The Road to Battlefield 4: Battlelog


Always at your fingertips, Battlelog for Battlefield 4 delivers an amazing array of detailed stats, game-connected features and new ways to compete. Jesper Nielsen, Assistant Producer for Battlelog, will walk you through new details for Battlelog, and how it will make your BF4 experience truly unique.

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

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!

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In-game overlay – work-in-progress image

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.

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Loadout – work-in-progress image

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.

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BattleScreen – work-in-progress image

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.

Geo Leaderboards

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.

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Geo Leaderboards on tablet – work-in-progress image

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.

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Leaderboards on tablet – work-in-progress image

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.

Missions

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.

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Missions on mobile device – work-in-progress image

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.

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In-game notifications, upper right corner – work-in-progress image

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!

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Soldier overview with Profile Replay – work-in-progress image

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.

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Assignments tracking – work-in-progress image

Looking Forward

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!

-Jesper Nielsen

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!


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Minecraft snapshot 13w38a (Updated!)

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Update: Snapshot 13w38b has been released to fix numerous graphical issues, crashes and item frame issues. The client is available in your launcher, and the server links are below.

There’s a snapshot! It’s called 13w38a! What does it have? Well, that’s Super Secret :)

To get snapshots, open your launcher and press the “New Profile” button. Call it “snapshots” and check the box saying “Enable experimental development snapshots” and save. To switch to the normal version, you can select it in the dropdown at the bottom left corner of the launcher.

Server files:

Report bugs here:

// The Minecraft and Minecraft Realms teams


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Minecraft snapshot 13w38a

snapshot_13w38a
There’s a snapshot! It’s called 13w38a! What does it have? Well, that’s Super Secret :)

To get snapshots, open your launcher and press the “New Profile” button. Call it “snapshots” and check the box saying “Enable experimental development snapshots” and save. To switch to the normal version, you can select it in the dropdown at the bottom left corner of the launcher.

Server files:

Report bugs here:

// The Minecraft and Minecraft Realms teams


This article was automatically syndicated from the following publicly available RSS feed Mojang.

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This content does not belong to Gamers Life Line under any condition and is automatically syndicated for your viewing ease and pleasure.

Announcing Minecraft Skin Scanner for iOS

SkinScannerIconDo you like pens and pencils and Minecraft skins? You’re in a for a massive treat. 57digital have recently release Minecraft Skin Scanner. It’s an app for iOS that lets you to draw a Minecraft skin irl, before magicing it into the app, and uploading it to Minecraft.net for use in game. Watch the trailer up there for a more visual explanation.

Skin scanner costs $1.99/€1,79/£1.49, and is available from the app store now. Have fun!

Owen – @bopogamel


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Enter the Scrolls ESL Opening Cup… win this!

painting_w_carnalizer (1)

Hi!

Haven’t you heard? The Scrolls ESL Opening Cup is taking place this weekend. It’s the first tournament we’ve been directly involved in so we’re pretty excited.

You can see the first place prize* up there. To be in with a chance of winning Henrik’s piece of acrylic awesomeness, you’ll need to sign up. Do that here! Good luck!

 

Owen – @bopogamel

 

*You don’t get Henrik. Just the painting. Sorry.


This article was automatically syndicated from the following publicly available RSS feed Mojang.

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This content does not belong to Gamers Life Line under any condition and is automatically syndicated for your viewing ease and pleasure.

The winners of our Papercraft Diorama Competition!

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You might remember our Papercraft Competition from a little while ago. Creators of Minecraft Papercraft Studio (along with many other great apps), 57digital, laid down a challenge – to create an awesome diorama using their app.  It’s currently available for iOS and Android.

You guys rose to the challenge! We were overwhelmed by the crafting talent on show off in the creations. A bunch of Mojangstas, along with 57digital, have cast their votes and the winners have been decided! Read on for the results… and check out all the finalists here.

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Third place goes to Cassie, Nath and Shane! They get a $50 Jinx gift card for their efforts. Awesome job guys! The underground Nether is sheer class.

 

Andy_Nelson

Second place was awarded to Andy Nelson. He gets an iPod Touch 32gb (with apps) and a $50 Jinx gift card. Superb lighting effects and a great sense of motion impressed the Mojangstas.

