Battlefield 1 has had one hell of a run in 2016, courtesy of the DICE’s decision to skip the future in favor of returning to the past. With the servers consistently populated on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC, DICE has continued to work on the game by balancing the various vehicles, weapons and gadgets based on player feedback. They’re also working to improve the rent-a-server program for those with Battlefield communities, and on releasing new Battlepack Revisions for players to earn in combat. With each update the team has improved Battlefield 1 in many ways, but there’s still some long-awaited improvements and additions needed to advance the game forward into 2017.
Here’s a few major updates we would like to see leading into next year:
More Infantry Focused Maps
With the current map rotation and the recent introduction of Giant’s Shadow, the first DLC map, Battlefield 1 holds one of the most impressive lineups the franchise has seen this early into a specific title’s life cycle. You’ve got wide open maps like Sinai Desert which leave room for engagements across multiple types of terrain, plus packed maps like Amiens that provide more chaotic, close-quarters engagements while you duck through alleyways and apartment buildings with your squad. However, many of the maps lean heavily in favor of vehicles which means leaving the infantry at the mercy of enemy armor, planes, and tanks unless they all focus on controlling the battlefield with anti-vehicle armament.
The balance of infantry and vehicle combat is one of the key aspects of the Battlefield franchise, but previously DICE has always included a few maps that focus on infantry-only combat scenarios that have been an absolute blast to play. With the release of They Shall Not Pass scheduled for March 2017, there’s no reason a few infantry-focused maps shouldn’t make an appearance to give players a much-needed break from the flamethrower Heavy Tanks that dominate the battlefield. After all, who doesn’t love a little bayonet charging competition?
There’s no questioning the success of Battlefield 1’s take on aerial combat with World War I era planes. Thanks to the removal of [lock-on weaponry], Battlefield 1 has a much greater focus on teamwork while flying; you’ll need a solid tail gunner or wingman to watch your back in the sky. No matter the map, aerial engagements are tense, skill-based, and filled with epic dogfights you didn’t even know you could handle.
Most of these dogfights are currently limited because of the small number of planes each team can spawn onto the battlefield. However, this could easily be fixed if DICE brought back Air Superiority from Battlefield 4. Introduced in the China Rising DLC expansion, the mode pits players against each other in a massive aerial battle where everyone swamped into planes from the beginning. With paper planes and machine guns instead of missiles and jets this time around though, things would be a little more intense and team-oriented, leading to some gigantic aerial battles like those in Battlefield 1’s single player campaign.
Better Tools for Community-Run Servers
If you’re a Battlefield veteran who’s used to hosting your own servers and running events within them for your communities, odds are you aren’t too happy with the current server rental system available in Battlefield 1. Launched a few weeks after the initial release of the game, the current program allows players to purchase their own servers and customize them as they see fit with special rulesets, certain weapon limitations, and variable ticket counters. That said though, its lacking numerous key features community leaders have come to expect which need to be added sooner rather than later.
At the moment server owners are the only people who can modify a server’s settings (no admins can be appointed to help with the process), and since Battlefield 1 requires you to be logged into the game on your personal account to manage your server, it’s essentially a full-time job for those who have communities. Those who purchase servers also lack moderation controls, such as the ability to kick/ban those mistreating other players on their servers or the ability to set a password to protect the server from unwanted visitors. Honestly, it’s a bit of a mess, and it’s one that certainly needs to be touched up come 2017 if the PC community is going to thrive on the latest installment of the franchise.
Easier Access to Custom Game Modes
Throughout Battlefield 1’s lifespan so far, DICE has continued to introduce new custom multiplayer experiences by altering the base rulesets in favorite of unique takes that present different types of gameplay. In Custom Games, you can find Hardcore servers with reduced HUD elements and extra bullet damage, or different takes on base game modes like Blind Delivery, which only allows players to use pistols and grenades in War Pigeons. Each of these new game modes are a ton of fun to play, but can only be found on unofficial servers from the server rental program.
Because no official servers for Custom Games exist, you’ll rarely find a match full of players that you can enjoy like the base game modes present in Battlefield 1. Take Standard Issue Rifles for example, which replaces everyone’s primary weapon with a bolt-action historically accurate to their faction. It’s an authentic and entertaining way to play Battlefield 1 but one you can rarely find a match for due to no official servers or matchmaking existing for the mode. By supporting more Custom Games in 2017 with official servers or matchmaking that supports unofficial servers, DICE and Electronic Arts could help more players enjoy some of the fantastic experiences they’ve created on a much wider scale. And trust us, you’re going to want to experience a few of them no matter what part of Battlefield 1 you enjoy the most.
Photos via Electronic Arts , Nicholas Bashore