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Battlefield 1: Standing Up for the Medic

Since the release of Battlefield 1 a couple of weeks ago, I have witnessed an unqualified resurgence in scorn and frustration directed towards those who take up the mantle of the medic class. Now, before I continue, I must digress that not all players are participating in the ridicule. As is the case with most of these situations, only a small fraction of the community is engaging with the problem. That said however, I do believe that a certain amount of clarification is required over the issue, as there is side to the story that very few are considering – that of the medics themselves.

The role of the medic upon the fields of battle is one of nobility. They risk their lives day-in-day-out to aid their fallen comrades and prevent the company from succumbing to the cold embrace of death. It has been a tradition upheld by many great men and women throughout the entirety of the lifespan of the Battlefield franchise, yet there are still some who blindly refute those who so virtuously go out of their way to help others. The reason for this is due to the dissatisfaction certain players have expressed concerning the art of reviving fallen players – or rather the lack thereof.

No one enjoys dying in online competitive gaming. It sucks when someone out plays…sorry, I mean unfairly exploits the game to get the drop on you, and the agonising countdown to get back into the action only confounds the issue. However, in Battlefield 1 you can instantaneously re-join the action thanks to the medic, who can revive their fallen teammate in order to get them back into the fray and deny the enemy of extinguishing one of your all-important respawn tickets. Yet sometimes, as you lay upon the cold stone floor of a ruined chapel, desperately crying out to the nearby medic to save you from the dreaded respawn timer, you find that your cries go unanswered as they run right past you, oblivious to the pain and frustration slowly overwhelming you.

It’s enough to insight a fit of near uncontrollable rage, especially if it occurs time and time again. Over the last couple of weeks, I have witnessed a plethora of anger-fuelled forum posts and ‘hilarious’ memes directed at the bumbling medic class, and I have to say that it is frankly uncalled for. Yes, there are those medics who brazenly ignore their teammates’ plights for their own selfish gain, yet these vagabonds make up but a minute fraction of the player-base. The majority of us battlefield physicians are only too willing to aid our fellow combatants, and thus it is frustrating to see the ridicule directed towards the class across the internet.

Now, I admit, there are cases where I find myself ignoring downed players, yet such occurrences do not come about from selfishness or incompetence. Rather, they come about from astute, tactical knowledge and competent situational awareness. A couple of days ago, I was playing rush on St. Quinten Scar. I was on the attacking team as we struggled to overcome to meatgrinder that was surrounding the second set of objectives. As I dived to cover to escape a hail of deadly gunfire, one of my fellow players decided to charge into the fray, only to fall due to sheer volume of lead scything its way through the damp, misty air. As he lay their flailing in the mud, he called out for me to come a revive him. I declined, deciding instead to stay put in cover. As expected, he inundated me with a torrent of expletives, claiming that I was shamelessly ignoring him and thus causing our team to fail. Yet, there was no sound tactical reason for me to go out there are save him. For one thing, he was out in the open and completely exposed, with not a single piece of cover between him and the line of enemies hiding in the ruins on the horizon. Additionally, me and my buddy were still under heavy fire from the same dastardly devils whom had felled our raging teammate.

By all respects, reviving him would have been a terrible decision. I might have somehow been able to avoid the torrent of bullets and revive him, but the chances of that happening, as well as those of us both escaping, were so remote that no decent player would risk it. But, of course, my decision not to do so only incurred an ignorant wave of wrath and hatred. So, before you decide to ridicule a medic for failing to save your life, take a look at the situation and decide if you would take the risk yourself. I almost guarantee you that you wouldn’t.

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