Battlefield 4 dev turns to fans for help testing new improvements

The Community Test Environment will let DICE "test new ideas and solutions" before rolling them out to the public.

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Battlefield series developer DICE plans to launch a new "Community Test Environment" that will enable it to test new improvements and changes with the help of PC players, it announced today.

Battlefield 4 has had a rough stretch dating back to its launch--countless technical problems, some of them extremely serious, have plagued the game on all platforms. Improvements have been made since the shooter first debuted, but even six months later, it's still far from perfect. The new Community Test Environment looks to be seeking the large number of testers that only the player base can provide.

In a post on the Battlefield blog, DICE explains that the CTE will be used to "test new ideas and solutions to current issues before we roll them out to all Battlefield players." First on the list? The dreaded netcode.

"Among the first things we will work on is the 'Netcode,' which is what the player experiences with the game world including player-to-player interactions like damage registration," the blog states. "This involves tweaking to the 'tickrate' servers and networking in general."

While DICE's goal is to use the CTE to improve Battlefield 4 on all platforms, only PC players will be able to participate. More specifically, only Battlefield 4 Premium members--Premium being the game's season pass which entitles owners to DLC and other perks--will be able to enroll in the program. Instructions for doing so are available in the blog post, but only a limited number of players will be allowed in initially. DICE says it "plans to expand to a larger player base in the future after we test this new program."

Battlefield 4 was released last October on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC, and arrived on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 at their respective launches in November. Updates have been delivered in the following months seeking to deal with lag, crashes, sound issues, matchmaking problems, a one-hit kill bug, and a variety of other issues. These updates have also introduced new features, such as the ability to rent servers on consoles or join a match and immediately enter a squad with a group of friends.

As a result of its many serious issues--crashes and lag, in particular, have made the game unplayable at times, as I can personally attest--criticism has been leveled at DICE and publisher Electronic Arts by more than just fans. Oddworld creator Lorne Lanning has expressed his disdain for the way the game's release was handled, saying it "shipped with dirt all over it."

Chris Pereira is a freelance writer for GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @TheSmokingManX
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Discussion

68 comments
monowasp
monowasp

Well, I think it's a good idea for those who want to help out. In the end, everybody will benefit from a working game.

asixjo
asixjo

I don't even remember this being available on the wii u

NoahRoalson
NoahRoalson

Well, I gave up when the game was still broken 3 months after launch. Why would you ever expect me to help now?

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

The people who usually do this are called "QA testers" and they get paid for it, because it's a job.


If you need any more proof that you idiots paid to play a beta, here it is.

themc_7
themc_7

EA forced DICE to rush this game out the door in time to compete with COD ghosts. Huge mistake. This game would've greatly benefited from a Q1/Q2 2014 release. Another few months of testing, and debugging would've made this game great. Sadly it launched full of bugs and problems that are only now just being fixed. lol and they want the consumers to help do it!

Sajius
Sajius

Lol they've been "testing" it since release, idiots.

SharpBlades3
SharpBlades3

BetaField 4...pay us to work for us.  Sign me up!

JalalBlack
JalalBlack

Don't level up , just buy a short cut , and rent a server instead of a private match , when will BF fans really complain ? You may hate COD but come on , they're rubbing in it in your faces and mine - I own a BF4 .

Rakou
Rakou

Stop being greedy and employ proper Game Testers.

MonocleOwl
MonocleOwl

You have to pay to beta test, it used to be the other way around.

o0squishy0o
o0squishy0o

I'd say as an apology they should release extra content for free for this game. I don't EA really understands how much of a dent this has had on their own crusade against Call Of Duty.

havesumnuts
havesumnuts

What if I told you fans have been beta testing this split turd for 6 months already

ACWH
ACWH

I'm done with Battlefield. I'm seriously thinking of going back to CoD with it's next release.

digitm64
digitm64

So if there are errors we can all blame the PC premium players and not DICE.

Daemoroth
Daemoroth

Isn't it supposed to be closed beta > open beta > release, instead of release > closed beta (Premium players) > open beta?

richten71
richten71

This is actually a pretty good idea. It's a way for DICE to add new features and get instant feedback from the players instead of putting them out and then waiting to hear feedback afterwards. That way they can see what they got right or wrong about the new features before releasing it out to all the other consoles, since this is only available to the PC players.

Sarg1010
Sarg1010

I can't help but think that even this is going to get fucked up somehow...

wizzzer_thy_133
wizzzer_thy_133

ohhh look, they are finally doing beta tests! ohhh wait....


but you know what? on a lighter note.... it's a good thing, it cannot be a bad thing, only good thing will come out of this. 


better late than never! the community asked for this since the launch of Battlefield 3, which also wasn't that great if memory serves right.

mr_nee
mr_nee

Looks, like this round COD is less hated than BF

001011000101101
001011000101101

This is an interesting an innovative form of Q&A testing. I love it. EA seems to be all about innovation these days!

EG-Mist
EG-Mist

wait wait wait. you telling me there asking Premium members, people that put a buket loud of money into the broken game. to now work for them. testing there new systems / bug fixes. wow

nomadsalt
nomadsalt

Could we get a fix for the cunts crawling around in the ceiling of Metro 2014?  Otherwise, still having a great time playing this game... no issues.

