Inside DICE: Taking terrain to new heights in Armored Kill

DICE Senior Environment Artist Andrew Hamilton runs us through the creative goals of creating the environments for Battlefield 3™: Armored Kill.

Hello everyone, I’m Andrew Hamilton, Senior Environment Artist here at DICE. My role spreads quite far throughout different aspects of the environments within Battlefield 3 and its expansions, but I tend to always lean more towards the natural elements including features such as terrain, vegetation and lighting. Working on the upcoming Battlefield 3 expansion Armored Kill – which covers many square kilometres of natural landscape – has been a very rewarding project due to each of the four levels dominantly organic nature.

I for one have been eager to release some truly large maps, so being able to really push what we are capable of sprinkling across such large expanses has been a fun challenge, not only in terms of density and detail of the environment, but also its believability and uniqueness. As all four levels of “XP3” (our internal project name for the third expansion pack) are heavily environment focused, the environments themselves had to be a standout feature. Going into the project I wanted to focus on a few key areas:

– Push the quality from up close macro details right out to far distant mountains.
– Make the levels feel even more expansive and immerse players in a living world.
– Tune the terrain creation process to further utilise its unique features.

Soak in the atmosphere of Alborz Mountain. Make sure to change the Quality to 720p, or click through to YouTube to watch it in its maximum resolution.

Pushing the quality

Due to the large expanses of the four new Armored Kill levels, players tend to favour cover, and in this case that cover is generally some kind of natural formation within the environment. We strived to increase the detail of these elements across the board to make the environments as a key feature of the pack really shine. Higher resolution terrain and vegetation textures, more detail in organic objects such as tree trunks and higher density of objects scattering the landscape are just some of the points we focused on to really push the quality bar throughout the entirety of Armored Kill.

One of the great features of the Frostbite 2 engine is the ability to scatter hundreds of thousands of objects across the landscape to accentuate each terrain surface, naturally filling it with grass, stones, twigs, trash and anything else to give the surface of the landscape volume. This approach worked great for Battlefield 3, but for Armored Kill we wanted to increase the fidelity of these details even further. Up close and prone you will see higher density of scattered objects including grass, hundreds of small stones, and in one particular case the glittering grains of sand that fill the dunes of Bandar Desert!

We wanted to maintain this quality across the landscape no matter where you travelled and from what distance it was perceived. From prone face down in the dirt to flying high up above the clouds looking across the entire map, the achieved detail is at a constant level of fidelity. Ground detail is full of volume, and far backdrop mountains are now actual modelled geometry to the horizon – no more simple distant cylinders with an image slapped on its surface! The illusion of a never-ending landscape is much more successfully realised.

“The environments themselves had to be

a standout feature”

From one base to the next, you feel a great sense of traversing through a living environment. Click for full size.

Immersing the player
With Armored Kill having a strong focus on the environment, we wanted to truly hand craft each and every square inch of their kilometres of natural landscape for players to explore, which was no easy feat. While we created convincing and believable environments on all four levels through thoughtful placement of natural elements – understanding how mountains are formed, where water flows down their surfaces carrying sediment and deposits at their base – we didn’t want it to all simply feel like window dressing. We want players to feel immersed in these environments. We set out to achieve this through a combined effort of art, audio and effects.

Travelling up the side of Alborz Mountain the fog and snow in the air gets thicker and starts to feel colder. Continuing above the clouds the sky parts and shines brighter. Birds are scattered throughout the levels and in trees, only to be spooked by explosions or approaching enemies, flying off out of harm’s way. Much greater depth and perception of distance shines through in the levels through use of fog and actual clouds in the sky you can fly through, adding a whole new dimension to traversing the environments.

To accompany the more highly detailed environments, audio and effects also came into great play. When there isn’t a barrage of explosions and gunfire you can hear the trees creek in the wind, ice grinding under the frozen surface, and flags gently flapping in the wind. Likewise, explosion effects fill with dirt from underneath a thin layer of snow, leaves on the ground kick up from the forest floor, and hollow dead trees shatter into splinters when you crash through them with a quad bike. The combination of all these elements work together to create a vibrant, living environment.

Alborz Mountain offers a unique change of setting as you head up to the cold, snowy peaks. Click for full size.

Tuning the terrain
We have developed a pretty solid workflow creating the landscapes for Battlefield 3 within our Frostbite 2 editor, FrostEd, but going into Armored Kill we wanted to tune this process further utilising its unique features to introduce finer landscape details. The bulk of the terrain process remains largely intact, but it was in the fine tuning where features continued to be refined and polished.

The versatile terrain toolset within the Frostbite 2 editor, FrostEd, for producing vast landscapes.

Firstly within FrostEd using its terrain toolset, a terrain is roughly sculpted with gameplay and broad, natural landscape formations in mind to get a quick visual idea of which direction we want to take the level. At this early stage strong reference material is of high importance as to not deviate too much from what is naturally possible in the real world. Height information we have sculpted in FrostEd is then taken into WorldMachine, where we erode the landscape via an assortment of erosion tools to produce more natural results than what is possible by hand sculpting 8 kilometres of terrain directly within FrostEd. Various assets are produced in WorldMachine, such as a Heightmap, basic Colour information and Masks which define the natural flow of erosion across the landscape. Taking these newly generated assets back into FrostEd we can start piecing it all together. The new naturally eroded height information serves as a great base from which we can hand-sculpt gameplay features where needed, and the masks serve as the starting point from where we define where grass grows, rock protrude the earth, and any other related natural features.

Into the details, we further use these masks for more defined features such as the formation of sediment sliding down the surface of the landscape, or where water and puddles would accumulate. Where landscape surfaces meet each other, such as snow to rock, the surfaces now behave in a more convincing manner. Snow and grass fall between rock, for example, instead of a gradual linear fade between the two. Finer details have worked their way into each surface, such as snow and desert sand sparkling in the sun, or ice distorting and reflecting the environment. The strong focus on such small details throughout the entire landscape really pays off when most of the players’ time is spent with the environment filling the entirety of their screen.

More environmental detail than ever when prone in the undergrowth of Alborz Mountain. Click for full size.

