Beta session aside – impressions of which you can read about here – we also had a Q&A session with various members on the Battlefield 2042 team. Featuring Adam Freeman, Lead Community Manager at EA Studios, alongside Florian Le Bihan (Lead Game Designer), Kalle Nyström (Level Designer) and Marie Bustgaard Granlund (Associate Producer), let’s get right into it.
Interview has been edited for clarity.
Can we play Hazard Zone at launch?
Adam Freeman: We do have more to tell you about Hazard Zone, so expect to hear more from us again before the full launch of Battlefield 2042. But yes, it is part of the package.
What more can you tell us about Hazard Zones? A lot of the survival / FPS genre is excited to see / hear more about it.
Adam Freeman: Yes, it’s our high tension game mode that we haven’t chatted with you in full. The best thing we can do is show you and talk to you about in a lot more detail at a separate event.
Is there a roadmap for DLC / live gameplay changes / seasons / expansions in development?
Adam Freeman: Live services will be something we tell you about before we unlock it in Battlefield 2042. Of course, we’ll offer a Year One in our live service, and that stuff could be changed before we get there. When it comes to things like live gameplay changes, we always quite communicative of… we always chat about this with our players, and I’m sure Florian will be looking at things in open beta. What are you looking at when it comes to gameplay changes?
Florian Le Bihan: I mean, those general gameplay weapons, character balance things like these… we’re trying to get some early data on how different things are performing so that we can do live adjustments. We’ll be reacting to player feedback as well; maybe there’s this thing they hate, or others they like, and we want to see if we can figure out what we need to adjust moving forward which is important for us at this point.
Will there be haptic feedback and adaptive triggers? Battlefield is known for its amazing, chaotic moments, so just wondering about an added level of immersion? e.g. explosions, the different weapons, etc.
Florian Le Bihan: I doubt this is something functional in the open beta, but yes, this is something we are looking at.
Adam Freeman: We’ll obviously have more for you guys to experience when it comes to launch.
Battlefield is filled with iconic Easter Eggs… is there one you think will be more epic than previous ones?
Adam Freeman: We know that Easter Eggs are a big part of Battlefield fandom and their history. We won’t tell you what it is today because that’ll be giving away the secrets. Well, Kalle, when it comes to designing levels, we always have those little things in mind to look at in the future, and what the potential might be with maps, right?
Kalle Nyström: Yeah, sure, we know it’s a highly appreciated thing, for people looking for this crazy thing you’ll find. Obviously, as said, we can’t give anything away now, but there’s definitely something. There are a few things across the map, but in general, when it comes to more elaborate stuff, I have a bunch of crazy things I want to do, for live, especially. It’s easier to do in live environments, where you can use your resources to spell these things.
Will other maps be introduced during the beta, or do we wait until full release?
Marie Bustgaard Granlund: Only when the game fully releases, so for the open beta, we will only have Orbital.
What accessibility options will be available for players with motor or visual disabilities?
Adam Freeman: I myself am colourblind, so I benefit heavily from all the past colourblind versions that DICE have provided in their games. Even in the open beta, notice that there’s a small selection of accessibility functions if you’ve looked in the options. There’s more to that that we’re adding in the full game, that we’re testing and making use of as we get into the final stretch of development. We’ll be sure to talk to you before it’s all locked in.
The “ping” system feels like it could use more extra info. Are there any plans to implement something like Apex Legends’ ping wheel?
Florian Le Bihan: We’re looking at bringing a version of the ping system that still allow for the classic functionalities of the Commo Rose. We have some requested, that you’d be directly be able to trigger from the Commo Rose. We’re not looking at a ping system where you’ll be able to manually place specific types of pings, but we hear that this might actually be something that players would want. At this point, we’re trying to remain very contextual, that pressing once would get you the desired result. If that’s something that players really want, then we can look into it potentially down the line in live.
Will there be full controller support on launch of PC?
Florian Le Bihan: Yes, you’ll be able to play with controller on PC just like the previous games.
Is the attachment selection available for an individual gun fixed, or we can swap in any attachment we want into the selections? i.e. the Plus menu.
Florian Le Bihan: You’ll be able to bring three different items per attachment slots. You’ll also be able to change those attachment slots, between live or main menus, so yes, you can bring in more stuff and change it during lives.
Adam Freeman: You’ll be able to see this in the open beta as the loadout selections, and you’ll be able to add more into the list. If you want to set this up before the game, you have the ability to quick switch or deeply customize them from the deploy screen.
How will the vehicle loadouts work in the actual game? Will there be any progression feature?
Florian Le Bihan: I’m not 100% sure about this specifically, but yes, there is progression attached to vehicles.
Assuming in the full release, you’ll be able to select a default loadout and not change scope / attachments at the start of every match?
Adam Freeman: Yes, you’ll be able to pre-configure before you spawn in, then you can further customize it through the Plus Menu based on the attachments you’ve already unlocked. For the open beta, we have pre-assigned those loadouts for you and you won’t necessarily be able to customize them that persist from round to round, but that is a feature you’ll be getting in the full game.
Could you add a compass to the map for navigation?
Florian Le Bihan: Yes, we have a compass in the game. In the open beta, you’ll only be able to access it when you zoom in with a weapon. At launch, you’ll be able to access it at all times as a soldier, and you’ll also be able to toggle this in the options for whether only when zooming all the time, or not at all.
Adam Freeman: That combines with the ping system, so there’s also an audio callout when you tag a tank [ from the player character ].
Can we turn on the Tornado / Sandstorms as an option for a match? e.g. weather conditions.
