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No More Battlefield 2 Expansions

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the five-easy-payments-of-$9.99 dept.

PC Games (Games) 36

1up reports that (at the moment) there are no further plans for any Battlefield 2 expansions. Instead, EA and DICE will be releasing 'Booster Packs' with smaller amounts of additional content. Each pack will retail for $9.99 and be downloadable from EA's site. From the article: "Due to the expansion pack cancellation, though, DICE has told investors of slightly lower project revenues for fourth quarter 2005, but they plan on recovering through higher royalty rates through the first half of this year. The packs themselves are fairly substantial; Euro Force contains a new primary weapon, four vehicles (including the Eurofighter) and the Operation Smoke Screen, The Great Wall of China and Taraba Quarry maps. "

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EURO FORCE = EDDIE IZZARD AIRBORNE TRANNIE BRIGADE (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14464626)


Re:EURO FORCE = EDDIE IZZARD AIRBORNE TRANNIE BRIG (1)

bitkari (195639) | more than 8 years ago | (#14465651)

Le Sarge est dans l'arbre?

No More Expansions? Not Necessarily... (1)

Shimdaddy (898354) | more than 8 years ago | (#14464655)

The actual article says "It's not known if the packs are a permanent replacement for any possible expansion packs in the future." All this article says is that the plan for a current exapansion pack has been scrapped, and DICE's efforts have been focused into two Booster Packs, which are "fairly substantial."

I play a ton of Battlefield (too much, probably) and I think these are a great idea. Not only are they cheap ($10 US) but they are offered through the EA Downloader. EAD may not be as mature as Steam, but it works just fine for me.

In other words... (1)

dhakbar (783117) | more than 8 years ago | (#14464658)

EA is a bunch of money whores.

PC gaming really is going to die if all anybody does is release overpriced expansion after overpriced expansion. Come on, EA, can't we just get some new games?

Re:In other words... (1)

FortKnox (169099) | more than 8 years ago | (#14465222)

Its actually the opposite. Normally, they'd put two of those packs together, call it an addon and charge $30. This is a smaller and easier to deal with plan. I think if this is successful, we won't be seeing many major expansions and, instead, get small expanses really cheap. And they have to make something 'special' in each one, cause you can get quality maps and mods for free.

exactly (1)

abandonment (739466) | more than 8 years ago | (#14467048)

this is exactly my opinion - i bought the special forces 'expansion pack' and, while it's fun, the simple fact that it's a whole new 'game' is a bit thin. what would be cool instead is if they had the core 'bf2' game, and then had these new roles, weapons and vehicles integrated into the game so that it expands the core game without requiring that you have every single add-on to play with the same online community.

with expansion packs (at least done like spec forces), you end up fragmenting your existing player base into smaller and smaller chunks comprised of only people that bought the full game & whatever add-on.

providing a way for users to expand the core game gives alot more variation to the game, while keeping the entire community in 'one' game effectively.

much better idea.

only issue with this is preventing users that have NOT purchased the content from using and/or unlocking it once they have it downloaded, but this is a fairly minor detail compared to the benefits.

Re:In other words... (2, Insightful)

Edgewize (262271) | more than 8 years ago | (#14465254)

As a PC gaming fan, you buy new games. You'd be surprised that many people do NOT buy new games. They only buy the games that they have heard other people say good things about over a long period of time.

John Q Public is too dumb or apathetic to find out about what new games to buy for his 10-year-old son. But he might recognize an established name that's gotten positive word-of-mouth, see a new edition of it, and buy that.

This is why Madden is successful. This is why Tiger Woods is successful. This is why the Burnout games sel so well. It's why publishers talk in terms of "franchises".

Any company that's looking for long-term profit has no incentive to create new games just for the sake of being new. Properly managed franchises will always outsell new concepts.

(Whether or not franchises like Madden or Burnout are well-handled is a totally separate issue, but you certainly can't argue with them based on sales charts...)

Re:In other words... (1)

dhakbar (783117) | more than 8 years ago | (#14466740)

It's also what ruined EverQuest, Ultima Online, Asheron's Call, Star Wars: Galaxies, not to mention a MUD I used to play. Creating a base game and then endless expansions is a business model that often ends up fundamentally changing good games into piles of gimmicks, used to sell the new expansions.

Download (1)

XFilesFMDS1013 (830724) | more than 8 years ago | (#14464661)

Or just download them for nice easy payments of nothing....

On the whole though, I quite like BF2, except for the fact that it needs a graphics card about $200 out of my price range. Actually the specs for it confused me ever since it came out, what exactly is so special about the game that it requires all this new stuff to play?