 

Bennie_Whitcomb

First place goes to Bennie Whitcomb! She gets an iPad Mini, an Xbox 360 (with Minecraft!) and a $50 Jinx gift card. Awesome scale, outstanding attention to detail, and the sheer variety of crafting on display blew us away. Massive congratulations!

The kind dudes at 57 digital will be getting in contact with the winners soon. Thanks for entering!

 

Owen – @bopogamel

 

 

 

 


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Battlefield 4 Beta Dates


The Battlefield 4 Beta is coming soon. You’ll be able to play the Siege of Shanghai map in Conquest Mode or Domination Mode.

We’ve introduced a lot of new and exciting elements into Battlefield 4, like Levolution, Amphibious Assault, and much more. We can’t wait for everyone to try them out in the Beta!

Looking to get into the beta? Here’s how:

*Date subject to change.

For any other questions on the BF4 Beta, read up on our Beta FAQ.

Buy now, upgrade later - Get a head start on next-gen. Start your progress on current-gen, bring it with you when you upgrade to next-gen for as low as $9.99.

Battlefield 4 releases in North America on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC on October 29; PlayStation 4 on November 12 and Xbox One on November 19. In Europe Battlefield 4 launches on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC on October 31; PlayStation 4 on November 29 and Xbox One on November 22. Pre-order today. We’ll see you on the Battlefield!


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Buy Now, Upgrade Later


BUY BATTLEFIELD 4 ON CURRENT-GEN, UPGRADE LATER TO NEXT-GEN FOR AS LOW AS $9.99

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We want to make it easy for BF4 fans to upgrade from the current generation of consoles to the next generation of entertainment. That’s why today we are clarifying the offers that will make the transition effortless, saving you time and money. Read on for the full details.

On October 29, we will launch Battlefield 4 on PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Experience the pinnacle of this generation of gaming with best-in-class multiplayer warfare, spectacular visuals and massive destruction. A few weeks later, we’ll bring the ultimate all-out-war experience to the next generation of consoles. Battlefield 4 will be available for PlayStation 4 starting November 12 in North America and November 29 in Europe, and Xbox One starting November 19 in North America and November 22 in Europe.

Don’t wait to get into the action. You can buy the game on current-gen and benefit from up to three weeks of play time – time that can be used to rank up, giving you a competitive advantage on the next-gen battlefield. We respect the time you will invest in playing and don’t want you to lose all of your effort when you upgrade to next-gen. That is why we are making it easy to carry forward your multiplayer stats and your Battlefield 4 Premium membership. No more worrying about starting all over again. Your rank, score, K/D ratio, wins, time played, service stars, dog tags taken, vehicles destroyed, repairs, revives, squad score, accuracy and more will all transfer to next-gen consoles at launch.

Below are the details of how you can buy now and upgrade easily later. If you have any questions, please leave us a comment.

Prepare 4 Battle!

PlayStation Offers

All Retailers (EU, US)

Inside marked copies of Battlefield 4 for PlayStation®3 there will be a voucher with a unique code printed on it. This code will allow you the one-time opportunity until March 28, 2014 to purchase a digital version of Battlefield 4 via the PlayStation®Store for only $9.99/£9.99/9.99€. Check back here soon for more details.

GameStop (EMEA)

Trade in your copy of Battlefield 4 on PS3 and buy the PS4 version of the game for €14.99. Offer valid until December 31, 2013 or until supply lasts. Ask in-store for more details.

Amazon (Germany)

Until December 31, 2103 or while supplies last, Battlefield 4 players can trade in their PS3 copy and get a 25 € bonus credit towards the game on PS4 in addition to their trade-in value of at least 25 €. For complete rules and details head on over to Amazon.de.

GAME (UK)

For Battlefield fans in the UK, GAME will be giving PS3 players approximately £40 in trade in value when you upgrade to Battlefield 4 on PS4. Offer valid until December 24, 2013. Head over to GAME for complete details and information.

GAME (Spain)

Trade in your copy of Battlefield 4 on PS3 and buy the PS4 version of the game for €14.99. Offer valid until December 31, 2013 or until supply lasts. Ask in-store for more details.

