Battlefield 3 retailer-exclusive items explained

Doubtless hoping to stem a flow of fan outrage oozing over the Internet, DICE has explained a little more about the BF3 'Physical Warfare Pack' multiplayer items only available by pre-ordering from select retailers.

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Battlefield 3 developer DICE has revealed that selected retailers around the world will be offering a special pre-order edition with exclusive in-game multiplayer items unavailable elsewhere. Naturally, Battlefield fans are none too pleased with this.

While the 'Battlefield 3 Limited Edition: Physical Warfare Pack' was in fact announced back in May, then confirmed only for the UK, the fan backlash campaign really kicked off over the weekend on That Internet. You know, the usual--heaps of forum posts; calls for media attention; loud boycott vows very few will actually honour. Come Monday morning, EA has released a little FAQ to address the issue.

Pre-ordering BF3 from select retailers will get you the Physical Warfare Pack, which offers the Type 88 light machine gun, which was an unlockable in the Battlefield: Bad Company series, Battlefield 3's only sniper rifle flash suppressor, for the SKS, and flechette ammo for the DAO-12 semi-automatic shotgun. You'll also get an instant multiplayer unlock of the DAO-12 itself, and the non-exclusive 'Back to Karkland' vintage map pack, which is a pre-order bonus everywhere and will also be sold separately.

Only the UK retailers offering the Physical Warfare Edition have been revealed so far, Game and Gamestation, but DICE notes, "Exact details for other countries and retailers will be announced at a later date."

"The three exclusive items in the Physical Warfare Pack were specifically chosen not to be overpowered or imbalance or break the game in any way," DICE insists. "Owning these items will give you a more varied arsenal, but it will not give you a significant advantage on the battlefield."

In 2008, publisher EA planned to offer exclusive weapons for Battlefield: Bad Company. Five guns for multiplayer would have only been available by buying the Gold Edition or through microtransactions. However, after fan outrage, EA dropped the plans and decided they'd be available to all players for free, though Gold Edition players would have them unlocked instantly.

"When we saw this big uprise about people that really felt it was dissatisfying that some people bought the Gold Edition, those five weapons you couldn't get or that you had to buy if you had the ordinary version of the game, that we just decided that all weapons will be free in the game, and that's how it is now," producer Karl-Magnus Troedsson said back then. Clearly, fans are hoping for a similar resolution this time around.

DICE says it offers bonuses, "Because we believe in rewarding our core fanbase with special offers--such as giving them the Back to Karkand expansion pack at no extra charge." What goes unsaid is that retailer-exclusive content is used to encourage retailers to promote the game more. That's just business, of course, but attempting to dodge the issue may only serve to irritate fans further.

Battlefield 3 is headed to PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on October 23

From The Chatty
  • reply
    June 13, 2011 12:50 PM

    Alice O'Connor posted a new article, Battlefield 3 retailer-exclusive items explained.

    Doubtless hoping to stem a flow of fan outrage oozing over the Internet, DICE has explained a little more about the BF3 'Physical Warfare Pack' multiplayer items only available by pre-ordering from select retailers.

    • reply
      June 13, 2011 1:04 PM

      I hope the Physical Warfare Pack is at least available on Origin.

      • reply
        June 13, 2011 1:15 PM

        I hope the Physical Warfare Pack is at least available on Origin Steam.

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          June 13, 2011 1:32 PM

          With the launch of Origin, I'm thinking Steam isn't going to be an option this time around. I hope not, but that's what I'm thinking.

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            June 13, 2011 1:35 PM

            You can pre-order on D2D already, so I'd imagine they don't have any problem with putting it on steam either. The question will be if they'll try to drive Origin sales with exclusive content similar to what they did with Dragon Age 2's signature edition or not.

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              June 13, 2011 1:45 PM

              The worst part is there's no way to even punish them for this. I want to play the game. I am almost certainly going to purchase it, but I am entirely unwilling to get it on anything save Steam.

              Steam is just so much fucking better than everything else.

