Despite concerns around how the announcement trailer could have been better and why the historical setting had to return, there are likely going to be a horde of players just itching to confirm their pre-orders for Battlefield V.
Here comes the request to be wary of throwing cash before going through the reviews. However, observing caution in this case has little to do with industry practices and more to do with what happened with Battlefield 1 last year.
Based on the obvious similarities between the two installments, it is completely possible that DICE treats Battlefield V the same way it did Battlefield 1. Hence, it is important to not get lost in excitement over the new offering and recall how the same developer ostracized an entire region of players just to please another.
What happened with Battlefield 1
Every multiplayer game features lag compensation to accommodate players with both high and low pings. The goal is to ensure a somewhat balanced playing field by reducing the advantage of low pings in order to not completely leave players with high pings in a dump.
When Battlefield 1 was released, the netcode was designed to bring both high and low pings as close as possible. This created a messy situation because while those with high pings were enjoying themselves, many with low pings considered it unfair.
Hence, began a series of requests on social media platforms for DICE to correct the netcode or region-lock the servers. In many ways, this movement was boosted by the fact that there were similar requests for Rainbow Six Siege around the same time.
It was a coincidence that Ubisoft adhered soon after and reduced the tolerance of high pings in Rainbow Six Siege, causing petitioners behind Battlefield 1 to start raising more and louder voices. DICE finally caved and released the Spring Update with new netcode changes that completely destroyed Battlefield 1 for an entire region.
The hit-registration immediately went to an all time low for players above the 100 ms threshold. The netcode was so strict that anyone with even a few notches above would not be able to kill a standing target. Those below the threshold were given more than a few seconds of safety time before the bullets would register.
DICE would later release hot-fixes for the netcode but Battlefield 1 had pretty much become unplayable for a large portion, either due to locality or connectivity. The developer requested the community to play in their own local servers. The only problem was that there were very few and in some cases none at all. This does not even include the tailored need for servers running different modes and maps.
Hence, Battlefield 1 became a useless purchase for players just six months after release. There was no region-locking involved but the netcode changes acted as such. It was pitiful to see players jumping regions without any alternatives and get pummeled senseless.
What happens with Battlefield V
Will the same region-locking netcode return a second time to cut out legitimate buyers? It would be beneficial for everyone if such plans are confirmed before the release date. However, it is likely that such drastic changes to the multiplayer, if in the works, are only going to go live later down the line after sales have been procured. Hence, leaving day-one buyers without any chance at a refund.
You can bet that debates about the netcode are going to start surfacing right after Battlefield V releases this fall and the same requests will follow. Those who still choose to pre-order the new installment should be wary of the potential consequences.
Keep your fingers crossed that DICE shows transparency in the coming months and confirms whether it will be accommodating players worldwide or not.
Battlefield V is scheduled to release on October 19, 2018, for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.