Battlefield 4 and its many, many problems

That, by the way, is a tongue-in-cheek title. Since the day BF4 was released the forums and the Battlelog feed have been full of people whining and complaining about the game – it has bugs, it’s not exactly 100% what they wanted (and, after all, what one person wants is therefore what everybody else wants as well, isn’t it?) and DICE are never doing the right thing. Ever.

Does BF4 have bugs? Of course. When was the last time that a new version of Windows was delivered without any bugs? Unlike a new iteration of Windows, which is usually the last version with some changed features, BF4 is pretty much completely new with even Frostbite being a new release. In the case of the PS4, it’s a new machine so, God yes, it’s new. And with Windows we’d expect to often wait months for a bug fix. DICE push one out within days and it’s not good enough.

But let’s look at that comparison some more. An installation of Windows 8.1 is 3.5GB. BF4 on the PS4 is 40GB. This is not Jet Set Willy (and that infamous bug in Jet Set Willy never did fixed unless you hacked the game).

I’m no apologist for EA – they have a bad reputation which is well deserved. Did they force DICE to push the game out early? Maybe. But they have to set these release dates well in advance so if DICE got behind, it’s only natural for EA, careful of their shareholders, to release anyway. Is the game unplayable? No. In fact, I came to BF3 quite late, after it had already been patched a number of times, and I’d say that BF4 is about as stable as BF3 was when I first played it. Considering how much more complex BF4 is, that’s really good going. A game of the complexity of BF4, which seriously can’t be tested under the strain that a worldwide users base is going to put it under, is going to have problems. Did GTA V release with issues? Yes. Has COD: Ghosts got problems? Yes.

And let’s get something else straight… when they release new maps, dog tags, weapons, etc, they’re not putting aside bug fixes to work on this. When they upgrade Battlelog they’re not diverting their resources from bug fixing. It’s a different set of people and most of this will have been prepared in advance.

BF4 on the PC was a good example recently. Users complained about the bugs that they had and demanded something be urgently done. DICE did this, rushed the result and made the situation worse. The users complained further. Damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

The other big issue is with netcode – the code in the program that controls the networking component. This is particularly complex as it controls, in the case of the PC and next-gen consoles, 64 players around the world all interacting with each other on the same map. It has bugs too but people trot out the “Hey DICE, why don’t you fix the netcode” line at every opportunity (normally on a forum post when DICE have announced something positive). If it truly was that simple, don’t you think they would have? My guess is that’s extremely complex and probably quite fragile – not a bit of code you’d want to get wrong. I tell you what, why don’t you fix it, if it really is that easy?

If you want to moan about it all, there’s a forum that DICE employees read. Use that. But put it in an appropriate part of the forum and don’t moan for the sake of it – people will quickly switch off to that and you’re simply wasting your breath. If you truly feel that BF4 is awful, go elsewhere. They’re not going to give you your money back so vote with you feet and play a different game. I’ve seen too many people complain about how unplayable and bug-addled the game is but seen them playing it. In that case, it doesn’t sound that bad.

It’s a game. It’s fun. Get over yourself.

Darkstorm40
About Darkstorm40

Relatively recent convert to Battlefield but now hooked. Not the best aim or sharpest reflexes but good team player.

Hates people complaining unnecessarily and believes you should always offer solutions – yes, I’m looking at all the Battlefield 4 haters.

General IT bod during the day and all-round geek at all other times.

Owner of bfmedic.com.

2 responses to Battlefield 4 and its many, many problems

  1. Byron said this on January 8, 2014

    Nicely said Storm. I agree with you their.

    However, DICE should not have put something out on the Market for customers to buy when it’s not fully to their standards. That is my only problem with this whole debate when people start complaining about something.

    Oh by the way, your website looks great!

    Sincerely,
    Armitron

    • My argument to that would be simple – do we know what DICE’s standards are? I suspect it’s whatever EA tells them it is 😉

      There’s always a fine line in game development (I know, I’ve done it) between pushing out a game early that has some known issues and spending forever trying to resolve every problem. When a lot of the complaints were about the next-gen consoles, where they didn’t have the opportunity to push out a beta beforehand, I can certainly see why issues occurred. It’s a massive, massive game and a lot of the bugs only really come out when you have the number playing that DICE simply can’t re-create beforehand.

      I have been impressed with how they’ve dealt with the issues and certainly I find BF4 on PS4 to be quite stable now.

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