On March 12, EA DICE sat down with lead gameplay designer Gustav Halling with some questions from the “Battlefield 4” community in the latest installment of the developer’s “Ask Dice” series.
What was the main design goal you set out with Battlefield 4 Naval Strike?
The design philosophy behind Battlefield 4 Naval Strike was to expand on what makes naval warfare and water-based vehicles fun in Battlefield 4. We know that there are many fans of Paracel Storm in our community, and with this expansion we wanted to give players who love that map more variations in the naval gameplay.
What’s the biggest challenge when designing naval-focused maps?
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As always when working with water-based maps the challenge is to give naval units a prominent role on the Battlefield, and at the same time give infantry players enough areas to fight around – and also create space for fast transport vehicles. That is why we focused on making a wide variation of vehicle- and infantry-focused bases on all the maps in Battlefield 4 Naval Strike.
What are the four new maps of Battlefield 4 Naval Strike?
You will get to wage war in the tropical Lost Islands map, in the massive level Wave Breaker, through the stormy weather of Nansha Strike, and by the breathtaking vistas in Operation Mortar. Stay tuned for an in-depth breakdown of all four maps here on the Battlefield Blog!
What kind of Levolution can we expect in Naval Strike? Will there be storms like the one in Paracel Storm?
In Naval Strike we have been focusing on how the player can interact within the levels to create and block paths for vehicles, or make other strategic use of the environments. For example, you will be able to close flood doors to stop vehicles from entering a submarine base and capturing the objective inside. You can also blow up part of a crashed airplane to create new cover for infantry.
As for storms, instead of copying what has already been done in Paracel Storm, you can expect different visual styles and weather on all four Naval Strike maps. There’ll be calm seas, stormy weather and many other weather effects. For instance, on the Mortar Strike map, you’ll start fighting at dawn and the map will be lit up by the resort lights. As the fight rages on, the sunrise will drench the tropical island in beautiful sunlight.
What can we expect for the new Hovercraft and how will the vehicle affect gameplay?
The new hovercraft, or ACV, is a very fast transport vehicle with a driver and a passenger position that travels seamless between water and land. This unique ability has many advantages; you can for instance maneuver away from boats by short cutting through an island instead of going around it. These new abilities are exciting for us to bring to our players and I can’t wait to see what crazy stuff we will see from this vehicle in the game!
What new gadgets will there be in Battlefield 4 Naval Strike?
First off, we have the new M320 3GL gadget that will give the players the possibility to fire three grenades without reloading. With smaller explosives, the M320 3GL will be great for tight corridors, but it will also require accurate shots to get the kill.
If you play as Engineer, you will be able to use the new Anti-Heli Mine, an aircraft disabling projectile. This will provide a way to block off small paths for air vehicles and could for example be used to cover a certain area behind the player in order to avoid surprises from low flying helicopters. It is however a challenge to get kills with the Anti-Heli Mines, since pilots can use countermeasures and flare them off, like with any other lock-on weapon.
With naval maps only, how do you balance the gameplay so that all kinds of vehicles still are important?
Battlefield 4 Naval Strike is focusing on naval warfare. Some land vehicles will be there, but they are very limited to give way for vehicles like attack boats, PWC’s, and the new ACV. There will of course also be air vehicles. But as mentioned: with Naval Strike focusing on water-based fights, there will be a limited pool of land vehicles.
What is the Carrier Assault game mode?
Carrier Assault is our homage to the classic Titan mode in Battlefield 2142, where two teams fight over control over each other’s massive aircraft carriers, by using missiles and infantry attacks. Learn more about Carrier Assault in this blog post.
What will make Battlefield 4 Naval Strike an awesome expansion?
All that you’ve come to love with naval warfare in Battlefield 4 will be even more intense and fast-paced in Battlefield 4 Naval Strike. Whether you’ll be taking insane shortcuts with your Hovercraft or securing a narrow win in Carrier Assault, it’s our ambition that you’ll truly enjoy the all-out war in the South China Sea.
"Naval Assault" will launch later this month for "BF4" premium members.