Battlefield Core Feedback - Maps

by Straatford87
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Battlefield Core Feedback - Maps

[ Edited ]
EA DICE Team

If you want to jump straight into giving your feedback, we've set up a dedicated discussion topic for you [here].


 

Hey folks,

 

On February 1 we reaffirmed our commitment to push up the quality of Battlefield 2042. Part of that commitment is to better clarify the design direction that we’re taking, and what’s motivating our decisions to bring improvements to the game via a feedback loop that involves you, our players, more directly.

 

Today we’ll kick off our first key area of focus, Map Design.

 

Based on your feedback, we’ll outline 5 main topics we’ve identified around the current problems that we face with gameplay on maps, their cause, and our current thought process and proposed changes on addressing these problems. Our intent for this is to be an open discussion with you, so we’re looking forward to hearing your thoughts and feedback about our updated design goals for maps to ensure that we’re making the right calls to bring improvements to the gameplay experience.

 


 

Traversal

One of the core issues we have identified is Traversal. We both see, and have heard your frustrations on how long it takes on maps today 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 that we’ve ever created as playspaces. 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.   

 

We’ve seen you use terms such as “Walking Simulator” to describe how this feels in-game. We understand that this isn’t a satisfying experience and agree that there’s too much overall travel time.  

 

We’re currently looking to reduce the overall travel time between Flag and Base Spawn on some maps by moving both the Base Spawn, and closest Flags. We’ve already identified a number of obvious candidates that fall outside of our new expected behaviours, but we want to hear from you on this topic as well. Which maps presently provide a poor opening experience because of the location of the Base Spawn? Which maps are making it harder to get back into the fight in an all cap scenario? Later on in the post, we’ll share a link to a general feedback thread that we’ve opened up to capture some of this feedback, but don’t be shy to have these conversations out amongst other hubs of Battlefield Community. We’re out there monitoring the conversations and are keen to hear what you have to say.   



Intensity

Another area that we’ve identified where we feel that we can improve your gameplay experience is in the overall Intensity of combat. Largely, we feel that this issue is mainly related to 128 player modes, and especially in Breakthrough. We know that during certain pushes for the objective, it can get too chaotic when fighting over Flags; either there are too many players, or vehicles, and sometimes the overall chaos can make it feel overwhelming when accurately trying to assess what’s happening around you. 

 

In terms of improvements, we are presently reviewing if it makes sense to keep Breakthrough as 128 players vs 64, or if we feel that a reduction of the total number of vehicles that can spawn ensures that their presence isn’t as overwhelming, and gives infantry players a more important role. In the leadup to the Holidays, we introduced 64 player Breakthrough, and recently made some changes to the ticket values across the mode based on behaviors we were seeing in the final objective phase. Right now, we feel that Breakthrough on 64 players provides the best experience of Breakthrough. 

 

But we also want to hear from you around the Intensity of the experience on Breakthrough. How do you feel about the current balance between Infantry and Vehicles on the mode? Have you played 64 player Breakthrough, and do you feel that this is the better way to experience the mode? We’re still in the process of working towards our next phase of improvements for the mode, and we’d like to incorporate as much of your feedback as possible into that process.



Line of sight

Line of sight is another topic that we've received plenty of feedback on. When we refer to line of sight, we’re relating this to how often you’re taking fire from enemies at distance. We feel, and have heard from you, that there are presently too many open and flat spaces on some of our maps, which puts too much focus on direct long-distance combat between objectives. We largely see that feedback aimed at certain areas in Kaleidoscope, but have observed discussion on other areas of our maps as well.

 

Our current plan for improvement is to ensure there are more opportunities to hide yourself from enemy line of sight while traversing from objective to objective, with a goal of ours being to reduce the focus on long-range combat, and the necessity of carrying weapons which perform best in these ranges.

 

As shared earlier, we presently feel that Kaleidoscope is an obvious offender for line of sight challenges, and are already making passes internally on improving certain areas of the map, including re-designing our Breakthrough experience to move combat into areas of the map where better cover already exists. What we’d like to hear from you is on which maps and Flags you see the most immediate need for more line of sight blockers. Knowing this will help us to best prioritize the work that we go on to do in parallel with other changes, and ensure that we’re addressing the next biggest offenders in good order.



Paths

Another feedback area of focus is not having clear Paths towards objectives, and the lanes that players are most commonly traveling in when moving between objectives. Without a clear intended path, enemy fire is more often coming in from all possible angles. We recognise that when you’re defending, this can make it difficult to hold the objective, and when on the attack, we see players exposing themselves on bad lanes in bids to push for a flag. 

 

We’re presently looking to bring improvements into the paths that we have on our maps, to make clearer and more defined paths while traveling between objectives in order to keep combat focused, and to make it easier to understand how to get from one objective to the next. If you have thoughts or examples that align to those goals, please don’t be shy to show us. These can be as basic as extracting a 2 minute clip of you moving from flag to flag, and calling out to us the experience you had whilst doing that (good or bad), or discussion of specific areas that you feel are presently lacking good pathing, or are the best examples of where this is currently strongest.