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                June 13, 2011 1:49 PM

                Punish them for what? If we're going to get mad about publishers using their leverage to promote their own online store we might want to bring up the fact that you can't even play Valve games without steam.

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                  June 13, 2011 1:52 PM

                  Punish them for pulling shit that they will not do elsewhere.
                  You don't see them with holding copies from GameStop because they sell used games (they're significantly worse than the 30% Steam takes).

                  They don't refuse to sale/allow preorders at Best Buy, or Amazon (which undercuts their MSRP, devaluing their games), or Gamestop, or small stores. Or any retail stores.

                  They only pull this for online and only for Steam.

                  That's bullshit, and they deserve punishment for it. There's just nothing practical I can do, beyond complain to their PR as I did for Need for Speed and DA2.

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                    June 13, 2011 1:57 PM

                    It's bullshit that they don't treat their physical retail practices exactly like their online distribution, when they are completely different animals?

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                      June 13, 2011 2:03 PM

                      They're stores where you buy games.
                      Additionally, that still doesn't provide any consumer value for offering it to D2D and not steam. (Or hell, Amazon Digital Store).

                      It's only Steam they're doing this to. Yes, that is fully 100% anti-consumer bullshit.

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                        June 13, 2011 2:07 PM

                        And the fact that you couldn't buy Portal 2 from anywhere other than Steam digitally is not fully 100% anti-consumer bullshit?

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                          June 13, 2011 2:11 PM

                          I don't see what Portal 2 has to do with Battlefield 3? But that Valve restricts digital purchasing to their own store, that's just as lame.

                          Except that it didn't include exclusive DLC.

                          • reply
                            June 13, 2011 2:12 PM

                            Slightly less lame for that reason.

                            • reply
                              June 13, 2011 2:22 PM

                              Which is less lame
                              - Buy it from retailer "S" or don't play it
                              - Buy it from a number of different retailers, but if you buy from retailer "O" you will get this piece of DLC free.

                              • reply
                                June 13, 2011 2:29 PM

                                You could still get Portal 2 off Amazon, or Bestbuy, or any retail store. Thus, exactly the same as BF3.

                                The difference is, BF3 also has multiplayer-impacting un-obtainable DLC. Thus, still more lame.

                                Yes?

                                • reply
                                  June 13, 2011 2:35 PM

                                  Apologies, I thought we were specifically debating the digital distribution space.

                                  • reply
                                    June 14, 2011 9:18 AM

                                    Although using retail sales to forcefeed customers your online store is up there in lameness too I guess.

    • reply
      June 13, 2011 1:16 PM

      They need to do what they always do....give re-skinned weapons for the retailer´s exclusivity programs, they even can mess a little bit with the weapons characteristics (like they did with the SPECACT MG3 SA), but if they give complete different weapons to the microtransaction crowd, specially if those weapons where quite popular regular unlocks in their other games, they really are screwing their fanbase.

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        June 13, 2011 1:23 PM

        Uniforms! give them Uniforms!

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          June 13, 2011 4:25 PM

          A uniform with a big, bright yellow rectangle on the back that says "I BOUGHT MY COPY AT BEST BUY" in bold black letters.

      • reply
        June 13, 2011 1:40 PM

        What BF3 really needs is hats

    • reply
      June 13, 2011 1:21 PM

      I believe the rage stems from "multiplayer items only available by pre-ordering from select retailers." Do they really need to explain that strategy? I'm not sure how it is going to stop the rage unless they change it.

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        June 13, 2011 1:40 PM

        yes, they need to explain why people are being segmented and forced into sales channels. release the SKUs on steam, let people preorder whatever they want, voila.

        instead we have this ring-around-the-rosey bullshit with all sorts of half baked preorder garbage, similar to DA2 as I recall. with MP games this will be magnified a LOT.

        • reply
          June 13, 2011 1:45 PM

          Money! And if that doesn't make sense, just keep giving them money until you understand.

