MAJOR Changes Coming in Battlefield 4’s September Patch

Updates from the Battlefield: Core Gameplay Improvements (patch notes)

We’ll finally see the Automatic High Frequency Update setting on last gen consoles. Alas, you can’t fix, change or improve something in the code without it having a Butterfly Effect on other parts of the code and gameplay. For example, improving the Netcode has reduced the time to kill so, in an effort to balance, DICE has reduced the damage of a lot of guns at close range and they will take one extra bullet to kill. The idea being the game will have a little more time to register the hits and hopefully result in less of those how the hell did he even hit me moments. It may take a little getting used to and you might notice the change more on slower firing weapons, but overall I’m looking forward to these changes. DICE has stated their focus is on maintaining a consistent Time To Kill (how long an average engagement lasts for) which to me suggests a sincere effort to not make the game a total CoD clone.

Character movement will be more like BF3. Head flinching has been reduced, crouching time has less of a transitional delay, you’ll strafe faster, and you’ll reach your top speed quicker. This should reduce those getting shot from behind cover moments. Hit effects have been moved to server side rather than client which is a good thing because it’s a more reliable system. Visual recoil and scope sway have been all but removed from guns.

The Heads Up Display (HUD) is undergoing major cosmetic surgery. In an effort to de-clutter the screen DICE has implemented several options such as the ability to adjust enemy, objective and friendly icon’s transparency to your liking. We are also getting the fan suggested Medic Triage, a timer above corpses that shows you how much time you have left to revive your teammates allowing you to better gauge whether the revive is worth the risk or not.

In addition there will also be a slew of game mode improvements. These range from HUD display improvements to MCOM relocation and map vehicle assignments. Grenades will see some changes to their damage and blast radius as well as to the amount you can carry and how long it takes to resupply them from an ammo bag. Flashbangs will make your HUD vanish for 10 seconds (5 seconds if a friendly flashbang); this might actually make flashbangs viable as I fail to see the point in them as they stand right now.

A LOT OF CHANGES TO DIGEST AT ONCE
If you haven’t already, you should start experimenting with different guns so you’re not married to the one you’re using now. I’m not sure if I’m entirely on board with the way DICE goes about balancing things. They tend to look at what the community is using too much and nerf those weapons in hopes of making the unpopular weapons more appealing instead of simply buffing a certain dynamic of the unpopular weapons a little. You see this with how they are about to nerf the damage of Slams in an effort to get people to use mines more often.

They were going to nerf Stingers and Iglas because pilots, who never seem to end a match with less than 30 kills, are a whiny bunch of gits with far too much time to spend bitching on the EA forums. Thankfully they decided against this nerf and infantry will still have a reliable option to fall back on when their team is lacking a decent pilot to stop the enemy pilot’s rampage. Vehicles in Battlefield should compliment infantry not simply dominate and decimate it.

In the following video YouTuber, Blindman, talks about the changes while playing on the CTE server in which they are already implemented.

Join us on our Xbox 360 server
MARK OF SHAME GAMING (& TDCS)
HAVE FUN & PLAY NICE.
Map rotations and game modes may change without notice.

Come play BF4 on our server!Background artwork by the talented z0h3 on deviantART

And Now for Something Completely Different…

Cyndi Lauper plus
a Bioshock Infinite feel equals
doubleplusgood fun!

Check out more from ScottBradleeLovesYa on YouTube.

The BF4 Diaries: Come play on our server!

Battlefield 4My close Battlefield friends and I occasionally rent a BF4 server for shiggles. Normally I wouldn’t recommend recklessly throwing money at EA, but redout67 has started his own You Tube gaming channel, Mark of Shame Gaming (you should check him out), and we’re seeing this as an opportunity to advertise his channel.

It’s a no rules server, use whatever weapon you like. I have a very low tolerance for unsportsmanlike behavior so please, no trolling. That means no harassing your fellow players to get a rise out of them. Good natured ribbing is fine but do not let things escalate. Remember it’s just a game, not a career.

MARK OF SHAME GAMING (& TDCS)
(server name)

HAVE FUN & PLAY NICE.
Map rotations and game modes may change without notice.

tDCS & MoSG Server BannerBackground artwork by the talented z0h3 on deviantART

R.I.P. Robin Williams

So saddened & bummed by this news.
We shared the same birthday, July 21st. So did Ernest Hemingway.
Hunter S. Thompson was born the 18th of July; 3 days earlier.
Successful people unable to quell the anxieties, fears and demons inside.
Makes me wonder what hope there is for me.
Ugh, this is too depressing. I’m gonna go exercise.

God Dammit, Robin. You’re one of my heroes.

Getting Fit: Please don’t take advice from internet fluff pieces (part two).

