Introducing Battlelog for Battlefield 4
We loved introducing Battlelog in Battlefield 3, but that was just the beginning. Since then, we’ve had some great ideas for how we could innovate and make it even better with Battlefield 4. The goal with Battlelog for BF4 is to create an enhanced experience for the player that allows them to be constantly connected to the game, whether it’s in front of their console or PC or on the go using their mobile device. We had to fundamentally change some features – like fully integrating Battlelog into the game on next-gen consoles and PC. By doing this, it has enabled us to give Battlelog a style and look that is much more in-tune with the game, introduce connected features to make it an even more powerful companion and provide new ways for you to customize your experience.
In-Game Integration - work-in-progress image
A core goal for the team was to deeply integrate the Battlelog experience within the game, utilizing the great platform we had already built for BF3. With seamless integration in mind, we’ve placed a widget in the top right corner of your interface, where you can see how many of your friends are currently playing BF4 or how many active Missions you have available(a new feature where you can create new challenges for you and your friends). This widget also gives you notifications for certain events. For example, Battlelog will let you know of Mission invites, if someone beat your score in a Mission or when a friend joins your server. We tried to balance it so it isn’t too intrusive, yet still gives you the information you want, when you want it. If you still prefer to go without it, you have the option to hide the widget.
At any time in-game, you can bring up the Battlelog overlay. For PC and next-gen consoles we’ve built a new platform to ensure we could bring Battlelog to players in the best possible way while they are playing the game. This means that it is built on the same core technology as Battlelog is on the web, tablet and mobile devices, making it easier and faster for us to update, and keeping it tightly connected to the Battlelog experience outside the game.
This in-game overlay will give you access to tons of Battlelog features. You can see what your friends are doing, check their stats and join their game. You can also see who is in your squad when playing multiplayer and look up their profile. Maybe you want to check your standings on the Geo Leaderboards, or create a Mission. It’s all available at any time during the game. You can even see how you’re progressing towards your next rank or unlocks in real-time!
A Connected Experience
With BF3 we realized that the game, Battlelog on the web, and Battlelog on mobile felt like separate pieces. With Battlelog for BF4 the design across the in-game, web, tablet, and mobile experiences are much more uniform. Going between the game and Battlelog on the various platforms will feel much smoother and connected. We’re also working hard to ensure the Battlelog experience for BF4 on console is on par with the deep interaction PC players have enjoyed since BF3.
Another way we’ve bridged the gap between Battlelog and the game is with Emblems. You will now be able to create Emblems and take them into multiplayer to show off your style. Create an Emblem on Battlelog and then next time you join a multiplayer game, you will see this Emblem on both your gun and soldier – they even show upon vehicles as you enter them. We can’t wait to see all the creative emblems people will create and bring into the game.
The Battlefield 4 Companion
In addition to new levels of in-game integration, Battlelog is bringing both new and updated features through web and mobile devices. This extends Battlelog to be more than something you use while you’re not playing – Battlelog for BF4 is quite simply a full-fledged companion experience!
With the Battlelog app (and on web as well), you can do a lot of things away from the game. You can view your stats, customize your Loadout, write in the forums, read the latest news, connect with friends, and more. Where the magic starts to happen is that Battlelog will now recognize when you’re playing the game. We’ve created something we call the Unified Game Manager, which will show up on Battlelog as you start playing on PC or console, and will offer you quick access to our game-connected features: Real-time Loadout, Remote Joining and BattleScreen.
We’ve completely rebuilt the Loadout system on Battlelog, not only making it more user-friendly and intuitive, but also ensuring that it’s tightly integrated with the game. What this means is that you can customize your Loadout on Battlelog at any time and it’s automatically updated in-game. You just save it, and it’s applied.
Remote Joining is another really cool game-connected feature. Perhaps you’re playing on a server, but you’d like to join a different one or you want to join a friend somewhere else. Usually, you’d have to exit the game you’re currently in and then search for your next server in the menus. Now you can pull up the list of servers on Battlelog, find the one you want to play on, and press “Join”. It’ll pull you right into that server. It’s extremely fast and fluid and a whole new way to find games on both console and PC.
Another great feature for Battlelog on next-gen consoles and PC is BattleScreen, which is a real-time, interactive mini-map of the game that you’re currently playing in. Say you’re on your way to the fight as a passenger in a helicopter – if you’re the Squad Leader, you can grab the tablet next to you and set attack points for your pilot, prepping you and your squad for the battle to come. This all happens in real-time – there are no delays between what’s going on in-game and what you see on your device. It takes a bit of getting used to, having a second screen to look at, but once you get the hang of it you can use it your advantage. Gone are the days of bringing up the full-screen mini-map only to blur your view of the battle.
In addition to this, we’ve done work to ensure that both the Battlelog and Commander Mode apps work well together. For example, once you find the server you want to play on from the Battlelog app, you just press “Join as Commander”, and it will boot up the Commander app for you, automatically joining that server. We wanted BF4 to feel like one unified experience, and this is just one of the ways we’re doing that.
Our inspiration for Geo Leaderboards came from video game arcades, back when you stopped by the local arcade every day after school to see if you were still the top dog or if someone in neighborhood beat your high score. Taking this idea to heart, we looked at leaderboards in BF4 with a lot of scrutiny. When you’re number 127,842 in the global rankings for a game, it can feel defeating. That’s why we’ve brought Geo Leaderboards into the mix, where you can set your position to compete against people in your city, state, and country, as well as the world at large.
