One of the worst things about multiplayer gaming in the modern age is that DLC – extra maps and modes – has a habit of fracturing player bases. It’s something I first really took note of in the last generation, when Gears of War’s DLC maps split the competitive community in to those who had the maps, and those who didn’t. It was doubly worse here in South Africa in that said DLC was geo-fenced, requiring workarounds to download – so that divide was more evident.
Since then – and the general proliferation of paid add-on content for multiplayer, we’ve seen many games multiplayer sections divided in to haves and have-nots. That’s started changing though. Games like Titanfall 2 have eschewed the extra costs players usually incur to stay current.
Now, even Battlefield is changing. No, they’re not getting rid of the Premium Pass, which is their fancy title for their bundled DLC. They are, however, changing how it works a little.
“There is one specific area of feedback that we’ve had our eyes on for a while: the potential friction when playing with friends where some own a Battlefield 1 Premium Pass and some don’t. Tied to this is our ambition to make sure all maps of the game have as many players as possible to secure a good experience for everyone.”
Enter Premium Friends. Now, if you own the Premium pass, you’ll be able to buddy up with friends who don’t, and bring them in to the maps they don’t otherwise have access to.
“As a player who owns Battlefield 1 Premium Pass you will be able to bring your friends in Battlefield 1 along to play on the new maps!
When creating a party in Battlefield 1 you may notice something new: if someone owns a Battlefield 1 Premium Pass the party will become “Premium Enabled”. This will allow anyone in that party to play on all maps, regardless if they own the content or not. The access is available as long as the party is “Premium Enabled”.”
That’s a pretty bold move for a company that makes a fair bit of coin from its extra content. What benefits then, do the people who pay for Premium Pass still have?
- In a “Premium Enabled” party, only owners of a Battlefield 1 Premium Pass or the specific expansion pack will earn XP from the maps exclusive to that expansion. We will save the XP for everyone else and grant them retroactively if they decide to get the Battlefield 1 Premium Pass for themselves.
- Only owners of a Battlefield 1 Premium Pass or the specific expansion pack will be able to spawn in with weapons and vehicles unique for the expansion.
- Only owners of a Battlefield 1 Premium Pass or the specific expansion pack will track progress towards the unique medals and codexes for the expansion.
And that’s fair! Premium Friends is in testing from today.