    • reply
      June 13, 2011 1:39 PM

      I hate this reasoning: "Owning these items will give you a more varied arsenal, but it will not give you a significant advantage on the battlefield."

      Advantage, no matter how big or small is still an advantage. You can have weapons that are slightly different, but it's these differences that make me prefer one weapon over the other. It's similar to the unlock system in COD. I don't use certain weapons past a certain level because at that level, a certain gun unlocks and I average a little more kills with it. I'm still effective with the previous weapon, but if I'm slightly more effective with a certain weapon, then why wouldn't I pick that weapon every time?

    • reply
      June 13, 2011 1:45 PM

      There shouldn't be any weapons that only a few people can have. It's that simple.

      Idiots.

      • reply
        June 13, 2011 1:46 PM

        in BFBC2 i can never use the M1 garand because i don't have a veteran record

        • reply
          June 13, 2011 1:51 PM

          that shit was hacked by keygen using assholes within 15 minutes of it launching. very frustrating.

          • reply
            June 13, 2011 2:23 PM

            Or by registering a free battlefield heroes account and getting the m1

    • reply
      June 13, 2011 1:54 PM

      So is it confirmed everyone will get the Back to Karkand maps for pre-ordering?

      The last time shit like this was mentioned for BF3 a few shackers were adamant that it would only be on EA's Origin service for digital download buyers.



      PS: Exclusive weapons are so fucking dumb.

      • reply
        June 13, 2011 1:57 PM

        it appears it's an expansion pack now??

        Q: Is the Back to Karkand expansion pack exclusive to pre-orders?
        A: No. You can also buy it separately if you do not pre-order Battlefield 3. Back to Karkand will be available the exact same date after the launch of Battlefield 3 no matter if you pre-ordered or buy it separately.


        from their FAQ link

        this is a total clusterfuck. exclusive weapons are fine because they are simple and clear. give us money up front, you get a shotgun or something. simple. however, this is getting really bad scope creep and too many people are fucking with the simplicity of the pre-order.

        • reply
          June 13, 2011 4:35 PM

          From what I've read, karkand is more along the lines of Vietnam for BC2 - has BF2 weapons and maps.

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        June 13, 2011 2:01 PM

        Exclusive maps are worse, I think. Shreads the MP community. No one wants to join a server just to get kicked off next round because you don't have the map.

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          June 13, 2011 2:02 PM

          yeah this is a disaster:

          Q: How much does the Back to Karkand Expansion pack cost?
          A: We have not yet announced a price. However, it will be included in the Limited Edition at no extra charge.


          • reply
            June 13, 2011 2:21 PM

            Well, if their "Limited Edition" is just as unlimited as BC2's was, I don't think it will be a problem.

            Steam was still selling the Limited Edition months after release.

            • reply
              June 13, 2011 5:43 PM

              So is it a Limited Edition bonus, or is it a pre-order bonus?

      • reply
        June 13, 2011 2:12 PM

        YES, every pre-order gets Back to Karkand. It says so in the article above, and in the FAQ.

        • reply
          June 13, 2011 2:13 PM

          I hope they let Steam users preorder it.

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            June 13, 2011 2:18 PM

            What was the deal with BC2? Was that available for Pre-order on Steam? I don't have the fastest connection on the planet and I don't want to have BF3 dropped on steam on the day of the release :(

            • reply
              June 13, 2011 2:27 PM

              I think BC2 was just slightly delayed. It was after that that EA started fucking around.
              Need for Speed: HP was not available on steam until 3 weeks after release.
              DA:2 they held it back so that you missed all the free DLC stuff (released for preorder only after the DLC deal expired)
              Mirror's Edge: Cannot use DLC with the Steam version (EA dl version works okay)

              There are a few other more minor ones.

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                June 13, 2011 2:41 PM

                Ugh, Not looking that good, then. I really don't want to have to open an account on EA's digital download thingamabob.

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                  June 13, 2011 3:12 PM

                  I would never suggest using their dl service for anything. You don't even get to keep what you bought. After a certain period of time (I think a year), you can no longer download the game you bought.