Re:Download (1)

dhakbar (783117) | more than 8 years ago | (#14464939)

"what exactly is so special about the game that it requires all this new stuff to play?"

Inefficiency.

Re:Download (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14465157)

my guess is that the EA code monkeys only work for bananas, not out of will to make amazing games.

Re:Download (1)

grumpygrodyguy (603716) | more than 8 years ago | (#14468217)

my guess is that the EA code monkeys only work for bananas, not out of will to make amazing games.

Actually these are probably great elephant programmers who love to make games and code for peanuts but are worked 80hrs a week. Oh, and Interface Programmers, quality assurance, field testing, etc. are nowhere to be found in the budget.

Re:Download (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 8 years ago | (#14467073)

I've played 64 player games using an Ati Radeon 8500 (of course, minimum detail and not very great performance but playable). What's your price range?

I guess they realise how boring their last one was (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14464674)

Speacial forces was a big waste of money...

These booster packs do sound promising.

Please fix the original game first? (1)

shredwheat (199954) | more than 8 years ago | (#14465259)

I wasn't too impressed with Battlefield2 anyways because it was eternally buggy and wreaked of poor implentation all the way through.

I pretty much gave up on it when all the game news shifted to the first expansion, rather than on how they were going to fix the original problems.

Re:Please fix the original game first? (1)

josteos (455905) | more than 8 years ago | (#14465769)

The BF2 engine is a work of art to behold.

The BF2 game is a naughty limerick scrawled inside a public restroom.

Unadvertised features of BF2:
  • Server Browser doesn't understand why PING! values matter, so it guesses (999 for a server down the street?)
  • Server Browser is sensitive and doesn't take kindly to rough handling. Poke it a few times, or change its filters, and it just stops working
  • Damage feels random. Drop any two players in a jar; shake them up: I honestly couldn't predict which would win
  • Virtually impossible to destroy air units
  • Some teammates show as being on the other team
  • Some class abilities damn near useless (engineers) because idiot teammates keep driving over your VERY WELL MARKED land mines & the punish you for the resulting teamkills
  • Choose your unlock weapons carefully, cuz you can't go back and change them once your realize how bad the are unbalanced
  • Lethal sniper rifles aren't acccurate or lethal. They're mostly just frustrating.
  • Base game has been patched, but major issues abound. So EA/DICE release an expansion instead of making the main game solid. Added bonus: expansion is supposedly buggier. I wouldn't know first hand; my wallet voted NO
  • EA/DICE allows players with Spec Forces to use those unique weapons in the game. This pissed me off as it feels like they are trying to force people to buy the expansion in order to keep up with the arms race.
  • more..... but I gotta work instead


On the plus side, they did release a SDK, and I think once I have some time I'll try making a mod to the game.

Re:Please fix the original game first? (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 8 years ago | (#14467075)

I stopped playing because of the server browser and it's a little depressing to think it's still broke. Ugh.

Re:Please fix the original game first? (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 8 years ago | (#14467102)

Virtually impossible to destroy air units

Tried heavy MGs? The MGs mounted on most vehicles are said to do quite some damage to helis. Of course you won't take it down before it takes you down 1-on-1 but there's only one or two helis on a map so it evens out.

It's all about the maps: expect more booster packs (1)

pkw111 (136176) | more than 8 years ago | (#14465439)

The new maps are the big thing here. The new weapons and vehicles are not really going change anything in terms of basic gameplay. EA has to officially realease maps for them to be available on 'ranked' servers.

  For those who don't know, bf2 has a point-tracking sytem that lets you rank up and earn new weapons/badges, etc. EA makes a HUGE profit on renting ranked servers. They have to be officially managed, and cost several times the normal cost per slot vs. unranked servers.

They will be releasing whatever kind of booster packs they can to try and keep people hooked on the 'ranked' experience as long as possible....keep milking that cash cow. They will be facing some stiff competition in the coming few months as a few MAJOR mods (as in free) are released. Those mods will of course be unranked, so this actually might make for some good competitiveness in the mod/xpack market. EA will be trying to keep us hooked with good content at an appropriate price, otherwise we will all be switching to Desert Conflict (desert combat of bf2) or POE2 or Battlegroup2 or Pirates2 or whatever.

Lets see what EA/Dice can offer up. I'll try the first one. Funny, because I never bought any of the xpacks for original bf1942...

Re:It's all about the maps: expect more booster pa (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 8 years ago | (#14467138)

Ranked servers cannot be free because otherwise people would set up private ranked servers where they and their friends (or other accounts) can point whore in a coordinated fashion or run mods that give them huge bonuses that get entered into the ranking.

You're free to ignore the ranking and play on unranked servers.

