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Electronic Arts releases BF Premium details. Bend over everyone.

Cost: $49.99

WHAT YOU GET

Not even a reach-around, and you better bring your own K-Y gel.

  • WOOT, play expansions early. Seriously? This gets you excited? Pathetic.
  • Exclusive in-game items. Like a knife only you can see. And dog tags and camo that make you clearly stand out as a complete and total fool with far too much disposable income.
  • 5 themed expansion packs INCLUDING KARKAND (something you idiots already paid for.)
  • Reset your stats… … … Someone please explain to me the point of having stats now?
  • Increased platoon emblem layers and 10 “unique” decals. In order for this to be truly unique, you’d have to be the only one who bought the service.
  • Save up to five of your favorite Battlefield reports. For those of you who haven’t figured out how to use a printer yet. Is the clock still blinking on your VCR?
  • Strategy guides from the same dumb-asses who completely fail at testing their own game and patches. A feature that has been available for ages now on YouTube for free and delivered by more qualified people that know how to play the game.
  • EXCLUSIVE“events,” “videos,” and double XP weekends. You know? So you can gain another pointless level and pad your now completely irrelevant stats.
  • Undefined “additional bonus content.” In-game exclusive flip flops maybe?
  • More frequent patches… Yeah, NO, not really. I’m just fucking with you.

Good luck with that.

P.S. @Battlefielders, you don’t have to worry about your game turning into CoD anymore. At this rate it would have to lap the track quite a few times to run neck and neck with CoD.

Shibby talks EA’s BF3 shenanigans…

Is it you?
Is it you who’s been orchestrated?
Is it you?
Is it you who’s born frustrated?
~~~ Rancid, Born Frustrated

Apparently there was a rumor floating around that the Close Quarter DLC was going to be $30.

Rumor my ass.

Let me ‘splain this to you, Lucy. The rumor wasn’t floating around, it was floated around. EA’s paid forum trolls circulated the $30 DLC rumor to gauge how the community would react. They probably went into overtime replying to their own posts with comments like, “Hell yes I pay that! Wotta deal!” and “WOOT! dis DLC is gonna be like a boss!” and let’s not forget the ever popular and largely ignorant, “stop being poor and pay the $30.”

I guess the mindless consumer masses weren’t having it because according to an official EA press release the DLC is going to be $14.99.

That’s still a far cry from “We don’t ever want to charge for our maps and insisted to EA that this attitude was crucial when it came to keeping our community happy and playing together.”

Shibby talks about it and some other BF3 bullshit in the following video.

I’m so glad I pulled my “mule out of this trace.”

Battlefield 3, The Final Cut

I’ve cut my losses and pulled my horse out of this race.

EA does not respect me. They don’t respect us. I’ve given a lot of money to Electronic Arts during my lifetime. Customers like me made EA the power house it is today. Are we owed something? Hell yes we are. We are owed respect. We are owed honesty.

No other industry can treat its extremely loyal customer base so poorly as the gaming industry does and still retain its customers. No other customer base in the world is as willing to roll over and die as gamers. Gamers are appeased so appallingly easy it’s pathetic.

Is it entitlement to expect the best customer service possible? The best quality product possible? The best bang for our buck possible? Is it entitlement to expect a company honor the original terms of the (implied) contract and purchase? Hardly. If you believe that, you need to turn off Faux Newz for a bit. People spend their hard earned cash on these games, just because it’s entertainment does not make it any less important than any other household expense. I’ll blog more about this entitled gamer bullshit at a later date. For now, lets stay focused.

I honestly expected better from DICE. They have lost my trust. I honestly expected more from the BF3 YouTube community. Seeing that all of them are using rental servers as advertisements for their YouTube ventures it only benefits them if official servers disappear, forcing people to use their servers. Not really a problem with the YouTubers that produce quality content. It’s really annoying when Johnny Dickwad pesters you every few minutes to go check out his awesome montages of which you will undoubtedly be starring in in the most demeaning manner possible.

You change your business model for a product at the beginning of the products cycle, not in the middle of it. That’s what CoD did. They didn’t release MW3 and then, 6 months after the fact, say “oh, here’s ELITE, you really need to purchase this if you want to play.”

You have to ask yourselves where is EA taking BF3. To find the answer to this all you need to do is consider their sports titles. In order to compete on-line in an EA sports title you pretty much have to sink more money into the game (on top of your $60 investment) to purchase the unlocks that have very drastic affects on your virtual sport persona’s abilities. The only good thing about EA Sports titles is they still have solid single player gameplay.

