Various Donya Fortress Screenshots

Donya Fortress, the second map for the Close Quarters DLC was revealed yesterday. A map that focuses on villa/courtyard style combat, with a bit of underground action thrown in. The trailer presented featured the “Conquest Domination” game mode—somewhat similar to conquest. Today, we have some various screen shots of this new Battlefield 3 map:

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Battlefield 3 – A Game of Choice

Battlefield 2 was one of the first games to offer unlocks and ranks to players in-game, this style has continued on into other games as well. And continuing in that fashion was Battlefield 3, if you’re a frequent player of BF3 then you probably have many unlocks already, but what are the setups for your gameplay style?

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In the most recent “Inside DICE”, Alan Kertz (core gameplay designer) discusses what it takes to keep BF3 balanced. Kertz also covers how the most recent patch has changed gameplay, while retaining balance. Are you a close quarters style gamer, run and gun, or a recon player? Check below for tips on what kit modifications will help you the most.

The most important part of Battlefield 3’s gameplay design is/was maintaining balance between players. Gamers may think that balance is a simple issue and that there’s no real need for it, but balance has been a critical component of the series. There is no silver bullet in any of the series’ games, everyone can be taken down. BF3 and it’s predecessors have utilized a rock, paper, scissors method of balancing, this is evident in the BF1942 cover (the one below is my GoTY edition):

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Click for massive version

Some fans of the series think that the “Vehicle Disabled” bonus is some sort of realism induced point bonus to garner CoD fans when in fact it’s a critical balance measure. BF3 may have large landmass maps, but the simple truth is, is that the gameplay takes place in extremely tight areas, and this is a problem on vehicle maps (Caspian Border for example). If a tank could move at full speed with 1% health, then tanks, APC’s, etc. could quickly move from base to base while destroying the enemy. The normal approach to this in past games would be to simply spawn in at the same or different base with C4 or and AT rocket. The bases in BF3 are simply too small and too close together, players can easily be taken out by the vehicles. To help combat the situation, one well placed Javelin or RPG can drop a tank in health, rendering it near immobile—an effective method of balancing.

But how can you attempt to tilt the balance scheme in your favor while not destroying gameplay? Weapon customization is the answer if you’re on foot. Looking to take on all enemies? Equip a flash suppressor and foregrip, want to take out enemies from afar? Equip a heavy barrel and bipod. Check out the useful table below to help you optimize your Battlefield 3 experience:

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Donya Fortress

Ziba Tower was the first map for the up and coming Close Quarters DLC to be previewed, today we now have a trailer for Donya Fortress. This map appears to be set in a villa setting, players will engage one another in tunnels, a court yard, and of course hallways. The HD destruction really shines with dust raining from the ceiling and papers flying about.

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Our second gameplay trailer from the upcoming expansion pack Battlefield 3™: Close Quarters showcases the map Donya Fortress in all its destructive glory. You can also see the new game mode Conquest Domination in action, being a mix of the tactical classic Conquest mode and the instant action gameplay featured on these tight maps.

The trailer shows off the new Conquest Domination mode and another new weapon, the JNG-90:

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So what’s your opinion on Donya Fortress and Battlefield 3: Close Quarters?

Run Battlefield 3 With Steam In-Game Menu

If you’re an active gamer on the PC, chances are that you have Steam installed and probably have a couple Steam games. One game you don’t have on Steam is Battlefield 3, which is a bit sad considering how smooth Steam’s in-game menu really is. Origin does offer a few of the features such as a web-browser, but it fails to offer a light weight menu and a screen shots gallery. Below is a guide to enable Steam’s in-game menu in BF3.

(Prior to starting, you should quit Origin by right clicking the icon in the system tray and selecting “Exit.”)

  • In your games library (Steam), select “Add A Game” from the bottom left of the window.

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  • Select “Origin” and “Add Selected Programs”

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    If you’d like, you can rename “Origin” to a name of your liking by right-clicking Origin and clicking “Properties.”

  • Launch Origin through Steam, and under settings (gear icon), go to the in-game menu and uncheck the checkbox.Posted Image

  • Join a server through Battlelog as usual and enjoy Battlefield 3 with the Steam in-game overlay!