Building the environments of Armored Kill, filling them with detail and life, has been a lot of fun and extremely rewarding. I can’t wait for everyone to get out their winter boots come September! If you have any questions regarding the environments in Battlefield 3 feel free to ask in the comments section below and I’ll try answer where I can. And don’t forget to vote in the poll to let us know your favorite multiplayer setting.

Andrew Hamilton
Senior Environment Artist

Battlefield 3: Armored Kill is out September 4 for PlayStation 3 Premium members / September 11 for Xbox 360+PC Premium members. Learn more about Premium.

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  • Voyagerr2 03.27.13 at 13:22

    Love to get my hands on that Frostbite 2 editor!

  • mellow-yell15 02.15.13 at 23:10

    I love these map and the original bf3 mps but i can’t help wondering why your team did not dsign the base game maps in such detail After all, shouldn’t it be easier with the smaller, older maps? Also, in Alborz mountain thesun just seems so bright! Any chance it could be patched to bee slightlyless taxing on the eyes? Still a great game though guys. Keep up the good work.

  • cdjjr1973 12.02.12 at 22:54

    I think the map detailing is great but the imagination is limited on what these maps detail are used in a way in which they can be truly appreciated. Such as opening hallways and doorways to actually move up through more building through hallways and sniper spots on roofs and balconies. Not just the first 3 floors. Maps such as karkland, seine crossing and so fourth are have great detail but limited to only being viewed from the outside. I love the detail but I truly would be really excited to see a map in a city type setting such as seine crossing in which you could actually move through more than 3 floors of 3-5 buildings.

  • valson86 11.28.12 at 08:52

    Снега добавить побольше

  • SGTSNIPES 09.25.12 at 11:15

    great job on detailing new maps,love them.

  • x1BBallerx 09.21.12 at 21:38

    I have an idea for a new class in bf3.

    It would be called specialist and the purpose would be for technical advantage to the battle field.

    Weapons: micro carbines or high powered sub machines guns like the Vector.

    Secondary: machine pistols or high powered pistols with a large caliber like the five seven or Tac 45. Because of the lack of stopping power at a range with the primary’s in this class these could help this be a little more balanced.

    Gadget 1: would be computers that would all do different things for example the 1st one would be a computer that would help you arm a disarm objectives faster and enemies without this gadget or class will take them longer to defuse but other specialists could unhack and make it normal again. The second could hack enemies radar for 30 seconds and make you shoe up as a team mate on their radar only to classes not specialist. The last computer could hack their vehicles to be easier to take down.

    Gadget 2: would be bouncing Bettys and tripwires only aloud to fit in door ways.

    Gadget 3: would be an EMP grenade or a Stun grenade and the last would be a decoy grenade.

    Specializations: could only be ammo applied to only yourself not the team due to the gadgets it would simply be unfair to have all this with a perk. so tell me what you guys think and lets make this a class!

  • Major_Warlord-6 09.20.12 at 01:27

    My premium is gone with all my expansions but it says i have armored kill , close quarters, and back to karkand but i cant access them

  • Cltheone 09.18.12 at 01:23

    No HUB would be nice.

  • Cltheone 09.18.12 at 01:21

    Now for some intelligent conversation. Back to what really matters!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Why don’t we have the option of controlling/changing the opaqueness of the hub. I would like to have the option of removing the map or anything on the screen so i could better enjoy the game on a 55′!!!!!
    What if your teammates had a glow that was only visible in direct site but not thru walls instead of these damn arrows. STILL ” THE OPTION TO CHANGE OPAQUENESS”. The map is removed for hardcore. If you’re lucky you will spawn into.
    I can’t understand why they didn’t think ABOUT The ReaL VeTeRaNs. People who have been with the game since it was created in a modern era(June 21, 2005). We deserve these options. Call of Duty has it in some games. :)
    I’M RELOADED !!!!
    Do i need to see it! I’m a veteran for ch…. sake!
    Forgot to mention PREMIUM MEMBER !!!!!!

  • FRACASSO305 09.14.12 at 19:25

    The levels in Armored Kill look amazing and have amazing terrain to explore and fight, the only complaint with this map pack is the lack of vehicles. Why call a map pack “Armored Kill” and have such large maps and such few vehicles? I was expecting from the front cover that we would have double the amount of tanks, quads, jeeps, planes, etc. Yet, this seems like a new map pack with pretty much the same amount of vehicles as any other level. Please add more vehicles as it really sucks to be playing in such large map areas and having your solder run to the next out post for miles!

  • cupe1972 09.14.12 at 12:32

    Very impressive maps.

    Reminds me of my childhood playing armys with my friends in the bush.

    Well Done Dice.

  • BF3superior69 09.12.12 at 02:45

    I am anticipating bandar dessert dice said its the biggest map :) dont mess it up dice

  • BF3superior69 09.12.12 at 02:41

    Armored shield I thoght was gunna be like caspian border but better :)

  • BF3superior69 09.12.12 at 02:38

    I hope people dont base camp waiting fr vehicles then then the game starts to suck-_-

  • stemar 09.10.12 at 12:08

    …and a gift for premium players, FrostEd :-)

  • COB1972 09.06.12 at 03:43

    Maybe with all these vehicles up for grabs It may stop all these idiots waiting in a queue at the bases.

  • x MWE x balmski 09.06.12 at 01:07

    yesssssssssss 5 days peeps

  • duty141 09.05.12 at 14:05

    I think i will have good time

  • Cltheone 09.05.12 at 05:13

    I don’t care too much about who just got killed. Unless I’m playing with friends don’t need to see it all the time.

  • Cltheone 09.05.12 at 05:07

    Dice ! Why, why, why, isn’t there an opaque setting for the hubb. Veterans who know the map can enjoy the maps a whhhoooolllllee lot better. Especially before Sept. 11, 2012 new release. We need an opaque option that puts a player into the game. Why is it so bright anyway!
    You know what an option to eliminate the hubb would also be perfect.
    What about being able to choose what we want to omit on our screen. It’s way too busy!!!!!
    What about the graphics, can’t really appreciate it. Blinded by the hubb.