Did anyone really enjoy the single player campaign in BF3? Did anyone buy BF3 for the single player campaign? No. You bought it for the multiplayer as did I. And it’s a wonderful multiplayer experience. One of the best games I have ever played. Hands down a far better game than MW3 (currently.)

But for how long? EA started selling unlocks that have an affect on gameplay as far back as BF2 (something I was not aware of when I purchased BF3.) They sold BF3 on the consoles under the precedent that official, dependable and balanced servers would be provided for the life of the game. Six months later they pass this cost onto the consumer in the form of rental servers. Rental servers that were marketed to the community as optional, as a great addition to the BF3 experience, never as a replacement to a feature the customer paid for when they purchased the game. Should we discuss on-line passes as well? I don’t believe I need to at this point.

“It’s only business,” is the battle cry of the unscrupulous, the motto of the dishonest.

You want to know which blog piece I wrote gets the most views? It’s this one:

Can’t connect to EA Servers? SOLVED… maybe.

I published that piece on December 17, 2011. It’s had over 8,211 views and climbing. That’s over 8000 people that have had issues at one time or another with EA servers and looked elsewhere for help because EA’s customer service is appallingly lax. That’s just on my tiny little insignificant blog in the middle of nowhere.

So, I have to ask everyone including myself, all things considered, why are we still purchasing games with EA’s logo on them?

Interesting enough, when I posted this on the Battleog forums I was met with such inane comments as, “you suxxors that’s why you’re mad,” and other childish derogatory flames that only serve to solidify one of my points. Who in their right mind would want to play on servers administered by these jackasses? If you’ve got five minutes to waste, go check out the thread. The shear stupidity will not disappoint. What’s really sad is EA is after the casual gamer market with these illiterate, egotistical idiots cheering them on and now representing them as server admins… You do the math.

BF3: I’m not the only one that thinks EA made a dick move…

I said it before, out of all the YouTube commentators out there, SpiderBite is the only one that can claim any journalistic integrity. Not only is he saying all the things I’ve been saying all along, but he’s even considering not renewing his rental server in support of the community.

BF3: Se(r)vering Ties…

The following might seem like bitter bullshit, but it isn’t. I’ll never saying anything bad about BF3′s gameplay. It’s one of the best games I have ever played. And for the most part, the brief ride has been enjoyable. Like I’ve stated many times here at TDCS, my gaming budget is limited. Had I known BF3 would turn into a fee to play business model, I would never have considered the purchase.

Recent events lead me to believe it is time to cut my loses.

THIS IS INTERESTING
A few days ago, I looked up the trade-in value of BF3 on amazon. It was $20. Today it is $10. In a matter of days the trade-in value dropped $10. Coincidence?

Black Ops trade-in value is $15. I popped BO in the other day and the lag is just as bad as it ever was. The game is unplayable for me. Weird how BO is worth more than BF3, eh?

TIME TO MOVE ON
Normally I would never consider trading in a game. It’s just a bad deal all around. But, like I said, my gaming budget is limited and today I saw Fallout 3 GOTY edition for under $20. I love Fallout 3, it is the first game I played on my 360 and I always planned to add it to my collection. I’ve never played any of the DLC, and never finished exploring the world because I finished the main quest-line too soon.

BF3 is a bitter disappointment now. We all know EA is not to be trusted. They’re too big for their own britches. I thought DICE would be a bit more dependable but now the trust is gone there as well. I think I may have had my fill of the MP shooter scene. Like I’ve said, how long before they start charging you for the ammo?

I don’t know. I’ll mull it over over the weekend.

Bitter, bitter disappointment.

EDIT: (later that evening, in the Batcave…) I mulled. I’ve decided to pull my horse out of this race. Monday, BF3 is on its way back to Amazon where it will undoubtedly sit with God knows how many other copies of BF3 in that sad, lonely pile of used games no one wants. The fact that it went from $20 to $10 in a couple of days can only mean that quite a few people are trading it in. Will EA make more money off of me if someone purchases an on-line pass? Maybe. Or maybe they’ll do their research and see what a rotten deal it is, paying for on-line pass to play on rented servers…

I hate that my BF3 experience ended on such a horrible note. C’est la vie. I certainly will not trust DICE again. EA is a tougher call. I’ve never trusted them but I’m partial to some sports games–most notably NHL–and unfortunately EA has the monopoly on those. FIFA 12 is the last EA game I will buy new. I’ll try to pick up NHL 12 (or 13 at a much later date) used when it becomes a bargain. I don’t play sports titles on-line so I’m not worried about that, they won’t get any money from me for any on-line passes. EA screwed up on-line competitive gaming in its sports titles the moment they started selling unlockables that have an affect on gameplay.

