Specialists are still here to stay though.

DICE has a new and rather lengthy write-up about what they learned from the recent Battlefield 2042 beta that took place. First and foremost, the Specialists are here to stay. You may want to get used to them now because the "traditional" classes as you have come to know them from previous titles are no more.

DICE says that they "see Specialists as the next evolution of the classic Battlefield class system that will not only enable individual players to have a bigger impact, it will elevate teams that cooperate to newer heights." Speaking of team play and its relative absence in the beta, DICE notes that the beta lacked a lot of features that facilitate teamplay.

These missing features in the beta, that will be in the final release of the game, include things like an improved user interface, better identification between friend and foe, the ping system, and even the commorose.

Here are some of the biggest takeaways from what was learned in the beta.

Over the past few weeks since the Beta, we’ve shared some limited insight into some of the changes that are coming in time for launch, relative to the experience you had playing Conquest, on Orbital:
  • Increased the number of Tanks that you’ll experience on Orbital. It’s up from 4, to 8 on PC, Xbox Series X|S, and PlayStation 5.
  • Made changes to movement, adding strafe input to sliding, adding the ability to vault on moving objects, and toning down jump spamming.
  • A nearby Grenade Indicator has been added.
  • Entry and Exit animations are now shorter, with some being removed entirely.
  • Elevators have been fixed so that you see less funky behaviours with doors.
But there’s much more beyond that, and we want to give you insight on the opportunities an Open Beta presents us when we invite the world to come and play an early look at our game.
  • Firstly, we can test how our technical systems behave in the wild, bringing forward with us the learnings we had from the Technical Playtest in August, to ensure that the solutions we developed were successfully applied in the real world.
  • Secondly, we get to compare the behaviors of how we see things behaving internally, with how they behave in the hands of you, the players.
  • Finally, an Open Beta on this scale provides us with the opportunity to hear directly from you on how the game feels. There’s plenty of good discussion below covering some of our thoughts on the feedback that we’ve read, and seen shared and discussed across various Battlefield Communities. What we all appreciated seeing most was just how much joy you were having living your best sandbox life. We heard lots of positives about the gunplay, the fidelity, and the welcome return to our modern setting. We also heard plenty of constructive feedback around Performance, Team and Squad play, and the User Interface.
DICE confirms that the branch of the game that led to the open beta originated back in August 2021. Since then, the game has undergone significant development, including optimizations.

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There were several aspects of the user interface that weren't finalized or even included in the open beta. For instance, you will be able to bring up the full "Big Map" view during gameplay. The commorose was also missing in the open beta but is "very much present" in current builds of the game. A look at that in action can be seen below.

On top of this, the compass is now always visible instead of just showing up when aiming down sights. The ping system wasn't working well in the open beta but will be fully featured in the final release of the game. This includes the ability to quick tap to provide contextual indicators to your squadmates. Other elements of the UI have also been moved around or changed.

We’ve moved the score events, visible on the right side of the screen, into its final state, centrally beneath the crosshair. It provides you with that more traditional kill confirmed dialogue, that affirms who you’ve killed, healed, and helped across the experience, and how it's helping to show you the rewards you’re getting for doing so.

Speaking of which, a note for regular Support-style players. There were multiple scoring events related to Transport Assists, Spawn Support, Resupply, and Heal support that were absent in the Open Beta build. They’re in our full game, we’ll always reward strong teamplay in Battlefield.

Over on the left side of the screen, the kill log is now more readable, with highlighted colors denoting friend or foe killed. There is also more appropriately sized messaging on the status of sectors and flag capture events. These changes help to prevent UI elements from diverting your attention away from the crosshairs, and the battlefield in front of you.

Finally, DICE notes that those absolutely MASSIVE "Critical Alert" messages that popped up in the game are now reduced in size. The frequency of the alerts has also been reduced.

As noted, the Specialists are here to stay. For the open beta, DICE opened up the sandbox more than what you will initially have when you actually start to play the final game. DICE says that in the first 4-6 hours of gameplay, you will be working with "a reduced array of gadgets for your open gadget slot." As you play, you will earn new ones as you rank up.

