The Battlefield 5 open beta starts on September 6 for most, and earlier on September 4 for those who subscribe to Origin Access or have pre-ordered the game. It'll run until September 11, and includes more than what we saw in the closed alpha, plus a bunch of changes inspired by the past couple test periods.
The Arctic Fjord map from the closed alpha will be joined by Rotterdam, which we saw at Gamescom. Conquest mode will be available on both maps, and on Arctic Fjord, we'll also be able play two 'days' worth of a Grand Operation, Battlefield 5's version of BF1's Operations mode in which teams play multiple matches with different objectives. The Fall of Norway Grand Operation available in the beta will include the Airborne mode, which sees one team deploying in a plane and parachuting to the ground. You can find more on what'll be available in the beta here.
Over on the Battlefield forums, meanwhile, multiplayer producer David Sirland has posted a long list of changes coming to the open beta. They might not mean much to you if you didn't play in an earlier test, but I'm pleased to see attention is being paid to some of the weak spots I noticed.
For instance, "The Death Experience in the Alpha was far from where it needed to be," writes Sirland, and I'd agree—going down meant a jarring transition to a prone position where you could hail medics (cry out in pain) as you waited to bleed out, and I didn't find it much fun. The same basic system is in place, but there's now a much needed 'give up' option if no medics or squadmates are nearby. Additionally, a bunch of changes have been made to reviving. You can now cancel revives, notify teammates you intend to revive them, and buddy revives (when a non-medic revives a squadmate) will now restore a player to full health. Additionally, while regenerating with a health crate has been made a bit harder (you actually have to interact with the crate, and you won't regen all your health), all players will now start with a 'health pouch' which restores them to full health, and which can be resupplied at a crate or by a medic.
If it sounds like the medic class has been devalued, that might be true (we'll see), but I'm very curious to see how these changes feel in practice. The goal, says Sirland, is to keep the 'time-to-kill' the same, that is, the number of hits with a certain gun needed to kill a target, but lengthen 'time-to-death,' which can be thought of as a player's ability to keep their health topped off, react to threats via audio and visual input, and deal with latency.
One thing not listed in the patch notes, but that I'm super happy about, is the ability to hide the HUD for pretty screenshots. Outside of that, there are many, many more changes detailed in the forum posts, including modifications to gunplay and individual weapons, as well as a lot of UI updates, so have a look if you're interested in DICE's reasoning for its experiments as it approaches release. That release, by the way, has been pushed back. Rather than in October, Battlefield 5 will now release on November 20.