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Battlefield 3 – Armored Kill (Day 1)

September 12, 2012
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Armored Kill impressions (Day 1) ~ after 2+ hours of gameplay.

Gorgeous maps!   On Bandar Desert (Rush), we were attackers and our starting base was a sea vessel.  We took a “dingy” and when we hit the beach, I was running past lounge chairs and stirring up flocks of seagulls.   How sweet!

Gameplay –

Conquest:   These maps are Too Too big for conquest to be “the staple of AK”.  5 bases in a game that is only 12 v 12?!  You can play a whole game without firing a shot!  At least narrow it down to 3 bases.

Rush:  Maps are Perfect for Rush, EXCEPT that the Attackers Always win.  And quickly too (less than 10 minutes).  Reason: AC130 and Tanks for attackers, practically Nothing for defenders.   EVERY game there would be ONE dude on the Attackers team that would have a score something like  30-4  or 46-5.  Without question, it was the AC130 pilot.   Dice either needs to change something or Defenders better coordinate really well:  Priority #1 (Take out the AC130 as soon as it spawns) by using a concentrated combination of Heli, Jet and Soflam/Javelin.   The problem with that is, that too much emphasis on taking on the AC130, leaves you distracted and open to be ROLLED by the attackers tanks.  Personally, I don’t know why they added the AC130 to the game (at least NOT for console).  It just complicates things without really adding “Fun”.   I used the AC130 one time last night and I must say that I was bored.  You just drift around, spotting things and blowing shit up….  All in black n white, and no control over the plane (Autopilot)   Zzzz……      Zzzzz………………..      Bottom line:  WE HAVE to come up with a stratgey for killing the AC130 or else we will likely NOT be playing AK Rush for very long.

Tank Supremacy (TS):    Zzzzzz…………..   The game I joined lasted forever.   Yes, it is nice to have a tank ready and waiting for you at the base after each death, but after 20 minutes it became for me  a “Rinse and Repeat”.    BF3’s version of Halo’s – King of the Hill, but with a lot of the game time spent (not fighting), but spawning at the base, waiting for a tank to respawn, then driving for a minute or so just to get back into the “battle”.

TDM / SQDM / SQ RUSH:  Didn’t try them, but I’m guessing that these might end up being the best/fun ways to play these maps, because each map has SO many sweet little areas for great PROLONGED battles (The bases in the woods / next to the lake on Alborz mountain OR some of the villages on Armored Shield), however, in FULL RUSH mode, they get passed over so quickly, because there are not enough concentrated defenders.   Soon the bases are blown, and we are on to the next set.

Conclusion after day 1:   A nice shot in the arm for BF3.  Any new maps are nice.  I question how much effort/thought DICE put into considering us console players when they created gameplay & vehicle choices.  PC players Rejoice!  but in the 12 v 12 world we live in, I’m hoping DICE recognizes that they need to tweak some things for us.

This map pack has the potential to be what we end up playing a LOT of.   Playing on these maps just feels EPIC.   We just have to figure out HOW to play it together.   I’m thinking we ask LabRat to set up some private matches, so we can figure out how to use some of the equipment (like the Rocket Launchers) and work on some strategy.

What are your first impressions?  Any ideas on strategy?    Unless we figure out how to deal with vehicles (namely the AC130), our best bet might be to play custom games without vehicles, or just stick to Squad based types (SQDM, TDM, SQ RUSH).

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11 Comments
  1. September 12, 2012 8:18 am

    Not sure how easy this is to do (because I don’t think Mobile artillery is “guided”), but….

    Good vid

    And one more

  2. September 12, 2012 10:57 am

    So basically the DLC for vehicle enthusiasts broke it for everyone else?
    I have been wondering about the new BF3 with DLC deal, but seems like if “No Vehicles” is what on the menu, I might just wait for a “Close Quarters” DLC deal then.

    • 3Suns permalink*
      September 12, 2012 5:18 pm

      I hinted at things below, but Frenik, there are still 8 more maps after these 4, and those will be more thematically fresh but not boasting “the largest BF maps ever”. I expect they will be more traditional size. Premium for 2 Xboxen, or the Premium edition, isn’t a bad deal at all, imo.

    • September 17, 2012 10:03 am

      yeah maps are maps, but it seems like the way they are doing it this time around is to change the gameplay within those maps. I didn’t quite get into “Back to Karkand” for that reason. and Close Quarters would be the only one right now that made changes that I would be interested in. I think I am just going to wait, new games coming out will drop the price of everything. I can’t even play BF3 right now without downloading another “Update” which I am not sure if it’s the DLC in disguise or an actual update.

  3. September 12, 2012 12:32 pm

    This is a good tutorial for AK Rush.

  4. 3Suns permalink*
    September 12, 2012 5:12 pm

    Great post, Kenai! Very helpful details and impressions. Thank you!

    Last night I got a chance to try out three of the new maps with a different gametype for each (once only).

    Death Valley – Rush (att) – Absolutely gorgeous with really interesting terrain. I love the night lighting as it is a really nice change from everything else out there. As attackers, as you say, we just rolled over the enemy. I liked the gunship paradrop as it lets us “base jump” over and over again (you know how much I love that). However, I didn’t have much luck as the gunner – destroyed a lot of enemy explosives and even a vehicle or two, but didn’t get a single kill. I was using the 50? cal machine gun, not the one with the explosive rounds. Yes, it definitely favors the attackers.

