The Exodus to BC2

CARNALDESTRUCT | 31 May 2010 | 21 comments (off)

With all the hype from the release of Battlefield: Bad Company 2 (BC2), there have been many changes within some of our FPS divisions. Anyone who visits the TOG Teamspeak server regularly would see that the BC2 division channels and numerous sub-channels are packed virtually day and night. While it’s great to see such a huge response to a new game, it led me to wonder two things:

  1. How could so many people afford to give up their jobs?
  2. What sort of impact is BC2’s success having on other TOG Divisions?

The second question, admittedly, weighed more heavily on my mind than the first, particularly as I seem to be one of those people the game doesn’t really appeal to (I’d had a go at the beta version but couldn’t really see what all the fuss was about). I figure I’m missing something there, given TOG is represented in-game in huge numbers, and that the BC2 forums are seeing an awesome amount of activity. Which is terrific – don’t get me wrong – but I’ve still felt a sadness watching the Battlefield 2142 Division dwindle as a result of BC2 (and the lack of the long-awaited BF2142 patch!), with the loss of a lot of the threads and chatter within the forums and on TS. It’s been my home within TOG since I joined, and, although seeing all of these guys joining up with people from other divisions within BC2 is terrific, I’m sure some friendly rivalry has ensued.

With the attrition of the BF2142 Division in mind, I thought I’d ask around and see if other Divisions were seeing a loss of players to BC2, and if so, how they were coping and what sort of impact it was having, if any. I had three questions:

  • What effect has the release of BC2 had on your Division?
  • Has BC2 affected ladder matches or competitions?
  • Do you expect players to return to the Division once the novelty wears off?

I got some pretty interesting responses, some of which I thought I’d share with you all. Please note that some quotes have been edited for clarity or shortened, and that they do not reflect the views or opinions from everyone in that Division.

...for a game that is over 4 years old we are doing pretty good.

Call of Duty 2

“People come and people go, especially for a game that is over 4 years old we are doing pretty good. We have more people coming than we do going, so that is a positive!”

I must admit I play a little less COD4 myself since the release of BFBC2...

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

“In my view you will always have players coming and going be it based on new games or RL influences, yes a new game may mean its a larger exodus at once but in the end its the nature of the beast and you move on and concentrate on having fun in game with the people who are left, I’m guessing its to do mainly with the quality of the cod4 division and its leadership but there have been several times in its life where its happened but its still always been a fun place to play with a strong sense of mate ship.”

“The damage was really done with MW2 however I think BFBC2 will draw those very same players away from MW2 as well.”

“I must admit I play a little less COD4 myself since the release of BFBC2. For me the attraction is the larger based squad game, bigger maps are a plus and the game isn’t filled with as much nonsense as MW2 i.e. way to many perks etc.”

“I guess it comes down to when theirs change do you lament the loss or make the most of what remains”

MW2 is a different product with a different style, and I don't think the majority would give up one for the other...

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

“To me the 2142 boys have a bigger problem because it’s exchanging a similar game for a new and improved version (similar mechanics, game style and publishing company). MW2 is a different product with a different style, and I don’t think the majority would give up one for the other.”

“I can see maybe less time spent on MW2 but never an exodus never to return.”

“I have to say, I don’t think I’ve played MW2 at all since BC2 came out.”

“Competitive MW2 hasn’t really gotten off the ground, IMO. Lack of dedicated server support has likely been the biggest culprit but the internal comps we have running are very fun. I’m jonesing competitive game play since I have issues with Win7 and PB which MW2 doesn’t fill and I’m sure BC2 won’t either”

...it has affected our ability to play ladder matches and comps, and I think that has been reflected in the wider 2142 community...

Battlefield 2142

“By losing a large part of our player base, it has affected our ability to play ladder matches and comps, and I think that has been reflected in the wider 2142 community. But having said that, the GA ladder has been dwindling for several years, and it was unsure if there would be a competition this year even prior to the release of BC2. Within our Division the DC’s and SL’s are working to find what sort of player base we still have and looking at what matches and comps suit the Division. Playing survivor was a lot of fun, but survivor doesn’t suit everyone. Even the WOFTAM and NOOB awards were struggling to get nominations every month. This game however still has a lot of people playing and holds full servers a lot of the time.”

