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Thread: BF3 improvement tips and tricks

  1. #1
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    Exclamation BF3 improvement tips and tricks

    http://www.reddit.com/r/battlefield3...ssion_for_bf3/

    "EnixDark put up some great guides about weapons, so I was inspired to contribute with some discussion on higher level FPS strategy as it pertains to BF3. I have a background in competitive gaming at the national level and logged over 100 hours in BF3. While I won't claim to be an expert, I might know more than your average bear.

    Jumping right in, the number one reason people die is lack of situational awareness (SA). Without SA, you will play a FPS in a reactionary manner, which means someone shoots at you or comes on your screen suddenly, then you try to shoot back. In a game like BF3 that has a short time-to-kill and instant hit weapons (guns), playing a reactive style game is close to impossible. This is because the average human reaction time is close to 25ms, so when someone has a half second (500ms) initiative, you are at an extreme disadvantage. The only way to overcome the enemy initiative is relying on their lack of skill and/or your ability to process motor motions (aim) faster.

    The common misconception is that elite players have lightning reflexes, but the reality is that most of them have average reaction times... but they acquire targets much faster. More than anything though, they have incredible SA, which is why a casual gamer watching competitive players often think they have some crazy ESP on how to predict the enemy movements. The key to becoming a better gamer as a whole, is increasing your SA so that in any encounter, you will have a better initiative, forcing your opponent to play a reactionary game.

    With that covered, SA is based on six key points:

    Map knowledge (knowing the hot/safe zones)
    Radar (simply knowing enemy locations, incoming danger)
    Flow (movements, deaths, battle visuals/sounds from around you)
    Communication (player to player announcements)
    Reaction state (more on this later...)

    Map knowledge is an often cited strategy, but the reasoning behind it is that it conditions you to where you should be aiming. Anyone that plays BF3 long enough will know all the general sniping spots, corners and hot zones. You know the general direction to aim based on where the enemy comes from.

    Radar is what separates the casuals (negative KD) from the real gamers. If you can master radar and you are not incompetent at motor controls, you will be above the pack. I will readily admit to dying because I have been using my radar to aim as opposed to my screen. It should be that important to observe with one eye (or two) at all times. Not only should you be looking for the red triangles AND their orientation, you should be looking for skulls of your teammates dying and where. Too often I've flanked enemy squads with a suppressed gun and taken out the last two, reloaded, then finished off the rest. If people are dying around you, be highly alert. You know where to aim because you see where they will be.

    This leads to flow, which is the introduction to higher level play that most of you either intuitively know or act on already. Flow is the tide of battle that includes zones controlled by allies/enemies, which side has the upper hand and action on routes leading to each. Essentially, a bird's eye perspective of what is happening on the map. Flow requires using the limited amount of information available (radar, onscreen) and attempting to understand which areas are hot and which areas are vulnerable. Literally, think of water pushing and pulling around the map and that is the idea of flow. Say on Metro, you hear two huge fights at the first escalator and side stairs, you'll know the second escalator will be the least watched.

    Casual players don't apply flow and can counted to stack with teammates to push a certain area. This means that flow is best applied toward flanking, because you can identify the routes of least resistance and make your way through to eventually hit the other team from behind. This is almost always high risk/high reward (another reason why casuals don't prefer this method), as the times you die will far outrank the times you succeed. However, when you do succeed, it will often be devastating for the enemy team and disrupt their position bad enough that your team can break through.

    I'm sure this is why the radio beacon is getting the nerf, because it's ridiculously powerful in the right hands due to the ability to inject yourself directly into flow. Enemy "safe" zones are now hot and you can force them to slow down, bunker down or abandon a position getting flanked. Without proper flow, things turn into chaos, where you don't know which way to look, what is secure and what not. Casual players HATE chaos and LIKE predictability, which is why they often stack with other players (especially at choke holds). Beacons add chaos to the order, so it really screws with casual players the most when it gets abused.

    The MAV isn't a flow breaker per se, but given its ridiculous spotting effectiveness, it exponentially increases the SA for your ENTIRE TEAM. The balancing problem with a device like the MAV is that casual players stay the same, but good players get better with a MAV guy on the team.

    The other best flow breaker in the game is the M320 smoke. I hardly ever see anyone use smoke except other high level players. The utility factor is twofold, as it hides team movement if you shoot it at hot zones or disorient enemy positions if you fire at them. The caveat is that smoke requires two things: self-sacrifice and the willingness for your team/squad to advance to take advantage of it. A squad with two smokers and two rushers with RPG/shotguns/C4 can deliver a massive effect to a "locked down" area. But, they all have to be willing to rush in and die for it to be effective, which are two things casuals don't understand/are unwilling to do.