I could have bought Skyrim instead of BF3. I’d still be enjoying Skyrim right now if I had. All is not lost, I get a game I’ve always wanted out of the deal and the money I had set aside for the BF3 DLC is available now for something else. I’m thinking Arkham City GOTY.

I’ll keep in touch with the friends I met through BF3. Me and malteser can play some Merseyside Derbys (it’s a scouser thing) and I’ll just have to find another MP game to play with chad, erock and redout.

Still a bit sad my otherwise great BF3 experience ended in such a way. Corporations suck big jobs.

BF3: EA “Leaks” Information to Gullible Masses

So, BATTLEFIELDO is posting that they have some “exclusive,” “unofficial” (but from a reliable source, of course) news and dates for you. And guess what,  there’s a DOUBLE FUCKING XP WEEKEND TO BOOT!

Battlefield™ Premium will land you a number of content drops with unique in-game items not available anywhere else. First out is the one-of-a-kind Premium knife and black dog tag, plus a set of soldier camos, weapon camos, dog tags and Assignments that will make sure you stand out and get more personalization options.

Well spin my nipple nuts and send me to Alaska!

At this point people, I gotta tell you, in all honesty, if you buy this shit after everything they’ve pulled recently you are some dumb, fucking complacent consumer idiot masses. And you deserve to be treated as such.

You think you’re so clever and classless and free, but you’re still fucking peasants as far as I can see. ~ John Lennon

I was wondering why BATTLEFIELDO hadn’t chimed in on the server issues. Like I previously stated, none of these folk ever proclaimed to anything more than fan boyz, so don’t expect much from them. Certainly not journalistic integrity. Gotta kiss that ass if you want those exclusives, dontch’ya know!

WHERE ARE THE DICE SERVERS? SIGN THE PETITION
Stand up for yourselves for Christ sake. Loyal customers deserve better treatment than this.

BF3: Mainstream Gaming Media Chimes In On MIA Servers

It’s about fucking time. Way to jump on something I’ve been reporting for over a week now! I’m not complaining though.

Where Did All The Official Battlefield 3 Servers Go? @ Kotaku

Yet searches now find that almost every server is one of these rented ones. Which is a problem, because the rules on these servers can be all over the place; those wanting a straight, official game are finding it tough. It’s also an issue because it sure makes it look like EA and DICE are passing the cost of running this game onto consumers.

Official DICE servers disappear from Battlefield 3 @ VentureBeat /GAMESBEAT

Running a search on the PS3 version of Battlefield 3 this morning — by looking for the prefix P24 and the letters PRGM — I managed to track down just 17 EA-run servers. I could not find a single official DICE server. Compare this to the hundreds of private servers that were up and running, with names such as “Heaven & Hell,” “Guerilla_hilbily’S SERVER” [sic], and “Just 4 Fun 24/7” — most of which were completely empty. Anything with the word DICE in the title was simply a rented server with the official name dropped in by the host.

EA-run Battlefield 3 servers disappearing on consoles @ THE VERGE

EA began allowing players to rent out servers for the Xbox and PS3 versions of the game for $30 for 30 days — a fairly steep price to begin with. According to a number of Redditors (whose complaints were compiled by VentureBeat), those two platforms have seen a withdraw of “official” servers run by either EA or DICE since the private options were made available.

Official EA servers for Battlefield 3 console versions have been removed @ GAMINGBOLT

“I’m looking for official DICE/EA servers on the Xbox 360. There are none. You took that out, and let kids pay for your hosting,” said a user on the recent AMA thread (via Venturebeat) featuring Daniel Matros, the community manager of Battlefield, on Reddit.

Battlefield 3 Relying on its Community to Pay for Servers, Much to Players’ Chagrin @ 1UP

The ability to rent dedicated Battlefield 3 servers for use in the console versions of the game was a welcome addition back in March. Unfortunately, playing on these servers appears to have become the only option for playing online multiplayer, a development which understandably has fans of the game frustrated with Electronic Arts and DICE.

