Talking Battlefield 3 Multiplayer

Posted on March 06, 2011

Though we didn’t see any multiplayer in action during our cover story visit to DICE, that didn’t stop us from prying some revealing answers from executive producer Patrick Bach.

This is an extended version of the interview that ran in the March 2011 issue of Game Informer.

The experienced player understands and appreciates the teamwork concept in Battlefield’s multiplayer, but you often see new players lone wolfing it and missing the point entirely. How do you break through that barrier?
We’ve been asking ourselves that question – why don’t people play it. Because when you’ve put some hours into it it’s like, “this is way better than the competition.” The problem isn’t only on the game side, it’s how do you get to the point where everyone has tried it? Even if you have a demo or you gave away free samples you still need people to try it. The challenge is to get people to try it because we know that they will get hooked when they do. But also on the teamplay aspect it’s a deeper layer that most other shooters don’t have. The hurdle is to make sure that we lower the threshold to get into the game by letting everyone try it out. The running and gunning should be extremely accessible. That’s something we’re working toward with every iteration of the game while deepening the game so once you get hooked, there’s enough depth to play to get people to come back.

Bad Company 2 came out of the gates quickly, placing in the top three on Xbox Live for several months. Then you went six months without delivering new maps and the community fell off drastically. Do you plan on taking a different approach with Battlefield 3?
We have a big focus on sustaining the game. To be honest, Bad Company 2 was a bigger success than we anticipated. We did not account for that. We sold a lot of copies and don’t feel bad about where we were, but looking back, we should have released more, bigger content earlier. The challenge is to build a game, and then have more people coming on before the project is done to start building extra content because it takes a lot of time to get stuff out. Even if you’re done with something it takes another one-to-two months to get it on the net so to speak. We’ve learned our lesson now, and have a lot of really interesting plans for how to keep the attention of the players. We can do better in that area.

One of the things I felt went hand-in-hand with the lack of new maps was that, anecdotally, a lot of people stopped playing around level 25 because there was no longer a carrot dangling in front of them in terms of unlockables. Why did you decide on that approach, and do you plan on altering the progression in Battlefield 3?
It falls back on what I said earlier – we were much more successful with our approach than we anticipated. We didn’t think most people would hit level 22 to be honest, and especially not so fast. Our calculations on how much people would play to hit level 20, 25, 50 were completely wrong. Thought people wouldn’t play that much. We’re looking into the numbers of how we scale up, what we give away, how we give it away, with the understanding that some people put a lot of time into the game. There will be a lot more to unlock, not only weapons and other treats, but we have more things that you can unlock than in Bad Company 2, and we’re also making sure that there is a reason for you to reach the top rank. It doesn’t just end. There will be a lot of focus on persistence and how we present stuff to the player.

One of the things that helps persistence is when you give the player an identity. For instance, you can carve your initials into your gun in Black Ops, and Rainbow Six let you customize your outfit. What are the challenges to this approach and do you see Battlefield 3 going in this direction?

The more variation you have [in the characters] the less variation you can have in the rest of the world. I think it also has to do with the way you play more professionally. You don’t want people to look completely different. It’s team A versus team B. It’s always a challenge – how do you personalize a uniform? Giving the pink rabbit hat to someone would make it fun, but if you’re running around and you don’t know what you’re shooting at you don’t take the professional gaming seriously in my book. So there’s a challenge between personalizing and keeping it uniform. We will do more in that area, making sure that you can get your character to be more personalized both in a visual way and more specifically in the way you gear up. We did a good job I would argue in Bad Company 2 with specializations, different scopes, and different weapons – you can kind of find your way of playing the game, which broadens the game for more people. The deeper you get into that the more you unravel figuring new things out every day. That was kind of the seed to what we’re building now. We now know more than we’ve ever known about how to personalize a uniform team. Your friends will get very happy when they can see what they can do with their soldiers.

When I think about Battlefield 2, I always come back to the Commander position and the game within the game that arose from having Special Forces objectives. Are those returning in the proper sequel?

