So DICE may or may not be working on Battlefield 4 , but they're definitely building Armoured Kill, an upcoming DLC pack that promises to bring us the biggest Battlefield map ever. It's called Bandar Desert, it's set in Iran, and according to a blog post from DICE last week, it's going to be enormous.
Jøran Holberg takes us through some of the details. There will be 1.9km between deployment zones, 2.4 km between jet spawn points, and the map is 1.9km wide at its broadest point. That's 800m longer and wider than Caspian Border. Planes will be able to dogfight in the mountainous areas surrounding a huge area that features stretches of open desert for tank battles, and some built up areas for squabbling foot soldiers.
"Playing the first versions of Bandar Desert in our daily play tests was almost like re-discovering the classic Battlefield. Standing in the middle of that desert, looking around at the vast expanse with tanks approaching in the far distance and jets flying overhead was a Battlefield moment on its own," says Holberg.
"The challenge with designing a huge map like this is that the size mustn't lead to it becoming boring and uneventful. There must be no endless, generic travel between point to point like a pointless merry-go-round that never changes speeds," he adds. "Another challenge is to enable different player kits in the map – there should not be one kit that rules the entire map. Diversity in gameplay across the map would have to be implemented."
Holding flags on Bandar will grant your team access to certain vehicles, giving them a bit of extra strategic importance. The most important flag may well turn out to be the one that comes with the AC-130 gunship, which will fly itself around the map acting as a gunnery platform and a mobile spawn point for squads within. "Don't feel safe with just holding four flags in Conquest Large," Holberg advises. "If you hold just the town and one more flag, the enemy will still have more valuable vehicles than you have if they hold the most outpost flags, making it difficult for you to hold that majority of the flags for long."
Armoured Kill will add four new maps in total, and a few new vehicles, and is due in September.