They note that the "traditional experience of a Battlefield game, where classes fulfill traditional roles is an experience that you graduate out of through the first ten levels." Starting gadgets include a Medical Crate, Ammo Crate, Recoilless M5 Launcher, and the Repair Tool.

Continuing on, DICE notes that there will be some improvements coming to the game's "plus menu" for changing weapon attachments on the fly.

There are multiple slots per attachment type that you can assign different items into, drawn from an extensive pool of weapon specific attachments that unlock as you play more with the weapons. Anything assigned into slot 1, those closest to the centre, is your effective spawned setup. When you deploy with the weapon in hand, you’ll always be set up with your preferred attachments. This can be accessed from the Collections Screen on the main menu, and from within the deploy screen during gameplay.
Also revealed today by DICE were the five remaining Specialists that will launch with the game. This brings the total number of Specialists at launch to ten.

DICE notes that there will be improvements to the "flow" of the game.

First, there’s our Insertion flow. Your squad mates will be shown your Player Cards, where you’ve got the chance to personalize, and flair it to show off your playstyles. There’s then additional time in pre-round, which was disabled during the Open Beta, to chat and make further changes to your squad comp so that you hit the ground running straight out of the gates.

Better still, we’re celebrating our strongest team players at the end of the round in our full End of Round (EOR) flow. Again, this one didn’t make the cut for Open Beta, but expect that when the round wraps up, we’ll be paying tribute to the best squad players, and recognizing the contributions folks made to capturing objectives, reviving fallen teammates, and keeping ammo stocked up.
You can see the End of Round flow below.

DICE notes that there are UI elements that will "help you to know who's in need of healing, repairs, and resupplies" that will be included for the game's launch on November 19. Health regeneration has also been slowed down a bit, increasing the time before you begin to heal, thus making you rely on medic healing more often. Another change comes via improved feedback on Falck's Syrette Pistol to give a better indicator when you're healing someone. Revives are also a lot faster across the board for everyone.

We’ve covered a lot today, and there’ll be plenty of room between now and launch to talk more about where things are at, and the finer details of the experience that you’re yet to encounter.

Some closing remarks though on key topics that we saw you talking about during the Open Beta.

We use the term IFF to describe the approaches we take to ensure that you can always, and easily identify between friend and foe. IFF is being improved. In our current builds, we’ve adjusted the behaviour of the systems we use to improve the experience.
  • Our IFF lighting is in the process of being further enhanced to enable enemies to more readily stand out on the battlefield.
  • We’re also adjusting the tint that applies to enemy soldiers, and made changes to the UI so that when you’re inside of 10m, an icon is now present above the heads of enemy soldiers, provided they wouldn’t be otherwise occluded by any terrain, or map objects.
  • Similarly, we’re working to ensure that friendly icons will no longer be occluded through walls within 40m to address instances of our systems failing to represent a player as a friendly team mate before they’ve entered your field of view.
You’ll see some of these changes active when the game goes live in our early access window on November 12th, with more changes taking effect for our worldwide launch on November 19th.

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Finally, DICE has a few word for controller players. This includes word about better controller mapping and even aim assist strength.

Controller players, we want you to know that we already have improved mapping in our final options suite that will provide you with better overviews of the controls, and options that enable total controller mapping if ever you think we’ve got the default preset wrong.

We really appreciated all the nuanced feedback that we got around this topic during the Open Beta, including the specific examples of how managing the Hybrid Scopes on the Legacy Mapping was causing you to crouch each time you changed the setup. Thanks for helping to flag this stuff to us!

We’ve also heard your feedback on Aim Assist strength on controllers. You helped to show us that it was too low, so we’ve worked to improve this experience, making it more familiar to players who played with us in past titles.

Another improvement coming to consoles is the ability for you to engage with Text Chat for the first time. Now that we’re Cross Platform, we know how important it is to sustain accessible options for communication, and we’ve got you covered here.