Battlefield 3: Javelin nerf is a hard decision for DICE

By Alan Ng - Jan 13, 2012

We have yet more news of possible ‘nerfs’ that will be coming to Battlefield 3 multiplayer in future updates, as DICE’s core designer Alan Kertz has once again offered a detailed insight into some areas that may or may not need patching. Just like previous nerfs to go live in the game, these fresh ones are debatable.

First there was the infamous IRNV scope and Tactical Light patches in the game which are now in effect and is still the cause of much debate amongst gamers on whether they should have been touched in the place. The tactical light needed a fix, we think most BF3 players will agree with that, but while the IRNV scope could have needed a tweak, they surely shouldn’t have made it useless which they now have.

Next came talk on a potential nerf to the FAMAS assault rifle. This has yet to be implemented in game, but it looks like DICE may be planning to make the FAMAS less powerful when paired up with the foregrip accessory. On the subject of accessories, we’re hearing that DICE are also thinking of making substantial changes to the other accessories. This article here lists information on changes coming to the foregrip, bipod, suppressor, heavy barrel, flash suppressor and the laser pointer.

This brings us up to speed on the next possible nerf – the javelin. As most of you know, the javelin has the ability to take down ground targets after a lock on, and also air targets when combined with a laser designator such as the SOFLAM, CITV Station or Laser Painter. Some gamers, mostly helicopter pilots are unhappy that the javelin, primarily a tool for ground-based targets can one-shot kill an attack helicopter after a lock on. Just like the IRNV scope, this is debatable. They have already nerfed the stinger missile to do less damage against aircraft, and we have a feeling that the same thing is going to happen to the javelin. While this will be a lot more beneficial on PC, this could be a bad move on console.

For some reason, the SOFLAM is hardly used as it is on conole, so getting a lock on an air target with the javelin is a rarity in itself. Nerfing the weapon so it isn’t a one shot kill anymore may be a big blow for console players. DICE has the hard task of keeping the balance and making everyone happy though, so it will be interesting to see what happens.

What are your thoughts on the javelin – does it need to be made less powerful against air targets or not?

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  • Socks

    DICE is making the game so not enjoyable. Someone needs to start a petition to get back our more realistic weapons. Why change them? Its sooo stupid. Everytime there is a patch it gets less enjoyable. 

  • Jiffyjeff

    Screw that! If teams manage to nab all attack heli’s scouts or whatever, then the ONLY way to counter it is with Javelin missiles. You nerf the Javelin, and the opposition grabs both choppers you are monumentally disadvantaged. The is javelin levels the playing field, it doesn’t tip it…

  • Rahulrrvp

    One thing that really pisses me off is that when i am watching the end game credits why cant i access my loadouts and make use of the new attachments that i have unlocked!!!!!!!!

  • Rahulrrvp

    One thing that really pisses me off is that when i am watching the end game credits why cant i access my loadouts and make use of the new attachments that i have unlocked!!!!!!!!

  • Ochra

    Dont nerf javelin and for good sake take the irnv out of the game . Take them all away proximityscanners thermalsight, irnv, auto spotting, minimapspotting. just ruines game play.With the you can forget using the enviroment for cover just run and gun and die

  • Hei Atzfel

    Leave the Javelin alone DICE! Yeah, it does destroy an air target in one shot if it hits, but that’s the issue, IF! Half the time you shoot a Javelin at a Laser Painted air target the missile will either completely miss or just blow up harmlessly right behind the target, and that’s assuming that you even have anyone on your team/squad using a SOFLAM or Laser Painter that you can’t talk to, which is nearly impossible to see. So I restate; leave the Javelin alone! It’s one of the few things that actually rewards teamwork in this game so don’t mess with it. If helicopter/jet pilots are bitching about it then here’s a simple way to get around it; USE THE DAMN ECM JAMMER INSTEAD OF FLARES OR EXTINGUISHER!!!!!! Stop crying over something perfectly balanced.

