Battlefield V/5 – DICE Responds to the Battlefield V Alpha – My Reaction to the Future of BF5

Hi YouTube, Darth Here: DICE has responded to all the feedback from
the Battlefield V Alpha, and today I’ve got a list of the things that they’re looking
at. In a multi-page post made available this past
week, DICE lays out where we’re heading and some of these changes were a little surprising
to me. There were some things I thought in the Alpha
were standout problems that weren’t mentioned at all, and other issues (like time-to-kill
balance) that I didn’t think were as controversial as DICE mentions. But today I’m going to go over them all
and give my thoughts, so let’s get started. The first thing that DICE laments in their
Alpha follow-on was that matchmaking was somewhat broken during the Alpha. If you wanted to play with a squad, you had
no choice but to use the server browser option because the matchmaker was plain busted. It’s pretty clear from the alpha that they
intend matchmaking to be the primary way for players to get in the game, as the server
browser is somewhat difficult to find in the user interface. I wasn’t a huge fan of the matchmaker as
it would frequently time out after three minutes and just give up. It was also placing some players in servers
outside their region, causing the usual problems that come with out-of-region players in the
frostbite engine: dying behind walls and trades are frequent with these players. Specifically DICE stated: “There are many
factors to juggle when it comes to matchmaking: finding players with equal latency and skill
level, and more – and these factors all need to co-exist. Getting the best possible matchmaking is a
challenge of balance; we want to match you into the best possible server and experience,
which may take a few moments of waiting, but at the same time not have you waiting too
long to deploy.” This gives me some pause. The primary reason I left Battlefield 1 was
because of the poor matchmaking. I even made a video about that — which I’ll
link in the description below. I got fed up with Battlefield 1 because even
after you found a server worth playing on, the individual rounds would quickly become
terribly lopsided. This is because their balancing algorithm
was based on a very poor system that has been in use since at least Battlefield 3. Using it as a matchmaking device just ensured
that a single good player or two would always be put on a team of lackluster players. High individual effort would be rewarded with
more problems. I really do hope they’ve revised how skill
is calculated in this franchise, because the previously used and outdated algorithm is
a hideously bad measure for use in balancing. Don’t believe me? Watch that video; you’ll see what I’m
talking about. It didn’t help that Battlefield 1’s conquest
scoring system is royally screwed up, and has been left that way. But thankfully, at least that has been fixed
as of the Battlefield V Alpha. In my Battlefield V Alpha review video, I
expressed some genuine appreciation for the revive system in the alpha. I thought that the squad buddy revive system
was absolutely fantastic, and really added a lot of power to squads. For those unfamiliar, you now do not need
a medic to perform a revive on a member of your squad — you can just walk up to a squadmate
and interact with them. Now the time to perform this revive was a
full five seconds — which made it very different from the medic revive which took about one
second. I thought this did two things really well:
one, it gave a lot of reason to play medic as five seconds is a long time to be out of
the fight. Two, it made sure that revive trains in squads
were not easy to pull off. A single squad member couldn’t suddenly
become a necromancer to the rest of his squad before you could track him down. But more importantly, it made the player have
to make an interesting decision. It increases the skill gap between players
making judgement calls and those merely reacting to stimuli on the screen. Well in their latest alpha follow-up, DICE
decided that five seconds was too long and they have instead made that 2.5 seconds. Half the time. I find this decision a bit confusing, because
I generally thought the five second mark made it a real choice. In previous Battlefield titles, I considered
2.5 seconds the break-even time for mild inconvenience specifically in reloading weapons. It’s about the point where reloading became
a detriment in close quarters. So I don’t think this change is a good one. Specifically, you will no longer have to make
sure a point is clear before reviving, and I think there’s another detriment here — that
the medic revive is going to be even less valued. Particularly if the game ships with the ability
to drag downed buddies out of the way. Then you don’t even have to worry about
getting in the line of fire. Now, this decision may have been made in service
of giving a close squad even more power together. Or perhaps it was to discourage rushing to
the redeploy screen to respawn. But I think it’s going to seriously impact
the viability of the medics. Revives are probably one of the most powerful
tools in the Battlefield franchise. The difference between a full revive and lesser
revive is very minimal when compared to no revive at all. Which is, as of this change, the only major
difference between squads that play together and the medic’s primary ability. Given the really long window that revives
have in Battlefield V, I think that this considerably lessens the skill gap in the revive system. It does speed up the game, and it does make
buddy squads more powerful, but I think this a highly questionable move. In absence of the ability to playtest this,
it’s probably the change DICE mentioned that I’m most concerned about. Next up is time-to-kill, now DICE’s response
on time-to-kill was a little bit strange: they seem to acknowledge that the community
had a mixed opinion on the TTK: When it comes to the Time to Kill, or TTK, we’ve seen
some polarizing feedback where some players felt they were being killed very fast when
encountering enemies, while others felt the TTK was just right. This is something we will keep tweaking. Their general response to this feedback seems
to be less about tweaking the weapon time-to-kill and more looking into external factors. Specifically they said: We’re looking at
how fast can you assess a threat and understand from where the fire is coming. Giving you good communication on enemy fire
will let you fight back and survive longer. We’re also fine-tuning the amount of camera
shake that occurs when you’re hit. If these adjustments aren’t enough, we’ll
look at tweaking the damage of weapons. DICE also acknowledged that much of the feelings
of TTK issues may come from the modes that people are playing or their general map awareness. Personally, I never felt like the time-to-kill
was an issue one way or the other. So I guess I’m in with the group that felt
the TTK was just right. But I must admit, it’s a little bit hard
to evaluate based on a limited pool. If I think about the beta weapons that Battlefield
4 released with, we’d never have known about guns that are absolutely built for shredding
in that game. Or for example, with Hardline we didn’t
see some of the more broken elements of that game in their Beta. So it’s really hard to judge TTK based on
the Battlefield V alpha. But it seems like, based on what DICE is saying,
it’s a concern they’re aware of and keeping in mind with the design and balance of their
game. DICE acknowledges the limited selection somewhat
later in the update: Important to note is that the Closed Alpha had a limited pool of
