With Battlefield Premium notching over 800,000 members in its first two weeks, the Close Quarters DLC having now released to gamers on all platforms and payment plans, DICE hasn’t truncated the post-release activity of Battlefield 3 more than 8 months into its life cycle.

Granted, many of the labors have passed their cost down to gamers in various forms, but at the same time DICE has supplied its shooter with a heavy Spring update and a number of front end tweaks at no cost (assuming we’re not counting the gigs on our hard drives, anyway). That continues with the announcement of the upcoming competitive multiplayer feature, “Matches.”

As it stands, competitive multiplayer in Battlefield 3 allows gamers to rent a server for $1.50/day and tweak the settings – maps, modes, flag numbers, weapons, etc. – to their choosing. The stipulation is that these servers are then published out to the general public. If it’s “competitive,” anyone can be the competitors.

“Matches” serves to privatize that experience. Coordinated through Battlelog, a player who is actively renting a server can preselect the match name, start time, game mode, team size, and map rotations. They’ll then proceed to designate custom gameplay settings which, according to the official DICE announcement, extend to “friendly fire, 3D spotting, squad-leader spawning, kill cam, health regeneration, a list of weapon unlocks that will be made available to players, and more.”

Battlefield 3 Matches Multiplayer

Once this preliminary tweaking is completed, the match maker can assemble a roster from their friends list and fellow platoon members comprising one team. Ostensibly preserving the competitive angle, the rival team is then filled by a random opponent, choosing his own compatriots in the same fashion, and the players from both sides proceed to a meet-and-greet style “Warm-up Phase” until everyone is ready for action.

Battlelog, of course, keeps track of the stats for post-game recaps and posterity. DICE wouldn’t provide a release date for the update but promised that more information was inbound. If anything, late-coming as they may be, Matches will add some extra incentive to renting a server, where players looking for a custom experience before were content to filter through the deluge of existing options.

Ranters, the Matches concept hardly seems revolutionary, but how much will it alter the way you play Battlefield 3? Is this a well-intentioned gesture from DICE, or another way to take the pressure off their official, some would say disappearing servers?

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Source: Official Battlefield Blog