Good old EA. (1)

MaWeiTao (908546) | more than 8 years ago | (#14465564)

These booster packs are the kind of thing that another company would offer for free. Some have said that these sorts of add-ons used to come free in BF1942, when EA had less control. Might as well download free custom mods which offer more than those booster packs.

BF2 is a fun game, but its had far too many bugs, a number of poor design choices and an awful menu design. The Special Forces expansion pack was met with a bit of disappointment. Good old EA... At least they're consistent, you can expect them to turn anything into crap. It's like the reverse of the Midas touch.

Re:Good old EA. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14466254)

I love this attitude. Yeah, many devs and publishers are going to spend time and effort adding content out of the goodness of their hearts and their love for the pathetic geeks that play their games. You know what, screw you. If their product sucks don't buy it. If they don't have enough content to keep you gaming for 400+ hours, play another game or leave the basement.

Re:Good old EA. (1)

grumpygrodyguy (603716) | more than 8 years ago | (#14467901)

You know what, screw you. If their product sucks don't buy it.

How are you supposed to know it sucks until you buy it?

The FPS+vehicles genre is something millions of people have been waiting to see improved, EA and DICE disappointed a lot of people by neglecting design and quality control. There should be some level of pride and responsibility in the things you build. The menu system alone is horrible, it looks like something from 1995. DICE probably gave one intern a week to build it, pathetic and inexcusable. Sadly there just aren't any alternatives to BF2 which off the same level of graphics+gameplay...if there were such a game many people would gladly switch.

Re:Good old EA. (2, Insightful)

quantax (12175) | more than 8 years ago | (#14466332)

Its funny, with any other decently made game, Id be jumping at an opportunity for more content but while BF2 is very fun to play, the stuff that happens ouside of the actual game really drags it down. Like as you mentioned, the TERRIBLE menu system which somehow is worst than BF1942's menu system (1942's wasnt too bad, but aren't interfaces supposed to get better, not worst?). The most glaring and sad of these problems is the fact that the server browser is essentially broken and needs to be coddled to work. Basically, you hit the update button and DO NOT TOUCH ANYTHING ELSE, since if you do, all of a sudden, the list of servers is non-existant or bizarrely truncated. Keep hitting that update button again, it won't do jack until you restart the entire game. Thats right, you need to quit BF2 and restart it just because you decided to use the server filters which are right there in the server browser but yet break the entire thing once you use them.

What makes this so sad is that: 1) The game purposely nerfed the single-player side of the game as a way to motivate *cough* force players to play online if they really wanted to feel the full scope of the game. 2) They impliment an entire online ranking system complete with weapon-unlocks and such for these purposes. 3) Despite this focus on MP, the server browser was roughly 50% broken on the games release, often freezing the entire game and requiring the user to restart the game just to be able to join a server to play the damn thing. Wtf?

Now, I will admit, once you get past these annoyances and enter an actual server, I've always had a great deal of fun playing the damn game. Thus, it stumps me to think of why the game engine performs better and is more reliable than the menu system. The fact that BF2 has gotten 3 patches so far (pretty sure its 3), including the one released AFTER the special forces expansion and the menus are still broken is one sad ass commentary on EA's support system. Its only in the upcoming patch that the team has indicated it will fix the broken server browser. Sorry, but 3 patches and an expansion later and you still haven't fixed a basic problem that allows players to play your game without a lot of hassles, thats retarded/negligent/shows a total lack of care for your customers.

In conclusion of this rant I say, A) I shall continue to enjoy BF2 in its original form plus patches (hopefully including the one that supposedly will fix the server browsr), B) Fuck the special forces expansion especially since some of the stuff in it should have debatably been included in BF2 originally, C) Fuck any booster packs, get fixing basic problems with the game and maybe I will feel confident that any product I purchased will not immediately be dropped for the next for-pay expansion regardless of its problems. I hope that a majority of the original customers of the game do the same since EA has a bad habit of expansioning-away its original game problems.

Re:Good old EA. (1)

grumpygrodyguy (603716) | more than 8 years ago | (#14467976)

Well written post, I agree with all of your points.

Companies like EA really do stand to benefit from making their games cleaner. Most of what makes games sell is word of mouth, not marketing or space on retail shelves. When I've played a great game I tell people about it, when I see a potentially great game ruined with cheesy design decisions and abysmal quality control I tell people about it.

The best way to advertise and thus boost sales for a game is to take pride in quality! EA should listen to their customers, especially the ones who are bitching! If one person complains about something there are 10,000 others pulling their hair out over the same issue! =(

How expensive can it really be to keep a few competant programmers working these problems?