007kt
007kt

i can really tell what Battlefield 4 plays like  when you have 250 ping with 10Hz tickrate

for starters: enemy's don't even appear on mini map 

M3o5nster
M3o5nster

Finally something good comes out of this mess... Hopefully they actually listen to feedback BEFORE they release the game next time.

XNEXUS666X
XNEXUS666X

Oh, and "one shot kill bug" that's a fuckin joke in itself, there's no one shot kill bug, the net codes are shit, of course people are gonna think they're getting 'one shot killed' when you're registering the server at 10 per second.

XNEXUS666X
XNEXUS666X

Just fuck off EA. Seriously, using players as free labor game testers, why the fuck are we paying for this shit if we have to do the quality control for you?? Get fucked! I won't be buying another Battlefield game unless you can sort your shit out and make a game that works prior to release. I'm always disappointed when I hear about a game I want being delayed, but that just means it's less likely to be a buggy pile of shit like BF4 is. Anyway, that competitive multiplayer shit is getting tired quick, future games look like they're becoming a bit more intelligent than mindless head to head grinding, so you better move with the times BF and make your games work before dishonestly selling them to the public you foul fuckin snakes. DICE/EA You're a disgrace to other developers/publishers who take pride in their craft and believe in providing the customer with a quality product in exchange for their hard earned cash.

Anyway, you're flogging a dead horse with BF4, I seriously got 2 years of life from every other BF game, but BF4 died within months for me, you royaly fucked that one. Now kindly go away.

B-boy
B-boy

dear ea is very buggy game and like full refund for this piece shit game

ryogapower
ryogapower

finally some addressing of the awful tickrate. please get it right this time dice, turn my frown upside down.

spacecadet25
spacecadet25

This is another example of EA's evil genius.  Yes, it's great to have real gamers help with testing, but it might also mean they don't need to hire as many professional testers.  An excellent way to turn around a situation where there was outrage over buggy products, and flip that situation into a potential way to please fans and save money.

Now, the real question, did they plan this all along, and left bugs in BF3 hoping this chain of events could occur? Ha, ha, ha!

LoganDaDestroya
LoganDaDestroya

I remember this being suggested many times in the past during BF3, but they always argued it "unfair" on console players. I'm glad to see DICE finally change their minds there, we shall see how this affects the game in time.

mikedee1
mikedee1

This is why the gaming industry needs to be regulated, so these big companies can't keep screwing people over with unplayable games. The gaming industry need a lemon law. You get 3 chances to fix it  or you have to give a full refund.

Ninjalawpsn
Ninjalawpsn

We've been testing the "new improvements" since release DICE! Where have you guys been?

deadpen
deadpen

BF 3 had a beta and did great when released, then EA felt there shit didn't stink so they released BF 4 cold turkey and it blew up in their face.

I also remember playing CoD WaW beta and couldn't wait until the game came out. Now I can't wait till the new CoD game comes out just so other games, that might get lost in its shadow, can be released.

Narxes
Narxes

LOL you have to pay to be a beta tester for them, so as to hopefully fix their broken game?  Wow just wow!  Glad I didn't purchase this piece of trash.

collingtonuk
collingtonuk

@Sarg1010 ..come now, don't judge them by every single previous release and patch... maybe this time....... maybe...?

collingtonuk
collingtonuk

@wizzzer_thy_133 Lets be honest, the only likely good thing to come from this will be if it improves the future releases. 

richten71
richten71

@EG-Mist it's more. of a way of getting. instant feedback on the new features they? develop and so they can make any corrections needed before. releasing it out to the entire. public. it's more of an added bonus for the people to get their buket loud of money's. worth. so they are really not working for them. just giving instant feedback that a normal. beta tester may not have been asked to provide.

Aaronp2k
Aaronp2k

@XNEXUS666X  actually, you'll probably find that they are just headshots. it doesn't alert you when someone gets a headshot on you, you just die. I have never killed someone with one shot unless using a sniper on hardcore, if not on hardcore only way I have 1 shot killed someone is either from an assisted kill or from a headshot. the people complaining bout 1 shot 1 kill don't understand that to get a headshot is actually very easy with aim assist. on ps4 press l2, move right stick up quick, shoot, dead. that easy and everyone does it.

dialtech
dialtech

@XNEXUS666X  You really need to calm down. It's not the end of the world.

Bellum_Sacrum
Bellum_Sacrum

@Ninjalawpsn Too busy making Mirror's Edge 2 and Star Wars Battlefront.  Hell, they got your money, why keep working on the game?

collingtonuk
collingtonuk

@richten71 @EG-Mist I'd not say it was an added bonus, I don't remember in the promotion of premium there being a point about being first in line to test the game. Oh and you went a but mad with the full-stops or periods there.

ACWH
ACWH

@dialtech  Nah man he hit the nail on the head. BF4 is a waste of money. Worst one in the series for me.

predatorGS
predatorGS

@richten71 @B-boyDear EA, BF4 is a very buggy game indeed and I would like to get a full refund for this not quite adequate game, thank you.


Fixed it.