For Update 5.2, DICE took the gunplay you have grown to love and soaked it in the Pacific, returning it limper than a wet noodle. As usual, my compatriot
/u/NoctyrneSAGA and I have data presented in pretty charts. As we dubbed last year's fiasco as "TTK 0.5", we will be calling this "TTK 0.25". You can see my preview here, and my last post with normal TTK here.
"Our changes are designed in such a way that it does not slow down the time to kill, or remove flanking and smart player tactics." – DICE
Your usual guide to reading these charts:
- The hitrater assumes perfect control of vertical recoil, aimed at center mass.
- Each picture has four charts are concatenated into one. The top two charts are for aimed down sights fire, and the bottom two are for hipfire.
- The left two charts measure the gun with full upgrades on the left side of the specialization tree (hipfire upgrades, rapid fire, etc.).
- The right two charts measure the gun with full upgrades on the right side of the specialization tree (ADS accuracy upgrades, etc.).
- FTK: Frames to kill. To get TTK (time to kill), just multiply numbers by 16.66. Represented in colors, designated on the right side.
: Expected frames to kill. A value factoring in average time to kill and the probability of the 15 round burst actually killing the target.
: Average frames to kill. A value that is the mean of all the instances where the gun actually killed.
- Frequency: The number of times a gun killed, out of 100,000 (100K).
- None of these stats apply to Firestorm, since guns are now non-lethal in Firestorm, and no one plays it anyways.
Synopsis / Analysis:
Refer to my preview for some of my other thoughts on this change.
Did the time-to-kill actually change?
Absolutely yes. This is very far from the advertised goal of having a game where "the time to take out a single player should not surpass 300 milliseconds by a lot". There are a handful of guns that can match or beat that, but only at very close ranges. You'll be more frequently seeing 100+ms increases at many ranges, with many guns becoming flat out ineffective past a certain range.
RoF changes were mostly used to decrease RoF, and spec changes were incredibly minimal. You will mostly be looking at guns that fire as fast or even slower than before, but with considerably worse damage models.
"We do not have data that suggests there is a problem with the time to kill, which is why we're not setting out to change the time to kill." – DICE
"Changing the base time to kill here is NOT the goal." – DICE
"The graphs you shared in the Community Broadcast make it look like a massive TTK change. How can the bullets to kill change so radically but the TTK remain similar?" – DICE, asking a rhetorical question
Is time-to-kill that much slower? Is it even noticeable?
I'm not going to break down every single gun right here, but yes. Some guns have a short window where their TTK remained constant (e.g. <10m for Sten, MP40, EMP, 514 RPM ZK; <15m for Type 100, etc.), but this is a heavy blanket change that affected everything but bolt actions.
As I have previously pointed out, a small FTK difference is a big difference in game, especially as human imperfection compounds on the gun's own inadequacies. The pre-patch Thompson and MP40 only had a five frame difference up close before, but you can't say the Thompson wasn't much better than the MP40 was up close.
A 1-2 bullet increase in BTK doesn't just mean it'll necessarily you'll only be firing 1-2 more bullets before getting a kill; remember that this compounds upon horizontal recoil and spread. For most guns, this means the equivalent of an extra 3-4 bullets to kill, on top of your own human imperfection.
As a sidenote, recoil has been reduced so heavily that you do have odd occurrences where the new guns could kill faster than they could within small range windows, like the SG 1-5 from 60-70m. For all intents and purposes though, guns will kill slower within all practical ranges.
Is this for the Christmas noobs?
DICE is right here, it is absolutely not. Despite vertical recoil being much easier to control, new players need to track more bullets on target, and they will still struggle as much, if not more.
Is this for the skilled players?
Yes and no. The skilled player with better aim will come out on top of the 1v1 more often now. However, anyone who has ever touched a Battlefield game knows it's not a game of 1v1s. It's a game where you have to tackle two, three, four, or more players at a time. Short of being a literal aimbot, you will struggle more when confronted with multiple enemies, regardless of how good you are. Short of your enemies having a stroke mid-gunfight, you will struggle to put enough bullets on your targets against even incompetent enemies.
