When Battlefield 2042
was announced, just hearing about the fact that its maps would support 128-players was interesting. Exciting and concerning too, especially when you tried to picture how that might play out. At launch, well, it was a mess
of questionable map design and certain modes like Breakthrough being a bit of a mess. As per a new post/update on how DICE
is going to redesign maps... it's putting a question mark on the idea of 128-players.
Chaotic would be one way to describe Breakthrough, which has two teams of 64 fighting in a singular location. DICE refers to it as the "intensity of combat", which it admits is a problem. Even when playing Conquest the sheer number of players felt messy.
"Another area that we’ve identified where we feel that we can improve your gameplay experience is in the overall Intensity of combat," writes the Community Lead for Battlefield. "Largely, we feel that this issue is mainly related to 128 player modes, and especially in Breakthrough. We know that during certain pushes for the objective, it can get too chaotic when fighting over Flags; either there are too many players, or vehicles, and sometimes the overall chaos can make it feel overwhelming when accurately trying to assess what’s happening around you."
From there we learn that Breakthrough might be getting a complete rework, "we are presently reviewing if it makes sense to keep Breakthrough as 128 players". Plus, "we feel that Breakthrough [with] 64 players provides the best experience of Breakthrough."
The update is open and honest, and that's a definite step in the right direction. The team is looking for feedback and wants to know the community's thoughts on scaling things back. It's a pretty in-depth post covering map design in Battlefield 2042, where we also learn that the team is looking to add more cover, shift around flag positions to better suit infantry, restrict vehicle usage, and more. Across the board.
The first map that will see a massive rework looks to be Kaleidoscope, which will change for both Conquest and Breakthrough in time for Season One mid-year.
All in all though making huge changes like this will take time, pointing again to the fact that Battlefield 2042 released far too early. And then there's the issue of the dwindling player-base - which has dropped by over 95% since launching late last year on Steam.
Head here to see the full post on how Battlefield 2042's maps will change