...there has been no real contender to replace BF2 in the last 5 years, and 5 years is a long time in gaming...

Battlefield 2 Division

“An effect on the division – yes and for two reasons.

  1. The Game?
    When BF2 came out is was as anticipated as was BC2 - something different something shiny and new offering better game play better graphics better everything. I would have to say that most gamers crave the better game, especially in a particular genre, so it is a given that when a promising game is released most will get it, if it is as good as the hype, most will play it. BC2 is probably more so because there has been no real contender to replace BF2 in the last 5 years, and 5 years is a long time in gaming. (...) BF2 had a good run, but like most ‘old’ things, it has become familiar to most, no real challenges that a gamer can achieve and a game play that is predictable. A lot had already left for this reason before BC2 started.
  2. The Forum structure.
    This is by no means a criticism, but the forums are set up for a game. A logical set up by the way.  So if gamers have migrated to BC2 it is obvious they will play in the BC2 Forum, this does not have to be exclusive, but will mostly occupy their time.
    With this being the case, activity in their old forums i.e. BF2 decrease. It may not mean they (the gamers) do not ever play BF2 again, but the forum will not be a focus. The flow on effect is that if one doesn’t take an interest, why would others. In this scenario the Forum then becomes a place that will have no real content or interest to them.  The end result is a Forum that services a few not the many and the time will come when the forum is no longer a space that provides a real and necessary presence. A look through the TOG archives will be testament to this.”

...very few people here have been hanging out for something new. We're... content.

Team Fortress 2 Division

“Bad Company 2 is good. Better than I was expecting actually. I was sick for the last two weeks and the TOG BC2 server was full by lunchtime even on weekdays so I racked up a lot of hours on it. (though, nowhere near the hours some of those guys did, when do they sleep?) And my TF2 hours and skills are both suffering for it. That said, the only real game play mode I like so far is rush and there simply aren’t enough rush-mode maps to keep me interested in the long-term. Decent community maps take a while to come through and because they need to be so big, I suspect we’ll see a lot fewer good custom maps in BC2 than we do in TF2. I’m interested in BC2 competitively, but currently only to the extent that I might shout cast the odd match. It’s not good enough yet to take my focus away from TF2.

It IS affecting competitive TF2 though. TF2’s been around a while now. Helped a lot by the fact that the multiplayer in COD:WAW, MW2 and Wolfenstein sucked so hard. BC2 is the first real challenger to come along in a long time for competitive PC gamers so it’s attracted quite the following. But the TOG TF2 community is like family for most of the guys and gals here and so, unlike other clans, very few people here have been hanging out for something new. We’re… content.”

...it's hard to compare this division with the COD4 or BF Divisions as it's a completely different set up game wise.

Left for Dead Division

“We don’t have ladder matches,the games are 4 or 8 players,so most of the time it will be someone puts out a call on their Steam friends list that they are setting up a game and jump in.”

“I would say the core group of L4D players are giving BFBC2 a run at the moment, myself included,the same thing happens when a new game comes out.....Borderlands was another game that dragged players away.”

“Like I said it’s hard to compare this division with the COD4 or BF Divisions as it’s a completely different set up game wise”

As you can see, the overall reactions have been quite positive; many Divisions haven’t noticed much of a change, and only minimal player loss. Even the BF2142 Division, which has lost the majority of regular players, still has some coming back for a visit to the forums and a game now and then; it’s certainly been great to see people coming back to the Division and to see some new people joining TOG and the 2142 Division as a result of BC2. BC2, though is certain to gather a larger following from the larger BF2142 community, with servers being shut down on a daily basis and the closing of the GameAreana ladder competition – even our terrific Fremen have reformed to duke it out on the BC2 ladder comps.

I’m sure, too, that that BC2 will continue to see a great following - well at least until the release of the next big thing, that is! During my time here at TOG, it’s the first time I’ve seen first-hand how a big new game release can change any Division, and it’s been totally fascinating to watch all of the changes, throughout the forums and Teamspeak. That being said....I’m all for progress but not really partial to change so, for now at least, I will still be found lurking in the BF2142 & lounge forums. 

Keep Gaming People! After all it’s what we do.

