Post news RSS The Road to Battlefield 4: Tweaked to the Core

In this second post in “The Road to Battlefield 4” blog series, we dive deeper into the Field Upgrade system and how we are tweaking the core gameplay to allow for more diversity in combat roles. Also: Vote for your favorite upgrade path and we’ll build it and submit it so it makes it into Battlefield 4 at launch!

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The Road to Battlefield 4: Tweaked to the Core

In this second post in “The Road to Battlefield 4”
blog series, we dive deeper into the Field Upgrade system and how we
are tweaking the core gameplay to allow for more diversity in combat
roles. Also: Vote for your favorite upgrade path and we’ll build it and
submit it so it makes it into Battlefield 4 at launch!

Last week, we discussed
how nearly all elements In Battlefield 4’s multiplayer work to bring
out the best team player in you. This week, we’ll take an in-depth look
at the Field Upgrades and discuss how we’re tweaking Battlefield 4 based
on the massive amounts of feedback and data that 1 billion hours of
Battlefield 3 play time has given us. Here to take you through the
nitty-gritty of these mechanics is Core Gameplay Designer Alan Kertz.

Meet the crew

Allow us to proudly present the first group shot of Battlefield 4’s
multiplayer kits, showing the Assault, Recon, Engineer, and Support kits
from the Russian, U.S. and Chinese armies. Based on the multiplayer map
in question, you’ll be able to choose from two of these three factions
(and if you run your own server, we’ll let you pick and choose the
opposing teams at your leisure.)

Meet the Chinese squad from Battlefield 4 with a sample setup of weapons and gear.Meet the Chinese squad from Battlefield 4 with a sample setup of weapons and gear.

Going into Battlefield 4, we knew we wanted to take the four playable
classes from Battlefield 3 as a starting point. We’ve tweaked them to
be more versatile and more highly specialized within their fields. Now
more than ever, you can explore a wide range of combat roles and
sub-roles when picking your load out and kit.

MP_Character_Profiles_RU_small_wmThe Russian Support, Engineer, Recon, and Assault Kit are waiting for you in Battlefield 4

For example, this time around the Engineer has a lot more
variation in anti-vehicle weapons. We’ve also revamped the way we do
vehicle disables and guided weapon systems to give the Engineer a
broader set of tactics at his disposal. This includes everything from
high damage weapons that may be more challenging to use (like RPG-7V2)
to fire-and-forget smart weapons with low damage (like the MBT LAW), and
the fan favorite Wire Guided Engineer Missile (the FGM-172 SRAW) that
you might recognize from Battlefield 2.

MP_Character_Profiles_US_small_wmMeet the U.S. playable kits from Battlefield 4, showcasing a sample of gear and weapons

The Support kit has a few more offensive options, and
thanks to community feedback will retain his C4 and Claymores from
Battlefield 3. The XM25 gives him some nice indirect suppressive fire, a
redesigned remote mortar allows him to use indirect fire from a
distance, and the ability to equip carbines and DMRs gives him an added
versatility in combat roles.
Recon has gotten a much needed boost to mobility, as well as
the return of the Spec Ops play style from Battlefield 2. Pack a
carbine, C4 (or Claymores), and Motion Sensors and you’re good to go
behind enemy lines. Fans of more traditional sniping roles will enjoy
our revamped sniping mechanics with rebalanced Sniper Rifles, the
ability to zero your sights (set an aiming distance), and additional
optics and accessories. Finally, the Recon players can still utilize the MAV, T-UGS, and Radio Beacon to help out their team.
Assault is still the frontline run-and-gun kit that also
serves the role of combat medic. This was one of the major changes in
Battlefield 3 compared to Battlefield 2, and one that players have
really appreciated. Assault is still the go-to kit with med kits and
defibrillators but has picked up some additional mobility with the First
Aid Pack, which heals a single soldier over time, or the 40mm Flash
Bang rounds to help clear rooms.

