A% Super Moderating Hero: Hello! We're just about ready to begin. Gordon Van Dyke is with us, as is PR Kelly Ekins. Patrick Liu is running late.
EA DICE bigwigs Patrick Liu and Gordon Van Dyke have been answering your Battlefield 1943 questions today.
They were asked everything from tropical deer mutilation to release dates to community features to hilarious moments. There is no dismemberment, incidentally, but you can drop bombs on other planes. Brilliant.
The full transcript of the live chat follows, with the earliest questions and answers presented first.
Our live coverage of this event has finished.
A% Super Moderating Hero: Right, first things first - can you tell us a bit about who you are and why you are so famous, please?
A% Gordon Van Dyke: LOL! Not famous yet, but I'm Gordon Van Dyke, Producer on Battlefield 1943!
Q%Mugwum%5% How soon do you think people will hit the 43m kills to unlock the fourth map? Do you have any data from other BF games to guestimate how long it will take?
A% Gordon Van Dyke: I made a crazy Excel chart and we based it on a lot of things and it worked out to about 2 weeks or sooner if people kill a lot. And we do have data from the other games that helped too!
A% Kelly Ekins: We can't give an exact date of when the 4th map Coral Sea will be unlocked but the more kills the faster so you need to work together! It's really up to you!
Q%evilfoxhound%115648% Who do you think will unlock Coral Sea first? PC gamers, PSN gamers or XBL gamers?
A% Gordon Van Dyke: I'm not sure - it will be a very close race. I think and everyone on the team is excited about the result, too.
Q%BabyJesus%336347% When is BF1943 coming out?
A% Gordon Van Dyke: This summer, and we have the exact date coming soon.
A% Kelly Ekins: And on PC in September.
A% Super Moderating Hero: Patrick Liu has just parachuted in. He's got war all over him. Hello, Patrick!
Q%cragtek%309445% Gordon, Are you any relation to famed chimney sweep and Diagnosis Murder star Dick Van Dyke?
A% Gordon Van Dyke: LOL! My Grandfather claims this, but I'm not sure. We do hail from the same area of New York as his family though.
A% Super Moderating Hero: Can you tell us a quick bit about yourself for our readers please, Patrick? Why you are so famous, that sort of thing.
A% Patrick Liu: I'm not famous! I'm just responsible for getting the next installment of Battlefield out the door. Really, I focus hard on making a great game, but I can't help myself from getting in touch with our fans as well.
Q%rashes%29351% How is the hosting handled? One of the biggest problems with Call of Duty: World at War is the host quitting early and the game finishing prematurely. Are there dedicated servers?
A% Gordon Van Dyke: We have dedicated servers that will be located around the world. No host issues in BF1943 baby!!!!
A% Patrick Liu: Yes, we have dedicated servers, and it's in the tradition of Battlefield games to do that. One of the reasons is that there's a massive amount of traffic, and most normal users don't have that kind of connection. So we have 24 soldiers [12 versus 12, maths fans - Ed], and probably the same amount of vehicles and destruction to boot!
Q%Peetry%178621% What would you say are the most challenging Trophy/Achievement is in BF1943?
A% Gordon Van Dyke: Our Trophies/Achievements are generally more aimed towards nice behaviour to foster a fair game. But we do have our own awards, in the form of post cards and stamps, that'll make the most hardcore gamer sweat, bit if I had to pick one I would say the "Best Squad" award is the hardest to get because it isn't about just you to earn this.
Q%Sycopat%143768% What are the most ludicrous and exciting stunts we'll be pulling in game? Can I walk on the wings of planes? Can I jump off a plane and kife someone in the back? Can I camouflage myself as a tropical deer and sneak up on someone? Can I hide in the water and pounce at will?
A% Gordon Van Dyke: LOL! I don't think I can properly answer after the mental image of what a tropical deer would look like!
A% Super Moderating Hero: Like a colourful zebra, probably.
A% Patrick Liu: Stunts and crazy stuff is definitely something we encourage! we have the classic suicide jeep armed with explosives, you can try to drop bombs on enemy planes mid air, parachute down and snipe people from the air and THEN knife someone else in the back.
A% Gordon Van Dyke: But yes, we're focused on Battlefield moments like that and making so many things possible I couldn't guess what our amazing players will come up with [they're not amazing yet! - Ed]. Every BF game released, the Dev's are amazed by the creativity out there.
Q%Bleh%36051% Will we see other maps from the original 1942 being added at some stage? What are the chances of more maps down the lie? And will they be incentivised like Coral Sea?
A% Gordon Van Dyke: Coral Sea is its own special deal, but we have no solid plans for updates at this point beyond what is being released.
A% Patrick Liu: It was kind of a spontaneous project for us, if you can call it that, so we don't have any concrete plans right now if and when we add more content.
A% Super Moderating Hero: What's the quickest and easiest way to win? Let's cut some corners.
