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Battlefield Heroes Goes Into Open Beta 43

Posted by Soulskill
from the theme-song-already-stuck-in-my-head dept.
EA Digital Illusions CE has quietly opened up the beta of Battlefield Heroes, their long-delayed, free-to-play shooter. After gradually scaling up the number of players in the closed beta, they've now made the game available to everyone and lifted the NDA. EA has not yet mentioned this in an official announcement, probably hoping to keep their servers from being overwhelmed. The game's website is now accepting signups. IGN ran a hands-on preview of Battlefield Heroes back in April.
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Battlefield Heroes Goes Into Open Beta

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  • This looks astonishingly like TF2 [teamfortress.com].

    Can someone who's played both give some feedback on differences/similarities?

    • Pretty different (Score:5, Insightful)

      by vecctor (935163) on Friday June 26, 2009 @09:19AM (#28480905)

      I didn't play Battlefield Heroes for more than 30 minutes, so someone can come in here and correct me, but aside from the "first impression" looks the games are completely different.

      BH plays in third-person, on large battlefield-style maps (capture points, tickets, etc) with a few slightly different classes that branch out more with additional unlocks - the unlock system being a very large component of the game in general. There are also vehicles on some maps.

      TF2 plays in first-person on maps with various objectives (some staged objective, some escort, some CTF, etc) with many classes that are very different and have some very specific interplay between them. There is an unlock system but it is fairly minimal.

      One could go into a lot more specifics, but that is the short version.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by rotide (1015173)
        Been beta testing for quite a while and your insight from your first impression is spot on.
    • It's nothing like TF2. TF2 is fun and amazing and BH is not. I'm not sure how much it's changed since I played it at PAX last year but back then we got bored playing it pretty fast and moved on and tried something else. It's an interesting idea but it's just not that fun.
  • its very much like TF2 however over at www.fileplay.net they have been giving away free beta keys to prety much anybody for at least the last 2 months!
  • Overload (Score:3, Funny)

    by Spazmania (174582) on Friday June 26, 2009 @08:54AM (#28480593) Homepage

    EA has not yet mentioned this in an official announcement, probably hoping to keep their servers from being overwhelmed.

    We can take care of that for you...

  • by rotide (1015173) on Friday June 26, 2009 @08:56AM (#28480621)
    Figured I'd post a little info about the game as I've been a beta tester for quite a while now.

    First, this is a FREE to play "web based" game. Web based is a bit misleading as while it is launched from a browser (ad supported), it is fully installed and runs fullscreen.

    Second, the game is a "cartoon shooter" based around 3 classes. The heavy Gunner, the light knife/sniper rifle toting Commando and the middle ground SMG using Soldier.

    You're able to level up much like in an MMO and every 2 levels you get another point to spend on new abilities. Burning Bullets, Stealth, Blasting Strike (an ability that knocks everyone back, including vehicles), etc. Currently the highest attainable level is 30 and it takes quite a while to get there.

    The game takes a lot from past Battlefield games. Controllable territory via flags placed around the maps. Airplanes, Tanks and Jeeps are all fully controllable.

    The only thing you can pay money for is "Battlefunds" (Roughly $5 for 700 Battlefunds). These can be used to buy outfits for your charater and give NO advantage to you. So someone that spends $100 on battlefunds will have zero tactical advantage over someone who never spends a penny. (For reference, a permanent Battlefund purchased item generally costs 560 Battlefunds but you can "rent" them for a month for 140 Battlefunds). There are also free points that you earn slowly during play called Valor Points. These can also be spent on "free" clothing in the in game store. There are also healing "widgets"/spells that you can pick up to heal you (and another type to heal your vehicle).

    Right now there are only 4 maps (2 infantry only and 2 with a moderate to heavy emphasis on vehicles). All of them feel very polished and fun to play over and over again. DICE has mentioned that they have new maps on the horizon.

    Now, my personal opinion. The game is about FUN. This isn't a hardcore shooter such as Counter-Strike and doesn't claim to be. This game is one of those that you can easily pick up and just have some fun! If you're looking for realism and a serious tournament game, look elsewhere. But if you just want some fun comedic gameplay (not all that much unlike Team Fortress 2) this game might be for you.

