That said, there are some things that we want to start the conversation on before we reach Update 5.2 - some of which will help to give you an understanding on where our focuses lie in the realm of continuing to improve and enhance the experience that many of you are having with Battlefield V every single day.
Affectionately known as the Boom Broom, we’re not presently satisfied with the way that the Lunge Mine is working in our current builds. It’s not activating when we want it to, and the splash damage is making the weapon less predictable than we intend for it to be. It simply doesn’t meet our quality standards, and so rather than giving you something that’s broken, and the promise of fixing it further down the road, we’re going to hold back on releasing this Gadget to the Assault and Support classes until our next update after 5.2 (in the new year) in order to get it polished, and reliably working.
When it works well, it’s great fun! Here’s your first look at it in action:
Staying with the topic of Gadgets, it’s been fun seeing everyone getting to grips with the Fliegerfaust since it went live during Battlefest! It’s been good to see it change up the loadouts on the Assault class, and we recognise the impact that this new gadget has had on Pilot players and Airborne Gameplay.
That refresh on player loadouts is as designed, however we’re conscious that it’s a bit easier than we intended to take down a plane when using this Gadget. With Update 5.2 we’ll be adjusting the detonation radius of the individual Rockets to require a more precise impact on the Plane (they presently detonate at 7M, and deal full damage), and so we’re tweaking that detonation radius to require more precision. If the plane is charging you head on, expect the Pilot to still have the same experience as presently, but instances where the plane is flying across your vision, and at a greater distance from you, you’re going to need to be more deliberate about where you fire your salvo vs. the current experience.
Additionally, we’ll be extending the range of the rockets to allow for them to be used to attack planes at much greater distances, as well as tweaks to the fire rate, projectile speed, and salvo size. We’ll have full details in the Update Notes in December, but expect to see the Skill Ceiling raised on this gadget whilst keeping it effective in encouraging new play styles from Pilots.
Credit - PeterSMK2
At the end of the month, we’ll have a new article live on the Battlefield website that provides you with your first look at Wake Island, which we currently intend to deliver as a part of the 5.2 update, and release into the game a few weeks later.
We’re having a wild time playing this on our internal playtests and even though many of you will have deployed on Wake in different eras of Battlefield, we’re confident that you’re all in for a treat playing this on Breakthrough, Conquest, Squad Conquest, and Team Deathmatch.
Hopefully you’ve seen, and felt us make some great changes to Battlefield with our recent series of updates, a lot of which are targeted at helping to improve and restore more of the Sandbox that you love about the game. We’re continuing that trend in 5.2 and we wanted to talk to you today about some of the changes that we’re making next month.
There’s been a number of updates targeted at improving player visibility throughout our first year of support, and with this update we’re making more changes.
In 5.2 we’re directing our attention on improving player awareness, and helping to more easily register the difference between friendly and enemy soldiers. The change that we’re making targets the combat ranges where players could die very quickly, and help players to acquire targets that are in Close Quarters Combat range (around 15m) provided that the player in question is within their immediate field of view.
Here’s how that looks:
In the clip, you’ll observe that as a player enters within range of the enemy, a small icon is visible above the players head. As the gap closes, that icon then details the players class. In instances where the enemy has received damage, a representation of the enemy health bar is also presented. These icons are local only to the player, and are not shared across the Squad, or the team. Other players will always need to be in the same relative distances to also see these icons, and the behaviours that govern this system aren’t the same as those used by Spotting.
Edit: To repeat comments made throughout the thread, and further help to explain this system, these icons only appear when you're within the required Ranges. Inside 15M, pointing your gun directily at an enemy who is fully visible will result in the icon appearing at the enemy that you're aiming at. Inside 5M, those symbols are active on any player currently fully visible within your field of view. If the player is obscured or not visible to you, no icon will be shown until the situation changes. At no stage will this information also be present on the minimap, or be shared with your squad or team. All information remains local to you.
So what are we hoping this change will do?
