We're only a couple of weeks into the new year, and Battlefield 2042 developers have already found themselves in some hot water.
This week, DICE's anticipated return to the office following the holiday break brought us a small new patch, and the promise of bigger changes and a new scoreboard design in February as part of a larger patch. Portal developer Ripple Effect also debuted a new tiered XP cap system for community-created experiences in an attempt to bring back XP earn on those servers, without making it possible for some to create XP farming modes.
The changes were not particularly well received, but players certainly didn't expect for official Portal experiences to also get into the bot farming game. Alongside the new Portal rules, Ripple Effect refreshed the available list of official experiences, introducing a new zombie survival mode.
The setup for this experience is basic; players must fend off waves of knife-brandishing, AI-controlled soldiers. With each subsequent wave, enemy difficulty gets harder. Unfortunately, because official Portal experiences get to enjoy full XP earn and ribbon unlocks without limitations, the zombies mode quickly became an easy XP farming tool for players looking to rank up, unlock attachments, or progress through mastery tiers.
The Battlefield 2042 subreddit took little time to lambaste the developer, showing off how easy the new mode makes XP farming. Some even began posting tips about the safest spots to camp where zombies can't reach you, as well as the best time to quit/die for maximum farming efficiency.
The irony of this to happen on the same day as the arrival of the new XP limits is not lost on developers, but it appears it may have been an unforced error.
Senior design director at Ripple Effect, Justin Wiebe, apologised to fans on Twitter.
"I’m not going to lie, this one shouldn’t have gotten through our review process," Wiebe tweeted. "I think our desire to create a fun zombies mode clouded our ability to see such a simple thing like the impact it would have on progression. I’m very sorry for the hardship this has caused."
The zombies mode will likely be removed soon, assuming some fixes can be made to stop it from turning into the hottest XP farming spot in Battlefield 2042.