On top of this, the ease-of-use buffs through vastly reduced recoil aren't necessarily helpful for higher-skilled players. Better players hardly struggle with the guns in this game as-is.
might should the playstyle meta change?
It's hard to predict player behavior, but I'll suggest some metas everyone should seriously consider:
- Zerging. Travel around in 4+ person packs (ideally as medics), and you'll be pretty hard to kill. Anyone who comes up to you, regardless of how good they are, can't kill you all. Zerg harder than you ever did in BF1.
- Bayonets. With how inconsistent audio is, you can get easy kills with bayonets, and with higher TTK, you're harder to stop than ever. I recommend combining this with zerging.
- OHK Toys. Black Ops 4 set a great precedent for us; as kills became more tedious for most players to achieve, the frequency of sniper rifles, shotguns, melee meta, and explosives increased. You could also consider BF1 as another example. Bolt actions are actually pretty decent now, since they can even have a competitive TTK using a pistol swap or consecutive bodyshots. I wholeheartedly endorse shotguns, the Boys AT rifle, PzB 39, and PIAT are also all fantastic picks; since your teammates will take much longer to kill enemies, it will be much harder for them to steal kills away from your Valentine Mk8 or JU88A as well.
- HALFTRACK. If you want to use a machine gun that's actually effective, use the third seat of a halftrack.
- BOYS IN THE BUSH. Even with the ShowNameTag changes, you can still get away with using poor visibility effectively. While enemies have more time to react, their guns kill slowly as well, and after taking the time to spin around and try to find you, they're already at a heavy TTK deficit. I would best pair this with a gun like the Boys AT rifle or PzB 39.
Did this improve weapon balance?
I'll admit: I was wrong. I had previously predicted that given the amount of time DICE has been working on this, that it would be a more refined attempt than TTK 0.5, but somehow, weapon balance managed to be even worse.
"There's simply no motivation for you to switch weapons in different situations, or to try something new beyond the reason that it’s just new."
Ironically, there's actually considerably less weapon variety than before; DICE seemed to take heavy influence from Bad Company 2, but only in introducing the absolute worst part of the game – the weapon balance. Most guns over 600 RPM are now useless. Weapon balance primarily based on damage model and RoF is a dead end; the gunplay we got is a BC2-esque homogenized product where many guns overlap in role or make each other useless.
Guns that are now incredibly awful:
- MP28: What I previously considered to be a top SMG is now arguably the worst automatic weapon in the game. With the same 5-13 BTK damage model as the Thompson and Suomi, along with a 670 RPM RoF, it's remarkably terrible.
- ZK-383 (Light Bolt): The Type 100 is literally a flat upgrade, having lower recoil and a flat out superior damage model past 15m. It also has better spec choices as well.
- FG42: The LS/26 is quite literally a flat upgrade at every single range. As a bonus, the lower BTK means you waste less bullets on the LS/26 as well.
- M1907: 5 to 13 BTK on an assault rifle LMAO.
- MAS-44: Genuinely a bad AG m/42. With the same RoF, same capacity, and similar velocity, the MAS has a flat out inferior damage model to the AG m/42 (4-5BTK instead of 4-4).
- Pistol carbines, M1A1: Garbage damage models with an incredibly taxing click rate. Give yourself RSI spamming these long enough to get a kill.
- Breda: 5-6 BTK on a 4 round burst gun LMAO.
- MG42: To reference, ~40-50 E
is where I would consider a gun non-lethal. It simply does not output enough damage on target at this point to kill someone who isn't having a stroke. The MG42 is at a lovely 53 or 64 E at 35m. Assuming perfect aim, it will now take you a full second to kill someone with the MG42 at midrange.
Guns that are now relatively very strong:
- Jungle Carbine/Tromboncino/Commando Carbine: You have a pretty competitive bodyshot TTK combined with instant headshots and decent range. You can also endlessly spam medpacks to outheal incoming damage.
