The open beta for Battlefield 2042 was chaotic, buggy, and pretty limited given the scope of the latest game in the long-running shooter series. For developer DICE the beta was one more thing: a learning experience. In an article posted yesterday Battlefield 2042 devs introduce five new specialists and a host of updates and improvements coming to the game in time for its November 19 launch.
First off, it’s important to note that an open beta for a game like Battlefield 2042 isn’t generally indicative of how the final game is going to play. The build presented in the beta test was out-of-date before it even went live. As the developers explain it, they take the most stable build they can to create the beta test, which could mean a build that’s weeks or months out of date. The developers call it branching.
Branching allows us to strip out all of the unnecessary systems, content, and mechanics that are still under various forms of testing, and polish up what you sometimes hear referred to as a Vertical Slice of the game. We work hard to optimise it, stamp out critical bugs, and drive for maximum compatibility and performance on known hardware. By stripping out other content and systems, we remove potential conflicts that keep things running in the best possible manner.
While players test, development continues, changes are made, and features planned for the final release are added. Missing features like team communication, ping data, and the ability to more easily determine who’s a friend and who’s a foe? Those are coming. They just weren’t implemented in the open beta build.
Players who felt the specialist selection in the beta test limited opportunities for teamwork should be happy to know that there’s a whole new set of soldiers on the way, including Emma “Sundance” Rosier and her awesome wingsuit. Check out the five new specialists in the video below.
An open beta on the scale of Battlefield 2042’s also gives the developers valuable insight into how the game servers will perform. For example, a lot of players found themselves being matched onto servers populated mostly by bots instead of other humans. The beta gave DICE the ability to trace why the problem was occurring and fix it. Same thing with matchmaking teaming up players in different regions or with nasty high pings. Betas help identify issues like these.
Certain features present in the main game were disabled for the beta test altogether. Though there was a key binding for opening up a big map, it did nothing. In the release version, it will open up a large map giving players the lay of the land.
Commorose, the system that allows players to pull up a menu to quickly communicate with their teammates, was also disabled for the open beta. It’s not that the communications system wasn’t going to be in the game, it just wasn’t in the beta build. Here’s a little video of the system in action.
Essentially, if there’s a feature you expected to be in a Battlefield game that wasn’t in the Battlefield 2042 game, odds are it’ll be there when the game releases next month. Fully customisable loadouts, the ability to better determine which players are on your team and which want you dead, better team communication, UI indicators of who needs healing, cross-platform squad invites, and even voice-over-IP communication, it’s all going to be there.
Check out the article on the Battlefield 2042 site for a full accounting of what’s coming, what’s improving, and what’s changing completely based on beta feedback. It’s nice to see developers be proactive about player concerns while at the same time reminding players what a beta test actually looks like.