    What other flow breakers are there? Transport vehicles. The team can spawn on transport vehicles, so keeping these alive and behind/above the enemy is a huge part of team efficiency. (Begin rant) A lot of people here say that transport choppers are a thankless task. Why yes, they are. But they help win games, which is what being part of a team is about. Who is the first guy rushing the MCOM with smoke that gets shot arming it but reveals the 2 guys crouched in the corner on radar? Yeah, that's me, but **** it, my squad now knows where they are and arm it for me. If I wanted personal glory, I'd go play 1v1 Starcraft or Quake again, but no, I'm playing BF3, so remind myself to man up from time to time, stop whining like a MW3 player worried about their K ratio and try to help my team win for a change. The only satisfaction you need is knowing that you are a moving spawn beacon dropping beautiful noobs with cannons into the enemy kool-aid pool. (/rant).

    Side note: One of the things BF3 hasn't had much credit is in the map design, because almost all BF3 maps are designed with great flow. Good map designers know how to build maps to design combat around certain areas, but almost always put vulnerabilities into each position (multiple entrances) to prevent outright lock on any one area. Or in a game type like Conquest, if one area is dead locked, you can simply take another point and move on.

    I've coached players before on the notion of flow and have guided players around maps where they slaughter players simply from getting better positioning. You don't always have to flank, you can just recognize when the enemy flow is coming to you, wait just for the right moment and pop up your LMG and make the magic rainbows appear. The better you are at flow, the less often you get shot in the back and the more often you shoot someone else in the back. With flow, you know where to aim not because you see them in front of you or on radar, but because you came to that conclusion logically.

    Now onto the second most important concept: reaction state. Unless you are trained in meditation, you cannot keep a heightened state of awareness for more than a certain duration. This applies to FPS games as well. When you round a corner KNOWING that a guy will be there, you will enter a certain state where you are ready to hit the trigger, your eyes are already pre-scanning and your reaction time is also sped up. On the opposite side, if you are waiting in a room on the defensive and don't know when the enemy is going to come, it is nearly impossible to keep a high state of awareness, as you can only hold it so long. This is why SA is critical, because it informs your body when to be ready and gives you the initiative in a fight.

    Not only that, the way that the network coding works in most modern games (especially faster games like MW), the attacker gets an advantage in terms of reaction time, because by the time your opponent sees you entering a room, you will already have been in the room looking at him. I won't go into full detail on the mechanics, but this is also why you die after rounding a corner, why you SWEAR you won an engagement only to have lost and kill guys who go out of your field of view.

    Knowing this, if you know a guy is in the room and have the option of slowly creeping into the door or rushing in, you should always pick the latter. The slow creep (aka pie) only works on guys unaware or a must if you don't know if someone is inside. Bridging the higher level to lower level application, this is also why shotguns and the F2000 are beasts in CQB - they are accurate while on the move AND provide short time-to-kill. You are essentially stacking all variables together (initiative, reaction state, network code, quick damage application) in your favor. At the same time, this is why the F2000 is a preferred gun among many high level players, because it favors the run and gun method, which is very twitchy by nature. It is a terrible gun otherwise, which is why complaints about the F2000 just show ignorance, because if you are encountering more than your share of F2000 players, you are using the wrong play style for your weapon. It is a weapon for point men aka the guys who charge first. Just like if you shouldn't complain about always being sniped if you're that guy trying to pick them off with a SCAR at long range. You play to your weapons advantage.

    This leads to the number one thing that effects your reactive state: your weapon sights. From the moment you encounter someone, it's more often than not a rush to move your mouse/analogue stick, aim down your sights and pull the trigger. I'm not going to get into aiming and motor control, because that's really all just practice. But your sights are important, because Irons/RDS/Holo come up faster, ACOG/3.5x/4x/IRNV come up slower and 7x+ come up slowest. If you play a close/twitchy game, you need a fast sight. If you play with a slow sight in close quarters, expect to have an uphill battle.

    Personally, I never regarded the IRNV as overpowered, simply because it took so damn long for it to sight in. I died more with it than without it. But I do recognize that it is a huge crutch for casual players with a need for SA. If you have zero flow (and don't pay attention to radar), the environment is a constant **** fest with bullets whizzing by, enemies popping out of nowhere, in windows and getting shot from behind. The IRNV suddenly makes it a safe place by removing all the noise and shutting you into a game of shoot the big red glowing thing. Instead of looking at the WHOLE screen, the casual player now only needs to look at a few important pieces of information, but at the cost of movement and sight-in speed. This is why sniping is so comforting to casuals, because it's usually in a safe place (at base) with one directional threat.. and also why most snipers are bad (because they're casuals to begin with).