  • NaSHaT_Al-iRaQi 09.03.12 at 17:33

    <3 I can't wait :)

  • X-akos-IV 09.03.12 at 16:46

    “With Armored Kill having a strong focus on the environment, we wanted to truly hand craft each and every square inch of their kilometres of natural landscape for players to explore, which was no easy feat. While we created convincing and believable environments on all four levels through thoughtful placement of natural elements – understanding how mountains are formed, where water flows down their surfaces carrying sediment and deposits at their base – we didn’t want it to all simply feel like window dressing. We want players to feel immersed in these environments. We set out to achieve this through a combined effort of art, audio and effects.”
    RESPECT DICE!!!!!!! :)

  • rubin045 09.03.12 at 13:46

    When it came out for sony at what time it will be???

  • maicalgeacson 09.03.12 at 13:08

    “living world” really? and where is that “living world” in that map, I can’t see it, do you ? Maybe you wanna say VIBRANT world(environment), not “living”. Learn to express correctly when you speak pal…If you make 3000 USD a month you think you know automatelly how to express yourself ? lol

    • insomniMACK 09.03.12 at 17:30

      “automatelly how to express yourself” wtf were you even trying to say there??? I’d reply to your inane comment, but that’s not even a word!

      anyway, some legit looking maps! Cant wait to play them!

    • bigdaddymoe 09.04.12 at 18:37

      So Maicalgeacson, are you saying a Biosphere is not a living world. I see trees, are they living? Grass living? It’s water in the map, I think living thing live in that also. Vibrant would be a descriptive word relating to the map resonant and looking energetic. I don’t know how much you make a month but it’s clear you didn’t use it to learn english. Use some of it to buy a dictionary.

  • Ahraneas 09.03.12 at 03:24

    For Premium members on PC the new content gets available @ the eleventh of september. I’m ashamed to write it, but i took three days off from work to play this game followed up by the weekend. This map really does it for me. What i like most about it are the trees and the landscape which is PERFECT for a battle. If i picture myself IRL in a role of a soldier, i will see exact what DICE has designed making this map. This is EXACTLY what i personally want in a map. Other maps i really like are Wake Island and Caspian Border. Looking forward to it!

  • Mr Frodo24 09.03.12 at 01:48

    I can’t wait to load into a game on this map with my turtle beaches on and just listen to everything. Will be so freaking epic.

    I really hope that they have made good designs for Conquest, Rush, etc. for 360 and PS3. These maps are perfect for PC since they can have 32 on 32 and will fill up perfectly, but it will take a good amount of balancing to keep these maps good on console. Maps like Caspian, Kharg, and Firestorm can get boring fast on console. I hope these maps are not like that.

  • TantricK HD 09.02.12 at 23:02

    Ohh, i hope they give us some new firearms as well. A badass sniper wouldn’t be wrong ;) Can’t wait for the 11th of september!!! =D

  • admntk86668 09.02.12 at 21:47

    عمل جبآرر جداً
    القنآآص بيلعب لعــــب ههههههه

  • Graboss87 09.02.12 at 21:38

    thanks god that i did jump from ps3 to pc realy nice map xD atleast i can enjoy the view

  • lucianmatei81 09.02.12 at 19:24

    peaceful landscape (like skyrim has to offer)…. can t wait to blow shit up on these mountains

    • psicodani76 09.02.12 at 20:50

      I think exactly the same…. BF3 in Skyrim

  • zachgutknecht 09.02.12 at 19:22

    Looks good for snipers.

  • bmwkid1234 09.02.12 at 13:44

    only two days away, i can already taste the intense desruction the Dice has forced in this DLC

  • Megagoth1702 09.02.12 at 12:58

    finally a TRUE battlefield map eh?

    huge map, vehicle combat, interesting terrain. now THAT is a pinaccle of a map for me! thank you DICE.

    it is very sad that you guys have to slam out a few in my opinion low quality DLCs (close quarters, aftermath, endgame – all this new age urban shit is getting on my nerves, damn call of duty) just to be able to release a PROPER dlc such as armored kill.

    still – awesome. take my money.

    and – YOU GUYS NEED TO RELEASE MORE PATCHES!!! it is NOT COOL that we have to wait fucking MONTHS for a new patch which is just a part of a DLC… please guys, hurry that process up man! it’S saddening to see indie companies doing patches on a weekly basis but you guys dont manage to do so. :(

    keep it up guys.

  • 00killer123 09.02.12 at 08:09

    i really think they should add snowmobiles to all the snow maps (just an idea) but other than that it looks amazing keep it up!!!

    • XxKyriakos_ANOxX 09.02.12 at 13:16

      maybe in end game because it is going to have dirt bikes too

  • THE BEST IN TOWN 09.02.12 at 05:47


  • Thin_Mint 09.02.12 at 05:23

    Andrew Hamilton, you and your team did a spectacular job and i cant wait to get out and see it for myself! the maps are stunning!

  • thebrokekiller 09.02.12 at 04:25

    Now if they would only give us battle recorder as promised so we could film like that

  • CrysisSam 09.01.12 at 20:55

    Amazing Graphic, I must upgrade my GPU to enjoy all features then, waiting a while now for Armored Kill, hope it would keep me busy for a while until next map come again on December.

  • decogold 09.01.12 at 14:37

    Looks amazine and saw all trailers cannot wait till it comes out for PS3 come on Premium!
    Epic Job!

  • Asjack666 09.01.12 at 11:48

    Now this is why I beefed up my pc, scenery looks amazing, audio sounds amazing.. And YES finally I can fly into the clouds.

  • 8oREAPERo8 09.01.12 at 09:51

    wil there be an ac-130 in Armored Shield and Death Valley to
    pleas anser
    ps wil there to be a ac-130 in the normal classic bf3 maps
    maybe in a appart game mode like : conquest gunship
    i hope so

  • ginaOWNZZZ 09.01.12 at 07:48

    thank you this map is the major one i was waiting for and also i am also looking foreward to aftermaths civilian vehicle, i hope you make them all drivable (all the cars on the street)

  • d00g3n 09.01.12 at 06:01

    One thing I noticed in the video was the transition from forested to alpine environments. In my experience, you won’t see large, tall standing conifers right up to the tree line; instead, you’ll find a gradual decline in tree height up until the altitude where the treeline transitions to alpine. I immediately felt out of place and confused when I saw the large, tall trees up on the slopes of an alpine peak.