Primarily, our intent is to reduce the amount of time that players spend differentiating between friendly and enemy soldiers, and in a bid to reduce instances where players are being surprised by Soldiers that are making the most of prone gameplay on busy maps. Overall this should reduce the immediate cognitive load of having to scan the environment too much.
As with some of the other changes that we’re listing below, we aren’t making these changes without a system of Safeguards that encourage us to be reflective about how the changes play out beyond our experiences playing with them across the past month here in the studio. We’ll be monitoring your feedback after the changes go live to challenge ourselves if we have the right Ranges for these new UI elements, and if they’re ultimately helping to positively affect the gameplay experience. If we’re not meeting the goals that we’ve set for ourselves, we will revisit and keep you updated with how we think we can better deliver on our vision.
We’ve been upping our game lately on performing more regular balance passes on the different weapon categories as part of ongoing efforts to improve the weapon diversity across the game, and provide you with a greater range of options to use when setting up your Soldiers, vs. the current meta of one size fits all gameplay.
With 5.2, we’re going to be addressing the damage over distance values of the different Weapon Classes to help promote healthier gameplay on the objectives. Because of the balance changes that we’ve already made to Bolt Action Carbines, Sniper Rifles, and Anti-material Rifles, we’re not going to be making any changes to the Damage these Weapons do at Range. As ever, we’ll continue to review these Weapon Classes in case we feel further tweaks are needed.
So here’s a breakdown of what we are doing, using a couple of examples of weapons we know to be popular across the game. Below are some graphs that demonstrate the Bullets required to Kill a player at different ranges, showing you both the current values playable today with 5.0, and the changes coming with 5.2.
In the above examples, you get a snapshot showing how some of the weapons presently behave (in Orange), and how they’ll behave when 5.2 goes live. With the graphs above we’re also showing the weapons and their damage values when used at ranges outside of the average that we see across Battlefield V (around 22 meters). We’ve represented that here with the faded red line, so consider that the ranges displayed to the left of that red line are for informative purposes of how the Weapons behave at distance, vs. to the right of the line which best reflects the minute to minute gameplay experience.
We’re treating each of the weapons very differently in terms of how we address their performances at different ranges, and you can see that in the case of the Thompson (a very high Rate of Fire Weapon) that the weapon largely behaves the same at it’s usual CQB engagement range. Over distance, you can see that the weapon won’t perform as strongly, either encouraging you to switch to a different weapon on a more open map, or make more use of Smokes to close the gap on your opponent before engaging. Similarly the MG42 is shown to be considerably less effective at range, but with it’s High Rate of Fire and large magazine size, will still bare strong warning to players who are pushing an objective.
Parallel to the Damage over range changes, we’ll be making some adjustments to Recoil to ensure that we’re compensating for the decreased margin of error, as well as tweaking some of the Rates of Fire (both up, and down depending on the weapon), and their related specialisations to offer up a lot more diversity in the weapons that you’re using, and encourage more variety in the gameplay. To match this change, we’ll also appropriately adjust ammo amounts to ensure you’re not scratching around to fill your magazines.
Our Update Notes for 5.2 will detail all of the different changes that we are making across SMG’s, Assault Rifles, LMG’s, MMG’s, SAR’s, Shotguns, and Pistol Carbines, and will provide you with the best context for assessing the change.
Ultimately, we’re working to ensure that Class Balance is maintained, with no class or weapon offering Do or Die choices, and that the gunplay experience is sustained as something that’s best in class. We’ve been testing these changes for some time internally, and believe that we’re headed in the right direction, though we’ll be monitoring for your feedback after the changes go live and asking if those safeguards are being tested.
Expect us to be plenty responsive on this topic after 5.2 releases and you’ve gotten hands on with these changes.
In 5.0, we made some changes to the Spotting Radius of Flare Guns and one of the key things we’ve heard since then was that whilst the changes themselves have been positive, and helped you to make more informed decisions about how you attack and defend, that you’re still looking for more feedback and interaction with the systems that govern spotting.
