Hello guys, this may be a long post as I really want to get some of my thoughts down after 200+ hours of playing Battlefield 1. I will try to organize these thoughts the best I can and attempt to be concise in my words.
I would like to start with how well this game has been done from a graphics and game play stand point. I honestly believe the graphics are second to none for a realism style shooter and I often find myself looking at the scenery and getting shot in the back when something catches my eye. In regards to the actual game play (gun play), I am very happy with what has been produced. I have played many games and I can say every game I have every played had over powered weapons, spells, loadouts, etc... and these get adjusted over time. As these get adjusted, other weapons, spells, loadouts, etc... become the next "item of the month," as we would call them on some of the MMORPG's I use to play. In my honest opinion, I think the overall balance is quite good, and I am not overly frustrated at every single person using the same weapon or loadout just to compete. Well done on these aspects EA/Dice.
Next I would like to address the reality of software development in a major corporation, so everyone has perspective on what I am about to say. The reality is the corporation will set a release target and place pre-sales (If a B2C company). As the date draws nearer, desired features are dropped in lieu of high priority bugs that are on the bug tracker. Every corporate based software development firm deals with this same issue. The developers job is to create the best product they can in a given time frame; the corporation's job is to make profit for the shareholders and stakeholders. If they waited until the product was perfect, there would never be a release. Someone has to be the bad guy and give a fixed date. These dates are set by the road-map and development time given by the engineering and product management teams. Unfortunately, even with padding, it is impossible to predict every bug and setback the engineers will encounter. Given this, I fully understand that you guys (the developers) would love to see 1000 new features and functions put in the game though the reality of this business model prevents this from happening.
Now I want to address some issues that I believe will, and possibly are effecting sales of this wonderful game.1. Community Relations@Braddock512
you have done a good job with distributing information to the community based on what you have been given, so do not think this is directed at you personally. Many people actually understand the above; not because they have worked for a software development firm in the past, but because they have been part of the gaming community for so long that they have first hand experience. People are willing to give the developers / studios a chance to release new features and functionalities, but they need to know what is coming. I want to use the article that was posted as an example. This was a 239 word article that was so vague that calling it "All you need to know" was almost an insult. There is a medium ground between giving all the specifics and giving that article. Clearly, you do not want to list every specific detail as you are just opening yourself up to the community giving negative feedback before even seeing the product. There needs to be a public road-map you can share so that people feel as though they are being listened too; even just to give them an indication of the features coming in a game they invested in (Yes I think anyone who pre-purchased all of the DLC's is investing in the game).2. Community Events
I understand this is not an MMORPG that pulls in a monthly fee that pays for all of the future development which enables monthly patches and events, and I am not expecting that level of overall quality; no one is asking for monthly 2 hour quests with new rare items etc... If you are going to do an event, it needs to be more game related and not "the first 500 retweets" type of function. I honestly think the community missions (though it took months for me to locate it on the battlelog) on Battlefield 4 was a wonderful way to do these community events; there was a clear indication of your progress and what you expected to get when completed. I think you did a good job with the "Fog of War" community event and we enjoyed playing a few rounds of TDM with it. As a customer who owns several Battlefield 1 servers, I would like to see the ability to participate in these community events from my server. I would like to have the option to select "Community Event Server Settings" on one of my servers so that all of my members are not off on the official Dice servers every event; I understand this may need to be a hard lock (i.e. no kick/ban control for the admin) when in this mode to prevent potential abuse, but I am willing to accept that as a function of this feature. I would like to have the Elder Gamers (shameless plug for new platoon) sponsored official community event server.3. Platoons@TheBikingViking
I have already given some feedback on this subject in your thread. However, the one most important feature that needs to be added ASAP is the ability to have tags. This cannot possibly be that painstaking as it literally exists in every single game I have ever played. Regardless of additional platoon features and functionalities, people want the ability to associate themselves with a group of individuals. Even just adding this as the ability to add a custom 4 letter tag from the user interface would work for now; i.e. not the full invitation system you had before. This is not the end solution, as you really want the ability to lock down a clan tag for your clan to prevent greifers, but just having this simple feature (and yes I know it is simple), would go a LONG way for the platoons who are purchasing servers right now. The additional features such as invitation, kicks, leadership roles, etc... can come in a future patch. With that said, please see point number 1 in which it only works if you are willing to release a limited public road-map of your intentions in the next 1-3 months.4. Progression System