  • XD9mmFMJ 09.01.12 at 02:30

    F U Dice….shows map editor, says all their customers are too stupid to use it themselves, but offers a competition for map design, so Dice can sell more maps. What a bunch of jerks.

    • MMFWCL Phoenix 09.01.12 at 07:09

      Then don’t buy/play the game.

      • MSTSGTShadow 09.01.12 at 15:47

        why be mad for the exellent work they have done they give and some of you complain why ? you cant begain to understand the time and effort that goes into what they have done here. you are just mad because YOU dont Make the money they do

    • bloodymidget 09.01.12 at 21:00

      Of course there is a map editor since the maps exist. What they said, and what most developers have said is that it takes a team of people working for a few months to create a good map. It would take people off of their main projects to have to make another software that crammed the work of a dozen people on enterprise class hardware in to a package that could run on the average PC sitting in your room. If you really want to edit maps, get an art degree and learn the fundamentals of design and how to use really high end software.

    • bigdaddymoe 09.04.12 at 18:54

      goto numnut and download blender, and yes you are a jerk.

  • unit_101010 08.31.12 at 21:28

    interesting and well-written. i’m especially glad that there seems to be a significant number of BF3 players that also crave more sophisticated content such as this.

  • P3ruano55 08.31.12 at 21:26

    Nice they are making Battlefield even more awesome with those extra details :D thats what the game was missing ! also i think a Jungle map would be pretty sick too ! like no human works just vast Jungle and warfare ! that would be crazyyyyy.

  • ayeballkid 08.31.12 at 20:41

    Solid post, love the idea of seeing much more in the way of mountains, snow, night, forest and jungle. Hopefully we can get official servers running dedicated game modes…

  • Shogun Ruler 08.31.12 at 18:53

    This was actually a really great blog post. I would like to see more of them with this kind of caliber in the future please.

    • thehitman1398 08.31.12 at 19:26

      Hooah!!! Like Shogun Ruler said, awesome blog post and I would also love to have more of this post maybe even for each map. Great job on showing us some of the process for us people that are not that computer savvy, and just for the behind the scenes feeling.

      • [DICE] AndyHam 09.01.12 at 10:50

        I’m glad you enjoyed the blog post! Always nice share a little developer insight into how we work :)

  • deehask 08.31.12 at 17:36

    Andrew, will there be jets featured on all four maps of Armored Kill?

    • boomdiers 09.01.12 at 15:57

      There will be jets in the maps because it’s big maps

  • SlackAcrobat32 08.31.12 at 16:51

    Andrew Hamilton, what an excellent job! Now if we can get Dice’s audio crew to nix the nasty language, this game will be even more awesome.

    • ayeballkid 08.31.12 at 20:42

      Nix the nasty language? Why? Its supposed to be a “war”, what did you want: oh darnit Jimmy, please get down as the bullets are going to injure you…

    • kubi50000 09.02.12 at 04:55

      Are you F$#%ING serious. I don’t know if you’ve been strung out on peyote and crystal meth for the past couple of weeks but just a quick heads up; BF3 is a “war simulator”. How can you be alright with shooting guys in the face with a shotgun but offended when someone says shit? Go play checkers at church……..Jesus H. tap-dancin’ christ on a cross

  • Shezmen 08.31.12 at 16:47

    wow….wow…speechless and breathless… :)

  • Fraeme 08.31.12 at 16:43

    A Forest Map would be too awesome!!!!!

  • BF3_Killa_69 08.31.12 at 16:22

    Great work DICE!!!i hope we can shot the birds & then revive them!!!! :-)

  • A TURTLE 08.31.12 at 16:06

    I hope they fix tree problem, I hate it when you run into a tree with your tank and you get stuck until the tree is gone.

  • HenGGa 08.31.12 at 14:19

    DICE really should publish those dev tools.

    • SirMafia 08.31.12 at 15:33

      noez! normal peepul can’t handle those complexicated tools to maek maps & moeds! (translates to: we do not publish those tools because WE wan’t to sell DLC’s and MODS/MAPS would hurt our pocket).True story,you heard it here first

  • MrBeattraxx 08.31.12 at 13:50

    I think, it would be nice, if DICE would put these new features in all older maps. A really nice thing would be, if they include weather changes and maybe a day/night cycle. So you can play every map as you like. Just imagine how awesome Caspian or Gulf of Oman would look like, if it’s raining or in the night. Of course the server admins can change that option for each map.

    • optyk 08.31.12 at 16:49

      I support this idea.

    • ayeballkid 08.31.12 at 20:43

      Great point, I know they did something very similar to BC2 so its in their capabilities, maybe they will do this as some free DLC over the next month or two as the development cycle on putting something like that out would be cake.

  • Crazyglues 08.31.12 at 12:47

    Yeah I hope we do get snow cameo, that would be awesome for this map…

  • Killa P. 08.31.12 at 12:41

    snow, i miss that in bf3, map looks sweeeeeet

  • PmanMcshred 08.31.12 at 12:13

    I always welcome improved features and totally agree the new maps look epic, can’t wait to get on them. I just hope they haven’t forgot about the destructible environment, seem’s to me the dev team are more worried about making the maps look nice rather than how realistic the damage to the environment is. If you look at the difference between BFBC2 to BF3 it’s like it’s took a step backwards in this department.

  • GinGiLsE 08.31.12 at 10:50

    weather changes? yeah would be awesome! I mean: Bandar Desert, you are there playing hard trying to win that match.. and, in no more than 20 seconds, a sandstorm grow up and all you can see is far no more than 5 meters! that would be… yeeeah.. awesome! that would be an occasion to use the irnv some more too!

    • EPICMONKEY43 08.31.12 at 11:44

      The only problem is, irnv have very short range, so it would be point less sometimes.

