One Year Later, Battlefield V Still Can’t Please Fans

One Year Later, Battlefield V Still Can’t Please Fans
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Battlefield V should have worked out. It’s a return to the World War II setting that Battlefield players love, with a fast pace that tests their reflexes and tactical thinking. Instead, it’s been a rocky ride, even as new content has been added to the game. A continuing controversy over the “time to kill” mechanic has fractured the game’s community, some of whom feel the experience of playing the game keeps changing for the worse.

Battlefield V’s community has danced a tense dance back and forth with the developers over the optimal “time to kill” for a long time now. Time to kill refers to how quickly one player can kill another player in a multiplayer shooter setting. A game like Gears of War, with its chunky space marines, has a higher time to kill than a more realistic game like Rainbow Six: Siege. Every game finds whatever works for it; ideally the result is a time that fits the setting while also giving players a chance to respond if they’re attacked. Battlefield V started with a fairly short time to kill. It didn’t take more than a focused burst from a submachine gun to take someone down. This created a slightly more arcade-y, action focused feel than previous games, and many players enjoyed that.

Over the course of Battlefield V’s post-release, however, the time to kill value has not been consistent. It’s shifted multiple times as developers try to find a pace that veteran players enjoy but which also avoids situations where newbies are mowed down before they can react. In December 2018, changes were made that reduced the damage on many rapid firing guns. Those changes were then quickly rolled back due to player outcry. Battlefield V’s most recent patch, released nearly a year later, made similar changes. The result was a familiar outcry within the community.

“With this update, we’re continuing our work on weapon balancing across the game, and with this update we’re focused on addressing the damage values of weapons over range,” the patch notes stated on December 4th.

The biggest changes affected the damage submachine guns do at longer ranges and the damage assault rifles do up close. It makes sense on paper: if weapons are meant to be suited for usage at certain distances, you don’t want them to overperform outside of that intended range. For the Battlefield community, which tends to value customising their weapons kits and having faster gunfights, it’s been a huge problem. The frustration is easy to see on community outlets like Reddit.

“If you can’t just ignore this stuff and play the game, you really shouldn’t be bothering trying to make sense of the recent patches,” one player suggested.

“The timing of this patch couldn’t have been worse either,” another player said. “It felt like BFV was about to make a comeback with the Pacific and underground after it had been dwindling for some time.”

This frustration comes in spite of the fact that a hotfix patch was made to address weapon changes and increase the damage on some of the nerfed guns. The hotfix released last week.

Granted, there are always angry players on Reddit or other forums, but Battlefield V issues with time to kill have been part of a repeating cycle that’s frustrated many players. While there have been plenty of new maps, including the return of fan favourites, there’s a sense among the most vocal contingents of the player base that the combat can and will change at the drop of a hat. It’s fundamentally tainted how many hardcore players look at the game, since new additions are undercut by core gameplay changes that are pushing away loyal players. Kotaku reached out to EA about the current state of the game, but did not receive reply in time for publication.

Battlefield V’s post-launch feels like an inverse of Star Wars Battlefront II. The latter game released to immense controversy but eventually turned itself around by adjusting player rewards and adding iconic battles. Gameplay changes and tweaks happened but never felt so drastic. Meanwhile, Battlefield V started with a solid foundation, albeit one that some fans did not like in comparison to Battlefield 1’s grittier feel. Since its release, Battlefield V has addressed many concerns from players including the initial lack of series-defining Pacific battlefields, but the constant shifting on TTK (even with compromises and adjustments) has eroded some players’ confidence in the game. The game felt primed for a turnaround, but a rocky end of the year now leaves the game’s future uncertain.


  • Battlefield 5 has been such a huge letdown, the game feels like it has almost nobody working on it, the only issues that are fixed quickly are ones that involve the cosmetic store.

    Barely any maps get released and when they do they get designed around whats quickest for them to bang out not what makes sense. The new wake island map has the americans assaulting the island instead of the japanese simply because it let them reuse the boat models they already had rather than create new ones.

    Firestorm is completely abandoned, they remove modes constantly so you cant just log in and think “Today I will play frontlines or rush” you have to wait for them to be rotated in as limited time events.

    The tides of war progression system is such a massive grind that for each chapter its far quicker to get a character to level 60 in WoW classic than it is to unlock all your chapter rewards even if you complete every single objective. This is obviously because they added “time savers” to allow you to spend real money to complete the chapter not because they thought it would be fun.

    The TTD is still very fast even though they have made the TTK very slow and because the guns were blanket nerfed without any kind of planning there are only 2-3 weapons worth using per class and certain categories of weapons are completely useless.

    They also have not bothered to go back and modify a single weapon assignment that requires things like getting 20 kills in a round at more than 50m, now the guns take 13 shots to kill at that range instead of 7 making these assignments almost impossible.

    All in all this is the most disappointing Battlefield game I ever played.

  • Kinda funny, my mates and I fired up BF2 a while back and found it infinitely more fun than every single BF following it. Something about the gameplay in BF2 just being rock solid…

      • I miss both. I love how BF2142 wasn’t simply a remake of BF2 (which is what they’d just do these days, different coat of paint etc), it was a fully fleshed out sequel etc. I’d LOVE a remake of both, just a new engine, the gameplay the same.

  • What a sad end to this franchise, I’ve been playing since bad company 2 which got me hooked. After finding bf ww1 pretty much ok, I brought bf ww2 last Xmas and deleted it straight away . I was hoping that it would be an improvement on bf ww1, it wasn’t. So I recently downloaded bf ww2 after hearing about the Pacific maps etc and was gutted to find everyone was a bullet sponge and what was even worse no hardcore mode. I now get my military shooter from the latest COD (first COD I’ve ever brought and pretty embarrsed ) I play domination in hardcore mode and reminisce of the days I was enjoyed with the bf conqiest series.

  • I haven’t touched it since a few weeks past launch. It never really felt very well fleshed out and you could tell it was rushed. For all of Call of Duty’s issues, you know what you’re getting more or less in regard to the pacing, feel and TTK of the game. In these last few Battlefields you can tell even the Devs don’t really know what they want Battlefield to be (don’t even get me started on the latest CQC trend).

    The best thing they can do now is take a few years off and return in next gen with a fresh and well fleshed out idea that doesn’t feel like an expansion pack

  • I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Bring back dedicated servers that clans/groups can rent and customise to their liking like the old days! I’ve always played on hardcore servers for battlefield(among other FPS’s) in the past. I have zero interest in playing a game that doesn’t give me the ability to choose a server to my liking.

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