DICE Presents The New 5-Flag Design of Battlefield 3’s Wake Island

In the latest issue of Inside DICE, Lead Gameplay Designer Gustav Halling walks Battlefield 3 fans through the evolution of the popular Battlefield map, Wake Island, from its 3-flag to 5-flag variant on consoles, including other small tweaks made to all versions.

When the last Battlefield 3 expansion pack, Back to Karkand, dropped back in December, fans were treated to four of the most memorable and classic Battlefield maps, including Strike at Karkand, Gulf of Oman, Sharqi Peninsula and Wake Island. PC players, thanks to the platform’s powerful hardware, were able to experience these maps to their full potential, meaning both 5-flag and 6-flag variants were included in some of the map layouts. Unfortunately, hardware limitations of the consoles meant a 5-flag variant of the popular Wake Island was initially impossible. Not only that, but play tests showed that the lower player count of 24 players on console meant 5 flags would have stretched the player base too thin.

Up to this point, the only version of Wake Island that strictly console players would have been able to experience was the version found in the standalone, downloadable title, Battlefield: 1943. This version did, in fact, include a 5-flag layout, but was significantly scaled down (by 30%, according to Halling) compared to the initial size of the original Wake Island. This made for more action-packed gameplay while keeping a larger number of capture points.

Nevertheless, the outcry for a 5-flag layout of BF3’s Wake Island on consoles hit the internet in full force, eventually inspiring Halling to find a way to make it happen. He secretly began working on this project, finding new ways to improve upon the hardware limitations of consoles. Knowing that the upcoming Battlefield update that was to hit in March or April, Halling set out to achieve this goal by then.

This meant that a few tweaks needed to be made to the Frostbite 2 engine as well as to the general layout of the map. After sorting out some techinal issues, Halling took the PC version of BF3’s Wake Island and began play testing from there. One noticeable change was the new placement of the ani-aircraft guns which are now situated on the beach. This change also made into the PC version as well. You can check out images of the different layouts below:

Pre-patch, 3-flag layout

AKA Wake Island Day 2

In conclusion, a brand new 5-flag layout of Wake Island was settled upon for the console audience and was integrated into the latest patch. Of course, players still have the choice to continue playing on the 3-flag variant, which Halling states players might find more action-packed, especially at the capture points. While the 5-flag variant is now a viable option, players should expect more vehicular combat and sparsed-out firefights in between flags.

After having a taste of both 3-flag and 5-flag Wake Island variants, which one do you prefer? Let us know in the comments below!

Remember, you can check out more of Halling’s work in the upcoming, vehicle-heavy, Armored Kill DLC.

Source: Inside DICE

  • sentry81

    Played this last night on the 360.. I enjoyed it.. But it always sucks with 24 player servers… I wish they could fit more in there.

  • jimmylara

    Five flags? Oh Yes just how it should be

  • Gameguy21

    Ok, who cares. Fix broken hit detection.

    • ostrichbean

      hit detection on BF3 for me has been better than any other game I have ever played

  • blitz1904

    Um… Where do you find said 5 flag maps? Also (Editors) can we get some hard interview questions to the Devs on behalf of the Battlefield fans? Such as ” Where are all the Official DICE servers? and What are they intending to do about the Rent-a-server ban/kick abusers. Maybe some investigative journalism is in order?  Plz & Thx oh and……first.

    • Michael Kelley


    • You need to look for Wake Island Day 2 under the map rotation list (on consoles, click right 2x after selecting on a server before entering it). Btw, if you’re on the Xbox 360, we’re thinking of having a Wake Island 24/7 night sometime this week on ‘MP1ST OFFICIAL’, including 5-flag CQ, so keep an eye out 🙂

      Also, we’d love to ask the devs those questions and we’re working on it!

      • blitz1904

        I played on the MP1st server the other night and I was the only one there… =(

  • Michael Kelley

    Haven’t had a chance to play 5 flag Wake yet.  Looking forward to it, though!

    • Do it!

