Battlefield 3 has over ten times the unlockables of Bad Company 2

It looks like virtual soldiers--particularly those fond of unlockable content--will have plenty of swag to keep them coming back to Battlefield 3.

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It looks like virtual soldiers--particularly those fond of unlockable content--will have plenty of swag to keep them coming back to Battlefield 3. Battlefield 2 was the first game in the series (and one of the first shooters, in general) to contain (the now nearly ubiquitous) persistent unlockable perks, and Battlefield 3 is poised to deliver a list of unlockables that's an order of magnitude larger than that of it's predecessor.

"Compared to Battlefield: Bad Company 2, Battlefield 3 will have more than 10 times the hardware unlocks spread over weapons, weapons attachments, gadgets," notes the fifth entry to the Battlefield 3 Battleblog, "and a huge unlock tree for vehicles alone."

Skill-based ribbons and medals are also in the mix, and based on what you've earned, other players can get a general glimpse into your relative level of badassery.

On top of these ingame hardware items, players will also be richly rewarded with medals, ribbons and service stars displaying their skill, commitment, and teamplay prowess. You will be rewarded handsomely in Battlefield 3 for exemplary skill, such as capturing X amount of bases in one round. Excellent teamplayers who keep the team’s vehicles in mint condition and revive fallen comrades will not go unnoticed either. These type of skill-driven rewards are typically handed out in the form of ribbons, and good players can often get more than one ribbon in a single round.

These awards are structured so that players can work toward achieving them without distracting from in-game battles, and some are even commitment-based, like the reward for "playing x amount of hours as a U.S. soldier."

Service Stars are the crown-jewels of achievement, and though unlocked similarly to medals and ribbons, they're described as "hardcore" achievements that apply to your "weapon skill badge, your vehicle, your kit, and your overall rank." They'll be very tough to earn.

The Battleblog notes:

The ultimate bragging right would be for a player to be awarded the rank of Colonel with 100 Service Stars attached, and to have 100 stars in all weapons, kits, and vehicles. Getting there will be a massive task – consider that a challenge!

Using a particular gun or vehicle kit will unlock progressive upgrades relative the weapon or kit being used, while accrued experience feeds into the player's overall rank. Those experience points can then be used to "unlocks new weapons, specializations, and camouflages usable by any class."

The announcement goes on to further tout Battlefield 3's "play it your way" mentality, explaining that each of the game's four classes (Assault, Engineer, Support, Recon) are highly customizable. They encourage players to carefully consider how they outfit themselves, given the specific parameters of the battle. Does one kit themselves out with healing equipment before rushing to the front-lines, or bring a 40mm grenade launcher attachment instead?

Battlefield 3 is planned for an October 25 release on PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3. A public beta for the game is set to launch in September.

From The Chatty

  • reply
    August 5, 2011 3:15 PM

    Jeff Mattas posted a new article, Battlefield 3 has over ten times the unlockables of Bad Company 2.

    It looks like virtual soldiers--particularly those fond of unlockable content--will have plenty of swag to keep them coming back to Battlefield 3....

    • reply
      August 5, 2011 3:18 PM

      Not something I wanted to hear, just give us the stuff.

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      August 5, 2011 3:21 PM

      Since it sounds like you unlock attachments on a per gun basis, I suppose that makes sense. BFBC2 just had things like optics unlocking on a class basis.

      Even if BF3 theoretically has exactly the same number of guns as BFBC2, you would have a lot more unlocks if you have to unlock the 4x on every gun in the medic class, then every gun in the support class...

      Not to mention the vehicle unlocks which are tied to specific vehicles vs BFBC2 general vehicle spec slot.

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      August 5, 2011 3:30 PM

      Unlocks and leveling are stupid in a multiplayer FPS context.

      Stop trying to hide bad gameplay decisions behind a wall that takes until the next version comes out to actually reach.

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        August 5, 2011 3:33 PM

        you can debate the merits of unlockables, but i don't think they're designed to hide bad balance, and it certainly doesn't take years to unlock everything. BC2 had a rapid acquisition pace. maybe a month of solid playing?

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          August 5, 2011 3:36 PM

          They're definitely designed to change the balance away from skill and towards grinding.

