Battlefield 3: EA’s logic on buying unlocks questioned

By Alan Ng - Mar 29, 2012

Aside from the crashes that we mentioned earlier on this week, a lot of the criticism aimed at EA and DICE that we’ve seen, seems to be the decision to let users buy their way through the entire Battlefield 3 unlock system.

Along with the huge patch update that has now gone live on PS3 and PC, an announcement which they sneaked into their blog post was the immediate availability of shortcut items – allowing those who have just picked up the game to open up the unlocks for all kits and vehicles – for a price.

It essentially means that the logic behind putting the hours into unlocking these items in the first place has been put into question. DICE and EA will obviously argue that beginners are now at a disadvantage against the countless armies of colonels online, but then again – they poured precious hours into the game and should have this advantage in the first place?

It goes without saying that a lot of you are not taking this lightly. We’ve read countless complaints over at the Battlefield blog, as well as Battlelog. Here’s one in particular which gives you an idea of how some people are feeling over the move:

”You’ve got to be ******* kidding me. unlock packs? You do realize that this just completely defeats the purpose of unlocks at this point right? Everyone is going to buy them because they won’t stand a ******* chance against everyone else. You [DICE] balanced one thing to make the rest of it unbalanced unless you pay more.”

On the plus side for EA and DICE, this accomodates people who have just bought Battlefield 3 for the very first time, while making some extra money too – an obvious incentive. However, will this turn out to be a bad step by EA as they run the risk of angering hardcore fans who may think twice about buying Battlefield 4? Personally speaking, I have put countless hours into the game (proud of my 2.04 K/D!), but I’m yet to get started on the Jet unlocks. It’s a sad reality when I now have the chance to buy my way to that Jet service star, when a beginner can just buy everything in one swoop and start hammering that ECM Jammer – So I know exactly how some of you are feeling right now.

When Battlefield 4 does release, does it now cast a doubt in your mind in making the game your number one priority, when you know that a few months down the line, EA will give everyone the option to buy all the unlocks again? We enjoyed the days of playing a fighting game where completing the game 20 times would unlock 20 new fighters. Now though, DLC and greed is taking over and it’s a shame to see.

If you’re a Battlefield player, let us know your thoughts on the idea of buying all the unlocks for a price – do you support this move or not? We’ll let you know when the next update is available, where you’ll be able to buy level 100 colonel for $50.

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Also See: EA servers down Oct 27 for FIFA 18, Madden NFL, NHL suddenly

  • NGC 6822

    On the issue of buying the unlocks I have mixed feelings. Having to level up to unlock weapons I think is a good thing but having to play for hours in team death match to get the scopes and whatnot for the weapons is a real pain. I think it would make a better compromise on the guns if people could buy the stuff to outfit the guns but they would still have to level up to actually get the guns themselves. And also the amount of money they’re charging for the entire ultimate upgrade is to high. 

    Having to play the co-op game to get weapons is stupid. If I wanted to play against a computer rather than participate in the online experience I would.

    On the other hand if you’re not an experienced pilot, trying to fly a jet in BF3  while learning how to fly with the initial minimal gun loadout is almost impossible. While you’re learning to fly your cannon fodder for someone with all the upgrades. Perhaps being able buy say half the jet and helicopter upgrade would make more sense. Then people will buy the game say 6 to 9 months after its release would have a chance to fly the air vehicles.

    Regarding the issue of whether newcomers are going to be able to beat the veterans just because they can buy all the guns and upgrades well the answer is no. I’m a BF2 veteran and I got all my Xbox friends from playing that game. Of the 94 friends on my friends list 31of them are in the top 52 slots on the leaderboard and I’m number 22.

    On the issue of the rent a server thing I think there should be an option under quick match for whether you want to participate in a rented server or you want to participate in a regular EA server where the rules are normal and you can play on a level playing field. I don’t mind the idea playing longer games, in fact it can be a good thing if you want to play particular games rather then just let yourself get moved from game to game.

    NGC 6822

  • Martymclogan_1988

    Who cares…a noob is still a noob. I worked my way up from the bottom and one of the things I want most in a game is the feeling of being rewarded for my efforts. Those players with a bit of £££ will get bored because they won’t get that sense of achievement or pride in their efforts. Personally since I hit colonel I’ve played the game less and less because it takes forever to rank up and you get nothing in return. Let them buy everything they want, they’ll quit long before we do and it’ll be a waste of their money. My main concern is the new software upgrade, that sucks. I’d prefer to play with frag rounds wrecking me than with the new patch, it was a change for the worse in my opinion.