                  • reply
                    June 13, 2011 3:13 PM

                    They stopped that, at least. You can download it for as long as you want now.

                    Progress, I guess.

            • reply
              June 13, 2011 2:44 PM

              Yah it went up maybe 2-3 weeks before release on Steam and if I remember correctly it let you preload a day in advance of release?

            • reply
              June 14, 2011 12:25 AM

              BC2 was up for pre-order like 2 months prior to release on Steam.

        • reply
          June 13, 2011 2:20 PM

          That didn't stop people from saying it was EA only for digital buyers a few days ago.

          • reply
            June 13, 2011 2:41 PM

            I'm just saying what D2D's Support team told me. Here is the verbatim info I got:

            "Hi *deject*,

            Thank you for contacting Direct2Drive Support.

            Unfortunately, the Limited Edition of Battlefiled 3 is an exclusive to the EA Store, the publishers of the game. Other offers for the Limited Edition are for Physical CD versions only.

            Regards,

            Kat Ullrich

            Senior Support Specialist

            Digital Distribution"


            It's totally possible this isn't true, but I would think their own support people would know what they are offering.

            • reply
              June 13, 2011 2:43 PM

              they should add this to their FAQ immediately

        • reply
          June 13, 2011 2:38 PM

          I'll state it again, Direct2Drive's support people told me specifically that they do not offer the Back to Karkand pack, and it's not mentioned anywhere on their BF3 pre-order page. They could be misinformed, but if you want to get that pack, I would look elsewhere, or just be ready to pay for it on launch day if they don't have it like they said.

      • reply
        June 13, 2011 4:54 PM

        Why the fuck to publishers do this shit? If you have exclusive maps it just ends up fragmenting the game's audience, and this shouldn't be done with a multiplayer game.

        Shit.

      • reply
        June 13, 2011 4:57 PM

        So, if you don't pre-order, what the hell happens when the server your on loads up Karkand? You just get booted?

        • reply
          June 13, 2011 4:57 PM

          *you're

        • reply
          June 13, 2011 5:01 PM

          Probably a Buy this DLC now screen :P

        • reply
          June 13, 2011 7:22 PM

          It makes me wonder how much weight anyone at EA gave that thought. You'd think it be pretty blatant, but I guess they think it's worth the sales.

    • reply
      June 13, 2011 1:57 PM

      Weird: I don't give a shit about DLC and am going to buy this game because it looks fun. Everyone seemingly giving such a shit over it needs to think of better things to focus their energy on.

      Someone else gets a gun you don't? Boohoo, get in a tank and blow shit up. Fly a plane. Enjoy the fucking game, sissy.

      • reply
        June 13, 2011 2:04 PM

        I don't understand this logic. If there is something you don't like, just sit down and shut up about it? Given the choice between absolutely no chance anything will change by shutting up, and bitching about it in the hopes of a microscopic chance EA might reverse their position to halt bad PR, it's pretty much a no brainer. You bitch about it.

      • reply
        June 13, 2011 2:09 PM

        I agree it looks fun. However, what isn't fun is being on a squad and someone gets all pissy because you don't have "the right loadout" just like what you see on TF2 now. "What, you don't have the kritzkrieg?! Ugh, why are you even playing medic?"

        That shit isn't fun. That shit sucks the fun out of all the fun around it like a big non fun black hole.

      • reply
        June 13, 2011 2:15 PM

        You don't give a shit about the DLC so no one else should? I think most people are buying this game because it looks fun but being treated poorly by a publisher is cause for complaints.

        • reply
          June 13, 2011 2:18 PM

          According to some people that just means you're entitled, how dare you have an opinion, you're an asshole, go kill yourself, PC GAMER derp.

          • reply
            June 13, 2011 2:23 PM

            i deserve a herp with my derp because i own a pc

      • reply
        June 13, 2011 6:30 PM

        Sorry about posting this shit reply then running.