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            August 5, 2011 3:38 PM

            somewhat, but once you acquire the unlocks, you need to know what you're doing. also, in good unlockable shooters, a high-skill player will always beat an unskilled one (besides, the unskilled player likely won't have any unlocks or else he'd be more skilled)

            i get the dislike for it but i don't mind much. unless it's a straight up fast-paced deathmatch game.

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              August 5, 2011 3:44 PM

              Once you get the groovy unlocks you can spam away and go crazy a bit, that's the point of the unlocks, especially in CoD, that you have a real advantage, and that that advantage comes from time with the game, rather than increased skill. So the difference between skilled and unskilled is how quickly you get those unlocks.

              Something like CoD with the unlocks is a spammy lolfest where it is definitely not guaranteed that a skilled player will always beat an unskilled one. Battlefield not so, but still...

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          August 5, 2011 3:38 PM

          Sounds about right! I stopped playing pretty early (as I do with all online games) and I was just about done in less than a month.

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            August 5, 2011 3:45 PM

            This is why they suck. In order to determine if the game is even remotely worth investing in, it takes a solid month to see all the options.

            Brink was a bit faster but the awfulness was evident from the beginning. But depending on how good developers are at hiding the bad interactions between systems, they can hide the real problems for a long enough time so that the next version is out and everyone moves to the new hotness.

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              August 5, 2011 3:49 PM

              i feel like you're looking at this through the lens of competitive 1v1 or dm-style games. those have a much higher and stricter balance requirement and unlocks don't make sense there.

              for a sprawling pseudo-realistic objective-based team shooter like battlefield, i think there are always going to be balance issues and there are always going to be systems that might appear broken when viewed through the lens of purely competitive gaming. but taken as a part of the bigger picture, it's easier to forgive because the game is doing so goddamn much more than an 8v8 TDM title.

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                August 5, 2011 3:56 PM

                Here's effectively what I see in the unlock based games mapped to TF2.

                Brand new player starts a game:

                The only class available is the pyro and the only weapon he has is the flare gun.

                After 2 hours you can unlock the regular flame thrower sans airblast which takes another two hours.

                10 hours later you finally unlock the engineer and repeat.

                Just stupid.

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                  August 5, 2011 5:11 PM

                  Except it isn't like that at all.


                  WTF am I doing responding to this shit?

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          August 5, 2011 3:42 PM

          All the games do this where you start with the crappy version of some gun and then upgrade later (or even add a completely new capability). Defib paddles, better anti-air rockets, etc.

          Same with the CoD perk system.

          It's disguised RPG leveling and it's really stupid and gets people to play crappy games because their next hit is going to be 1% better instead of actually having good core mechanics.

          Even TF2 is not immune to this. Pretty much all the new items allow for poor players to compete in a less one-sided fashion against better players.

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            August 5, 2011 3:44 PM

            that last point, that is intentional. developers want the games to be more approachable. to people like you, that's probably despicable and a problem, but it seems to be working. and again, come on, no rookie is ever going to beat a seasoned player regularly just because he's unlocked some slightly better weapon by chance.

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              August 5, 2011 3:47 PM

              It turns the game into a "play for a month then move on" instead of something that has the ability to last because it's a good game.

              In the end, the developers are going to pick the first option because it nets them more revenue over time, though microtransactions are skewing this a bit so you have a steady income instead of all the money coming in over 2 weeks once per year.

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                August 5, 2011 3:49 PM

                there are still thousands of players playing BC2 - every night i see hundreds of full 32-player servers. i don't think all gamers share your attitude about unlockables.

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                  August 5, 2011 3:52 PM

                  BC2 is the current iteration though. How many players would still be playing it after BF3 is out?

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                    August 5, 2011 3:54 PM

                    well, wait. that's normal for any game - most players will drop the current version for the latest. i don't understand what that has to do with the unlock system.

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                      August 5, 2011 3:57 PM

                      Map out the timing of unlock rewards for "normal" play and see how well they coincide with release schedules.

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                        August 5, 2011 4:01 PM

                        like i said, every bc2 unlock could be had within a month. that leaves what, two years plus of playing with all guns & gadgets until the next game comes out.

                        i think you're dipping into suspicious conspiracy stuff here.

