Battlefied 3 Premium launches - but is it worth it?

Dice released a large patch and launched its premium service for Battlefield 3 on Monday, with a deluge of patch notes and some mildly controversial changes to the established Battlefield style of online gameplay.

For an additional $49.99, players could buy the Premium version of the game – unlocking the latest expansion: Close Quarters, unique in-game items such as a new knife, new camouflage patterns and dog tags. On the BF3 Premium website a calendar shows a slew of upcoming item unlocks, strategy guides, developer player-tip-videos as well as other special deals in the works for people willing to pay the price.

Premium players will also get to participated in monthly Double XP Events, suggesting a “pay-to-win” model that many F2P gaming models try hard to avoid. In addition, premium offers two weeks advance access to upcoming expansions such as Armored Strike, coming in September, as well as Aftermath in December and End game in March of next year.