Battlefield 4 – DICE “Always Considering” Night Maps, Level Artist On Lack Of Rush-Focused Maps

In the latest Battlefield Blog update, DICE Level Artist Linnea Harrison answers your questions about multiplayer level design in Battlefield 4.

You might find a number of her answers rather intriguing, including what she had to say about night maps and rush-only maps in Battlefield 4. She also touched upon why randomly generated weather and time of day effects were not introduced into the game.

With the addition of infra-red optics in Battlefield 3 and Battlefield 4 like the IRNV and the FLIR, as well as the inclusion of hand flares in Battlefield 4, it begs the question why more maps set in darkness, or during the night, aren’t a part of the game. Reaching nearly 3000 up-votes on the Battlefield 4 sub-Reddit was a popular thread about this very subject. Harrison answers why there currently aren’t many night maps, but also hints that they’re “absolutely something [DICE is] always considering”:

“Good question! In general, we tend to think that night maps look pretty darn cool. You can implement some really neat lighting effects and encourage use of gadgets that generally aren’t used as much, with some really fun results. But there are a few things we considered with creating night maps.

Statistically speaking, most people don’t play night maps – maps set during the day get played more. We know this from tracking the numbers of maps played through on Battlefield 3 and Bad Company 2. Even if the map is really well-designed, players tend to gravitate more towards day-time maps.

Furthermore, players that crouch, take cover and wait forever to shoot someone running by in most maps gets even more common on night maps, where it’s tough to differentiate between objects and people. This has proved to be quite annoying in playtests. It’s possible to balance this – better heat vision, better spotting and so on – but for Battlefield 4 we focused on day-time maps. Future nighttime maps are absolutely something we’re always considering, though.”

To many, some of Battlefield: Bad Company 2′s most memorable maps were specific to game modes like Rush. It was also one of the five reasons why we believe Bad Company 2 was and still is one of the most iconic games of our generation. So, why weren’t Rush-focused maps included in Battlefield 4′s roster, a game mode that many consider to be currently lacking? Harrison answers:

“Rush is a game mode that is really fun to play on many of the Battlefield 4 maps, and it’s also one of our favorite game modes in the Multiplayer team. However, our maps are generally built for Conquest, as this is a game mode that is played by the majority (around 70%) of our players. This means that we always need to make sure that the map is 100% awesome in Conquest first-hand, but that being said, we also work hard to make Rush a good option on every map.”

Lastly, randomly generated weather effects and time of day have always been of high interest to the community. Both are featured to a more limited capacity in Battlefield 4 maps like Paracel Storm and Dawnbreaker, but not to the extent many community members have expressed interest in. Again, Harrison answers why the idea was left out of Battlefield 4:

“Even though each Battlefield game is unscripted in many ways, we wanted the experience to still have an emotional impact and match the adrenaline arc of a normal gameplay round. That way, as more buildings get destroyed, the tickets count down and the gameplay gets more tense, so does the level.”

It might suck to hear that maps catered to the Rush game mode and randomly generated weather and time of day aren’t all that high on DICE’s priority lists, but it will be interesting to hear more of these night maps Harrison alluded to in her answers.

Of the three, what’s most important to you?

Source: Battlefield Blog.

  • born2expire

    I wish they used different parts of the map for each game mode instead of using the same for DOM, TDM, SDM, Defuse, ect

    • MegaMan3k

      I don’t really mind DOM and TDM using the same map. Although I do think that they could make multiple DOM/TDM maps out of a single CQ/Rush map, which I’d like to see.

      • http://www.facebook.com/datkidfromawendaw Clay Johnson

        Maybe something like Special Forces: Team X, where there’s a map, with different combinations of layout and players voted for 3 at the start of every round(Shipyard/Warehouse/Factory, or Construction Site/ Shipyard/ some other third combination) that way players hardly ever played the same map combination twice, even though the game technically had only one map.

      • Guest

        yup my thoguths since BF3

      • CrzyFox

        My thoughts exactly, Been saying that since BF3, Cookie cut those nig maps into smaller variants and then you have tons of playgrounds for TDM SQDM and others related gametypes. F T W baby! You’d of thought this would be common sense

    • Katana67

      I wish they’d design maps FOR A PARTICULAR GAME MODE. Rather than shoving the modes in after the fact or shoehorning maps in that weren’t made for a particular game mode.

      I also wish they’d design maps CQC (if they must include them) for Normal and Hardcore separately. OP Locker is an unplayable meatgrinder on Hardcore.

      • MegaMan3k

        Bad Company 2 basically did that… or that’s just how it came across because of how they released them anyway.

