Battlefield 2042's map design philosophy focuses on bigger maps with smaller internal locations.
In a segment, during Xbox Extended Event (via MP1st) DICE spoke on how even though its player count at max is doubling, the game design solution isn't just about making larger and larger maps. Daniel Berlin, design director of the game said:
"We altered our way of handling level design because it wasn’t just as simple as making it bigger, and portion the locations out, it doesn’t really work that way. So we’ve leaned on a new type of design mentality that we’re calling “clustering.”
"Now, what clustering means is you’ll have a massive battlefield in front of you but within this massive battlefield, you have particular clusters of objectives."
Berlin then goes on to discuss the map 'Hourglass' which is set in Doha, Qatar. While he refuses to go into how big the map is specifically, he notes it's one of the biggest in the game.
However, he highlights the sub-locations. Towards the south, there is a "fully destructible village". In the east, there are Skyscappers which you can enter and zipline between for those unafraid of heights. Then, even further east is a Stadium, which offers much more close-quarters combat.
Berlin also mentions that if players want to capture, say, the entirety of the stadium, there will be multiple points inside. To control it all will take a coordinated team effort.
This is all before you even consider the map-changing power of the Tornado and sandstorms which can appear, which it's noted are not pre-scripted.
In a lot of ways, these design philosophies don't feel entirely different to how some battle royale maps are made. These maps seem designed to be more than one area and have multiple levels worth of battlegrounds inside one larger map. That's despite the game not having a planned battle royale.
However, with the massive 128-player battle, that makes sense. Battlefield 2042 matches will have as more players than most battle royales games. They will just be team and objective-based to meet the feeling of war, rather than whittling down to one player.
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