There’s been a lot of hate floating around about Battlefield 2 recently. As of yesterday the controversy about the game, it’s patch, and the competence of EA Games themselves, spread like wildfire across the internet and every gaming site I visited. I’ll try to sum it up.

When the game was released 3 weeks ago, it shipped with 3 or 4 bugs that myself and other gamers found less than acceptable. The “Server Browser” ingame would stop, not refresh, or take literally 15 minutes to refresh, everytime you were looking for a server to play on. Then there’s a nifty bug of your teammates (represented by BLUE dots on the map) appearing as RED dots (aka: the enemy). Sometimes even the tag above the player would be Red, indicating someone to shoot at, while they are clearly on your team. Another happy little bug had to do with Linux servers. Apparently, the Linux version of the stand alone server would crash players games to desktop randomly at the end of a round. The end of a round, conveniently, was when your stats are reported to the ranking system along with any medals or awards you’ve received. People would be promoted from a Private to a Corporal for example, then, at the end of a round on a Linux server, would crash to their desktop and their progress would be wiped out. Those were the biggies.

EA, in an attempt to solve some of these problems, released a 1.01 update for both clients and servers. The update contains a serious memory leak that can render the game completely unplayable and servers unstable. What a nifty patch.

So, instead of quickly fixing the problem, they simply “suggested” in a loose “community announcement” that everyone completely UNINSTALL the game and reinstall it without the patch. Brilliant.

This has thrown thousands of players into a frenzy demanding the blood of EA brass, and I can’t blame them. Luckily, however, I don’t suffer from the memory leak problem. Some aren’t so lucky. So many infact that everyone in the competitive circuits are waiting to see what happens this week. CAL (CyberAthlete Amateur League) has postponed the first week of the Battlefield 2 season for just this reason.

Other folks have expressed their anger with all this is far more flamboyant ways…

“And what is the latest mistake? Slowly developing a very minor patch, releasing it flawed, then ‘sort of maybe recommending’ everyone uninstall and reinstall the game, even though the problem obviously doesn’t affect everyone.

Who the fuck recalls a patch when you’ve got servers full of people out there playing for hours and hours without issue? Seriously, can I possibly imagine a worse management decision then asking a couple hundred thousand gamers to uninstall and reinstall the game because you think maybe some of them might get a memory leak because you don’t know how to test software? No I don’t think I can, that’s pretty damn bad. I can only guess that nobody in PR knows what is going on, or they don’t care, or something.

What should they have done? Try calling everyone at DICE in on the weekend to do and test a 1.02 fix, and then put it through an excessive QA process (that they apparently skipped before) when EA USA wakes up on monday, that’s what.

Jesus Christ, EA is breaking all the rules of civilized software development here. Talk about taking the industry back 25 steps in one title, holy shit.”

“I have lost all hope in BF2 becoming as popular as some game like CS because in order for that to happen the company has to actually support is product. Clearly EA has no intention of burning the midnight oil to fix its problems and putting anything but the minimal effort involved in patching the game.”

And of course, the master of the news post, Tycho

“The new patch does this awesome thing where if you “Update” the “Server List,” what actually happens is that all servers are erased from it instead, and in order to bring them back you must restart the game. This would be less of an issue if, upon quitting the game in question, the music didn’t just continue to play for thirty seconds or more while the machine shudders like a crew capsule on re-entry. This is all completely aside from the fact that your teammates’s names can show up red, or that when you’re resurrected the game can (and will) change your class, or that when your teammates are on any terrain that isn’t completely flat it’s virtually impossible for the medic class to bring them back.

Last I heard, they were considering rolling back the patch. It’s hard not to make the parallel to Tribes 2, where a succession of strange “fixes” and partial resolutions slowly eroded the game’s base of support. I’m really wondering where we’ve gotten to if the largest publisher in the world can’t actually execute on the sure-fire sequel to one of the biggest action franchises in history. It’s irresponsible, it’s unacceptable, and if they persist in this the community will answer in a clear voice:

“We purport to be angry, but it is largely an ethereal anger, suitable for forums on the Intertron. There is no connection between my willingness to purchase shoddy products and the continued production of said products. At any rate, there is no connection that I am able to perceive.”