    • Andrew

      Sorry I don’t entirely agree. There is no warning tone or anyway to stop a Javelin besides launching ECM as SOON as you hear the Soflam lock.

      How many times have I been shot down from spawn to spawn by a soflam lock when I was retreating by a Javelin is ridiculous. Battlefield 3 is a team based game, while setting up a Laser Designator or painting the target is team work, it shouldn’t be OPED. There has only been 1-2 times I survived a Javelin and I was left with 7% or less vehicle health….with no tone…ECM did not stop it nor did flares…my gunner and I both deployed and helis don’t go fast enough to dodge like Jets do.
      I am not even a hardcore vehicle player, I am only 90% through the unlocks for the Attack Heli.Now that javelins are more common on the battlfield I find it almost impossible for air units to survive for very long….crying? No…tanks get a tone for incoming Javelins and can use Smoke to dodge one then retreat away from the Soflam. What about in a Heli, your best bet is to use ECM and run the minute you hear the Soflam lock on which in most of the larger maps covers a HUGE area…and you get NO tone for the incoming javelin and even if you see it..flares and ECM fail..because its LASER guided…Its a good balance fix if you ask me. Helis only seem OPED if you are lone wolfing it (like most of the Battfield 3 players today) or your anti air is busy shooting infantry and tanks. If you had a good squad, 2 engineers lock and fire Stingers, if the Heli is good there will be ECM and flares to counter but you seldom find those players…if so grab another engineer….3 engineers..downed heli…

  • Bellator03

    Can we have the SOFLAM paint buildings to open holes in walls (or just bring it down).  That would be realistic and beneficial.  

  • Guest

    Simple fix, let players know the difference from laser lock like the SOFLAM or incoming heatseeker missiles by making it a different tone or warning text.  That way you have a better chance of using the ECM jammer at the right time…javelins won’t be so terrible then for choppers.

  • Caeppley

    yea always gotta please the people that cry about everything in games these days it seems. wtf you really need too nerf it for learn too play the game and stop botching about a weapon that you need too lock on with

  • Jruiz_0387

    Why dokt they make the soflam the way it is in real life. In the game you can only lock onto vehicles. Why dont the make it where you point at something dont matter what and you press the trigget and it locks onto wherever the laser is pointing. Then the bomb can hit there and soflam would be grratly used. I dont use it cause its boring. Sit there and lock onto vehicles. Thats not fun.if the soflam could independently lase and lock onto anything you point at i would use it. Like in medal of honor, when you use soflam you point the laser at a area and lase what your pointing at. If only dice would make soflam like that. And another thing why hasnt dice added any jdams to aircraft?? Why dont they add bombs instead of useless guided missles. Everything im bf3 is useless. Dice is trying so hard to balance everything that they ruin the game. It be cool to drop a pair of jdams on a soflam designated target. I say screw balancing the gamr and make the game awesome

    • Jruiz_0387

      Oh and sorry bout the typos. Wrote it using mobile.

    • Rolande_D

      Everything in BF3 is far from useless, in fact the guided missiles  are incredibly useful and rewarding to use.

      • Guided Missiles are next to get Nerfed, just you watch.  

        DICE: Nerf everything for the overwhelming amount of noobs who have no skills.

        • Anonymous

          They need to sort the guided missiles out for the scout helicopters as well. They are useless when paired with the laser painter against air targets.

        • Rolande_D

          You mean the AA missiles for the scouts, right? Interesting, I’ve never used the laser painter, or beam scanning, along with them.

        • Rolande_D

          Certainly hope they don’t nerf the Guided Missiles. They’re great at the moment. Last night I destroyed an enemy IFV by launching 3 of those at it at high altitude while VTOL in an F35. It would personally piss me off if they did nerf it, it’s the only true perk that you can use to directly support the ground troops, especially without unguided bombs.

  • Matt

    They need to buff it until it’s a one hit kill on the aircraft carriers

  • Matt


  • The javelin needs a buff if anything, its lock on time is pretty bad compared to the quick fire of the SMAW or RPG. Leave it as it is.

