Battlefield 1 spring update brings Platoons to the fight, makes life better for Medics

The Battlefield 1 spring update that DICE revealed earlier this month is now live, bringing the "first wave" of Platoon (aka clan) functionality to the game along with new weapon variants, some handy server admin features including the ability to password-protect servers, new ribbons and dogtags, and a new "Medic revive intent" feature that promises to make life a little easier for the fallen, and those who'd like to help them. 

Each Platoon is led by a General, DICE explained in the spring update notes, and there can be only one: The role initially goes to the creator, but it can be transferred to another player if desired. Generals have access to all Platoon functionality, including the ability to disband them, so you might want to be careful about who you hand the keys to if you need a break from the stresses of command. 

Next up is the Colonel, who has access to most management tools, and thus can cover for the General in most situations. The Lieutenant's access is considerably more limited, to accepting or rejecting Platoon applications (if they're required for access), and linking rented servers to the Platoon. And at the bottom of the ladder is the lowly Private, who has no access to anything beyond being "a member of the Platoon [who] can represent it and join other members playing." 

Any player can create and manage a Platoon, but only one General rank can be held at a time. Players can belong to up to ten Platoons simultaneously (pending applications count against that number) but can only "represent" one, and Platoon memberships are currently capped at 100 players. DICE said it will consider increasing those limits in the future, and for now bigger outfits can simply create more Platoons with the same name, tag, emblem, and description—and, hopefully, Generals who are all on the same page. 

"When you represent a Platoon, its tag will automatically be displayed in front of your name and its emblem will automatically be displayed wherever your emblem is usually displayed. This essentially 'overrides' your equipped emblem; when you represent a Platoon, we want you to really represent it," DICE explained. "Besides having the tag and emblem, if you fill up a squad with other players that represent the same Platoon, the squad will automatically be renamed to the Platoon’s name. Furthermore, if your represented Platoon contributed the most to a Flag Capture (with at least two members present), a pennant carrying your Platoon emblem will be shown on the flag pole. More bragging rights for you." 

On the gameplay side of things, the new "Medic revive intent" feature promises to address one of life's big problems for Medics: How to tell a fallen teammate that you're on the way to help. It's basically a more practical (and harder to pretend you didn't see) approach to the three simple rules Tyler came up with in January for being a better Medic, and being better to the Medics in your life. 

"If you’ve ever played as a Medic, dashing through hailstorms of bullets and explosions disregarding your own safety to get to a fallen team mate, only to have them 'skip' at the very last second, you know how frustrating it can be," DICE explained. "You can now 'spot' the dead player to indicate that you are on your way to them. The player will see your name blinking in the death screen and show as 'incoming medic.' The medic will also shout that he is coming. If they decide to skip anyway, they didn’t deserve to be saved in the first place." 

Four new weapon variants are coming, one for each class—the Hellriegel 1915 Defensive, the Selbstlader 1906 Sniper, the Huot Automatic Optical, and the Martini Henry Sniper—along with 19 new teamwork-focused ribbons that will be awarded for completing tasks like spotting, reviving fallen comrades, providing resupply, repairing, and healing. New server administration options will let admin rights be shared with other players and enable password-protected servers, and of course there's a large number of fixes and changes coming to the game as well.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.