Battlefield 2042 gets antsy about whether 128 players is a good idea after all

Battlefield 2042 had a tough old launch, with publisher EA saying it “failed to live up to expectations” earlier, rather confusingly, denying it blames Halo Infinite for the game’s cold reception. In short, no one is happy. The players are unhappy, the publisher is unhappy, and DICE is not happy either.

New blog post The Key Feedback section details some of the significant improvements that DICE intends to make to the game, initially focusing on the design of the game map. It defines five key areas to work on in-game maps: Walking, Intensity, Line of Sight, Object Paths, and Cover.

The workaround is pretty obvious: players are frustrated with the travel time between flags and spawns, which is no doubt exacerbated by 2042’s new 128-player cap. “We’ve seen you use terms like ‘Walking Simulator’ to describe what it feels like in a game,” writes¬†DICE CM PartWelsh. “We understand that this is not fun, and we agree that the total travel time is too long.”

So: base spawn and flags will be moved. DICE is already working on the most “obvious candidates” but is also asking players for their opinion on which cards are the biggest offenders in this regard.

The issue categorized as “intensity” is particularly interesting as, like spawns, it seems to be related to the 128 player limit. “We know that during certain pushes to the target, the battle for the flags can become too chaotic; either there are too many players or vehicles, and sometimes the general chaos can make you feel overwhelmed as you try to accurately gauge what’s going on around you.”

In terms of solutions, DICE is considering permanently reducing the maximum number of players in Breakthrough Mode to 64 players (an option that is already in the game), reducing vehicle spawns, and tweaking score values. But the conclusion says, “We now believe that 64-player Breakthrough provides the best Breakthrough experience.”

Line of sight is how often players receive fire from enemies at a distance, with complaints generally being that there are too many open and flat spaces that encourage and reward ranged combat: the Kaleidoscope card is a specific culprit. This map is currently being changed internally with more line-of-sight blocks, and there are plans to do the same with others.

This suggests that a lot of what DICE is doing here is under development and won’t be seen in the game right away, and in some cases, not even in the short term. The Kaleidoscope is where the changes will be seen first, but in terms of the overall map pool: “The plans we laid out to you today will require significant development time, so we want to be transparent that not all of these proposed changes will be available.” you in the game at the same time on our entire library of cards.

The last two areas of attention are the paths to the goals and, to some extent, the covers associated with this. DICE believes that there is a particular problem with the defense in some maps that do not have clearly marked paths, as well as problems with “players exposing themselves in bad lanes” when attacking. Presumably, they do not shine for the defenders but perish under a hail of fi.

The cover is associated with several of the above areas. It’s basically not enough, and DICE is going to add more to the maps that were needed to reduce the amount of open and flat spaces that encourage ranged combat. “[O]Your goal is to reduce the chance of being hit at 360 degrees and remove that Hail Mary feeling as you run through no man’s land between targets.”

The blog post ends by acknowledging that these “learnings” are critical to the future of BF 2042 and thus will be included in all future map designs. The conclusion is as follows: “The most important thing for us is that bigger maps don’t necessarily mean more freedom and playstyles or fun. So you can expect future maps to be smaller in scale than most maps from our release. “

It also seems like DICE is becoming more cautious about what the 128 player count might mean: which seems surprising when it was one of the game’s main features. The developer is going to “review the number of players” in different modes and, with all the suggestions above, is asking players to send in feedback and clips showing their issues where appropriate.

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