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DICE is changing Battlefield 2042's maligned Specialists, starting with... facial hair

Specialist operators in Battlefield 2042 are going to be overhauled, at some point. For now, let's look at these gruff beards.

The journey to make Battlefield 2042 better continues over at developer DICE. This week, the studio shared new visual makeovers for four of its Specialists.

The new designs are a response to one of the earliest points of player feedback, in that the light-hearted demeanour of the game's characters does not reflect the grim reality of its war-torn world. This many months later, DICE is addressing the problem, starting with the easiest aspect to fix.

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On Battlefield's social media channels, the developer shared the new – gritty – looks for Pyotr "Boris" Guskovsky, Constantin "Angel" Anghel, Webster Mackay, and Maria Falck. Apart from Falck, the most recognisable change in appearance for the three male Specialists is that they all grew beards (or made longer in Boris' case).

Generally, all four look more gruff to better align with the state of Battlefield 2042's world. There are a few other tweaks to each of their faces, but that's neither here nor there. These new designs – only shown for the four noted above so far – will arrive in the game with the next patch, due out in early August.

Though the visual design of Battlefield 2042's Specialists, and their constant quipping, have definitely been big points of criticism for players, the main problem they represent is the erosion of the series' class system.

DICE acknowledged that, much like so many other creative decisions made during development, turning classes into Specialists was a bad idea. The developer promised to change that structure, but we still don't know what form it's going to take.

Some suggested simply bringing back the four major classes and slotting the existing Specialists under them. This would require imposing a few limitations in order to achieve some parity for the group. Short of scrapping the whole system altogether, however, I find it hard to expect any meaningful changes.

The August patch is also set to introduce Battlefield 2042's first map makeover for Kaleidoscope. This redesign is adding cover to much of its open space in Conquest, tightening the spread of capture points, and giving the bizarrely pristine landscape a visual makeover to reflect the damage of war.

One wonders where Sundance is going to fit in a traditional class system.

Then, the next season will begin sometime in September. Though official details have yet to be announced, we're likely getting one more Specialist and a new map. Midway through the season, another of Battlefield 2042's existing maps will be overhauled.

This lethargic pace of updates is a good indication that EA wants to finish up the remainder of the season pass as cheaply as possible. Reports say there's a skeleton crew currently tasked with that process. DICE continues to contest these reports, though without saying how much of the original team remains, or giving any hard numbers.

It's hard to predict whether Battlefield 2042 will ever make it out of this tunnel. The game's first season launch did attract new players and bring back some who gave up on it last year, but those figures are nowhere near what they were at launch. With other heavy-hitters on the horizon, such as Modern Warfare 2 in October, and Warzone 2 sometime after the game could very well be buried.

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