In a blog post, the studio outlined how it’s changing its approach to map design following Battlefield 2042’s disappointing launch.
Based on player feedback, it said it has identified five main issues with the design of the game’s existing maps, which it intends to improve over the coming months.
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The first problem is how long it takes players to traverse maps to reach objectives. To make the game feel less like a “walking simulator,” as some fans have called it, DICE intends to “reduce the overall travel time between Flag and Base Spawn on some maps”.
The overall intensity of combat is also being looked at, with DICE considering reducing the player count from 128 to 64 in modes like Breakthrough, which “can get too chaotic” during certain pushes for the objective.
Thirdly, line of sight improvements will aim to reduce the current focus on direct long-distance combat between objectives, by providing more chances for players to hide themselves while crossing maps.
DICE is also working on better signposting paths across the game’s maps “in order to keep combat focused, and to make it easier to understand how to get from one objective to the next”.
Finally, and similar to line of sight, DICE said it’s planning to introduce new areas of cover across maps which are currently too open and flat.
DICE said these plans “will require substantial development time” and the proposed changes won’t be available for all maps simultaneously.
The studio’s current focus is on improving Kaleidoscope on both Conquest and Breakthrough, and it shared the following work in progress images showing off some new map designs being considered.
“The biggest action point for ourselves is that bigger maps doesn’t necessarily mean more freedom and playstyles, or fun,” DICE wrote. “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. We’re also thinking about changing the shape of the maps to give them more sense of direction.
“We feel that going from a common Battlefield standard of a square shaped playspace, to a rectangular shape most commonly used in some of our older entries in the franchise can better incentivize pushing forward versus circling out sideways.
“We feel that this can help to focus areas of combat, enable you to have more focused awareness, and reduce opportunities for enemy fire to come in from all around you.”
DICE recently delayed Battlefield 2042’s first season of live content until the summer so that it can focus on improving the quality of the existing product following a disappointing launch.