    Bandar Desert – Conquest – Don’t worry about the AC130 on this map/gametype. As infantry, or in land vehicles, it is all about the choppers, jets and controlling the cluster of bases A-D and in that way, bringing down the tickets. E is the base that controls who gets the AC-130, but the map is so big and infantry so scare it is of almost no benefit to the team. The Choppers and Jets which have both received significant boosts in weapons power and the own the land and the skies. Cornie and especially Tim were having a fantastic time. It is an infantry’s nightmare.

    Alborz Mountains – TDM –
    I was shocked to find that they have chosen the mountain peak (as opposed to the lakeside hut) for their TDM map. You spawn literally on a crag in the mountain side and you seriously feel like a mountain goat. It reminded me of one of the huge Halo sniper maps. My M416 was darn near useless. (Note: there were only six players so I didn’t get a feel of what it would be like with 24.

    That is all I played of the new maps. I am going to have to spend more time with all of the maps and gametype combos before I can come to any verdict. As regards BF3 maps, more times than not I have been wrong in my first impressions (for better and for worse).

    Regardless, Armored Kill was always anticipated as the weakest pack in the bunch. In comparison, Close Quarters was huge surprise, an instant success, and still hasn’t gotten old for me. As our 2 Premium purchases serve 4 people, we are still smiling from ear to ear. 4 more maps plus 8 more to come (in addition to the CQ pack) is a lot of DLC for $25 bucks.

  5. 3Suns permalink*
    September 14, 2012 3:02 pm

    The boys played a lot more AK Rush and Conquest last night, and the general feeling was it don’t work. The AC130 is just ridiculous on Rush, and on Conquest there are just not enough people on the map. (The AC130 is just so much garbage like all the crap Epic tacked on in Gears 2 and 3: sounds exciting but doesn’t work in theory or in practice.)

    After that, Johann and I found a TDM-only server and had some fun. Alborz Mountains is the only map that may not work over time as the spawn points are awkward and the skirmish options very limited. There were no Death Squad Match rooms, so we couldn’t try that, which is very unfortunate. That looks to be the best way to play these new maps.

  6. September 14, 2012 5:20 pm

    Alborz is my favorite of the 4 I think. I played a few matches before I left and I had the most fun on AM Rush. I was screaming in joy when I Paradropped out of the AC130 behind the bases, armed the one by lake house next to the frozen lake, went prone under a floorboard because the house was destroyed and held the base off from about 8 guys. Was one of the most epic BF3 moments I had. I was screaming. Bummer that it seems like they aren’t fun to play on regularly, but I think it would be a nice change of pace to play from time to time.

  7. September 19, 2012 11:22 am

    BREAKING NEWS: FROM DICE

    Server update Sep 20th re-balances the Armored Kill gunship

    By: zh1nt0 Posted: 5 hours ago 554 comments
    Dear everyone,

    Thank you very much for your feedback on our forums and social channels. We receive an immense amount of messages per day — and although we don’t have time to answer each and every one of them, we do take time to read them and address the most important issues you bring to us.

    Battlefield 3: Armored Kill has been a huge hit, but we know that the gunship we introduced has been a bit overpowered in some situations. The bulk of our next server update on September 20th is directly based on community feedback from the past two weeks, aimed at re-balancing the gunship.

    Following this server update on September 20th, there will also be a short planned downtime at 8:00 UTC where online gameplay on PC will not be available. We expect this outage to be 15 minutes long.

    Gunship balancing in server update R31 on September 20th (all formats)
    • Stationary and mobile AA cannon damage has been reduced by 30% versus the gunship.
    Rationale: This fixes an issue where it was too easy for players to use stationary or mobile AA to shoot down the gunship from the other side of the map.

    • Jet cannon damage has been reduced by 50% versus the gunship.
    Rationale: In Conquest mode, jets have been able to single-strafe a gunship and destroy it. This re-balance will require more skill from pilots to take it down.

    • The delay before moving the gunship forward to a new base in Rush mode has been increased from 15 to 30 seconds.
    Rationale: Previously, the gunship was moved to the next base so quickly that it was possible to parachute from it into the base before defenders were able to prepare. This tweak will give defenders time to fall back and protect the valuable M-COM stations as intended.

    • The Delay between gunship spawns has been increased from 90 to 120 seconds in Rush mode.
    Rationale: After destroying the gunship in Rush mode, it reappeared too quickly to be well-balanced. With a 50% increase in spawn time for the gunship, defenders will now have more time to focus on the crates and less of a constant overhanging threat from the gunship.

    • Initial delay before the gunship spawns in Rush mode has been increased from 15 to 60 seconds.
    Rationale: Before this update, the gunship gunners could find the enemy before the round and instakill them when the pre-round timer ran out. Now, it will take a full minute before the gunship will spawn, giving defenders ample time to prepare.

    Other changes in the server update
    • Fixed a bug where a new squad leader wasn’t chosen when the current squad leader left.

    • Fixed so that MK1A3 uses flechette rounds instead of frag rounds in Gun Master mode for Premium members (non-Premiums already have flechette rounds).

    • Fixed a bug with Squad Rush on Sharqi Peninsula where the user was spawned outside the combat area if they deployed shortly after the first M-COM was destroyed.

    • 3Suns permalink*
      September 19, 2012 3:45 pm

      Thanks, Kenai! This is good news. I don’t know if it will be enough, but I love it that DICE continues to make efforts to keep their game as balanced as possible. While they make mistakes, I don’t know of any dev that works harder (or has a more difficult job due to the complexity of BF games).

      Also, Borderlands still hasn’t shipped, so it is nice that we will have something to play while we wait.

  8. September 20, 2012 5:13 am

    NICE!!!

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