- MAB/MP34: Along with being on a class that lets you outheal incoming damage, you have guns with assault rifle damage models (same as StG and Ribey), but with SMG fast ADS times and good hipfire. As a bonus, the MP34 also lets you pick the bayonet.
- KE7: The only (non-Type 100) automatic weapon over 600RPM that doesn't suck.
- Ribey/StG-44: So much recoil was removed that your TTK at midrange isn't that much worse if you can be accurate. Your close and long range damage still sucks, but the MkVI revolver can cover you up close.
- EMP: More accurate than the high RoF SMGs, but with a good enough damage model to kill faster than them too. Very nice!
- Lewis Gun: With new dumpy damage models, you're gonna need those bullets. Still having a respectable damage model and accuracy is great too.
I'll post a full list of setups that I think are the most competitive in the comments, and there are plenty more guns I think are underwhelming. DICE was right – they did flip the current meta – DICE simply replaced it with an even more restricting meta.
Whether you think this change is fun or not is subjective, but it certainly isn't that well balanced.
How do I think TTK should've been changed?
Certainly not like this. I think that the time-to-kill was fine before, and that gunplay was probably the most well-designed aspect of the game. Aside from bolt actions, pretty much everything had its own very defined role, while being flexible enough to use elsewhere. The time-to-kill was fast enough to be accessible to new players, while allowing good players to confidently tackle groups. It was also slow enough to still turn on enemies (assuming you could see them).
The increased ammo counts and reduced recoil were great additions for players of all levels. Like most experienced Battlefield players, I didn't struggle with the recoil before, but it was high enough to be inaccessible to new players. Accessible gunplay in an FPS is key for getting players into the game. Increased ammo counts certainly help better players who can stay alive longer, but that's largely offset by the increase in BTK.
As Noctyrne and I have pointed out before, you could even increase damage per bullet while maintaining balance, as hitrate is a perfectly good (and authentic) way of controlling damage output. Hitrate should be modulated by systems such as spread and suppression.
Higher spread values were a great way to modulate damage at range, as misses could be forced instead of introducing anemic damage models. I wouldn't want BF2-levels of spread, but just a touch more than what currently exists would be fine. Higher spread allows better players to put control of better hitrate in their own hands when they want to extend their range. For all the players who wanted the removal of spread ("RBD"), these damage models are what you get in response. Without a reasonable amount of spread / horizontal recoil, damage values need to be dropped heavily to prevent long range melting.
No, I am not advocating for BF3-levels of suppression. However, the mechanic certainly had its place; suppression needed a rework, not a death sentence. Suppression allowed you to put the enemy's ranged damage output into your own hands; while BF3 had extremely low E
In spirit of returning to what the franchise was built on, we should start by putting long range damage output back into the hands of the players – "Battlefield has always been about the sandbox gameplay, letting the player do what he wants, when he wants". If long range time-to-kill was such as issue, as DICE claimed it to be (it's not, imho), the clear solutions lay in previous titles. I have nothing inherently against high TTK like this – I love games like Halo, and even enjoyed Black Ops 4 – but I do not think high TTK has a place in Battlefield. The most successful BF games – 3, 4, and even 1 – all had decently quick time to kill for a good reason.
Perhaps we should take a second look at these systems that have helped build this franchise instead of discarding them in favor of a shoddy TTK makeover. The clear issue lays in poor visibility of the game. BFV's TTK was not any faster than titles like BF3 or 4, frustration lays in getting melted with no feedback. Of course fast TTK could be frustrating when your shooter could be in a dark corner or inside of a bush, and you couldn't find an enemy to shoot. For many players, the higher TTK still won't fix this issue.
Charts (with TTK 0.5 for comparison!):
|Gun||TTK 0.5 "The Big Oof"||Pacific||TTK 0.25 "The Big Soak"|
|Breda PG 1935||N/A||Chart||Chart|
|Lewis Gun (strong)||Chart||Chart||Chart|
|Vickers K (VGO)||Chart||Chart||
If you want to play a game with high TTK, just play Halo. It's designed for it from the top down, and it's actually a good game. If you want to play an arcade military-style shooter, just play Modern Warfare.
Source: Original link
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