21 Comments so far

Really neat idea for an article here.  Good work.  Personally, I’ve found BC2 more than a bit over-rated, though it is decent fun.  It’s all part of gaming to have new games come out and steal players from older games - nothing surprising about that, I suppose.

I also think that there was a lot of silly knee-jerk reactions in favor of BC2 after MW2’s controversial changes (most of which aren’t a huge issue - as I pointed out in my TOG review of MW2).  One has to wonder if PC gamers would have so quickly embraced BC2 (and many of its not-so-PC-friendly game design decisions) had there not been a vast grumbling outcry against MW2’s perceived negative changes.  Again, I say “perceived” since many of the changes made for MW2 weren’t as horrible as many thought they might be.

From what I’ve seen among my PC gamer friends on other sites, the excitement over BC2 is definitely dying down more quickly than I’d thought it would (though part of that could be attributed to the ever-shortening gamer’s attention span these days).  Another reason for the drop in enthusiasm is the very nature of the leveling-up gameplay that the BF series has always excelled in - since pre-existing fanatical players will be much farther along their upgrade paths, with better equipment and special abilities, newcomers are at somewhat of a disadvantage from the get-go.  This discourages, rather than encourages the addition of new players to pre-existing gamer pool.  :(

Granted that last point shouldn’t be a deal-breaker as there’s not a huge differences between upgraded weapons but it still factors into the entire equation, regardless.

FRIENDLYUNIT | 11:03 pm - 31 May 2010

Really nice article Carm!

BF2142 was pretty much the first and only FPS I was ever interested in (I liked the futuristic, but without silly lasers setting (I think the real hook for me was first seeing the battlewalker’s animation in action)) and actually I’m surprised I’ve ditched it.

But really what did it for me was the lag, and the difficulty reinstalling. I was probably a deliberate tactic on the part of EA, for which I curse them, but it just made BF2142 undesirable to play.

Forget writing articles though, come and joooin ussssss!!!

Carm, how I miss you! BC2 is a great game, and whilst it is pleasing to note that the community is evolving strongly the old BF2142 still holds many memories. Friendlyunit is correct, the final few months of NBF2142 were clouded by lag rage - Leo and I could hardly get more than 50 kills a round.  ;)

CARNALDESTRUCT | 10:33 pm - 1 June 2010

Thanks for the comments all
Also many thanks to Bookbuster for the awesome graphics & editing
Refused could hardly get more than 50 kills a round OMG I’m lucky to get 10 and that’s just me being hopeless haha but I still enjoy the game immensely, mostly due to the wonderful TOGGGERS I get to game with. Although I am saddened by the fact I doubt we’ll ever see the patch & the loss of so many wonderful fun ppl, the lagging has stopped finally, so the game is back to normal in that respect but BC2 has taken many a server and player from the game so it is a bit difficult to fill a server these days but we are still there:)

good article carm,

not much more i can add to it.  the comments above pretty much cover it.

ive noticed by nature people get comfortable and are mostly “brand loyal”.  so you would really only see the biggest shift in other battlefield titles as said above, it hasnt affected other game franchises so much.

bf 2142 got old for me.  it was fun to play but you get sick of voss and tank whoring.  once i saw the gameplay of bc2 i was hooked.  but thats dropped off again too because im not a heavy gamer and RL has more important challenges.

i probably wont return to bf2142 as id have to reinstall… and anyone whos played it will know how much of a nightmare that is.  but u can always learn to love bc2 carm ;)

I would love to play BFBC2 with you FPS folks, but unfortunately the game doesn’t work on my machine.  I’ve tried contacting Nvidia and Microsoft to no avail.  The makers of my desktop helped me to reset the clock on my video card to factory defaults, and EA spent about a week offering suggestions before finally giving up.  (Not all of them good, like the one guy that tried telling me the game doesn’t support Windows 7 when it’s listed under both “requirements” and “recommended” specs.)

Right now I’m just waiting and hoping for new drivers from Nvidia and/or a patch from EA.

Hi There,

Under the BF2 comments regarding “Forum Structure” got me thinking about the future of the medium. What I mean is a future of gaming that guilds and communities online based on written communication will be a thing of the past. (IE Forums)

Probably games to come in a decade such as the MMO’s will have built in web conferencing abilities. Using your avatar (image and racial voice effects) instead of yourself to organize guild activities. (guild hall replacing guild website) Besides other guild tools inside the game itself that make a presence on the web / Internet not needed.

