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Battlefield 4 beta testers “aren’t playing the actual game”, often “objectively wrong”

Friday, 18th October 2013 01:45 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Battlefield 4′s beta has been heavily criticised, but DICE producer Patrick Bach has said the build on show is well out of date and that players are often “objectively wrong” with their critiques.

Speaking to GamesIndustry, Bach said Battlefield 4′s beta is vitally important, as it’s likely to prevent a GTA 5 or Diablo disaster, but player complaints aren’t necessarily useful at this stage.

“In the first hour of the beta we got more playtesting than we’d have previously during the entire project. The feedback you get is huge,” he said.

“We’re trying to compare our list of feedback and bugs with the list we’re getting from the community. While we know that what people are playing isn’t the latest game, it’s one or two months old, we’re comparing notes on what is already fixed.”

That doesn’t matter so much, though, because the beta is about load-testing the back end, Bach said, “so that you don’t end up in a Rockstar situation where the game doesn’t actually work on day one”.

“We’ve been in that situation previously for the same reasons, where you’re expecting one scenario and then it turns out to be completely different – it’s really, really hard to cater for that,” he added.

“We’re getting really good feedback. I think we’ve got more or less everything that people have found now, people are finding less and less and just playing for fun. So for us it’s extremely helpful, even though it hurts because you know people aren’t playing the actual game and you hope they don’t think that they are.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Bach also noted that while DICE listens to player feedback, a lot of it is quite misinformed.

“My biggest concern is when you see online feedback as truth, because we actually build into the game a lot of telemetry, ways for us to measure different things happening almost on a player level but also on a match level and see who won, what happened, how many kills did he get with his gun etc etc, making it possible for us to actually compare feedback from the internet with facts,” he said.

“And it’s actually quite scary to see how objectively wrong people can be. Because they want to win, personally, therefore they claim the thing that prevents them from winning is a design flaw or a bug or something.”

The producer said before DICE had access to telemetry it sometimes made updates based on Internet rage and made the game much worse, because player perception is inaccurate.

“It’s in our interest to keep the game balanced and stable and find the right things to tweak to keep things on top. If people are only using one gun in the game, the game is probably broken,” he said.

“If you are using the right amount of variation within the game, the game is probably pretty good because Battlefield is about variation.

“We actually saw in Battlefield 3 that we had a really good split between the classes. I think it was like 49, 51, 49, 51 between classes, it was amazing. Still we read on the internet that certain player types – ‘oh, there are only snipers and you should have a system that prevents too many people from being snipers blah blah blah.’ But it’s not true,” he added.

“If that was the case we’d maybe do more to that but we can even see that in the data now. I saw people saying ‘oh, you haven’t fixed the problems you had in 3 because there are too many snipers,’ and it’s like no, we can see on the data that you are objectively wrong about this thing.”

Battlefield 4 arrives on PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on October 29, and hits PS4 and Xbox One at launch in November.

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12 Comments

  1. xxJPRACERxx

    Well, maybe overall there’s not too many snipers and games are balanced and I agree, but sometime there is games with too many snipers. So they could put a limit, say, you can’t have more than 50% (which is big) of your team to be snipers or just have the option to let server admins chose the limit.

    #1 10 months ago
  2. yeoung

    I’m not in the beta, or even a shooter fan. I spent some time with BF3 as it entered the IGC on PSplus. It was entertaining on account of its variety in gameplay styles. I spent more time mowing people down in the jeeps and capturing bases then I did shooting things. That said, I did end up liking the automatic shotgun.

    Which brings me to what might be a nice addition; the ability to filter on server rules. You have no idea just how many servers I’d have to sift through to find one that didn’t say *NO SHOTGUNS/STINGERS*

    Let me have my noobgun damnit.

    #2 10 months ago
  3. SplatteredHouse

    “because player perception is inaccurate.” Of course it is. Unless their telemetry data accounts for individual bandwidth circumtance and other physical realities of long-distance data transfer: All the user can tell is what they see on their own screen.

    Or, in the case that they find a busy area of the map, lots of fire and attacking, and the player notices something that he could bring up in feedback, but he also has the ongoing game that distracts him, so he is not certain about this odd anomaly, but reports according to his perception of what took place (again still, subject to the fallability mentioned above), but then the data telemetry says that his impression of what took place was wrong – he wasn’t trying to pad the outcome there, it was just what was seen.