Cover

Lastly, and similar to line of sight, the current lack of cover across maps is another improvement area which is also caused by the open and flat spaces that you have encountered on certain maps. While we are trying to limit direct long-range combat between objectives, we’re also looking to ensure sufficient cover for when you are traveling between the objectives. 

 

We are looking to address this by reviewing the need for additional cover in places where we feel that they’re needed. In line with what has been discussed in some of our other focus areas, our intent is to reduce the likelihood of being fired at from a 360 degree angle, and to take away that Hail Mary feeling of running onto no man’s land between objectives.

 

If you have any specific areas on maps that are currently standing out to you which lack cover, then we’d love to hear from you. 



Examples of these improvement areas across current maps

To give you a better understanding of what we’ve outlined today, here are a few examples of these areas in-game that we see today, as negatively impacting your gameplay experience:

 

Breakthrough - Sector A on Kaleidoscope Large - this is a good example of where we feel the objectives are too far from the Defending Base Spawn. It’s difficult to make it from spawn to those objectives, alive. There’s very little cover across the immediate road and grassy embankments as soon as you’re out of the spawn area. We feel it’s currently too unforgiving for the attacking side.

 

BreakthroughMaps.png

 

Conquest - Kaleidoscope - we notice very few people run from the left tower up through the skatepark and to the dome. There are too many open spaces without cover which leave you open for a lengthy amount of time. 

 

ConquestMaps.png

 

As an example we’ve added the heatmap below which shows large areas of the map are underutilized as they are considered too dangerous.

 

heatmap.png

 

When can we expect these planned improvements to be live in-game?

The plans that we’ve outlined to you today will require substantial development time, so we want to be transparent that not all of these proposed changes will be available to you in-game simultaneously across all of our library of maps. 

 

We’ve established some healthier behaviors that we have already started to incorporate into new maps that are in development for the game, but we’ll be approaching the updating of old maps with dedicated focus to the maps most needing the changes first.

 

Our immediate priority areas of focus is to make improvements to Kaleidoscope on both Conquest, and Breakthrough. We know that we have the most opportunity to improve gameplay on this map, and this is where you can expect to see the first updates to land. We’re currently planning to deliver updates specifically to Kaleidoscope during Season One, and your feedback will help us to not only optimize the changes that we’re making to this map, but best inform us on where our focus on improving maps should move to next.

 

 

What do these identified improvement areas mean for future map design?

We’ve already briefly shared that you’ll visit new locations in future Seasons. So today we’ll also outline how these current learnings will impact our design process for future maps.

 

The biggest action point for ourselves is that bigger maps doesn’t necessarily mean more freedom and playstyles, or fun. So you can expect future maps to be smaller in scale than most of our release maps. This also means we are reviewing a possible reduction in the number of Sectors and total Capture Points per map when playing at 128 players. We’re also thinking about changing the shape of the maps to give them more sense of direction. We feel that going from a common Battlefield standard of a square shaped playspace, to a rectangular shape most commonly used in some of our older entries in the franchise can better incentivize pushing forward versus circling out sideways. We feel that this can help to focus areas of combat, enable you to have more focused awareness, and reduce opportunities for enemy fire to come in from all around you.

 

We’ll also review the player counts across modes such as Breakthrough, as well as the types and number of vehicles that can be used on specific maps. For example, does it make sense to have (multiple) Jets on Kaleidoscope if that is our smallest map? It’s important to note here that our focus isn’t to limit your available options, but instead to find the right balance which positively enhances your gameplay experience. Above all, we want you to have fun no matter which map you’re on.



What’s next?

We hope today we’ve given you a good overview of how we’ve been collecting your feedback around map design, and our thought process on how we can improve. We’d like to keep this as an open discussion with you, the community, and we’re looking forward to your thoughts on what we’ve outlined today. 

 

Throughout the post today, we’ve posed a lot of questions, and we invite you to share your thoughts, feelings and responses over on the official Battlefield forums, but we’ll of course also be reading your comments across multiple hubs of community such as Discord, Reddit, and Social Media.

 

I will be back later this month to talk to you about the feedback that you’ve shared, what that’s enabled us to pursue, or inspired us to address. You’ll hear from me, and the team on how your feedback is helping us to best improve the experience you have when playing the game.

 

Lastly, we’d like to end with once again stating our dedication to the continued effort of improving on, and delivering new content for Battlefield 2042. We don’t take you, our players, for granted, and we truly appreciate your feedback and continued post-launch support now that we’re on the road to Season 1. 

 

 

See you on the Battlefield,

 

Freeman // @PartWelsh
Community Lead, Battlefield

 


Please visit here for a dedicated discussion topic for the questions outlined today.


 

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