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Battlefield 4 will 'encourage' but 'never force' team play

Battlefield 4 lead multiplayer designer Thomas "Tompen" Andersson took to the game's official blog today to explain how EA DICE is designing the upcoming first-person shooter to "highly encourage" but "never force" players to work together as a team.

The developer's first incentive to players involves gameplay mechanics, he explained.

"We want to promote team play by creating great gameplay mechanics such as Field Upgrades, Commander Mode, and a new range of gadgets specifically designed to expand co-operation in the field," Andersson wrote. "We have drastically expanded on the tools and benefits of efficient team play, and as a result we feel Battlefield 4's multiplayer experience is the deepest, most rewarding, and fun experience in the series."

The Engineer, Recon, Support and Assault classes from Battlefield 3 will return in Battlefield 4. Andersson believes that "only a fraction of our players have tried all available gadgets or vehicles" in Battlefield 3, preferring instead to stick to the default class and load out. He believes that EA DICE can "do a better job ... of letting players make more educated choices in their kit loadouts and combat roles" by showing what gadgets do and allowing players to compare weapons.

The Field Upgrades mechanic, which offers chained boosts similar to Battlefield 3's specializations, will grant "individual rewards for squad based team play performance." According to Andersson, Battlefield 4 also includes features designed to create a "positive feedback loop" throughout the chain of command.

"For example," he wrote, "The Commander issues an order (example: 'Capture Base A!'), the Squad Leader passes it on to his squad mates, and the squad gets the work done. This executed order will reward everyone in the command chain and also open up ways for the Commander to further reward his team."

Battlefield 4 is set for an Oct. 29 release on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Windows PC. It will launch later on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Check out Polygon's hands-on impressions with Battlefield 4's multiplayer component for more.

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