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On February 21st, 2011 in Editorial

BF3 teaser
With the announcement of Battlefield 3, it was revealed that the Limited Edition of the game would include new content called “Back to Karkand”, which will feature 4 Battlefield 2 maps remade for Battlefield 3, in addition to a few BF2 weapons and vehicles. Those who do not get the Limited Edition will be able to download DLC 30 days after release, although it’s unclear whether it’ll be free or not.

By offering old, remade maps from the get go, we worry that the new, original BF3 maps would take a back seat to the classics like Karkand and Wake Island, because we fear most players will flock to the old, familiar maps — after all, Karkand was by far the most popular BF2 map and has since received a cult status among fans — in some ways Karkand is to Battlefield what de_dust is to Counter-Strike.

Battlefield 2 veterans could be prone to just dive into the old maps without giving the new maps much consideration. We ourselves would be more thrilled to play Karkand than any other BF3 map (even if we don’t know what they look like).

Another reason why this is initially a bad idea is the age old debate on regular vs. special edition packages: the new content would split the player base into two groups right from the start: those who have the new maps, weapons and vehicles, and those who don’t. Limited Edition and Special Edition players have always received a bit more up front, like a weapon or something similar. But this time, the gap seems quite large. There’s nothing wrong with some players having more content (DLC) than others, but doing it from the beginning can pose some problems.

We’re not against remaking Karkand and ther BF2 maps, it’s a great idea, but perhaps a DLC like this would be better suited six months or even a year after the release of BF3, as a way of keeping the players interested and maybe wooing some BF2 players over to BF3. And while we can’t wait to replay our favorite BF2 maps in BF3, we can’t help but feel that some players, especially BF2 veterans like us, would simply flock to the old maps, instead of trying out the brand new, original Battlefield 3 maps.

The idea would be to let the players get familiar with the new maps before moving on to remakes.


  1. HissingNewt
    February 21st, 2011 at 3:44 pm

    Considering that the Limited Edition for this is very likely going to be similar to the Bad Company 2 Limited Edition (all of the first run copies were LE), this won’t really split the community unless people just choose not to redeem the codes that come with it for this pack.

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  2. Tyrell S. Jackson
    February 21st, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    Nice article and you make some great points.

    From my perspective, this DLC isn’t such a bad idea simply because I NEVER played Battlefield 2. So essentially, this is a way for me to enjoy BF3 while at the same time, sort of connecting to what made BF2 so great in terms of maps. With that being said, people such as myself who didn’t play BF3 will be wanting to play the DLC maps as well as the new maps because to us, they’re all new.

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  3. RecoN
    February 21st, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    Now, I want to read your article on “Why ‘Back to Kharkand’ DLC at launch is a good idea for BF3!” You had some good points! But I see it as a good strategy for DICE to offer this extra as an incentive to buy the better edition, because it probably means more $ up front which will be used to hopefully develop the BF3 franchise even further and for a longer period of support. This could entail more DLC than originally planned, more game modes and updates like adding a mode where there are more classes, vs the stated 4 that will ship with BF3. But I won’t know much more anyone else at the moment, so good thoughts! Thanks for the write up. I’d love to write content sometime to see if its worthy.. I miss the scene.

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  4. johnlocke3
    February 21st, 2011 at 5:28 pm

    Totally agree – release the classic map pack, so to speak, a month or two after release. and their should only be one god damn edition of the game for christ sakes.

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  5. Marts
    February 21st, 2011 at 10:34 pm

    My view: The new maps will be better and once we try them we probably won’t go back to the BF2 ones? ;) As if you’re going to buy BF3 and not at least TRY the new maps.

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  6. ShadowOp
    February 21st, 2011 at 11:53 pm

    Limited and Special edition are no long ‘Limited’ or ‘Special’… it seems as if they should be standard.

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  7. Zetarn
    February 22nd, 2011 at 5:49 am

    I think that DLC are paid for playing a Classic 4 map before standard one just like a BFBC2 LE That they gave lot of unlocked tool like Tracer Dart and Ak74u to the LE player but the standard one must gain exp normally to get that tools
    If that be, it will have not much gap for LE and Standard player.

    Or look at the bright side.. the DLC maybe free for PC just like the other DLC of Battlefield before that must be paid more for console player before unlocking any DLC.

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    February 23rd, 2011 at 5:53 pm

    I totally agree with the author here. I would like to see people playing out the new maps and getting a grip of the layouts before the classic maps come into play. Unfortunately people WILL flock to Karkand because it is familiar. Just like previously stated, Karkand in battlefield is the de_dust of counter-strike. Theres no avoiding 24/7 Karkand servers filled to the brim right off launch.

    I will be posting a poll on the battlefield Pantheon community website to get further opinions, regarding the release of classic maps at launch.