  • Typical “play to the kids” strategy. It’s obvious they’re making their target audience COD players – now they’re actually listening to them as well. DICE – you need to remember where you’re money comes from.

  • DICE = Idiots

    DON’T TOUCH the JAVELIN!!!!!!     DICE is a bunch of fking noobs. 

    Noobs: OMG! Javelin is overpowered
    DICE:  How?
    Noobs: They keep getting 1 shot kills!
    DICE: But its a Javelin. In reality, its suppose to destroy a large vehicle/aircraft.
    Noobs: They always locking on me!
    Dice: Alot of locking is done by Soflam, CITV, Laser-painting….doesn’t mean it will actually kill you. They have to lock on you then its harder if you’ve Unlocked “CAMO” for the helicopter.
    Noobs: But I don’t have “CAMO,” and I don’t use the “smoke.”
    DICE: You have skills?
    Noobs: I’m a noob…
    DICE: Ok NERF the Javelin.
    Noobs: Make repairing the Helicopter more faster.
    DICE: Sure on the next Update.

    Pro Player: …noobs.
    Hacker: All my weapons are over-powered.

  • Ota

    when you over teak a game no one plays the game anymore. im tired of game devolpers giving in too whinning people because they had a few bad rounds or because they dont have that accessory yet. just play the game as it was ment to be played without the stupid tweaks. if it aint broke dont fix it

  • Ed

    WTF No one even uses the Javelin!

  • Roberttko

    I agree leave javelin alone in fact if the game suppose look andfeel like the real thing leave it alone if its on game is on the game leave all the weapons damage like they should be if real should be real in the game.

  • Anonymous

    The said thing is the Javelin is suppose to be superior to the other launchers in the game and is the last one to unlock, but it is the least used of all of them. There is no point in nerfing this weapon. You are lucky to be on a team that can utilize both the SOFLAM and the Javelin. I don’t understand the nerfing of the weapon attachments either. They are unlocks you get for reaching certain acheivements for that weapon. They shouldn’t be nerfed to take away from the weapon but to add to it. There are obvious positives and negatives to each one but they are fine the way they are.

    What I’m trying to figure out is why they are talking about the weapons and modifying them instead of worrying about the more important aspect of the game, gameplay itself. Why is it that I have to stare at my killer for 8 to 10 seconds and only get 2 seconds before I can update my weapon or class and respawn. I understand I don’t have to respawn right away but battlefield prides itself on large maps, but it also takes time to get back into the action. I want to be able to adjust and respawn immediately to help my teammates. Or another one, why can’t I quite a match in the intermission? It goes against my stats when I have to wait for a game to start and then quite immediately. And why is intermission so long? You can’t really do anything there. Just see your vehicles and kits unlocks coming and your stats for the last match. Don’t need 40 seconds to do that.

    And finally, this one being the most important, why is it that in-game chat isn’t being fixed? Battlefield made a name for itself for being a team based FPS, but yet the most important key to teamwork, COMMUNICATION, is a bust for this game. Anyone tried having 4 of their buddies in a game and tried talking to each other. Everytime time I get in a match with my buddies no one can understand each other because the chat for the game is so terrible. These are things that should be getting looked at first before nerfing weapons and attachments.

    • Rolande_D

      The in-game chat IS being patched, but I agree with some of your other statements. I don’t need to stare at my killer this long, it’d be best if I could get to me equipment screen immediately.

  • Gunsmithy

    Speaking as a dedicated attack chopper gunner with my friend my pilot, I can say with all honesty that the javelin does not need a nerf. As it was said, it requires someone to laze the target, and if you’re a half decent chopper team, you will find and eliminate that threat quickly. Just like it requires a little teamwork to take down a chopper with a javelin, it takes a little teamwork to take out that team. That sounds like balance to me.