Welcome back. Today we continue to disseminate the recent Huffpost Healthy Living fluff piece by Sarah Klein (Senior Editor and Certified Personal Trainer), 7 Exercises Fitness Experts Wish You Would Stop Doing.

The fourth horrific exercise you should avoid, according to the fluff piece, is Kettleball Swings. I’ve never used Kettleballs. At least this bullet point has a sense of actual science backing it up. Proper form here is the key reason Collette Stohler is calling the exercise out. Considering I see how most of you exercise in the gym, I concur with Collette on this one.

‘ROID RAGE!
The fifth problematic exercise is Curls in the Squat Rack. This is a gym etiquette thing and something I’ve never experienced. I had to laugh at the main reason Pat Davidson, Ph. D. gives for wanting you to avoid this first world catastrophe: gym rage. Yes, you should avoid this because the supposed adult waiting to use the machine behind you might throw a temper tantrum and beat you up. I suggest Mr. PhD there stop making excuses for people’s juvenile behavior.

The sixth exercise from hell is the Leg Extension Machine. I find the use of this machine questionable as it seems to hurt my knees more than help my thighs as I get older; however, the reasoning Alena Hall, HuffPost Third Metric Fellow and certified personal trainer gives (we don’t replicate that motion in our daily lives) is at best unobservant, at worst asinine. Soccer players do happen to replicate that motion quite frequently and last I checked there are plenty of soccer moms out there and therefore plenty of kids replicating this motion on a daily basis. However, she does make a valid point regarding setting up the Leg Extension Machine for your size. Always remember the importance of proper form.

The last exercise professional trainers (I’m giggling inside a little every time I type that now) would like you to stop doing is The Smith Machine. While the reasoning Alison Peters, NYU Langone Medical Center exercise physiologist, gives for eschewing this exercise is sound it comes at the expense of what this machine was designed for. Yes, you should perform normal squats because they will work more muscles more effectively, but you should never, ever, ever, ever do squats without someone to spot you. The Smith Machine was designed by Jack LaLanne for those times when your workout partner is unavailable or you’re an introvert like me and prefer to work out alone. Squats are one of the best exercises to strengthen your legs and lower back. They are also one of the most dangerous exercises to perform; always use a spotter, always use proper form, always wear a support belt for heavy lifting, and keep the weight reasonable unless you are a professional bodybuilder (here’s a clue in case you’re confused, if you’re working out just to get laidyou are not a professional bodybuilder).

And the moral of this story is…
The picture of the Smith Machine in the article isn’t even a Smith Machine, it’s a Power Rack and it’s used by power lifters for safety reasons. It doesn’t restrict your squat motion in any way; it ensures the bar doesn’t come crashing down on your spine should a mishap occur. Therefore, take everything your read on the internet with a grain of salt.

It’s sad I find far more credibility in personal blogs these days than I do in ostensibly professional internet rags. Be wary of anyone toting the professional trainer and/or expert moniker. It’s a business first and like most capitalist endeavors these days it suffers from the fact that money takes precedence over your health and well being, especially when it comes to these so called experts writing fluff pieces for internet rags. A personal trainer is just that, a personal trainer. A trainer who must design and implement a workout regiment around your personal needs and requirements. One size does not fit all. One article could not possibly apply to everybody.

These self-professed personal trainers are banging out native advertising fluff pieces, replete with misleading and erroneous information, in a pathetic and cheap marketing attempt to draw traffic to the site and make a quick easy buck on the side. It’s the only explanation. Surely no one can be so stupid as to believe their spine is like a credit card… Right?

Getting Fit: Please don’t take advice from internet fluff pieces (part one).

I abhor internet click-bait and fluff pieces almost as much as reality TV and people with no discernible talent making boat loads of money doing absolutely bugger all besides waking up in the afternoon (cough, coughKhardashians, cough). The only thing that could agitate my morning more is coming across internet click bait posing as a legitimate and reasonable article.

Really, Huff Post? REALLY?
Enter Huffpost Healthy Living and a recent article by Sarah Klein (Senior Editor and Certified Personal Trainer), 7 Exercises Fitness Experts Wish You Would Stop Doing. This is one of those reads that cause the experienced, observant and detailed writer in me to wonder how these fluff bloggers get their writing gigs in the first place, let alone become senior editors.

Crunches and Sit-Ups are the new Obama
There has been a collective shitstorm of hate for traditional exercises like crunches and sit-ups for a while now. I noticed this attitude rearing its misinformed head around the same time people started raving insanely about cross-fitness (correlation?) According to certified strength and conditioning coach and sports nutritionist, and HuffPost blogger (try saying that three times fast!), Ben Greenfeld, the reason you shouldn’t do crunches is:

Imagine your spine is a credit card. In the same way that repeatedly flexing and extending a credit card will eventually lead to wearing out of the card…

Let me stop you right there, Ben. You see, I can’t imagine my spine is a credit card because my spine is most definitely not a freaking credit card. It’s the farthest thing from being a credit card imaginable.