    • Killa P. 08.31.12 at 12:42

      yep this would be cool

  • Brit14d 08.31.12 at 10:45

    yes its about time we had large maps with more tanks jets heli’s etc so sick of 2 tanks 2 lav’s feels like the blinking ark 2 by 2 by 2 lol well done dice can’t wait.

  • dangerdeal 08.31.12 at 10:43

    how can you NOT release a snow/white camo for this?? i meen spec ops black should have an opposite camo like snow ops white or something, i meen id rock a white camo even in metro.

  • zakrocz 08.31.12 at 10:19

    Such a shame that all that hard work is wasted with the worst vehicle gameplay in the history of the franchise


  • Whiplash003 08.31.12 at 09:52

    Yeah night missions would be nice like in the Battlefield 2 Special Forces Expansion…

    • KineticBullet87 08.31.12 at 11:25

      One of the new maps named “Death Valley” will be set at night which should be pretty awesome.

  • pumpedwax 08.31.12 at 09:46

    The amount of improvements in this expansion alone would have been enough to call it Battlefield 4!
    The way this game is refined and improved over expansions is incredible, I love the look of Alborz Mountains. Such a beautiful environment :3

  • Kuiriel 08.31.12 at 08:54

    I absolutely loved the view and flying into the clouds in the single player flight mission. It was so incredibly beautiful. Why don’t we have rainy missions and water like THAT in the multiplayer?

    • Pheonix929 08.31.12 at 09:44

      I agree! weather changes could be really awesome as well as night missions on multiplayer maps

    • Brit14d 08.31.12 at 10:46

      yer i was really hoping for this aswell esp on my 680 gfx’s card it loves bf3

  • Kuiriel 08.31.12 at 08:54

    Wow, that last shot goes high. If you’re saying that we can FLY our jets into the CLOUDS to use them as cover from other jets, I will be ABSOLUTELY ECSTATIC!!

    Solid cloud should be what we encounter as the highest out-of-bound area – and we should stall and fall, rather than just get stuck in molasses.

  • allcaponne35 08.31.12 at 08:23

    Hey nice, how about to fix sound and glitch issues now for the existing maps??

  • GrEyMaTaSpLaTa 08.31.12 at 07:15

    Well, Dice…….. i know weve been having some issues lately. One thing Im most certain about, is that AK will be epic and change gaming. To me BF3 is not a game.., I Enjoy My BF3 Experience… Nuff Said

  • Arancivia7 08.31.12 at 06:49

    So by living environments,in Alborz Mountain could you see like a tree branch,trunk, flowing through the stream?Also,could you shoot the birds,could there be a mini-avalanche in that map?That would be sweet

    • FlushedInk 08.31.12 at 08:36

      Omg that’s a great idea, and on Bandarr desert there could be a sandstorm of sorts, maybe a. Rain shower on Death Valley? (This next one is kind of a joke :/ ) A forest fire on armored shield even? And of course the avalanche. DICE IF YOU’RE READING THIS MAKE MORE HUGE EVENTS LIKE THE ANTENNA ON CASPIAN BORDER!!!

  • Laffles 08.31.12 at 06:42

    The map is gorgeous, well done. May I ask, how long roughly does a map like this take to create?

    • bigdaddymoe 08.31.12 at 07:50

      It takes months to do it, Frosbite looks alot like Blender which I’m work with right now along with ZBrush and the UDK to make my own game. I know I’m always finding something on the 3D map to fix just to make it look better.

  • bugbug663 08.31.12 at 06:25

    I hope the future be able to see the raining, dense forest swamp Figure!! Thank you, you give the player such a great gaming experience!!!

  • BudgetCross 08.31.12 at 05:13

    Great post, I am one of the people who care a lot about graphics and this is one of the reasons I bought this game. Honestly, this game and premium was really worth it. Can’t wait for Armored Kill and when I download Armored Kill, first thing I am going to do is join an empty server just to roam and learn the map and see it’s beauty. Good job Andrew Hamilton.

    • [DICE] AndyHam 09.01.12 at 10:55

      Thanks mate! .. there’s certainly alot of Alborz to explore and uncover :)

  • hyphebeezyslapp 08.31.12 at 05:07

    Cool idea might be topographical maps based off of those early landscapes, maybe as a premium bonus content?

  • ap70 08.31.12 at 03:59

    I work 10 hs a day in front of a pc and usually play at least another 2 hs.
    Most of the maps are too white or have the sun always against our aim.
    Dice should do new lighting settings for the future maps or at least some night versions.
    Snow is out of my list once it will blind me.

  • Drakhonic 08.31.12 at 03:50

    I wouldn’t mind a clean urban environment with wide open spaces and tall balconies, like a corporate park or something out of Le Corbusier’s imagination. The current urban maps are too cramped and filled with debris.

  • maicalgeacson 08.31.12 at 03:30

    alborz mountains map is magnificent ! Well done DiCE.

  • Lone-Wolf1977 08.31.12 at 03:12

    how about being able to riddle a tree with bullets and chopping it down

    • [DICE] AndyHam 09.01.12 at 10:59

      You can shoot the branches off various dead trees and logs scattered around with regular bullets, but healthy trees take a little more explosive firepower ;)

  • SilentQ 08.31.12 at 03:07

    I beg you dice I BEG YOU, take out the scope flare and take us back to the good old battlefield. I don’t see the point of being a sniper with a tank takes me out from a mile away becuase he sees my scope flare. And trying to kill someone at range with a x4 scope well lets not get into that.


    • romualdos666 08.31.12 at 03:15

      And be more OP camper sniper? I enjoy killing you 12x scope sniper with my simple red dot sight on m16. You cant see a point, I give you 1: We don”t wont lame noobs camping whole map and force people to take sniper as well making the game boring.

