DICE has spoken about the unlock system in Battlefield 3, saying that it was difficult for new players to compete online.
"We shipped Battlefield 3, which we should be slapped for, with probably the worst setups ever," said DICE creative director Lars Gustavsson in an interview with VG247.
Battlefield 3 required players to achieve kills to unlock both weapons and the customisations for them, such as red dot sights and silencers. The same unlock system also applied to the game's vehicles, with Gustavsson saying that this made planes in particular especially challenging for new players.
"As a pilot, you had to fly your plane and only kill other planes with your cannons," he said. "You didn't have any countermeasures; you didn't have any missiles. And that's basically for the best of the best pilots; that's what they should do to show their skills."
Beginners, he added, "should have countermeasures, you should have heat-seeking missiles to give you a smooth ride into the game and then from there on you should customize."
Elsewhere in the interview, Gustavsson said the team at DICE have worked on latency and the game's UI to also streamline Battlefield 4 for beginner players.
"With Battlefield 4 we've done numerous things," he said. "We heard this feedback once again from Battlefield 3. We did a lot of tests; some of them were simple stuff just directly correlating to input latency and stuff like that. People were behind an enemy; they thought they had a perfect kill, but with latency and everything it turned out that they missed, and they wondered why."
"So we've worked with latency," he continued. "We've added a test range where you can learn to fly the transport helicopter, not crash it into your friends. We've reworked menus to give you a much better understanding of how you customize--comparisons when you add attachments that give you a better understanding, just like racing games."
"We have reworked the spawn menu, just the concept of spawning in; in most games you just end up somewhere random, but here we have a choice. We have to try to show that in a much more visual way. So we've done rigorous testing on that one. Game mode movies and so on."
"We've definitely done a lot to smooth the learning curve," he concluded.
Battlefield 4 will be released on October 29 for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC. Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions will follow at launch.