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A cheeky bug has been building invisible walls in Battlefield 4 - and we've only just noticed

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A cheeky bug has been building invisible walls in Battlefield 4 - and we've only just noticed

Fleshy men repelling rockets; bullets dissolving on contact with oxygen; grenades bouncing off patches of thin air. These are just some of the unexplained phenomena that have been confusing Battlefield 4 players.

In a game that began life riddled with bugs, their cause has been left undiscovered. But Youtuber Jack Frags might have just uncovered the culprit - the newly-named ‘Death Shield’ bug.

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Historic Battlefield games are relocating from GameSpy to Origin

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Historic Battlefield games are relocating from GameSpy to Origin

The Battlefield games have a strong history on PC, with massive victories that pre-date the Battlefield 4 launch fiasco by over a decade. Such fondly remembered games are not just memories though; the likes of Battlefield 2 and Battlefield 2142 still have dedicated players, still waging war on the less detailed but no less destructive fields of yesteryear. 

The announcement that GameSpy will shut its doors at the end of May has potentially upset some of these online soliders, as the older Battlefield games require the service to run. But never fear, EA is here! And they plan to relocate all their Battlefield services safe and sound in Origin. 

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Battlefield 4 loadout presets to let us spend more time toppling skyscrapers from today

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Battlefield 4 loadout presets to let us spend more time toppling skyscrapers from today

Load in... load out. Load in... load out. Oh, sorry friends: you’ve interrupted me during my morning pre-battle ritual. I find the slow assembly and disassembly of weapon configurations helps ready me for the day - but you might like to take advantage of DICE’s new loadout presets, which are designed to ease match startup in Battlefield 4.

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Battlefield 4's elusive megalodon finally discovered hanging out in a Naval Strike map

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Battlefield 4's elusive megalodon finally discovered hanging out in a Naval Strike map

For a good long while, intrepid shark hunters have been searching for the megalodon, the giant prehistoric shark, in Battlefield 4. There have been suggestions that it was hiding in the water since not long after the game’s launch, and despite finding further clues, players were still unable to find something that seems far to big to hide. 

As it turns out, this was because it was lurking in the waters of one of the Naval Strike maps, Nansha Strike, the DLC expansion which has only just been released. But the big beastie has finally been discovered, and it’s quite the sight to behold. 

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Battlefield 4: Naval Strike DLC deployed for premium Battlefield 4 players

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Battlefield 4: Naval Strike DLC deployed for premium Battlefield 4 players

Battlefield 4’s Naval Strike DLC turned out to be more of a navel strike when, on the eve of its intended release, DICE looked inwards to attend to some serious PC performance issues. Those apparently resolved, we’re now rattling through the normal map pack release procedure - which begins with a brief early access period for Battlefield 4 premium players.

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Battlefield 4 Naval Strike DLC delay clarified: it's because of performance issues, of course

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Battlefield 4 Naval Strike DLC delay clarified: it's because of performance issues, of course

On Tuesday, EA revealed that the Battlefield 4 DLC, Naval Strike, would be delayed for PC, while all other versions (excluding Xbox One) would launch as planned. A explanation for the delay was not given, nor was an expected launch date. 

Since then, EA has been more forthcoming, clarifying why Naval Strike won’t be launching on all platforms at the same time. The problem is, as it always seems to be in Battlefield 4, anticipated performance issues.

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Battlefield 4: Naval Strike Easter Egg hints at nuclear weapons

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Battlefield 4: Naval Strike Easter Egg hints at nuclear weapons

Battlefield 4 inspires a lot of internet sleuthing with its Easter Eggs. There was megalodon, of course, the giant prehistoric shark, and what could be a bigger deal than a gargantuan ocean predator? A nuke, as it happens. When JackFrags showed off writing on a wall in his Naval Strike DLC impressions, everyone got their deerstalkers out. 

The translation was “Underground project 273 For the sake of the people, be prepared for war and desolation." Underground project 273 was discovered to be a government run nuclear test site. On Reddit, LachlanCotter and Wintergore have dug up all sorts of information - though the hunt is still on for what this is hinting at. Is it nuclear DLC? Or maybe it relates to the Phantom Trainee password?

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DICE are adding a two handed ballistic shield in Battlefield 4's Dragon's Teeth DLC

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DICE are adding a two handed ballistic shield in Battlefield 4's Dragon's Teeth DLC

Ballistic shields are misnamed, really. They are, thankfully, not convex weapons that policemen fire in D&D-style cones of pain during riots. They’re really anti-ballistic - mobile walls designed to hug bullets to death.

Still, I imagine they’ll come in very handy in Battlefield 4 - a game my own research over the past week has led me to conclude is about lying prone in the grass with your hands over your head, intoning: “OhGodOhGodOhGod" until a skyscraper topples onto you.

With the help of the Dragon’s Teeth expansion, I’ll be able to creep about behind a slice of movable cover instead.