A credit card is designed to be just flexible enough so when you sit your fat ass on your wallet it doesn’t shatter into a thousand tiny pieces, while also being stiff enough to allow people to stay in perpetual debt with its rigorous use whereas our spines, as evidenced simply by observing pretty much any Olympic gymnast ever or just wandering stoned off my gourd into a Cirque du Soleil show (because consuming liberal amounts of THC is the only way you’ll get me into one), are designed to be quite flexible.

That’s some Sarah Palinesque stupid, Ben.

If you have a spine related injury then crunches and sit-ups are a no go for you. Older folks may want to stay away from them as well but that will depend on your level of fitness for your age than your age alone. Muscle deteriorates as we get older and bones become brittle. Injury from sit-ups and crunches are to your fitness regime as Gluten is to your diet; utterly irrelevant for most of you. A proper form crunch or sit-up isn’t going to cause you injury. Never did. Never will.

The second ill-fated exercise is the Seated Hip Abductor Machine. Okay, not sure how I feel about this one. Personally, as a male, I’ve never seen the point of it. I can’t help but wonder if this has some benefit for a women’s pelvis and reproductive parts. I’m not a physician, so I won’t be so bold as to make that call. I’m sure there is research out there somewhere. That said, there are much better exercises for women’s thighs.

The third dreaded exercise is the Behind-The-Head Lat Pulldown. This one I agree with, but not for the silly reason Ramona Braganza, celebrity trainer and founder of 321 Fitness gives; some nonsense about needing flexible shoulders… Oh god, I think I just lost a little more of my intellect typing that out. For me it’s personal experience. Pulling the bar down behind my head doesn’t give my lats the full range of motion because the bar hitting my neck restricts them from contracting all the way. I also get a much better burn pulling the bar down to my chest and only when I go slow on the release.

Nosce te ipsum
And that leads me to the final point I’d like to make today. Know yourself. It’s okay to read a book while performing cardio on the bicycle or elliptical, but pay attention when you work out. Feel through the motions. Feel your muscles contract and relax. Get zen with your workout. Know your body. Know yourself. This awareness will bring an enlightenment to your health and well-being far beyond anything a personal trainer could provide. It will help you better decide which exercises benefit you the most and which supplements work for you and which are purely nefarious scams.

Thank for reading and please come back tomorrow when I will continue to dissect this  Huffpost Healthy Living fluff piece.

State of the Game: Battlefield 4, AUGUST 2014 (XBOX 360)

BF4BUGSLRG

The release of Dragon’s Teeth on Premium was successful though not without its hick-ups. EA/DICE was suffering through a DoS attack at the time which caused much frustration amongst the player base, myself included. Problems aside, Dragon’s Teeth is a welcome infantry-centric addition to BF4. Sadly, as usual, the good news stops there.

SERIOUSLY, WHO ‘EFFING DESIGNED THE INTERFACE?
AND WHY HAVEN’T THEY BEEN DRAWN AND QUARTERED YET?
I’ve already mentioned how poorly designed the interface is on consoles. Giving a toddler a bottle of squeezable jam, a tub of peanut butter, two slices of bread and saying ‘have at it, hoss‘ before you go walk your dog would produce the same result.

Reasoning the designer may have been drunk at the time I tried navigating the interface whilst indulging in liberal libations…

While I give DICE props for implementing a more robust Squad Up feature with the last update, the system ultimately fails yet again as searching for servers continues to be a much maligned chore.

Search results turn up no servers or tons of empty ones you can’t join. Quick Match your squad and you’ll either see the no available games message or your squad will be split onto different teams. Bypassing Quick Match and manually searching for a server isn’t any better. Select the option to show only servers with 5-10 available slots so you can find eligible servers rapidly and you’ll still have to scroll through tons of servers with a meager 1 or 2 slots open. When you finally find a server with enough available slots for your 3 man Squad you’ll be greeted with the not enough available slots message.

Adding further insult to injury, squad coding is completely FUBAR. Squads are somehow defaulting to private and the option to un-privatize is suspiciously absent (when did Rand Paul get a job at DICE?) People can’t leave the squad they get placed in to join their friend’s squad. People can’t switch teams regardless of the game’s progression or how many slots are available on the team their friends are on. All these issues are new since the last patch.

Reasoning the designer may have been drunk at the time I tried navigating the interface whilst indulging in liberal libations. It didn’t help. In fact, it gets systematically more frustrating with each beer and I’m the type of drunk that likes to hug everyone. It’s possible some of the server search problems are a result of the DoS attack. Alas, with all the unsolved dilemmas plaguing BF4 since release it’s hard to give EA and DICE a pass anymore; even when it’s not their fault.

