Weapon balance is a tricky business. There are less expensive seesaws. But really, as any FPS developer knows: if you get it wrong, you risk seeing your lovingly-conceived firearm neglected by players determined to give themselves the best possible chance in a skirmish.
DICE are concerned about Battlefield 4’s DMRs, its pump action shotguns and its carbines. They’ve changed things, they believe, for the better - and might have altered your go-to gun in the process.
The damage of all DMR variants has been increased - especially at long ranges. The practical payoff of that is that you’ll be able to kill unarmoured opponents in three hits from a distance. That’ll be more achievable now, too, thanks to a reduced penalty to accuracy during sustained DMR fire - allowing for speedier follow-up shots.
“We will continue to monitor the effectiveness of DMRs in combat, and determine if additional action is needed to make DMRs a viable mid to long range weapon,” write DICE.
Pump action shotguns, meanwhile, have become more viable run-and-gun prospects, thanks to newly doubled accuracy while moving and aiming.
“These weapons did not have any available barrels or grips that would allow a player to enhance their aimed accuracy,” explain DICE. “This change should make the use of pump action weapons with slugs much more viable at medium and close range by allowing more accurate fire.”
The way inaccuracy is handled when moving from hip fire to aimed fire across all weapons has also been tweaked. DICE were finding that players began shooting before bringing up their sights - and kept their initial inaccuracy modifier for the duration of the shot. That’s now been fixed.
“While still terribly inaccurate, this allows for substantially more accurate fire than the old method and should allow players with LMGs to panic fire in close quarters,” the dev team say, “provided they are aiming.”
Elsewhere, the MTAR has been forced to join the rest of its Carbine brethren in mid-range - losing its capability for long distance damage.
These alterations aren’t being suggested for player feedback, like the last proposed balance tweaks for Battlefield 4. They’re all scheduled to go live in a future game update. Is there anything here you’d rather didn’t?
EA told shareholders this week that the console transition was to blame for Battlefield 4's disappointing sales, not, y’know, the disappointing game itself. Do you agree?