It has been a year since Battlefield 5 was released and during this time, the new installment has received some hefty criticism for several reasons. Many players from the core community have even blasted the sequel for being worse than Battlefield 1, which is saying something because not many appreciated the move towards the historical front. With several improvements already rolled out, DICE has now opened up about what exactly repels players from Battlefield 5.
Taking to Reddit earlier in the week, global community manager Adam Freeman addressed concerns around the time to kill, which basically measures the amount of damage a player can take before going down. Compared to other first-person shooters like Call of Duty, Battlefield 5 has a higher time to kill. The particular feature has always been a part of the Battlefield experience, owing mostly to the realistic and expansive maps.
In a bid to balance out weapons in regards to the time to kill, many players feel that DICE has made the game even worse. Freeman noted that players quit Battlefield 5 when they are shot in the back, without having an opportunity to face the enemy. It leads to frustration and ultimately, them smashing the quit button.
A death is less punishing when you feel like the kill was skill on the part of the enemy. More problematic are long range deaths with weapons that are marked for short range. You don’t expect them to be a threat, and when you die at 100m from an SMG it feels wrong and it’s frustrating.
Point being that weapon balance is extremely important to retain players. Right now, players are using close-range weapons in Battlefield 5 to deal long-range damage, which messes up the entire system. By balancing out the weapons’ time to kill, players should familiarize themselves with the weapons most suited for each scenario. If one weapon is capable of being good enough everywhere, players won’t feel any sense of progression and, as Freeman notes, quit.
DICE believes that the current gunplay is “solid” overall. However, based on surveys, there’s a large part of the community that thinks otherwise. This part wants change, but change just to freshen up things might be tricky. Suffice to say, DICE will be working around the clock to find a middle way forward.