        My point being: I personally feel I just as easily roll my eyes at all the complaining over DLC content as I do the news of the content itself. Both, IMO, are equally lame. Boycotting a video game because of how content is being released (times are-a-changin'!) is as silly as the content release itself.

        -2cents

        • reply
          June 13, 2011 7:26 PM

          I don't think most people are boycotting. The most vocal people are the ones who enjoy the series the most.

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          June 14, 2011 12:43 AM

          I'm not boycotting, but given DICE's track current record for balancing their games and their previous unlock systems, when something like this comes about before it's even released, my confidence in their ability to learn from their previous mistakes isn't very strong.

    • reply
      June 13, 2011 2:32 PM

      Pre-order maps only do a disservice to those that get those maps because there will be fewer to play against.

    • reply
      June 13, 2011 4:07 PM

      I remember when preordering gave you actual good offers like the game's soundtrack, artbook, some trinket, cool stuff. It's now down to locking ingame stuff and trying to sell it to you as a BONUS... GTFO EA.

      Like this: Bonus Offer - Sound Disc and Art Book
      http://www.amazon.com/Catherine-Playstation-3/dp/B004P7VGF2

    • reply
      June 13, 2011 4:30 PM

      Yeah their meager attempt at justification doesn't sway me at all. Their FAQ doesn't tell us anything new. They're basically just saying "Its okay because we say its okay. Now give us your money."

    • reply
      June 13, 2011 4:36 PM

      Your point at the end is perfect. And because of this we all know Steam will get the shaft.

    • reply
      June 13, 2011 4:51 PM

      DICE is pretty bad at balancing weapons. i hope they get this "Pack" nearly right the first time.

    • reply
      June 13, 2011 4:54 PM

      If you want to make me preorder, do it on amazon. They give you so much credit and stuff, you pretty much get half the cost back in amazon bucks usually.

    • reply
      June 13, 2011 4:57 PM

      "retailer-exclusive content is used to encourage retailers to promote the game more."

      Solution: eliminate retailers.

      • reply
        June 13, 2011 5:13 PM

        Without commenting on this preorder stuff from my personal POV, retailers remain the main place for games to sell and getting deals with said retailers ensures more visibility and in the end more sales for anyone selling them there.

        Digital will probably end up being the future on a much grander scale than it is now but as it stands, brick and mortar stores still rule.

        • reply
          June 13, 2011 8:53 PM

          I think publishers should do more to ensure that the DD versions of games get more visibility. Even as recently as April, I've had folks over who had no idea that there was even a DD market for games. One of them had no clue that there were big-time PC games in existence. He knew about Farmville and WoW, but that was it. I helped him make a Steam account and gifted him TF2 and Defense Grid.

          I still doesn't surprise me that much, as the Gamestop and Walmart here do not carry PC games. None of the multi-platform game commercials show anything other than a PS3/360/Wii logo. It's obvious that MS could care less about the situation, so someone has to step it up. Word of mouth can carry indie titles, but they can't keep AAA titles afloat.

    • reply
      June 13, 2011 8:39 PM

      I don't care. As long as the preorder bonus isn't a Warhammer 40K space marine bolter or a lightsabre in place of their knife, a minor stat advantage isn't going to save them. It's even less of an issue if you can eventually earn these items in game or they get unlocked for everyone via some patch 6 months after release.

      • reply
        June 13, 2011 8:43 PM

        #1: You cannot unlock or earn the 3 items that are 'exclusive'
        #2: One of them is a one-of-a-kind accessory for a weapon (a sniper silencer) that will have a huge impact on gameplay, especially for normal mode.
        #3: One of them is a minor item (rounds that weakly penetrate)

        The sniper one has me pissed. They've admitted on twitter and the QA that it is the only silenced sniper in the game. It cannot be unlocked and it will not be offered later.

    • reply
      June 14, 2011 12:21 AM

      How is the not being able to have the only sniper flash suppressor going to be fair? Even if the modification is not the best for snipers, not having that option is surely a bad thing.

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