        Bad Company 2 is also the best BF since Rush was added, so…

        • Katana67

          Yeah, the only CQ maps I played on BC2 were Heavy Metal and some other map that I can’t recall the name of. [Actually nevermind, Harvest Day had a CQ variant, so I played the hell out of that as well].

          I think they opted for the same strategy though, it was just easier because the maps were primarily designed for Rush. So they just made linear CQ maps. Which were fun, but I want asymmetric CQ maps as well which weren’t really present in BC2.

          Now they’ve got such a variety of game modes, that they really need to stop having a “one-size-fits-all” policy with regard to map design. That or make their engine more modular so they can easily switch around assets for different gametypes.

          • MegaMan3k

            Probably Harvest Day.

          • http://www.facebook.com/datkidfromawendaw Clay Johnson

            My thing is that Battlefield is just too open for proper CQC matches. Just the concept is thrown in and named TDM. They are actually better off not doing the “one size fits most” concept that way they can tailor make maps for each game mode, rather just conquest and then with everything else on mind. Base protection is also messed up.

      • Jeff Kazimer

        Thats why when you play conquest on Noshar Canals the whole map is availiable, and TDM its just the Container Death Pit. Same with Damavand Peak, or any other map. I believe when they created these huge maps, they also took the time to create strategic areas for certain game elements or modes, i.e Rush, TDM, Conquest, Conquest Assault, etc. CQB had its own maps, smaller for that specific type of combat.

        • Katana67

          Which is what I’m saying that’s silly. You have all these segmented areas of the map which aren’t organic. So you’re willfully entering the “TDM” section of the map on CQ.

          Whereas BF maps used to be relatively organic and there weren’t so many gaps between so called “hotspots” when the maps were designed as a whole.

          • VEX_VEHIX

            Would be sweet to see TDM/DM/CQC be played randomly around the map. So each time can feel, different. Take Noshal Canal, one match we could fight at “A” near containers. The next match, over by the RU spawn, so on and so forth. They created huge maps, why limit smaller game modes to one area?

            Same could be done with Rush. I think it would open this title up, more options!

    • SamRock

      I asked that very question.. But they only want to answer to questions that we least care about. Example

  • paulinacio

    I don’t understand why they just don’t make the maps have a day and night cycle?!?!

  • softgrip

    In Australia – it’s 99% conquest,

    Rush is fun, but nowhere near as good as it was in bf3. Maybe it’s map design, maybe it’s squad perks, maybe it’s the 32 player limits – I’m not sure. It doesn’t feel as well designed as conquest.

    Also… Dragon Pass – worst gameplay of any map ever!! Not “100% awesome”.

    I wish they would open up the engine and allow community driven mods instead of marching out members of their team putting up excuses for technology implementations and poor design. No other franchise has made me so disappointed :( and yet I still play it. It’s still crack, just not good crack.

    • Christopher Cioffi

      I can relate this to the CoD modding community on PC. Custom zombies is hindered so much because of the old engine, With games like Black Ops 2, the engine is much more updated compared to World at War, so they can fit almost twice as much and still have tons of mapping. CoD 4 has this MP mod where it has weapons,attachments,camo’s, teams (S.O.G, Black Operatives, Militia, Rangers etc). with proper dialogue ported over from MW2, and Black Ops and it has a couple of re-made (obviously scaled down) from BF3, it is one of the best MP mods I have seen. But back to this main topic, I was surprised to find out they didn’t implement any dynamic weather, but I’m sure the future DLC would include some.

      • Katana67

        Volumetric cloud cover would be a good step in making jets more viable. All for it.

    • Katana67

      Dragon Pass is pretty good in my opinion. There’s a few flaws, mainly to do with the lack of significant buildings in-between flags as well as the glitchy sidewalls. But I like it quite a bit.

      I think they could’ve gone easier with the rocky peaks though. Less rocky peaks and more rice-paddy hamlets.

  • Tank Buster

    Night maps would be a great addition to the game, along with a proper Jungle map. I’m guessing we will see these in future DLC.

    • Energize

      Yep, agreed.

    • Katana67

      Plus, it would actually give a reason to use IRNV/Thermal…

      I do want to see more jungle maps though (there was one with a lighthouse on BC2 that I can’t remember the name of that was wonderful), as well as more desert ones. They’ve got a good lineup of the latter, but desert maps have always been my favorite.

      • GoMonkey66

        Valparaiso

        • WomenAreStupid

          Valparaíso is just too awesome. Best BF map ever for me :)

  • DellyDellz

    Seige or Dawn in a night setting with the street lights and buildings lit up =O

    • Noobslayr

      And CoD kiddies screaming they “can’t see anything” and “night is OP” and “night suxxx DYZE OMG” ..

