are willing to get to know the maps and angles, work in close cooperation with squadmates who watch their flanks, they will be getting nice kill streaks and lasting for minutes rather than tens of seconds.
  • Entire rounds usually take only about 5 minutes. Everything seems fast. Proximity to the server may be a deal breaker. Because everything is faster and closer, there is less opportunity for ducking and recouping. Consequently, lag has a greater negative impact on these maps and in this gametype.
  • Assault is the most useful class because of the constant need for reviving.
  • C4 can be very unpleasant but a single grenade thrown on the flag ahead of capture will ensure that it is all destroyed and the territory safe. I will be saving my ‘nades for that purpose alone.
  • At this point, none of us lived long enough, even with revives, to require resupply of ammo.
  • You can spawn on each other but not on the bases.
  • Like TDM, tickets get reinstated if you are revived, but players are free to respawn immediately. Most randoms have not developed the good habit of waiting, so tickets can go down at a frightful pace, and frustrate teammates with paddles at the ready.
  • I think the slayers may want to concentrate more on killing, and then baiting revivers, rather than capturing bases. I didn’t get a chance to see how fast tickets get depleted by base owning, but I do know that people die quickly and frequently.
  • If the recon motion sensor is persistent after death, then the recon class will be very useful as well. If not, then truly, the most effective class is the assault.

Suggested strategies:

  • Always throw a ‘nade on a base before you attempt to neutralize it. That will eliminate all enemy explosives.
  • Slayers should try concentrating on eliminating enemies from safe, semi-static positions, rather than running to capture bases.  They will miss out on the easy base capture points, but I think they can make up for it in easy kills from good positioning, and their life expectancy will lengthen dramatically.
  • Always run with at least one squad mate. Going in fours is practically unstoppable. Going alone is almost guaranteed purposeless death.
  • Cover, Frag (for eliminating C4), Suppression, and Ammo are the four most important perks. No need for Sprint, and Flak has never seemed to make any difference that I have noticed.

I really enjoyed the session last night. I cannot wait to play on these maps again and learn better routes and new strategies for more efficient, and longer life-span gaming.  I think there is actually an element of L4D survivor gaming here.  Alone, the rate of survival is zero.  Yet, I think that as a tight squad of assaults watching each others’ sixes, going from one base to the next and back again will be doable and highly entertaining.

One last point, the new game mode “Gun Master” appears to be utter rubbish as all the BF trademarks like health packs, ammo station, squad spawning etc. aren’t available.  I didn’t even try it.

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13 Comments
  1. Herandar permalink
    June 14, 2012 5:29 am

    Mmm…. White Pass. Loved the first base especially.

    Disappointed to hear that abour gunmaster. Will play it to get any unlocks I need and that is it, I thought they could make it interesting at least, but apparently not.

  2. June 14, 2012 12:36 pm

    So was the “Update” the map pack itself like Vietnam in BC2? My son is playing on his account right now without the “Update” and I was scratching my head as to how is that even possible. So I am assuming EA did it again and told me to download a 2.3gb update I didn’t need?

    My son is getting into BF3, so it might help the chances of getting premium as then we can split the costs, and/or at least one of us will play it regularly. I had fun the last time we played BF3, the only thing was that it’s more of a “Whenever you guys are playing” kind of fun, rather than it being fun solo or with friends like it was before.

    but yeah like I have said before this DLC is the most interesting to me, so I will either get premium next month or buy it separately.

  3. 3Suns permalink*
    June 14, 2012 3:26 pm

    We played two rounds of Gun Master and Cornie took both rounds ending with that crazy Knife kill. The first time he did it, he was so excited he jumped up, his chair tipped back, and both fell hard to the floor. It was hilarious. It is brutal, though. You start with lousy pistols. You need to get at least two kills to switch to better pistols and so on. Get those kills fast, or you will be stuck with a pistol while everyone else has already leveled up to assault rifles. The highest I got was level 5 of 17.

    Yes, the update had the map pack. It really is a nasty way of doing it, and should be “illegal”. We played another couple of hours last night. It was more frustrating because we weren’t hanging together. I die to easily and the boys are too quick to chase bad guys. Still, I love the new maps and they continue to inspire new strategies for winning.