    I know people will say haters gotta hate but I’m definitely enjoying the game less since the patch.

    DICE have changed a lot for the better, they’ve introduced this payment carry on before so we shouldn’t be surprised they’ve done it again and if anything we should empathise with them not flip out. Nobody is being forced to pay for anything.

  • Dynasty2201

    This worry of newcomers buying their way to all the unlocks assumes that they will be gods on the battlefield as a result.

    Err, no.  They still have to learn the games’ mechanics, bullet deviations, how to win rounds, where to place shots, how to fire each weapon etc etc etc.

    Its aimed at the casual player who plays a few hours a week and feels they could enjoy the game more if they had the attachement that they keep getting killed by, or by a certain weapon as some or more powerful than others.  Little things like ironsights being laughably bad on some guns (hi Famas), where a red dot sight is practically mandatory, also make people want to ‘skip’ the intro phases to a weapon.

    And the big one:

    You’re not forced to buy it, so whats the problem?  They’re priced so ridiculously high that hardly anyone will buy them.  Total price is £36 or something for all unlocks, vehicles included.  Thats insane.  Thats literally the same price you can get the game for FROM ORIGIN.  And more than the price of the PC version on online stores like Amazon.

  • Oxygon

    I’ve spent 250+ hours on PS3 leveling up to 9th Eagle while holding down a full time job and I’m not bothered they’re selling stuff, I bought “some” packs in bfbc2, but selling everything??? Now I’ve noticed the visuals are now choppy and noobs with all the aircraft and land vehicle perks are ruining the gameplay as no one can stay in the air for more than a few seconds even on normal servers and noobs don’t work together at all, noobs with full packs are flooding the servers and every map feels like “metro” or a rip version of a senseless run and gun COD now. Just give us some dam maps and new guns and stop changing large swaths of stuff. I bought a lot of DLC on bfbc2 I would buy more maps for $15+ every couple months if they’d sell them, but they don’t want my money… I would have happily parted with more money for more maps and guns on bfbc2 still.


    They did the same thing with bfbc2 so what’s the surprise.

  • brothaman2000

    Just give me some new maps !!! I dont wanna wait till June !!!!! #PS3 I am still gonna f—k a NOOB up with or with out “unlocks” F—K a noob !!! LOL

  • Galgott

    I’ve put well over 150 hours into bf3 and I have almost everything unlocked. That should give me an advantage over someone new comming along instead of them just being able to buy their way to success. They can pour some cash in and get to the top of the score board.

  • BFvet

    Stop bitching about this. A noob with all the unlocks is still a noob. 

  • Xfatalxzero

    This is very dumb, but this isn’t the first. It happend in BFBC2 I’m not a COD player myself but the earning money was better. Makes you feel like a merceny, but maybe if DICE did it where you earn a little bit of money for yourself but you earn more when you do team tactics.

  • Lukebc

    Why are people moaning, they hv done this before!

    Just an excuse for people to moan about

  • tiller659

    Looking at what Dice and EA are trying to do makes sense. They don’t release DLC as often as COD does so they need to figure out ways to increase their cash flow. Looking at from a gamers point of view I could careless. Just because they buy all the unlocks doesn’t mean that is going to make them a better player. There are a lot of strategies to figure out with this game and they take a little while to master. So if they want to waste their money and still suck fine by me. But even with buying the kits the new patch has made it almost impossible to play the damn game anyways. I couldn’t even play a full game because lag was so terrible.

  • Scott The Great

    This is stupid. I was a first timer at bf3. Was my first battlefield game. I had to earn my way up (colonel 30). That’s too bad if some gamers can’t handle it.

  • guest

    I don’t really understand the rage. I see unlocks as an in-game reward system to make the game more enjoyable. If this was available at launch, it would give these players an advantage. Several months in, this is just going to bring these players up to equal status. Is it a cash grab? Of course. However, I can see some players who just don’t have the time to unlock everything wanting to bypass the frustration of unlock trees. I won’t be buying this when I begin playing bf3 again, because I find enjoyment in unlocking things.

  • onominous

    I could understand if the incentive was to partially unlock weopons and vehicle upgrades. But this just sucks big time!