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Battlefield V customization controversy continues

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Westie, a well-known YouTuber and Battlefield personality, recently did an interview with DICE Executive Producer, Aleks Grøndal. He covered a few very important topics, among those the importance of the new Fortifications system, and, of course, another round in the ring about the customization controversy.

Related: Battlefield V: What you need to know about the open beta 

To customize or not to customize?

When confronted with the question of whether customization in Battlefield V will look more like we saw in the first reveal trailer (flamboyant, over the top, anything goes), or will it be more toned down like we saw in the Gamescom trailer (more realistic and fitting the World War II era)? Grøndal tried to evade the question by avoiding to give a straight answer. From what he did say, it sounds like players will be able to customize to look like say Braveheart cyborgs, or just plain World War II soldiers. His best answer is; play the game to find out - but really, you expect people to dish out R1000 so they can find out they hate the game? 

It's not like Battlefield V is months away from release, it releases in less than two months, so there is no way DICE doesn't know exactly what is in the game at this point. I think EA and DICE's view about the controversy is that it comes down to how you want to play the game, and they're giving people that power. But here's the downside of that, Battlefield V is a multiplayer game, and a combined experience. By giving everyone that power you influence the game in a way that fundamentally changes it. And not every Battlefield fan is happy about it, and it is their right. It is also EA's right to create the game as they think best, but in the end money talks and bullshit walks. I am not against the customization, but I do feel the question could've been answered more honestly. 

And this is not the first time someone from EA or DICE responds to fans in a disrespectful manner. You might recall EA's chief creative officer, Patrick Soderlund, saying "Accept it or don't buy the game," when talking about the female controversy ( That's no way to participate in a debate. Grøndal stresses in his interview with Westie how vocal the Battlefield community is, and how much they respect that - but then in open debate, we get statements like the ones I've mentioned. 

But back to Grøndal's interview, he did explain that with The Company, they wanted players to really feel that this is "their soldiers" and for that ownership has to happen - they had to give people the power of choice. On the other hand, after decades of Battlefield games, EA created a culture; there are certain things we expect from a Battlefield game, and in Battlefield V, EA is taking that culture in a completely new direction.

So the question at the heart of this issues is really - is this still Battlefield? That is what fans are asking, and to tell them to play it is not a fair reply. The best answer to this question won't be coming from EA or DICE, but from your impressions in playing the beta. Now, more than in any previous Battlefield game it is vital that you participate in the open beta.

The importance of Fortifications

You can rebuild a completely destroyed bridge and re-open a road for vehicles. It's not just trench building and throwing a few sandbags on the ground; it is a powerful tool that squads can use strategically to advance on the battlefield. With Fortifications, you can stop enemy team advancement and force them to change their strategy, or push them in a certain direction and into a trap. You can entrench, then advance again on the battlefield when it is tactically better. This will, of course, work better depending on the map. Rotterdam, for example, is an easier map to use Fortifications because of its linear layout.

With Fortifications, DICE wants to push the player to ask the question; "What would a soldier in this situation do on this particular battlefield?" Would the soldier build a trench or a wall? Is it better to block a street completely, or do just provide some type of cover to keep watch while the team advances? What would strategically be the best choice? Fortifications are essentially a map-design choice, so we might see players repeat their strategies in maps, and that gives away their advantage and open them for a counter-attack.

A few quick points

With the open beta so close to launch day, many want to know how finished the game will be on 19 October, to which Grøndal replied, "When the game goes live it is like a constant open beta, and all the feedback that comes in are things we constantly try to improve." That being said, he clearly stated that "Quite a lot" of the current issues will be finished on launch day.

The Gamescom gameplay is very similar to the build that will be in the open beta. Things that will be added for the beta will be the Company experience. When you're down, there will now be the option to hold on for a Medic or bleed out. Medics can cancel the revive animation in the middle of a gunfire exchange. When asked about the Battlefield V rent-a-server program, Grøndal stated that they are not yet ready to talk about it.

Battlefield V's open beta launches on September 6, see here for your PC requirements

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