As well as revealing that server rentals for consoles will only be available once the netcode issues are resolved, DICE revealed some further information in a recent Reddit discussion.
First of all, a question was asked about whether EA were allocating DICE staff away from Battlefield 4. sliced_lime, a Lead Technical Scripter at DICE, responded with…
…the game has not been abandoned. There is still work being done with getting BF4 to play as good as possible.
When pushed about the number of people working on it he replies…
It’s hard for me to tell – I’m not in a position where I have an overview of everyone working on it. I have not seen any indications at all that the team has not gotten smaller.
This is good news – rumours have been rife that EA were scaling back staff on BF4 to work on Star Wars: Battlefront (which Disney are apparently “throwing” a lot of money at). However, this seems to be pretty baseless and these responses from DICE are comforting.
When asked how many DICE staff were working on Battlefront, there was no response. It may be that they don’t know or that it’s sensitive information. Or it could simply be that they don’t want people making incorrect assumptions – just because DICE are working on another game doesn’t mean anything has been taken away from BF4 to achieve this (which, I’m sure, is the conclusion most people will jump to). Let’s not forget too that Battlefront will also the same core as BF4, so that will mean more people looking for and resolving bugs in that.
Next, they were asked whether they were any closer to resolving the rubber-banding issues (in this case on the PS4, but I assume that any answer would be relevant to all platforms). They confirmed they were.
When sliced_lime stated that he wasn’t directly involved with the BF4 fixes, this was questioned but a user as to how this could be.
First, not everyone will be working on any one thing at a time. A good example is that the people who handle hunting down bugs in the game code aren’t the same people working on new servers or whatever. The extent one of those people know of the work the others do will vary depending on what level of information happens to be shared back and forth between groups and how much they need to know to do their respective jobs effectively.
I was working on the game code itself and the game server code until a month ago or so – I had a leading role in working with the so called netcode problems, and I’ve posted quite frequently about it here.
Problem is that the work with BF4 was also important enough for me to postpone my vacation all the way from last summer until this spring. Because of how Swedish law is set up, I had to take two weeks of that vacation before the end of March for it not to expire, when the vacations would switch over to be counted towards this summer’s vacations.
So, towards the end of March after repeatedly postponing my vacation many times over to keep working with BF4, I finally took two weeks of vacation. In order for the work I had been doing to not stop, I documented what I’d done that far and handed over everything in progress to others, so they could keep working on it.
After coming back, I have been working on other things with the Frostbite Core Engine team, because others are now working on what I started and two developers trying to do the same thing usually isn’t very effective.
I’m still helping out as much as I possibly can on getting improvements into BF4. I do know of several that are being worked on, but I don’t have details on their actual progress, nor any ETAs on when they could be live, because I’m not the one doing it or planning it at the moment.
It should be noted too that the vacation he took was actually due to Swedish law.
What this does do is back up my assertions that just because DICE are launching new DLCs, Battlelog updates, etc, doesn’t mean they’re ignoring bugs in the main game – they’re not, it’s just that different people perform different tasks.
Finally, sliced_lime gave a hint as to why DICE don’t tend to give out much information on what’s going on.
saying “we’re working on these fixes and we think they’ll be done in two weeks” and then having to delay them an extra week is actually measurably a lot worse than just shutting up until we’re 100% certain and then suddenly going “hey look, fixes that are now done!”
Is it any wonder they keep quiet?