Battlefield 1’s latest DLC is causing some apocalyptic performance issues

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Apocalypse, Battlefield 1’s final DLC expansion, went live two days ago. It brings with it five new maps, including two specifically for a brand new planes-only aerial assault mode, nearly a dozen new weapons and gadgets, the controversial new Afflictions system, and even a secret melee weapon in the form of a broken wine bottle (or as the game describes it: Having a disregard for the finer things in life). However, there’s one other thing that Apocalypse has also brought with it, and fans are not happy one bit.

Since before the latest DLC rollout, some Battlefield 1 players had been complaining about intermittent performance issues that appeared to have started a couple of DLC releases ago. What was happening is that the game would sometimes appear to stutter very briefly in its framerate, mostly at inopportune times. The problem was mainly relegated to the PC crowd and only certain players, so naturally things like software drivers or hardware issues were touted by developer DICE as possible causes.

However, with Apocalypse, the stuttering issue has now become incredibly pervasive across all platforms and especially on PS4, with frequent stuttering during a game right before you’re about to get a kill or be killed. While most of the time, said kills still happen, sometimes the though the stuttering causes you to lose track of a target for those fractions of a second. However, in a competitive shooter like Battlefield 1, fractions of a second is all it takes to ruin the experience. Not to mention it’s damn annoying to look at! Below I’ve embedded a few of the many videos which have been uploaded by disgruntled fans over the last two days, so you can see what I’m talking about.

Initially, it was suspected this stutter may have something to do with the game starting the calculation of points you would receive from your actions at that point. DICE have since confirmed that this is partially correct as it appears to be as a result of the game updating any actions you need to perform for your Assignments (a series of tracked actions needed to unlock new perks and abilities). Since identifying the issue, DICE has since considered disabling the Assignments that appear to be causing the issue until such time as they can actually roll out a fix. If you can’t wait for however long that will take, it’s suggested that actually completing the Assignment requirements will potentially fix the problem. Yes, DICE basically just told you to “GIT GUD” as a way of patching a problem they created.

While DICE has apparently already worked up a fix, it still needs to go through a QA process. Considering that a number of the Assignments in BF1 are not easy to get, this means that many gamers are just going to be stuck with this problem for the immediate future. This goes to further sour an already acrid taste this latest update has left in players’ mouths, as on top of the performance issues brought on by Apocalypse, DICE has also made several controversial changes to gameplay and certain fan-favourite weapons. I played for about two hours last night, and I can’t say that it was as fun as it used to be as servers were just filled to the brim with Support players laying flat on their stomachs firing away from distance with their LMGs.

Admittedly, I was one of those players, but as my stats will prove, I’ve been a support main in this game since Day 1. And the belly-flop tactics are now a must as DICE has tweaked LMGs in such a way, by negatively changing hip fire and sighted recoil, that a run and gun style approach is almost untenable. Similar badly received changes have been made to other classes and weapons – sorry slip ‘n slide Hellriegel players, your days of power sliding into a room and clearing it out through your buckhorn sights are over! – which has resulted in the local SA community now often mockingly referring to the game as “Brokenfield”.

With the next entry in the franchise just a few months away, these are supposed to be the glory halcyon days of Battlefield 1, but instead, it appears to just be a series of issues. At least the new maps are still super pretty though. DICE sure can make a good looking game. When it works.

Last Updated: February 22, 2018

Kervyn Cloete

A man of many passions - but very little sleep - I've been geeking out over movies, video games, comics, books, anime, TV series and lemon meringues as far back as I can remember. So show up for the geeky insight, stay for the delicious pastries.

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