In the recent Battlefield Blog post discussing Levolution, a key comment regarding a form of Levolution set-pieces was made:
Because we love destruction, that’s a very common trigger for the set-pieces – but, for example, you will also be fighting over starting and stopping a countdown to a warhead. [Emphasis mine]
This would appear to be referring to the new Defuse game mode revealed on the Battlefield website. Based on the very limited information available, Defuse will be a Rush-like mode involving attackers and defenders. However, instead of having a limited number of respawn tickets like in Rush, players will not have the option to respawn when they die. The objective for the attackers, then, would be to detonate the warhead by starting the countdown timer and defending it. The objective for the defenders would be to defend the warhead to prevent and stop the countdown, while hunting and eliminating all attackers.
Also unlike Rush, it would seem Defuse has only one central objective warhead. Like Obliteration, this is likely a game mode intended for a smaller player count than 64. I imagine it will play on smaller maps, similar in size to an individual MCOM stage in Rush, or even TDM. Battlefield’s description also refers to this as a “competitive game mode”, indicating a possible intent for this mode to be picked up by the eSports scene (if they are shooting for eSports, will it be as small as 5 v 5?). One would also assume this is meant to be played in a “best of” format, so I wonder if there will be an upper hand to being attacker or defender, as we sometimes see in Battlefield 3 depending on the number of players and tickets.
With the no respawn mechanic, I am left wondering how frequently the warhead will receive interaction, or if this game mode will boil down to a no respawn team deathmatch. Either way, it certainly sounds as though it will meet their intention for quick gameplay. The Battlefield series is made in a way that encourages and enables a more cooperative play style, although it is not required. For this reason, I am curious to see how this game type plays out: will people take to it in a fast-paced run-and-gun team deathmatch style, or will the Battlefield community approach it in a tactical team play style with a more objective focus. I am still waiting to find out if game modes like Rush and Defuse will have the commander option.
Overall, it sounds like an interesting game mode that could be fun to watch, though tough to balance. I have a small group that occasionally gets together for some guy night LAN parties, so a game mode like this may be better suited to our small number of players than some of the others.