After having recently played through every entry from BF3 to BFV again, here are some thoughts on what DICE should do in the future. I'm a long-time BF fan but don't browse the subreddit often, so I apologize if this is all a repeat of previous suggestions.
- Refocus on providing a pseudo-realistic combined arms military fantasy with an emphasis on 'only in Battlefield' moments and a gritty theme akin to something like Band of Brothers or the Pacific. This should be seep into everything from marketing to game design. If you want to innovate, do so within this brand identity.
- Work on establishing proper PR functions and limit social media access for the vocal minority of devs that aren't trained in PR.
- Start to follow the general rule of 'always overcorrect' and don't blame the consumer when (1) you fail to abide by the expectations you've set with previous entries and (2) you effectively straw-man your own agenda by adding half-assed representation to your WW2 game.
- Set up better processes to filter sexist garbage from actual feedback and then respond to that actual feedback instead of the sexist garbage.
- Devote extra time to releasing a bug-free and highly polished experience with a strong enough customization/progression system to allow for enough retention to justify the GaaS model.
- Design maps for 1 main mode and 1 secondary mode, it's too hard to make maps work with all modes.
- Don't prioritize environment art over gameplay. The focus should be on designing different types of cover for engaging and varied firefights (e.g., CS, Halo, CoD, Overwatch, or TF2) and then using brilliant environment art and a real-life setting to increase immersion (the BF touch), instead of matching a destroyed WW2 city 1 for 1. High-fidelity photogrammetry for terrain and scrap (e.g., Devastation) looks great in concept art but feels bad to play on because you get stuck on everything (negating the entire purpose of incredibly fluid movement), it's hard to see anything because of all the visual clutter (which also incentivizes prone camping in a corner), directional audio gets messed up, and every firefight is awkward because of random cover distribution and elevation changes. Real life isn't designed for fun combat.
- Move away from the single point grinders that lack match-to-match variety (Aerodrome, Marita) and cinematic/concept-arty open-ground maps of BF1 and BFV where infantry is always vulnerable and tanks are pushed towards boring hill camping (Fjell, Hamada, Suez, Sinai, Caporetto, Empire's Edge). Every successful FPS game limits sight lines so that the player can spend hundreds of hours learning to exploit the map to gain advantages against an enemy coming from a predictable but varied set of locations. A lack of cover (which includes simple terrain that creates unpredictable sight lines) removes this source of engaging learning and reduces player agency, since the enemy can come from anywhere and the player will die randomly (especially to planes, tanks, and snipers) without having safe flanks to learn and abuse. Tanks, on the other hand, are supposed to move around to generate a challenge for infantry players/other tanks that varies based on where on the map the encounter takes place. They provide little gameplay value if they're incentivized to camp by the map design.
- For infantry maps, go back to urban combat with isolated or semi-isolated lanes, flanking paths between them, and actual interspersed cover for interesting tactical firefights at all ranges (Seine Crossing, Zavod, Grand Bazaar, Pearl Market, Arica Harbour, Amiens, the town in Arras).
- For combined arms maps, give a vehicle to every squad, develop more sandboxy vehicle interactions (c4 on truck, launching jeep at enemy, ramps to launch off), and make sure points are isolated by terrain/trees/buildings/barriers and have proper cover for infantry gameplay (Caspian Border, Strike at Karkand).
What do you think? Is there anything you'd add or remove from this list? Am I just a boomer stuck in the days of BFBC2?
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