      • maicalgeacson 08.31.12 at 03:27

        I am not a noob, I might also have twice your age. I want just to remind you that Battlefield 3 is NOT …YOUR GAME to make your own rule. Everyone plays it as it likes it. That’s why THIS is a..GAME. Maybe for you it isn’t. If it’s that the case maybe…you should ask yourself if YOUR place is…here;)

        • -BiA-EagleEye 08.31.12 at 03:51

          I agree. All the people complaining about the sniper, which has been a kit/class that has been an exciting part of the ‘Battlefield’ games for so long should really take a second and think about what they actually are complaining about. First of all, on the modern day battlefield (which also happen to be the name of the game series) the sniper plays a valueable and not to mention VITAL part of a squad/platoon/batallion. And ‘camping’ is the wrong term in this debate. I struggle twice as much with any other class “camping” around corners and such, and hey, I manage to deal with it some obscure way because IT IS A WAR GAME. Kill or be killed. There are plenty of servers that might suit people who are not updated on how the wars in the 21st century are fought, servers that don’t allow snipers, explosives and other kind of weapons that might give a player/squad some kind of advantage in a fight. If tis isn’t enough for those who struggle with snipers and such, they should really consider finding another game to play. And yes, get rid of thos damn scope flares, it is ridiculous.

  • Gabfreak 08.31.12 at 02:44

    I’m a huuuuuuge fan of maps that are not urban. Those outdoor maps are for me that’s for sure! I know, even from the first screenshot, that Alborz Mountains will be MY map, my favorite one! So glad DICE put a huge BF2-like map… FINALY WITH A BIG FOREST AND SNOW :D

    Wich they’ll put WINTER CAMO for our character tough ;)

  • xXMARKELINXx 08.31.12 at 02:39

    I hope i can shoot a tank round at the ice and make someone fall in and freeze :)

  • FredericoTche 08.31.12 at 02:18

    I wonder if one would freeze to death in that icy-cold lake

  • pattyducky 08.31.12 at 02:13

    Can you hunt the birds?

  • Windowguy 08.31.12 at 01:53

    Triple canopy jungle please. triple canopy jungle please triple canopy jungle please. Thank you for the horn on jeeps :) PS. Tripple canopy jungle please

    • Phishboy32 08.31.12 at 02:08

      From what i have read End Game is suppose to be set in a Jungle environment. Think Apocalypse Now!!!

  • WorldsBestGrama2 08.31.12 at 01:45

    Levels with falling snow are the best. PLEASE DICE MAKE ONE FOR DLC.

  • LwS - Ten4 08.31.12 at 00:59

    Maps I love to see.
    Rain, fog and wind at topical storm level with day and night options. Falling snow. Ambient sound effected by weather and sight.
    I ask alot but I dream.

    • --Pvt--Dancerx 08.31.12 at 01:01

      I always wanted them to do a map that was really dark and not with the spot light moon and add night vision to one of the slots as an option so you had to choose between something else important. thought that would be fun.

      • FredericoTche 08.31.12 at 02:21

        Real night maps would be awesome to play in. especially with a suppressor to flank your enemies

  • Phishboy32 08.31.12 at 00:42

    I hope they have some nice areas to pull of some serious Quad Bike Jumps. Id love to be flying in mid air and crash into a tree or even a camper who spawns on a tree top.

    • [DICE] AndyHam 09.01.12 at 11:02

      There sure is! You’re especially going to love the dunes of Bandar Desert in that case ;)

  • tinnysound 08.31.12 at 00:36

    Hell yes, and maybe some bunnies!

  • Phishboy32 08.31.12 at 00:36

    I cant wait to play this map. I cant wait to see how it effects scope glare and other things.

  • --Pvt--Dancerx 08.31.12 at 00:34

    Get a PC and join the real gamers… jk I’m sure they adjusted the maps and points slightly to deal with the smaller amounts of players on the maps and give options for slightly smaller versions of said maps for different game modes.

    • --Pvt--Dancerx 08.31.12 at 00:34

      Sorry that was supposed to be a reply and not a post :\

  • Nonids 08.31.12 at 00:32

    It would be great to include progressive destruction, like when you blow up half of the building, it would actually remain on the street, making it impossible for some vehicles to cross over it. That way, you could actually do some really cool tactical play. Just thinking… :)

  • WLF42 08.31.12 at 00:32

    I think it’s time for dice to release that Frost Ed shiz :D The Alborz map will be awesome with the big changes in elevation and the fights going up and down the mountainside. The released BF3 maps don’t really have large scale fighting on a slope.

  • KofeeShop 08.31.12 at 00:27

    Now, that’s the kind of stuff I enjoy seeing/reading! Thank you and keep it coming :)
    Really nice to show a glance of FrostEd, I hope you plan to show more.

    (Not voting in the poll, because if done right all 4 types are appealing more or less equally (less urban/city ito my taste though))

  • Uber Man12 08.31.12 at 00:18

    i mean when it dosnt vibrate

  • Uber Man12 08.31.12 at 00:17

    hey dice, can you make it so the ACW-R has controller vibration because it gets me angry when my controller vibrates when im shooting.

  • BF_WolfMan 08.31.12 at 00:11

    Adding a few Roaming Grizzly Bears that come at you while running through the forests of Alborz Mountian would make this a game changer, comments?

  • CAMO BACON29 08.31.12 at 00:09

    hey dice i play on xbox and i want to know how do you find someone on such big maps if their is only 12 enemys

  • wtrmlnjuc 08.31.12 at 00:07

    If there’s FrostEd, why can’t we have mod tools, or at least map creation tools? You could have map creation contests!

  • DKENT213 08.30.12 at 23:52


  • red_dawg937 08.30.12 at 23:39

    Good job guys the new maps look sweet.

  • Dragoons47 08.30.12 at 23:33

    This looks, no will be awesome. The trailer had a part where some tree’s were falling down and it looked awesome! Bring Sept 4th on!

  • ElPimpident 08.30.12 at 23:21

    Wow guys, good job. This map looks amazing. Can’t wait.

  • Rockydo 08.30.12 at 23:20

    I think that my “looking forwards to Armored Kill” is an enormous underestimation !!!!!
    It’s gonna be f****ing awesome !!!!!! Great job DICE and thank you for a game that is already awesome ! I know today that I made no mistake in buying Battlefield 3 Premium :)

  • SPUDRENCH17 08.30.12 at 23:12

    will there be breath ???? you know that cloud of condensation when you exhale in the cold??? could have it mess with optics after sprinting too long ????

