Battlefield V
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UPDATE: And so the Battlefield V merry-go-round continues. DICE has now announced it will be totally reverting all of its Time to Kill changes and we'll be right back where we started. 

In a new blog post, the DICE dev team wrote "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, 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.

"We have learned a lot over the past week. We’ve gained clarity on the issues you’ve shared with us around TTD, we’ve identified imbalances in weapons, and have recorded real-world data on how TTK changes our game and impacts players. 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.”

I'm a huge fan of Battlefield V, I've put more time into it at launch than just about any Battlefield in recent memory, but these scattergun changes really aren't filling me with confidence for its future. DICE's vision needs to be clear and it needs to do what it believes is best from the off, rather than have trials-by-fire on Reddit and game design by committee as anyone and everyone weighs in on the specifics. 

There's definitely value to be had in listening to fans, just as there is value to be had in trying to entice new players, but overly bow to either and you've got a recipe for trouble on your hands.

UPDATE:  DICE Addresses Battlefield V Time to Kill Criticism - 'New Players Are Having a Hard Time'

When DICE implemented wholesale Time to Kill (TTK) changes to Battlefield V it was really difficult to fathom out. The BFV reddit is ablaze with complaints about the tweaks, and I think with good reason.

DICE's official reasoning was that new players were having a difficult time while seasoned Battlefield vets were benefitting from the low TTK. To me, that sounds like it's working as intended. If you've played and practiced a game more, you absolutely should have a competitive advantage over a newbie. It's the same with other games and just about everything in life.

Regardless, the sweeping changes were rolled out. As a result, it now takes a great number of bullets to kill an enemy. This allows players who are being shot to have more time to react and fire back, or to duck into cover. It also prevents using a single mag to wipe a squad as it's simply just not possible anymore. 

Since the update on December 12th, DICE has been listening to feedback though and provided a response. 

"On behalf of the Battlefield team, I’d like to apologize for the silence over the past couple of days on the TTK topic," wrote DICE. "We’ve seen it’s been a big talking point and causing a divide in the community, which was never our intention. We have been listening closely to what you’ve all been saying.

"Changes to the game carrying this kind of weight needs clearer, earlier communication before getting rolled out. We will improve how we roll out updates in the future and respond more quickly when you have questions or concerns.

"So, why change TTK now? The intent came from us observing that new players are having a very hard time with the game compared to our core players, and we wanted to see if we could improve this over the holidays so more players can have a great time."

Unfortunately, DICE has no immediate plans to roll these changes back. Instead, it's going to expand its available 'Core' playlists. Core mode retains the original TTK and is designed as a more hardcore experience. Last week Core mode rolled out to Conquest mode only but now DICE is implementing Core playlists for every game mode in Battlefield V. It's a decent halfway step but splitting a player base is never good. It's also a worrying sign that DICE itself doesn't even know what the correct way to go is with its TTK changes.

Original Story: 12-Dec-2018 - Battlefield V Patch Addresses Critical Issues, Time to Kill Adjusted for Nearly All Weapons

After last week’s major update, DICE has dropped a new, smaller patch for Battlefield V that finally fixes the pesky issue of being spotted on the minimap following a kill, among other changes. This problem in particular can cause havoc for stealthy play, so it’s good to see that this wasn’t an intentional decision at least and we can now get back to being the sneaky, stabby people we’ve always wanted to be.

There are also a number of other issues fixed such as numerous crash bugs, recon players losing access to the throwing knife, and the Tides of War event countdown being incorrect.

Battlefield 5 December 11th Release Notes

  • Players no longer get spotted on the mini-map after killing an enemy.
  • Fixed an issue where high-level Recon players lost access to the Throwing Knife.
  • Adjusted the initial respawn count on specific maps in Domination mode.
  • Fixed a crash that could occur when being in the Practice Range as a squad.
  • Fixed a crash that could occur when viewing the Tides of War menu.
  • Fixed a crash that could occur when playing the Nordlys War Story.
  • Corrected the Tides of War countdown notice to show the correct number of days.
  • Fixed broken audio when watching the tutorial videos.

TTK Changes

In addition to the client-side patch, DICE has also issued a server-side update today that is intended to fix the Time To Kill (TtK) issues that some players have. The aim here is to ease up on the weapon damage slightly because “the wider player base is dying too fast leading to faster churn - meaning players may be getting frustrated with dying too fast that they choose not to log back in and learn how to become more proficient at Battlefield V.” Increasing the TTK has the knock-on effect of improving the Time to Die (TTD), and should make for a more forgiving experience.

Semi Auto Rifles:

Gewehr 43, Selbstlader 1916: Drop to 4 Bullets To Kill around 39 m (never).

Turner SMLE: Drops to 4 BTK around 28 m (50 m), 5 BTK around 68 m (never).

Gewehr 1-5: Drops to 4 BTK around 13 m (30 m), 5 BTK around 44 m (50 m), 6 BTK around 63 m (never).

M1 Carbine: Drops to 5 BTK around 39 m (50 m), 6 BTK around 63 m (never).

Assault Rifles:

Can no longer 4 hit kill with body shots only.

Drop to 6 BTK around 21 m (50 m), 7 BTK around 53 m (never).

LMGs, MMGs:

Can no longer 4 hit kill with body shots only.

Drop to 6 BTK around 21 m (50 m), 7 BTK around 57 m (never).

SMGs:

Can no longer 4 hit kill with body shots only.

Drop to 6 BTK around 15 m (25 m), 7 BTK around 32 m (50 m), 8 BTK around 49 m (75 m), 9 BTK around 70 m (never).

MP34 does not drop to 9 BTK at range.

Self-Loading Rifles:

Will now require one extra shot when hitting the lower body, arms or legs unless the other shot is a headshot.

Buckshot Shotguns

Unchanged: Same damage.

Slug Shotguns:

Slightly adjusted: Will deal less damage when hitting lower body, arms or legs.

 

I’m of the opinion that the TTK is great as it is and that DICE’s method of lowering weapon damage isn’t the ideal way to tackle the low TTD. While the two are inextricably intertwined, it would be better to see the netcode improved so players have more time to respond rather than a kneejerk reaction to folks who wonder why they’re dying quickly when they run out in the open.

If we’re to take the Gewehr 43 as an example, this 10-round semi-automatic rifle will now take four body shots to down an enemy rather than three. That’s a 33% increase in bullets, and time, required, and will dramatically affect the viability of such weapons. This naturally places a great emphasis in run and gun gameplay and high rates of fire, a move which places BFV in a bucket that looks decidedly COD-like.

But, as ever, it remains to be seen how this all translates to actual gameplay. DICE has the data and it feels such a move is necessary so perhaps giving them the benefit of the doubt is required. Fortunately, there is also a new server playlist added called Conquest Core that will retain the original TTK values so they can be compared side by side. DICE is looking to evolve Conquest Core into a “traditional Battlefield Hardcore experience”.

BF5 fans, what are your thoughts on these wholesale changes to weapon damage? Are you dropping too quick in Battlefield V, do you feel it needed adjusting? Let us know!