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                          August 5, 2011 4:19 PM

                          CoD I think fits this model a bit better, though the developers of any unlock based game are going to look at the usage data in their metrics to tune the unlock rate for any future game.

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                    August 5, 2011 4:03 PM

                    If it functions similarly and fulfills my war lust then I won't spend too much time with it. All of this because i'll be playing with friends on the new one?

                  • reply
                    August 5, 2011 5:49 PM

                    Nobody plays COD4 anymore. No one.

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            August 5, 2011 3:53 PM

            I have 1000 hours of TF2 logged and I still love it. Although I miss the days when no equipment existed at all, before the very first medic update. Hell I remember the good days before achievements existed.

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          August 5, 2011 3:42 PM

          I never got past the 3rd unlock in BF2, really turned me off. Probably put in 50 hours.

          BC2 at least you could have everything each class needed in about 4-5 hours a piece.

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          August 5, 2011 5:20 PM

          I think in an ideal world, unlockables give new players a carrot to follow while they are learning the game and getting their arse kicked, and the really good games are the ones you keep playing when you've already got everything.

          Whilst I don't have everything yet, Bad Company 2 is still fun to play dozens of hours later.

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      August 5, 2011 3:53 PM

      AITOO that enjoys unlocks in online shooters? It wouldn't work in something like Quake, Unreal, or Half Life but, since the individual gameplay is grossly simplified in COD or BF, it gives us an addictive reason to play. In Quake or Half-Life dm it could take months for you to learn elite map control and advanced techniques like rocket or tau jumping, bunny hopping, etc - in today's shooters all you have to learn is, well, how to aim and hope your team doesn't suck. Unlocks keep it interesting for solo pub players like myself.

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        August 5, 2011 3:55 PM

        I love them. Feels like little rewards, something to keep me interested and lots of toys to play around with, slowly introduced so I don't feel overwhelmed.

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        August 5, 2011 3:57 PM

        I thought they were pretty fun in BC2!

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        August 5, 2011 4:03 PM

        I love unlocking stuff, gives me something to work towards (even though I like just playing the game)

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        August 5, 2011 4:12 PM

        For guns like the M1 Garand or the Thompson I was cool with this, and I will say that it helped me get a feel for each weapon, but I think you started with too little stuff and there were balance issues too. I know several people who were turned off from playing online because they were late to the game and didn't have basic stuff unlocked when everyone else had everything. The last thing MP gaming needs is more ways to split players or more spread between the experienced and the noob players.

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          August 5, 2011 5:45 PM

          except that the top tier weapons are not really that much better than the starter weapons. Magnum ammo is really the "elite" status indicator, they should do away with anything of the sort in BF3.

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            August 5, 2011 7:35 PM

            I agree that it's not a massive difference and every higher-ranked weapon is not necessarily better than the previous one, but you do have to play for a while to unlock the better ones.

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        August 5, 2011 8:16 PM

        I love them

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      August 5, 2011 3:57 PM

      More unlocks = a better game!!!! Right?!?!? RIGHT?!?!

      No, they're used to hide lack of innovation and generally making a good game. That's what a carrot-on-a-stick is for and people eat it up, part of living in a society based around consumption.

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        August 5, 2011 4:03 PM

        tell us about the sheeple

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        August 5, 2011 6:21 PM

        I don't know what commie nation you're from son, but here in America we like unlocks both IRL and in our video games.

      • reply
        August 10, 2011 4:47 PM

        wat

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      August 5, 2011 4:07 PM

      Ugh, this is the one thing that I really disliked about BC2. A medic that can't heal or revive? An engineer that can't repair? Sure, they didn't take really long to unlock, but it's stupid to limit the good team play items. Also things were later patched but early on, some weapons (M60 & Carl Gustav for example) were not properly balanced which just widened the gap between the kids flunking their way out of college to get unlocks and the poor noobs using the starter weapons.

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        August 5, 2011 4:25 PM

        Assault starts out with paddles, Engie starts out with repair tool. Unless they change it.

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          August 5, 2011 7:36 PM

          I'm glad to hear they have changed this at least.