      • sgt_mofo

        [email protected] – Is there a specified community game night for the MP1ST server? Tried playing late last night and it was empty.

        • We did last Friday and Saturday. Otherwise it can be a hit or a miss on that server.

          Im usually on nightly for an hour or so.

          I’m planning on getting something going this Friday and Saturday as well. In fact, I was thinking of doing a Wake Island 24/7 night one of those nights. CQ 5-flag, CQ 3-flag, Rush and TDM.

          Do you follow us on Twitter of FB? We’ll make sure to announce on there 🙂

          • sgt_mofo

             Alright, I’ll keep an eye out come Fri. and Sat.

            Not sure if this is the spot for suggestions, but maybe put up a graphic on the front page designating a day, regardless if you guys are in the room or not (replacing the ‘Latest Battlefield 3 News’ graphic or placing it above the ‘Subscribe and Follow’ header).

            Hope to see you guys this weekend.

          • DrunkOnSwag

            i play on xbox & it pains me to see so many new players running around not playing the objective on your server 🙁

  • great now if we could only put 32 players in 😀

  • I love 5 flags, i reminds me of battlefield 1943. 

  • therapiist

    I’m VERY close on trading in this game. Just fix your shit already ” hit detection.”

    • Bob

      whats wrong with hit detection, i dont get it. i play the game and its great for me? how is it broken?

    • Anonymous

      the hit detection isn’t broken, but when you are suppressed, your accuracy decreases, meaning that though you might be aiming at someone, those bullets might not hit that person.

  • Wilmer Esteban Sosa

    I prefer the five flag variant because I notice players tend to move a lot more trying to capture flags for points. All depends on the teams.

    • Totally. People seem to spend less time trying to hold down a flag. More flags + closer together = more incentive to cap. In 3-flag Wake, once I capped a point, I’d feel like I needed to stick around to defend my accomplishment. Made for boring games.

      • Jacobkim12

         I second this.  Five flag Wake should offer a better incentive for players to actually PTO.

    •  Yup me to I also find the 5 flag variant is better..

  • totally forgot about this map with five flags…ever since the new patch i’ve been playing strictly rush, and have been loving every min of it.

    For bad hit detection folks, i’m sure you’ve been asked this but is your internet connection fast? are you playing on servers near you? Most importantly, were you being suppressed?  I never have any hit detection problems, but i’m on 25mbps internet and strictly only play on South US servers (cause thats where i’m located).  However its been noted that the accuracy penalty during suppression is too high (devs said they were going to change this in the future), so it could be your being suppressed and your accuracy gets bumped to shit and your just not hitting anything because of that?  Just some suggestions/thoughts, hope you get it all worked out.

    • Though I appreciate your polite approach…
      Don’t patronize people. The patch fucked the game up and most players knew it right away. Even Alan Kertz (lead designer) has admitted that they went too far on the patch. He supposedly says that they’re going to tone it down in an update and that they’re looking for the “sweet spot”.

      They made a mistake. The kind of mistake that leaves people asking, “Do they even TEST the fucking game before releasing the patch?” 

      BEFORE patch = ZERO problems; save for a bit of lag now and then and the occasional crash. But I always came out with good stats most rounds. Good K/D, etc.

      AFTER patch = The maps now drop frames all over the place as soon as a firefight ensues. Many (including myself) have even gone so far as reinstalling Windows/BF3 to see if that fixes the issue. We all have the same result. The game is now dropping frames. (Again. This didn’t happen BEFORE the patch. I’m running two GTX 570’s on an i950. More than sufficient.)

      Suppression is flat-out ridiculous. Sorry. Just because a bullet happens to invade my immediate airspace doesn’t mean that I should suddenly be going to see an optometrist. It also doesn’t mean that my weapon suddenly flings itself in random directions.

      I realize that they’re limited on ways to simulate such a distraction in a game. But I have to tell you… This is flat-out ridiculously over-dramatized bullshit and it has done a significant amount of damage to the gameplay.

      That’s all there is to it.