The Quest for Mobility

One of the main quests for the team when developing Battlefield 4 was
to create a more mobile Battlefield. Squad players became very mobile
in Battlefield 3 and we saw a gap where some of the more team play
focused gadgets required players to sit still. We adjusted this by
tailoring the kits, the gadgets, and the available specializations.
As far as gadgets go, we’re allowing for stronger team play on the
move by introducing all-new gadgets like the Portable Laser Designator,
and adding new portable First Aid and Ammo Packs. These packs now allow Assault and Support
players to top off a single teammate’s health or ammo on the move,
while the traditional Ammo Box and Med Kit keep their stationary area
heal and resupply roles. In the case of the Portable Laser Designator,
it’s designed as a SOFLAM for the Recon on the run – allowing you to
quickly laser designate targets without the longer setup time of a
SOFLAM (with the tradeoff of not being able to deploy it and have it
auto-designate targets for you.)

Suppressing Fire!

No one single gameplay mechanic has been as frequently discussed as
the suppression system in Battlefield 3. Suppression will return in
Battlefield 4, but we’re redesigning it based on your extensive feedback
while keeping the intense feeling of being under fire that a system
like Suppression provides.
We’re increasing the suppression effect of Light Machine Guns,
exclusive to the Support kit, while other weapons are less suppressive.
Additionally, we’ve decreased suppression at close range to ensure that
close quarters battles always focus sharply on player skill. Besides
changing the visual effects of suppression, we’re also replacing the
accuracy penalty in Battlefield 3 with a scope sway effect – similar to
what snipers get in Battlefield 3 while suppressed. A skilled, focused
player can keep his aim on target and get hits, even while under the
effects of Suppression.
Overall, we believe we have a great-performing suppression system in
Battlefield 4 that doesn’t interfere in close quarters combat, while at
the same time allowing for skilled players of the Support kit to really
make a difference. Laying down covering fire as Support means your
frontline runners can gain a crucial momentum in medium-range combat and
still allows you to combat the improved long-range options we’ve given
players who prefer to stay back at long range.

Choose your path – Field Upgrades and you

Last week on the blog, you could read about how Field Upgrades are
the new specializations in Battlefield 4. You pick a set path of four
upgrades which unlock in order as you perform squad actions like
resupplies, repairs, healing, and following orders. You can track your
progress in the Field Upgrade Progress Bar – or the “Bro Bar” as it has
become known internally at DICE.
BroBar
The focus on specifically squad-related actions means that the
biggest rewards come from sticking with your squad and being a great
team player. However, if your entire squad is wiped out, you will lose
some of your progress in the upgrade path. Finally, Lone Wolves can
still benefit from the base specialization since it’s always unlocked
and available.
Each of the playable kits: Engineer, Recon, Assault, and Support,
have four upgrade careers to choose between. Two of these are global and
usable for any kit – one of them focusing on Offense and one on
Defense. Offense starts with SPRINT and goes through AMMO, MORE
GRENADES, and REDUCED FALL. These give you quicker sprint speed, more
available ammo magazines, one extra hand grenade, and allows you to fall
from greater heights without taking any damage, respectively. This
universal upgrade path is great for players who enjoy being at the front
lines and leading the charge.
Meanwhile, the Defense path will net you ARMOR, COVER, FLAK, and
QUICK REGEN. These grant you increased protection from shots to the
chest, a decreased rate of being suppressed, decreased damage from
explosions, and a shorter time span before the out-of-combat health
regeneration kicks in. If you are more defensive-minded, perhaps playing
as Support from the sidelines, this can be an excellent choice.
Besides the two universal Offense and Defense Field Upgrade careers,
you will also be able to choose between two upgrade paths that are
unique to your class and allow an increased specialization in specific
combat roles. So while the Assault kit has the unique Combat Medic and
Grenadier upgrade paths, Engineer can choose between specializing in the
roles of either a Mechanic or Anti-Tank soldier. The first of these is
all about repairing your own vehicles, while the latter deals with
taking out enemy armor.
While the path you choose will allow for different types of roles on
the Battlefield, you’re never stuck with your first choice for the rest
of the round. Whenever you wish, you can simple reselect. Doing this
will never set you back in your current level of progress, so if you’re
currently at level three out of four, you will keep that level and have
it applied even if you change kit and/or upgrade path from the
customization screen. Should you choose to leave a squad without
entering a new squad, your current progress will be saved. So if you
later in the same round join a new squad, you won’t have to start from
scratch.
We have greatly increased the number of unique specializations
available in the game from Battlefield 3’s seven to over 25 in
Battlefield 4. It’s a conscious design decision to allow for greater
variety in any kit’s battlefield role – and here’s your chance to impact
the design of these for the launch of the game.