Re:Good old EA. (1)

quantax (12175) | more than 8 years ago | (#14469871)

That's probably the most annoying part of it all: the problems I mentioned aren't like Star Wars Galaxies level balancing issues in which by making a single change, you automatically piss off a couple thousand people. No, its a simple matter of making the menu system and server browser work which I figure is several orders of magnitude lower in complexity than the game engine itself. Assuming they couldnt fix it for the games release, it should have been dealt with on the first patch. Disappointing to see something you enjoy get such shoddy handling by the company that published it.

Re:Good old EA. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14466748)

I love Special Forces. Six good infantry maps and more equipment to play with. I've been playing it exclusively since it was released.

Honestly, community-made maps are rarely as good as those produced by the developer so I'm looking forward to these booster packs.

Expansion pack/2 = Booster packs? (1)

MMaestro (585010) | more than 8 years ago | (#14465711)

Is it just me or does it sound like EA is simply trying to goad people back into buying expansion packs again simply by renaming and repackaging them?

Corporate Costs (1)

BrookHarty (9119) | more than 8 years ago | (#14465900)

When a company gets as big as EA, if it doesnt make big enough profit on low budget products.

Doing smaller packs downloadable only from the web might be their only solution.

This is why I like indy products more, usually better quality, cheaper, and more innovative.

valve releases map makers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14466862)

instead of charging $10 for 3 maps you get 100s of maps for $0.

I was going to buy BF2 until i heard about this. BF2 just looks like an amazing game, but they just lost a customer.

Re:valve releases map makers (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 8 years ago | (#14467259)

DICE releases map makers and mod tools, too.

Re:valve releases map makers (1)

InsideTheAsylum (836659) | more than 8 years ago | (#14467581)

These are official "ranked" maps that count towards you global ranking. The higher your ranking, the more weapons you can access, the higher of prefference you recieve in game when applying for commander. It makes perfect sense for DICE to only let authorized maps count towards this ranking, but you are more than free to play on the thousands of other custom player created maps.

BF2 was bad, IMO. Let's look to the future. (1)

DrunkenTerror (561616) | more than 8 years ago | (#14467688)

I bought BF2. Put it down after a bit for the same reasons others have listed in this discussion. I'm not gonna restate the problems with BF2. I'd rather ask you people this: What games are you looking forward to in 2006?

ET:QW is the only game on my radar for 2006 so far.

Basically, ET play mechanics (which I like) set in a sci-fi Quake universe. Humans vs Strogg.

So far what I think makes it stand out to me:

-Unlimited draw distance, no fog or pop-up

-Asymetrical, yet balanced factions. Meaning, both sides don't have the same (or incredibly similar) weapons. Humans tend to have machine guns and tanks and helos, while the Strogg will have a big-ass walker (heavy armor, heavy damage, but slow) and laser guns and shit. This could be cool, each side having distinct, unique gear, instead of carbon copy armies fighting with the same pallet-swapped eq.

-Not Sucking on Foot. I've read numerous times about how the devs are taking great care to make it so you can stil kick ass and succeed if you didn't get a vehicle.

-No Ranked Server BS

Links:
Typical id/Activision pre-launch site. Has trailer. [enemyterritory.com]
Dev's Site [splashdamage.com]
Decent summary of tidbits [team501.com]

Re:BF2 was bad, IMO. Let's look to the future. (1)

Bobsledboy (836872) | more than 8 years ago | (#14470633)

Is it going to be free like the first ET?

BF2 had great potential, but terrible execution (1)

grumpygrodyguy (603716) | more than 8 years ago | (#14467816)

BF2 is a travesty. The gameplay is sluggish, most of the weapons aren't acurate...the recoil algorithm is ridiculous, even with the MG in prone position...the interface is atrocious...it's still full of unaddressed(read ignored) bugs. The game has more problems than I care to list. Instead of focusing on new and better ways to take cash from their customers, these jokers should be fixing the broken product many paid good money for.

DICE and EA will get nothing more from me.

The end of the game... (1)

olof (28591) | more than 8 years ago | (#14470399)

This pretty much marks the end of the BF2 game... what DICE and EA has done here is an interesting innovation, though. Sell a basic game where the weapons suck and sell expansion packs where you get access to better weapons (the SF unlocks are quite nice, I expect the boosterpack guns to be even better). So, unless you like playing public at a disadvantage you are forced to buy their packs. Then, the only reason to play public is to keep up your aim between the matches and in the matches no unlocks are used. So .. all serious players are forced to play public at a disadvantage to the n00bs with using unlocks. No fun, the serious players will leave BF2 and then the game will die. Too bad, it could have been good.
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