Microsoft Offers

GameStop (US)  

GameStop Power Up Rewards members can trade in Battlefield 4 on Xbox 360 for the Battlefield 4 standard edition on Xbox One for only $9.99. Offer valid until December 31, 2013 or until supply lasts. Check out GameStop for complete rules and details regarding this offer.

GameStop (EMEA)

Trade in your copy of Battlefield 4 on Xbox 360 and buy the Xbox One version of the game for €14.99. Offer valid until December 31, 2013 or until supply lasts. Ask in-store for more details.

Amazon (US)

Until December 31, 2013 or while supplies last, Battlefield 4 players can trade in their Xbox 360 copy and get a $25 bonus credit towards the game on Xbox One in addition to their trade-in value of at least $25. For complete rules and details head on over to Amazon.com.

Amazon (Germany)

Until December 31, 2103 or while supplies last, Battlefield 4 players can trade in their Xbox 360 copy and get a 25 € bonus credit towards the game on Xbox One in addition to their trade-in value of at least 25 €. For complete rules and details head on over to Amazon.de.

Best Buy (US)

Purchase a copy of Battlefield 4 on Xbox 360 and trade up to Xbox One for as low as $9.99. Trade in of Xbox 360 edition and purchase of Xbox One edition must occur by December 31, 2013. For full details on the offer visit the Best Buy.

GAME (UK)

GAME will be giving Xbox 360 players approximately £40 in trade in value when you upgrade to Battlefield 4 on Xbox One. Offer ends December 24, 2013. Head over to GAME for complete details and information.

GAME (Spain)

Trade in your copy of Battlefield 4 on Xbox 360 and buy the Xbox One version of the game for €14.99. Offer valid until December 31, 2013 or until supply lasts. Ask in-store for more details.

Microsoft Store (US)

Buy Battlefield 4 on Xbox 360 and you can trade-in later for the Xbox One version for only $9.99. ​The offer is valid at Microsoft Store locations until December 31, 2013. Visit Microsoft.com for more details.

Other participating retailers

We’ll keep you posted on additional opportunities to make your Battlefield 4 transition from current-gen to next-gen easier, and feel free to check with your favorite local retailer to see if they are offering similar upgrade options.


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The Road to Battlefield 4: The Ultimate Guide to the BF4 Vehicles


In this new entry in our “Road to Battlefield 4” blog series we roll out the vehicles! Read on and learn how to master the land, air and sea units as our vehicle expert dev tells you about new vehicle types, weaponry customization, and the focus on naval warfare. And of course: how to pimp your ride!

Ever since Wake Island and Battlefield 1942, taking advantage of a wide selection of vehicles has been essential for the all-out war experience in Battlefield. With Battlefield 4, the vehicle gameplay options and customization possibilities are greater than ever, especially with the new emphasis on the hectic Naval Warfare. We now hand over the word to Senior Vehicles Designer Patrick “Posh” O’Shaughnessy for an in-depth look at the development of all the land, air and sea vehicles in Battlefield 4.

BF4 Vehicle Design: A Matter of Personal Choice

There was one basic design philosophy behind vehicles in Battlefield 4, an approach that is found throughout Battlefield’s history: to give players opportunities to make interesting choices and affect the game in a more personalized way. With vehicles, these choices happen when customizing your vehicle’s loadout, or even selecting which vehicle you spawn into.

From an aesthetic point of view we try to make the experience of using the vehicles feel authentic and visceral, while at the same time avoiding unnecessary complexity. In other words: “easy to learn, hard to master”. Our goal is to make them look and feel authentic to their real-world counterparts, but not complex and overbearing.

With all the tweaks, new features and the convenient Test Range, we want to encourage players to try out the land, air, and sea vehicles in Battlefield 4, and of course the customizations that come with them. No matter what type of hardware you prefer, our goal is to turn our vehicles into thrilling tools for you to dominate the Battlefield – in your own way.

Angry Seas: Dynamic Water-based Combat

With Battlefield 4, we’ve put a lot of effort into giving Naval Combat the magnitude it deserves – and with the dynamic weather changes, fighting at sea becomes a constantly changing experience. At sea you get to control both attack craft like the Patrol Boats, and water transport vehicles like the Personal Water Craft, each with their own benefits. The bigger naval units are now basically “tanks on water”, suitable for both attacking targets defending themselves with powerful guns and countermeasures.

