Alan Kertz speaks about deciding the right balance for the game’s multiplayer.
In between the numerous bugs and errors, DICE has also been answering fan questions about Battlefield 4‘s gameplay and features. This week, lead core gameplay designer Alan Kertz spoke about balancing the game and its weapons.
When asked about his ideal vision with regards to balance for Battlefield 4’s multiplayer, Kertz stated that, “The ideal balance for Battlefield 4 is a battlefield where each item has a valuable role, and no one item, weapon, or vehicle is the clear winner in all situations. Each item has a counter tactic, a fundamental weakness and a fundamental strength. Essentially, it comes down to one really big game of rock-paper-scissor: tank, infantry, airplane, boat, helicopter, sniper, and so on.”
As for the main process behind rebalancing weapons and vehicles, did DICE just about listening to the voices and opinions on various social forums? Kertz says there was more of a process than just that. “When balancing a vehicle or weapon we always start with the original intention for the item, and compare it to how the community sees the role. Sometimes we have a different idea of how a weapon is intended to work than the community does.
“Then there’s a period of analysis about how that differs and if changing the design of the weapon would change the game for better or worse. Generally a high level principal is that no weapon, vehicle, gadget, etc., should be the best at any given combat situation. We try to avoid all powerful weapons and instead rely on a rock-paper-scissors setup.
“A good example of where the designer and community opinions differ are shotgun slugs. Vocal members of the community see them as ineffective in close range. Given that the intent of the slugs from a design perspective is to be effective at long range, we looked at the feedback and decided that making them effective in close range as well would essentially remove the role of the other shotgun ammo.
“So we decline to make a tweak. The opposite is true of the mobile Anti-Aircraft, where the community and the designers both agree that it’s role is to shoot down aircraft, it’s just too good at it. The final step in that situation is to find the cause of the power imbalance (in this case, gun range seems to be the biggest issue) and make an adjustment.”
What are you thoughts on the overall balance of Battlefield 4 as opposed to the game’s many problems? Let us know in the comments.