Taking on the role as the Commander in Battlefield 2 gave players a strategic view of the map similar to a real-time strategy game where orders could be given, artillery strikes could be deployed and supplies could be dropped. This role isn’t returning for Battlefield 3 and DICE’s Karl Magnus Troedsson explained why at the Eurogamer Expo 2011.
“When the dev team sat down and thought about this, the Commander role was a very important and hot topic in the studio I have to say,” Troedsson said.
“Some people wanted us to implement it in the absolute same way as we had before; some of us wanted us to reinvigorate how we do it.
“I don’t know how many people have tried to play as a Commander in Battlefield 2, but it’s kind of a strange experience. Everyone agrees that actual role of the Commander is very, very cool. But the problem is that only one person per team could play it, and it was always the highest ranking one.
“But even for the people that played as a Commander, the first thing they did was what? They ran off to a corner somewhere and lay down there and tried to hide so the Spec Ops guy wouldn’t find them when he was going to blow up the installations.
“They basically spent the whole match lying on the ground on some obscure corner of the map, hoping not to get knifed in the back and trying to support people.”
“There was something very cool about the Commander role and there was also something a bit flawed, we have to say,” Troedsson finished.
Instead of a dedicated Commander, DICE implemented elements of the role for Squad Leaders such as the ability to call in artillery strikes. Mortar strikes will be available as well via a multiplayer unlock.
While players will not have a strategic overhead look at the map with different colored dots representing friendly and enemy units, players can deploy gadgets and a remote-controlled UAV to get a view of the battlefield and where units are located.
The goal in this change according to Troedsson is to keep players actively engaged in Battlefield 3 while still retaining some of the option that the Commander enjoyed in Battlefield 2.
Squads in Battlefield 3 will be limited to just four players on the PS3, Xbox 360 and PC with squad members able to spawn on the squad leader. Squad mates will also be able to communicate directly with each other for better coordination of attacks and receive bonus points for helping out fellow squad members.