DICE has unveiled their plan for Battlefield 3 post-release; ensuring the game feels fresh even years after release. Their goal has been detailed on the Battlefield Blog, with Valerian Noghin and Fredrik Thylander acting as Persistence Designers for the company. Their goal is to ensure the game is persistently appealing online, and the blog divulges some of their plans. More information, as well as images of some of the new medals, can be found on the Battlefield Blog post.
Medals, Badges, and Ribbons
Like in previous titles, players will be rewarded with Medals, Badges and Ribbons for their work on the battlefield. These are roughly similar to challenges in the Call of Duty series, offering additional XP for earning them. Exemplary skill online will be rewarded, with badges for capturing a certain number of bases in a single round as well as other features.
Importantly, these rewards will not reduce the importance of winning the battle. At the end of the day, DICE acknowledges that players must actively partake in fighting in order to be well rewarded for everything they do. Team-players will also be rewarded for their conduct. If they can consistently provide first aid to injured comrades, or are able to continually maintain vehicles for their team, they will also be rewarded.
Medals are harder to attain than ribbons, and are generally used to draw attention to landmarks in a player’s career. For example, there is a medal for playing for a certain number of hours as both an American soldier, and as a Russian soldier.
If you are a passionate fan of the game, you may want to try and track down some Service Stars. These are considered to be more challenging, and are for the hardcore fans of the franchise mainly. Stars are given out for attaining multiple ribbons or badges in the course of online play.
Service Stars can be added to weapon skill badges, vehicle skill, kit, and overall rank. These additions mean that players will always have something more to aim for. The final step for players who are focusing on getting every single Service Star is to have the Rank of Colonel, with 100 Service Stars in every regard.
According to Noghin and Thylander, the game’s philosophy is to reward you for doing what you love to do. If you use one gun regularly you will unlock more for that gun. If you use one kit more regularly than the others you will unlock more for it. All XP earned will move players towards their next rank, where they will unlock more content to play with.
One mantra used throughout game development was that anyone should be able to ‘play their way’. This means that they can tweak kits down to the smaller details in order to get the ultimate kit for their individual playstyle. All four kits start out with everything you need to be an efficient soldier in the field, but the game acknowledges you can be much more efficient when you’re able to do what you want to do with those kits.
An example of this stems directly from the Assault Kit. In Battlefield 3, the Assault class acts as a Medic rather than as the ammo supplier (in Bad Company 2 the Assault class provided ammo, while the Support class acted as a Medic). Players can go back to the previous mantra by changing their kit out slightly, and choosing the 40mm Grenade Launcher in place of their medical tools.
Battlefield 3 offers ‘tactical unlocks’, meaning that for everything a player does they need to consider their approach. Depending on the map a player is expected to choose their loadout in order to enter combat. For example, the heavy barrel for the assault rifle will increase accuracy at the cost of more recoil when firing full-auto.
With the Engineer, players must choose whether to bring an anti-tank or anti-air rocket launcher with them. Choices like this are the new driving force for players who intend to progress tactically.