While, in recent years, beta tests have been seen more as an early demo more so than anything else, there are still some behind-the-scenes metrics being calculated by the developers regardless. Case in point: Battlefield 4, which just recently concluded its private and open multiplayer betas.
With the beta now behind us, and less than a month until Battlefield 4 hits store shelves, DICE is hard at work implementing a ton of fixes for their multiplayer experience. They’ve even provided a handy list of the problems gamers were reporting in the Battlefield 4 beta, and how they plan to address to them.
Overall, it seems like the Battlefield 4 beta was quite the success for both PC and console gamers, as there are plenty of fixes in the pipeline. Some of the more important issues that DICE is reportedly addressing for the retail release include server connection problems, frame rate hiccups on the PC, and tons of general changes to gameplay.
Check out the full list of improvements below:
Low frame rate/stuttering
PC players may have experienced trouble in the Beta getting the game running at a good frame rate. Rest assured that we’re using the information we received to optimize the performance for the launch of the game. We also released three game client updates and a number of game server updates during the Beta to address some of these issues and to gather more information to ensure a smoother launch.
Stuck on loading screen
We have identified some of the reasons why players, mainly on PC, were getting stuck on the loading screen and are currently working around the clock to decrease the rate at which this occurs. The latest PC patch for the Beta helped for some players and we are confident we will be able to minimize this issue for launch.
High CPU usage during the Beta
CPU usage could sometimes skyrocket for dual, quad and six-core processors. We identified some of the reasons and released three patches with fixes that went live during the Beta, to address the problems. This was a true Beta, and as such all the crash reports that were generated during this period will actually help us make a better game.
Controller layouts (X360/PS3)
We’ve increased the available controller options in Battlefield 4, including the new controller layout and multiple alternatives that we hope will make you feel right at home. If you’re more comfortable with the controls from Battlefield 3, we’ve got you covered. Just by bringing up the options menu, you can choose the “Veteran” layout, which is similar to that in Battlefield 3.
Empty server listings (X360/PS3)
While in the Server Browser you may have seen lists of empty servers. By changing the filter options, you’ll be able to find populated servers that you can join. You can also use the “Quick Match” function to quickly get into the action.
The elevator catapult (All platforms)
Although an interesting concept, elevators were never designed to act as a catapult or teleporter. The bug where the elevator button would catapult you up into the air is fixed for the final game. But we did enjoy all the crazy videos you’ve posted. Thanks!
We are still balancing gameplay, and in true DICE fashion will continue to do so well after the release of Battlefield 4. Below are just some of the gameplay changes based on your feedback that we’re making in time for the launch of the game.
-Fixed how the player only receives a single local damage sound effect if he or she was the victim of a quick, clean kill. The sound and camera impact effect had too long a cool down between hits. This should improve the responsiveness of being killed and taking damage.
-Reduced the fire rate of the AK12 in burst from 1000rpm to 750rpm. The rate of fire was too high when combined with the low recoil of the weapon, making it more powerful than intended in burst mode.
-Tweaked the compensator and muzzle brake so they’re properly less accurate in sustained automatic fire.
-Reduced and rebalanced full auto accuracy based on rate of fire for all automatic weapons to balance low ROF weapons. Low ROF weapons were remaining accurate long enough to get easy kills outside of their intended optimal range.
-Increased the default throw distance of the portable ammo and med packs. This makes it easier to throw these packs to teammates.
-Portable ammo packs now reload 2 magazines of bullets instantly and up a total of 4 magazines per pack over time. The player must stay on top of the ammo pack in order to benefit from all of the ammo reloading. Grenades, RPGs, and other explosive launchers do not benefit from the instant reload function of the Ammo Pack.
-Increased the muzzle flash of the 25mm and 40mm launchers to make their threat position more visible.
-Fixed an issue where the knife stab didn’t align with the kill event.
-The revive time has been increased from 7s to 10s.
-Fixed some descriptions of weapons for vehicles that incorrectly described the function of the weapon.
-Increased the damage of the Stinger and IGLA to 3 hits to kill attack choppers (was 25%, now 35%).
-Increased the speed of all TOW guided missiles to 75m/s from 50m/s so they can catch-up to fast vehicles like the Quad bike.
-Increased the sustained fire accuracy of the Coaxial LMG on armored vehicles because it was underpowered.
-Reduced the damage the 40mm and 25mm infantry weapons do to armored vehicles to highlight their anti-infantry role.
-Reduced the damage main gun on the IFVs against other armor to highlight their primarily anti-infantry role.
-Fixed an issue where the tank main gun did not correctly hit the center of the crosshair at all times.
-Multiple options are now available for controlling how your vehicles steer with a joystick on all platforms, as well as improved the responsiveness of steering while accelerating.
Locking Weapon Changes
-RPG7 and SMAW can no longer lock on to Laser Designated Targets. It was inauthentic and not balanced.
-Fixed some projectiles not warning vehicles when they were fired on a Laser Designated target. Reduced the lock on distance for MBT LAW missiles to 350m from 500m. This gives the IGLA the clear long range AA role for soldiers, and keeps the team play element of Laser Designation.
-All Laser Designated missiles now do a maximum of 90% damage to Attack and Scout helicopters (down from 100%). This was done to give helicopters a chance to use their Fire Extinguisher countermeasure even against Laser Designated weapons.
-The kill string in the score log now appears sooner, making the UI more responsive to a kill event.
-The aim assist on X360/PS3 has been tweaked to be more consistent at all ranges. The assist was over powerful at close range, and not powerful enough at medium range. Players should now find that close combat requires much more player input and the snap to a target is far less forgiving. At medium range the player should experience a bit more assistance tracking targets, but generally still reduced aim assist effectiveness.
PC Specific Changes
-Fixed a string in On Foot PC key bindings that should have read “CROUCH (TOGGLE) / PRONE (HOLD)”.
-Removed an unused “Underslung” key binding on PC, the “Select Gadget 1″ key binding now controls both of these actions as expected.
Although DICE claims that Battlefield 4 will correct many of the mistakes gamers reported with its predecessor, our experience with the multiplayer, albeit in a limited capacity, left us a little disappointed. The gameplay is solid, sure, but there is an overwhelming sense that DICE hasn’t improved the multiplayer enough to justify this sequel. It’s a similar complaint that is waged against Battlefield‘s biggest competitor, Call of Duty, but one that feels surprisingly applicable here as well.
Nevertheless, there’s still plenty of appeal contained within the Battlefield franchise, enough to make this fourth numbered iteration worth checking out, preferably on next-gen consoles or the PC. And more importantly, we’ll be able to see how these fixes change, or don’t change, the multiplayer very soon.
Which issues from the Battlefield 4 beta are you most pleased to see DICE will be fixing? Are there any problems you experienced in the beta that they don’t seem to be addressing?
Battlefield 4 releases October 29, 2013 for the PC, PS3, and Xbox 360; November 12th for the PS4; and on November 19th for the Xbox One.