Battlefield 2: Death of a Game

Ok so I was one of thousands of gamers lined up for the new Battlefield 2 Demo released on Friday.  And yes I was one of the spammers clicking refresh every minute on the fileshack screen, and finally I want to say that the official word out is OVERHYPING SUCKS.  As the old saying goes "If you can't put up, shut up", but someone obviously forgot to inform EA about this timeproven mantra.  I was there playing bf1942 back in 2002 when it was hot from the box and still smelled all minty fresh.  I was there in 2003 when it really caught on and became really popular, and the lans were fun and fresh because people were playing to have fun, have a laugh, and to say "whoa did you see the way I went flying when you shot me".  There were 3 expansion packs for Battlefield 1942, a semi sequel (Battlefield vietnam) and some very popular mods such as Desert Combat which proved as enticing as the game itself.  But all good games seem prove their own undoing, and unfortunately the Battlefield series is on its way there in style.  It is very hard to judge when a game stop being a game anymore and becomes an obsession, but let me try to elaborate the steps as seen from my view.

First off a game has be new and inovative to provide the impetus for this paradigm shift.  We saw this happen with counterstrike several years ago.  There was nothing like Counterstrike before it.  It was fresh, it was fun, it was team oriented (something uncommon in games of that time).  Battlefield in its own way was inovative and new.  It was one of the first games to mesh vehicles and infantry in a seamless interactive environment.  It was not a simulator, but provided enough of a learning curve to prove a challenge yet not too much to prove overly frustrating to a beginner (Descent, IIL2).

Step two is acheived when the community surrounding a game reaches a certain critical mass.  This is probably most notably marked when gamers that wouldn't normaly join the game begin to play because of friends and teams that pressure them.  Thus the unwilling are pulled in by the vortex of the forming star and the quality of the community begins to degrade.  Why?  Simply this, those people who are not playing the game for fun will usually play the game for winning only, and thus they will do anything to win.  As the player base continues to grow, professional gamers join because of the tournament money, and as the game grows older we get the kiddies who find that Mom and Dad's Dell will finally play the game.

Step three is probably where I would put Battlefield at its present point.  The player base has peaked and is probably going to decline slowly.  Lets look at counterstrike (CS) again.  I started playing CS when it was beta .5.  It was a great game with good maps great players and a supportive community.  As the months passed however I noticed a gradual shift in player attitudes.  1) Player profanity shot through the roof.  2)Team killing and spawn camping became rampant.  3)Cheating became a norm on public servers.  The same popular maps were played over and over and over.  It soon became obvious to me that something was wrong and I left the game.  However CS - like some maglignant cancer - just kept growing and growing.  I had a friend that tried to join the CS community about a year after I left.  I watched as facination turned to frustration as he was shot through walls, headshotted from a bunny hopping knife wielder, and called a fag because he dared to ask a question.  Needless to say he left rather quickly.  Ok OK, why am I telling you this?  It is because I see the exact same symtoms in Battlefield that I saw in CS long ago.

Servers are plugged with retards who shoot you because you were going for "their plane" and tk'ers who run around spawn killing their teammates.  Oh and dowt forget that ever present chopper that circles your base waiting for you to spawn so they can shoot you before you draw a weapon.  Yes the dregs of gaming society have come to battlefield.

So what the next next step for a dying dynasty?  Lets go back to counterstrike.  The people who play the game for fun will leave for another title upon which the dregs have not decended.  The people that are left are the die hard fanatics who have gotten too good at it to go learn another game where they might be fodder.  The kiddies will stay too because their computer can't play the next generation of the game and besides they don't mind the crap.  The game manufacturer will put out an "All New Release" to try to draw people back to the franchise, but their hands are tied.  If they make it too different then it won't draw the same gamers and so it ends up being the same tired game with a few new gimicks.  The die hards will say "I like the old one better cuz the weapons recoil differently", the kiddies say "My machine won't run this", and the fun gamers will say "Hey thats the same stuff in a new box".  And so the game dies a painfull death caught in the nether region between titles.  HEY ISN'T THAT WHATS HAPPENING TO BATTLEFIELD?

If you need a peek into the future of battlefield, just take a look back at CS.

The new Battlefield 2 is the same old stuff in a new box, but hey that's the way it has to be.  Perhaps Battlefield will be different.  Perhaps human nature will change suddenly and all wars will end and aggresion will cease, gangs will disappear, and corrupt governments will resign lamenting their oppresion of the people, but I don't think so.  I for one am going to UNINSTALL this new battlefield demo from my computer.  I am going to read forums to decide what kind of communtity will grow around this new BattleField game.  I want to play games for fun.  Guess what?  People make a game fun, they have in the past and they will in the future.  A fun game without fun people is no fun at all, think about that next time you play.

I am Nicao
and this is my RANT

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