We have leaderboards for weapons, vehicles, skill, kills, time played, and many more – allowing you to compete in a lot of different areas. We hope there’s a leaderboard that everyone feels they can compete in, no matter how they play the game. You can try to be the best assault player in your city, or the best reviver; you can go for getting the best Personal Record in your town. A Personal Record is getting the best score in a single round in some category, and it could be something like getting the most kills, best score or even destroying the most vehicles.
Be the Best Where It Counts
Once you have your location set with Geo Leaderboards, you can take a look at how you’re doing. Zoom in and out of the city, state, country, and world. If you find that you’re number one in the city, you might want to step it up a notch and see how you compare to people in the state or country.
Players will also be divided into Divisions, inspired by FIFA’s Seasons system. All players on a leaderboard are divided into 10 Divisions, depending on your skills and ranking in a wide range of areas such as Kill/Death Ratio, Score Per Minute, and more. This stretches across each level of zoom (city, state, country, and world) in the Geo Leaderboards as well so you might be Division 1 in your city, but only Division 3 in the world. You’ll be notified in-game when you make the jump from one division to the next, giving you an even better idea of how you stack up to other players.
We’re trying to make it easier for you to sift through the many categories because we know there are a lot of leaderboards. Once you’ve put some time into multiplayer we’ll highlight the leaderboards you’re ranked the highest on so that you don’t have to dig through all the different options. You can still go and look at all of the leaderboards, but this is a way to get the most significant info to you as soon as possible.
Everyone knows that half the fun of multiplayer is showing off your skills to your friends, whether it’s that 20:1 kill/death ratio or getting a headshot from almost a kilometer away. It’s just not the same unless you know someone is witnessing your greatness. Now you can prove to your friends you’re the best on the battlefield with Missions.
Missions are challenges you can set amongst you and up to four friends. They allow you to tailor your multiplayer experience and choose how to define victory outside of normal game objectives. People can create missions based on the same criteria as Personal Records, giving you a list of objectives we’ll continue to increase over time.
These Missions are always round-based, meaning each round is its own separate attempt to get the best score. While you’re setting up your Mission, you can choose which map should be used for the Mission (you can also pick “Any Map”) and the amount of attempts each participant will get (with an option for unlimited attempts), and then you have 48 hours to compete and claim victory. Set a mission on Friday and now you have the weekend to try and be the best among your friends.
You’ll get a notification on Battlelog when you are invited, when the lead in the mission has been taken from you, and when you or someone else wins. Notifications will be shown on Battlelog on all devices, including in-game notifications and even push notifications on mobile. We’ll make sure you won’t miss any of these important events.
Missions were one thing we wanted to create keeps people on their toes. It adds a great new dimension to multiplayer, and it’s a fantastic way to compete with your friends even if you can’t all be online at the same time.
Deep and Meaningful Stats
Stats are a big part of Battlelog and something we constantly focus on and improve. We’re capturing even more data in BF4. This means we can go back and see how you progressed since the start of your BF4 career. When the game launches, this will ultimately manifest itself in the Profile Replay. On your stats overview page, you can drag this slider around so you can see how your core stats have changed, and hopefully improved, over time. You can see how you were at the beginning of your BF4 career and how you’ve progressed since then. Press “Start” at the beginning and see it all unfold in front of you!
We have also improved Battle Reports, and I am particularly excited about the new dynamic prize system. We have around 40 different stats being analyzed, and if you are good enough, then you may be highlighted as a top player in that round. Even if you don’t get a Top Player award, there’s still a good chance that you’ve been the best at something, and we’ll make sure to tell you what that is. Even the small victories count, right?
We really want to tell stories with Battlelog, and by highlighting what you’re great at with stats, Geo Leaderboards, Missions and more, Battlelog for BF4 will tell you exactly what kind of BF player you are and help you play to your strengths.
Suggestions and Tracking
BF4 is a huge game with countless things to unlock and complete, and it’s not always easy to see what you should, or could, unlock over time. That’s why we are introducing Suggestions and Tracking. Three prominent boxes called Suggestions are placed on the main Battlelog section on the web and mobile apps – even in-game! Our system will suggest unlocks, medals, assignments, service stars and more for you to complete, as well as those things you are already close to completing.
If you don’t like what’s in the Suggestions boxes you can always hit the refresh button to get new Suggestions, or if you’re really aiming for something specific, you can choose to track it. Just find that special unlock you’re after, hit the “Track” button, and then it will show up in one of the Suggestion boxes. .There’s nothing more satisfying than seeing all of your Suggestions completed after a night of Battlefield 4 gaming.
Battlelog is a service that we plan on continuing to enhance and grow over time. That is why we’ve spent a lot of time building a shared, web-based technology platform for Battlelog on all devices as it will allow us to work faster, bring more features to the table, and deliver more frequent updates. We will actually be able to update Battlelog in-game without the need for downloading and installing any patches!
This is also important because we, as a service, want to make sure we can listen to community feedback and make the right decisions and implementations based on that. When Battlefield 4 and the new Battlelog launch, that’s only the beginning for us. Everyone on the Battlelog team is really excited to see how people will respond and see what kind of ideas and suggestions our new features will bring.
With a revamped look and feel, in-game integration, completely revamped mobile apps, companion features, Geo Leaderboards, Missions, and so much more, Battlelog will be an integral part to your Battlefield 4 experience.
See you on the battlefield!
Stay tuned to “The Road to Battlefield 4”, where we’ll continue the journey towards launch by diving deeper and deeper into every nuance of the biggest Battlefield game ever developed at DICE. Next episode we’ll explore Game Modes in Battlefield 4.
Until then, let us know what you think about this blog post, and what questions you want us to answer in the upcoming posts. Thanks for reading!