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Battlefield 5 team apologizes to community, rolls back time to kill changes

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“Clearly we didn’t get it right”

Battlefield 5 Electronic Arts

Battlefield 5 has had a difficult launch. Among the controversies plaguing the game is the “time to kill” metric, also known as the TTK, which is how long it takes players to bring down a given enemy. An update last week raised the TTK, making players more robust. But upon further review, the team has decided to roll those changes back.

Along with the reversion comes an apology to the community at large.

“Our intent with the TTK changes was to see if we could evolve the Battlefield V experience and make it more enjoyable for new players,” the team wrote in a post on Reddit, “whilst also making sure the Battlefield vets have a choice with a more ‘core’ experience suiting their preferred play-style. Clearly we didn’t get it right. Veteran players didn’t ask for the change, but as game developers, we took it upon ourselves to make those changes based on extensive data and deliberation. It truthfully wasn’t an easy decision for us.”

The issue at hand is a foundational one for EA DICE, which has adopted a new games-as-a-service model akin to the latest entries in the Call of Duty and Destiny series.

Players who have spent hours with the Battlefield series over the years tend to be very, very good. That makes it challenging for new players to keep up. The issues are complicated by the game’s unlock system that rewards players with new equipment and perks based on the more kills they rack up. If new players don’t feel like they’re making enough progress, as represented by their performance in a given match and the rewards unlocked once it’s over, they’re likely to bounce off the game and spend their time elsewhere. That’s a veritable death sentence for any game intended to be a service, which is supposed to attract and hold the attention of players over a very long period of time.

“We have learned a lot over the past week,” the post continues. “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 change went into effect this morning, so Battlefield players should notice it now.