This is a great option to have, although the word ‘option’ is key. With very few exceptions, these servers are now the only ones available to be played on as EA and DICE have taken the majority of their official servers offline. This is problematic because there are no consistent rules on these rented servers, and it can be needlessly difficult to find an acceptable game. It’s more than the map and game mode these servers are dictating; some might have rounds that last an incredibly long time (which is no fun if one team is pushed back to its final base and its players die shortly after spawning) or admins that kick players for no legitimate reason. Whatever the particular case may be, it’s not always easy to find a player-run server that operates in the same way as one of the old official servers, which is how many players would like to play.

DICE servers disappear from Battlefield 3, rental servers take precedence @ VG24/7

Many Battlefield 3 players have noticed it’s becoming almost impossible to fine EA run servers for the game and DICE-hosted servers have all but disappeared from the game, while rental servers have been placed front and center…

Thanks to TTUVAPOR & NGG14 on the Battlelog forums for compiling this list.

Here are my related posts on this consumer issue:

WHERE ARE THE DICE SERVERS? SIGN THE PETITION
Stand up for yourselves for Christ sake. Loyal customers deserve better treatment than this.

BF3: YouBoobers Mum on Missing Official DICE Servers

A few weeks back I relayed a message from some big YouTube commentators (well, big for YouTube) in which they bitched and whined about BF3 balancing issues and how DICE doesn’t fix them rapidly enough. I know my tone here sounds like I’m credulous about the the issues, I’m not. The DART and suppression are problematic but they are not game breaking and will be fixed in time. DICE has a solid record with balancing and patching their games. Just ask DCRUColin. It may take them until 6 months after the final DLC is released but they will perfect their game. Fact is people, game balancing in these multi-player shooters will always be an ongoing process, it’s the nature of the beast. Deal with it. Though I do agree that there should be more frequent patches.

…after a couple of rounds I felt like I was stuck with a bunch of randoms playing a well polished clan. It wasn’t fun.

I find it hilarious that these “big” YouTube names so easily jump on these petty grievances and haven’t said one single word about the official servers going MIA on the consoles. In fact, when I tweeted a couple of them with snippy (but not personal) comments about the issue, they pretty much toed the company line.

Granted, none of them have ever proclaimed to be anything more than fan boys. And of all the commentators out there only SpiderBite acts like a real gaming journalist. GUNNS4HIRE used to have more of an edge but these days his reporting sounds more like he’s greasing the wheels a bit too much. And WOODY is always greasing the wheels, but he’s honest about it.

I realize that all these fellas have a horse in the EA rented server cash cow race. Regardless, the disappearance of official DICE servers is a serious consumer issue. This isn’t some petty grievance about, “y0, DICE, Y I K33P G3TT1N K1LL3D BY D4R7?

I’ll give CoD credit in that it was completely upfront and honest about its business model well before it released MW3. They gave me enough information so I could make an informed purchase decision. I chose not to buy MW3 because I foresee in some future iteration of the game they’ll be charging you for the ammo.

At the rate DICE is going they’ll be charging us for the ammo by the time the second DLC is released. Remember, DICE once implied that their DLC would be free.

“We don’t ever want to charge for our maps and insisted to EA that this attitude was crucial when it came to keeping our community happy and playing together,” DICE senior producer Patrick Bach told Xbox World 360 magazine.

Thing is, at the time I purchased BF3, I purchased it with the understanding that a safe, reliable and dependable environment would be provided as part of the purchase price. When the idea of rented servers was tossed around, nowhere or at any time did EA or DICE imply that this feature would come at the expense of official servers.

I have no problem with rented servers. I have no problem with paying for quality DLC. But when you take away a feature I have paid for I get more aggro’d than a Sand Giant in Desert of Ro when a level 10 stupidly runs by him.

I have not found a decent game since the patch. And I’ve tried and tried and tried the rented servers. I went on ARS Server last night. Good folk on the ars technica forums but after a couple of rounds I felt like I was stuck with a bunch of randoms playing a well polished clan. It wasn’t fun.

The beauty of the official servers is that they are a fair and balanced playing field. The rules are set in stone at the start and not randomly made up by admins with delusions of grandeur and warped senses of fair play that violate EA’s own rules. The official servers are dependable and good to go when you don’t have half an hour to spend searching for an acceptable rented server. The new playlists DICE introduced were wonderful and I found my self really enjoying the variety they added to my normal BF3 CQ only diet. I miss them sorely.

WAY TO STAND YOUR GROUND THERE GERALDO RIVERA!
