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.
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.”
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.
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).”
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!