Battlefield 1942 was my first FPS game as a kid. I loved it, I still love it, and I've played just about every Battlefield game since. Many long-time fans of the series like me know that these games are often unpolished, buggy, and sometimes just plain broken at release, but they improve over time as fixes, changes, and new content rolls out. I expected this would be the same for Battlefield V in one way or another, but what's happening now is different.
DICE, I really like your game.
Your game is fantastic. The TTK, the spotting changes, the physicality of revives and resupply, the aircraft (sans JU-88 abuse of course) and even the tanks when coordinating with a friend were fun. With a few measured changes this launch package could have become close to perfect. I played so much Battlefield V at early access release that I hit level 50 in just three days of playing. And then, well, I stopped making any Company Coin. I thought, oh, no biggie, that ought to be a quick fix, the game is still in early access after all. It's been an entire month since I've earned any substantial amount of Company Coin. But it's not just the Company Coin, the problems with this game are a strange witches brew of issues that and really undermine my confidence in Battlefield V. In no particular order:
Why haven't I earned any significant amounts of Company Coin for almost an entire month?
- I can't upgrade anything, I can't test anything new, I can't try new builds on vehicles or weapons I've fully leveled because I can't afford any of it. Not just that, I sure as hell can't afford a ludicrously priced skin if I make literally no money. This is actually crazy. I am appalled that this hasn't been fixed.
Why are you making sweeping changes to balance with no patchnotes until day of release?
- Many have praised the communication DICE has been providing and yes, it's nice to see a friendly face around like Dan Mitre. The problem is that often Dan has nothing to communicate with. He's not given patchnotes in a timely manner, and sometimes he's provided incorrect information about the implementation of fixes (Company Coin, for example). The cynical notion I have is that by holding patchnotes, specifically planned changes to gameplay, means that when those changes are live there is no projecting on the effects of the proposed changes for a week before release by the community. Good communication is not finding out every game mode except "Conquest Core" is being forced into a wholly new TTK, with no documentation other than "It's different," one day before it happens.
Why aren't challenges and Tides of War progression elements more thoroughly bug-tested before release?
- The stated advantage of a live service game is that changes, fixes, and content can be pushed out rapidly and keep players engaged longer. That doesn't work when the content you launch with can't even be obtained, like the Vickers K on day one of Overture. Stuff like this is comically silly, that the substantial first reward of your live service was totally unattainable until the day after release and two days after the scheduled update was supposed to go live.
How can entire components of the game, like fortifications, just inexplicably break?
- Seriously, I have no idea what's happening of Battlefield V's server backend, but something is rotten in there and it's very apparent. This also applies to Tides of War and weapon challenges being bugged, and rewards like The Last Tiger skin not being properly awarded to players.
Why are you overreacting and changing massive parts of your game that are generally favorably viewed just one month after launch?
- With the new TTK a total unknown, all I can really say concretely is that Aircraft have been totally gutted. Instead of improving the ability of ground elements to fight back against aircraft, aircraft have in large part divorced from the ground battle and nerfed into a place of inefficacy. Yes, the JU-88 was broken, but the rest of the air war was in a solid place and some aircraft like the Stuka needed buffs. Now we're in a new landscape where If the rumors of new TTK being more like Alpha 2 come true, I can say for sure that I'm not sticking around for the rest of the balancing whiplash this game is going to experience. I'm going to wait a year, come back, and test the waters then.
- DICE, why would I as a core player of your series want to spend MTX money on customization items when so much of the essential progression components in your game are completely broken, and the core of the game you made that I really like is disappearing before my very eyes with last-minute, hyperbolic changes to giant swathes of game balance?
It sucks that I even felt compelled to write this, but I'll be taking a lengthy hiatus from Battlefield V. I wish DICE luck in tackling these issues I've described, but I'll be sitting on the sidelines of this game for some time. Thanks for reading, I hope this post makes a difference somehow.
Edit: Thanks for the gold!
© Post "An Open Letter to DICE About the State of Battlefield V, From a 1942 Vet" for game Battlefield 5.
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