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  9. Perke
    February 23rd, 2011 at 10:58 pm

    um, what? you would go straight to Karkand without seeing new maps first? Dude, NEW MAPS!!!! And KARKAND on NEW engine!!!!

    can’t get better than that

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  10. Freeman
    February 24th, 2011 at 11:12 pm

    This DLC should have been released a few months after BF3, and maybe split in two, so we get two maps 3 months after release, and the other two six months after release.

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  11. M. Bohn
    March 25th, 2011 at 3:18 am

    I’m torn on any battlefield dlc after paying and loving the BF2: SF expansion only to have it released for free about 2 months after I got it.
    that burned me and so I refuse to pay for any dlc, but if I can get my medic/G36k combo I might be tempted. and yet I still want to wait, just to be safe.

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    • Daniel
      April 15th, 2011 at 4:40 am

      It costs like 5 bucks more, just do it.

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  12. BenneDoTb
    April 27th, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    Not a year though….more like 1 month. That would be more suitable for all player if you mind those who leaves the game behind for something else.

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  13. ClouDz
    April 27th, 2011 at 8:01 pm

    this is a very good idea. Battlefield is one of the most addicting fps games i have played and i got bored of the same maps.

    my point is the more you play the same map the more bored you get.

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  14. Jman
    May 13th, 2011 at 4:52 am

    Did they actually SAY the DLC would be available at launch or just come with it for free with pre-order? It could be free but still delayed somewhat
    as far as availability- hasn’t EA done this with some other games?. Anyway if they were smart or at least smart-asses they would release the first DLC whatever day MW3 is supposed to come out.

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  15. Moldune
    June 9th, 2011 at 1:13 am

    EA have probably given Pre-order’s the extra DLC for good reason, so theres really no point trying to figure out why when the decision has already ben made, I preordered, and when i went in, i asked if it cost extra for the Back to karkand pack, and they said no, it costs exactly the same, so why bother waiting for it to come out when you can just preorder it, get the DLC play the old and new maps, and people arent as predictable as you would think, not EVERYONE will flock to the remarstered maps from BF2, and me being a BF2 veteran (also i still play every day) as much as im going to enjoy jumping right back into the action on BF3 on some old classic maps, it wont by far be the first thing i do, ill be trying the new maps first, getting a feel for the controls again, considering im getting it for my xbox360 (my computer sucks) i wanto play new maps and get used to the new maps, and then jump into karkand to kick some hadji arse so to speak…
    So imo the DLC is a good idea for BF Veterens and newcomers alike, preorder it, dont preorder it, in the end its up to you, and if you complain about not getting the DLC for free on release for not preordering you’ve got no one to blame but yourself…

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  16. name
    June 22nd, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    why not make like maybe a find a match like black ops and have a one where you could play bon all maps including dlc and one just all dlc

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  17. billy poo poo
    June 23rd, 2011 at 10:49 pm

    If a new map is better or as good as karkand is… people will find their way there eventually.

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  18. New guy
    July 2nd, 2011 at 8:48 pm

    While I can agree with most of your points, I really doubt people will ignore the new maps in order to play the same maps they played over and over. It would go against all reason why players buy map packs seeing as they surely have old favorites..

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  19. AK273
    August 17th, 2011 at 11:48 am

    I am not looking forward for the Karkand 24/7 maps in Battlefield 3. Not looking forward to that AT ALL. Battlefield 2′s Karkand 24/7 maps that filled the server list was simply a disaster since it made that map overpopulated while the other…more interesting maps were left to rotten below them with no players playing in them at all. The Back to Karkand DLC should’ve been released AFTER Battlefield 3 was launched by months or at least years so we can enjoy what Battlefield 3 has to offer to us from GOOD maps rather than OLD maps.

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  20. Andy
    October 31st, 2011 at 12:18 am

    I just googled when is back to karkand active and this was first result

    i just had to comment because it was like looking at a 60s cartoon where they go wild with ideas about what future is like without giving it any thought

    you are an idiot. you either have the opinion of or heard the opinion of some fanboy who found glory in a certain setting (in this case old maps) and thought this was gospel

    this was by far the most stupid and sort sighted article i have ever read.

    first of all you’re talking as if the BF3 fanbase consists mostly of BF2 fans (a nearly 10 year old game) when it is more made up of of BFBC2 and just a general array of online fans

    second of all, those of us old enough to remember how awesome those maps are also realise how terrible they were in any sort of modern setting – the only heavy handing lovin’ they will get is from players finally happy to see them come into current generation

    you really have no idea of how gamers think if you ride that think train…and that metaphor is as bad as your article


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  21. Andy
    October 31st, 2011 at 12:19 am


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