One of the biggest changes coming to Battlefield 2042 next month is the shift away from pure classes toward individual characters known as Specialists. It’s something that was thrown into the spotlight during the open beta weekend as people got to go hands on with the change, but in an open beta follow up blog, DICE has affirmed their commitment to the Specialists model and unveiled the final five characters that will feature at launch.
In the blog, DICE explains:
We heard some feedback that Specialists were limiting team work, and we wanted to address this concern head-on. […]
First, we recognise that numerous improvements to the user interface, identifying between friend and foe, the ping system, and in-game team communication that were missing during the Open Beta (and are all explained in detail below) are vital to team play. You didn’t get to experience all of those, and so today we want to help talk you through the many different changes that you’ll experience in the full game.
Second, you weren’t able to go hands on with all Ten of our Specialists, and see them all in action on the Battlefield. Now that all the cards are on the table, let us know what you think!
While DICE had limited the range of Specialists available in the beta, and the ten characters will flesh them out, each with an ability that matches a particular class-like role, one of the main issues raised about the system is that they blur the previous class system. Any character can pick up any weapon type, equip any of the class-based equipment like health packs or rocket launchers, and even though they have a special ability, that diminishes the class roles from before. If one ability is felt to be dominant, players will gravitate toward that character.
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We’ll see if that’s partially resolved by the wider spread of characters in the full game, and the other features and fixes that were missing from the beta.
The beta, DICE noted in the run up to the test, was a snapshot of the game from several months ago. Its intention was to test network infrastructure with many issues already known and fixes implemented for the full game. However, they were able to identify the following issues and changes that did need to be made to lighting, visibility and to the Orbital map:
- Our IFF (Indicator of Friend or Foe) lighting is in the process of being further enhanced to enable enemies to more readily stand out on the battlefield.
- We’re also adjusting the tint that applies to enemy soldiers, and made changes to the UI so that when you’re inside of 10m, an icon is now present above the heads of enemy soldiers, provided they wouldn’t be otherwise occluded by any terrain, or map objects.
- Similarly, we’re working to ensure that friendly icons will no longer be occluded through walls within 40m to address instances of our systems failing to represent a player as a friendly team mate before they’ve entered your field of view.
- Increased the number of Tanks that you’ll experience on Orbital. It’s up from 4, to 8 on PC, Xbox Series X|S, and PlayStation 5.
- Made changes to movement, adding strafe input to sliding, adding the ability to vault on moving objects, and toning down jump spamming.
- A nearby Grenade Indicator has been added.
- Entry and Exit animations are now shorter, with some being removed entirely.
- Elevators have been fixed so that you see less funky behaviours with doors.
Given the concerns that people had about things DICE had already solved, they also showed off some of the changes to expect come launch.
In addition to a better functioning quick ping system, the quick communications ‘commorose’ will work and will look like this:
The overall UI has also been tweaked and adjusted. ‘Critical Alerts’ no longer impose a massive coloured bar to the top of the screen, but instead overlay more tastefully, scoring events are now centralised below the crosshair, and more.
They’ve also clarified how the Plus Menu for attachments changes through the game’s progression. The first 6 hours start off with you earning much of the gear and attachments you’d expect. You can customise what appears in the Plus Menu, with a default loadout that you will always spawn with being the innermost option.
All in all, it feels as though the game will be coming in hot when it launches, though DICE are trying to reassure fans that it will be more put together than the open beta indicated. Battlefield 2042 will be out on 19th November across PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.
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