Mar 17, 2012
“Why does no-one capture flags on conquest in Battlefield 3?” It’s the perpetual battle lament of the objective player. You join a server to find half your team jumping up and down at the vehicle spawn points and the other half sitting just inside the Out Of Bounds (OOB) area with 12x scopes while the other team holds all the flags. Then when you get to a flag to capture it you get USAS’d to death or fired across the map by a SMAW primary.
When playing with random people it can be frustrating to feel like you’re the only person who is playing the objective, the only person actually capturing the flags. You capture a flag and as you make your way to the next one the flag you just took begins flashing again…. WHAT ARE THE REST OF THE TEAM DOING?! Sometimes you may find yourself working in tandem with another player with the same mindset, but usually such partnerships are shortlived .
But what are the reasons behind people ignoring the objective of the game type they are playing, whether it’s Rush or Conquest?
The biggest reason has to be stats. When Battlefield 3 came out it was actually a surprise to many BF players that Kill Death Ratio (KDR) would be publicly displayed, not only on the final score screen, but also as part of your Battlelog profile page.
DICE and EA have tried very hard to eat in to the market share enjoyed by the Call of Duty franchise. A franchise built on the run and gun game type where KDR is flaunted as THE badge of accomplishment. In previous Call of Duty games, the conquest type game mode – Domination – was usually scuppered by players who call themselves “Slayers” – high KDR but little objective play. Massaging your KDR is easy in an objective game type by “camping” the objective, but not actually going for it. There are only certain routes to an objective so these slayers can set up shop on one of those routes with a nice strong weapon and rack up the kills.
That’s a fine tactic when the rest of your team are capping the flags, but when you’re being conquered or dominated the term ‘Slayer’ takes on a new meaning:
When your team loses despite your best efforts to capture objectives, and the top scorer on your team goes 40 – 10 then you know someone is playing the wrong game.
But it’s not all about KDR and KDR whores. When playing with random people you have a lack of communication and cohesion. Sure, you all know what the objective is. But not everyone is pulling in the same direction. For example, on Metro the B flag is the crucial flag. Whoever has that is pretty much guaranteed to win the round. But at the start of the game the majority of your team may decide to capture your nearest flag, while some others may decide to make a run for the furthest (A and C) leaving on a couple of players able to make the push for B.
On other maps players may be playing to increase their unlocks or skill levels with specific weapons or vehicles which makes them ineffective for achieving the objective.
The most frequent scenario though is that once the other team has gained a strong foothold and maintains dominance many players stop going for the objective and begin to massage their stats. Preferring to take a loss as long as they have a good KDR at the end. Unfortunately, in many cases it is possible to turn the tide in these games if only those players would actually fight for it.
However without the ability to speak to your team as a whole (on console at least) it’s not possible to “rally the troops” to push for a specific objective and unfortunately, on PC it’s becoming more likely to receive some abuse rather than see a marked increase in your teams fighting grit.
The only solution to this issue on a personal level is to ensure that you play with at least one squad of friends. One effective squad pushing for the objectives can make a real difference in a random lobby, and playing with friends definitely increases your enjoyment of the game.
Oh, and always play the objective.