    Overall, coming from an old school Duke Nukem/Quake1/2/3/Counter-Strike/Battlefield player, this is a fun game. Give it a try if you want to see what it is about, again, it is FREE!

    • by TrippTDF (513419)
      Does the game have vehicle support? It seems stupid to charge for customizations that give no tactical advantage. However, and maybe they thought of this, what if they charged for certificates or licences to use vehicles? In other Battlefield games I have never been one for flying around, but some people loved it... if you charge just to have access to an entirely different dimension to the game, it would keep people from just paying for the best characters, while still generating some money for the com
      • Does the game have vehicle support?

        Tanks, jeeps, and planes.

        It seems stupid to charge for customizations that give no tactical advantage. However, and maybe they thought of this, what if they charged for certificates or licences to use vehicles? In other Battlefield games I have never been one for flying around, but some people loved it... if you charge just to have access to an entirely different dimension to the game, it would keep people from just paying for the best characters, while still generating some money for the company

        So, technically, there's a single "pay" item that sort of gives you an advantage; the XP booster. When you level up, you get a point to spend on "abilities" which will let you deal out more damage. But ... it's all relative. You are generally playing against people who are near your level.

        The whole concept of free games with micro-payments is an oversees concept that EA is trying out to see how it flies here in the US. I actually really enjoy the game, and could see spending $5 or $

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by PingSpike (947548)

        I suppose there are a few schools of thought on it...but IMO, if some guy could spend $500 and then run me over with with his adamantium plated hover tank with auto targeting laser systems while I flunk pebbles at him from a free slingshot...I wouldn't even download the client for free. Playing a game of "Who's got the most money?" isn't exactly something I would consider an enjoyable hobby activity, even if many hobbies somewhat boil down to that already.

        Its one of the reasons (I had others) that I wanted

        • by TrippTDF (513419)
          Playing a game of "Who's got the most money?" isn't exactly something I would consider an enjoyable hobby activity, even if many hobbies somewhat boil down to that already.

          Sad to say, but a lot of American society boils down to this.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by intheory (261976)

      I've also been playing in the beta, for about a month now. The game is fun and has taken me away from TF2 for a while but I dont think it has the staying power. I've played as Soldier and Commando, lvl 10 soldier, lvl 3 commando now.

      After playing in such a relatively well balanced game like TF2, there are some significant weapon balance issues. (i.e. knife versus SMG, tank vs dynomite). Team-based play mechanics isn't very strong--it is too easy to play as a lone ranger. There are some interface glitches an

    • by Threni (635302)

      What's the difference between the soldier and gunner class? I can't detect any. They seem to have a slightly different health system.

      Also, the powerup reward system seems confusing. I've earned some sort of `mission` for killing people, and I can drag it around. I don't get that at all.

  • I have been playing the closed beta for about 6 weeks. They have had some struggles, but that is to be expected with any beta. I find the game fun so far. It is certainly enjoyable for a "free" game. It's clear they want to explore the new micro-transactions market and see what they can do. I don't know how that will play out - you *CAN* play just fine without any of the "paid" items. What you can buy are items to change your appearance and XP and VP boosts which give you like 1.5x earning power for e
  • Just release it already!