      Little turds have ruined this game at every turn

      • dieger

        No one is screaming that…not even on the Battlelog forums…

        • http://www.facebook.com/datkidfromawendaw Clay Johnson

          Its Derpslayer, don’t mind, he’s what we call “full retard)*Alan voice*

          • Zatanna XOXOXOXO

            I can’t even………. *laughing so hard*

            • http://www.facebook.com/datkidfromawendaw Clay Johnson

              I don’t get it man, its like sometimes the guys makes good points even though it’s mostly negative, but more often than not(way more often) the guy is a nutjob, stubborn to the point I would consiser him/her an absolute fool, posting comments that aren’t even remotely funny.

            • Noobslayr

              Erkel when I want your opinion I’ll ask for it. Until then crawl back into that orifice you inched out of, you’re supposed to be nocturnal.

            • http://www.facebook.com/datkidfromawendaw Clay Johnson

              Ah, “Urkel( you spelled that wrong btwbtw, or did you mean irkel?) Something I haven’t been called since 2003. That almost made me want to consider a half smile, but instead I’ll give half a fuck. Your efforts are to be applauded to a miniscule degree, but not really. Instead, I’m going to ask you to fill this out, please and thanks.
              http://1.bp.blogspot.com/–31nMhxCLX0/TjG_UOadRRI/AAAAAAAAI9I/TIfTU5Dzr0U/s1600/Butthurt-report-form.jpg

          • MeisseN

            What happened to Derpslayer’s main account? Sorry to ask but I haven’t been to MP1st for a while

            • http://www.facebook.com/datkidfromawendaw Clay Johnson

              It probably got banned as everyone guessed would happen sooner or later. And “cleverly” under the guise of NoobSlayr he’s back until the next eventual ban, in which he will return again under the name “KokSlayer” or something

            • MeisseN

              Haha, I thought DragonSlayer has a better ring to it.

          • VEX_VEHIX

            Hahaha, I just watched it again last night. Lol

            Even Rainman wants night maps. Lol

        • Noobslayr

          No one is saying they’re screaming that now, brains. That’s what would happen if DICE did give us night maps based on the whining that happens on battlelog over every little thing.

          I’m one of the people that have actually campaigned for dynamic weather and ToD since early in BF3. I WANT THIS. But Patrick Bach himself said that night maps would be “too hard for players to navigate” and they scrap the idea time and again.

      • Zatanna XOXOXOXO

        Nobody even mentioned CoD other than you, so how can the fanboys be saying that unless you are one. Plus if a few people irrationally talking about how they hate the game “ruins” the game for you as you imply then you must not be a very stable person.

      • Patrick Matthew Barahona

        I don’t know what the hell you’re talking about because I’ve never heard ANYONE say that…EVER. You’re just finding an excuse to bash on COD. As a Battlefield and COD (mostly Battlefield though) player, I still think what you said is one of the most pathetic things I’ve ever heard.

      • MeisseN

        I think everyone has been screamin NETCODE FIX THE NETCODE… lol

    • dieger

      Never played dawnbreaker?

    • http://www.facebook.com/datkidfromawendaw Clay Johnson

      Dawnbreaker literally transitions from Dusk to Dawn mid battle.

  • Boja0201

    How about the next Battlefield has no Single player and use the extra dev time to add a shit ton of Multiplayer maps, let’s face it – no one buys battlefield for the single player. This way there could be rush specific maps, CQ specific maps, etc.

    • Patrick Matthew Barahona

      I play the single player in all of my games. It might take time for me to do so, but eventually, I do so.

    • tanile

      I prefer having a single player mode for when the multiplayer servers go down (which is a question of when rather than if for DICE and EA). I hate the idea of buying a game and then not being able to play it because of server issues.

      • ugh

        BF4 single player was a complete let down though. Friendly AI literally does nothing even when enemies are right in front of them, they’re constantly badgering/praising you for literally doing everything, and the uninspired linear storyline filled with one ridiculous disaster after another with almost unfailable quick time events was boring. They should just go back to full MP with more time dedicated to creating better maps, better layouts for individual game modes, and better balancing.

        • answ

          I got sad when the soldiers seemingly or did drown.
          I sacrificed hannah first, and I was sad again. she was tough :(

  • MegaMan3k

    “Statistically speaking, most people don’t play night maps – maps set during the day get played more. We know this from tracking the numbers of maps played through on Battlefield 3 and Bad Company 2.”