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        August 5, 2011 4:47 PM

        To be fair, 15 minutes of play can get you those basic unlocks

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          August 5, 2011 6:39 PM

          Not really, to make proper points you needed the medipack or paddles, which left you running around trying to pick up other peoples kits.
          You got the stuff rather quickly, it was still unnecessarily annoying to have useless medics run around. People are useless enough as it is. ("Durr oh the medic died who kept on reviving me and my 3 squadmates hiding in cover just popping out to catch headshots. I'll better keep sitting here like a retard and wait for the next headshot instead of picking up his kit and revive him hurr hurr")

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          August 5, 2011 7:38 PM

          I can rack up points like crazy now if I want to, but back when I was starting out, I didn't have some of the best points-earner items and I was also just trying to get used to the way the game worked so the points were hardly flowing in. It still wasn't too long but I feel bad for a noobie that has nothing unlocked and everyone else is better at the game because they've been playing it for a year. It will be hard for him to get many kills and therefore he won't get a lot of points.

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      August 5, 2011 4:15 PM

      BC2 certainly didn't have enough

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        August 5, 2011 5:37 PM

        I love that game, but the day I got my last unlock was the last day I played for any real amount of time.

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      August 5, 2011 4:41 PM

      That's awesome - BC2 could have had a few more. What really annoyed me about BC2 was I got the specwhatzit DLC with it for free on steam and I spent hours unlocking the best guns for a Soldier and then I realised the guns you get with the DLCs were just reskinned versions of the final guns you unlock :(

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      August 5, 2011 4:42 PM

      fuck it I'm not touching this

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      August 5, 2011 4:49 PM

      Sounds like 2142's unlock system, but on crack and with a posse.

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      August 5, 2011 4:51 PM

      after playing the alpha i will probably pick up MW3 in addition to BF3, especially if its available on Steam

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      August 5, 2011 5:09 PM

      Cause that's what made me enjoy Battlefield 1942 so much. The unlocks.

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        August 5, 2011 5:40 PM

        I sure do miss the sheer scope of vehicles in that game. Now you pretty much get a jeep, apc, tank , and a couple types of helicopters. At least fighters are coming back, but I'd love to see all the naval units and heavy bombers return too.

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          August 5, 2011 5:42 PM

          I think the vehicle selection will come back with the full Battlefield sequel.

          I miss the wacky soviet rocket truck from 1942.

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      August 5, 2011 5:40 PM

      I'm not sure what everyone's beef with unlocks comes from. They may be lame in other games but they were tons of fun in BC2. I loved unlocking new stuff in BC2, it was a reason to try everything out. If I started the game with a ton of weapons already I'd just pick the best one and stick with it, the unlocks trickles them out to you and it's a reason to try everything and find stuff you might like more than the "statistically best weapon"

      Also, the BC2 unlocks really weren't always better. If unlocking everything made you win more why would I constantly get killed by rank 50 players using the XM8, M24 and PKM. I see more mid range unlocks on the battlefield than top tier stuff. Sure the M16a2 is notably awesome, but the G36 is really much better than the MG3, the MG3 is just a hilariously fun reward for playing a lot.

      You unlocked the necessary items so quickly that I never felt like I was being cheated or forced to play the game in order to finally enjoy it. All the unlocks feel like new options, not an upgrade. I don't think anyone would consider the M14 a distinct advantage but I was stocked as fuck to finally unlock it.

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        August 5, 2011 5:43 PM

        I don't have a problem with BF having unlocks in general, but just about every FPS game now
        that has MP you need to unlock stuff.

        Its beyond annoying now

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        August 5, 2011 5:47 PM

        I liked them too, the only thing that pissed me off in the beginning was that essential class items were locked, like the defibrillator. That was annoying.

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          August 5, 2011 5:49 PM

          I think maybe this never bothered me because I started playing assault first, and I just ended up getting rewarded the repair tool and paddles long before I even played Medic or engineer. I thought that was sort of a cool system to entice you to play the other classes and try them out.

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            August 5, 2011 5:56 PM

            That doesn't make sense, since you can only unlock class items by playing the class. There are general items too, like the shotguns, that every class can use, but paddles you only got from playing medic, and the repair tool only from playing engineer and so on.

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      August 5, 2011 8:21 PM

      Unlocks are fun for long-term players.

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      August 5, 2011 8:35 PM

      I just want an AK47 or AKM or even an AK74 with wood on it. And maybe a cool PK-A or something.