Life of a Beta Male- Battlefield: Bad Company Impressions #2

Welcome to the second series of impressions on the beta for Battlefield: Bad Company. This week we see the developers respond to the community via an IRC chat that occured last Friday, April 4th through the Gamesurge IRC Network (I would like to thank the mother’s of those that conceived the spawn that eventually grew up to host the chat as well). The following is a transcript of that chat:

Question: Will bad company ever come to pc?

DICE: Hey all. Someone asked if BFBC will ever come to PC. No, this is very unlikely. BFBC was built from the ground up for next.gen consoles. But DICE won’t forget the PC heritage. :)

Question: Will the game support co-op over live?

DICE: BFBC doesn’t include a coop mode. It’s definitely something we’re looking to implement in future titles but for now we where too busy just creating the new Frostbite engine, the new game mode and the Singleplayer campgaign. Stay tuned.

Question: Are you going to be using your BFBC engine on future BF titles?

DICE: The game has taken years to get together – we built the Frostbite engine from the ground up, which takes a long time in itself, iin addition to then fine tuning and balancing the game

Question: The story line looks akin to Kelly’s Heroes, are either of you big fans of the movie?

DICE: Yeah, both Kellys Heroes and Three Kings where strong influences during the preproduction of the game. Great movies.

Question: Are there plans for any type of DLC later on?

DICE: DLC? Yes, there will be DLC. There’s been so much flame about this for some reason….there will be 5 weapons available for free through various marketing programs (to be announced)…and another 5 available if you buy the Gold Ed. (i.e. limited ed).

[I think I missed a question]

DICE: Will BFBC have singleplayer? Absolutely, this a big part of what is new about BFBC. First BF game to have a strong offline component in the form of a character and story driven campaign.

Question: Will there be a conquest mode for multiplayer?

DICE: We wanted to concentrate on a strong, single game mode, as conquest has been for previous BF titles. We want to continue the open, sandbox experience of conquest and bring in additional objective elements that you see in gold rush.

Question: Why do you sell the weapons on XBL or PSN when you can unlock them?

DICE: Well that’s not entirely true. We don’t plan to sell wpns that you can unlock.
DICE: You can actually find 5 weapons for free by completing a few different activities like signing up for the newsletter and such. You’ll receive the codes, and won’t have to pay anything for them.

Question: What kinda clan support do we have in bfbc?

DICE: You can join with friends through Xbox live – 4 of you can join a game and play together through various sessions, unlocking awards. There’ll be other more traditional elements provided through the website, but we don’t want to just leave it there.

Question: Will anything be done to balance the the guided missile of the sniper kit?

DICE: The Sniper kit always seem to be a source of so much argument..The laser designator was always a bit powerful when we released for the Beta, which we knew, but we’ve spent a long time tweaking it now, so it should be much more balanced now…but yes, we’ve spent extra focus on balancing the gadgets of the Sniper

DICE: Hehe… how about Prone? No one asking about that? :)

Why no prone? Well, this is simply to balance the sniper class to the other. They are the only one having 1-shot1-kill wpns PLUS the laser designator. If they had prone as well they would be more or less invisible as well. So short asnwer, it’s a balance reasons!

Question: Can you explain a little bit more about your new Frostbite gaming engine? How does it differ to game engines like the one Call of Duty 4: Modern Combat is currently running on? What are its advantages and disadvantages?

DICE: Destructibility really changes the way the level needs to be put together and the complexity of the objects that are placed within it. And as you’ve probably seen from the Beta, the levels are much bigger than you’d normally expect to see in most other shooters.

Question: Will we get a parachute?

DICE: Currently there’s not parachutes in BFBC to avoid the Attackers having a too good time dropping of agents around the Defenders base…again, a balance tweak.

Question: Will BFBC have prone in retail version?

DICE: I think KM answered this a minute ago – we decided not to have prone from a balancing perspective for the recon class – they can really dominate, and so we wanted to try to keep the action flowing more by making them more detectable with prone in, they become can become almost invisible, which can really stall the game

Question: Where did the name for the frostbite engine come from, and is there any connection to the map frostbite on BF2:MC?