  • by PrescriptionWarning (932687) on Friday June 26, 2009 @09:06AM (#28480751)
    on their website, it reminded me of the theme song intros to all those cartoons I grew up with, TMNT, GI Joes, etc. Can't wait to try out the gameplay, though its a shame it doesn't work in Linux so I'll have to boot up my windows gaming rig to play. Don't know yet if it works in OSX, but I doubt it.
  • by WiglyWorm (1139035) on Friday June 26, 2009 @09:14AM (#28480835) Homepage
    The game is good. In the earlier beta it had some horrific problems with the netcode/lag correction and hit detection. Aside from that, though, it is quite fun. I would say comparisons to TF2 are somewhat deserved. It is a class based FPS with objective oriented missions. The vehicles add an extra element, from jeeps which are a simple troop transport (which the passengers can shoot from) to tanks, to airplanes (which are mostly useless unless you have a joystick as they are near impossible to control), but they do function as a fast troop transport as one person can sit on each wing. Graphically, it's nothing to write home about (they're not bad, but come on, it's web based), however the level building/character customization aspects are a very interesting aspect. Each of the classes has unique abilities the ones I remember from the first beta include "I eat gernades" which allows the heavy gunner to eat gernades thrown by the enemy to heal himself, first aid "healing auras" that heal people around you. Etc. Further, the load out options add a whole lot of strategy to the game. There are various weapons from fast firing but low accuracy, to high accuracy slow, to close range high damage. Secondary weapons add even more strategy by allowing you to use gernades for anti personal, dynamite for anti-tank/booby traps. There are some comical elements such as the ammount of knock back caused by explosions, but the strategic gameplay of capture points, and the map design were all very good. Over all, I recomend at least giving this game a shot, especially considering the price. While I never went back to the beta when they reopened, I do wish I had, it was because of time that I didn't, not because of any lacking in the game's fun factor.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by WiglyWorm (1139035)
      I saw some posts above citing lack of speed as a detracting factor in this game. I would like to disagree, and here's why: The passenger vehicle elements are there, and proper strategy might dictate riding a jeep back and forth from spawn point to objective (and to strategic flanking points near the objective), ferrying people much more quickly than they could ordinarily move. The massive scale of the maps coupled with the slow movement allows for a much larger tactical and strategic scope while the comedi
  • It's highly likely that that non-paying players will have vastly inferior equipment than anybody that paid for "add-ons". To put things in perspective: non-paying players will be there as free cannon fodder for the entertainment of the paying ones.

    EA has done this to paying costumers on previous versions of the Battlefield series: even before fixing all the worst bugs in the previous version of the game, they would put out game expansions which not only had new maps (perfectly fair) but also new and superio

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by rotide (1015173)
      Entirely FALSE.

      The only things you can buy with real money are:
      Clothes
      XP Boost Widget
      VP Point Boost Widget

      That's it. Clothes don't help you tactically in any way, VP points you get anyways and XP, while it will unlock abilities for you faster, doesn't give you anything playing will already give you over time.

      So again, FALSE. There is nothing you can spend real money on to make you more formidable. Well, maybe a faster computer, but I digress.

  • by Lars T. (470328) <Lars...Traeger@@@googlemail...com> on Friday June 26, 2009 @09:26AM (#28481039) Journal
    A stylized rifle with four colored buttons which you have to press just in time to kill the enemies - why, that sounds like a sure hit to me.
  • by Garbad Ropedink (1542973) on Friday June 26, 2009 @09:52AM (#28481459)

    A couple months back I was accepted into the Battlefield Heroes closed beta, so I downloaded, installed it, then after about 20 minutes of play I promptly deleted it.
    It's like Battlefield 1942 except with all the fun stuff taken out. Seriously, it's a beautiful looking game, but that's it. The controls are dodgey, the weapons are weak, and the unlockables expire. Since this is an EA game you can pay real world money to get unlockables, which after a week will expire and be deleted from your inventory. I suppose that's the next step for DLC, and they've gotta test the water somewhere.

    If you want to play a fun cheap battlefield game, then pick up Battlefield 1942, or Battlefield 2, they're bargain bin games now and are still great fun to play. Battlefield Heroes is just a dumbed down piece of crap designed to make you watch ads, and surreptitiously take your money.

    • by daskro (973768)

      I share the same sentiment entirely. Battlefield Heroes attempts to take "the fun elements" of BF1942 and put them into a highly accessible format, but fails in that it fundamentally misunderstood why the previous Battlefield games were so popular. BF1942 was fun because the vehicles were easy to operate, but had the right balance of real world and cartoon physics to make the entire interaction fun to play and watch. The bugs and idiosyncrasies of BF1942 also made the game so memorable; the planes could

    • They are trying for the casual market to be honest. They are making a cartoonish game so they don't have to upgrade the graphics evey 2 years. They simplify the classes and make the damage model so that you can't be griefed by snipers (much) or people with shot guns. They want a game for even teens to get into without having to worry about the MA rating.

      All that being said, while the game was technicaly fun, after you get fairly proficent at it you realize that eveyone in the game is a "lone wolf" and
  • Its so easy to get into. Download, install, then create a character. Once all thats done, hit the play game button and get "could not find a suitable server". So you try again, and the same happens. And again. So you create a different character, but that doesnt help either.