    Well … Tehran was a terrible map in BF3. But I recall Nelson Bay being frequently played in Bad Company 2. Nelson Bay was great. BUT Nelson Bay was also terrible because so many crates could be destroyed by bringing down buildings.

    … And I’m sure they’re doing a more complicated analysis than they said, seeing as there are not equal amounts of night and day maps…

    • Katana67

      Nelson Bay was awesome.

      Plus, it’s sort of a stretch to call it “night” when you could see all the way across the map. I think people might believe that night maps are harder to play on, they just aren’t. You can still SEE people just as well.

    • http://www.facebook.com/datkidfromawendaw Clay Johnson

      I remember that lol
      The defenders never gave a damn until the very last MCOMs that was in the one building that could not be toppled. The next thing you knew, everyone is a medic

  • http://Www.pselectronicsrepair.com/ Lrishjake

    I wish they would get back to an even focus.. some great rush maps, some great CQ maps, etc.. If not at least one real night map, than how about when they do make say a TDM version of lets say Dawnbreaker how about make it actually at night? Or on the rush version. I think it would be beneficial and amazing to instead of just cropping a section of the map for another mode, they actually changed at least the weather or time of day. More people would be willing to try a new game mode, to see the map at night or whatever it may be and that just may result in some more diversity in the BF community.

  • http://www.facebook.com/datkidfromawendaw Clay Johnson

    “Statistically speaking, most people don’t play night maps – maps set during the day get played more”

    Maybe because the number of maps set during the day outnumber the number of maps set at night? Battlefield 3 had how many, 2?
    http://cdn.avsforum.com/e/e0/e0b2cbf7_you-dont-say.jpeg

    • Noobslayr

      Night maps were never a big hit in the BF series. They tried an expansion in BF2 with night maps and people showed interest initially then it was a ghost town.

      DayZ? Same. Night servers = dead. Arma II = night servers ghost town

      “Statistically speaking”, you give people nightmaps they dont play them.

  • Marcus Roue

    EA: Why don’t you fix the damn game before you think about selling these DLC’s??

    Everyone: Join in on the EA class action lawsuit and get compensated for your troubles with BF4. There are 3 class action lawsuits that are in process right now. Google it and join in. EA needs to be a taught a lesson for releasing products that are clearly not ready to be sold to consumers.

  • VEX_VEHIX

    Come on, they’ve made enough money off of us with the last 2 failed launches/broken games. Why can’t they dedicate few level designers to work on Rush focused maps? Screw the numbers, the community has spoken. Maybe Rush would be played more, if we had proper maps (i.e. BFBC2).

    Oh that’s right, they’re too busy creating the newest anti aircraft – shoot and boot – weapon.

    Blah!

  • Jayy

    “Statistically speaking, most people don’t play night maps – maps set during the day get played more. We know this from tracking the numbers of maps played through on Battlefield 3 and Bad Company 2.” – The Battlefield Ladie

    Of course more day time maps were played in bf3 and bc2. there were only like one or two night maps for each!

    • Noobslayr

      You need to go back further than that kiddo. BF2 had expansions with night maps that nobody played.

      • Jayy

        But yeah in the words of the women that was interviewed she specifically said , Bad Company 2 and Battlefield 3. And kiddo? you have no idea how old I even am. I’m 23 btw.

  • CryVer

    What if they remade BC2s Rush maps with Frostbite 3 and made it a Rush focused DLC? That would go nice with their “Player Appriciation” program.

  • dpg70

    Well maybe if the map itself didn’t suck people would have played more Tehran Highway. And wouldn’t all the different night focused equipment help with that dipshit sitting in a bush? What a blow off response to a legit question.

  • Brandon DeBoer

    I like how they don’t address the fact that Rush isn’t just “not good” on most multiplayer maps, but is inherently broken due to incredibly poorly placed spawns and MCOM locations. Some maps have one team or the other spawning way too close to the objectives (The retarded one with all the islands and the one where the village floods) and others have objectives placed in such obscene places that it is virtually impossible to win against a competent team (I’m looking at you, final hill on Zavod something something [the retarded one with the bomb you can blow up]).

    Or just look at Siege of Shanghai that suffers from both. Defenders on the second set of objectives spawn basically touching their own objectives, while attackers spawn 10 times as far away. On top of that, both objectives are in an area where you have to assault down two really tight chokepoints (read: meatgrinders) or by jumping through a relatively cover-free sky light (read: also going to get you fucking killed). The sheer lack of understanding of even basic gameplay elements by the asshole that designed that set of objectives is mind boggling.

    It’s really disappointing to see things change so drastically from BF3 where most rush maps had very good pacing and fair placement of the objectives so that there was some actual competition involved.

