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DICE reworking Battlefield 2042 maps, says future maps will be smaller

Kaleidoscope will see the first rework in season one

Cars and helicopters wage war in a screenshot from Battlefield 2042 Image: DICE/Electronic Arts
Ryan Gilliam (he/him) has worked at Polygon for nearly seven years. He primarily spends his time writing guides for massively popular games like Diablo 4 & Destiny 2.

After a rough launch period for Battlefield 2042, developer DICE updated players on key design changes for its shooter in a blog post Thursday morning. The studio says it has discovered some pain points across all of Battlefield 2042’s maps — although these issues are prominent in some maps more than others — and revealed changes coming in season one to help alleviate the problems, as well as plans to build smaller maps in the future.

In its research, DICE say it has discovered issues with traversal, intensity, line of sight, paths, and cover in Battlefield 2042’s maps. The games maps are too large and objective areas are too spread out. It takes players too long to move from their base to the nearest objective, leading to a lot of traversal time. “We’ve seen you use terms such as ‘Walking Simulator’ to describe how this feels in-game,” the developer said. “We understand that this isn’t a satisfying experience and agree that there’s too much overall travel time.”

However, once in combat, things can get a bit too intense with the number of players and vehicles swarming around. DICE said it’s looking to reduce the player count in certain modes, specifically Breakthrough, where it’ll likely land on 64 players. It’s also looking at removing the number of vehicles players have access to.

The studio will move certain bases and objectives closer together. As you can see in the image below, the attack groups in sector one are far closer together in the prototype layout, and the attackers will start on the same side of the map as the objective. This should help concentrate players in the objective area, and reduce the amount of time spent walking from the base to attack points.`

Battlefield 2042 reworked maps Image: DICE/Electronic Arts

The cover and line-of-sight issues both play into each other, with DICE revealing that players are often caught in large areas without much defense. This forces much of the game’s combat into longer range battles than the studio intends, so it’s exploring more ways for players to hide themselves as they cross the map. The studio also wants more clearly defined paths for players to walk, which should make defending an objective more predictable.

DICE said it’s going to make these changes gradually to older maps, starting with what it believes to be the biggest offender: Kaleidoscope. The Kaleidoscope rework (for both Breakthrough and Conquest modes) is slated for Battlefield 2042’s first season, which won’t hit until later this summer.

These changes will also be applied to future maps still in development, with a bigger focus on developing smaller maps than players saw at launch, DICE said. Battlefield 2042 supports player counts of up to 128 players, with extra large-sized maps designed to accommodate that increased player count.

The developer says it’s gathering feedback from players on future pain points to solve for, as well as other maps that are causing serious problems.

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