weapons and when we add more, the overall balance will change. The arsenal that was tested in the Alpha was
a small subset and more passes will be made to it and all the other Battlefield V weapons
and gadgets. And honestly I think that’s all we can ask
for at this stage of development. If the shipped game plays relatively the same
as the alpha, I’ll be pretty pleased. On weapon balance, two “issues” that DICE
identified in the alpha were the recoil of certain weapons and the general supply of
ammo. On weapon recoil, they were a bit vague but
they stated that they have tweaked the recoil of some weapons based on the alpha. I’m genuinely curious what weapons they
went after, as they did state: … it will require a bit more effort and pacing between
shots to be effective. Based on previous games, I assume this means
that recoil recovery has been reduced — that is the amount of time required by weapons
to return to the center of the screen. Given the prominence and effectiveness of
the StG44 — I have to imagine that was a prime candidate for these changes. But I could imagine them reworking the Erma
slightly as well, as of all the automatic weapons that felt the easiest to control. We won’t really know the extent of these
recoil changes until the next build lands in late August. In general I found the weapons in the alpha
to be really predictable and fair, though the StG44 was a clear favorite. As for the ammo, DICE stated that: When it
comes to ammunition, we saw that players in general liked the war of attrition and having
a limited number of bullets when deploying. We will tweak these numbers slightly for some
weapons to get an optimal balance. There are other factors that affect ammo availability,
too. For instance, the possibility of looting dropped
ammo from dead players benefits certain classes more than others, and we’ll need to adjust
the balance accordingly. My take on this is that certain weapons could
just keep going and going and players were ignoring supplies because as long as they
kept killing they would get a sufficient amount of ammo. I actually didn’t notice this too much in
the alpha, but I didn’t play a lot of the semi-automatic or bolt action weapons. And for the most part, I could easily resupply
at the supply stations — which were one to a point. Which I think will be a bigger problem going
forward if they’re trying to keep resupply as a role important for the medic and support. The supply stations in the alpha were plentiful
and easy to get to — once you knew where they were, it was trivially easy to resupply
after capturing a point or on your way to the next. On reinforcements, DICE had this to say: In
the Closed Alpha, we gave you the chance to call in two of the several Squad Reinforcements
of Battlefield V: the Churchill Crocodile Tank and the V-1 Rocket. Players had fun with these powerful weapons,
but some aspects will be adjusted. For example, it was way too easy to be reinforced
with the V-1 Rocket in Conquest, and though matches are supposed to escalate with these
reinforcements at the end of a match, we will tone this down. Furthermore, details like blast radius and
how you can be warned of (and potentially counter) the V-1 Rocket are being investigated. I can understand what they’re saying here,
as there were some particularly early V-1s, and I’d wonder how players managed to get
them that fast. But by the end of the game, it was raining
rocket call-ins. I never felt like I had a hard time guessing
where the V-1 was going to land and getting out of the way. Mostly it just caught unaware players — of
which there are always going to be plenty. If I were DICE, I’d do less of a full-press
mitigating the power of the V-1 and perhaps try to make the other call-ins more viable. For example, they call the tank powerful but
it was anything but. The tank was a far less productive choice
and was easily destroyed. In general, tanks were pretty much glass cannons
in the beta — much due to their limited arcs of fire and ease of destruction. So what didn’t they mention? Definitely missing from the update was any
mention of vehicle balance. Given the top-tier role vehicles have taken
in previous Battlefield games, and the very obvious power shift in the Battlefield V alpha
— this is kind of surprising. Planes were basically an unplayable mess in
the alpha. Short of the one viable variant of Stuka,
you weren’t contributing at all to the battle. Kills were exceptionally hard to come by when
bombs did less damage than grenades. I think planes have already received a pretty
big nerf with the changes to the spotting system. Unless players are in the wide open, or in
a vehicle, it’s going to be very unlikely that a plane will target them. What’s left to do here, I think, is to give
them adequately balanced weapon damage — for example, if I drop a bomb on somebody’s
head they should probably die. Then there’s the question of tanks — which
felt like they had good amount of firepower but very poor survivability. Tanks are easily disabled and slowed, and
the moment that they start taking fire they buckle pretty quickly. I was far more at risk from the infantry than
any tank. Which is a stark difference from previous
Battlefield titles. Usually I have an “oh crap, there’s a
tank” reaction. In the alpha, it was more “hey there’s
a tank; let’s blow it up and get back on the point.” I think the problem with tanks is relatively
easy to solve — more hitpoints or fewer explosives per player would probably do the trick. As it is, each assault spawns with enough
rockets to take out a tank and enough dynamite to cripple another. Which seems oddly opposed to the overall theory
of ammo reduction. Perhaps that was an oversight, but it required
no cooperation between squadmates to blow up a tank — it was a task easily accomplished
by a single player. And as I said, it’s an easy task to make
tanks feel more powerful as if everybody spawned with only a single rocket, tanks would suddenly
feel a lot more powerful. At least against lone wolves. Finally, they didn’t mention that they’ve
fixed the spotting system to not passively call out enemies. Which I think was one of the bigger complaints
about the alpha in general. Allegedly this was a bug that was confirmed
as fixed by one of their developers on Twitter. Overall I think DICE’s response to the alpha
is a bit of a mixed bag combined with some hand-waving. I’m definitely not a fan of making the squad
revive system less thought provoking, but there’s no follow-up build to play to judge
it in person. Additionally, I still have big concerns about
the vehicle balance and gameplay based on my time in the alpha. It sounds like there will be another alpha
build during gamescom from August 21st through August 25th. More than likely that will run until the following
Monday on the 23rd. DICE also mentioned that the open Beta will
happen in early September — likely using the same build from the second alpha. As for my hopes for late summer, I definitely
want to see some of the promised customization in the next build of the game, as it was sorely
missing from this build. DICE and their YouTube proxies talked up the
game quite a bit back in May, and I’m curious to see just how much of the hand-waving will
make it into the final product. Overall I’m still really positive on what
we’re going to get as a final product, as even if it’s just an expanded version of
what’s available in alpha — that would be pretty good. But I’d love to see them deliver on some
of their claims from earlier this year. That’s it for this video on DICE’s follow-up
to the alpha… but what did you think of their responses? Let me know in the comments below. As always thanks for watching, and I’ll
see you next time, YouTube.

