We’re nearing the release date of Battlefield V – the continuation of one of the most played shooters set in the theme of war and tactical combat. Following the announcements at E3, DICE and EA took another step in a great direction and offered closed Alpha access to a number of their most loyal players, experienced Battlefield veterans as well as journalists and bloggers. Contrary to what one might believe, the developers even gave the green light to all of these players to record gameplay, broadcast it to the public, write, criticize, and give feedback in video or any other form. As a result, we have hours of footage available to us on YouTube and other streaming services.

From what we’ve seen so far, Battlefield V is looking to take all the best from the previous incarnations, Battlefield 1 especially, and expand on it – fixing the bad and accentuating the good. What is more, it seems DICE have been listening to the feedback from the public, as they’ve implemented a number of changes that have been received straight from the mouths (or keyboards, rather) of their passionate gamers.

Let’s start at the beginning. The Alpha takes place on a single map, Arctic Fjord, where the players could engage in one of three modes: the Conquest mode, as well as two modes Grand Operation: Airborne, and Breakthrough. DICE have been closely following an impressive amount of data during the Alpha, including monitoring the most popular locations for players to walk on the map, places where combat is most likely to occur, as well as parachuting locations in the Airborne mode, in order to come up with a comprehensive model of the gameplay which they can use as a basis for fine-tweaking the rest of the game. You can see some of these graphs in their blog postconcerning what they’ve learned from the closed Alpha of Battlefield V.

A limited number of weapons and vehicles were tested and closely monitored, resulting in further improvements to the gameplay. For example, ammunition looks to be a big point of contention for players, and the developers have noticed high attrition brings better player satisfaction and more intense combat. With this in mind, the number of bullets when deploying and some other factors regarding ammo availability will be fine-tuned for optimal enjoyment. Weapon recoil and camera-shake are also being looked at to provide the best experience to players, and a balance between the game feeling arcade-like and ultra-realistic. A single-shot mode might also be included, with some weapons having the option to switch between single round or automatic fire, for further tweaking of your preferred game style. Players who’ve tried the Alpha report the game feeling more realistic and gritty, weapons heavier and more lifelike, with weapons such as the sniper requiring much more skill to successfully utilize. In contrast, Battlefield 1 had an extremely easy sniper gameplay, causing some games to become a camp-fest with a maladjusted number of snipers compared to other classes.

The developers claim weapon balancing and gunplay will play a huge role in the action, with weapons feeling distinct from each other, including different recoils, reload timers, accuracy, bullet pacing and more. This is meant to introduce a learning curve and increase the skill cap of each weapon, making gunplay “feel tighter, with more control for the player, and more physical”. If you fail, you’re meant to look for the error in the way you played and set up fire, instead of blaming the weapon. Each engagement will bring new things you can learn, both in terms of tactics as well as how your weapon handles.

The TTK (time to kill) is also being closely looked at, especially since some players have been complaining that there is too short a period from the time they start taking fire to their death. Others, however, find this time to be just right. Further tweaks will be implemented as the game is being developed, but it’s worth noting that it’s not just weapon power that is a factor when considering the TTK; stuff like how fast the game lets you know you’re taking fire, as well as how fast you can assess a threat, also play a big role.

Many other issues are being looked at, and improvements cooked up, but even as it is in the Alpha, Battlefield V seems to be a giant step in the right direction for DICE and EA. What with all the new modes, vehicles and weapons that are supposed to come out once the game launches, we’re excited to see how the balance and gameplay will look once the game is fully complete. The standard edition of the game drops on October 19 for the PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4. This date is October 16 for those that have Battlefield V Deluxe Edition early enlister access, with EA access and Origin access launching a few days earlier on October 11.