Battlefield 4 News: Mantle Update Live, Upcoming Weapon Balance Tweaks Detailed

By Luke Caulfield , Updated Jan 30, 2014 01:14 PM EST
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The patches, updates, and adjustments just keep on a comin' for Battlefield 4...

The latest change to hit EA's FPS is a massive overhaul for the PC version of the game that's been dubbed the "Mantle Update." While most of the patches introduced so far have been brought forth to adjust numerous errors, bugs, glitches, and what have you, the Mantle Update is actually meant to optimize the GPU workload.

Explained DICE's Technical Director Johan Andersson in a recent Battlelog post, "The biggest performance gains can be seen when the game is bottlenecked by the CPU which can be quite common even on high-end machines and this was main goal to improve on with Mantle. We've also been able to streamline and optimize some of the GPU workload. The end result is that game performance is improved in virtually all scenarios in Battlefield 4 on both Windows 7 and Windows 8 when running with Mantle!"

The update weighs in at a hefty 1.23 GB, so make sure your setup has some space to spare. Directions on installing the beast can be found at the aforementioned Battlelog post, and below you'll find all the adjustments and tweaks that come courtesy of the update:

Mantle Support -  The new Mantle renderer has been added in Battlefield 4. Most players can expect a performance increase by using this new low-level graphics API.

CPU/GPU performance and monitoring
- Tweaked and improved CPU multi-core utilization to try and avoid stuttering and low framerate due to stalls that happened on some CPU and OS configurations.
- Users can now configure and control themselves how many CPU cores should be used in the game with the new "Thread.MaxProcessorCount" settings in User.cfg.
- "Render.DrawScreenInfo 1" now also shows information about which CPU and GPU is in the system, how many GPUs & CPU cores are used and which renderer (DirectX 11 or Mantle) is active
- Added new "PerfOverlay.FrameFileLogEnable" command that records frame times on CPU & GPU and logs out to a .csv file
- AMD Catalyst driver 13.12 (or later) is now recommended instead of 13.9
- Enabled tile-based compute shader lighting optimization on Nvidia for improved GPU performance (already active on AMD GPUs)
- Improved performance with rendering and spotlights for all GPUs, primarily in in-door environments

DMR Balance Tweaks
- Increased the damage of all DMRs across all ranges. Specifically, damage has been increased at long ranges to allow three-hit kills against unarmored opponents. Additionally, reduced the penalty to accuracy for sustained DMR fire, allowing more rapid follow up shots in combat. The amount of the damage increase varies from weapon to weapon, according to its intended range, rate of fire, and damage. We will continue to monitor the effectiveness of DMRs in combat, and determine if additional action is needed to make DMRs a viable mid to long range weapon.

Other Items
- Greatly reduced the risk of crosshairs disappearing, which would also result in hit markers disappearing
- Added a headshot icon on the killcard. This should help identify instances where players are correctly killed by one shot
- Fixed an issue in Squad Deathmatch where the "Win/Lose" text was overlapping
- Fixed an issue with players using an exploit for the SOFLAM
- Fixed an issue with players using an exploit for the MAV
- Fixed the gameplay code to properly track the FOV (Field of View) changes in the options menu
- Fixed an issue where chat would break when entering "false" or "true" in the chat window
- Fixed an out-of-helicopter glitch in Air Superiority where players could spawn on the ground and play as infantry
- Fixed the misaligned crosshairs on the T90 MBT
- Added setting to tweak joystick dead zone
- Various minor crash fixes

While this will no doubt be supported by PC gamers, DICE still has more in the pipeline for its latest FPS. A bevy of weapon tweaks are also planned to hit the game on all platforms sometime in the near future.

Another Battlelog post detailed all the changes coming to carbines, shotguns, and DMRs, while a final post talked pistols. Everything you need to know is below, and we'll keep you posted when the changes can be expected to go into effect.

DMRs
1) Increased the damage of all DMRs across all ranges. Specifically, damage has been increased at long ranges to allow three-hit kills against unarmored opponents. Additionally, reduced the penalty to accuracy for sustained DMR fire, allowing more rapid follow up shots in combat. The amount of the damage increase varies from weapon to weapon, according to its intended range, rate of fire, and damage. We will continue to monitor the effectiveness of DMRs in combat, and determine if additional action is needed to make DMRs a viable mid to long range weapon.

Pump Action Shotguns
1) Increased the accuracy of pump action shotguns (870 MCS, HAWK 12g, SPAS-12, and UTS 15) while on the move and aiming. The accuracy has been approximately doubled. These weapons did not have any available barrels or grips that would allow a player to enhance their aimed accuracy. This change should make the use of pump action weapons with slugs much more viable at medium and close range by allowing more accurate fire.

Carbines
1) Reduced the long range damage of the MTAR to bring it in line with the rest of the Carbines.

General
1) Adjusted the way inaccuracy is handled when transitioning from Hip fire to Aimed fire. Previously, if a player began firing before aiming, he would keep his hip inaccuracy while aimed, until he stopped firing. This was especially obvious with LMGs on the move. Players will now only be subject to the maximum aimed inaccuracy after the transition. While still terribly inaccurate, this allows for substantially more accurate fire than the old method and should allow players with LMGs to panic fire in close quarters, provided they are aiming.

2) The Heavy Barrel's Accuracy bonus now also applies on the move, at a reduced bonus. This should give the Heavy Barrel a wider role for players who desire accuracy while aimed in all situations.

3) Synchronized the timing of the aim down the sights animation of sniper rifles with their ability to fire with full accuracy. Players no longer need to wait for additional time after the aiming animation plays to get accurate shots. There is still a delay to achieve full accuracy, so Quick Scoping is still not possible.

Pistols
1) Increased the aimed accuracy of the M1911 to make it a viable choice once the COMPACT 45 has been unlocked. This gives the M1911 a clear accuracy advantage for range, while the COMPACT 45 has a clear ammunition per magazine advantage.

2) Increased the close range damage of the M1911, QSZ-92, FN57, CZ-75 and COMPACT 45. This will allow all pistols to bypass Body Armor at close range. Additionally, the FN57 and the QSZ-92 have had their long range damage increased to allow them to properly bypass Body Armor at all distances. Finally, the CZ-75 has also had its long range damage raised to give it a diverse role among the handguns.

3) Reduced the delay between pressing the trigger and the bullet firing for the M412 REX and .44 MAGNUM. This delay represents the way these weapons work in real life, while also improving their responsiveness in game.

4) Increased the magazine capacity of the QSZ-92 to 20 rounds, the proper amount for this weapon in real life. Additionally reduced the recoil of the QSZ-92 to give it a clear difference from the FN57.

5) Corrected a small error with the COMPACT 45 accuracy when crouched or prone. The weapon was accidently less accurate than intended.

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