Against all odds, Battlefield 2042 developer DICE has opened up about what's been going on behind the scenes since the game's launch last November, what the team is doing about the most common criticisms, and what players can look forward to over the next year.
Season One delayed
To begin with, DICE revealed that the start of Season One has been pushed back to sometime in early summer, rather than the rumoured (and expected) March date. Summer 2022 begins June 21. The developer did this to spend more time addressing the major issues currently plaguing the game, and ensure Season One content doesn't repeat the same mistakes.
As a way of making up for that delay, all players who own the Gold and Ultimate editions (which include the Year One Pass) will receive a free bundle with a Specialist skin for Mackay, weapon skins for the K30 SMG and the M44 revolver, a Bolte vehicle skin, a melee weapon, as well as player card cosmetics. This bundle will be available in the game's next update.
A big change to how player feedback is incorporated
In a blog post, DICE also revealed its new approach to communication and taking on player feedback. The developer intends to clearly explain the direction of the game's overall design, and the thinking behind every change and tweak. The more interesting news is that player feedback will now be a core part of the process, shaping the future of the game.
The developer will monitor player conversations about announced changes, and take on player notes to evolve whatever is being proposed. Later, the community will get an evolved pitch with their feedback taken on board. Work will not begin until these steps have been taken.
First item on the menu is map design. DICE will be sharing its vision for how to make Battlefield 2042's maps friendlier to infantry, addressing aggressive openness and lack of cover. The team will be sharing those ideas widely and loudly to give them the most exposure possible, but other smaller topics will receive attention of appropriate scale.
Of course, you'll have to wait for everything to actually be implemented into the game, a process that takes time.
"Our commitment is to explain our reasoning behind future decisions and to make sure you understand where we stand on your feedback. We want you to see more of the big picture of where we’re going and incorporate more of what we’re already hearing to ensure that our work is meaningful to you," DICE said.
March patch and beyond
In the more immediate future - starting with a big update due out early in March - you can expect a new scoreboard. The first iteration of that won't be its final, and DICE promised to make it more traditional in its design; adding separate tables for teams and incorporating kill/death scoring and end of round reporting over time. Cross-platform VOIP, and a detailed player profile page (for unlocks and stats) are also currently in development.
DICE is also working on a "clearer, tighter squad loop" that better rewards squad and objective play, a new ping system, and more gunplay updates. Specialists - a thorny subject for many - are being analysed and worked on by a dedicated team, though DICE didn't say what changes this will bring, just that more will be revealed there when the team is ready. Portal will receive similar attention, with new tools and modes, and tweaks to player XP gains.