      • J_mckay93

        My game Runs  Perfectly you guys all suck thats honestly what it comes down too the Patch has fixed everything on my XBox but yet i hear you ladies complaining all day but theres nothing WRONG!!!! get better at playing that simple want a hint trying playing it like if it was a real battlefield ull find ur going to be raping pretty quick

        • Alan Shanagher1

          Shut up you cocky selfish asshole, people are allowed to express their feelings if they want to. If you don’t like it piss off! I don’t know if there is something wrong with your eyes or you didn’t install the latest patch but The suppression has noticeably increased post-patch making it very difficult to have fun. There should be a line between realism and a game and DICE clearly went over that line. Maybe if EA took the hint and stopped walking all over DICE this game might just have a shot. In the meantime I’m going back to Bad Company Two.

          • J_mckay93

            hey buddy I did install it and ive logged over 150 hours online with no problems why is it that everyone else has problems except me oh I know because its not the games fault like I said if u played this game like if u were in real combat you wouldnt be complaining yes the suppresion has increases but before the suppresion didnt do anything you clearly know nothing about guns or the military so be quiet oh and btw Im guessing u havent played arma before then?

          • Jacob aka Jb

             See ya. (don’t let the door hit you on the way out)

          • Jacob aka Jb

             It’s official… All of these people that are complaining about the new
            recoil and their guns changing suck. Adapt and overcome you wanna-be bf
            players. You must really suck more then you know for y’all to get on
            youtube and cry so much about a game that requires more skill now that
            ever before to play. If you are really good, just shut the hell up and
            adapt to your weapons again. I have. And you can too. And if not, then i will see you on the other team :). (P.S Thank you dice for making better players stand out from wanna be supposed to be real bf players crybabys). Bad Company two equals hella easy mode. And if you think otherwise, then i will get on BC2 to really smack you crybabys. Xbox 360 Gamertag (Jacob aka JB). Hit me up if you want to prove that you can beat me and my squad. Warning: You will rage :).

          • Trolololo


      • Billy_ho

        Why don’t you just use the SQD COVER SPECIALIZATION? I have never had issues with being suppressed. I just shoot back and move out of the field of fire if I am getting suppressed. On the flip side I now am able to give suppression where it never existed before. Making the LMG more of a beast. 😀 

        Sorry you can’t run and gun and hope to be the first person on the trigger in a match. Now you need to do the real deal and group up with your squad to kill the enemy. I have noticed lately that more people are now squading up since the patch. Is that because they learned they need a team now to assist them? Wow… how the game was supposed to be played out. 

      • i clearly said in my post that the suppression is way over the top…i don’t see why your jumping all over me, i’m just trying to provide some insight to players that may not have read all the latest news stories.  Fact of the matter is when you suppressed your aiming is shit and it looks like bad hit detection for anyone that doesn’t know about it.  just chill out and don’t freak on me for trying to help fellow players.  and plus since this is a console topic i was referring to console, so it doesn’t really matter if you reinstalled bf3 or updated your drivers or whatever this doesn’t apply this specific situation.

      •  You must be playing another game then I am, I haven’t had all these problems, I do agree they have overdone the suppression effect a bid, and as others has said Dice them self have all ready bin out saying they are looking to tone it a big back again. But you can work around it, it is not really that much of a deal breaker for me, and overall for me the game runs better…

      • ClaspedMars

        Dude you must have been bad at the game before or suck at adapting to change because my scores have stayed the same and the game is way better than before 100 times better. and I play on both Xbox and PC I say bravo dice thanks for the patch my life is more complete now haha.

      • LaDewd

         The only bad thing about the patch (with it’s intended changes) was the crazy suppression and the fore grip being… useless.
        However, you doing bad on matches post-patch is probably because you handle the post-patch guns like pre-patch guns, just fiddle around with the gadgets on your gun and you should find your preferred optimization. I found the Flash Suppressor on my F2000 really handy.
        I did bad the first 3 rounds or something. Then I performed my normal self again… without using any noob tactics. Just my F2000, Tank or a Jet. Well… I did equip the RPK and extended mags for the shits… hehe.

