Sections

Battlefield 4: “We should be slapped” for BF3′s unlocks, says creative director

Thursday, 3rd October 2013 14:07 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Battlefield’s key differentiator is its hardcore appeal, but it’s this very quality that prevents it from commanding the same success as Call of Duty. Battlefield 4 creative director Lars Gustavsson admits to VG247 that DICE hasn’t always balanced this tension as successfully as it might have.

“To be honest it was one of the key takeaways from 1942. I think we’ve usually stumbled somewhere down the road on accessibility.”

Speaking to VG247 at an event in Sydney last night, Gustavsson said DICE has “definitely” heard criticisms of Battlefield’s steep learning curve and lack of pick-up-and-play qualities.

“To be honest it was one of the key takeaways from 1942. When we started Battlefield 2, we started with this quick play, with this icon – one click, to matchmake you directly in, just to make it easier. But I think we’ve usually stumbled somewhere down the road on accessibility,” he said.

“Part of it is when you do 64 players, vehicles, even if it would be team deathmatch it’s a much more overwhelming experience. With Battlefield 4 we’ve done numerous things. We heard this feedback once again from Battlefield 3. We did a lot of tests; some of them were simple stuff just directly correlating to input latency and stuff like that. People were behind an enemy; they thought they had a perfect kill but with latency and everything it turned out that they missed, and they wondered why.

“So we’ve worked with latency. We’ve added a test range where you can learn to fly the transport helicopter, not crash it into your friends. We’ve reworked menus to give you a much better understanding of how you customise – comparisons when you add attachments that give you a better understanding, just like racing games. We have reworked the spawn menu, just the concept of spawning in; in most games you just end up somewhere random, but here we have a choice. We have to try to show that in a much more visual way. So we’ve done rigorous testing on that one. Game mode movies and so on. We’ve definitely done a lot to smooth the learning curve.”

DICE has also rejigged unlocks, both in terms of communicating them better and in handing them out in the right order – something it hasn’t always been great at.

“We shipped Battlefield 3, which we should be slapped for, with probably the worst set ups ever,” Gustavsson said.

“As a pilot, you had to fly your plane and only kill other planes with your cannons. You didn’t have any counter-measures; you didn’t have any missiles. And that’s basically for the best of the best pilots; that’s what they should do to show their skills. [As a beginner], you should have counter-measures, you should have heat-seeking missiles to give you a smooth ride into the game and then from there on you should customise.

“We shipped Battlefield 3, which we should be slapped for, with probably the worst set ups ever.”

“So that’s what we’ve tried to do; the full set-ups are supposed to be quite easy to learn and to master, and from there you can start unlocking things and seeing what your preferred setup is. So, a lot of learning from Battlefield 3 have gone into making the game.”

For anybody who struggled with Battlefield 3 this sounds great, but the other faction – the hardcore fans who value the shooter’s depth and complexity over pick-up-and-play elements – is going to be less pleased. Gustavsson acknowledged DICE is proud of the game’s reputation in this regard and doesn’t want to sacrifice it to accessibility.

“We have modes that are more complex and still since they are a vital part of Battlefield we try harder to show them off with new game movies, to introduce the concept,” he said.

“If you play Conquest – I’m not the best first-person shooter player, even though people might think so, so for me many times I run around and I revive people and I drive vehicles and I take capture points, since in the head-to-head part I will die. To me, part of the upside is teaching people what you can do on the battlefield to buy you the time to survive.

“The key thing I’m after here is that even though we have score play and we now have Commander, it doesn’t mean that you have to play it that way. We have many modes where we don’t even have scores, or the focus on teamplay in that way. It’s you and only you, and only your kill-death ratio matters.

“It’s totally up to you, but if you want to, even in the more complex mode, you can do your own lone wolf career. But if you want to there is a traditional layer – for those who want it.

“That’s the big thing. It might sound like a marketing pitch: play your ways. It’s sincerely what we believe in, that we shouldn’t dictate how to play Battlefield.”

Battlefield 4 is due on PC, PlayStation 3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One at the end of October.

Latest

14 Comments

  1. VibraniumSpork

    Welp, he asked for it: http://stream1.gifsoup.com/view/668265/slap-o.gif

    (Alternatively: http://gifs.gifbin.com/072011/1310121691_game_of_thrones_tyrion_lannister_slaps_prince_joffrey.gif )

    #1 12 months ago
  2. Templar_Dante

    “In other words, EA is going to nickel and dime your ass with gold battlepacks for the same shit” Thats what it is, folks. Its like 80 000 points for a “bronze” pack, What do you think you get with cash for a gold pack? Fifa has f’d the whole system up with Ultimate Team and peoples obsession with its monetization.
    EA is going to be printing money with suckers with this.

    #2 12 months ago
  3. DSB

    Nice to see a bit of humility from the guys at DICE. They sounded an awful lot like Crytek in the lead-up to Bad Company 2 and BF3.

    #3 12 months ago
  4. SplatteredHouse

    I am delighted to see that UT’s Assault gametype is making a comeback, even if it is in the form of Conquest, and I believe Extraction (was that the name? Anyway, the piece of software formerly known as Dirty Bomb) includes a very similar concept, too!