With “Eve Online” has had a web browser in-game for a couple years now. So instead of making a direct connection with the Internet one would make a direct connection to their game world. In order to interact with the meta Internet at large. Now there’s a thought.

Hi guys -in regarrds to Bad Company 2 - I’ve been a call of duty player - have all of ‘em. I like so many others are tired of not only the bad server system on MW2 but the hackers and kids with bad attitude. I’ve been thinking of gettting Bad Company 2 but unsure if it is more of the same or really is worth the move .I would keep MW2 as a single player option as I still enjoy that. Any thoughts greatly apreciated!

I just ducked out at lunchtime and saw BC2 on special at EB (along with the complete Civ 4) and before I knew it, my gamer brain took over and brought it.....and Civ 4.

Like some here, I’ve been playing COD:WaW for a few months, but it’s getting a bit meh, so time for something new.

Once players have reached the mid 30’s rank,it starts to become a grind to rank up with no other benefit than you have a larger number against your name.
The L4D division has actually seen a slight return,with a few new custom maps and the ‘mutation’ release each week,but as always L4d is where players from all genre come to kick some zombie butts.

Did someone mention COD2???

I used to play Enemy Territory for 7 years..lol, now I play BC2 - new for old

Hey Carn,

Hope you are well and feeling better…

Like my good ol Gunna Refused said...we indeed miss 2142 as a matter of fact we were only talking about it yesterday.

I think in hindsight 2142 servers were playing up big time and around the same time BC2 came around...I am not sure if other Battlefield game servers went through that troublesome phase...EA conspiracy? :P

Either way I still miss the Gunship in 2142 these choppers in BC2 just plain such...HMPH!!!

LEO

Gaming has taken a real dive for me as of late. After BF2 quieted down I went looking for a replacement FPS, 2142 was fun and met alot of great TOGGERS, but it was still missing something…
I think a lot of time went by and I found other things to do, we throw a few LAN parties out here in the central west.
BC2 is a draw card, yet I still don’t own it !!! perplexed by my own behaviour

Well I have splashed out and am lovin BC2 single player. Am looking forward to getting into som e multiplayer soon!

I really wanted to get into BC2 as I loved the game, but punkbuster defeated me. I’d rather play with cheats than with punkbuster, sadly. :(

BC2 dropped away for me after just 2 or 3 weeks, with constant PB problems. TF2 just keeps on keeping on. In fact Team Fortress in one form or another has been my mainstay since 1999!

what what?

i dont get it

I too had a number of problems getting BFBC2 up and running, on the official website for the game you can find numerous issues MadMax, hope you can get it running.

I only just built my rig this year and other than the grand theft auto series BFBC2 and CoD4 are the only games I play. With limited time you have to be selective. I wish you could play them all but as with everything there has to be a sacrifice :(.

I think the real question is how BF3 will affect all the battlefield divisions.????

Everyone will give bf3a turn.

It’s being built around the new frostbite 2.0 engine. It will look smick!

Firstly great article as its always healthy to gauge peoples opinion in these sort of matters.

Even though I have not been in TOG very long, I have noticed that FPS games are being released at a quicker rates than in previous years.  Is this because we are starting to see a shift in hardware vs software technology?  Especially since the latest hardware is so affordable comparable to 5 years ago. IMO, hardware technologies seem to be evolving exponentially and thus are pushing game developers to release half baked games to satisfy the gamers appetite for destruction. 

To me it’s always about quality vs quantity when it comes to games I choose to play.  Case in point, I still play Novalogics Joint Operations and Eagle Dynamics Flaming Cliffs, which have been around for over 5 years.  Sure, the interest in these older games are slowly decreasing (due to outdated graphics etc), but for some reason I always go back to them as I really enjoyed the community and gameplay.  I was eagerly awaiting the release of COD Black Ops, however was bitterly disappointed with it and thus have gone back to BC2.

In summary, while all these new games profess to be the next best thing since sliced bread, I still believe that we all enjoy going back to the older games once the fad/hype of a new game has finished.

Cheers and Beers

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