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Awesome Fan-Made Wallpaper

If you’re still using a default BF3 wallpaper, you’ve probably gotten a little bit bored of it, time for a new one! Community member, JonsDesignz has produced a stunning background that focuses on the latest games in the series, plus the BC2 Vietnam DLC. The full wallpaper is 1280×720, check out the original thread here.

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M26 MASS – Adjustments Will Be Made

Since the patch was released a few weeks ago, many weapons have become a lot more balanced. However, some weapons have been strengthened, a bit to much. The M26 MASS is one such weapon, well attachment that has been strengthened. Chances are, you’ve noticed more people using these weapons with a substantial effect on the game.

Demonstrating the M26’s new found power

Let alone being devastating to enemy players, often one hit kills, it is also incredibly accurate. Sure enough, the community has noted the issue and the developers have taken note:

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It’s not all bad news, DICE has done a great job with the last patch and the amount of satisfied players has certainly increased. A few days ago, DICE released a server side patch that fixed MAV riding, TV missiles, and AA missles.

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  • Fixed AA missiles not doing damage to vehicles moving at very high speeds (This is the much wanted heatseaker fix)
  • Fixed TV Missile doing much more damage than it should (it is no longer a 1-hit kill)
  • Tweaked tank armor strength
  • MAV elevatoring fix, round 2; proning on the MAV will now disable it
  • RCON admin.say command can send to individual players
  • A few invalid map+gamemode combinations in maplist.txt could crash the server on startup; these combinations are now rejected instead
  • RCON vars.serverDescription was not returning anything in R20 if the string was not set; this has been changed to return “” instead
  • RCON player.onChat now reports the target player subset

A huge majority of fixes were taken care of, the community probably shouldn’t expect another major patch until the next round of DLC is released in June.

Battlefield 3 – 50% Off [PC Download]

If for some reason you or someone you know doesn’t have BF3 yet, it’s a great time to save big on a copy of the game. Amazon is currently running a sale and selling the game at an incredibly low price, $29.99.

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BC2, BF2, and various BF:H products are heavily discounted as well.

13 Million Units Later – 2011 Was Still A Troubling Year

Battlefield 3 was one of EA’s largest game launches, quickly selling millions of copies. The number is now sitting at 13 million units sold. The game’s competitor, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is rumored to have sold some 20+ million copies since it’s launch on November 8, 2011.

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While it looked like a possible banner year, over stretching on several fronts led to a disappointing fiscal year. Estimates put Battlefield 3 sales around 13MM units, the company ‘chased’ the launch dumping an estimated $30MM into incremental marketing after the game launched according to one source within EA.

Still, BF3 had an excellent launch, and EA poured another $30 million into the game post launch. SWTOR was another hit by EA, but the company may have overstretched itself and reportedly had a disappointing fiscal year. Major layoffs were rumored, but EA has quickly denied these and has stated that it’s team is still growing.

Battlelog For iOS-Released

Earlier today, Battlelog for iOS was released on the app store by surprise. As of last week, the app was considered a myth, but EA has surprised the community once again. The app comes with most of the features that the desktop website comes with, featuring a full-fledged news and stats platform.

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Hooah! Battlelog is going mobile! With Battlelog on your iPhone, you can stay connected to Battlefield 3 and your gaming friends while on the go.

Battlefield 3 is built around the social platform Battlelog (http://battlelog.battlefield.com), where you meet new gaming friends, compare stats, talk tactics, “hooah!” your friends’ progress in the game and get essential updates straight from the developers.

Now, you can access most features of the full-fledged Battlelog platform on your iPhone! This free app gives you the ability to keep up to date on what is happening right now in Battlefield 3 and how your friends are progressing.

Features in v1.0.0:
Battle Feed
Get real-time notifications when your friends unlock new weapons or get new awards. “Hooah!” and comment on their posts.

Com Center
See which friends are playing right now and what servers they are playing on. View your friends’ profiles and plan for tonight’s game by leaving a message on their wall.

Stats & Unlocks
Track your progress and performance on the battlefield with detailed soldier stats. Check out the dog tags you have collected from your foes and see what new weapons, gadgets, vehicle upgrades, and specializations you are about to unlock next.

Leaderboards
Compare your standing among your friends on the friends leaderboard and view the top worldwide players on the global leaderboard.

News
Stay up to date with the latest Battlelog and Battlefield news. Get essential updates directly from DICE, the developers of Battlefield 3.