Late last year, DICE made a balance change to Battlefield 5's time to kill (TTK) that was widely met with scorn from the community. Now, with yesterday's release of the 5.2 update—a continuation of the War in the Pacific seasonal rollout—scores of Battlefield 5 devotees are airing their frustration on social media over significant changes to the game's balance.
In the patch notes for the 5.2 update, DICE broadly describes the balance changes made to Battlefield 5's arsenal as "focused on addressing the damage values of weapons over range." The update tweaks most weapon classes save for bolt action carbines, sniper rifles, and anti-materiel rifles.
Since the update's release, the frontpage of the Battlefield 5 subreddit has been dominated by posts bemoaning that the balance changes constitute a repeat of last year's widely derided TTK change.
"We told you weeks ago this was a bad idea," reads one widely upvoted post. "We sat here, told you the meta would become zerging, that it wouldn't work, and we were right." Other posts currently sitting high on the Battlefield 5 subreddit include memes comparing the FG-42 rifle to toy guns and, with over three thousand upvotes, an edited version of the War in the Pacific trailer mocking various 5.2 changes and bugs.
It's been an abrupt shift in tone: when the War in the Pacific season started, the response from the Battlefield 5 community was largely positive. DICE itself pitched the return to the Pacific theater as a return to the franchise's roots—even today, a new trailer released for the addition of Battlefield's classic Wake Island map (coming December 12) pushes the nostalgia angle once again.
It appears that the developers were bracing for the possibility of a poor reaction to the update. Late last month, DICE's global community manager posted a lengthy message to the Battlefield 5 subreddit assuring fans that the developers weren't setting out to change the TTK in devising the 5.2 balance changes. "Changing the base time to kill is not our goal, and these changes are far broader and more advanced than the blanket damage reduction that we briefly implemented last year," reads the post.
Time will tell whether or not the 5.2 balance changes stick, but the response to last year's TTK patch was so severe that it only survived for about a week before DICE rolled it back.