In part two in an ongoing series about The Company, Ryan McArthur, DICE Producer of Engagement and Core Gameplay, gives a developer’s perspective on one of the most important features in Battlefield V.
The Company is your personalized collection of soldiers, weapons, and vehicles, earned and improved in your Battlefield V journey through World War 2. Customize your Company and see it evolve over time. Build your perfect soldier, squad up with friends, and go on an unfolding adventure.
For a detailed breakdown of the Company, read part one in our series.
What is the Company?
The Company is your collection of personal gear, which you can progress and customize how you see fit. That arsenal consists of all things you could possibly own: this includes weapons and visual customizations for them. Vehicle visual customization is available after launch but start planning their look now.
See the Company as your own personal army – or two armies, since each faction gets one – with your choices in Battlefield V affecting how your gear looks and plays.
What can I do with my Company?
The Company is there to let you play Battlefield V the way you want. You’ll have different weapons, vehicles, and Combat Roles to handle many different gameplay situations. This means a lot more flexibility in how you’re want to play the game, which game mode you’re tackling, and even who you’re playing with. The bigger your Company, the more adaptable you are to all the things that Battlefield V throws at you.
Instead of handing you everything on a platter, you’ll be the one to decide what types of situations are important to you and make decisions on how to progress. Choose weapons based on your style of play and where to progress in the vehicle and weapon Specialization trees. You’ll have to ask yourself questions like “do I want improved rifle accuracy?” or maybe “do I want a more durable tank?” Even maps can impact the choices you want to make. If you’re fighting in Narvik, Norway, will you use snow camo for coverage, or green gear just because well, maybe you like green?
How does the Company make Battlefield V more fun?
For one, it’s the sheer variety of players and play styles you’ll come across. Since players have so many choices, everyone is going to have a uniquely different Company, which in turn increases the number of potential combinations. Add all the choices an individual player can make with soldiers, vehicles, and so on. Multiply that with 64 players – that equals a ton of variety. There’s just more things to run into, more situations to deal with – and more will come with the Tides of War.
Previous Battlefield titles were already different between games – it sounds like it will be even more variety in Battlefield V?
Battlefield V is the biggest sandbox we’ve ever built. Factor that in with all the gameplay innovations such as attrition and so on, and there are so many new challenges that you must deal with – in new and interesting ways. The problem-solving and gameplay discoveries made by the community will be very rewarding, now over a much longer period. This is not just about the visuals. They’re cool, but the gameplay changes will have a huge impact. The Company is a major part of that.
What are the Classes and Combat Roles in your Company’s soldiers? Why this design?
In previous Battlefield games, there was a wide range of things to do within each Class. For new players, it may have been difficult to understand what their roles were supposed to be. For instance, in what way does a Support best help their team? By firing, providing ammo, or something else? Combat Roles provide more specificity.
In Battlefield V, we want Combat Roles to communicate a clear play style for players. Combat Roles are traits that enhance class and load out focusing players on a particular play style or situation. Combat Roles can be exotic or specialized breaking out from some of the restrictive rule sets we’ve had in previous titles. Simply, it gives new players a much clearer direction with new ways to play.
The new system is also beneficial for seasoned players. Veterans have more specialized roles to create focused squads and will get to experiment with squad composition to find new, creative ways to attack a certain map or mode. As a pro, experiment and refine, and adjust to how you want to play today, what you’re best at, or what traits fit your playstyle and squad.
Tell me about the Company’s progression and customization!
Over time, the core elements of your Company will evolve in both depth and breadth. Starting with depth, this means that your soldiers, weapons, and vehicles will progress by you playing the game. You’ll get to choose your path in a Specialization tree, where various weapon aspects can be added and improved.
If you want to explore it all, you can have multiple weapons and vehicles of the same kind and progress them in different ways. Say you’re a fan of a certain weapon like the MP40. You can get multiples of that and make different choices in how each play and look. One MP40 could have improved hipfire, while you may choose reduced recoil on the other.
With the breadth in progression, you will acquire new weapons and vehicles during your Battlefield V journey and earn additional progression there. This all connects to the Tides of War, which is our marquee way of delivering and highlighting all the new gear and activities for Battlefield V. As we introduce new vehicles or gameplay we also want to teach you ways to play them, through events, missions, and more. You’ll see how a new Machine Gunner on the German side oppose the Paratrooper on allied side, for instance. Tides of War also adds a touch of history and a narrative theme around them.
How will the personalized Company of a DICE developer like yourself look?
Well, I’m a collector. I’ll go for depth and breadth. I want all the things; taking weapons, vehicles, and Combat Roles to the max in my progression and then moving on to the next one. From a visual perspective, I’ll experiment with the extremes when customizing my gear. I’m less interested in fitting in to the environment, and more about what looks most cool. I want to find interesting choices in the overall design; making other players think, “I wish I’d thought of that.”
How are you making sure other players will see all your Company customizations?
We’re pushing things a lot further when compared to Battlefield 1 in this area. The customization is a much bigger part of Battlefield V; not just an add-on – it is core to your identity. If you invest time in your Company, people around should be able to see it. To achieve this, we’ll create opportunities to celebrate your achievements like an improved Best Squad presentation.
How are you working to perfect the Company and the Tides of War concept for the community?
With Tides of War, we’ve gotten some great community responses about ditching the Premium Pass model and keeping players together throughout the life of Battlefield V. For the Company, we want to make sure that that players feel that the system is easy to understand, adding value and new ways to play – not more hurdles.
As developers there are always things we wish we could have improved or added in previous games, and building Battlefield V to be a live game, we’re getting the opportunity to do just that. The team is committed to making Battlefield V even more compelling and richer as it grows. We’ve worked hard on locking season one of Tides of War – called The Fall of Europe – to set a bar on how we’ll support the game in future seasons. The first season will focus on the beginning of the war and introduce our new features like attrition and squad play. You’ll experience how advancements in technology at the time changed the war – and its impact on Battlefield V.
How will you work with the Company from now up until launch?
The Company will be part of our upcoming internal tests and you’ll be able to sample it in the upcoming Battlefield V Open Beta. Of course, The Company will continue evolving post-launch based on your feedback and the fresh content we add.
-Jonas Elfving speaking with Ryan McArthur, Producer, Engagement and Core Gameplay
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