Battlefield 4's Game-Breaking "Death Shield" Bug Discovered

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Battlefield 4's Game-Breaking "Death Shield" Bug Discovered

The bug, which has remained undiscovered since launch, may explain some of BF4's "odd" behavior.

Have you ever been playing Battlefield 4, had a tank shot perfectly lined up, and then just had it miss for no reason? How about having your under-slung grenades flung back at you despite shooting them into open space? What most people previously attributed to lag may actually be due to the newly discovered "death shield" bug.

Basically, when a player "dies", there is a short window of time in which he can be revived by a medic. These downed soldiers extend a sort of invisible wall from their "corpses", which blocks, and reflects all incoming projectiles. That means, say, if you kill someone with a tank, and try to shoot at something directly behind him, your tank shot will always miss.

When a player is fully dead (as in, the revive window has closed), explosives and projections will pass over them fine, but in this pre-death downed state, it seems the game is misreporting hit boxes, causing the invisible wall. This bug is most noticeable in the closed-quarters maps of Operation Metro and Operation Locker.

This bug is quite a large, game-breaking one, and it's a shock that it has remained undiscovered until now. EA and DICE have had their hands full with Battlefield 4 bugs right from the get-go, going so far as to halt work on DLC until it fixed all the bugs (although, with some updates, they introduce more bugs than they fixed...)

Despite these glaring issues with the game, EA still insists that the game "was ready" when it launched last year.

At least now I have something to blame for my abyssal accuracy ratio.

Source: PC Gamer

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Steven Bogos:
This bug is quite a large, game-breaking one, and it's a shock that it has remained undiscovered until now.

Never noticed this bug, and frankly, if nooone else did and still played the game with it, then everyone has been on equal footing? Sure, now that we KNOW it's there, people are gonna be pissed, and some might even start abusing this until DICE patches it, but until then, this hasn't felt game-breaking for me.

NLS:

Steven Bogos:
This bug is quite a large, game-breaking one, and it's a shock that it has remained undiscovered until now.

Never noticed this bug, and frankly, if nooone else did and still played the game with it, then everyone has been on equal footing? Sure, now that we KNOW it's there, people are gonna be pissed, and some might even start abusing this until DICE patches it, but until then, this hasn't felt game-breaking for me.

Well I'm guessing the thing is that people did notice, and started exploiting it, and we've now hit the point where enough people are exploiting it that he general player base (or enough of it) and the company have taken notice. I'm guessing half the problem is people using suicide tactics to exploit the shields and building team based strategies about it. Since Battlefield 4 is trying to be a competitive game, it thus becomes a problem.

To be honest I'm sort of surprised they didn't say this bug was a feature, and working as intended since nobody complained until recently. :)

Therumancer:

NLS:

Steven Bogos:
This bug is quite a large, game-breaking one, and it's a shock that it has remained undiscovered until now.

Never noticed this bug, and frankly, if nooone else did and still played the game with it, then everyone has been on equal footing? Sure, now that we KNOW it's there, people are gonna be pissed, and some might even start abusing this until DICE patches it, but until then, this hasn't felt game-breaking for me.

Well I'm guessing the thing is that people did notice, and started exploiting it, and we've now hit the point where enough people are exploiting it that he general player base (or enough of it) and the company have taken notice. I'm guessing half the problem is people using suicide tactics to exploit the shields and building team based strategies about it. Since Battlefield 4 is trying to be a competitive game, it thus becomes a problem.

To be honest I'm sort of surprised they didn't say this bug was a feature, and working as intended since nobody complained until recently. :)

I think a big reason that the bug remained undiscovered for so long, was that the symptoms, when taken individually, didn't seem to strange, and could simply have been attributed to lag or poor netcode. It took someone to really break down what was happening to find the bug.

looksl ike the hitzone model wasnt dropping on the ground when the "wounded" soldier was, causing it to conenct and since its already at 0 health, reflect any bullet. this one... i wonder how it wasnt found out sooner. i guess there wasnt enough lemming trains running in the game.

