Following the Battlefield 5 open beta, DICE pushed the release back to this month, saying it wanted to address some of the feedback first. That release is upon us, at least for Origin Access Premier members, who can start playing Friday, November 9. (The Battlefield 5 release date schedule is complicated.)
So what has DICE been up to? Following the open beta, the developer left us with a few notes about its focus during the delay. We reported on the changes a couple months ago, but with the release imminent, here's another quick rundown:
- More starting ammo for some guns, higher max ammo for others
- An increase in enemy visibility
- Faster bleed outs, and less time in the 'squad follow camera' if you're patient and wait for a medic while bleeding out
- Gun balance changes
- A "full netcode pass"
- More vehicles (that already existed but weren't included in the beta)
- Turret and engine damage modeling for tanks (another feature held during the beta)
- Increased range for spotted enemies when piloting a plane
DICE is committed to its 'War of Attrition' concept, which forces players to spend more time scrounging for or sharing ammo and health, but beta players apparently weren't as convinced of its virtues. DICE says that while it isn't scrapping the idea, "players are going to spawn somewhat more capably in the final game." That means a bit more ammo for certain guns, and an increased max capacity for others. As a trade-off, some Supply Stations will be made buildable instead of permanent, encouraging players to use the construction system.
Another change from previous Battlefields is a nerf to spotting—DICE has said that it doesn't want us running around aiming at 'Doritos,' the markers that appear above spotted enemies. For that to work, though, the soldier models need to be clearly visible at range, and DICE says that it's "adding a distance haze, which makes other players pop more" as well as making fixes "to lighting levels and visibility bugs in general." Pilots will also be given greater visibility of spotted enemies.
I've had mixed feelings on this next system. When a player is downed in Battlefield 5, they begin a 'bleeding out' animation, during which they can call for a medic. It's much more detailed than in previous Battlefields, and if no one's around you, it isn't much fun to helplessly cry out in pain. I may like it more in the full release, as DICE is increasing the speed at which players bleed out and are sent to the squad deploy camera. However, players who don't rush through the bleeding out phase (you can hold down a key to make it go faster) and wait for a medic will spend less time waiting to respawn from the squad camera, encouraging players to stick it out for as long as they can bear.
Finally, we'll see the expected gun balance changes based on data gathered from the open beta, netcode tweaks, as well as things that weren't available in the open beta by design, including more vehicle types and the ability to partially disable tank turrets and engines, and not just tracks.