Vehicle Popularity by Platform (BF3)


Original Title: Vehicle Popularity by Platform
Author: J0hn-Stuart-Mill

Vehicle Popularity by Platform

Alright, so since there was so much interest in my Weapon Popularity by Platform thread, a few people asked me why I didn’t also do the same for vehicles. My answer was because vehicles are used in very different ways from each other, so different that it is hard to come up with a way to show relevant graphs.

Here are just a few ways that vehicle data is distorted: (loosely sorted by order of how much they influence the data)

1.) Vehicles appear in drastically different proportions for each map.
2.) Vehicles appear in drastically different proportions for each platform.
3.) Vehicles appear in drastically different proportions for each game mode.
4.) Vehicles appear in drastically different proportions for different game sizes.
5.) Vehicles themselves differ in attributes. (ex: Viper being more nimble than the Havoc)
6.) The US is always attacker in Rush, so more attacker oriented vehicles for them, and more defense oriented for Russians
7.) Some vehicles require a larger number of players to effectively use (ex: Transport Heli ideally needs 3, and that is easier to find on 64p PC games)
8.) Some vehicles are rendered less potent by the routine presence of other vehicles (best example: scout helis on PC face Attack Helis, and MAA more frequently than console)
9.) Some unique vehicle types only exist for the US team (AMTRAC, F35)

Despite these obvious differences, there are still neat things we can see in the usage data. Once again my data is proportional, and each graph is relative to itself. Also, a select few transport vehicles ALSO appear in other categories, they are:

  • Amtrac appears in both transport and Armor graphs
  • Transport Helis appear in both Transport and Air graphs

Methodology - What you’re looking at is total numbers of players who have used vehicles past 100 kills, and 1,000 kills. Loads of people don’t use vehicles at all, so I chose a 100 kill threshold because I wanted to show all vehicle use. Since vehicle dogtags aren’t kill based, there is no "uneven stat phenomenon caused by the dogtags themselves, so 100 and 1,000 gave the best numbers. I also recorded 5,000 kills for each (for future use) but so far the 5,000 kill numbers aren’t super relevant. Below, where the graphs switch to TOTAL KILLS, that shows total kills by each vehicle or vehicle class, and includes all players at all experience levels.

*** All data scraped from on 7/12/2012 ***

Takeaways from Armor -

  • LAV-AD Very Rare on Console Maps (Wake, Primarily)
  • MBTs are way the most likley vehicle for anyone to go over 1,000 kills with. They are abundant on most maps, never a wait to get one, and very potent

Takeaways from Air Vehicles -

  • You can clearly see why the MAV roadkill nerf was so necessary. Players who got good with it, got REALLY good with it.
  • I think I’m most surprised that Attack Helis account for substantially more kills than Jets on all platforms, despite there being more jets in nearly all game scenarios
  • Scout Helis are WAAY more relevant on console, as they have fewer enemies there, rarely face attack helis face to face, and in general are used on the smaller console sized maps.
  • Conquest Jets do less killing on console. Makes sense, one third the players + lower resolution means much harder to spot enemies
  • I included the Stationary AAs here because I think its important to show their numbers relative to air vehicle numbers.

Takeaways from Transport Vehicles -

  • Amtrac clearly plays a more important role on Console, (and smaller maps in general)
  • I have no idea why the Hummer would be so much more dominant on PC
  • The venom obviously more effective on PC, both three man team + easier to aim effectively from a frantically maneuvering Venom with a mouse

In addition, I decided to graph some team based differences, Russian Vehicles vs US vehicles. For this I removed any vehicle that appears for both teams (Boat, Skid Loader, Mortar, MAV). From here down these graphs are TOTAL kills, as opposed to just number of players at each kill threshold.

Takeaways from US vs RU vehicles -

  • The T-90 simply appears on more maps
  • The Viper Dominates the Havoc (with pre patch handling differences)
  • The Little Bird edges out the Z-11, on PC despite appearing in the same proportions… this is a handling issue, the Little Bird is more nimble and responsive
  • Of course, only the US gets the Amtrac

Very strangely, (not shown by the graphs) the US vehicles on PC do 15% MORE killing than the Russian vehicles. However, on 360, the US vehicles only do 5% more killing, while on PS3 the US vehicles do 3% LESS killing than Russian vehicles. There was no good way to graph this without just showing you a giant wall of hard to explain numbers, so I did the analysis, and here’s what accounts for this seemingly bizarre difference:

The PC’s 15 percent advantage to US vehicles is completely due to the combination of the Viper being used to greater success (both more agile than the Havoc, and more targets on PC than on console) And the rest of the difference is thanks to PCs getting the US MAA on many many more maps than consoles. Consoles almost never get the US MAA, but on PC it’s on nearly every conquest map with air vehicles. Back before the MAA main cannon nerf, the American MAA was both as fast as an LAV and carried the deadliest anti-infantry gun in the game which could easily mow down a row of 5 infantry in less than a second. The Tunguska has always been a slow turd, which meant it couldn’t go on the offensive vs infantry quite as easily and dodge RPGs left and right like an LAV can.

The PS3’s Russian vehicle advantage is 100% due to the T-90 being used 7% more on the PS3 than the other two platforms. Perhaps this is a result of PS3 players preferring certain maps, or certain game modes, but the T-90’s numbers alone make up this difference.