There were many challenges with designing the naval units in Battlefield 4. A big one was finding the right loadout for weapons, unlocks and other features for the attack boats. Naval units are unique on the Battlefield due to limited mobility, and that you are physically separated by the shoreline from both teammates and enemies. This is also true for the RHIB and Personal Water Craft, but transport vehicles are sort of disposable as you don’t spend as much time in them. We wanted the attack boats to hold value and have the same gameplay depth as a tank or a helicopter.

Let’s say you’re battling it out for bomb possession in Obliteration Mode and you want to take your team to victory by mastering the sea. One idea is to enter a fast attack craft like the RCB-90 and patrol the coasts of the most intense islands. Heavily armed, these things allow you to deal with light vehicles, infantry and other boats, but also give armored vehicles, jets and helicopters a fight. Now you have the choice of maneuvering the craft, trying to find the most strategic places based on what’s happening in the round, or man the fast 30mm cannon and take out enemy infantry as they rush with the bomb on the mainland. In Conquest, you can also use these mobile gun platforms to support the capturing of bases near the water.

If you want to speed things up at sea, the PWC (Personal Water Craft) is back for Battlefield 4. You might recognize this rapid ride from Battlefield 2: Special Forces and Battlefield: Bad Company 2, and those familiar with the Siege of Shanghai and Paracel Storm maps know the strength of it – swift movements from A to B in naval environments. Also: if you find yourself aboard an RCB patrol boat that’s close to exploding, two PWCs can come to the rescue by acting as escape vehicles. In other words, there’s no need to swim all the way to shore, which makes for non-stop action on the Battlefield.

Battlefield 4 - Paracel Storm 3

Cooperation with your teammates was a high priority when designing the naval units in Battlefield 4. Man the guns on a RHIB Boat and let your teammate steer the vehicle to the heat of the battle.

The Challenges of the Sea

One challenge with developing Battlefield 4’s naval combat was the difficulty to get other players in the vehicle with you. Unlike a tank or jeep, where you are likely close to friendly infantry, players don’t tend to hang out in the open water. And similarly, if you were a passenger in the boat and you wanted to go do something else, you’re pretty much screwed when the captain has taken you 300 meters from shore. Even as a passenger in a transport helicopter you can parachute down safely almost anywhere on a map.

Ultimately it was the transport helicopter that we looked at when solving these problems. The gunner seats of the transport helicopters are one of the most fun places to be in the entire game. So we added those types of weapons for the passengers of the attack boat, and made the vehicle a team spawn point, like the transport helis, to make it easier and more attractive for people to get in the vehicle.

Because the attack boat has more limited options when it comes to what types of enemies to engage, in a large part because of its necessity to be in water, we decided to give it a more varied set of customization options than other vehicles, so that you really can be versatile and engage many different types of targets depending on your choices when building your loadout.

BF4_Screen_03

No matter how powerful the vehicle of your choice is, you will always have a natural enemy equipped with the right gear for taking you down.

We still had the problem of feeling stranded out in the water as a passenger, though. We solved this after thinking back to the Patrol Boats featured in the Battlefield 1942 map Invasion of the Philippines, which could deploy LCRS Rafts when it was sunk. We added a similar feature to the attack boats, allowing any passenger the ability to deploy a Personal Water Carrier from the rear of the boat which you could see in our Siege of Shanghai multiplayer trailer at E3 earlier this year.

Rock-Paper-Scissors Evolved

Letting every type of unit have its natural prey and enemy, the signature rock-paper-scissors gameplay has always been core to our gameplay design. In Battlefield 4, it’s been greatly tweaked and enhanced. We looked over all of the vehicle classes and what their primary role on the Battlefield should be, and also what secondary role would be appropriate. For example, the Mobile Anti-Air Vehicle’s job is pretty obvious. However when you look at its customization options in Battlefield 3, there wasn’t a lot of choice when it came to how you could actually engage airborne enemies.

So in this case we added more ammo options for the primary weapon slot and more types of AA missiles in the secondary weapon slot, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. Now we can fine-tune our loadout to gain an edge in different situations. Is it helicopters we’ll encounter more often, or jets? Long range or short? Is there more cover for aircraft on this map or are they out in the open more often? So the biggest tweaks in the rock-paper-scissors gameplay come from what kinds of customization options are now available to each class.

