Battlefield 3 will be the deepest shooter in DICE history. Read on for the full story on how we will reward skill and dedication, and how our flexible unlock and customization system allows you to tailor the game for your personal play style.
Battlefield players are among the most loyal out there. Our games are literally played for years by our hardcore fans, and we want to actively support that. There should always be something left to achieve in Battlefield 3.
Valerian Noghin and Fredrik Thylander are Persistence Designers on Battlefield 3. They're the guys making sure you will have as much fun with the game in 2013 as on launch day.
Back in 2005, Battlefield 2 was one of the first shooters to introduce a deep persistence system to add that extra layer of tasty rewards and unlocks to keep players returning to the battlefield for hundreds of hours. With Battlefield 3, we are pulling all the stops. Compared to Battlefield: Bad Company 2, Battlefield 3 will have more than 10 times the hardware unlocks spread over weapons, weapons attachments, gadgets, and a huge unlock tree for vehicles alone.
Skill and dedication equal rewards
On top of these ingame hardware items, players will also be richly rewarded with medals, ribbons and service stars displaying their skill, commitment, and teamplay prowess. You will be rewarded handsomely in Battlefield 3 for exemplary skill, such as capturing X amount of bases in one round. Excellent teamplayers who keep the team's vehicles in mint condition and revive fallen comrades will not go unnoticed either. These type of skill-driven rewards are typically handed out in the form of ribbons, and good players can often get more than one ribbon in a single round.
Winning a round for the team should always be the priority, so we are making sure that even when players are chasing their personal achievements, they are contributing to the overall battle. You will also be rewarded for true dedication and commitment, such as playing x amount of hours as a U.S. soldier. These honors come in the form of the much harder to get medals. They are typically given at specific milestones in your career.
There are a large number of ranks in Battlefield 3, similar to Battlefield: Bad Company 2. Your rank badge is a quick measure of your overall progress in the game. And even if you hit the max rank, there is always more glory to strive for with the new concept of Service Stars that we are introducing in Battlefield 3.
Service Stars challenge the hardcore
Even getting your first Service Star would be a major achievement. But keep playing, and you will be eligible for even further promotion by getting Service Stars added to your weapon skill badge, your vehicle, your kit, and your overall rank. Anytime your kill card is displayed, everyone will see exactly how experienced you are with your current equipment. The ultimate bragging right would be for a player to be awarded the rank of Colonel with 100 Service Stars attached, and to have 100 stars in all weapons, kits, and vehicles. Getting there will be a massive task - consider that a challenge!
The design philosophy behind the unlocks in Battlefield 3 is pretty sweet. We basically give you more hardware to play with for doing what you love to do. Case in point: Using gun X will give you more upgrades specifically for that gun. Playing with a kit and vehicle earns more upgrades for that kit and that vehicle. In addition, all XP gained also goes towards your overall rank, which in turn unlocks new weapons, specializations, and camouflages usable by any class.
Play Battlefield 3 your way
The mantra we keep coming back to when designing Battlefield 3 is play it your way. What that means is there's an unprecedented flexibility in how you tailor your kits. The playable classes are not rigidly defined in what they are supposed to play like. While all four classes in Battlefield 3 (Assault, Engineer, Support, Recon) start out with everything they need to be an efficient soldier in the field, it is totally up to you and your personal preferences how you want to tailor them.
Take the Assault class, for example. As you may know by now, this is now the class that has the ability to equip both a defibrillator and medkit for frontline medic abilities. But if you would prefer to switch your add-ons to, say, an underslung grenade launcher with 40mm grenades, go ahead! That will give you an Assault soldier with a more offensive set of capabilities than the player who opts for the default medic approach.
Tactical unlocks force you to choose the right loadout for you
That's the way all of the unlocks and upgrades work. They are specifically designed to be tactical in nature, forcing you to choose loadout based on the map and situation. Do you go for the heavy barrel for your assault rifle? It gives added accuracy for single shots, but at the cost of stronger recoil in burst fire/full auto mode. A standard assault rifle can be modified into a long range accurate weapon or for close quarter, almost SMG-like, combat. For jets, do you go with Maverick ATG missiles to take out tanks or AA missiles to dogfight airborne threats? With your Engineer, do you bring your anti-tank or your anti-air RPG launcher?
In short, we think there has never been a better time to be a Battlefield gamer, no matter your play style.