    “Because they want to win, personally, therefore they claim the thing that prevents them from winning is a design flaw or a bug or something.”” So, basically, bad players, then. Whose feedback is low in usefulness. Their participation defeating the object. Except of cours, we have plucky game director, here, jump up and be telling us that the participation’s sole purpose is to throw bodies at the server!! Farcical.

    #3 10 months ago
  4. DSB

    If I had a nickle for every time a games developer said “Don’t believe the beta” and then the beta turned out to be exactly like the finished game…

    Historically, DICE just aren’t very good at balancing their games. Getting sniped by M60s, or just steamrolled by entire squads of medics in Bad Company 2, or losing every mid to shortrange duel you have with an AEK in Battlefield 3, unless you’re carrying one yourself.

    I guess it’s cool if you want a random shooter where anything goes, and I can see how there would be a market for that, but it hurts the competitive aspect.

    @1 Or just take charge as designers and make a decision to limit the classes for the sake of the experience. It doesn’t have to be utterly brutal, but a game like Red Orchestra 2 is made a lot better by the fact that every battle consists of two balanced teams with limited numbers of each class.

    Battlefields bag is supposed to be (less fake) realism right? Not everyone goes to war with a machinegun or a long rifle. If they had the balls I think they could improve a lot by going that way, and it would also give people ownership over the classes by making the squad a real “unit”.

    #4 10 months ago
  5. RussellGorall

    Where have I heard this before?

    #5 10 months ago
  6. Hyperx64

    Can I have that white Xbox One. Thanks. Hyperx64.

    #6 10 months ago
  7. AmiralPatate

    So I’m imagining all those guys camping on rooftops. Good to now. I guess I’m also objectively wrong when I notice LMGs have close to no recoil.

    @4
    The old ones were pretty well balanced I think.

    #7 10 months ago
  8. Legion

    Wow… I was worried for a second. I guess the teleporting elevators are just my perception of things. Or the idea that I am standing in the elevator with doors open on the roof and the enemy is standing in same said elevator at the bottom floor with doors open is just me seeing things wrong.

    Glad to know that my experience with the Xbox 360 controls was all in my head. Obviously I am wrong to think I should be able to melee someone and sill keep my thumbs on the right thumb stick while doing so. Hate to think I had to actually stop moving and plant myself before switching my thumb over to that ‘B’ button. And having to stop firing just to spot someone… must be something I am seeing on my end. The facts can’t really be pointing to bad control options for the consoles… surely?

    I get out of the water and every time I am shot I get bubbles blocking my screen as if I am submerged. Must just be me?

    Yep… lucky all these issues are just me not being correct in what I am seeing. Sad thing is… i will likely be incorrect when the real game comes out too… so might as well not purchase the game. Oh well.

    #8 10 months ago
  9. Dunno

    After yesterday’s news I thought DICE wised up and today again the same old rubbish and they’re telling us that we’re all idiots, misinformed and ballbalb.

    #9 10 months ago
  10. Os Money

    @8 i literately never saw any of those your complaining about and i am confused to what button layout your using…. Not saying they’rent any bugs in the game but i havent seen the ones your talking about.

    #10 10 months ago
  11. denverfan92

    @8 they said that a lot of it is misinformed, not all of it. My understanding is that DICE wants feedback on bugs and the like, not on every single aspect of the game. He said in the article that they are making a list of bugs that the community has encountered and comparing it against their own list of bugs that they know exist. So the things that you are talking about are good observations and the kind of feedback they want. Its just when players report things like snipers are overpowered just because they get killed by snipers a lot and cant snipe themselves that DICE doesnt want that info. I think DICE just wants to avoid nerfing certain aspects of the game simply because some people are really good at it and other people get mad about it.

    #11 10 months ago
  12. zinc

    So why are these devs, who spend their lives & millions of dollars, creating these spectacular games… Listening to every whiny bitch on the internet, who to a manbaby contribute NOTHING to the creative process?

    Do Chefs ask the customer to help them in the kitchen? No. STOP LISTENING TO THE INTERNET DICE!

    #12 10 months ago

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