Pimping Your Ride

Before going into battle with your vehicles of war, you’re going to want to make sure that they’re equipped just the way you like them. Battlefield 4 brings several vehicle customization options for you to experiment with, and this is done in a menu accessible before each round. Let’s say you want to customize the features of your main battle tanks. When picking your primary weapon you’re faced with the choice of a 120MM Armor Piercing Shell or a High Explosive Shell. The former is reasonably fast and deals a good amount of direct damage, but the latter spells heavy damage against armored targets, at the cost of a slower flight speed of the shells. As always, it’s a matter of personal taste and what kind of resistance you expect on the Battlefield.

But vehicle customization is also about camos and looking good on the Battlefield – and choosing the right camouflage for the right map environment can even be a life-saver. There are many different color sets and patterns of camo, any combination of which are available to vehicles, weapons and soldiers. The Adaptive Camo is a color pattern that is picked on a level-by-level basis, which is tweaked to match the environment of whatever level you are playing on.

E3_MP_02

Customization of the vehicles ties in to your expectations and experiences of the Battlefield. It’s up to you to decide what countermeasures and optics your tanks will be better off with.

The Freedom of Customization

In Battlefield 3 there were three vehicle customization slots; Secondary Weapons, Gadgets and Upgrades. In Battlefield 4 we’ve added customization options for the primary weapon slot, and split gadgets up into two new slots, Optics and Countermeasures. Unlocks for Optics and Countermeasures shared the same customization slot in Battlefield 3, which wasn’t optimal when it came to tanks. When you had to choose between optics modes and a protective countermeasure, the countermeasure is sort of a no-brainer, which takes player’s control out of that choice. So adding dedicated countermeasure and optic slots removes that problem and adds more customization options. Now tanks have more countermeasure options and they can be used at the same time as any optics unlock.

Alongside Battlefield 3’s secondary weapon slot unlocks, we now have customization for the primary slot as well, including different ammo types and in some cases different weapon mechanics. Additionally, like helicopter gunners in Battlefield 3, tank remote gun stations now have their own optics slot and an upgrade slot as well, including functions like a laser designator and short-range incendiary grenades.

Having all these customization options available will not only add longevity to the game, it will make your time on the Battlefield personal and deep. We truly hope and suspect you will enjoy figuring out what setup is right for you, for all the specific scenarios.

Critical Hit! (and How to Recover from It)

We’ve also applied some changes to the way that vehicles become disabled and how they recover. In Battlefield 3 your vehicle became disabled when its total health was depleted by a certain amount, rendering you basically immobile and in need of an Engineer to get it back up and running, otherwise the vehicle would burn away and explode. This changed a lot about vehicle combat in Battlefield for the better, but there were still some things about the system we didn’t like, based on how players reacted. Primarily, it always felt like you had to abandon the vehicle when becoming disabled, even though there’s always the possibility of still winning the fight. And if there’s no Engineer nearby, the vehicle is most likely going to explode anyway, so there’s not a lot of reason to stay in the vehicle.

So in Battlefield 4 we’ve added a new mechanic we call the Critical Hit. Anytime a vehicle takes a hit, we check the amount of final damage that was dealt, after the angle and zone checks. If the damage was high enough, it’s a Critical Hit, and the vehicle acts much like they did in Battlefield 3, losing power in tanks or having loss of control in aircraft – but this effect is temporary, and the vehicle recovers automatically after a few seconds.

The critical hit damage threshold is carefully tweaked alongside the damage zones and glancing-hit scaling on each vehicle, in a way that promotes playing smart as both a vehicle operator, and in an anti-vehicle role. This new concept of temporary critical hits means that we keep the sense of impending danger that a damaged vehicle brings – while still allowing for brave drivers to regain control and keep fighting.

Battlefield 4 - Paracel Storm_6_Gamestop

Piloting water-based vehicles will challenge you to adapt to stronger waves as the weather changes take effect on certain levels.

Hit’em Where it Hurts: Mastering Vehicle Damage

Key to taking down enemy vehicles in Battlefield 4 is of course to know the most effective ways to damage them. The vehicle damage systems are similar to those in Battlefield 3 but we’ve balanced and fine-tuned it and fixed some problems. Take MBTs (Main Battle Tanks) for instance. Just like in Battlefield 3, they have the strongest armor of any combat vehicle in the game, but only in the front of the vehicle, while the back of the MBT has the weakest armor of any combat vehicle. Then on the sides they have standard armor, the same as the other tanks have all around.

