DICE has outlined some of the changes it is considering for maps in Battlefield 2042.
According to the developer, it is looking at traversal, intensity, line of sight, paths, cover, and other changes to particular maps such as Kaleidoscope.
One of the core issues the team is looking at is traversal, as players have voiced frustration on how long it takes to travel between Flags, or from Base Spawn to Flag. This comes as a result of the introduction of 128 players in combination with some of the biggest maps the team has ever created as playspaces. DICE said that while the larger maps offer more playspace and freedom, "a side effect" is that gameplay is now spread out more, resulting in an overall increase in time to combat when related to playing the objective.
To combat this, a reduction in the overall travel time between Flag and Base Spawn on some maps is being looked into, and this will occur by moving both the Base Spawn and closest Flags.
Another area the team feels it can do to improve the gameplay experience is combat intensity. Again, this issue is mainly related to 128 player modes, especially Breakthrough which can get a bit chaotic when fighting over Flags when there are too many players or vehicles.
In terms of improvements, DICE is reviewing if it makes sense to keep Breakthrough as 128 players vs 64, or if a reduction of the total number of vehicles that can spawn will make things less overwhelming. Right now, it feels that Breakthrough on 64 players provides the best experience.
With line of sight, the team feels there are too many open and flat spaces on some of the maps at present, which puts too much focus on direct long-distance combat between objectives. Most feedback on this is aimed at Kaleidoscope, but this also applies to other areas of the maps. The current improvement plan is to ensure there are more opportunities to hide while moving to and from objectives. The goal is to reduce the focus on long-range combat, and the necessity of carrying weapons.
Because Kaleidoscope is an "obvious offender for line of sight challenges," DICE is working on improving certain areas of the map, including re-designing the Breakthrough experience to move combat into areas of the map where better cover exists.
Another area of focus is not having clear paths towards objectives, because, without a clear intended path, enemy fire comes in from all possible angles. This can make it difficult to hold an objective, and when on the attack, players are exposing themselves on bad lanes to push for a flag. Improvements are being looked into to the paths on maps, to make clearer and more defined paths and to make it easier to understand how to get from one objective to the next.
Finally, the current lack of cover across maps is another improvement area the team will focus on. While it is trying to limit direct long-range combat between objectives, it is also looking to ensure sufficient cover when traveling between objectives. DICE is looking to address this by reviewing the need for additional cover in places where needed with the intent to reduce being fired at from a 360-degree angle.
As an example of the changes being looked into, DICE called out Breakthrough - Sector A on Kaleidoscope Large as a good example of where objectives are too far from the Defending Base Spawn. The team feels it is currently too unforgiving for the attacking side.
With Conquest - Kaleidoscope, there are too many open spaces without cover which leaves players open for a lengthy amount of time.
Because the plans DICE has outlined will require "substantial development time," not all of the proposed changes will be available in-game simultaneously across all of the libraries of maps. The team has already started to incorporate "healthier behaviors" into new maps that are in development, but it is approaching the updating of old maps with a dedicated focus on the maps most needing the changes first. This includes Kaleidoscope on both Conquest, and Breakthrough, which is where players will see the first updates to land. The current plan is to deliver updates to Kaleidoscope during Season One.
With future map design, the current learnings will impact the design process, and because bigger maps don't equate to "more freedom and playstyles or fun." players can expect future maps to be smaller in scale than most of the release maps. This also means DICE is reviewing a possible reduction in the number of Sectors and total Capture Points per map when playing at 128 players. It's also considering changing the shape of the maps to give them more sense of direction.
Player counts across modes such as Breakthrough will also be reviewed, as well as the types and number of vehicles that can be used on specific maps with the focus on where to find the right balance which positively enhances the gameplay experience.