In 5.2, we’re making a key change to the experience that directly addresses that concept of ‘How do I know when I’m Spotted?’. So we’ve added a new UI element that will appear above the Minimap (which will also be highlighted whilst spotted) that informs you when you’re currently spotted and visible to enemy players. Breaking Line of Sight with Spotting Scopes, leaving the Flares Radius (or shooting it out of the Sky), entering Smoke from Smoke Grenades, and other related events will all clear this effect and help to give you more understanding of how to counter Spotting during Gameplay.
Here’s how that will look in 5.2 when it goes live:
Beyond this, we are considering improvements to the spotting, and counter-spotting gameplay by potentially introducing new gameplay systems that allow for counter intelligence, and spotting denial. First priority is observing how these changes are received, and how it affects gameplay before we invest resources further expanding these gameplay systems. In the short term, we have a few adjustments to the current duration and radius of Spotting Flares that you’ll see detailed in the 5.2 Update Notes next month.
Vehicle players often comment to us that they don’t feel as empowered to enter the battle, and help to push the objective. There’s a wide range of explosive gadgetry that can help to quickly remove a Tank from play, and without making changes to the existing Arsenal, we do want to help improve the experience for Tankers, and raise the skill ceiling when using these Gadgets.
To achieve this, we’re changing the angles of attack that players will need to consider when taking on an Armored Vehicle.
To maximise your damage, you’ll need to be at an almost perfect angle for front and sides, and at a generous angle for attacks to the rear of an Armored Vehicle.
Attacks outside of the perfect angle will do flat damage
Hitting at an Angle less than 30 degrees will always result in a Ricochet Hit, and deal less damage (and we’ve addressed an issue with this update which was causing some Ricochet hits to do as little as 1 damage).
The angles of attack will vary slightly depending on the classification of Tank that you’re engaging. Heavier Tanks will be less forgiving on the angle of attack, and require more precise hits. Hits to the side of a Tiger will require an angle of attack greater than 30 degrees to the broad side to attain a Normal Hit, and 90 degrees accuracy to deal Critical, vs. 30 degrees, and 80 degrees vs. the Staghound. Meanwhile, an attack at the front of a Tiger will require an angle of attack greater than 45 degrees to land a Normal Hit, and 90 degrees of accuracy to strike Critical damage. Again compared to the Staghound, that’s 30 degrees, and 80 degrees when attacking head on.
A big portion of the motivation for this change is Consistency for players. It's possible today for a tank to get instant destroyed, or to be essentially invulnerable, and difficult to know the difference for either tanks or infantry. In our Update notes next month, we will help to detail these things to provide some clarity and consistency to these new systems, without fundamentally changing the pacing of Armored gameplay.
We’re also reworking how AT Mines behave in this update - they’re now more effective at disabling parts, and do less overall damage, however you can now place 6 mines instead of the current limit of 3. Expect to see adjustments to the Damage Curves for Dynamite in 5.2 that will further change the experience taking on Armored Vehicles.
We’ll use both the internal data that we collect, and your feedback to keep tweaking our way towards a healthier balance of Armored and Infantry gameplay in Battlefield V. We’re also starting our work on similar Angles of Attack changes to Airplanes and we’ll share more details on that as we get closer to achieving our goals here.
This is just a first look at some of the many changes and improvements that we’re making to Battlefield V with our next Update, along with plenty of Fixes to existing issues - many of which you can track each week over on the Battlefield Trello.
Much of the stuff that I’ve given a preview of above we will be publishing in much greater and finer detail with our next update notes. To better highlight these types of changes, we’ll be tagging in a new category on our Update Notes that we’re referring to internally as Operation Sandbox, an initiative that's headed up by David Sirland - @tiggr_
We have a big list of improvements that we want to continue making to the game, much of which is based on a lot of your feedback. David and the team have been taking that feedback on board, identifying what’s causing frustration or asking for more attention, and understanding what the outcome is that we need to achieve to turn all of that into improvements.
So you’ll be seeing a lot more of these types of updates across the future of Battlefield V as we continue to improve the experience that you have with the game, alongside the great new content that we have planned for the new year ahead.
See you on the Battlefield,Freeman // @PartWelsh