The reveal of this year’s Battlefield is getting closer and closer and the leaks have already started. Unsurprisingly, it looks like Battlefield 2018 will return us to World War II, which is OK by me, as someone who started with the series at its beginning with Battlefield 1942. I have many, many fond memories of that game and hopefully, this year’s title is bigger and better. With the reveal likely to come within the next few months, let’s talk about some of the things we’d like to see from this year’s Battlefield title.
It only made sense that after a WWI title in Battlefield 1 that the next game in the series would take us back to WWII, but I’ve always held out hope that we might see Battlefield 2143. After all, DICE has been teasing it for years. But when I found out that the Turning Tides DLC for Battlefield 1 would feature real naval warfare in a Battlefield game for the first time since the original game, I knew WWII was all but confirmed. Why go through the effort of putting in a fully pilotable multi-crew destroyer in a BF1 DLC if you weren’t going to bring back naval warfare in a meaningful way? Which BF game absolutely needs to have naval warfare? One set in WWII, of course. My feeling is the Turning Tides destroyer is a sort of “beta test” of BF2018’s naval warfare mechanics and I couldn’t be more excited.
I’ve been waiting for naval warfare to come back for over a decade now and my hope is DICE offers the full slate of options in BF2018: aircraft carriers, submarines, destroyers, and, of course, battleships.
Sneaking around the waters in a submarine, wary of depth charges from nearby destroyers — oh the memories!
Cosmetic Only MTX
Honestly, even if the Battlefront II loot boxes didn’t blow up as badly as the idea did, I don’t know that we’d have seen progression-tied loot boxes in Battlefield 2018, but I think the lesson has been learned at this point. I don’t particularly care if EA decides to go with cosmetic only loot boxes, but whatever it decides to do, MTX needs to be cosmetic only. Like Anthem, Battlefield 2018 will live or die by whatever EA decides to do on the business side. Gamers are watching like hawks and EA needs to be on its best behavior or Battlefield 2018 will be dead in the water.
The one promise of Battlefront II’s loot boxes is that they would fund the game’s ambitious DLC plans and thus free the company from having to go the Premium route and fragment the community. I think this can be done with cosmetic only MTX and I’m really hoping EA goes this route. Community fragmentation has been such a long-running issue for the Battlefield series, even as recently as Battlefield 1. Let’s put the issue to rest this year. Ditch Premium.
No Behemoths/Elite Classes
Battlefield 1 does plenty of things right. There are tons of quality-of-life improvements I hope to see carried over into future games, but there are some larger features that were complete duds to me, namely the Behemoths and Elite classes. Behemoths look cool as hell, but I’m just not a huge fan of free comeback mechanics like that and I’d like to see them done away with in the next game.
Elite classes are kind of like the pickups in Battlefield 4, only on steroids. They’re not as annoying as the Behemoths, but I feel DICE could dial it down a bit and just go back to the battle pickups system. “Hero” classes just feel a bit out of place in a game like this.
Keep Battlefield 1’s Class System
The variety of smaller quality-of-life improvements in Battlefield 1 come together to form a solid foundation, but individually they may be hard to notice. But the one big thing that Battlefield 1 did right was its revamped class system. Classes have been slowly deconstructed over the last few Battlefield games making them incredibly hard to balance and leading to things like the BF4 Assault which can basically do anything. Battlefield 1 tightened things up and gave classes a focused identity and role in the game and this has really upped the quality of play in the game. Keep it going.
Focus on and Go Back to Old Conquest
Unpopular opinion time: I hate Operations. I also hate Rush. It sucks to feel old, but I definitely feel out of step with the rest of the BF community on this. Battlefield is Conquest. When Conquest is executed well, it leads to all the best Battlefield moments. It encourages team and squad play, coordination, playing objectives, and punishes zerging and camping. Operations and Rush create a much more linear experience and, pardon my French, a cluster**** of epic proportions.
Unfortunately, these sorts of unending action, focused objective experiences are what a lot of people seem to want these days, but I think Battlefield needs to get back to its basics and do things right. The implementation of Conquest in Battlefield 1 is a disaster and it pains me to know that DICE almost brought back the original Conquest and then decided not to. Ticket bleed needs to be a thing, guys. Matches could go on forever with the old system, true, but there are ways around that. I feel like gamers these days would be more inclined to like Operations and Rush either way, but DICE definitely didn’t make things any easier on itself with the particular implementation of Conquest in BF1.
One thing I will say about Operations is that they are super cool thematically. Playing out multiplayer matches as a sort of almost story-driven mini-campaign is really neat and I imagine the temptation to pull these off again in a WWII setting will be too strong to resist, but I’m just not a huge fan of how these matches flow in practice. With such a defined ffront line and objectives, opportunities to flank are few and far between. It just ends up being a huge mess of bodies (or campers). What always made Battlefield enjoyable to me was the sneaky plays you could pull off and possibly turn the tide of the match and this sort of thing just isn’t possible when both teams are focused on one or two points at a time. It’s frenetic, but it isn’t very interesting to me.
What do you want to see in the next Battlefield? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!