And where do all the bastions of the BF3 community stand on this? Like I said, they all have a horse in EA’s race so don’t expect much. In fact, remember that little video I talked about at the beginning of this article? The one in which several prominent YouTubers banded together like some cheesy 80′s rock stars with a cause and denounced DICE for overdoing suppression. Yeah, that one.

Well, they recently posted the response to that video. In it you’ll find more sucking up to DICE than the entire British political spectrum and Scotland Yard have done to Rupert Murdoch over the last 40 years combined. That’s quite a feat. A feat well deserving of an award…

WHERE ARE THE DICE SERVERS? SIGN THE PETITION
Stand up for yourselves for Christ sake. Loyal customers deserve better treatment than this.

BF3: The EA Server Conspiracy Part Trois

DICE ACKNOWLEDGES SERVER ISSUE
Gleaned from MP1st.

So, thanks to reddit user hilkito being savvy (and calm) enough to post an AMA (ask me anything, you know, I had to actually look that acronym up; slaps head!) to BF3 Global Community Manager Daniel Matros, someone at DICE has finally acknowledged they aware of our pain.

“There is only so much physical space and digital space where you can have servers. The community requested an RSP programme and we delivered,” according to Matros. This makes sense, but at the same time, player should still be able to find servers that center around regular rules, set-ups and playlists that they’ve come to love. Luckily, Matros explains that DICE has taken notice of the feedback. “I’ve heard this for a while now and the feedback has gotten louder. This is definitely something I will raise when I get back into the studio tomorrow,” explains Matros.

When asked if the removal of DICE servers is a permanent move, Matros answered, “everything in the wonderful world of Battlefield is dynamic,” giving hope to those wishing for their return.
~ quoted from MP1st

TRANSLATION;

Servers cost money and even though we’ve made gazillions off the mindless consumer masses out there the ego ruled CEOs and stockholders are still too fucking cheap to purchase more servers, especially when the budget affects their bonus (important things in life, like yachts, cost a lot of money you know.)

We figured because you were all stupid enough to start paying for a feature we should be providing as part of your initial investment in our product you wouldn’t notice the sudden disappearance of something that has been there since launch. Lets face it, all things considered, it was a pretty reasonable assumption.

So yeah, we were gonna try and slip this one by you all but the poor kids running the Twitter feed all weekend have been beaten senseless with tweets about missing official servers. Seriously, JD’s in a daze, kid can’t even get up from the computer. We’ve tried everything, he just sits there babbling ‘please remember to always favorite private servers where you enjoyed the gameplay settings and the server admins’ over and over. It’s tragic, he won’t even touch his blood pudding.

In hindsight we probably should have gone with a different canned response. People might have forgotten about them in a few days if we had said the servers were simply down or in maintenance. Anyhoo, I’ll tell the Powers That Be that we didn’t take into account most of the idiots renting servers on the consoles are a bunch of spoiled brats with delusions of grandeur and warped senses of “fair” play and a majority of the community doesn’t really appreciate getting kicked and banned from servers because they killed the admin one too many times. They probably won’t listen, but I’ll relay the message. If you don’t mind, I have to go now, someone has to drive JD to the hospital.

Jokes aside, I am pleased that someone at DICE has acknowledged the issue. I’ll hold my breath in anticipation of a positive response but only because I really do like BF3. I have my doubts about how much will be done to rectify this problem. This is what corporations do. Electronic Arts’ goal is to take as much of our money away from us as possible while giving us the least amount in return. Corporations will persistently test the consumer’s tolerance.

That’s why it’s important you/we/us pay attention and not just mindlessly consume and complacently accept everything presented to us. If you feel wronged, even in seemingly trivial matters such as entertainment or gaming, you need to get up off your ass and scream to the heavens about it. Try it with me, “I’M MAD AS HELL AND I’M NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE.”

Questioning a corporation’s motives and demanding the most bang for your buck is hardly anti-free-market. We’re Americans for Christ’s sake! We’re the bastards that told the India Trading Company to fuck off and promptly deposited its merchandise into the Boston Harbor.

Don’t be a tool. Despite what corporations’ inflated egos leads them to believe, they need you more than you need them.

“The entire world economy rests on the consumer; if he ever stops spending money he doesn’t have on things he doesn’t need we’re done for.” ~ Bill Bonner

WHERE ARE THE DICE SERVERS? SIGN THE PETITION
Stand up for yourselves for Christ sake. Loyal customers deserve better treatment than this.

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