31 thoughts on “Battlefield V/5 – DICE Responds to the Battlefield V Alpha – My Reaction to the Future of BF5

  1. Good seeing more of you again! Welcome back mate 😉
    I just don't trust DICE anymore… i'll wait to see what the open beta will bring, but BF1 was a joke. Oh and the kid in the chat in the video calling everything and everyone a hacker was hilarious! xD

  2. Can't judge since I haven't played it, but I really can't complain about not being bombed every 2 seconds like in bf1, and tanks usually go 50-0 so I can understand why they'd want to make them weaker

  3. Unless they make the medic revive near instantaneous, decreasing the time for the buddy revive doesn't make sense.

  4. i didnt get alpha access. i hope they dont change the ttk until after the beta. ttk is very important in a game and bf1 failed at it imo.

  5. Personally i dislike the limited ammo, most players from what i can tell think that its something that you always need to worry about which gets tiring after a while having to constantly micro manage health and ammo

  6. Medic revive is still way more powerful. It takes half the time to perform and puts you at full health. I think squad revive put you at 25 and you regen'd to 49. That's like 2 bullets.

  7. The infy v. armor thing is one of many points that gets me good. I really liked BF3's armored gameplay. If one had let an Engineer get a good shot off from the rear, they were nearly 100% toast (as you ought to be). Positioning and shot placement was key for vehicle-bourne engagements on both sides. If one had understood the mechanics and knew their surroundings, they could have oriented in such a way to eat a couple RPGs before it was time to head back and repair. Aircraft were so strong as well, with planes being the strongest they've ever been F/A-18E Superhornet w/ rocket pods and below radar but not really feeling too out of place.

