Four classes, each with restricted loadouts to return to the franchise.
Battlefield 2042 Classes

Among the many shortcomings in Battlefield 2042, one in particular has stood out. No, I'm not talking about the bugs, nor the map design, nor the lack of maps, nor the lack of weapons, nor <insert anything from the laundry list of items here>. I am, of course, talking about the Specialists.

Players have lamented the removal of the Battlefield staple of having distinct classes. With the Specialist system, any character could use any weapon and any piece of gear with one exception being made for Lis (she cannot equip a shoulder mounted RPG as her unique item already is one). For months DICE has said that they are sticking with the Specialists for Battlefield 2042 and that if you wanted classes, you would have to fire up Portal to play older Battlefield content where they still existed.

Today, DICE has changed their tune. In the latest Core Feedback feature, DICE is taking a look at Specialists. One of the biggest changes outlined in today's piece is the fact that Specialists will now fall into one of four unique Classes. These Classes will restrict the gear and equipment the Specialists have access to as determined by which Class they fall under.

Assault - Mackay, Sundance, Dozer
Support - Angel, Falck, Season 2 Specialist
Engineer - Lis, Boris, Irish
Recon - Casper, Paik, Rao

(...)

We believe that freedom of Loadout is an important part of gameplay in Battlefield™ 2042. But we also agree that Class Identity is core to Battlefield, and something that many of you want to have.

So to achieve that, we’ll rework the range of Gadgets and Equipment that each Class can access in order to ensure that Class Identity is more pronounced. This gives us the opportunity to increase the pool of content available by introducing some of the gadgetry currently available in Battlefield™ Portal. These detailed design plans aren’t locked or final, but should provide a good understanding of our intended direction based on the feedback that we’ve reviewed so far, and will continue to read now that you’re able to see our thought process.
Continuing on, DICE details now what each Class will get access to as far as equipment, gadgets, and throwables are concerned. For instance, Casper is part of the Recon Class. He will always spawn in with an Insertion Beacon. He can select between the T-UGS, Proximity Sensor, SOFLAM, C5, or Tracer Dart Gun Class gadgets. Casper, as a Recon, will also be limited to the grenades he has access to. For example, Recon has access to Frag, Smoke, EMP, and Incendiary grenade types. Meanwhile, someone playing as Boris (Engineer Class) will spawn in with a Repair Tool and will be able to equip a Recoilless M5, which wasn't possible before.

Class Equipment (Always available)

Assault - Med Pen
Support - Defibrillator
Engineer - Repair Tool
Recon - Insertion Beacon

Class Gadgets (You can choose 1)

Assault - Smoke Grenade Launcher, C5 Explosives, IBA Armor Plate
Support - Ammo Crate, Smoke Grenade Launcher, Medical Crate, M18 Claymore
Engineer - Anti-Tank Mine, Recoilless M5, FXM-33 AA Missile, FGM-148 Javelin, EOD Bot
Recon - T-UGS, Prox Sensor, SOFLAM, C5 Explosives, Tracer Dart Gun

Throwables (You can choose 1)

Assault - Frag, Smoke, Incendiary
Support - Frag, Smoke, EMP, Incendiary
Engineer - Frag, Smoke, EMP, Incendiary
Recon - Frag, Smoke, EMP, Incendiary
Something you may have noticed here is that there are some old Battlefield items being added to the base Battlefield 2042 gear. Things like Claymores, the EOD Bot, and Tracer Dart Gun will now be options available to players engaging in the core All Out Warfare modes.

One thing that won't be restricted to Class types are the weapons available. DICE says that this is "an area of the game that we're currently happy to leave as it is." Meaning, you will still be able to equip any primary and secondary weapon regardless of which Class your chosen Specialist falls under.

Click image for larger version  Name:	specialists-rework-3-jpg.jpg Views:	0 Size:	190.2 KB ID:	3519510Click image for larger version  Name:	specialists-rework-2-jpg.jpg Views:	0 Size:	232.6 KB ID:	3519511

Beyond the return of Class types to Battlefield, DICE is working on refining a lot of the Specialists' unique abilities. However, DICE did not mention any specific changes that they are looking at yet.

Sundance is a good example of where we currently feel this doesn’t play out well. Their ability to relocate across the Battlefield is strong, but their Wingsuit and Specialist Gadget has been under constant revision from us these past few months. Presently, their Grenade Belt can be effective for area denial, but is often viewed as an ineffective Combat Ability, and creates more moments of frustration than it does satisfaction.

What you’ve told us is that the overall line-up of Specialists currently doesn’t always meet your expectations for what their respective classes can do to ensure balanced gameplay on the Battlefield. There’s a good range of abilities available to Specialists, but knowing where they’re most effective and being able to recognise when it’s better to switch it up is an area of the game we want to bring improvements to.

Maintaining balance between the Specialties and Traits of all Specialists is something that we continue to look at.
DICE isn't done with changes to Specialists with the above improvements either. They say that they are still working on further revisions to the looks of Specialists that will be rolled out in the coming months. They are also recording new voice over lines for the Specialists "that enable us to better represent the tone that we want you to experience when playing the game." Whether or not this will be an improvement over the now mute characters at the end of rounds remains to be seen. The voice work changes and more will be deployed later on and more details about these changes will be revealed closer to when they are finished.

Other areas of improvement for the Specialists include better animations, poses, and facial expressions that better match the tone of this global war they find themselves in.

Unfortunately, while all of these changes sound fantastic, they won't be added to Battlefield 2042 for quite some time. In fact, DICE says that the Class System is planned for Season 3, which is planned for launch later this year. Specifically, they hope to deploy these changes as part of Update 3.2 in the second half of Season 3, so we might not even see the Classes implemented until early 2023.