Servers are often subject to problems, especially in games like Battlefield 3 which have to make millions, even billions of calculations every few seconds, and all the while passing accurate data to all players in the game. DICE is certainly aware of the current issues plaguing console gamers and has quickly released a few patches with more being worked on to correct the biggest problems.
Squad functionality has been improved to a degree, making it less common to have your squad get split up when you join a game. Battlefield focuses heavily on teamwork, so this is a very important one. There were issues where people in the US were being directed to servers in Europe which causes latency issues. This has also been corrected, but you can still set your preferred server region.
Quick Match on consoles has also been reported to have quite a lot of problems, but thanks to a recent patch players are able to join a quick match much more often. DICE, however, recommends that you pick a server in your own region to solve problems with lag and rubberbanding; Rubberbanding is where you find yourself snapping back to where you were minutes ago due to a delay between your console and the server.
Game stability has also been improved in order to reduce known problems that caused crashes, along with general fixes for server stability and lag. The Hardcore server’s tendency to vanish after being up for a period of time has been fixed and lag issues in Conquest mode, especially on the Tehran Highway and Caspian Border maps, has been fixed for console players as well.
In non-patch news, the Back to Karkland team plan to release the map pack this December, at no charge to anyone who preordered Battlefield 3, while being $15 for everyone else (or 1200 microsoft points). The expansion contains remade versions of Gulg of Oman, Sharqi Pininsula, Strike at Karkland, and Wake Island, which are among the most popular maps of Battlefield 2.
Physical Warfare Pack has also been announced, but hasn’t been given a set date. The pack contains a new light machine gun, shotgun, sniper rifle flash suppressor, and some fancy ammo for the aforementioned shotgun. Good to see DICE is putting out these patches so quickly after release.