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DICE affirms that Battlefield 2042's specialists are here to stay

Battlefield 2042 specialists rao
(Image credit: DICE)

Video game publishers like to throw around the word "beta" a lot these days when most betas are more like demos, but in the case of Battlefield 2042's recent open beta, it looks like a lot will be different when it releases for real on November 19.

In a blog post published today, DICE talked about the biggest changes players should expect to see in the game following the beta. The post immediately touched on the subject of specialists, Battlefield 2042's controversial hero-like characters that replace the classic class structure from past games. DICE acknowledged player concerns over a perceived lack of team play in the beta, which featured four playable specialists out of the 10 total planned for launch.

"During the Open Beta we heard some feedback that Specialists were limiting teamwork, and we wanted to address this concern head-on," the post reads. DICE says the beta build that everybody played was missing  "numerous improvements to the user interface" that are "vital to team play" and will be in the game at launch. The final game will apparently have clearer UI markers denoting who needs healing/ammo, plus clear bonus points awarded for players performing support tasks (Transport Assists, Spawn Support, Resupply, and Heal support were mentioned).

DICE also thinks access to the full roster of 10 will give players a better impression of specialists in the full game. "Now that all the cards are on the table, let us know what you think!" More specialists should naturally mean fewer clones of Mackay running around shooting grapple hooks, but DICE isn't backing down on allowing any combination of any specialists on a squad at once.

"We hear you loudly on this topic. Squad comp matters," the post reads. "In Hazard Zone, we’re keeping things tight and deliberate on squad comp. Specialist selection will be unique, and we’re not running with duplicates inside the squad. In All-Out Warfare, we’re not using the same restrictions; we’ve been learning since Battlefield 1942 that our game just isn’t fun when you can’t play to your strengths, and there’s been lots of iteration done in this area in all of our games across the franchise’s history. In Battlefield 2042, you’ll enjoy the freedom of moving between the Specialists and loadouts that you need to support the squad, and there are parts of the experience that we have in our builds today that help to reinforce that."

So basically, things will remain as is in the standard Conquest mode, and it looks like all of those players who want the generic soldier factions back won't get their wish. Specialists are here to stay.

Though apparently, the earliest hours of Battlefield 2042 will feel closer to the old class setup. DICE says that for the first "4-6 hours" of gameplay, players will have access to fewer tools in their gadget slot (beginning with the medical crate, ammo crate, rocket launcher, and repair tool) and have to work up toward the suite of gadgets we used in the beta. "That traditional experience of a Battlefield game, where classes fulfill traditional roles is an experience that you graduate out of through the first ten levels."

DICE is also rebalancing healing and revives to give medics a bigger role on the battlefield. Health regeneration will take a lot longer to kick in from here on, making it more important for someone to carry a medkit or play as a dedicated healer like Falck. Speaking of Falck, her syringe gun has "received enhancements and tweaks" that improve the feedback you receive when successfully healing a teammate. The syringes themselves will also "magnetize" to friendly targets easier, meaning you'll (hopefully) no longer need godlike aim to heal teammates.

Here are a few other changes specific to beta feedback that DICE said will be in the full game:

  • Increased the number of Tanks that you’ll experience on Orbital. It’s up from 4, to 8 on PC, Xbox Series X|S, and PlayStation 5
  • Made changes to movement, adding strafe input to sliding, adding the ability to vault on moving objects, and toning down jump spamming.
  • A nearby Grenade Indicator has been added.
  • Entry and Exit animations are now shorter, with some being removed entirely.
  • Elevators have been fixed so that you see less funky behaviours with doors.

Those are the highlights, but the full blog post covers a lot more, including server issues and enemy readability changes. Those who care about the finer details of a Battlefield game should certainly give the whole thing a read.

Morgan Park

Morgan has been writing for PC Gamer since 2018, first as a freelancer and currently as a staff writer. He has also appeared on Polygon, Kotaku, Fanbyte, and PCGamesN. Before freelancing, he spent most of high school and all of college writing at small gaming sites that didn't pay him. He's very happy to have a real job now. Morgan is a beat writer following the latest and greatest shooters and the communities that play them. He also writes general news, reviews, features, the occasional guide, and bad jokes in Slack. Twist his arm, and he'll even write about a boring strategy game. Please don't, though.