I honestly do not like to publicly agree with LevelCap too often, simply because I think you guys give him (and other YouTubers), far too much weight in what you believe the community wants. If you stopped looking at his viewer count (he is a YouTube celebrity for all purposes) and read the comments on some of the videos he posts, you will see that even his own audience does not agree with many of the "balance" issues he talks about. Back on topic... He is absolutely correct in his latest video in regards to a progression system. This game will never be a competitive game like Counter Strike nor will it be a true MMO type game like Planetside 2; quite frankly, I do not see anyone outside of the fringes asking for either of these. What is being asked for is a real progression system in which people feel like they are getting something for their few hours of play per week. Contrary to the fringe critics about this game becoming "too casual," your average player base is only able to play a few hours a week. This is an adult rated game, and many of us have full time jobs and families; gaming is a hobby and not a job. I fully understand you need to leave something in the bank for future expansions to keep interest in the future; no one is asking you to blow your wad in the beginning. The major problem here seems to be the current reward system; it is far to random. The battlepacks are distributed randomly, the weekly medals are distributed randomly, and the dog tag system is just as bad as before (you can earn 100 dogtags and wear 2). Some suggestions here would be to 1)
vary the unlock range (why jump from 90% weapons done at level 3 and one additional at level 10?) 2)
Distribute 10 battlepacks to the top performers every round (Flags captures, Flags defended, Most Heals, Most Resupplies, etc...) and the rest can be random 3)
Allow the user to pick (on the first login of the week) which 3 medals they would like to track, then let them work simultaneously (I cannot tell you how often I forget to actually pick a medal...) 4)
Bring back ribbons, though there is no reason to be earning 23 ribbons in one round like in BF4.5. Player Customization
As stated in my second paragraph, I understand the development cycle and the resource distribution of a software house. However, the ability to be someone or something you are not in real life for an hour or so, and the ability to customize your persona is a foundation of modern online community based games in this era. You clearly have some talented artists at your disposal (see my first paragraph), and it honestly would not be hard for them to do simple things first. Some simple things (again credit to LevelCap), would be helmet customization (even if pre-made and not user designed), or the ability to change some of the colors (within strict bounds of WW1) of the gear on the soldier models that currently exist. These are complex soldier models in which the ammo belts, side-arm holsters, boots, etc... could all have a few acceptable shades in which you could adjust to customize the character would go a LONG way towards appeasing this crowd. Clearly, custom facial models takes far more effort to implement, but if this is something on the road-map... Please see Item 1 again.6. Server Admin Control@Striterax
I put this one last on my list of things as I know it is being addressed. However, I would be negligent in this type of post if I did not mention this issue. Having the ability to manage the virtual property in which you are leasing is paramount to the success of community building. As stated, I have rented several servers for 6 months each and I did so because I believe you will implement this feature. With that, I need to stress how important it is for many platoon to have the ability to kick abusers (blatant cheaters, verbal abusers, and people who intentional exploit for the purpose of greifing). A community is a group of people working together for a common goal, all following an agreed upon rule set. If you cannot police this, it is very difficult to create a community. Please make this a priority in the next release. I would also like to add that I am seeing an issue where the system is not auto transferring out of region people from private servers. I can see how this is as designed, but if you do not implement a ping limiter (configurable), then my servers are going to quickly become US West Coast servers which server 90% of the out of region players exploiting the high ping netcode issues.
Thank you if you read all of the above as I know it was a bit much. There were other items I actually removed off this list to reduce it's size and to ensure I was only referring to the major, yet easy to fix, issues that currently exist within this gaming environment. I am sure I am going to get a lot of negative comments to follow, but all opinions are welcome on this thread. The only thing I would ask is that people keep it civil; there is no reason to bash the company who produced the game, the developers who worked their butts off making it, or the other users who have an opinion differing from yours.
See you on the Battlefield,
[ELDR] Elder Gamers