A% Patrick Liu: Kill everything you see? We could tell you the winning tactics, but the we'd have to kill you.
A% Gordon Van Dyke: Be an all around player, those that focus on one thing in BF games never win!
Q%Kosak%252079% You recently confirmed Battlefield 3 was in development. When will you start releasing some information about the game?
A% Patrick Liu: You will know when release more info...
A% Kelly Ekins: No further details at this time.
Q%Peetry%178621% What are you doing to prevent spawn camping and cheaters? I don't like tents, I despise cheats and I detest being shot in the head when waking.
A% Patrick Liu: If you know the general direction of a sniper you can always carpet bomb that area with a bomb raid, for example. We've also added something called "non griefing areas" in the home bases, so if you try to base-rape/grief in your base you won't get any points for it. You can still do it, but it will be literally pointless.
A% Super Moderating Hero: Base-rape! What a phrase.
A% Patrick Liu: That's what they call it.
A% Gordon Van Dyke: BF gamer jargon, we are devs in the know!
Q%emuholic%202349% What has been your funniest moment while playing the game? For example a kill that you didn't originally intend to do, like a chain reaction kill.
A% Patrick Liu: I was once defending the airfield on Wake Island and there's a jump in the west end for enemies to jump in with cars. We were being invaded by the enemy and I got a lucky shot at a car mid air, and the wreck killed his buddies running past below! I was nearly hit myself!
Q%galerian86%145553% How will the squad system work in this game? Will there be a single commander over-seeing the battlefield and ordering supply drops and air strikes like previous BF games?
A% Patrick Liu: Actually, BF1942 had nothing of that, it was really down to basics. There were no squads, no commander, nothing. But we have added squads which is the core of team play. You can either form your squad before you join any server and make sure you play together. Or you can form ad hoc squads while you're playing as usual. There are also simple squad commands, so you can point at a flag to tell your squad to defend/attack it, depending on the flag. And of course there's VOIP between squad members.
Q%Hunam%28772% Will players be able to set up clans and custom servers on the console versions? Can you tell us a bit about the clan options on offer?
A% Patrick Liu: we have something called "private match". you can invite your friends to it, and they can invite their friends in their turn and so on. you can make up the teams as you wish and choose map, and then you go and play on a server all on your own!
A% Super Moderating Hero: What about the clan options, if there are any? And will there be rankings and what not?
A% Gordon Van Dyke: There are no specific Clan features and we will have ranks and in-game awards to work towards.
A% Patrick Liu: And there will be extensive stats on the website to track.
A% Super Moderating Hero: Are there any animals? Might I accidentally run over a deer and break its legs off? A tropical deer, clearly.
A% Gordon Van Dyke: No animals other than your squad buddies!
A% Super Moderating Hero: Do our buddies' legs come off? It's quite important.
A% Gordon Van Dyke: No dismemberment, but I'm curious why you'd want to remove your buddy's legs?
A% Super Moderating Hero: Tom will be upset if I tell you.
Q%Redh3lix%166880% As an "old school" Battlefield 2 / 2142 player, from my experience I would say those games were (and still are) very special in what they accomplished. Can we expect the same balance and depth in Battlefield 1943? Will it be deep enough for me? It all seems a bit cartoony and tongue-in-cheek.
A% Patrick Liu: It all depends on what references you have. Remember that the main inspiration is BF1942. I'd say we've made it easier to get into the game, but it definitely requires a ton of skill to compete, and how about 50 ranks for depth? I'd say we have made it very balanced with the experience from previous games and many iterations of balancing.
Q%Atticus12%197279% Can you explain the character advancement to us? What do different ranks offer?
A% Patrick Liu: Ranking and awards are mainly for bragging rights, so we don't have any unlocks per se. we wanted to make it a really fair experience. someone that's played it for 10 hrs shouldn't have any real advantage, the only thing that matters is skill! But then we have that small challenge of 43 million kills to unlock a whole new map and game mode...
Q%kungphu%13120% Is there going to be a multiplayer beta? Or some kind of demo to test before launch?
A% Gordon Van Dyke: No beta, but we have a trial version that lets you confirm what you already thought - that this game is the best USD 15 I will ever spend!
A% Super Moderating Hero: The Battlefield trio have to go now, but we have time for one last question. Would you rather have lasers for eyes or be able to turn invisible. And why?
A% Kelly Ekins: Haha! That's awesome! Invisible for sure.
A% Gordon Van Dyke: Invisible because like you said, I'm famous baby. Even got spotted at Heathrow! Kid freaked out and was so excited he couldn't speak. And I could live in Bill Gates mansion!
A% Kelly Ekins: I want to hear what Patrick prefers!
A% Patrick Liu: Invisible, hands down. What would I do with lasers? I could do a lot more than live in Bill Gates' mansion...
A% Super Moderating Hero: Thank you!
A% Gordon Van Dyke: No, thank you, and a big thanks to those that asked questions, even if they didn't get in!