Some people feel betrayed that DICE went this route. A route that seems pretty much in the same vein as the Call of Duty franchise with their Elite subscription service. After all the bashing, mudslinging that EA has done to the opposition just to prove that they provided the better game and all other free features that Activision charged players for, here they are jumping on the same boat.
However, if you look closely to what Battlefield Premium is all about, it's not entirely the same as Call of Duty Elite. First of all, Battlefield Premium is NOT a yearly subscription. It's more of a one time payment for all the DLC packs including Back to Karkand plus a few extras. The distribution of the DLC content is the same as the non-premium players but the former get them ahead of time. It's like EA is doing us players a favor, especially those who failed to avail the Limited Edition of Battlefield 3 thus missing the Back to Karkand DLC pack, by offering the whole package for a discounted price. I can't see what's wrong with that.
Some of the controversy comes from the fact that some people purchased Back to Karkand. And now they want the premium to be discounted just because they won't get the potential savings they would get should they waited for this announcement. In all honesty, I feel for these guys but really, that's how this business works. It's the same as if you've bought Little Big Planet 2 for $40 just to find out later that it's offered for free for Playstation Plus subscribers. You bought Uncharted 3 the moment it came out for $60 and bought all its DLC separately then you find out later that a Game of the Year edition comes out which includes the game and all its DLC. That is just the way it is.
So what do we get from Battlefield Premium? Of course, and probably THE only reason you wanna buy it is all of the 5 DLC Packs: Back to Karkand, Close Quarters, Armored Kill, Aftermath, and End Game. The $50 value of the premium is pretty much worth it considering you want to get all the DLC packs for Battlefield 3. Assuming each DLC packs will be priced at $15, even if you only want the DLC packs and you don't care about the extras, it's still worth it. Even if you already have Back to Karkand from the Limited Edition, you still save a few bucks by buying the premium if you want all the future DLC content. Now it's a different story if you are not planning on getting all the map packs. I know a lot of people playing on console are not interested at all with the Armored Kill DLC pack just because we're still limited with 12v12 gameplay albeit the large maps and some people are not really interested with vehicles. They find it boring because there's not a lot of action going on unlike when you're playing on Operation Metro or Seine Crossing. However, I'm personally excited for the upcoming Armored Kill DLC, in which one of the additions is the AC-130 gunship. That will be totally badass. Now for the last 2 DLC packs, we know very little about them. All we know for now is that Aftermath takes place on an earthquake-ridden Iran and End Game will include motorcycles. But seeing DICE's record, we've seen how great Back to Karkand was, reimagining old maps from past Battlefield games into Frosbite 2 engine, we've seen footages of Close Quarters and Armored Kill, we can safely say that these last 2 DLC packs are gonna be great as well.
So what are the extras? Here's the complete list:
1. 2 weeks early access to all future Battlefield 3 expansion packs, starting with Close Quarters
2. Unique in-game knife, unique in-game dog tags, 10+ unique soldier camos, unique weapon camos. Some random crap that people might find interest in collecting.
3. Stats reset feature. Pretty cool feature really, if you're aiming for a good overall stats for your Battlelog profile. But then again, for me stats don't mean anything in the community if not at all.
4. 10+ unique Platoon emblem decals, increased Platoon emblem layers. Random crap for platoons.
5. Server queue priority. I'm not sure how this will work, but I'll assume this is gonna be an issue for people who want to play at popular servers. If there are several players on queue, premium players will given priority first and will be upped in the queue. I don't really think this is a good addition and might trigger some hate from the players.
6. Save up to five of your favourite Battle Reports
7. 5+ unique Assignments
8. Exclusive events. Hmm, competitions for virtual and real world prizes like COD Elite perhaps? Maybe exclusive betas for upcoming games from EA? We'll have to wait and see.
9. Exclusive Double XP weekends. Pretty cool stuff, unless you're already at max level.
10. Exclusive videos and Strategy guides. I don't know exactly what DICE has in store for this but Youtube alone has TONS of content from skilled players that the inclusion of "Strategy Guides" in this features list of the premium sounds like a big joke. I can give you a few names you can subscribe to if you want to learn the game from inside and out and from ground up. I really don't think this feature is necessary.
11. Additional bonus content.
Most people could care less about these extras though. Maybe except for the early access to future DLC packs.
So do I think it's worth it? It actually depends on what DLC you want to have. That's mostly the only reason you want to buy the premium, to avail all the DLC packs at a discounted price. The extras are just icing on the cake. If you're enjoying Battlefield 3 to the fullest, close quarters or large maps, and you can't get enough of it then I do think it's all worth it. It's just a one-time payment anyway, not a yearly subscription. I do think that for a hardcore Battlefielder, this package is a must buy. However, if there are aspects of the game that you don't enjoy like vehicles, large maps, and what not then I suggest you save your money and just buy the DLC packs that you want. And then wait for further annnouncements on what the last 2 DLC packs have to offer so you can decide if they are worth your penny.