Battlefield 4 is a fantastic multiplayer game, but its borderline-broken launch and temperamental netcode means that we've never been able to rave about it. From kit resets to aggravating 'rubber banding' on big team gametypes -- Battlefield's bread and butter -- the issues are legion, while backlash has been intense and understandable.
However, DICE claims to have finally discovered the cause and are rolling out new hardware to make things shipshape again. Fitting, really, since we want to be splashing about in RHIBs in the Naval Strike map pack.
"As you know, we’ve been looking into resolving the “rubber banding” that some players on certain platforms have experienced with Battlefield 4 after the recent release of Naval Strike," DICE VP Karl Magnus Troedsson wrote on the Battlefield blog. "We’ve found that the root cause of the issue was a configuration of certain hardware types dedicated to 64-player matches."
"We have invested in new hardware to resolve this issue and deployed new higher-performance servers this week. In preparation, we conducted a significant amount of testing before installing the new servers to ensure they would correct the issue. We are already seeing performance improvement with 64-player matches and expect this to continue."
So that's good, then. Battlefield 4 is a quirky beast, with some players suffering few problems while others encounter ruinous issues - placing me somewhere in the middle with a heady mix of kit resets, lag, erroneous hit markers, questionable hit detection and bizarre ping spikes. Nothing game-breaking, but enough to continually pull me out of the experience. If this new hardware works, hopefully it's finally game on for Battlefield 4.
Mind you... an apology might have been nice.
EA and DICE have repeatedly come under fire for their communication over the last few months, notably due to the matter-of-fact marketing spiel that makes each new fix (and subsequent new problems generated by each patch) sound like a favour to a few isolated people undertaken out of the goodness of their hearts to appease a tiny moaning minority. Rather than a penitent attempt to fix a game that was, for all intents and purposes, broken and not fit for task despite a premium price tag. "While the process took longer than we would’ve liked, we wanted to be 100% sure it was done right and that the long-term solution was properly in place,"
"Our objective is to deliver the best player experience possible. We feel this solution helps us deliver that to you."
"Sorry everyone," would have done it.
Two simple words, but we're itching to hear them - class action lawsuit or no. You'd be surprised at the amount of goodwill that such a simple gesture would create.
Still, we'll look into whether this new hardware actually improves matters, and let us know what you make of it!