Give me back my transcript, DICE

The odd tendency of not letting players know how good – or how bad – they are doing in FPS seems to be getting worse. It started with Modern Warfare where the scoreboard doesn’t tell you how many times you died in the game and now Battlefield 2042 There is no scoreboard. I’d love to go into this, but I feel like it’s all hidden behind the CEO’s silence in the boardroom somewhere. Here is my attempt to understand it.

Battlefield 2042 catches on and doesn’t include a scoreboard in its most basic form. What you get most is a vague gesture of your score, despite having no actual value. Killing and death are there, but only you can see them. There is no indication of how well your team members are doing. Are you the best on the server, or the worst? You are playing in a vacuum. The server can also be filled with anonymous bots for all the responses you get. There’s not even a way to track your account’s overall stats – something FPS games figured out 20 years ago. How did we get to this point?


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Official DICE developer stated in a blog post that transcripts are considered a ‘legacy feature’, whatever that means. It has also been suggested that the scoreboard is too large to handle due to 128 players in a single server, but Battlefield games have had a scrolling scoreboard on consoles since Battlefield 3.

This is the cluster. Community Management jargon. The lack of a scoreboard is a decision, not an oversight, a system designed to keep players happy. If you can’t see how you’re doing, I guess you’re fine. ‘Don’t stop playing because you just died 14 times in one game. Stay a while longer, buy a Santa skin. ‘ Missing account stats and overall rankings? The same thing. Instead, you get these cheesy quips at the end of the game and a rant, and I don’t blame you for being ‘The Most Throwers’.

Breakthrough Battlefield 2042

This ‘everyone wins’ mentality is not fun. That’s not the point of FPS games, and Battlefield has always been one of the games that understands that best. Its scoreboard is revolutionary, as is the way you earn your score. Unlike other FPSs, you can get points for respawning teammates, capturing targets, and destroying vehicles. You don’t have to be a stickman master, you can rise above the scoreboard because you’ve revived 150 teammates – an important role many other games fail to do.

There’s also something very powerful about the long-running grudges you build with other team players. If you notice ‘FlyBoyxXx’ is 70-0 in the Muromets bombers on Battlefield 1, you’ll spend the next 15 minutes on a gruesome mission to destroy their planes – and it will be great at the end you also get them. So are your teammates – that magical moment where you find those perfect random ones and you’re all sitting at the top of the scoreboard, winning the game for your team. Jump into the lobby and see a stack of 10 clans on the opposing team, their clan tagging something like [UKz], before you shoot them down and they all leave the lobby at once. On the contrary, you are completely defeated and have to keep playing for the next six games in the hope that you will eventually land a win. This will be gone by 2042.

Battlefield 2042 Angel With Ranger

I wrote about why Battlefield 128 players doesn’t work and refers to the feeling of total loneliness you have while playing. It was like attending a party with 127 people but everyone had gaffa tape over their mouths with a hole for a straw to dip into the cheapest cocktail in the world. A cocktail also costs 40 quid. For that money you get no VOIP, no teamwork, and random servers every match. But of all these problems, the lack of transcripts is the worst. You are lonely. Capture something, or not – what does it matter?

2042 is the capital vacuum designed to sell you cosmetics. You are an anonymous statistician, playing the role of a cloned Special Forces soldier, in an unfinished game that was sold three days early for a lot of money. No new content until March. The gameplay is basic, empty, and lacks the foundation pieces that made the Battlefield series so popular in the first place. You will never win because there is no winner. You will never lose because there are no losers. As Angel once said, ‘Don’t feel sad, this is just how it works sometimes.’

NEXT: Battlefield 2042’s gruesome Christmas look is just the beginning of EA’s monetization

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About the author Give me back my transcript, DICE


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