We could implement it but the question is how do you get the threshold lower? That’s not by making it more complicated. Our challenge is to make sure that anyone that just jumps into the game will get it. One of the biggest problems with Commander was that only two people could use it. Some people liked it but most people didn’t care, they just cared that someone gave them an order or that their squad could play together having fun on their own more or less. Then the more hardcore people went into the Commander mode and learned how to use that. You could argue it was a great feature, but looking at the numbers you could also say that no one uses it. We tried in Bad Company 2 to give that to the players, so you could issue orders to your squad, and you could use gadgets like the UAV that only the commander could use earlier – giving the power back to the players so everyone could use it. That made a big difference. More people could enjoy the game. We lowered the threshold for everyone because we gave it to everyone. We now know where the boundaries are for keeping the strategic depth and complexity while lowering the threshold to get in.

Since Battlefield 2 you’ve toyed with the amount of classes – that game had seven classes, Battlefield 1943 had only three, and Bad Company 2 had four. Do you think you’ve found the sweet spot?

Yes, I think the sweet spot is four. Looking at what we’ve done so far, we see the classes as a starting point. Classes are kind of “Who am I? Well, I’m this kind of person. I want to help out or play in this way.” Then as you go along you will find different nuances of that class. If you look at the amount of classes you actually have in Bad Company 2 with all of the different loadouts, it’s probably a couple of thousand, compared to 1942, which was quite static. So the sweet spot for entry is around four. Then it’s about how much you branch it. It’s a never-ending discussion that’s a matter of what kind of toys you want the player to have and how you balance it out. The rock, paper, scissors theory is still the foundation of every Battlefield game. A lot of people come up to me and say “You should increase the power of that gun, or you should make this gun better, or you should add nukes.” The easy response to that is “How is that fun for the person getting shot at?” Because that needs to be the balance – if there’s no counter to a weapon, then we won’t put it in the game. There should always be a way of countering, so then you get this circle of death where if you have the means to kill me, I can switch gear and find means to get back at you. There shouldn’t be any über class or über weapons. Some games have perks where you kill the game by using it, and you do it over and over again. That’s no fun, that’s a game breaker. If someone gets really good at flying a chopper, then people say the chopper is overpowered. No, you just haven’t learned how to counter it, because there is a counter. That’s the kind of depth you want in a Battlefield game. It actually takes time until someone figures it out. We often compare ourselves to sports. You have a game with a set of rules, but there are a million ways of playing that game still even though the rule set is very solid and it hasn’t changed for 100 years. Every game is completely new. There is always a way to counter the opponent. Like football, or basketball, or soccer, the game is always evolving, yet the rules are the same. People adapt and find new ways.


Go to Source (Game Informer)

Battlefield 3 first-look preview (Battlefield 3)

Posted on March 04, 2011

Let’s not beat around the bush here: Battlefield 3 looks freaking amazing. At their GDC preview event, the folks at DICE showed off a PC version of the title and did their best to blow the collective minds of everyone present. We can’t really say to what extent they succeeded, but we will say this: They certainly brought their A game…

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Go to Source (GamesRadar)

Take The DICE Studio Tour

Posted on February 22, 2011

In addition to sitting down for an interview about building Battlefield 3, general manger Karl-Magnus Troedsson led us on a quick tour of the beautiful DICE studio situated in the heart of Stockholm, Sweden.  Check out the video to get a better idea of where the Battlefield series is crafted.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

Head to the Battlefield 3 hub to check out more information about DICE’s latest shooter.


Go to Source (Game Informer)

DICE Interview: Building Battlefield 3

Posted on February 12, 2011

On our recent trip to Sweden, we sat down and talked to DICE’s General Manager Karl-Magnus Troedsson about the company’s approach to creating the long-awaited sequel to Battlefield 2.  A lot has happened over the last six years, and in the first video Karl-Magnus explains what the company has been up to and why 2011 is the perfect time to release Battlefield 3.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

Check out the video below to see Karl-Magnus Troedsson share his insight on what makes DICE such a unique developer within the gaming industry.