This is what happens when you don't bug test your bloody game before you release it. (Well, this and the other 99 bugs glitches and general problems).

CpT_x_Killsteal:
This is what happens when you don't bug test your bloody game before you release it. (Well, this and the other 99 bugs glitches and general problems).

To be fair, if they haven't found this bug after tens of thousands of people have been playing the game for months, it would probably have been difficult to find during internal bug testing.

Those 99 other bugs, though. That's not so good.

Corpses now provide better cover than walls?

Time to dig up the patio again......

OT: This must have caused an absurd number of WTF moments. Imagine gunning down 2 guys walking through a doorway, and the first one drops, and the second one just stands there looking at you as you fail to shoot him from 4 feet. Then he nades you, but suicides, despite the nade at your feet.

Caiphus:

CpT_x_Killsteal:
This is what happens when you don't bug test your bloody game before you release it. (Well, this and the other 99 bugs glitches and general problems).

To be fair, if they haven't found this bug after tens of thousands of people have been playing the game for months, it would probably have been difficult to find during internal bug testing.

Those 99 other bugs, though. That's not so good.

I'm not gonna pretend to have any sort of Game coding/creating/designing/whatever know how, but wouldn't there have been some way to see the invisible hitbox? Like turn it on or highlight it during development or something?

CpT_x_Killsteal:

I'm not gonna pretend to have any sort of Game coding/creating/designing/whatever know how, but wouldn't there have been some way to see the invisible hitbox? Like turn it on or highlight it during development or something?

I also have no idea, I'm afraid. From my limited experience[1] with actual quality assurance (where they just stick people like us in a room, pay them not much, and get them to poke things until something breaks), they wouldn't have that know-how. I have no idea how easy it would be for a developer examining the code to find a bug like this.

Of course, none of this takes away from the very poor state in which the game released (and the large number of bugs that could have been found through simple quality assurance). Indeed, it sounds like those preventable bugs were partly to blame for this one staying hidden for so long, since people would have assumed it was just bad netcode, buggy hit detection, etc.

But yeah, this one might have just been tricky to find. *shrug*

Edit: So actually, if you think about it, your first statement was correct. If they'd bug tested properly before release, chances are this one would have been found sooner.

[1] Very, very limited. A friend's uncle owned a software company, and needed high school students to bug test some accounting software over the summer. It wasn't pretty.

To answer a question about hitboxes: I distinctly remember beeing able to turn on hitboxes when trying to test a sequence I made in UDK a while back and I had a friend who moded shooters and RPG's and again he was able to overlay the hitboxes over the ingame models to see how the reacted and make sure everything was working as intended. IDK bout battlefield 4, but displaying the hitbox over the ingame model is one of the primary methods for bug-testing hit detection and hitbox interaction in your game. Translation: this bug should have been spoted centuries before the game was released ...
And these are the people making Battlefront 3 ... well at least I know not to expect anything.

As someone who probably has played way to much Battlefield 4... this seriously explains SO many moments. I'm really glad that somebody actually found this bug, and it's been made public. On the other hand it just makes me ever more disappointed in EA/Dice. I keep thinking that eventually this game will be solid, but at this point I'm ready to trade it back in :/

I somehow feel that it takes such a long time to even discover such a huge flaw in a game is the biggest testament to how broken it is. You don't notice how the game constantly fucks up because it fucks up so much that even huge fuck ups like this just don't stand out.

Audacious, really... A case for consumer protection agencies.

So I got BF4 at launch, sold it after a week because it didn't really work.

Was given a copy at Christmas instead of CoD Ghosts and was happy knowing months had passed since my experience...I booted it up after buying premium because you know it was awesome for BF3, updated with a 200+mb update prolly the 3rd or 4th one by then and noticed jack had changed about the game.