        Being a console player, I can see the framerate dropping really annoying for you PC players. Really do hope DICE fixes that quickly for you.

  • Guess we know where their priorities…AREN’T.

    After this last patch, the game is pretty fucked up. I have to play like a total noob now to maintain a decent score each round.

    It’s because EVERYONE ELSE has resorted to using all noob weapons to compensate for all of the shit that DICE fucked up in the most recent patch.

    I used to rock an assault rifle everywhere I went. I used to have excellent aim and quick reflexes – and it MEANT SOMETHING.

    Now? Between the shitty adjustments they’ve made to the weapons and the RIDICULOUSLY OVER-BEARING increase in suppression… You can’t hit SHIT. It takes many times more effort to make your kills…and if anyone shoots even in the slightest aim of your general direction, your screen suddenly goes blurry.

    And now they’re starting to ignore the complaints on their Twitter feed. (As in…BLOCKING people who complain to them hoping for some kind of acknowledgment of the issues they’ve created.)

    It’s starting to look like they’re going to record time in ruining a Battlefield game after it’s release.

    • Jonchr2

       what do you play? i play on Ps3 and the patch helped alot, much better 🙂

      • matt

        me too. i love the post-patch bf3.

    • The new suppression does kinda suck, but you can still do well if you just adapt a bit. Plus they said they were probably going to tone it back down a bit to where it’s still more powerful than originally, but less powerful than it is now.

      Excellent aim and reflexes still mean a lot. I don’t know how you can say that they don’t at all lol.

    • Jacob aka Jb

       It’s official… All of these people that are complaining about the new
      recoil and their guns changing suck. Adapt and overcome you wanna-be bf
      players. You must really suck more then you know for y’all to get on
      youtube and cry so much about a game that requires more skill now that
      ever before to play. If you are really good, just shut the hell up and
      to your weapons again. I have. And you can too. And if not, then i
      will see you on the other team :). (P.S Thank you dice for making better
      players stand out from wanna be supposed to be real bf players
      crybabys). Bad Company 2 equals hella easy mode. And if you think
      otherwise, then i will get on BC2 to really
      smack you crybabys. Xbox 360 Gamertag (Jacob aka JB). Hit me up if you
      want to prove that you can beat me and my squad. Warning: You will rage
      :). Unless you might be actually good. But looking at the crying that is going on in this room, i seriously doubt it.

    • DrunkOnSwag

      stop crying & adjust.
      for me, suppression is barely noticeable
      if you dont like it, dont play it
      im happy with the patch & id rather the game stay as it is right now

    • Trolololo


  • TTRedRaider27

    how many fucks do i give about this crap? None. Tell us something that matters, or something interesting. I thought “Inside Dice” would have more interesting information than this.

    •  This does matter you twat. It matters because it shows that they’re willing to bend over backwards for the community. I can’t remember the last time any devs did something like this for it’s players.

      It shows that they might be able to put in the bigger flag counts in console conquest if they work at it.

      • TTRedRaider27

        Bend over backwards for the community eh? 
        Like the time they bent over backwards to fuck up the servers and put all gametypes into single servers with no other options (especially for HC players such as myself). Like the time they bent over backwards to wait until June to release some close quarters maps…
        Like the time they bent over backwards to change things that NO ONE was asking for (increased suppression anyone? how about paper tanks and a child’s toy for a repair tool?)
        The time they bent over backwards to release a halfass iOS app that has less features and functionality than apps released by random people 3 months ago, and have yet to release one for android. 
        Like that one time where they waited and waited and waited to release a patch when there were things that needed to be balanced and fixed immediately.
        Like the time they released said giant patch and half of those things weren’t actually fixed (excessive fall damage, no mav riding/killing, etc.)

        I could keep going.

        I guess when they do absolutely nothing for the community that they have just ripped off, people like you think this guy “slaving” over his computer to create a 5 flag variant of a DLC map that no one plays on is just making the biggest show of compassion towards us. Get real. This slow, complacent, IDGAF attitude of DICE is fucking awful.

