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Wednesday, 13 February 2008 07:27

BF Community up in arms over Heroes

Written by David Stellmack

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Not what the players expected DICE to announce

We have been spending a lot of time on and off over the past couple of days having a look at what people are saying about the recent announcement from DICE of the new Battlefield Heroes title. If you are a hardcore or even casual Battlefield player, over the years it is obvious that opinions on what DICE is doing wrong with the Battlefield franchise can be formed rather quickly.

First of all, Battlefield Heroes isn’t what the community at large was looking for DICE to announce. It is obvious that the community was looking for an announcement of a “Battlefield 3” title of some sort, and if you ask most players, they would prefer an updated and rebuilt version of the old Battlefield 1942 as the next Battlefield game, maybe with a few less bugs than DICE has become famous for.

Sentiment toward Battlefield Heroes seems to run mostly along the lines of the title being a Team Fortress 2 rip-off, which is something that players of Battlefield didn’t want or need. DICE has been openly criticized in the past for not listening to the community and trying to do things its own way that it believes are in the best interests of the Battlefield franchise, not necessarily in the best interests of the Battlefield community at large.

Fair enough, they are the developer and they have the right to do what they wish, but for all of the griping from the community, people still play the Battlefield titles and continue to support the franchise. DICE claims that this micro purchase/ play for free model is something that interested them. I don’t think you can criticize the developer for wanting to spread out and try something new, but when you are on sacred ground like the Battlefield franchise there is bound to be resistance to anything new.

DICE says that one of the major reasons and concepts behind this title is to introduce new people to the Battlefield franchise, but we have to say right now that any player playing this type of cartoon-oriented Battlefield title would be in for quite a rude awakening if they decided to switch to play Battlefield 2 or 2142, for that matter. We have only been able to see from the screen shots and the developers’ notes, which have been interesting reading. The developers’ notes have tried to give a peek into the thought process of what is going on with Battlefield Heroes and why they are doing this title.

While DICE does deserve its fair share of criticism, it is obvious to us that they are committed to trying something new with Battlefield Heroes and that is fine. We don’t think you can fault them for that at all. In the end, however, some of the design goals just are not what the community at large wants. To be honest, short of Battlefield 3, we think many in the community would rather that they take the resources necessary to stomp out the cheating in both Battlefield 2 and 2142 and fix the bugs in the game before moving on to something else. The fact that so many people continue to play the game, even with all of the obvious problems, is something for DICE to be proud of, but at the same time these issues need to be addressed; as with the server breach, it was just another in a long list of problems that players have suffered in the Battlefield franchise.

While we are not going to say that we are not willing to give Battlefield Heroes a try when it releases, we can share the disappointment of many in the community that feel as if DICE isn’t listening to them. We can only be hopeful that DICE understands that it is the hardened fans of the Battlefield franchise that continue to support them and the Battlefield series; and unless they really know something that we don’t, an achievement based cartoon-looking TF2 rip-off with advertising and micro purchases isn’t really what the community was looking for. While in the short term the Play4Free model might attract some new players, in the long term it is the community that has supported and made the Battlefield franchise so successful. DICE, you can’t forget the community because that is how the franchise got to where it is today.

Last modified on Wednesday, 13 February 2008 08:52

David Stellmack

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