DICE: It’s a reference to the frozen climes that we find ourselves in for 6 months of the year – nice place, but you want to watch the extremities!
KM: Well, we needed a name for our engine and at this time it was cold as hell here in Sweden. So when the suggestions of Frostbite came up it felt perfect. Sweden is just cold in the winters, perfect for sitting indoors and dev games. ;)

Question: Why do the anititalk mines diasapear when you die?!

DICE: The mines disappearing is something that slipped through into the Beta – we’ve fixed this now for the main game, so mines will stay put for some time after you’re killed

Question: Will their be squad leader to squad leader chat in the retail game?

DICE: Currently there’s no squad leader chat. We wanted to keep the team play closer in to the group, to the actual squad. Talk to the group and work towards the objective.

Question: Why squad spawning? I understand it was done in Battlefield 2 and Frontlines: Fuel of War, but in those games you had to be leader to have people spawn on you, in this game, I can be sniping in a good spot and have my cover blown by idiots spawning on me and giving my position away when I am not even Squad Leader.

DICE: The squad spawn is designed to get you closer to the action, and we’ve done some fairly major reworks after seeing how it’s worked in the Beta. It’s lot more robust now, and players that want the lone wolf experience will find themselves much less likely to be selected as the spawn point.

Question: Will Xbox 360 and PS3 players be able to play against each other in Battlefield: Bad Company?

DICE: sadly the way the servers are set up means that the two consoles won’t be able to see players in the others’ games. However, we’re running dedicated servers for each, so you should always get the best experience no matter which you’re playing on

Question: Intentional team killing seems to be rampant in this game. Will you implement disabling friendly fire? Thank you.

DICE: TK is always a problem in shooters. We want to punish to a suitable level but sometimes it’s very hard to be just. E.g. the stray bullet the caps a vehicle with 4 ppl in it. Friendly fire isn’t a setting right now but we’re balancing the consequences.

Question: At what age did you decide you wanted to be a game developer and how did you go about pursueing the dream. ( College, experience, etc. )

DICE: I’ve been playing games longer than I can remember, and it’s always something that I wanted to get into. I went through college and then joined the test team – from there things just kept going!

Question: Have you tweaked the damage of most primary weapons?

DICE: Yes. All weapons, damages, health (and yes, splash damage as well:) are going through tweaks now during the aftermath of the Beta. All the input we get from this is crucial for us to get this all right.

Question: Will there be dedicated servers for multiplayer (by players or DICE), or will it be completely console hosted? If console hosted, will there be a benchmark for internet speed?

DICE: We’ll be running dedicated servers with clusters around the world to ensure that players always get the best possible playing experience. There’s a lot of data getting pushed around, so we need the client-server setup to make sure the experience stays good, it just wouldn’t be possible peer to peer

Question: So what made you guys want to make a story-driven game vs. another iteration of the “normal” battlefield.

DICE: Big questions: BF was “made” on multiplayer but to some degree we felt it was a waste to not make a SP experience out of the same sandbox experience. Many succesful singleplayers games had huge environments with freedom to the player… this was already in the MP of BF. So it felt like a natural next step. That and the fact tha we as devs wanted to make SP game as well as a new MP game. :)

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As you can see a lot of information regarding the final game was revealed in the chat. The biggest news, as far as I’m concerned, is the lack of a Conquest mode. While I appreciate the dedication the developers are giving to just one mode it seems odd to me that the game will ship with just the Gold Rush mode and have no other online modes. Battlefield is mostly known for it’s Conquest mode. When you say another game is like Battlefield except…generally that means the game uses a mode like Conquest mode. The mode is part of the identity of the Battlefield games. Without that mode…it sort of seems like a different game with the Battlefield name on the box.

Objective modes are also not exactly the most popular online modes. However I have spent a lot of time with Gold Rush, and there’s something that just feels right about it. There’s no denying it, Gold Rush is a great mode. But with no Conquest, or Capture the Flag, or any other modes available to play it will be interesting to see if people put down GTAIV, Call of Duty, Halo 3 or Rainbow Six Vegas 2 in order to play just Gold Rush.

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