    • Brandon DeBoer

      Oh and don’t forget that with the objectives both being underground in the same area, the pro-level strat right now is to drive the tank down there. There’s not enough cover for anyone to get even remotely close to C4ing the thing, and with a semi-conscious team no one can break cover long enough to fire more than one rocket. A tank and an engineer with enough brain cells to hold the torch and press left mouse button can hold that set of objectives indefinitely, even against a much more talented team.

  • roland0811

    Yeah….’Cause I want more dark blue maps.

  • Archangel

    Maybe people don’t play the night maps because they fucking suck? Seriously is it that hard to get a real night map in the forest or something, away from the city lights and all that crap.

  • Ben August

    Statistics huh?

    Something seems fishy about simply saying “more people play day matches, versus night matches.”

    Lets examine BC2, regarding this claim.

    Ok, first- she says “players play Conquest to Rush at a ratio of 7:3.” Since there were no Conquest maps based on night time, this automatically inflates the ratio of players who “chose day over night time.” ….IE, 70% of all players play Conquest, which means 70% of the player base does not have the opportunity to select a Night-time match, meaning AT LEAST 70% of all games are day-time, merely because of game mode preference, NOT because of day vs. night preference. It also means that Dice should ONLY be evaluating this small portion, the 30%, when evaluating player day/night preferences.

    ——-NOTE:
    Now, you can’t say “oh but if they loved night time games so much, they would just go play Nelson Bay on Rush” because Dice has already revealed that player preference gravitates toward Conquest mode. So if people derive more utility from playing a Conquest match, over a Rush match, we know that the preference for player game mode supersedes map design. So no, they wouldn’t go play Nelson Bay on Rush, because they prefer Conquest to Rush. Period.

    Second, of the small base of players who actually COULD play a night-time map (the 30%), lets examine the number of day versus night matches, as this speaks to opportunity. IE, “Is there Equal Opportunity to actually play a night-time match, versus a Day time map?”

    The answer is a resounding NO. Of the 19 maps offered (14 in regular, 5 in Vietnam), only 1 match was Night Time. So there is not equal opportunity for access (50%), rather, it is 1/19 = .052, meaning – you could only select a night map 5.2% of the time. So, lets examine how this impacts the total number of matches played Day vs. Night, as this is her argument.

    Rush is the only mode with Night time, there were 11 Rush maps. Completing one full cycle of matches means you play 2 night time, and 20 daytime (because each map is played twice). So this also inflates the number of day vs. night matches a player can play.

    Third, now you might say “if gamers loved night time maps so much, they would just select that single match, over and over” – so lets look at that statement.
    On Console (the primary target which EA marketed BC2 with), you can only choose the NAME of a map to join, but do not have a LIST of servers, nor do you have the server’s map-order, nor any other information regarding server population, or match progression (how long have they been on the current map); so although we can choose “Nelson Bay,” the game will just drop us in to a random Nelson Bay server- it could be empty, it could be full, it could be just starting, or it could be on the second “back to back.” All of these unkowns impact whether or not the player, or the player’s friends, will actually play Nelson Bay, IE, the only Night Time map.

    So, while we certainly could choose Nelson Bay one time, we have no idea if we’re joining at the beginning of the Back-to-Back match, or the end. So you may get Nelson Bay ONE MORE TIME, but never more than “one more time” as the game plays each Map twice (you join the first, play the next, then new map).

    Furthermore, on console, there are no “Nelson Bay 24/7″ servers on console, so there is literally no way to play a MAJORITY of matches as a Night-time matches, while EVERY SINGLE CYCLE plays a MAJORITY of Day matches.

    So, at least with regard to BC2 (which she references throughout this commentary), the way the game is setup doesn’t allow you to make “statistical inferences.”

    Player preference for game mode, supercedes player preference for day or night.
    I would also bet “friendship” supercedes both game mode and day/night, meaning if your friends are playing day games (which they are STATISTICALLY more likely to do, because of Opportunity of Access), then you do too!

    TL:DR ?

    Don’t believe for one second that “statics” support her claim, at least with regard to BC2, because Dice didn’t give the players the tools, or the ability, to put night-matches on equal ground, and thus equal-opportunity, with day-time matches.

    • adam starr

      Very good points… If they made all maps with a day and night cycle then they could statically make an accurate account….

      I just want a night map where it is pitch black only for street lights or building lights etc. that you can shoot out… that could be the “small leveloution” part, it starts out day and while destruction starts to set in it becomes darker… it would have been awesome to shoot out the lights in metro instead of turning them on and off lol

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