DICE has all but abandoned Battlefield 5’s Firestorm.
You’d be forgiven for not remembering that Firestorm, Battlefield 5’s late entry into the battle royale subgenre, even existed. The mode released nearly a year ago and was praised at the time for some original mechanics, but not much else.
The people who stuck with it beyond the first week will tell you that it’s been treated as DICE’s red-headed stepchild. Since launch, countless problems plagued Firestorm. The loot system, for instance, creates an explosion of items impossible to efficiently sort through when a player is killed, and has remained the same since launch.
Players held on, with the expectation that – at the very least – the bigger-ticket items will be addressed in due course, but nothing changed. Those who kept coming back learned to put up with Firestorm’s shortcomings, but were dealt another blow in December with the release of patch 5.2.
Patch 5.2 was DICE’s second attempt at changing the game’s time-to-kill (TTK) by re-balancing almost every primary weapon. The intention was to create specialised roles for the different weapon types, and make it a bit easier to survive long-range engagements.
DICE did not make specific changes to Firestorm as part of this update. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find Firestorm mentioned at all in developer updates towards the end of last year, almost as if it’s been completely forgotten about.
Of course, once the new 5.2 damage values were implemented, it became clear that nobody at DICE tested their effect in Firestorm. As the damage per bullet went down, particularly at range, the number of bullets required to kill a single player substantially climbed.
In Firestorm, players spawn in with 150HP, as opposed to the 100HP default in core modes. Add to that the protection of armour – three tiers of 50HP each – and you get countless videos of confused players emptying entire magazines into enemies in order to down them.
By the nature of battle royale, players don’t get to choose their weapons, which creates an even bigger problem where one player could end up with one of the statistically worst weapons, the ones hit hardest by 5.2.
This has been Firestorm’s state since 5.2’s release in December. DICE has yet to revert those changes, or hotfix Firestorm separately. The developer is now back from holiday, and recently shared plans to sort of revert some of 5.2’s changes.
This is not a blanket reset, however, more of a further update to incorporate player feedback since 5.2’s release. This mainly concerns close to medium-range combat, so there’s no telling if this is going to help Firestorm’s case in any way.
Thanks to Fieryhotsauce for the tip.