    • Rolande_D


  • Leave the javelin alone.  Since they nerfed Stingers I never use them. I want to destroy big targes, not swat at them like flies just to have them rain down on me until I’m dead.   

    javelin is hardly used enough, so when it does come out its an awesome surprise to the victim

    • Rolande_D

      I’m not agreeing or disagreeing, personally I’ve used stingers with relative effectiveness, but particularly in one freak incident I remember being killed instantly by a single stinger shot to my helictoper. I didn’t know this was possible, but it seemed I got killed and my helicopter was fine; it floated back down to earth.

  • Excellent Review

  • Maskedhobo

    The javelin should be a one hit kill to aircraft, it is a very large warhead. As everyone else has said, it takes someone running a SOFLAM to even take a helicopter on. I rarely get anyone using it, I would like to see it be more effective against ground targets without having to use a SOFLAM. Most of mine just take a strange path and hit the ground in front of the tank. We shall see, as long as the people keep their whining up they get what they want, if we want it (the game) to not get nerfed into oblivion we should speak up as well.

    • Maskedhobo

      I forgot to add, would be nice to be able to switch between top attack or direct attack mode.

      • Rolande_D

        I’m in agreement. I’m very surprised that they would want to nerf the Javelin itself. In my experience you’re truly better off using the unguided rocket, especially in close quarters. The locking / tracking on the javelin still seems…wonky. And at range it has the tendency to just not hit a moving or elevated target. I had thought the javelin was a reliable, fire-and-forget, weapon which always would soar above the tank before dropping down from directly above. I’m not educated about the real javelin, so I couldn’t say with any degree of certainty, but this seems to clearly function as an, (as you stated), direct-firing weapon. In fact, I’ve had to always grab the lock then jerk the aiming upward to fire it to any degree higher then it normally would.

        But why nerf the javelin, anyway? It’s a later unlock, and in my opinion it should be superior to the unguided rockets. You’re only limited to four, after all.

        Now here is another, generally related idea I’ve had. Why not give the RPG some small degree of customization as well?  I’ve seen, and I may be wrong, but I believe I’ve seen a very obvious rail on the SMAW system, and although the Russian RPG has a clear iron sight, we’re all familiar with another version of the RPG that has some kind of telescopic sight, (though I’m sure the magnification is low). Why not allow players to unlock a sight which would give the basic RPG some slight magnification?

  • Dynasty2021

    For the PC, Tac Light is still not nerfed enough, and nor is the IRNV.  Its hardly ‘useless’ as you seem to keep suggesting every time it is mentioned.  If anything, it’s hardly changed and is still overpowered, but is definitely being used alot less.

    Considering the teamwork required to Javelin a helo or jet, it should remain as it is.  And you’re not guaranteed a kill anyway, as all the helo or jet has to do is put something physical between it and the missile, just as stingers.

    I’ve missed plenty of helos with the Javelin before it was patched, dont know what it’s like these days as I rarely see anyone randomly locking onto aircraft unless ordered to via teamspeak etc.

    The nerf shouldnt happen because getting a lock is rare in itself, so if you DO hit, it should kill.

    If anything, the Javelin needs a damage increase, against tanks anyway.  Atleast it’s more reliable now though.  I swear I missed tanks standing in an elevated position no more than 20 metres away before they patched it.  Even now I still miss targets in the open now and again.  The tracking is pathetic, it seemed to aim for the tracks so would hit the ground right NEXT to the tank.

    • Roland

      I’ve had this issue too, actually. Sometimes I miss a moving tank because it seems the javelin will dive toward it’s tracks, and, especially while the tank’s in motion, or at elevation it just doesn’t hit. I didn’t know this was patched though. I once wasted three on a tank, all of which missed, only to give up. Now I use the reliable RPG’s.

      Also, I don’t know just how much more powerful the javelin is then your standard RPG, but in my experience it doesn’t seem to outweigh the fact that you’re only given 4. Miss one shot and you basically have enough to take one tank out. Then it’s trying to ask your idiot team-mates to drop ammo, which is a lesson in patience for the console version. Either everyone’s deaf, or no one wants to help out. But then I tried it out; I play with someone else in the same household, he was support and I asked for ammunition. 30% of the time the request just didn’t go through, which I found odd. I don’t think BC2 ever had this issue, but I think DICE can move this in the right direction easily, be it a commo rose or just more clear and responsive communication options when you hit select.