    I like the idea that planes and tanks can be very good but have clear, distinct weaknesses. If a plane lines up for a ground strafe, guys on the ground should have means to counter it that feel fair. The same with a piece of armor rolling up to the battle. The balance should be asymmetric but fair for players on either end of the fight. I know it's easy to say that, but I really think it's the way to go with BF5.

    Edit: spelling

  8. Good vid as always Mr V , I agree with most of what you say, perhaps tanks on a different map might be more viable
    This map looks like engineer heaven 🙂

  9. DICE: "We're listening."
    Reality: DICE never fucking listen, they just say so, because it's good marketing.

  10. Great content as always Darth. Gunplay and veichle balance is key to make a fun BF game. BF1 failed at both compared to BF4.

    In battlefield we have 3 tiers of roles, Airplanes, Tanks and Infantry. We need to have a balance and synergy between the roles in order to make them all effective and rewarding to play. Every role need to be highly effective against itself and should never be effective against all 3 tiers.

    Does high damage to:
    Air: Air & Tank
    Tank: Tank & Inf
    Inf: Inf

    Does moderate damage to:
    Inf: Tank

    Does low damage to:
    Air: Inf
    Tank: Air

    Other types of vehicles (e.g. AA) and stationary weaponry have to be modelled outside of the formula. They can fill roles on maps where imbalance occurs because of map design or other gameplay artifacts.

    TLDR: Airplanes kill Airplanes & Tanks, Tanks kill Tanks & Infantry, Infantry kills infantry and damage Tanks.
    Planes does not kill infantry. Tanks does not kill Planes. Infantry does not kill Planes.

  11. I don‘t know how you can produce a game set in WW2 without putting an emphasis on tank on tank battles?
    WW2 was the alpha and omega when it comes to tank battles.
    I think in previous titles, the layout of the maps allowed you to have battles or skirmishes aside from what‘s going on in the main part/funnel of the map. I didn‘t see that in BF1 and i can‘t see that from what i‘ve seen from BFV. I‘m concerned that vehicles will soon be obsolete.

    Edit: I haven‘t played the Alpha, just so you know.

  12. Well when I played the Alpha from what I remember I couldn't hear any Footsteps. And yup your right about the Tanks I climbed into them a couple time and before I could find a target to shoot Boom ! My tank destroyed.

  13. I agree with ya on the revive your squad mate's it shouldn't be fast it should be a thought out decision. Let the Medics do it fast .

  14. I am a big fan of classes playing out a very specific role in a squad so because of that I strongly agree with you on one point and disagree on another. First off I wish Dice understood that balancing is more then just pulling and pushing sliders as I do love me some medic And the squad revive time is not just harmful but game breaking for an entire class. Just another situation where the left knows not what the right hand does in dice balancing. As for soloing a tank. I once again am a big fan of squad balance. I feel the goal should be to have one of each class in a squad to fully realize the potential of said squad. Hence I think it makes sense that a solo assault can take down a tank with his ammo count. The problem here is not that a single assault can iso and solo a tank its that the game to its core is telling players its ok for everybody in the squad to be an assault ( here have 5 rockets each and go rez each other also, and ammo.. go get more rockets anywhere on the map) They just continue to devalue the class system every time they do a "quality of life" change in this series. If you want ammo you should have to go to a support. If you want health or a rez there should have to be a medic. If you want to see spotted targets you should have a scout.. yes scout not sniper, scout. And if you want to blow the hell out of a tank you should only need one assault in that 4 man squad. As usual ty for the content. Glad to see your back to getting some out there on a more regular basis again.

  15. Dice tends to do this. The concept of tweaking is alien to them. They go too far one way or the other.

  16. The shitty matchmaking also made me quit BF1. It was atrocious. Every, single match would be a snowball for either side. It was never a fair fight. It was never fun. It was a complete demolition of the other team without them even having a chance to react. Imo, it was the absolute worst in Operations mode, where i never once had fair match. You're either completely trashing the enemy or getting completely trashed, theres never a middle ground.

  17. Huge middle finger to whoever thought removing the live ticket countdown/scoreboard from BF1 server browser was a good idea. There is nothing more irritating than joining a server without knowing what kind of players are on it and then later find that it's filled with level 1 noobs who don't PTFO. this is one of the reasons I still play BF4. BF4 Battlelog allowed noobs to avoid servers full of 140 level players beforehand and it allowed pro players to join other 140 level players. now everything is a random mess, servers don't have a reputation, you can't make friends cause you don't know if guys you played with last night will be on the same server tomorrow night. Battlelog was the best thing to ever to ever happen to the battlefield franchise.

  18. Huh. So that's why I always felt like most of my battlefield games could be summarized as "I'm by far the best player on this losing team"

    Also, I feel like 5 seconds is forever and 2.5 is a bit quick. I'd like to see 3.5 seconds or something. Keep medics useful at their role while also not making buddy reviving a death sentence.

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