DICE Expands Battlefield 3 Deathmatch – Spawn System Improvements and New Play Areas

Battlefield 3 level designer reveals the issues that the DICE team encountered when it came to perfecting the newly added Team Deathmatch mode and how they’ve improved it in the recent patches and updates. Team Deathmatch was an exciting addition to Battlefield 3, but it didn’t come without its headaches.

Level designer Diego Jiminez explains in the latest Inside DICE, “while we were quite happy with the end result, spending lots of time playing the game online as well as listening to the community’s feedback made it clear to us there were specific areas with room for improvement.” One of the most common points of feedback is that players were spawning too close to each other.

For those interested in how the spawn system actually works, Jiminez reveals, “the whole map is divided into different spawn zones corresponding to areas of the level that a team will naturally fall into or attempt to defend. As combat progresses, the system tracks which team controls which zone and attempts to spawn players close to their team mates.” While a seemingly ideal system, many players reported it to be not working properly.

The Back to Karkand update did include some steps to correcting these issues. Here, the spawn “Protection Radius” was cut in half on maps like Noshahr Canals and Kharg island. Also, spawn points were reconfigured on maps like Caspian Border, Davamand Peak, Noshahr Canals, and Kharg Island. However, it was apparent that further tweaking was needed. Jiminez admits that “while the Karkand update generally improved the spawning-related issues for the aforementioned maps, we felt over the following weeks that Kharg Island was still not up to par.” Taking additional steps, the team removed certain spawn positions in order to avoid spawning players in high traffic areas.

Check out the pictures below for a visual example of what fixes took place.

Battlefield 3 version of Kharg Island (TDM)

Back to Karkand update of Kharg Island (TDM)

Another proposal was to move spawn zones further away from each other in order to avoid players meeting enemies too quickly after spawning. Jiminez explains, the new version of the layout [below] we came up with involved opening up a previously blocked off area on the west end of the map. The extra space allowed us to add a new spawn zone on the southwest (colored as light brown below), bring back the yellow-colored spawn zone, and simultaneously shift the original blue zone farther to the west.”

Recent update of Kharg Island (TDM)

Tehran Highway also carried its fair share of issues. Linear spawn positions made for very repetitive gameplay as players had a very limited number of areas at which fights would be carried out. Of course, the lack of flanking routes was a big hindrance as well. However, this issue seems to have been resolved in the latest update.

Jiminez explains, “through our recent playtests, we’ve found this to be much improved by allowing access to the western half of the map and effectively establishing spawn locations on the other side of the highway. As players can now engage each other across the highway, or fire from elevated positions like the pedestrian overpass or the construction site, the action feels more unpredictable and caters to a wider range of playing styles.”

Check out the differences below.

Original version of Tehran Highway (TDM)

Updated version of Tehran Highway (TDM)

While expanding the play area of Tehran Highway proved to beeffective, the opposite was true for Squad Deathmatch on Davamand Peak. Many players complained of being too spaced out due to squads spawning too far from each other. Jiminez lays it out, “we have now play tested a version of this level that removes two spawn zones we judged to be too out of the way (see the now removed orange and dark green areas on the pictures below).”

Original version of Damavand Peak (SQDM)

Upcoming version of Damavand Peak (SQDM)

Additionally, Jiminez reveals that the team “has also managed to fix a code bug where a small amount of players would spawn within a cluster of enemies at the start of the round, and I have been busy with a whole slew of tweaks to individual spawn points and spawn zones for other Team Deathmatch setups in maps like Seine Crossing, Strike at Karkand, and Sharqi Peninsula.” On top of this, he added that players “can similarly expect significant improvements on the Squad Deathmatch layouts for Noshahr Canals and the aforementioned Damavand Peak.”

What do you think of the recent changes made to the Team Deathmatch and Squad Deathmatch experiences in Battlefield 3? Let us know in the comments below! Remember, if TDM is for you, then you’ll love the upcoming Close Quarters DLC!

Also, make sure to check out a list of unannounced patch notes that made it into the latest PS3 patch as well as the official PC patch notes that released today!

  • dpg70

    Don’t play TDM, but the few times I have the spawns were a mess. Glad to see they’re addressing this.

  • CHR1SC0

    Ever spawned with your entire squad in a completely isolated section of Kharg Island with no chance of return to the main map? Everything is possible in BF3.

    • Wout Dekoster

      Little troll from the developers? Haha :p
      No seriously, haven’t played TDM much because of the problems mentioned in the article. Which is sad if you like the TDM and SQDM play types.

  • Jaskdavis


  • I actually enjoy the spawns simply because it makes me stay on my toes and active the whole time instead of predicting the spawns. That is the most fun for me.

  • I really liked how TDM confined you to one area of a map. I think it made for a good change of pace when I was tired of playing Conquest. I liked how Tehran Hwy was previously setup for TDM. It might be to big & to much like Conquest now.

    • Billy_ho

      True… Tehran Hwy was a direct linear feel to it. With really only 2 access ways to either side. A true team vs team environment. The only real issue was initial spawning into an enemy territory. Not liking the open square feel of some of the maps. My least favorite TDM map of all time is Wake Island. So small and no strategic holding areas. Run and pray at best on this map. 

  • QwietStorm

    So I guess I shouldn’t buy close quarters then?

  • T BAG

    Fix the bloody freezing. People’s PS3’s are freezing now more than before the patch.

  • Artdafoo

    Thanks for making the damn LMGs kick like donkeys with a tree trink in their ass yet leaving the Fag ammo USAS practically the same. I swear someone overthere must have a massive hard on for effin shotguns, just remove all other guns and make it BF3 the shotty wars. Dopes.

    • Xander_B312

      The kick that bad? As a Support player this is worrying.

      • Cra2yey3z

        Yea they kick hard now even with sliencer and forgrip.

        • Xander_B312

          . . . You do know that they’ve made a Suppressor-Foregrip combo as accurate as a weapon with no attachments? Which for an LMG is going to be unwieldy and difficult to control.

          My advice, stop using those attachments. Especially suppressors which shouldn’t even be on the damn gun in the first place.

          They also said that players using the Foregrip to aid their accuracy at engaging targets mid to long range had best find a different attachment after the patch, which, as Support, is how I play my LMG. It’s possible that I may have to revert to Bipods again, which have gained a bump to their accuracy and deployability.

  • Is this spawn fix included in the patch v1.0.4? Or Close Quarters DLC?

    • Should be fixed in 1.04, some updates mentioned at the very end of the article will come later apparently.

  • WasabeJuice

    The matches are already bland and using shipping containers all over the place in most maps make the TDM games even blander.  Fast pace action in 30 fps on consoles shows the glaring UNsmoothness of BF3, it’s common to see missing sequences.

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  • Gnungo

    We want bigger tdm not smaller!!

  • Carl

    Bigger squad deathmatch please