Months later Second Assault is ready to be released but delayed to fix the game. This delay for content due out in December causes some people including myself to demand refunds for Premium for content not being delivered months after its schedualed out.

Second map pack is released and the runways are too short for air crafts to take off, something literally anyone could notice just by trying out any of the jets in these revamped maps. Something you think would be critical to make sure to test just to be sure the vehicles work well on the maps let alone can get out of where they spawn.

Third Map pack is released with one studio throwing in the towel saying "Here's your megaladon, were done with this mess, peace" so DICE LA can be blamed for the rest of the games issues eventhough they are just in charge of DLC from this point.

Now we have dead players causing issues something that just shows a lack of play testing on DICE's part. A forgivable bug if fixed extremely quickly due to how much it can harm the experience but we will probably just have to deal with this until the next maps come out for a proper update.

If you haven't yet don't bother buying Battlefield 4 please. Don't support this crap like I was suckered into thinking this game would work as well or better then the last entree. I'd say get Battlefield 3 since it functions but then you may still support those who are currently making this mess of a title.

I've seen 99 bugs but this glitch ain't one.

oh dear...EA wont be able to release all that juicy overpriced dlc for some time. What a pity. Shouldnt have been greedy and rushed it for early release. I wouldnt call this triple a at all. Can someone find DICE a different publisher please? Id do it my bloody well self if i could, but, ya know...

Reported it during beta, and wasn't fixed. I'm not holding my breath.

NLS:
Never noticed this bug, and frankly, if nooone else did and still played the game with it, then everyone has been on equal footing? Sure, now that we KNOW it's there, people are gonna be pissed, and some might even start abusing this until DICE patches it, but until then, this hasn't felt game-breaking for me.

I can't say I noticed this one specifically, but then there are so many other issues that cause you to miss shots that it's hardly surprising.

This bug's just another one, it's a big deal because it's another demonstration of how awful BF4's coding is. I've gone back to playing BF3 and I'm having a whale of a time being able to use precision weapons like Shotgun Slugs and the Crossbow effectively.

If BF4 and it's expansions represent how DICE is going to do things in future then it's persuaded me I'm not interested in BF5, or Battlefront and probably not Mirror's Edge 2 as well, which is a bigger deal than a few bugs in bf4.

Steven Bogos:

I think a big reason that the bug remained undiscovered for so long, was that the symptoms, when taken individually, didn't seem to strange, and could simply have been attributed to lag or poor netcode. It took someone to really break down what was happening to find the bug.

There is also the issue that this is the type of bug a DEVELOPER notices during initial testing of the basic combat systems. Players are not used to the technical ins and outs of how a game registers hits or how its 'under the hood' systems work.

To those saying "It's not game-breaking and it can't be that bad since no one discovered it until now" miss the whole point. The bug is so basic and so linked in to poorly set-up systems that players probably didn't think something so fundamental could be going wrong. The fact that it took so long to discover when people were reporting LOTS bugs that they though were down to lag, net-code or any number of usual faults is an indictment of the lack of resources that EA is letting DICE put into bug hunting/ fixing. They should have done "Hmmmmm.... these 'lag' issues look more like a hit detection/ hitbox error. I'll contact the engine guys"

This also alludes to a lack of proper Alpha and Beta test funding. In game system bugs like this are something you'd expect to get found on the first week on a Beta test at latest. DICE isn't some up-start, cash-strapped plucky newcomer. EA has a responsibility to ensure that as well as being all shiny and 'next gen' their games are actually functional.

Why do people mention them delaying DLC until the game is fixed. I got the game and premium on ps4. The single player campaign still f**cking deletes itself so you cant get to the end unless you do it in one (I just want the gun unlocks). And now this and other issues. Yet I still see DLC, I have it all. This is why EA are so unpopular particularly for claiming the game is ''fine''.

Steven Bogos:
directly behind behind him

Typo.

