Interview with Patrick Bach reveals additional info about Battlefield 4. Dynamic factions?

Patrick Bach - diceThe video below, posted to YouTube by cri74inHD, is an interview with Patrick Bach, executive producer of Battlefield.  I recommend turning on the English captions for those like me who do not know Swedish.  This interview confirms some interesting new details about Battlefield 4, as well as giving some insight into how DICE approaches some of their decisions.  It is 26 minutes long, so I will highlight some features after the jump.

Here is some of the new information found in this interview:

* He implied that Frostbite 3 will allow for more frequent updating and patching of the game.
* Dynamic faction choices – this will be a setting available to the server admin allowing them to choose the factions for each map.  For instance, Siege of Shanghai could be US vs. China (as we have seen), or it could be US vs. Russia or Russia vs. China.
* There will be more options for customizing and scaling the UI and HUD on the PC.
* There will be no day/night cycles.  Per Patrick, they tested this and found it to not be fun because night was “too hard” to navigate, so they keep everything in the range of dawn, day, and dusk.

I also found the interview to have some interesting points of discussion that are not necessarily new information:

* DICE considers BF4 to be even bigger than BF3 in various ways, including game modes and social media.  This has already been made clear with the Battlelog revamp, but I am curious about him mentioning game modes.  Will BF4 actually have more than BF3?
* They consider the BF4 commander mode to be all new primarily because it is now a player external to the ground game.  He states that commander mode is more of a strategic game between commanders, in which the players are like chess pieces.
* He stated that BF3 was their most balanced game to date and BF4 is an evolution upon that balance.  I have mixed feelings about this, as he includes class usage in BF3 as an example of balance, but the vast majority seemed to play assault and engineer.  I do believe BF4 is a move forward, as there are signs they are trying to make support and recon feel more “playable”.
* DICE is not creating BF4 with eSports in mind; rather, they are focused on creating a solid and fun game.  As they see it, being picked up by eSports would be a clear sign that the game they built is in fact solid, balanced, and fun.
* Water on LensWhile he confirms there will be no dynamic day/night cycles, he does mention something about dynamic weather at sea.  This opens the discussion for a couple questions.

  1. Will there be all- or mostly at-sea maps?  This could make for an interesting new game mode (perhaps the return of Titan mode, as I have seen discussed in places such as reddit), where you have a battle launched between two aircraft carriers with some attack boats, choppers, etc., with nothing more than sea and maybe a couple small islands in-between.
  2. Will there be dynamic weather, either determined by the server admin, or randomly occurring?  If this were included, and implemented in a way that weather truly impacts game play (rather than something like the rain on Grand Bazaar that seems like nothing more than background environment), this could be a significant selling point for BF4.  Just think about the impact on visibility if you had rain on your soldier’s goggles like the water we see in some recent gameplay footage, or dense fog at sea.
* He touches on improvements to the net code.  BF4 will be streaming more information than BF3, so improvements are definitely necessary to make it all happen relatively smoothly.  He tries to say that, with less latency, a player is less likely to see the issues, such as being shot behind cover, that we saw in BF3.  Of course, until real online multiplayer starts with Beta, we will not know for sure how the net code will handle latency and other issues, or whether or not it is truly improved over that of BF3.

Catch something important in the video I missed?  Let us know in the comments.

[UPDATE] Embedding of the video was disabled by the request of the poster. View it here on YouTube


Josh, aka "Heplinger", is a father, PC gamer, and geek who enjoys the speculation and analysis of Battlefield content, as well as the discussion of the hardware behind it. He is content producer for Heplinger Gaming on YouTube, posting Battlefield and other gaming content.
  • Brandon Stern

    Not only are the factions selectable on any map, the deployments are also. So the US and CN deployments as seen in the E3 and closed Alpha footage can be swapped.

    How are vehicles with “dynamic factions” going to work? All three factions have to have an equivalent vehicle to the other two factions. For example; in Battlefield 3 the USMC has the AAV-7A1 AMTRAC in Rush. In Rush the USMC is always assaulting and the Russians are always defending. So only the USMC has an amphibious assault craft in Battlefield 3. If Battlefield 4 has; any faction, any map, and deployment, all factions have to have equivalents in terms of vehicles. As long as the faction has an equivalent? The USA is the only nation to have a designated fixed-wing ‘gunship’, thats why the Russians use the AC-130 and C-130 in Battlefield 3, and it looks like the Chinese are using the AC-130 on Siege of Shanghai.

    Overall I beleive DICE is sacrificing some authenticity for this feature. Maps are usually based around the factions that face off. For example, in Battlefield 3 on Caspian Border you can obviously tell that the Russians have the region locked down (established base and air-strip), and the USMC on the other hand has a temporary base (dirt air-strip, no buildings, no pavemant). This is also visible in Battlefield 4. With Siege of Shanghai, one can tell that the map was built with USMC vs. CN in mind. The USMC deployment is farther from the city, while the CN deployment is closer to the heart if the city. The basic premise of the map is ‘US forces assault the heart of Shanghai with strong resistance from the Chinese armed forces’.

    I honestly beleive it should have been some maps US vs. CN and other maps US vs. RU. Similar to fow Battlefield 2 worked.