  4. Johann Nishiki permalink
    June 14, 2012 9:01 pm

    This is pretty much how I feel about Close Quarters (so far).

    LvLcap’s Close Quarters Review

    • 3Suns permalink*
      June 15, 2012 6:16 am

      It is a good video and I respect this guy’s skills and love of the game. Having said that, I don’t mean to sound arrogant, but two things:

      First, I personally solved the C4 problem in what, four rounds of play? It is slightly inconvenient to have to throw a nade on the base, but it literally takes care of it. Also, it is fun knowing that the gamer using cheap tactics is slamming on his C4 switch like Freddy Wong, and wondering why he isn’t getting any kills. LMAO Moron!

      Second, his “This isn’t Battlefield!” complaint, is the exact same complaint all BF players had when RUSH mode was introduced in BF:BC2. They hated RUSH because it wasn’t Conquest mode. Personally, I am thrilled to see DICE take risks. Even if it were a failure, which it isn’t, it is just a map pack. It isn’t like they effed the entire MP of a $60 game because they added a poorly conceived double barreled shotgun and took away private rooms. If DICE doesn’t take risks like they did with this pack, they won’t innovate.

      P.S. (Not related to the video) BF3 offers all the Parkour that I wished I were getting with BRINK. Literally, I am jumping over rails on stairways, leaping down 15 feet, and movin’ along smooth as silk. It makes me laugh out loud. BRINK. GTFO.

    • June 15, 2012 11:51 pm

      Yeah but is the right move if they want to have more balance in gameplay. I am sorry but gameplay that pushes back the other team to the spawn with limited choices to get out of it, isn’t really “tactical”. The guys roasting marshmallows outside of the spawn playing “defense” don’t have to re-adjust their “tactics” unless a few spawn targets manage to sneak by somehow.

      Now on the other hand if you have maps that force you to go back and forth to different points, that are harder to get comfortable with. That truly need a coordinated plan to hold down different areas, then call me crazy but that
      leads to more teamwork not less.

    • 3Suns permalink*
      June 16, 2012 2:23 pm

      I agree with you.

      Just played another 2 hours with Johann yesterday on a server with just Ziba and Scrapmetal and double tickets, a good thing for Conquest Domination. There is zero opportunity for spawn trapping. It was fantastic fun.

      I am starting to go all crazy over the parkour, as I mentioned above. If it is waist height, it can be jumped over. The only thing you can’t do is climb walls.

      Two thumbs, way up!

  5. June 15, 2012 12:48 pm

    Nice write up. I plan on reading it again once I end up buying the premium.

    Thanks for putting in so much detail. I look forward to rockin with the 3 or 4G, when the time comes.

  6. 3Suns permalink*
    June 20, 2012 8:23 pm

    Played Team Deathmatch on Operation 925 with Cornie and Johann last night (Grymmie joined in just at the end). Holy cow that was fun! DICE’s decision to allow revives to reimburse the ticket makes all the difference. Every revive is hugely meaningful, and yet, you have to be careful that you don’t have your paddles out when you need your gun!

    The maps are fantastic! We are playing them almost nightly now.

    • June 21, 2012 6:10 am

      Will be getting the Premium by tomorrow. Games this weekend for the 4G’s?!!

    • 3Suns permalink*
      June 21, 2012 3:09 pm

      Don’t know yet about Friday night. Boys for sure won’t be on as they are going to Universal Studios in Osaka (our Saturday). I hope to slip out of school without further commitment, however, which will mean I can be on both nights.

      Let’s do the phone call thing as per usual. It’s the only way to be sure. 😉

    • June 22, 2012 7:33 am

      Ok my brotha. I played “Close Quarters” last night. I liked it, but it sucked playing without the bro’s. Team work is EVERYTHING in this new Dice gameplay. MSG me on Xbox tonight when u’ll be on / if ur gonna be on. btw: Hooked up with Slim last night. He will be on tonight and wants to play Gears 3 with us LOL….

    • 3Suns permalink*
      June 22, 2012 1:55 pm

      I’ll call you before it is late.

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