With the Spring 2012 (1.04) patch to Battlefield 3, DICE introduced a new feature that has some people up in arms: Shortcut Bundles. On each platform you can now buy one of 7 unique shortcut bundles that will unlock all the weapons for a particular class or all the upgrades for a group of vehicles. Depending on how you look at this, the unlock bundles are either “cheating” or “making life easier”. The argument is an old one; it’s the argument of Real Money Transfer/Trading.
So what’s the problem with unlock bundles? Some would say that it gives an unfair advantage to people with money. This is not entirely correct, as you’re not getting something that other users cannot get (without paying). You do not receive any benefits that a player without money would not be able to earn. What these bundles do is exactly what they are called, they shortcut the game process (which many would argue “takes the fun out of the game”).
As I’ve mentioned previously, I do use RMT. My logic is this: Some groups of people (e.g. those who are still in school or unemployed) have lots of time, but little money. They can play Battlefield for 8… 10… 12 hours a day. Within just a few days they can have most of the unlocks they want. On the flip side many people (e.g. those who have jobs, a commute, or maybe a family) have very little free time, but comparatively more money. RMT, or in this case the shortcuts, just balances the time/money equation. Of course those without time or money get screwed… but you’re never gonna make EVERYONE happy.
For those that don’t feel like looking it up, below is a list of all the kits and their prices. I pulled this from Origin and it is in US Dollars. I presume that the cost will decrease as time goes on though. I also expect the costs to be similar on the other platforms, but as the patch hasn’t hit 360 yet – I cannot verify.
- Assault Kit Shortcut – $6.99 – Unlocks all weapons and gadgets for the class
- Engineer Kit Shortcut – $6.99 – Unlocks all weapons and gadgets for the class
- Support Kit Shortcut – $6.99 – Unlocks all weapons and gadgets for the class
- Recon Kit Shortcut – $6.99 – Unlocks all weapons and gadgets for the class
- Kit Shortcut Bundle – $24.99 – All weapons and gadgets for all kits (Assault, Engineer, Support, Recon)
- Co-Op Weapons Shortcut – $4.99 – Unlocks all 7 weapons from the Co-Op challenge
- Air Vehicle Shortcut – $9.99 – Unlocks all the upgrades (e.g. Missiles, Radar, ECM, etc) for air vehicles (Attack Heli, Scout Heli, Jets)
- Ground Vehicle Shortcut – $9.99 – Unlocks all the upgrades (e.g. Smoke, Optics, Camo, etc) for ground vehicles (tanks, IFV, AA)
- Vehicle Shortcut Bundle – $17.99 – Unlocks for all air and ground
- Ultimate Shortcut Bundle – $24.99 – All other shortcuts (Assault Kit, Engineer Kit, Support Kit, Recon Kit, Co-Op Weapons, Air Vehicles, Ground Vehicles) combined
If you’re planing on buying more than one Shortcut, then just jump directly to the “Ultimate Shortcut Bundle”. The “Kit Shortcut Bundle” is pointless as it costs the same, and the “Vehicle Shortcut Bundle” isn’t that much cheaper. The prices are really designed to push you to the $25 purchase of the Ultimate Shortcut. I don’t think it’s “awesome” to pay another $25, but if it brings more enjoyment to the game for those with limited availability of playtime (such as myself)… it is probably worth the cost.
Something important to note, the “Ultimate Shortcut Bundle” does NOT unlock every weapon in the game. It unlocks all of the kit weapons, but not any of the assignment weapons (Such as the MK3A1), the “general” weapons you receive for ranking up (Such as the PDW or P90) or the specializations (e.g. Squad Ammo, Flak, etc). It also does not unlock the attachments for the weapons. So those with more time on their hands (and/or are rank 40+) will still have an advantage over you who’ve spent $25.
Update: Else where on the net people have said that the shortcut takes away their existing gun attachment unlocks. This maybe true for some (Translation: It’s a Bug!), but not all. I still have all of my weapon attachments from before the patch/purchase of shortcut.