Battlefield 1 to let your grubby mates play new maps

First-person mustard-gasser Battlefield 1 [official site] is set to allow friends of season pass holders to play on all current and future DLC maps, the shootmen at Dice have announced. This system of keeping buddies together no matter where they want to die is called ‘Premium Friends’, which sounds like a weird mail-order service for lonely people but is actually quite a savvy move by the gun scoundrels at EA.

A testing phase starts on the morrow. From that moment, if just one person in your party of soldiers owns a Premium pass, then you’ll all be able to play on new maps and modes. There is a catch though. You can’t earn XP while fighting on a map you don’t currently own. Only the poshos with Premium or that particular expansion will see their XP meter tick up. The rest of you are scum.

Here comes the real hook though. “We will save the XP for everyone else and grant them retroactively,” says Andreas Skoglund of Dice, “if they decide to get the Battlefield 1 Premium Pass for themselves.” Hmmmmmm. On the one hand, that’s a good way to demo your new maps to the unwashed masses. On the other hand, it also fits with the dark arts of videogame psychology – witholding and “banking” something that people feel they’ve earned and that you know they crave, then offering to hand it back for a few bucks. Still, there are worse practices.

If you’re a mate clinging onto a Premo’s legs, you also won’t be able to spawn with weapons or vehicles unique to the map you’re playing, although you will presumably still be able to pick up or hijack them. Medals and codices of each expansion are also off-limits to freeloaders. In all other ways, the map is open and you are free to die in the mud or sand in whatever way you please.


  1. Grizzly says:

    Small correction: Battlefield 1’s expansion weapons and vehicles are not unique to the maps, you get access to all of them by having the expansion. On the expansion maps, you’ll still be able to spawn with any tank of your choosing, just not the Saint Chamond tank (the one tank the Premium users get now). Meanwhile, premium users can spawn the Saint Chamond in the normal maps as well (BF1 just features a generic “Tank” spawn where you can choose which tank you want, rather then the Tank being pre-determined and pre-placed as in BF4).

    I like this though!

  2. Ben Damage says:

    No DICE, EA.

  3. sickre says:

    If they released Frontlines for the old maps, it would get me back to playing, and considering Premium. Right now though, I don’t see any reason to buy Premium now, compared to a year or so in the future, when it is on sale and more DLC has been released for it.

    Battlefield 1 was fun for a while, but the shallow weapon customisation/levelling system is not rewarding enough for longer play.

    • aircool says:

      Shooting snipers that are using a 10x scope with my Martini-Henry (iron sights) from over 200 metres away is rewarding enough for me.

      In fact, using the Martini-Henry in all situations is rewarding for me. It reminds me of a time when precision aiming was important, as was discipline and timing (ok, the Quake 2 Railgun and bolt action rifles from the original CoD).

      • sg1969 says:

        Yes I love that feeling of counter sniping using iron sights vs snipers with a 10x scope. My current record is 277m :P (that’s headshot though, maybe I’ve had kills from further away)

  4. aircool says:

    As someone who bought the premium version, I’m quite happy for non payers to group up and play the maps for free (I might even make some friends who just want to sponge off me); the more players, the better.

    There does have to be a drawback though, and the handicaps they’re putting into place seem quite fair to me.

    I can afford premium versions of the game, but tend to only buy them once I’ve played the standard version for a while (or unless it’s on sale super cheap) and I like the idea that people who can’t afford it can still have access to the maps, but it’s unfair of them to expect to be on an equal footing.

    There will be some people who will complain that not getting XP is too much of a price to pay, in which case, buy the fucking content like I did.

    I like the Planetside 2 model. I was happy to pay a sub and was happy to get stuff from the cash shop (even buying smedbucks on top of my monthly allowance from being a subscriber). However, the forums became chock full of threads where F2P players moaned about everything that wasn’t available to them and often came up with really poor arguments as to why they should have them.

    There wasn’t anything useful in the game that couldn’t be unlocked with certs, it just took a lot longer to earn them, yet still many F2P players complained.

    Humans… never bloody satisfied.

  5. drfdisk says:

    “Well guys, we really fucked up Mass Effect. What can we do to make the suckers that still buy our games think we aren’t a total bunch of butt fucking assholes?”

    “I know. Give them some shit that should have been free with a totally different game, but still make someone pay for.”

  6. Reivilo says:

    I’m usually not very chauvinistic(I’m French, nobody’s perfect), but this game is an insult to my country and its memory. What’s the next step ? 2WW without the British empire ?

    • TychoCelchuuu says:

      Plenty of WW2 games don’t have the British. The original Company of Heroes and Company of Heroes 2 didn’t include the British. French are coming in an expansion, just like the British were added in expansions to CoH and CoH 2.

      • Reivilo says:

        I did not play those games. Did you have battles happening on British soil without them being represented ? Anyway, fair enough. Let me rephrase that in “it would be like having The Battle of Britain without the British”. Or being implemented one year later as a “DLC”. I feel it would be ludicrous and borderline offensive. Shoot me.

        • sg1969 says:

          You sound typical French and remind me why i hate the French. I’m French btw.

    • genosse says:

      I totally agree. When I heard the game was released without including the French army I was perplexed. Bad decision only to sell more DLC.

      It’s like doing a WW2 Eurpean theater game and having Nazi Germany as future DLC while you are fighting Romanians for a year. No offense of course.

    • Troubletcat says:

      Yeah. Would’ve made much more sense not to include the Americans at launch, since they entered the war so late and had a much smaller impact on the course of the war than the French.

      But then all the “MERICA! FUCK YEAH!” wankers would’ve been furious.

  7. sg1969 says:

    I like this. I only have 2 friends who play BF1, but they don’t play as much as I do, so maybe this will get them to play a bit more if they can check out the new maps