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J0hn-Stuart-Mill

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Thursday, May 8th 2014, 4:30am

Biggest BF4 News since Launch: "Community Test Platform"- Coming May 8th

DICE to Launch Community Test Platform for Battlefield 4 | The Escapist

The CTE is launching tomorrow, May 8th, and it will initially be available to BF4 PC Premium members only.

Once signed up, participants will download a second, separate game client....which will serve as a beta test platform of sorts.

"Among the first things we will work on is the 'Netcode,' which is what the player experiences with the game world including player-to-player interactions like damage registration. This involves tweaking to the 'tickrate' servers and networking in general."


So that's extremely interesting. The community is an enormously large "free" group of beta testers, and while such tests are not possible with Microsoft and Sony's current console software deployment scheme, there's no reason this shouldn't be happening on PC, and the benefits will be felt on all platforms soon enough.
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Thursday, May 8th 2014, 4:37am

This was proposed a while back from all over the internet. If this is actually a thing, I'll most definitely be helping.
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Thursday, May 8th 2014, 4:42am

inb4 armchair gamedevs feel like the new servers run higher tick rates when they're not




I don't have high hopes for this unless the "test client" specifically states the current specs (tick/send rates, packet loss, server performance, etc.) that'd actually show changes for us. Otherwise, we will really end up with an army of testers under the placebo effect saying "DICE raised the tick rates guys. Hitreg is so much better because they raised the tick rates!"




Or worse yet, the bugs associated with visual glitches and not actual networking will persist despite the tweaks and people will start whipping out pitchforks. Although, it'd be a great opportunity to bring out what /u/sliced_lime has said for a long time about "netcode."




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This post has been edited 3 times, last edit by "NoctyrneSAGA" (May 8th 2014, 7:56am)


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Thursday, May 8th 2014, 5:23am

BATTLEFIELD 4: BACK 2 BETA
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Thursday, May 8th 2014, 5:29am

This is some super exciting news!

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Thursday, May 8th 2014, 7:45am

And here I am, still stuck in China. Hopefully I'll be able to sign up at least.

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Thursday, May 8th 2014, 8:16am

I don't have high hopes for this unless the "test client" specifically states the current specs

Much of that data can be captured using packet sniffing software (like Wireshark) and compared between live and test versions.

I agree most people won't understand the trade-offs required for higher send rates. There are also limits to what they can do, even if they manage to fix all the bugs related to responsiveness.
One major limit is that they chose to make the game for 4 consoles and PC. This likely is holding them back because they have to code to PS3 and XBOX360 minimum standards. That is why the older consoles have smaller player counts, but we still get the crappy "netcode" on PS4/XB1/PC.

That being said, community bug testing will likely be better than what they have now.
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Thursday, May 8th 2014, 8:29am

Des that mean that we get to test out new guns?
Or guns that dice is thinking about implementing?
Would be fun.
No BF4 for me till July, but it looks exciting.
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Thursday, May 8th 2014, 8:39am

Much of that data can be captured using packet sniffing software (like Wireshark) and compared between live and test versions.

I agree most people won't understand the trade-offs required for higher send rates. There are also limits to what they can do, even if they manage to fix all the bugs related to responsiveness.
One major limit is that they chose to make the game for 4 consoles and PC. This likely is holding them back because they have to code to PS3 and XBOX360 minimum standards. That is why the older consoles have smaller player counts, but we still get the crappy "netcode" on PS4/XB1/PC.

That being said, community bug testing will likely be better than what they have now.


The captured data isn't going to tell us about the server specs is it? Pretty sure it's only going to show us transmissions. If there was a way to somehow unpack it or at least see an event log, then I'd be happier not from being able to see more of Frostbite, but so that people can clearly see what is the problem and what isn't.

Take for example players facing the wrong way. If on the server-side they can see that the server is properly tracking and sending player orientations, but that isn't reflected on-screen, how can they say that it's anything but a visual bug? That's the kinds of thing I'd like to see out of this.

Also, it's already been established that PS3 and X360 have held BF4 back significantly. The original Riot Shield concept was to also allow the use of a pistol at the same time but it had to be scrapped. Why? Because in total it took up a whopping 1MB of memory.

Community "bug testing" is probably going to bring in a whole bunch of Jack Shit™ and Bullshit™ for them to sift through with comments like "I worked for Google, I know what I'm talking about" or "A highschooler could make better netcode than you" (both comments made in a game I just got off of).

Des that mean that we get to test out new guns?
Or guns that dice is thinking about implementing?
Would be fun.
No BF4 for me till July, but it looks exciting.


It'll probably be in unranked servers using the weapons from Alpha or Beta. This stuff is meant for testing and debugging, not a VIP showroom for upcoming content.
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Thursday, May 8th 2014, 8:40am

And here I am, still stuck in China. Hopefully I'll be able to sign up at least.
Wth are you doin in China?


On topic: this sounds interesting but I'm a bit skeptical... so now I'm beta testing with other premium members in different servers that only players that are premium + signed up can join? Where are we gonna report feedback exactly, some closed forum on battlelog like the Alpha? It's interesting but it will only work under two conditions:

1. Very high and meaningful interaction between devs and testers on the forums. Also, very tight moderation on said forums
2. Frequent updates on the beta client
3. Some centralized way of keeping track of the actual things to test and bug reports

Oh well, guess we'll find out shortly

EDIT: typo
This is where I'm coming from: Clicky

This post has been edited 1 times, last edit by "HwanZike" (May 8th 2014, 9:00am)