Kalle Nyström: So, in Conquest, it’s random, but yes you’ll be able to turn it off as an option, but not in the all-out warfare experience.
Ed. note.: There may be different circumstances with regards to the Portal game mode, but details were not shared at this juncture, assuring that more information will come in time.
Will there be weapon attachments that improve movement speed while aiming?
Florian Le Bihan: Today, we’re mostly looking at handling changes when it comes to attachments. Obviously, it’s going to depend on which attachments you’re going to swap like barrel attachments, like magazines, or stats affected would be different… at this point, we’re not really looking to change the movement speed that much with attachments. It will be actual weapon handling only.
Is there any form of suppression?
Florian Le Bihan: No, there’s no suppression. We still use some parts of the system to prevent what’s spawning, or block health regeneration, potentially. There’s no suppression you can find in like Battlefield 1 or 3 for example. We steered away from that because we don’t want to affect the combat experience that much. We didn’t want suppression to really come into play here, so it’s pretty limited in what it affects.
I didn’t experience any weather anomalies, but is this a rather rare phenomenon?
Kalle Nyström: Let’s see… I believe the tornado in beta is set to 10%, which if you’re playing 5 or 6 rounds, it could never happen. I think for the beta, because there’s gonna be so many more games played, there’s gonna be so much more. I think launch it’d be tweaked to be higher, like the weather might be around 50%, then the tornado would be 10%.
Marie Bustgaard Granlund: Yes, we can tweak things on the fly when it fully launches, and I feel that in the open beta, there’s some things that we’ve tweaked already.
Kalle Nyström: If we want to increase the number of tickets from the beta, we could look into that, increasing the frequency etc. We’re talking about what would be the best.
Health regeneration is new to Battlefield 2042 compared to Battlefield 5. Tell us more about it.
Florian Le Bihan: The health regen in the open better is a little slow, but faster to trigger when compared to previous titles. We still want this to be slow, pretty much as slow as its ever been as in, the regeneration rate, because we want you to be able to tell the difference when you get healed by a gadget or someone else. We don’t want complete dependency on having another player who can heal you because we want you to be able to survive on your own, but we want to make sure the healing gadgets make sense in gameplay.
We’ve already tuned some things for launch, so you’ll be able to see some changes when it comes to the regeneration rate from the gadgets and the base regeneration rate. I won’t comment on details, but there’s gonna be tweaks done.
What causes enemies to show up as red dots on the mini-map?
Florian Le Bihan: There are different gadgets that will trigger spotting. There’s also a feature from previous titles where you’ll get to see enemy tags when you’re aiming from a certain distance, which is somewhat limited. So yes, there are basically 2 ways: either you spot them through gadgets or a recon drone, or enemies are really, really close to you.
THE ORBITAL MAP
There’s a tunnel present on the map. Does Orbital have any other entry / exit points for infantry beyond the two points between C and D?
Kalle Nyström: Unfortunately not. I say unfortunately because it’s something we used to have. The problem was that it’s not necessarily the area we want players to spend most of their time on the map. It might sound weird, but it’s mainly because it’s a transport tunnel for vehicles, because we have a hard time for tanks to get to the contested areas of the map. We wanted something to have tanks get easy access between action points. We used to have tunnels for infantry, but it swallowed the players and often made the map emptier than it actually is. So we did try it out, but in gameplay, it worked out better without. There is still the infantry tunnel between the two D points, the crawl-away.
Is this [ the media preview ] the build that we’ll see in open beta?
Marie Bustgaard Granlund: Yes, it is an old build that players will see when open beta begins. It’s a bit different from what we’re playing for internal playtests now.
What are the conditions for launching the rocket on the E site? It was quite fun for everyone on the battlefield to stop fighting and look up to the sky when it was launched.
Kalle Nyström: The rocket itself is actually automated and based on time. It’s highlighted by the fact that before it initiates, essentially fuelling the rocket, you can see the steam coming out from the pipes leading towards the rocket. When that stops, and the rocket crawler releases the rocket, it starts the launch sequence that’s about 6 minutes, I believe? During that time, it’s actually vulnerable, so you can shoot at it, blast it with tanks or helicopters… and if it takes enough damage, it will explode. However, if it doesn’t take enough damage and reaches 6 minutes, it’s gonna successfully launch. Or the storm could take care of it for you. Essentially, the rocket launch itself is not player-controlled, but the outcome is what you can affect.
We wanted to avoid the thing where players may rush to take a building, like Siege of Shanghai (Battlefield 4). Otherwise, I think if it was a button, it would launch at the start of a battle, every time.
Are all of the big map set pieces time based or player driven?
Kalle Nyström: I’d say it’s usually a mix. Essentially when it comes to the storms or bigger things like the rocket launch, they’re randomly timed which makes for a lot of variations. The storm doesn’t always the same path, there could be bad weather without the storms… and how they interact together also gives a lot of variation. You could have a rocket launch with the weather, sometimes without…
There are things like how the rocket can’t take damage during the launch sequence, so there are things the player can’t control, activate, destroy, and stuff. It’s a combination of randomness and player action, where you’ll see something like the rocket launch on other maps too.
CAN YOU PET THE DOG?
Can we pet the robot dog?
Adam Freeman: We can’t talk about it today, but you’ll know when you run around with Ranger.
That’s all the time the team had to answer questions regarding Battlefield 2042. With the beta looming on the horizon, you’ll be able to experience a number of these for yourselves, and be sure to send in your feedback about the experience too!