Plan your career

We still have a lot more details to share with you about weapons,
gadgets, and vehicles – but I think long time Battlefield fans can see
how we’re really focused on responding to the torrent of feedback that
passionate fans contribute to the series. Battlefield 4 aims to stay
true to the best parts of Battlefield 3, while also pushing to expand
the game in fresh directions. Keep your feedback coming, and don’t be
afraid to Point At All The Things you’d like to see in Battlefield 4.

-Alan Kertz
Stay tuned to “The Road to Battlefield 4”, where we’ll continue the journey towards launch by diving deeper and deeper into every nuance of the biggest Battlefield game ever
developed at DICE. Next episode: Bringing down skyscrapers was just the
beginning! More examples of the game-changing Levolution concept, and
new multiplayer footage from a new map.

Until then, let us know what you think about this blog post, and
what questions you want us to answer in the upcoming posts. Thanks for
reading!

Comments
InsanityPays
InsanityPays

There seem to be some promising changes here, but I can't be sure until I play the beta.

The reasons I most likely won't be buying BF4 (as an avid BF fan)
1: Battlelog- it really should be optional
2: The campaign looks more like a Michael Bay action movie than a battlefield experience
3: Origin- I would certainly buy BF4 on steam, simply out of convenience
(4): Special snowflake soldiers- an aesthetic flaw: All the soldiers looks like swat/special-forces/police. I just want to play as a regular grunt.
(5): Russians- Russia vs USA is overused. The conflict is unlikely and unrealistic. There are some server side features in BF4 that negate this, and I am happy in that regard. The campaign is the only place where this is a problem
(6): Faction specific weapons. PLEASE make weapons faction specific. It really kills immersion when people run around with all these guns! There are TOO MANY GUNS! If you need variety add gunpaints! Those are more authentic and a lot cooler in the long run. +It's far easier to balance a smaller number of weapons. You don't need those experimental guns that nobody actually uses xD.
(7): The music sounds like I put tin-foil in a toaster. Please, bring back some more traditional BF into music- IT WAS A LOT BETTER BEFORE
(8): Camos are silly. There should be 4-5 camos per team depending on the environments. USMC should have m81, marpat, and tan. They don't use all them fruity colors. This goes for guns as well- NOBODY PUTS CAMOUFLAGE ON THEIR GUNS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!(paints are better)

Reasons why I would like to buy it:
1: Dice is bringing back commander mode. I'm interested to see how this works
2: I like games that feature the PLA
3: I love battlefield
4: BF4 looks visually pleasing (although the color palette could use work- the colors are all very cold and depressing)
5: There will be more players there
6: Various changes in vehicle mechanics and weapon handling

At the moment, it doesn't look like a wise purchase, Sorry EA.

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mickLMZR
mickLMZR

Well, i might still end up getting it, the Campaign is interesting to me.

But obviously you can't miss the multiplayer! :D

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Simcardo
Simcardo

have to totally stick with number (4), (6), and (8)
thanks

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ChadaFACE
ChadaFACE

The snow flake soldiers thing has been bugging me alot, I mean look at the chinese support,wtf is that battlemask doing there

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MasterofMetal
MasterofMetal

Wetsuit, bro. But I agree too. I am irritated by so many soldiers donning gas masks in this. So, yeah, PLA, Russia, you actually think someone's going to launch a nuke or chem weapons on the battlefield? That's a violation of combat law, and a waste of men on both sides.

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Sirchby
Sirchby

Well, if you can buy it or no, its your choice. BUT, OF COURSE I wont buy it because i dont have a Money XD

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