Battlefield 2042 alpha playtesting is underway. All participants have signed an NDA to prevent them from leaking something. A lot of them have ignored this, so we can share with you what we know about the ten specialists coming to Battlefield 2042 at launch. And there's bad news - the Specialist system has not been well received...
While a hero shooter has its obvious benefit for video game developers (people will pay for skins if they care about the operator), fans of Battlefield are less keen. Thanks to the leakiness of these playtests, we can give you more info about the ten Specialists coming on launch. Unfortunately though, there are a lot of legitimate concerns players have with this new system.
How Does Battlefield 2042's Specialist System Work?
Battlefield 2042 will have four main classes. When you play, though, you will select one of ten specialists. Each specialist falls into one of the four key roles. So in that sense, this is still the Battlefield we know, only know you will basically have a choice of skin for each class.
What's new is that these specialists will come with individual abilities, like in Rainbow Six: Siege or Valorant. This is the sticking point for a lot of players, and we'll discuss it in full later, but it seems that a lot of fans are rejecting the idea of playing as 'heroes' rather than standard soldiers.
Like keeping up to speed with all things Battlefield? So do we, here are a few recent stories in case you missed anything:
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What Specialists Have We Seen In The Playtesting So Far?
This is highly confidential information for the playtesters, who all signed NDAs. Luckily, a ton of them don't care, and so they're willing to share the information with the wider internet - who have, of course, signed no such NDA. Here's what one playtester shared with Reddit, a helpful infographic on the ten Specialists available at launch and everything we know about them so far:
Sundance is apparently one of the least effective, while Casper's ability makes him very strong, and not just with a sniper, but apparently on the ground with an SMG too.
Why Don't People Like Battlefield 2042's Specialists?
Specialists will allow EA to sell microtransactions more easily because they create personalities that people can grow attached to. This explains the success of cosmetics in hero shooters. The problem is, Battlefield fans have an expressed desire for cosmetics that are closer to generic mil-sim uniforms. So the idea of Battlefield growing closer to a hero shooter, and the 'personality' that this entails, has been poorly received. In the Twitter and Reddit threads recently, a lot of responses seem to echo the same sense of loss. A lot of fans would rather play as a normal soldier, but from a nationality they would pick. They want to be 'generic soldier 1'.
This kind of mechanical strength or weakness being introduced for every Specialist will produce a meta and presumably quite a stringent one (reports suggest that the wingsuit is pointless while the spotting drone is overpowered for instance). This is not what Battlefield fans, at least for the most part, claim to want. And again, it will produce more discontent when the Battle Pass comes around and players start to realize that the new Specialists each season will inevitably have stronger abilities than what's currently available.
Perhaps we need to wait for further playtesting before drawing conclusions, but this system has not been well received by most of the community so far.
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