Also, this is why we do bug testing before launch. I'm not so anti-publisher as to say a released product should be devoid of bugs, but in the same breath, the counter-argument of being able to release a patch falls flat when you're faced with bugs that take months to find and fix and have ripple effects that are problematic themselves.

At this point I think that every patch should update the end-credits to include every gamertag that's ever played BF4 under the "Testers" heading. I mean six months after release and they're still actually making the game, you'd figure we'd all be employees of DICE by now. :P

Now excuse me while I laugh at the memory of that DICE exec who said that all criticism about BF4 during the Beta was ignorant and unfounded and that the game was perfect.

Ahem....BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!

So, my constant dying was actually done to help make better players immortal... yeah, I'm going to go with that...

But at least it has 64 players on the map, right guys? guys?

wow. still bugs after how many patches now? sounds more like they just add more problems then they fix. again a reason not to install this game again.
fine by me. having anyway more fun with titanfall.

Battlefield 4 still broken? I'm so super duper shocked.

Seriously, EA, good job. This joke website was made months ago, and its still valid.

http://isbf4finishedyet.com/

Anyways, hope that suit from EA's shareholders uses stuff like this as ammo for their case.

I try and I try, but I'm almost to the point where I won't be buying Battlefront 3 when it launches. EA executives better not just shove it out the door.

I like how it's referred to as game-breaking, and then followed with a statement that it wasn't discovered until recently. If it was truly game breaking it would have been discovered pretty forking quickly.

OT: Who's really suprised by this? Online games never seem to be finished any more. I still can't mute people in GTA Online lobbies.

NLS:

Steven Bogos:
This bug is quite a large, game-breaking one, and it's a shock that it has remained undiscovered until now.

Never noticed this bug, and frankly, if nooone else did and still played the game with it, then everyone has been on equal footing? Sure, now that we KNOW it's there, people are gonna be pissed, and some might even start abusing this until DICE patches it, but until then, this hasn't felt game-breaking for me.

Agreed, though to be fair, I don't play the closed-quarters maps. There are plenty more game breaking bugs in the game, the constant crashing, unwarranted PB kicks, textures missing upon loading the map, client updating so slowly that you die within a moment after one shot etc.

Metalrocks:
wow. still bugs after how many patches now? sounds more like they just add more problems then they fix. again a reason not to install this game again.
fine by me. having anyway more fun with titanfall.

Actually yes, they fucked up far more than they've fixed. There was a blissful time sometime when China Rising was out when the game just ran... well, decently. They've sorted the crashes, the game didn't lag and the only main issue was the netcode/rubberbanding and the like and I could live with that. Second Assault launched fine, but I've been playing since Naval Strike was out and... literally all those crashes are back and worse. There is now a random kick by PunkBuster that seems to happen to some people and EA just don't give even the slightest inclination of a fuck. Ground textures are often missing upon loading (goes away after you die once in my experience) and you get that "half stuck in terrain" thing where your character stutters like mad during that. On top of that, the game is far more laggy than it ever was and the "feel one shot with 100% health and you're dead" thing happens more than ever. I've even had moments where the game would just lag for a while whenever I got shot, not long, but certainly long enough for someone to empty an entire clip into you.

Now, I'd accept that some of these issues could be blamed on me, my PC or my personal experience, but the fact is, most of this shit was literally there in BF3 as well. They've still got bugs and crashes that look, feel and give error reports in the same exact way as their game they launched nearly two years ago did. Only exception is, there's far more of these errors and there's no sign of fixing any of them, every patch seems to only make it worse.

Vrach:

Metalrocks:
wow. still bugs after how many patches now? sounds more like they just add more problems then they fix. again a reason not to install this game again.
fine by me. having anyway more fun with titanfall.

