Battlefield 2042 developer DICE has addressed the state of the game's current maps, even suggesting that the maps are too big.
In a recent blog post (opens in new tab), the developer outlined what it sees as the “current problems that we face with gameplay on maps", going into detail about the problems the community has brought up and offering specific examples about what it's doing to fix them. Interestingly the developer admits that one of Battlefield 2042's key selling points, the sheer scale of maps, might actually be one of its biggest problems.
DICE explained: "The biggest action point for ourselves is that bigger maps doesn’t necessarily mean more freedom and playstyles, or fun. So you can expect future maps to be smaller in scale than most of our release maps. This also means we are reviewing a possible reduction in the number of Sectors and total Capture Points per map when playing at 128 players."
The post says there are five areas in particular that the game is focusing on to improve the feel of the maps. Those areas are traversal, intensity, paths, line of sight, and cover.
On traversal, DICE acknowledges that many of the maps are too big and that moving between objectives takes too long.
"We’ve seen you use terms such as 'Walking Simulator' to describe how this feels in-game," DICE wrote in response to criticism. "We understand that this isn’t a satisfying experience and agree that there’s too much overall travel time."
This came along with a commitment to rearrange the maps and make that travel time shorter.
DICE has also highlighted that 2042’s chaos, one of the key aspects the game touted early on, is a bit too much. On intensity, DICE wrote: "When fighting over Flags, either there are too many players, or vehicles, and sometimes the overall chaos can make it feel overwhelming when accurately trying to assess what’s happening around you."
The post also singles out the map Kaleidoscope as a key offender, especially when it comes to issues of cover and line of sight. Essentially, players can be shot at too often, with little reprieve in the way of safety.
"We presently feel that Kaleidoscope is an obvious offender for line of sight challenges, and are already making passes internally on improving certain areas of the map, including re-designing our Breakthrough experience to move combat into areas of the map where better cover already exists," DICE wrote in the post.
On Kaleidoscope, the developer shared its vision for reworks of the map to help the player experience, showing off where it’s planning to move Zones in certain modes.
DICE has also said that these changes will take substantial development time. The updates will come to maps one by one rather than simultaneously, and Kaleidoscope is the first up. DICE has said that players can expect the changes to come in Season One.
Opinion: Battlefield 2042 is salvageable
Battlefield 2042 has had a more than troubled launch. The game’s player count is exceptionally low right now, with it dipping below Battlefield 4. It’s been a rough time for the current DICE team.
That said, it’s clear the team is dedicated to the game and its problems. While it’s easy to scorn the developer for getting the release so wrong, it should be recognized that it is making transparent efforts to get the game to where players want it to be.
The developer worked wonders with Star Wars: Battlefront 2 after an equally disastrous launch. That game, thanks to a dedicated live team, turned it around and it now has a loyal and passionate community, even after support has stopped.
Even Battlefield 4 was plagued by issues at its launch, but it has remained ever popular. Battlefield 2042 feels like it might be the developer's biggest ever salvage job, but it's certainly one that it’s proven it's capable of. Here’s hoping anyway, because, in the moments that the game hits, it’s easy to see the potential.