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Battlefield: Vietnam turns 10. “There was actually an entirely new game mode that was cut late in the project”

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Battlefield: Vietnam turns 10. “There was actually an entirely new game mode that was cut late in the project”

It’s ten years since the release of Battlefield: Vietnam and DICE are getting whimsical with nostalgia. They’ve got together members of the old team to talk about the game’s development and it’s turned up a couple of juicy details. For instance, “There was actually an entirely new game mode that was cut late in the project." And it sounds like a real challenge.

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Battlefield 4's platoons are now open to the masses

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Battlefield 4's platoons are now open to the masses

Previously only available to Premium members, Battlefield 4’s platoon system separated the haves from the have nots. DICE couldn’t have some random pleb making a platoon. That would be like any old nutter creating a religion or leading a political party. Preposterous.

But fearing revolution - or more likely just because much of Battlefield’s content eventually trickles down - DICE acquiesced, and now any old person can put together a platoon. 

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Battlefield 4: Naval Strike's four maps will look like this, if you squint a bit

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Battlefield 4: Naval Strike's four maps will look like this, if you squint a bit

Naval Strike is the name of Battlefield 4’s next round of maps - the conveyor belt for which has started rolling at full speed again now DICE have made a concerted effort to tackle the game’s myriad bugs.

Its headline feature is a new Carrier Assault mode DICE have been telling everyone is an explicit tribute to Battlefield 2142’s Titan mode. There’s one image of that, and three others, below.

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Battlefield 2142 veterans will feel "right at home" with Battlefield 4's Carrier Assault mode

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Battlefield 2142 veterans will feel "right at home" with Battlefield 4's Carrier Assault mode

Carrier Assault is the contemporary “reimagining" of Battlefield 2142’s Titan mode we learned about last month. Now we know how it works. DICE say pining 2142 players will “feel right at home" with the mode’s array of optional objectives - despite the new setting.

“We hope you will get the same thrill out of parachute-spawning down to a carrier as you did when blasting off in a rocket pod towards a Titan," said lead gameplay designer Gustav Halling.

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DICE make fixing Battlefield 4 netcode issues one of their "top priorities"

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DICE make fixing Battlefield 4 netcode issues one of their "top priorities"

‘Netcode’ sounds like a term so broad that it could mean absolutely anything, and it is. In Battlefield 4 it refers to problems ranging from faulty latency compensation to glitches in movement and shooting.

DICE have made these issues and everything in between one of their “top priorities", effective immediately - and plan to keep players updated on their progress in tackling the most worrisome issues.

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Battlefield 4 patch thaws freezing bug, smoothes Mantle integration

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Battlefield 4 patch thaws freezing bug, smoothes Mantle integration

Wounds aren’t patched in war - they’re dressed, sutured, or removed in amputations. With enough patches, though, Battlefield 4 might just become the game we’d have liked it to be four months ago. By now it’s covered from head-to-toe in plasters, thanks to a pledge from DICE to drop DLC until the game is fixed - and yesterday’s update was a figurative thermal blanket, designed to stop the game from freezing.

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Battlefield 4 pre-match grouping system to roll out from tomorrow, like tanks might

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Battlefield 4 pre-match grouping system to roll out from tomorrow, like tanks might

If you’re looking for proof that DICE have their comedy ear-horns pointed in our direction, consider this it. Just a few months after proclaiming “no plans" for a pre-match lobby system, here the Battlefield 4 developers are talking up a comprehensive Battlelog grouping feature that goes someway beyond the equivalent Battlefield 3 players had on the consoles.

Platoons will be rolled out over the next week or two, beginning tomorrow, February 27.

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Party up like Charlie Sheen: Battlefield 4 'Platoons' feature will allow pre-game grouping

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Party up like Charlie Sheen: Battlefield 4 'Platoons' feature will allow pre-game grouping

“Right, men. Whatever happens, we stick together."

Those were the last words I heard our Tim say before the PCGN we-don’t-need-a-parachute regiment sallied forth into the Titanfall beta last week. I watched haplessly as a perk-boosted Nick sprinted off into the undergrowth, and only caught fleeting glimpses of my colleagues thereafter.

The same won’t happen for much longer in Battlefield 4, at least. Players will soon be able to join up with other players before joining a match, rather than during.

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Unlock down: DICE to hand out "shortcut" weapon kits for Battlefield 4 over next two weeks

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Unlock down: DICE to hand out "shortcut" weapon kits for Battlefield 4 over next two weeks

We haven’t written a lot about about Battlefield 4’s Player Appreciation Month, and if we could write our way through February again I’m sure we’d do the same. Where DICE’s pledge to drop DLC until they’d fixed everything that was broken in Battlefield was a sober and sensible mark of respect to their suffering playerbase, a month of in-game unlocks and community missions didn’t seem like an awful lot of skin off their backs.

That said, the men and women who regularly shoot at you in Battlefield 4 are about to become significantly better equipped - and you’ve a right to know about that, and choose whether or not to join them. DICE are releasing a couple of voluntary “shortcut kits" over the next two weeks, which will unlock a number of the game’s existing higher-level weapons.

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