Actually yes, they fucked up far more than they've fixed. There was a blissful time sometime when China Rising was out when the game just ran... well, decently. They've sorted the crashes, the game didn't lag and the only main issue was the netcode/rubberbanding and the like and I could live with that. Second Assault launched fine, but I've been playing since Naval Strike was out and... literally all those crashes are back and worse. There is now a random kick by PunkBuster that seems to happen to some people and EA just don't give even the slightest inclination of a fuck. Ground textures are often missing upon loading (goes away after you die once in my experience) and you get that "half stuck in terrain" thing where your character stutters like mad during that. On top of that, the game is far more laggy than it ever was and the "feel one shot with 100% health and you're dead" thing happens more than ever. I've even had moments where the game would just lag for a while whenever I got shot, not long, but certainly long enough for someone to empty an entire clip into you.

Now, I'd accept that some of these issues could be blamed on me, my PC or my personal experience, but the fact is, most of this shit was literally there in BF3 as well. They've still got bugs and crashes that look, feel and give error reports in the same exact way as their game they launched nearly two years ago did. Only exception is, there's far more of these errors and there's no sign of fixing any of them, every patch seems to only make it worse.

the funny thing is, after they have released this 6gb patch for BF3, i had actually no issues what so ever with it. but since Bf4 came out, even BF3 became unplayable for me. so i have deleted this game as well.

Edit: Ok, after looking at the video for a bit longer I saw the problem. But the weird thing is, I haven't experienced this in BF4 at all.

This is not a bug but a feature. People got pretty tired of being instant killed the moment they where revived and before being able to do anything about it. So they asked DICE to do something about it.

This shield should only be on if the player does absolutely nothing but trust me, it doesn't always work. I've been instant killed while being revived without moving a finger. In fact I don't recall ever being immune while being revived so this is something I desperately want because I kinda need it at the front lines.

Vrach:
On top of that, the game is far more laggy than it ever was and the "feel one shot with 100% health and you're dead" thing happens more than ever. I've even had moments where the game would just lag for a while whenever I got shot, not long, but certainly long enough for someone to empty an entire clip into you.

Getting one shot to death at 100% health is just how the netcode works now. People whined about the server side hitreg in Bad company 2 and now we got an inferior client side hitreg. All though I'd check the router for something that might limit the upload rate. I know my D-Link capped it to 256KBit/s or something

Zefar:
This is not a bug but a feature. People got pretty tired of being instant killed the moment they where revived and before being able to do anything about it. So they asked DICE to do something about it.

This shield should only be on if the player does absolutely nothing but trust me, it doesn't always work. I've been instant killed while being revived without moving a finger. In fact I don't recall ever being immune while being revived so this is something I desperately want because I kinda need it at the front lines.

To be fair, I've never seen the effects of this so called shield in action and I can't say I'd want to. Resurrecting people while you're getting shot at should not be how resurrecting works. Either someone provides cover while you do it or you don't resurrect. There's a reason why there's an "accept/cancel" button when you res someone, it's not meant for the front lines (in the sense of ressing people like crazy despite a hailstorm of bullets coming your way).

What I'd also like to see removed is the bullshit invincibility during a knife stab. I'd see a guy stabbing a team-mate and unload a goddamn light machine gun clip into his head from damn near point blank range and he just walks away without a scratch. I'm sorry, but no. Just no. You should also be able to interrupt someone's knifing with your own (they're knifing another person, you come up and knife them before the stab happens, you save the teammate - or even not save the teammate, but the stab animation should not be invincible, it's just silly)

Zefar:

Vrach:
On top of that, the game is far more laggy than it ever was and the "feel one shot with 100% health and you're dead" thing happens more than ever. I've even had moments where the game would just lag for a while whenever I got shot, not long, but certainly long enough for someone to empty an entire clip into you.

