Today, DICE released a list of upcoming updates and tweaks that will be coming to the popular FPS title moving forward. And though some of these changes will certainly be welcomed by the player base, they don’t necessarily fix a lot of the bothersome aspects of the, otherwise fabulous, gaming experience.
Confirmed upcoming additions include Hardcore Servers, which will make many BF1 players happy as it provides an even more challenging experience. Custom Games are also on the horizon, so players will have a couple of different ways to experience the battlefields of the First World War. The first confirmed Custom Game server is called “Fog of War”, expected release is November 16, which will limit the players sight and the removal of the mini-map as well as soldier name tags.
Beyond game modes, players can also expect to see some map tweaking with some changes planned for Suez in particular, as well as the addition of an entirely new map in December. DICE’s official announcement of planned tweaks and updates can be found here.
DICE also mentions that a “giant update” can be expected in the month of November that will feature a variety of tweaks and improvements. And while the gameplay has been very engaging and impressive, with only the occasional bug (credit to /u/falconbox via reddit), it is still a question of whether or not DICE will address some of the more frustrating issues with Battlefield 1.
Whereas the gameplay in Star Wars: Battlefront felt relatively stale – never thought I’d say that about shooting lasers – Battlefield 1 has effectively captured the power and chaos of the First World War weaponry. From the shelling of artillery and mortar to the satisfying pull of a bolt-action rifle, the game feels as close to an authentic battlefield experience as you can get from the safety of your own living room.
With that being said, where gameplay was improved, the user interface and navigation has remained relatively unchanged from DICE’s 2015 release. What is most frustrating is a lot of features available to players in prior Battlefield titles (namely Battlefield 3 and Battlefield 4) are absent from Battlefield 1.
The first issue is the inability to adjust the load out and class equipment from the main menu. Although the equipment isn’t as vast and all encompassing as previous Battlefield titles there are still plenty of weapons to choose from, so being forced to quickly outfit your soldier during the middle of a match can be somewhat frustrating. There doesn’t seem to be any logical reason why customization options shouldn’t be accessible outside of a match. This is especially frustrating when you can see all of your unlocks, your class level and the war bonds that you’ve earned, but be unable to purchase new equipment or customize any of your load outs.
The second is a lack of statistical feedback. The end of round screen is relatively bare bones compared to previous Battlefield titles and though it does give you a breakdown of your squad contribution and assigns you a meaningless “achievement” such as “most revived”, the actual amount of feedback given to you is relatively underwhelming.
Building off of this, but still related to statistical achievement is the frustrating “deletion” of your score during Operations. As the game progresses through multiple stages, when you do eventually see your end-game scoreboard, you are only supplied with your K/D and score from the final round. For one of, in my opinion, the best modes for Battlefield 1, this takes some of the enjoyment out of these lengthy battles, which sometimes take around 40-45 minutes to conclude. Seeing your statistics for only the final 10-15 minute push is somewhat disappointing for many gamers who love their stats!
Next, and this one is seemingly ridiculous, is the ability to QUIT to the main screen following a round without having to load the next map and enter the game. After the conclusion of a match, you are given a few moments to quit the match and return to the main menu where you can switch game modes, sort out a party with friends, etc. However, once this time passes you are locked into the loading of the next map. This in itself isn’t a massive problem, except for the fact that the only way to quit and avoid this is to also quit and lose out on viewing the scoreboard, seeing what awards you received (if any) and check out the performance of yourself and your squad. While not important for everyone, the price of tracking your own achievement shouldn’t prevent you from re-queuing in a different game mode.
The overall navigation of Battlefield 1’s UI is cumbersome enough, but the lack of features that are actually afforded to you and the odd design choices are beginning to frustrate now that we’ve had a couple weeks to experience the game. These changes are fairly simplistic, but would noticeably improve the overall gaming experience. And while most changes can’t simply be patched overnight, these are a few that would be very welcome in this “major update” that we can expect from DICE coming this month.