        Just what we need, bigger flag counts for all maps on console to make it even more of a base cap ring a round the rosie. 

    • Exactly what I was thinking. They asked us what we wanted to see, read and hear from Inside Dice and we get cookie cutter PR bullshit. A new flag great, now back to the real issues.

      For me, I’m tired of playing a hardcore game-type only to have the game suddenly change to core for some team or players randomly. More than enough times core abilities like spotting and kill cam will show up and we’ve been playing on hardcore servers the whole time. Or worse, an RPG, for example, kills a healthy tank with one hit, while the other teams’ tank or players become invincible. Happens way too often on 360 without a peep from Devs regarding it. I rage when I’ve C4ed a vehicle multiple times with teammates backing me up and we notice not one engineer is in sight and they enemy just keep trucking. Multiple times we’ve had to battle players who seem to remain at 100% health despite a squad going up against them. Hits were registered and nada. It makes me wonder when this happens in my favor and another player has to suffer.

      I don’t even need to harp on audio drops, squad splits, screen flicker, random EA server disconnect, vehicle in balance or the continued existence of MAV riding and frag round spamming etc, etc, etc.

      I don’t know what’s going on, but DICE has a winning game that just keeps fumbling. Could be in house incompetence caused by restriction or EA bean counting executive greed, but shit is unnecessarily sloppy.

      • Travis Von Ins

        They said a long time ago that audio drops are a hardware issue. Never happens on PC but happens on Xbox and PS3 after playing too long, same with ribbon/medal/dog tag images disappearing. Doesnt happen on PC. The consoles hardware is basically playing catch up at that point because the engine is demanding a bit more resources than both consoles can offer

  • Too bad it’s not as fun to play as the real battlefield series games were… 🙁

  • That_guy

    Its been shown time and time again that the people who complain about the new patch a one hit usas frag winders. They cant play with regular guns so they piss and moan.

  • 7th Ronin

    Personally I think all 5 flag versions of CQA are to big on console. Had only the 3 flag versions on all my B2K maps when I rented a server. I like to keep the action intense !

  • Outlawz

    Nice one DICE. Now can you secretly work on how to make consoles handle 32 players with the frostbite 2 engine? 

    • verla

      They can’t do that.

    • rick

      bandwidth restrictions:

      bandwidth = $ investmentEA =/= $ investment

      • Rick

        bandwidth restrictions:
        bandwidth = $ investment.
        EA =/= $ investment

  • Unicarnage

    I only use Assault Rifles and Bolt Action Snipers, and I like the game alot more. Runs a hell of a lot better, and people running shotguns are pretty much put down in no time. We must not be playing the same game or something.

  • Guest

    The people who hate on the GAME need to sort out their priorities.  IT’S a GAME! if you don’t like it – STOP playing it and FUCK OFF!
    Bunch of whinning pussies.
    I bought the game, play the game nearly every day and most nights enjoy it. DICE did a good job in my opinion.
    PS Call me what you like – I couldn’t give a FUCK!

    • andy b

      Apparently you do, because you posted here.

  • My issue with the 5 flags on the Xbox is it almost feels like I’m playing by myself because it’s just so spread out.  I don’t think there are enough people for this 5 flag version to play well on console.  I’m not a fan…. then again, I don’t like the 3 flag version of wake island either.

    • andy b

      5 flags on Wake is a must, but they should have shrunk the island to the size they used in 1943.

  • Miksuu

    I prefer 5 flag more than 3 flag. US haves venom and its more action as said in the article.

  • Andres

    What exactly was done other than adding a capture point to a spot on the map that we were already running by?

    • andy b

      They also added one you weren’t running by. And if they bring back the boats at A and E so you can travel across by water, it will change everything.

  • andy b

    I don’t buy the “hardware limitation” thing. It was entirely due to the size of the map and the 24 player cap. They really should have just offered console players the scaled down version like in 1943.

    Also, are they bringing back the boats for the two flags closest to the tips of the island? Those change the flow of the game significantly. Not having those was part of what made it feel so flawed.