If you’ve played Battlefield 3, you’ve been there. Killed repeatedly by the same guy, some camping bastard who hides out in a particularly fortuitous ruin, the kind that has slumped and fallen into just the right shape for someone to get down on his belly, pull out a sniper rifle and start taking potshots. And then you find out where he is. And just as you were about to get that glorious knife kill, his mum says it’s time for supper and he logs off the server. Fie! Blast! Damn!
Well DICE are making that sort of a thing of the past. Now you can set up your own matches, organised around dinner time.
Because of the nature of the game, with maps that can last upwards of an hour, depending on how well matched the teams are, Battlefield 3 has the problem of people popping on a server for ten minutes just to shoot some heads and blow up some vehicles, then heading off again, and that can really mess with the flow of a match, where one team might receive a sudden surge of good players, then lose them a moment later. Not really ideal.
With the new Match feature, players will be able to coordinate matches through the Battlelog. The only caveat is that you need to be renting a server, but apart from that you can then tailor all of the options so that you’ve got the match that you want, and the people that you want to play with in it. It seems to be a sort of school football situation, with two team leaders grabbing teammates from their friends lists and platoons, but once everyone’s all in and the weedy guy is left out, the game moves into the warmup phase.
Which is pretty much exactly what it says on the tin. Kills aren’t counted, and you’re just blasting away to have something to do while you wait for everyone to ready up. Mindless violence indeed. Once that’s all done with, then you have your match, and Battlelog tracks all the stats.
Whether this will lead to a massive rise in people playing BF3 a bit more competitively, and maybe turns it into a proper Esport, I think that’s probably a little dramatic. However, it’s certainly a feature that players will use, and something that will definitely engender any move towards something a little more serious, and a little less casual. Not that you can’t still pop in for ten minutes to blast away at heads and explode tanks before your mum calls you down for tea, mind.
There's no release date for the Matches system just yet, but it's likely just around the corner.