  • SPUDRENCH17 08.30.12 at 23:06

    will there be rockslides or avalanches that we can trigger???? kill a group or cut a transport route??? i can’t be the only person thinking like this!!! rubble kills on sienne rock !!!!!

    • SPUDRENCH17 08.30.12 at 23:09

      you could melt a path with your repair kit, blow rocks away with C4, trigger another one with mobil artillery or mortar ! that would make the mortar semi usefull again

    • --Pvt--Dancerx 08.30.12 at 23:40

      These are some AMAZING ideas! this would add more stagey to the game! which I would love!

  • Khris-Kash 08.30.12 at 23:00

    lets hope that the next soldier upgrade will have snow camo

  • Smasher4ya 08.30.12 at 22:54


  • Rygar1976 08.30.12 at 22:50

    PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE RELEASE THE FROSBITE 2.0 Editor. I could understand if you decided to wait until the final expansion pack was close to released or released to maximize your sales of xpacks and Premium, but if you dont release this at some point to the community you are doing us a MASSIVE disservice. Having hundreds of custom maps to play on is what made past Battlefield games so incredibly addictive. PLEASE!!!

    • TrevorMcNeill 08.30.12 at 22:52

      dude they wont they didn’t even release 1.0

  • Mayhem711 08.30.12 at 22:38

    MY FUCKING GOD CLOUDSSSSS FINALLY, yes I yelled because I was asking for this from the beginning

    • --Pvt--Dancerx 08.30.12 at 22:46

      It is exciting…. Jets now have a very awesome dynamic to their fights.

    • LORD JUBAKA 08.30.12 at 22:48

      now AA guns wont be able to shoot from across the map with so much ease

  • ThriveSkateboard 08.30.12 at 22:26

    I’m writing this in hopes that someone at DICE sees this and takes it into account. Since you stated that you’re bumping up the level of natural cover and its clearly seen in the video as tall grass and brush, I just want to suggest that we be able to choose our camo with things like ghillie suits. It would be a huge help when it comes to using natural cover and would be great if I could choose any class but still have the camo I feel I need.

    I’m sure this has been considered to some degree cause it’s not like it’s an original idea, but I’m sure plenty of fans would be happy with the addition of custom camo/ghillie.

    • LORD JUBAKA 08.30.12 at 22:34

      i totally agree

    • TrevorMcNeill 08.30.12 at 22:44

      i would only want it for recon class because it doesn’t belong anywhere else

    • SPUDRENCH17 08.30.12 at 22:55

      the “BUSHWOOKIE” has evolved into the combat shrub!!! let him be, don’t try & force this poor ignorant creature back down the evolutionary ladder. it took it along time to get a clue let it try to flourish & take hold to it’s new surroundings.

      • ThriveSkateboard 08.31.12 at 00:35

        last I remember BF3 was a combat game and combat comes in two flavors, strategic and retarded “run and gun”. sorry if you’re the latter and people, who play with a bit of stealth and cunning, over power you. Perhaps you should actually attempt to use some stealth and cunning yourself and you wont have such a problem with how other people play the game.

        • ThriveSkateboard 08.31.12 at 00:40

          that last reply wasn’t even considering the fact that the designers of the game/map specifically have added these sorts of cover for this very purpose.

  • Indefragable 08.30.12 at 22:26

    1. Andrew: cool article. The technical details are neat, but it would be (IMHO) more interesting to learn your inspiration for the settings/features of the maps.
    2. PLEASE include RUSH on these new maps…dropped the ball with Close Quarters only having DOM and TDM/DM. There are quite a few of us who prefer more “realistic”/objective-based games as opposed to run-and-gun.
    3. Alborz mountain is definitely the standout of the Armored Kill maps so far. I was hooked as soon as I saw it in the Premium-only video (shameless plug). The reason I am most excited for Alborz is that the map seems to tell a story.

    What do I mean by the map “telling a story?” The variation in the environment, the placement of objects and flags and fighting points (like the Taliban-esque cave at the top of the mountain) all suggest an epic struggle took place here, ala Tora Bora or Mount Suribachi. You can just imagine history books describing how the US Marines had to fight there way to the top of the imposing Alborz Mountain, braving thin ice, steep roads, treacherous cliffs, falling objects, and hidden caves to conquer this landmark. Bandar Desert, etc… look cool but they are more of “sand box” maps. If it is not too late in the development cycle, I would love to see more maps that “tell a story” like this.

    • drumscarinbr 08.30.12 at 22:36

      All of the AK maps will be playable in all 5 ‘base’ modes (CQ, Rush, SQ Rush, SDM and TDM). In addition, all maps will offer an additional (new) mode called Tank Superiority, for a total of 6 modes.

    • [DICE] AndyHam 09.01.12 at 11:41

      Thanks mate!
      Regarding the inspiration for setting and features, I wanted to find a location that set itself apart from other BF3 multiplayer maps, but still related to the BF3 world. Having always been fascinated by recreating nature, I watch alot of documentaries for inspiration such as BBCs Planet Earth. It’s a great source of inspiration for any environment artist.. almost every frame from that documentary – along with many other BBC nature documentaries – showcase my dream map to build, there’s just not enough time! Like everyone else though, I’ve been eager to build a snow map for BF3, so I looked for somewhere around the top regions of Iran heading towards the Russian border.. there I found Alborz Mountain!

      With references from the area, plus beautiful references from other sources, I took some free liberties and pieced together the best parts. I knew I wanted some key features such as a large open tundra, thick pine forest, a strong transition from low to high altitude, windy ice cold mountain peaks, caverns, winding rocky paths with steep drops, a frozen lake, etc. As these features are naturally spread across 100’s of kilometers in the real world, I needed to compact these features into about 8km while still retaining its believability. There’s not a whole lot reuse of content on Alborz Mountain, it’s quite a unique map in setting!

      Environmental storytelling is something I was definitely aiming for on Alborz Mountain. The setting and structures located around reflect the area.. it’s full of small fishing huts with traces of families having lived in the environment, until they were forced out by military operations taking over in the mountain peaks above. There’s a strong contrast between the natural wooden establishment in the forest below to the structured facilities on top of the mountain.

