Ever since it launched last year, Battlefield 4
has been practically synonymous with how not
to launch a major entry to a beloved online franchise. Finally, some of the major flaws are being repaired -- or at least, they've been fixed on the beta Community Test Environment (CTE) server. This is the new server system Dice has set up for PC players that subscribe to Battlefield Premium and they've been rolling out new game changes over the past week.
One of the major changes coming to BF4
is an increase in what's called the "tickrate." The term refers to how often the game updates the location of objects and players. In BF4, the tickrate has been just 10Hz, or 10x per second, compared to 30Hz in games like CoD and as high as 60Hz in games like Counter-Strike. Now, the game will tick as high as 30Hz (30x per second), though the option will be client-side adjustable for older, slower PCs that can't handle the higher sampling rates.
The reason the tickrate adjustments matter so much is that the low tickrate has been contributing to a host of other problems, including kill shots from supposedly dead players, bullets doing double damage (calculated as passing through the player twice due to poor modeling from the low tickrate), and may have contributed to the dreaded rubber band issue. These fixes also solve the ridiculous "shot around corner" issue that has plagued BF4.
This is how slow tickrates contributed to player death. The player has knelt, but the game thinks the player is standing.
Other changes include a reduction in screen shake caused by explosives and a host of additional adjustments large and small to the game's underlying netcode. This is part of Dice's long-term commitment to BF4 and the changes are welcome -- though a substantial group of players continues to ask how these problems could have been allowed to proliferate in the first place. For months, the BF4 devs resisted adjusting the tickrate -- but now it seems that this low 10Hz sampling rate was indeed the cause of many problems.
There's no word yet on how long changes will live on the CTE before they go live, or when Dice will invite more players to play on the test server.