    • Rolande_D

      Also, if I may, maybe the IRNV is still useful in PC, but it’s very clear on the console in levels like Operation Metro, that not only do you get the intense greenish fog effect, but the enemies simply will not glow. What I don’t like about these changes is that there’s no guide, players after the patch don’t know when they should or shouldn’t use the IRNV. In some levels it’s okay, functional, in others it’s clearly not functional (by this I mean you get that fog effect, and also, the enemies will not glow. That’s right, that makes it not functional.)

      Here’s a suggestion, give players the option to turn it off? It will remove all IRNV effects (with the flashlight button), and make it a regular red dot, without magnification or zoom sway.

  • Personally if an air traget doesn’t have flares then they should be shot down. On a console it’s so rare to be able to get a lock on to a helicopter. Even when I do it rarely takes them out in one hit and too top that off I only get 3 rockets or so to fire. Personally they should give more rockets to use and leave the strength alone.

    • Roland

      Honestly, this is true. Consoles are the homes of two different player bases. One, which consists of absolute fools, (get in transport helo, fly over center of map, ditch it to get on a tall building… get in tank, drive it in reverse down the road exposing it’s least armored rear for an easy kill …. get in any vehicle with an MG, fire at everything so that you appear on the mini-map), and good veteran players who want to use the SOFLAM and javelin but recognize that the majority of people are the first type of player.

      If it’s humanly possibly to do, why not make the javelin, on consoles, bring the helicopter close to a disabled status, rather then instant killing it. It’s fair enough, as sometimes being disabled gives them the slim chance of being able to land it somewhere and repair it. That is the ultimate truth about it on consoles though, people rarely use it as it is. A nerf would push it further into its’ corner of oblivion.

      Also, if I may add my two cents here, I personally think the MAV is far, far overpowered. The majority would not use the SOFLAM, in favor of the MAV. Firstly, if you can manage, you can murder enemy troops with it via ramming, which will never strike me as not being absurd, second, of course, it’s a nice mobile TUGS system that you can fit mostly anywhere in most large maps. Incredibly useful in bottlenecks. Third, it can 3D spot people, which is expected, but fourth, it can destroy an enemy SOFLAM in seconds. This makes it – A) A more active and superior tugs, B) An enemy killing device which some crazy players use as it’s primary purpose, and C) clearly more capable and powerful then the SOFLAM.

      For console players there’s little incentive to use the SOFLAM. I don’t really want the MAV nerfed, but I would be happy with a SOFLAM buff. Maybe allow it to spot infantry units automatically, or maybe allow it to instead disable SOFLAMS if they come within its’ view? I imagine a kind of cat vs dog conflict between the MAV’s and SOFLAMs on the field. If you gave SOFLAM the same equipment disabling feature, it would at least be a basic MAV deterrent. (ever tried shooting a strafing MAV with the console controls?)  And all the MAV would have to do to counter this would be to gain altitude, as we all know the SOFLAM can only aim so high. Also, giving it the ability to disable MAV could be done only when it’s player-controlled. I’d still like to see it spot people in an automated manner, if possible.

      Just an idea I had. I love balance too and I like to see every piece of equipment with its’ own pros and cons, but certain things worry me when I see nobody using them, and personally see no desire to use them.

    • Anonymous

      I think you meant ECM Jammer

    • DJ

      the stinger is useless. the time it takes to get a lock on allows the heli to reload flares which are the first perk u get for the heli making it virtually impossible to shoot down a competent pilot unless you have 2 or 3 players chasing one vehicle. 

      the jav is supposed do serious damage. its a missile for crying out load. ive seen pilots shut down teams with guided missiles that destroy every vehicle moving in one strafe.

      keep the field even and let the best soldier win.