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Battlefield 5's guns are going back to normal, thank goodness

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I have to think hard here, because if I ever said that Battlefield 5's time-to-kill was too low, I'll have to eat my words. I don't think I ever claimed that the guns were too powerful, and neither did anyone else, as far as I can tell, but last week, DICE went with what the data was telling it: that new players were dying too quickly and getting frustrated. In response, it made many guns less powerful, requiring approximately one extra bullet each for a kill.

"The intent came from us observing that new players are having a very hard time with the game compared to our core players," wrote (opens in new tab) global community manager Dan Mitre, "and we wanted to see if we could improve this over the holidays so more players can have a great time."

Though 'Core' playlists were being added for those who wanted the old TTK values, the vocal part of the player base was displeased. For my part, even though I might be one of the scrubs DICE is talking about, I didn't find Battlefield 5 more enjoyable with a crappier machine gun either. As I discussed with Maniac in the PC Gamer Discord on Friday, the change was a boon to snipers, who got more time to line up headshots against weaker SMGs and LMGs.

So, DICE is changing it all back to how it was.

"After rolling out those changes last week, we’ve listened to your feedback, reviewed our statistical data, and have made the decision to return to the original TTK values seen at launch," wrote Mitre (opens in new tab).

I appreciate the intent behind the original update—making BF5 more fun for new players is good and should be tried—but I'm glad DICE decided that this particular experiment should be concluded. While there was some hyperbolic jeering over the weekend, I think Mitre's frankness has earned some goodwill.

"We have learned a lot over the past week," he said. "We’ve gained clarity on the issues you’ve shared with us around Time To Death (TTD), we’ve identified imbalances in weapons, and have recorded real-world data on how TTK changes our game and impacts our players. With that knowledge we have a better idea of how to improve the game going forward, and have already begun taking steps to improve the experience for all our players, new and veteran."

The old values will return tomorrow, December 18 at 4 am Pacific, and the change will be made on the server side, so no download is needed. Happy holidays, BF5 players.

Tyler Wilde
Tyler Wilde

Tyler grew up in Silicon Valley alongside Apple and Microsoft, playing games like Zork and Arkanoid on the early personal computers his parents brought home. He was later captivated by Myst, SimCity, Civilization, Command & Conquer, Bushido Blade (yeah, he had Bleem!), and all the shooters they call "boomer shooters" now. In 2006, Tyler wrote his first professional review of a videogame: Super Dragon Ball Z for the PS2. He thought it was OK. In 2011, he joined PC Gamer, and today he's focused on the site's news coverage. After work, he practices boxing and adds to his 1,200 hours in Rocket League.