    If you have good SA, you should NEVER be looking at perhaps more than 3 localized spots on your screen of where the baddies will be coming from anyways. If you're looking at a whole screen of possible threat zones, then you are way over exposed and now playing a reaction game vs initiative game. If I am in the open, I am either booking it toward cover or being very arrogant with my M320 or M98 and quick-scope/shot abilities. This is why I believe most solid players don't need or use the IRNV.

    Along those lines, if you are say, defending a room with two doors, the wrong thing to do is to put your crosshair right between the two (except if they are close together) or swerve back and forth between the two. You pick one friggin door and put your crosshairs over it. 50% of the time, you're right. The other 50%, you have to aim to react. Compare that with putting your crosshairs in the middle, which means 100% of the time, you aim to react. Same goes for breaching a room. Don't stop and scan in the doorway. Pick one direction and commit to it. Hopefully the guy behind you picks another direction and commits to that one. This is proper squad technique and what they use in real life special forces/SWAT training.

    Lastly, human vision is very much based on movement. If you are defending with your crosshairs trained on one area, toy with looking ever so slightly off to the side. You tend to have faster reactions out of the corner of your eye than directly looking at something. Probably a survival/evolutionary mechanism. But now we use that ability for FPS games. Oh how Darwin would roll in his casket at the evolution of man. But I digress...

    The other way to take advantage of your natural eye abilities is actually to ... just... stop. Don't move your mouse/stick. Don't move your dude. Just stop. Other than the BF3 maps where trash and debris flies around everywhere, your eyes will pick up on the most minute pixel movements if you're close enough to your TV/monitor. PC players probably don't have it as bad, because the human eye can process 72FPS and most rigs can run up that high these days. On console though, there's tons of blur when running and moving the crosshairs around, so against all intuition, sometimes the best thing to do is stop scanning, relax your eyes and let your body do the work. This is actually how most elite snipers scan, as they only use their scope to finish the kill.

    Anyhow, that's a huge wall of text, but for those who read through it, hopefully there's some interesting things you picked up. If not, well, you're probably a good player already and are calling me a noob for pointing out the obvious. Good on you, educate the rest of the casuals. And for the record, I don't want to sound like I'm disparaging casual gamers. They make it possible for games like this to be created and for the rest of us to create carnage on the pub servers. Everyone only has a certain amount of time to devote to any one thing.

    Lastly, I'm just going to take this last part to thank the Dice and the BF3 crew for one helluva game. For all the bitching everyone does, this is a very, very well thought out game on the balance side that they don't get enough credit for or isn't readily seen by most gamers. Variety is the spice of life and it's easy to balance a game if everything is monotone, but with so many different types of classes, weapons and vehicles, it's pretty darn amazing that it flows as well as it does out of the box. Starcraft was the king of variety, but even that required numerous patches before balance was achieved. That said, if anyone really wants to hear my opinion on balance issues, I guess I can talk that, but I'm just one opinion of many. Meta game is where I like to play

    TL;DR: GO USE A F2000 WITH IRNV ALREADY YOU NOOB."

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  3. #2
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    Taking the road less travelled...




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    My eyessssssssssssssssssssss
    It's not hax if you do it with your eyes closed.

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=1Y3s1S6skoI

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  8. #5
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    Show some more respect. If you don't care what others write, then simply shut up!



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    Quote Originally Posted by JPM View Post
    Show some more respect. If you don't care what others write, then simply shut up!
    OH I'm sorry, I forgot this wasn't a casual forum. Let me go find my tryhard pants.
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  11. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by JPM View Post
    Show some more respect. If you don't care what others write, then simply shut up!
    Woah there, it's copy/paste of the link he posted but in orange! Just the link with some comments would be great!!
    It's not hax if you do it with your eyes closed.

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=1Y3s1S6skoI

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  13. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by kurk_will_mutiny View Post
    Woah there, it's copy/paste of the link he posted but in orange! Just the link with some comments would be great!!
    This, and the fact that it is 8 months old which means many things have changed since.
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    [QUOTEAnyhow, that's a huge wall of text, but for those who read through it, hopefully there's some interesting things you picked up. If not, well, you're probably a good player already and are calling me a noob for pointing out the obvious. Good on you, educate the rest of the casuals. And for the record, I don't want to sound like I'm disparaging casual gamers. They make it possible for games like this to be created and for the rest of us to create carnage on the pub servers. Everyone only has a certain amount of time to devote to any one thing.][/QUOTE]

    This is very usefull. Many people play BF3 like its just a "aim and fire" fps game. The more people read and learn from this, the better.
    <a href="http://www.enjin.com/bf3-signature-generator" alt="bf3 forum sigs"><img src="http://sigs.enjin.com/sig-bf3/831f57bf0be4ac5e.png"></a>

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  16. #10
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    The fundamentals of BF3 remain the same so the post is still relevant for the large part.
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