AN INFINITE AMOUNT OF MONKEYS WOULD’VE WRITTEN BETTER NETCODE
Netcode continues to be an issue on all platforms and the last patch seems to have put the solution back to square one on PC.

While the 360 and PS3 have yet to see any meaningful attempt to fix the sophomoric code, things in this department are no better or worse than they have been for last-gen players. There’s more graphical glitches of late. Dead bodies suddenly catapulting and ping ponging around the battlefield and all that. But considering all the game breaking problems I’ve run into, catapulting dead bodies is the only thing in BF4 putting a smile on my face lately.

I read DICE is having trouble working around the last-gen’s limited memory to implement the “netcode fix” already available on next-gen and PC. I take this with a grain of salt. They are written by self-proclaimed hardware & coding experts who are more likely either paid EA trolls, marketing douchebags writing bullshit in a pathetic attempt to get you to buy next-gen, or they worked one summer as a Popcap intern and are suffering from delusions of competence.

Carrier Assault was one of the few redeeming qualities BF4 had going for it these days.

P-R-I-O-R-I-T-I-E-S… n’est-ce pas?
As if finding a Carrier Assault server wasn’t hard enough the Carrier Assault game mode is now completely and totally broken. Carrier Assault was one of the few redeeming qualities BF4 had going for it these days. It starts off as a round of Conquest and ends up with everyone storming the enemy’s carrier in a quick round of MCOM destroying Rush gaming goodness.

These days it’s 5-10 minutes of Conquest that ends without warning, leaving you feeling like the first time you saw a chick naked and blew your wad before she even got close to unzipping your pants.

What? Like that never happened to you.

An inquiry on the forums turned up someone who said this was done to fix a game crashing bugone I’ve never experienced in Carrier Assault. So I gotta wonder, with all the imbroglio at DICE/EA, why would they try and fix something that ultimately wasn’t broken to begin with?

ULTIMATELY THE PLAYER BASE IS SUFFERING
The loyal fans are the ones truly getting the shaft in ways DICE can’t even conceive or comprehend.

For those that love this game the ever shrinking player base will continue to be the biggest problem. Look at my rankings at bf4stats. I’m in the top 20% for things like score, vehicles destroyed, headshots and score per minute. The only reason an absolute scrub like myself could rank that high in Battlefield is if there were less competition in the game than in our crapitalist economy.

Furthermore, I got a Squad Wipe medal the other day. One would think this something to brag about but it’s not. It’s just testament to the fact that no one is squading up, either because they are new to the game and don’t know how, or they are victims of the shitty squad code I mentioned earlier. I’m not wiping out entire squads with my uberness; I’m killing one guy stuck in libertarian squad hell.

Your stats don’t mean squat. The other day I hit a high flying A-10 with an RPG on Firestorm. It was moving slower than Sarah Palin’s thought process when trying to come up with actual solutions to ‘Murica’s problems (or just spelling potato.) The A-10 hung in the air in much the same way that bricks don’t. I’ll admit I can be pretty good with an RPG sometimes, but I’m not shoot the A-10 out of the stratosphere good!

Not only does the player base seem sparse at times it often feels void of battlefield soul. The release of Hardline will only exacerbate this problem. Equip the night vision scopes, fellow gamers. The future ain’t so bright on this battlefield.

The BF Diaries: The Ammo Pack & First Aid Pack are NOT totally useless!

Battlefield 4The last episode of Battlefield Friends, while totally freaking hilarious (because we’ve all done the ‘ole tank tango,) contained some very erroneous stratagem.

You’ve worked on your Assault and Support guys long and hard and you’ve been rewarded with the Medic Bag and Ammo Box. WOOT! They’re bigger and given as an award to a higher level so they must be better, right?

Wrong.

The main difference between the Ammo Pack/First Aid Pack and the Ammo Box/Medic Bag is quite substantial in a strategic sense. The little bags are portable. When you throw one down a person picks it up as they walk over it and it continues to heal/supply them while on the move.

How you use this to your advantage depends on your play style, your squad’s play style and the game mode. In TDM matches always go with the little bags. The maps are smaller and you need to be constantly on the move; waiting around to heal when a sniper has you zeroed in is not an option. When defending in Rush games go with the big bags, while attacking with a skilled squad who like to dodge and weave may call for the little bags. Conquest is pretty much a big bag situation most of the time.

And Now for Something Completely Different…

I hate these word crimes.
I read your e-mail. It’s quite apparent.
Your grammar’s errant. You’re incoherent…
I could do this all day! So I’m going to stop now.
BEST SONG PARODY EVA’!

Check out more from the Weird Al on YouTube.

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