    Ive been playing for about an hour, and ive not had a bad moment - no dying to crits, no random grenade killing me, no teammates being assholes, nothing! All games should just replace the actual game with "could not connect you", then th

  • According to the wikipedia article about this game, it has less emphasis on "skill and strategy." I got my beta key a couple months ago and found that to be true.

    Most battles in the game turned into little more than a painfully slow circle strafe duel. Even if you hid and got a first surprise attack in, the default weapons are so weak that the surprise attack helps very little -- your opponent will turn around, find you, start shooting you back, and you'll stand there for awhile shooting each other hoping

    • by mdmkolbe (944892) on Friday June 26, 2009 @12:29PM (#28484331)

      I've found BH emphasizes strategy more than many other games. You just have to use very different strategies than in most other FPS. Once I stopped relying strategies I learned from other FPS and instead analyzed BH's strategic dynamics to develop BH specific strategies, my scores shot up to where I am regularly the high scorer on any server.

      I'll grant that BH is not strategic like maybe Rainbow 6 or AA. BH requires a much more dynamic strategy than that. Nevertheless, you can't bunny-hop or twitch shoot your way out of trouble so you have to be very situationally aware and strategically maneuver yourself into positions where you are more likely to kill than be killed.

      Maybe BH isn't right for you, but if you want to give it another go, here are some tips. If you want to win at BH, you need to:

      1. Understand the balance between going for kills and going for flag captures (i.e. kills get your team points, flags give your team a multiplier on those points). You must balance the two.
      2. Understand the role your class plays in helping your team (e.g. soldier is the medic/grunt, commando should either be hazing with sniper shots or going invisible for behind-enemy-lines flag captures)
      3. Equip the right weapons and understand when to use them (i.e. long vs short range gun, shootgun vs machine gun, dynamite). You will have to buy some of these weapons, but earning "money" is fairly easy relative to how long items last. I've never needed to spend real world money to get the right equipment even though I play only rarely (i.e. I'm not maximizing my earnings and items are more likely to need to be replaced between sessions).
      4. Understand what vehicle to use when (e.g. dogfights in a plane may be fun, but they rarely help your team).
      5. Build your character's abilities and understand when to use those abilities (e.g. heal). (It also helps to remap your mouse buttons for faster access to the right abilities/weapons.)
      6. Move with a pack. A pack can do more damage per second.
      7. Move with a pack. A pack can take more damage per second without dieing.
      8. Move with a pack. A pack allows you to take advantage of your teammate's power-ups (e.g. a nearby teammate that uses "heal" will also heal you).
      9. Move with a pack. Some abilities actually give you a bigger boost when you share the ability with friendlies (e.g. when you use "heal" you get more of your own HP healed if you used it to also heal friendlies).
      10. Move with a pack. You will have more tactical options (e.g. stepping out of harms way for half a second to reload or recharge an ability) when there is an entire pack to keep the tangos busy.
  • 4Gb firefox plugin? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by imrehg (1187617)

    Are you kidding me?
    Download the game as a _4Gb_ Firefox plugin? One of the stupidest idea, IMHO.....

    No possibility of changing install location, I wonder when was the last time I had 4Gb free space in c:\... must been some time before i installed openoffice.org.

    • I saw the same thing -- Firefox reported the plugin (before & during download) as an expected 4gb -- but the actual download completed after about 1mb. Looks like the plugin itself is a little under 2mb as installed.

      Dunno about the game itself -- the updater/installer is running now and appears to have grabbed about 200mb, roughly 1/3rd of the way across the progress bar. I hope it's not a 4gb download -- I might have enough space to download that, OR install it, to my C: drive, but certainly not both

  • The summary is wrong, this isn't an open beta, it's the game being released.
  • When I first scanned the news headlines, I thought someone had released a game called "Battlefield Herpes".

  • by Dunkirk (238653) *

    I've been beta testing it for months. I was having a pretty good time with it. A couple weeks ago, they re-leveled all the classes, and it stopped being any fun for me.

    Up until that point, I was getting annoyed at how unavoidable getting killed by snipers was. Now, they have a policy that there should be no one-shot-one-kills in the game, but it seemed like half the time you got sniped, you couldn't get to cover fast enough to avoid the second shot and death. Now that they changed the classes, you WON'T get

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