An in-depth official post went up on Battlefield V’s subreddit a short while ago detailing December’s Update 5.2. The folks at DICE touch on several things including Community Games, the Lunge Mine, Wake Island, enemy spotting, and weapon changes. I’m going to focus on the weapon changes. Specifically, DICE is doing a balance pass for “Damage over Range.”
Before I dive into discussing these changes, I want to say that Battlefield V’s TTK (time to kill) is already in a good place. Here are a couple of comments from DICE on the reasoning behind these changes:
We’ve been upping our game lately on performing more regular balance passes on the different weapon categories as part of ongoing efforts to improve the weapon diversity across the game, and provide you with a greater range of options to use when setting up your Soldiers, vs. the current meta of one size fits all gameplay.
With 5.2, we’re going to be addressing the damage over distance values of the different Weapon Classes to help promote healthier gameplay on the objectives.
I get the weapon diversity comment, but I’m not a huge fan of across the board changes to make guns weaker. If there’s a gun everyone is using, then other weapons should get a bump until it changes. I would rather all the guns be fun to use, then all of them feel like I’m shooting spit wads at people.
Alright, let’s take a look at what DICE’s plans are. First, every weapon except Bolt Action Carbines, Sniper Rifles, and Anti-material Rifles will be tweaked in December’s update.
Here are a few graphs straight from DICE showing the changes.
Let’s take a look at the STG 44 example. In next month’s update, it’ll take 6 bullets to kill at 30 meters, and 8 at 100 meters. And that’s if you land every shot.
I looked at my weapon accuracy for the STG 44, and it’s a little over 22%. Now a lot of those shots are at long distances where it’s obviously harder to hit targets, but let’s assume 50% accuracy at 100 meters. That 8-shot kill takes 16 shots. Today, that same engagement would kill in 6 shots and take 12 shots.
An M1 Carbine would take 7 shots at 100 meters in December (versus 5 shots today). The Thompson is even more extreme at 13 shots at 100 meters in December (versus 8 shots today). Hell, the Thompson will take 9 shots at 22 meters in next month’s update compared to 5-6 shots today.
DICE also says they will be tweaking recoil, rates of fire, and ammo amounts for all the affected guns.
These changes will only promote more snipers. Why struggle with an SMG when you’ll soon be better off with a sniper rifle and a revolver?
It feels like a massive change for the sake of changing. Time to kill hasn’t been a problem for me on Battlefield V all year. It was the lack of content, and DICE fixed that.
Again, make guns that aren’t being used often stronger. Don’t weaken everything across the board.
We’ll see how it all shakes out next month, but a glance at the Reddit comments shows the TTK changes aren’t being well received right now.