That’s about it. Must fustrations are a combination of all of the above. That said, the game IS playable and the game IS fun. So much so I do it nightly and with a large group of friends. As the man said, where have we gotten to if EA can’t fix this and support the community properly. We will never see a community of support and innovation like old school Counter-Strike, it simply won’t happen. Giant corporations have gobbled up all the great “small” developers, even Valve is lacking in support of HL2/CS:S (come on, 3 maps and 2 player models since the game was released? Sad.). Regardless, I’m going to continue to play. It’s a sport for me. It something I’m intensely good at and proud to be good at.

Matt out.

PS: If you’d like to see a giant list of the “minor” bug in game, click “read more”. Note, this is not MY list…

By: shacktool

I have lost all hope in BF2 becoming as popular as some game like CS because in order for that to happen the company has to actually support is product. Clearly EA has no intention of burning the midnight oil to fix its problems and putting anything but the minimal effort involved in patching the game.

And even these huge bugs haven’t been adressed or even acknowledged:
– Tag color bug. This is horrible and needs to be fixed ASAP
– Blank screen and return to desktop if your refresh rate isn’t set EXACTLY to what they had in mind for a particluar resolution. Newbies have no idea this is whats happening and they can’t even load the game because of it.
– Server Browser is still bugged and lacking basic features such as favorites. Filtering by name is bugged now with the new release

Gameplay issues:
– spec ops get no points for blowing up arty, UAV, radar
– Medic is the most powerful class. Armor in the other kits like infantry and AA dont make up for the infinite healing a medic can do for himself(and others) There is almost no reason to play an infantry kit over a medic.
– Anti tank kit is weak because only has 5 rockets and it takes 3 rockets to take down a APC, helicopter, tank. The reload time of a rocket is INSANELY slow. Make these all 2 shot kills like in Desert Combat
– APC, helicopter, tank are way overpowered in terms of armor. Especially the helicopter. A helicopter should not be able to take 2 rounds or even 1 round from the main gun of a tank and live. 2 rockets should destroy anything. Right now NOBODY plays the rocket guy on public servers.
– Support class weapon overheats fast, is extremely inaccurate, and has no range. At least tweak ONE of these areas.
– Engineer is pathetic. His mines are hard to use and they blow up the other side so nobody wants to mine. Sure its realistic that they blow up friendlies but gameplay wise it sucks. And his shot gun is very weak. You have to get so close to the enemy to get the kill that you might as well just use your knife. Repairing vehicles is SLOW. A medic heals a guy instantly by throwing a pack out and gets 1 point. But to get 1 measly point using an Engineer it takes forever repairing a tank to full.
– Arty cooldown is too fast. Commanders spam it and its gets pretty lame.
– Helicopter team abuse. Players but in 3 engineers and 2 medics in a blackhawk or that other transport and then go get flags by hovering. You should not be able to take down flags in the air, nor should you be able to repair in the air. And with a full helicopter of people it takes only 5 seconds to take down and turn a flag. With it taking 3 rockets to destroy a helicopter, the helicopter will already have turned the flag and fly away before you are even loading your 3rd rocket.
– Vehicle spawn is slow. On a 64player map, lets say a chinese map with huge distances to cover, its very hard to get transportation to get to the next flag
– Need better autobalance settings. Its VERY frustrating getting a good squad going and having the squad leader get autoswitched!
– Forgive TK option turns into a total argument between the killer and the victom. Either have it always on or always off, but no voting. Maybe have it always off to squad members cause you can kick a squad member if he’s TKing you
– Vehicle to pedestrian damage is nuts. You barely have to tap the guy and he is instantly dead. Vehicles should just push them away to the side if they aren’t hit dead on.

These are all the things i can think of now. I doubt EA will even fix 2 of these issues.