(Please visit the site to view this media)


Go to Source (Game Informer)

DICE cancels two PC Battlefield projects in favor of Battlefield 3 (Battlefield 3)

Posted on February 06, 2011

DICE is clearly focusing all of its energy on Battlefield 3, which is what DICE general manager Karl Magnus Troedsson calls “the biggest launch in DICE’s history.”

Go to Source (GamesRadar)

Battlefield 3 Gets A Teaser Trailer + A Few Game Tidbits

Posted on February 05, 2011
Get some early details on the next installment of the Battlefield franchise.

Modern warfare fps games may be the new equivalent of the WWII fps i.e. we’re sick of them, but that isn’t really applied to Battlefield 3 – at least for now.  The market may be filled with games that are trying to become the new king of the fps genre but with Battlefield 3 I think gamers are just going to be happy to get some intense multiplayer action on, whether it’s on the front lines as an assault soldier, taking up point in a far off tower as sniper, or taking to the skies in a helicopter.

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read more (Shogun Gamer)

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Battlefield 3 Teaser Trailer Hints at Release Date

Posted on February 05, 2011

Jets and helicopters are making a comeback in Battlefield 3, as is fighting at night.

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View Article (The Escapist – EscapistMagazine.com)

Battlefield 3 Teaser Trailer and First Details Arrive

Posted on February 05, 2011

Battlefield fans, commence getting excited. Developer DICE today released a teaser trailer for its long, long-awaited Battlefield 3, along with a small trickle of details.

Battlefield 3 will boast single-player and co-op campaigns in addition to its trademark multiplayer, DICE revealed. Built upon DICE’s new engine Frostbite 2, it’ll also see jets and prone return to the series, not to mention 64-player multiplayer in the PC edition.

Shackvideo users can use the HD Stream.

Hopefully mention of 64-player multiplayer will be of some comfort to PC gamers, after DICE…

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Go to Source (ShackNews)

Battlefield 3 To Be Officially Announced At GDC 2011

Posted on January 13, 2011

Battlefield: Bad Company 2

The yet-to-be announced Battlefield 3 will finally be revealed by EA at this year’s GDC. EA confirmed they will be having an unveiling event on March 1, 2011 during the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. Gamers who bought Medal of Honor may have noticed the game came with an exclusive invitation to the Battlefield 3 beta. There have been no new details about when the planned beta will begin.

Is an announcement event for a game we already know about necessary? Are you looking forward to Battlefield 3?

Battlefield 3 does not have a release date but the optimistic believe it will be out in late 2011.

Source: IGN

[image from Battlefield: Bad Company 2]

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Go to Source (G4TV.com)

EA reveals when we’ll see Battlefield 3 revealed

Posted on January 11, 2011
After months of being in the dark EA is finally ready to unveil BF3.

EA may have punked us last month when we all thought Battlefield 3 would be revealed at the Spike VGAs but that teaser trailer turned out to be for SSX: Deadly Descents.  Who would’ve thought that a game showing a military helicopter and a snowy mountain would be for a new SSX game but that’s just the world we’re living in this generation.  After staying under the radar, Dice and EA are finally ready to show the next installment of the main Battlefield series and it’s going to happen somewhat soon.

read more (Shogun Gamer)

Is this trailer for the new SSX? Or maybe Battlefield 3? We can't decide yet (Xbox 360)

Posted on November 24, 2010

Okay, you know how I feel about the whole “teasing a teaser for a teaser of a teaser” thing. But in this case I can’t help fuelling the whole sorryseld-perpetuating hype cycle. Why? Because there’s a chance SSX could be involved. And you know how I feel about SSX.

We’ll find out for definite at the Spike TV Video Game Awards next month, but for now, watch the vid and let me know what you think. You’ll find a few more details and notables over the jump too.

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Go to Source (Games Radar)


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