At EA’s press showcase in London last week, we nabbed a brisk one-on-one with DICE’s Niklas Fegraeus, lead designer on BF3: Close Quarters. We chatted to him briefly about all things Battlefield, and a bit about his own personal gaming habits…
What has the fan reaction to Close Quarters been like since you announced it?
The fan reaction has been great. When people look at what we’re offering with the whole DLC package – we have Close Quarters and then we have the big epic scale of Armored Kill – they see what we’re trying to do with these different experiences. You have these themed packs that give you very focused experiences. Then we move on with the big endgame… the details are coming on that one. I think people really appreciate that we’re not just adding a new map here and there, we’re really theming things and giving them really specific experiences. The fans really understand and appreciate that.
Could you explain a bit about the new gameplay mode in Close Quarters?
The new mode is called Conquest Domination, and it’s a close quarters take on traditional Battlefield Conquest. People who are used to Conquest will recognise it… you’re capturing flags and so on… however, we’ve tweaked it a bit so it fits with the smaller maps and the close quarters gameplay. So it’s much more action packed, it’s faster and it’s really, really tense.
Are new weapons going to be included?
Yeah we’ll have ten new weapons that you can bring with you to the vanilla game, once you unlock them through the assignments. You get ten new assignments, and once they’re completed you can bring the weapons into the vanilla game, and Back to Karkand as well. There might be some challenging achievements and trophies there for you as well.
On the whole, how happy were DICE with Battlefield 3’s single-player campaign?
Oh, we were really proud of what we tried to. You know, we tried to create this really driven and story-heavy campaign and I think it turned out really well.
Do you have any Co-op or single-player DLC in the pipeline?
We’re always thinking about what we can do with that, and we’re getting lots and lots of feedback and comments from the fans… but what we have now is this multiplayer content, which runs throughout this year. So we’re focusing on that right now.
Is more DLC planned for beyond the end of this year?
We’ve announced these three packs. So it’s Close Quarters in June, Armoured Kill in the fall and End Game in the winter.
Anything we can expect beyond that?
(Smiling) Nothing that we’ve announced.
Is there anything planned along the lines of the Vietnam DLC that you released for Bad Company 2?
(Laughs) Well, we did Vietnam for BC2, and no doors are closed.
How much Battlefield do you play, yourself?
Oh, I play it every day. Of course.
Do you have to play it every day?
I would say so, yeah. I think that’s important.
Do you have a favourite map?
That’s tough. I actually have a few, but I should try to give you my favourite one. The one that I return to the most I think would be…. Caspian.
Needless to say, I assume you tend to play on PC rather than a console?
I try to play on all of them, but I’m mostly a PC gamer, yeah. I do regularly play on all three though.
Conquest or Rush?
Oh wow… It depends on my mood I would say. Conquest is best when I want have an epic-scale, very tactical game, and I like the focus on vehicles when you play Conquest. But on those days when I just want to charge in with all guns blazing, that’s when I play Rush.
When you guys release patches for Battlefield 3, are the changes that you make solely the result of fan feedback, or are they internal as well?
Absolutely, it’s both. As you can imagine we got lots and lots of comments and feedback from the fans, and a huge amount of the process of updating everything is inspired by them. Lots and lots of stuff comes from the community.
Has the community ever demanded changes that you thought were a bad idea?
That’s really difficult to say. If the community are pushing for something that they feel is really, really important, we always take that very seriously.
Do you have the time to play games other than Battlefield?
I try to play as many as I can. I think it’s both inspirational and important to play other games, and I love all kinds of genres.
Anything recently that you’ve loved?
Mass Effect 3. Awesome game.
Battlefield 3 is out now on Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and PC. The Close Quarters DLC pack is due for release this June across all platforms.
Watch the latest Close Quarters trailer below: