When Game Revolution saw Battlefield 3 at GDC, we learned about the role earthquakes play in the game's single-player mode. EA and DICE really wanted to sell this part of the presentation and when an earthquake occurred in the demo, planted audience members stomped their feet on the slightly raised platform. Essentially, EA's PR reps hired a bunch of human rumble paks.
Battlefield 3 details continue to leak and while the human-rumble-pak was impressive, certain multiplayer details are a bit more meaningful.
Speaking with reporters DICE CEO Patrick Soderlund said that the upcoming sequel is capable of MAG sized matches:
A lot of people ask us about 64 versus 128 or 256 players. Technically, we can go to 256, we've tried it. We play tested with 128. You've got to make a game that's fun to play and, arguably, we think that the most fun you can have is when it's between 32 and 40 players.
We've done substantial research into this and tested 128 and that it's not fun. Maybe we haven't done our design work good enough, but we just feel like there's no point in going higher than 64.
The current multiplayer specs for Battlefield 3 still fall below DICE's "fun-zone," but patience is a virtue. I doubt we'll have to wait very long for server-side mods to open up the battlefield to much larger matches. Dedicated servers are a wonderful thing, aren't they?
Check out Battlefield 3 at PAX!