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Expect to this be the first in many of post-patch updates for Bad Company 2. DICE is already hard at work on their R8 client patch, so as long as I'm completely sucked into this game, I'll continue to react to the updates it'll get.
Battlefield: Bad Company 2’s been my one and only online addiction, nearing 90 hours of playtime since I got the game at launch. For some, it’s a small number, especially with some nearing their 200th hour, but Bad Company 2 is the rare and well, only, online game that I’ve genuinely stuck to, learning its weapons, its maps and attaining a level of combat awareness that I’ve never developed for any other online shooter. As of writing, the PC version seems to have been given preferential treatment, with constant server updates and it is always the first to receive patches. Last week, a massive balance patch was deployed for all PC users and with that has come with the usual moaning and groaning of things being too overpowered or things being nerfed beyond comprehension. Some of it justified, some of it overblown, let’s break down the major changes. The full changelog can be found here:
- Increased the base range of all Automatic and Semiautomatic weapons for more consistent close range combat
- Slightly increased the damage of Semiautomatic rifles over long range for more consistent damage output.
In theory: Everything hits harder, making magnum ammo that much more valuable and body armor that much more of a useful counter.
In practice: Honestly, this just seems like a way to get around the problem of BC2 having inconsistent hit registration. Its impact is hardly felt when playing, but simply knowing you’re doing more damage is reassuring.
- Increased the zoomed burst accuracy of LMGs and decreased LMG accuracy when moving to reduce LMG run and gun
- Decreased the base damage of the M60 and XM8 LMGs to bring them in line with the other LMG damage values.
In theory: Medics have a less god-like quality to them, as they won’t be able take lives as easily. Saving them, however? Well, get a troupe of medics together and they might as well be immortal juggernauts laying waste to the battlefield.
In practice: The M60 gained a reputation for being an absolute killing machine and its damage decrease is much welcomed, but it’s still undeniably a wicked weapon. The core complaint that seems to be going around with the LMG changes is that now they’re homogenous, that they all feel similar. This is far from the truth, with firing rates and accuracy ratings having huge effects on how the weapons handle. All in all, it’s a welcomed balance change.
- Slightly increased the damage of the AEK971, F2000, AN94, and AUG over long range to balance them with other Assault Rifles.
In theory: All assault rifles should be more desirable.
In practice: The AN-94 is the defacto standard. With its controlled burst-fire and its extremely high damage output, it’s the one gun that all assault players are gravitating towards. That said, I’m having a lot of fun with the AUG and the M416, and I switch between the two often, depending on the situation.
- Reduced the lethal blast range of the 40mm grenade and M2CG to highlight their role as a secondary weapon against infantry.
In theory: The 40mm and M2CG will stop being treated as primary weapons on the battlefield.
In practice: Well, at least I’m dying a lot more from bullets. Those explosive secondaries are still constantly being used and abused and I can’t say that I don’t enjoy using them. Deploying good old Carl Johnson on an unsuspecting mass of infantry is always a delightful sight. Making ammo boxes not generate more rocket/grenade ammo would definitely keep things in line, but I’m pretty pleased with the way things are now.
- Reduced the base damage of the PP2000 to balance the increased range.
- Increased the damage of the 9A91 over long range to balance its lower magazine size.
In theory: Engineers should generally be buffed.
In practice: This is probably one of the buffs that has received the least attention and resistance. I think it’s a smart move, giving engineers a clear advantage in close quarters combat due to all their weapons having insanely high rates of fire, while all other classes have the upperhand in range. Its impact is very clearly felt as I’ve developed strange feelings for the PP-2000.
- Increased the damage and range of the M9, M93 pistols to make them more desirable as a secondary weapon.
- Increased the range of the MP443 pistol to make it more desirable as a secondary weapon.
- Increased the damage of the MP412 over long range to balance its low rate of fire.
- Slightly reduced the rate of fire of the M1911 pistol to balance it with other pistols.
In theory: The M1911 will stop being the defacto standard for sidearms.
In practice: Yep, the MP-412 completely rocks even more and generally, the M1911 has slowly gone out of my general rotation in favor of all the other sidearms. While this is just personal experience, sidearm kills are coming more often from the MP-443 and the MP-412 when I get shot down.
- Significantly increased the speed of the Tracer Dart projectile to make it more effective against airborne targets.
In theory: Apaches now have something to fear.
In practice: “Significantly increased” is an understatement. Its speed has been increased not twice, not three times, no, four times faster. It’ll hit tanks from across the map in practically a blink of an eye and unless you’re playing in massive Conquest maps, like Atacama Desert, there’s a good chance whatever vehicle you’re piloting will get tagged if an engineer decides to whip one out. Though, in the many, many matches I’ve played since the patch, engineers still seem to carry around sidearms more often than tracer darts, so while not a complete gamechanger, it’s definitely something that’s just way too useful under the right hands, which is anyone who can point and shoot.
- Increased the reload time of the Mortar Strike and reduced the damage it does to heavily armored vehicles.
- Decreased the range of Bolt Action Sniper and Pump Shotgun Slug rounds when using Magnum Ammo for better Kit
In theory: Recons will be encouraged to get closer to the fight.
In practice: They’re even more useless. Bad recons have refused to adapt to the changes and instead, have become more wastes of space than ever before. Perched on a hill, where you can see a fraction of the map, you fire away, occasionally hitting a target. You feel good about yourself. I spawn on you and fire off smoke grenades, killing your line of sight. I detonate C4 around you and I watch you freak out, because you think it’s a mortar strike. Oh, you guys. Get the hell out of this game.
I generally like what the patch has done, but it has spawned some new issues. For one, the knife is beyond inconsistent, registering as kills when it shouldn't have and not recognizing a completely legitimate backstab a few minutes later. I've also wound up parachuting down while facing the other way, which is a funny little quirk more than anything. But beyond those two issues, it's been largely problem-free, doing more good than harm for me. There's definitely people having new issues ever since this patch was deployed, but that's generally the case with any major patch for any game.
So, things have been going well, with explosions still being deafening and white-knuckle. The kind of chaos and intensity Bad Company 2 is capable of generating has left me giddy for what a full-fledged, 64-player Battlefield 3 will bring, but I’m really happy with what’s here right now.