    ““The key thing I’m after here is that even though we have score play and we now have Commander, it doesn’t mean that you have to play it that way. We have many modes where we don’t even have scores, or the focus on teamplay in that way. It’s you and only you, and only your kill-death ratio matters.

    “It’s totally up to you, but if you want to, even in the more complex mode, you can do your own lone wolf career. But if you want to there is a traditional layer – for those who want it.”

    WHY emphasise a k/d ratio? @,@
    That alone, is a recipe for disaster and toxicism :o Am I even reading a Battlefield article.
    Did they completely abandon any semblance of teamplay, of co-operation? If you want to see how important Teamplay is to Battlefield, let’s revisit BC2, which introduced the spotting mechanic. It proved to be a supreme foil to a new climate of silent play – you didn’t have to DO anything, really, but you could communicate and contribute a lot, and, you earned XP into the bargain. Many other popular games took that idea later on to their own platforms.

    #4 12 months ago
  5. Templar_Dante

    P.S DICE, that game you want to be slapped for? Bring its vehicles controls to BF4. Flying with the DS3 is a fucking joke. I hope they dont transfer the garbage to PS4. Just stroll on to Battlelog telling them to bring BF3 control layout back.

    #5 12 months ago
  6. Hcw87

    Kill Death ratio should be removed from every FPS, especially BF4 where teamwork is supposed to be the most important.

    A player in a chopper with a 10.2 KD ratio isn’t automatically better than a soldier on foot with a 2.3 KDR for example, he’s just abusing vehicles. KDR has nothing to with skill whatsoever, yet people do everything they can to avoid deaths.

    Remove KDR, remove deaths and ONLY show how many kills/flag caps/MCOM’s assaulted etc.

    #6 12 months ago
  7. ivycrew707

    Great idea and good point #6

    #7 12 months ago
  8. CPC_RedDawn

    @6

    I totally agree with you. I long for a truly team based competitive fps game.

    I hate what COD has become, BO2 is a joke with some of the pathetically stupid things its done. Sure, gone are the annoying things from past COD’s martyrdom, last stand, etc. In there place is Target Finder, Wall Hack Scope, horrid hit boxes, and some seriously horrible gun roster.

    BF3 was a breathe of fresh air when it came out and I love it to pieces sure some people camp, some people abuse tanks etc but honestly its still way more balanced then any COD has been in years. The last well based COD game was COD2 lol

    #8 12 months ago
  9. SplatteredHouse

    K/D display serves the gameplay in no way. It would be better off something that’s OFF by default, but a way is left that if you need to you can enable its display.

    #9 12 months ago
  10. DSB

    Yeah, and lets remove points from Donkey Kong so people can enjoy the “tr00″ sense of the game.

    Gimme a break. Don’t blame a stat for lazy game design. The truth is DICE have done nothing to make people work together since BF2. Obviously they’re gonna play their games just like they play ever other game, unless they’re taught how it works. That’s just human nature.

    Red Orchestra 2 is a teambased shooter. For one, you die real quick, so if you don’t have anyone supporting you (or maybe, someone running with you who is every bit as likely to be cut down) you’re gonna die a lot earlier.

    Aside from that you can’t spawn on just any lone wolf, you have to spawn on your NCO/Team leader, or start at a rally point way back, which means the team leader has an obligation to stay alive to push his team up, and in turn his team will always spawn around him.

    The NCO also has to set up artillery markers before the Commander can call in arty. If the marker is off, so will the strike be.

    And because you die so quickly, it’s really a very good idea to pop smoke if you’re moving across open ground. But only the NCOs have smoke, so it’s a good idea to let him lead the troops.

    It’s really pretty simple design, but you really won’t get anywhere in that game unless you get smart.

    #10 12 months ago
  11. AmiralPatate

    “As a pilot, you had to fly your plane and only kill other planes with your cannons. You didn’t have any counter-measures; you didn’t have any missiles”

    It only took them 2 years to realise…
    Then again, in 1942-2142, vehicles had the same loadout, everybody was happy. Why do we have to unlock things on vehicles in the first place anyway?

    As for infantry unlocks, it’s just looks like a fusterclock to me. It’s probably not that hard to understand, the problem here is I shouldn’t be required to understand. BF2/2142 was simple (1 level = 1 unlock). BC2/BF3 was simple too. I like simple.

    #11 12 months ago
  12. TheWulf

    @4

    I agree with that. I just wish we had it in an environment like UT, with ridiculous sci-fi guns, and people zipping around at almost vehicular speeds. I miss that. I think the only reason UT3 failed is because it lacked the Assault game mode.

    #12 12 months ago
  13. joshua nash

    @6 Its nice to see someone else voice their dislike of KDR, when I play BF to me all that matter is did I contribute to my team, as in when I spawn on a squad member did I throw down an ammo or health, did I revive or repair, if I did any of these things plus aiding in capturing or defending then I did good, KDR is the worst thing about any FPS and the moment I start worrying about it is the moment I decide to move onto something else

    #13 12 months ago
  14. luv1138

    BF > CoD

    #14 12 months ago

Comments are now closed on this article.