Even though the MBT is the only tank with strong and weak spots like this, it still matters how you approach any tank with anti-tank weapons. A straight shot, perpendicular to the face of the vehicle where the impact occurs, will deal the most damage. A shot at a more “glancing” angle will deal less damage. So steady aim, ambushing and flanking heavy vehicles is the key to taking them down.

In Battlefield 4 we’ve also added a new “top” zone to all of the combat-oriented tanks, which also takes into account at what angle the impact has occurred. The FGM-148 (Javelin) missile, and the vehicle-based laser guided missiles will all naturally achieve a devastating top-attack hit when responding to teammates laser-designated targets. You can also achieve this with an RPG if you are firing from the right position, like a strategic hiding place on a rooftop or by paradropping from above.

Battlefield 4 - Paracel Storm 1

Air units now have more clearly defined roles on the Battlefield, to emphasize their respective strenghts.

Take to the Skies: Unique Air Combat Roles

It wouldn’t be Battlefield without the ability to get into a jet or helicopter and help out your team from above. One challenge we faced when tweaking the airborne vehicles in Battlefield 4 was to clearly define their roles.

For instance: in Battlefield 3, Fighter Jets and Attack Jets were fairly homogenous and shared the same unlocks. They were both practically the same class, with few differences. In Battlefield 4, we’ve updated the Fighter Jet class to Stealth Jets with two new vehicles not present in Battlefield before (including the Chinese J-20), and their customization options now focus on air-to-air fighting. Attack Jets now have their own set of unlocks which focus on air-to-ground capabilities.

As for helicopters, the scout, transport and attack helicopters return and their unique roles are also defined in different ways. The scout helicopter is faster and more agile in Battlefield 4 and works well against infantry and light vehicles, and the attack helicopter can easily take out armored vehicles with the co-operation of a skilled co-pilot. The transport helicopter is, as always, the ultimate squad team play vehicle. Piloting the helicopters can perhaps be somewhat of a challenge, but is also very rewarding for those who dare take to the sky. And of course, you’ll always have the new Test Range to perfect your flying skills in, before taking on the all-out war.

Get Behind the Wheel

Come early October, when the exclusive and open Battlefield 4 beta kicks off, you’ll be able to try out the wide range of vehicles and all their customizations yourself. We hope you will find the Battlefield 4 vehicles better than ever, and that you enjoy that chaotic feeling of all-out war that comes with them.

Until then, why not give us your comments and thoughts on this blog post. Let us also know what you think about the upcoming vehicles in our poll below and stay tuned for more The Road to Battlefield 4!

THE DEPICTION OF ANY WEAPONS OR VEHICLE IN THIS GAME DOES NOT INDICATE AFFILIATION, SPONSORSHIP OR ENDORSEMENT BY ANY WEAPON OR VEHICLE MANUFACTURER.

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Minecraft snapshot 13w37a (Updated!)

snapshot_13w37a
Update: Snapshot 13w37b has been released, along with a pre-release of 1.6.3. You can select these versions in your launcher, or download the server links below.

Hey! You! Did you hear about the new snapshot? No? Well, there’s a new snapshot! Huzzah! What got added? Stuff! What got fixed? Bugs! If you find any more silly bugs, please help us fix it by reporting it to our bug tracker.

We still strongly recommend that you don’t run the snapshots on an existing world if you don’t want to run into chunk errors. There is a known issue with world structures such as Nether Fortresses not transitioning to 1.7 from 1.6, but loading these areas in the new pre-release 1.6.3 and then going to snapshot 13w37b (or later) should fix this.

To get snapshots, open your launcher and press the “New Profile” button. Call it “snapshots” and check the box saying “Enable experimental development snapshots” and save. To switch to the normal version, you can select it in the dropdown at the bottom left corner of the launcher. To get the pre-release, do the same but manually select “1.6.3″ from the version dropdown list.

Server files (For snapshot 13w37b):

Server files (For the 1.6.3 pre-release):

Report bugs here:

// The Minecraft and Minecraft Realms teams


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