Getting one shot to death at 100% health is just how the netcode works now. People whined about the server side hitreg in Bad company 2 and now we got an inferior client side hitreg. All though I'd check the router for something that might limit the upload rate. I know my D-Link capped it to 256KBit/s or something

They have client side hitreg? Aside from being complete and utter bullshit in its own right, doesn't that just open a can of worms on the whole cheating thing? It's one thing to fuck with the server, can be dealt with, if it's on client side, I imagine it doesn't take much effort to mess with it...

And yeah, BC2 was miles better technically. I'm a huge Battlefield fan (ie. classic BF, vehicles, planes, giant open maps and the like), but what they've done with these two games is just awful on the tech side of things.

Vrach:

To be fair, I've never seen the effects of this so called shield in action and I can't say I'd want to. Resurrecting people while you're getting shot at should not be how resurrecting works. Either someone provides cover while you do it or you don't resurrect. There's a reason why there's an "accept/cancel" button when you res someone, it's not meant for the front lines (in the sense of ressing people like crazy despite a hailstorm of bullets coming your way).

What I'd also like to see removed is the bullshit invincibility during a knife stab. I'd see a guy stabbing a team-mate and unload a goddamn light machine gun clip into his head from damn near point blank range and he just walks away without a scratch. I'm sorry, but no. Just no. You should also be able to interrupt someone's knifing with your own (they're knifing another person, you come up and knife them before the stab happens, you save the teammate - or even not save the teammate, but the stab animation should not be invincible, it's just silly)

I'll be honest, I didn't watch the whole video. I just thought it was the typical "Look, I shot this guy but he didn't die when he was revived" type of video. Because BF3 and BF4 gets imo far to much crap thrown at them.

So what I saw in the video is actually quite insane. Still I have not had this happening to me when I played the game and I liked to flank people.

Vrach:
They have client side hitreg? Aside from being complete and utter bullshit in its own right, doesn't that just open a can of worms on the whole cheating thing? It's one thing to fuck with the server, can be dealt with, if it's on client side, I imagine it doesn't take much effort to mess with it...

And yeah, BC2 was miles better technically. I'm a huge Battlefield fan (ie. classic BF, vehicles, planes, giant open maps and the like), but what they've done with these two games is just awful on the tech side of things.

It did open up a lot of nasty stuff for cheating.

Killing people with blow torch, teleporting all players or just enemies in front of your AA minigun Tank cannon and killing them pretty quickly. Or other silly stuff that cheaters did in the start.
This was in BF3 though. I haven't seen it in BF4 though. More of just the typical aimbot.

Yet another reason not to touch Battlefield 4. I think Buggyfield 4 is a better name for its current state.

You know a bug is bad when your reaction to it is to laugh out loud at how game breaking it is. That's how bad (and funny) I thought this was.

I'm so glad I stopped preordering games years ago, else I'd probably be stuck with this broken piece of software, that's obviously not had sufficient time with quality assurance. The only way to stop broken games like this from being released is to wait for reviews and not paying people for pushing products out before they're done - basically people need to stop freaking paying 60$ for doing QA, bonuses and collectors editions be damned. And as an owner of several CE's - which I proudly display in my living room - I find my complete loss of confidence, and thus my wish to buy CE's, quite sad.

But I'm just so sick of publishers pushing unfinished or rushed games on customers, and I hope that such practices will seriously backlash in time. But at the same time I fear for the effects this behavior will have on gaming, given that we're charged more for less all the time, as publishers continuously push the boundary's of what they can get away with by thinking only of short term profit margins and not long term customer satisfaction.

The again, at this rate, it's only a matter of time until we see the next COD (or other large series) on Steam as an Early Access title. Sold at the full price of 60$ with a season pass already in place, that includes at least 3 new maps some time after the game is officially released, all for the low, low price for 30$ (for the season pass). Main game having no campaign and a whooping 3 maps included on release. *sigh*

Glaice:
Yet another reason not to touch Battlefield 4. I think Buggyfield 4 is a better name for its current state.

Hasn't it already gained the name "Betafield 4"?

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