Updates like this are a real pain for a writer like me. Not only are they frankly game-altering in nature, they’re also without fail inexhaustibly huge in terms of content, and I’ll be the first to admit that I often end up missing some crucial bit of information because I’m simply in awe of the sheer size of the thing. I say this in direct reference to the last update of this nature, which I reported appallingly badly…
Anyway. With that half-baked apology in mind, I present to you the latest from EA DICE’s Battlefield 1, the confusingly-labelled Winter Update. So what’s it all about?
First off, the big new changes. We are finally seeing the return of the ‘ribbons’ from previous Battlefield titles, which spells brand new ways to earn some easy XP with 20 potential achievements on offer to be counted at the end of every game. I believe that’ll be 500 XP per ribbon, and EA DICE have made it clear that their intention is to promote good team-and-objective play. I’m looking at you, the last team I played with.
Ignoring the fact that I’m playing Team Deathmatch, here’s an example of the ribbons in action.
We’ve also got new ‘elite codices’ for 8 of the available primary weapons: no news on which ones, but suffice it to say that reaching the elite codex unlock will require 500 extra kills with the appropriate weapon. You’ll receive 25,000 XP for the challenge, though, so it’s not all doom and gloom.
Just when I thought I’d ranked as much as I could…
Speaking of weapons: the maximum class ranks have been moved upward from 10 to a whopping 50, which means more unlock-able kill card options (though I’m not sure there’s many other benefits). No word on whether newcomers will have to hit rank 50 to unlock the unique class weapons, but I’m assuming not, else there would be anarchy.
And finally: a new feature on any single-map game-modes (by that I mean not including Operations) is the ability to vote for the next map. Expect two alternatives to vote for during the ‘Victory’ screen, so as to avoid adding time between matches.
Giant’s Shadow was the last expansion to drop, free of charge.
At this point, we move into excessive amounts of bug fixing and gameplay alteration, the lists for which span several pages. I’ll give you a link to the Reddit page in a bit, but for now, let’s highlight the important stuff.
Massive fixes to vehicle meshes, UI, and spectator mode aside, you’ve got the reincarnation of the Martini-Henry scout rifle, which had been severely nerfed in the last update but is now a more powerful weapon at mid-to-long range (which, I’m told, makes all the difference). Impact grenades have received a damage reduction, as gas grenades have lost a good few seconds of effective time period; the 12g Automatic Shotgun has had so much done to it you’d barely recognize it walking down the street, and the same can be said for the Model 10-A Slug, which has lost some damage at standard range to gut, arms, and legs but gained efficacy at short distance.
This is all elementary stuff, however, in comparison to the revelation that cavalry soldiers will no longer be able to swipe at you from 20 paces and still get the kill. The damage radius for the cavalry sword has been reduced so that no longer will you be killed by a cavalryman unless you can see the whites of the horse’s eyes.
Enough from me, though, because if you’re still reading it means you want a full list of patch notes from a reliable source. Well, look no further, kids, because you’ve found one right here.
This update comes in expectancy of the first of many DLC packs for Battlefield 1. They Shall Not Pass is arriving in March on console and PC, and features 4 new maps, 9 new weapons, a new behemoth, and the entire French army to boot. The season pass is currently priced at £39.99 here in the UK, with the pack itself yet to be priced.
Oh, and one last thing. If you’re a bit of an Easter Egg nerd, as I am, take comfort in the knowledge that this update brings with it some progression on that front…