      I hope you enjoy exploring! And yes, all 6 Vanilla game modes are playable on all 4 Armored Kill maps :)

  • XXXX__RICH__XXXX 08.30.12 at 22:15

    Wow, looks absolutely stunning. Cant wait to try it. :0)

  • tobzdaman_619 08.30.12 at 22:05

    Jesus, well done. We need more maps like this with this much detail and of this scale. BUUUUUUUT, Make sure that console get Double Assault/Assault for Conquest because no matter what Head-On WILL NOT work for any higher than 3 flags in a triangle formation a la CoD

  • UnderToker 08.30.12 at 22:05

    Great article, really enjoyed the read and looking forward to playing on these levels

    Two questions,

    Firstly the obvious, when will you let us have “FrostEd” to play with ? :0)

    Secondly is the ice covering the frozen lake destructible ?

    Thanks in advance for any reply

  • Atomicdawg187 08.30.12 at 22:03

    5 daze yipeeee!

  • koloco9 08.30.12 at 21:59

    Birds? Will there be other types of wildlife?

    • Profor 08.30.12 at 22:07

      Dragons and arrows?

    • SPUDRENCH17 08.30.12 at 23:02

      i heard ducks in video, i’ve also heard a cat on grand bazar, never seen it though! bettin PETA is involved, they don’t want us shooting up digital critters plus i don’t wanna give up a spot in my loadout for a can of tuna to kill a cat.

  • drumscarinbr 08.30.12 at 21:57

    This is off topic, but I hope someone from the BF3 team sees this.

    I feel that there should be a wider gap between core and hardcore.

    Here are a few ideas to do so:

    – Remove/reduce bullet tracers, or change their color to light gray/vapor trail effect. The game already has that ‘vapor trail’ streak that follows the tracer, just remove the tracer and leave the streak by itself. You shouldn’t be able to get a location on someone’s position from across the map when they fire, this isn’t Star Wars. Tracers are rarely used in modern combat for this very reason, as they just give your position away.

    – REMOVE the minimap.

    – Reduce player health to 50% .

    – Sprinting is ‘disabled’ when you are at 40% health and lower.

    – Add a ‘reload’ timer to jumping that limits you to jumping only once every 10 seconds or so. This would get rid of the bunny rabbits in this game. You soldier has a lot of gear and you would not be able to hop around like that.

    – You can only be revived once.

    – Teamkills result in a 750pt deduction.

    – If you commit suicide, you can only respawn at your base and you must wait 90 seconds to do so. This would stop the jet rammers and suicide C4 guys.

    I’m sure I’ll think of a few more things and I’ll update this thread when that happens.

    Here’s a link to the ‘get satisfaction’ thread. If you like some of these ideas, please support it there. []

    • --Pvt--Dancerx 08.30.12 at 22:16

      Common man there is a thread for this on the forums we are just here to discuss this map and be able to ask questions of the minds that made it. by convolution this thread you make it harder for us and dice to get what there looking for out of this.

      Here is a link to the right thread so you can post your suggestions

    • UnderToker 08.30.12 at 22:18

      The “no sprinting” when below 40% health is a great idea I think
      I’d like to see no revive at all for headshots

    • KneeFight 08.30.12 at 22:41

      Dude, Battlefield wouldn’t function as Battlefield under those conditions. It would cease to be the same game. If you’re trying to have a little more “realism” in the gaming world, why don’t you play Arma?

    • Rockydo 08.30.12 at 23:07

      Instead of changing Hardcore they should actually make a complete new gamemode just as you say called “Ultra Realism” or “Super Hardcore”, but leave the hardcore mode as it is.

  • Cargo_HUN 08.30.12 at 21:43

    Night and snow *.* i want it *.*

  • iwan787878 08.30.12 at 21:37


  • LORD JUBAKA 08.30.12 at 21:31

    i want t see more maps like that

  • englisharcher89 08.30.12 at 21:22

    DICE it would be nice to release this Frostbite Editor.

  • LORD JUBAKA 08.30.12 at 21:22

    i am ready to blow some shit up

  • themedic5-2_4 08.30.12 at 21:13

    i know this isn’t going to happen but the atmosphere when you go up higher should affect bullet drop and the winds on the mountain should affect the bullet as well. no one thinks of these things but if the game prides its self on realism it should take these things into consideration. obviously you add a windsock or something so its not to hard to snipe but it would make the game so much better.

    • DK_Dusty_82 08.30.12 at 21:50

      Why do people keep talking about realism when DICE time after time after time have told us that they actually are not that much focused on realism/or trying to be a simulator game like say Arma, but its more about authenticity! There is a difference!

    • --Pvt--Dancerx 08.30.12 at 22:13

      I like to try and put it like this. Its as real as it can be while still be fun. ARMA has its place and battlefield would be whats right in the middle between say CoD’s run and gun Rambo style game play and ARMA’s uber realistic style of play.

      so as far as ballistics go just having bullet drop and needing to lead your target because distance/bullet speed/how fast your target is moving makes it just challenging enough to be fun but not so hard its impossible for the AVG player.

  • sgtandy2008 08.30.12 at 21:12

    Tank and ATV racing would be awesome on such a map.

    • [DICE] AndyHam 08.31.12 at 10:31

      I’d like to see that! There’s certainly some great – and dangerous – looping paths on Alborz to do this :)

  • Brit14d 08.30.12 at 21:10

    yes would love to know whats off limits ie for snipers will go high!!! where is the cut off point

  • --Pvt--Dancerx 08.30.12 at 21:02

    My question is. How high up these mountains will we be able to travel? or will they be blocked off or instant death for coming close to them like in Damavand Peak? How friendly is exploring or going way out of your way to flank or go un-noticed in these new maps?

    • --Pvt--Dancerx 08.30.12 at 21:02

      And yes the map Looks amazing! I’m very excited to see what all you have done! good work.

    • [DICE] AndyHam 08.31.12 at 10:35

      The out-of-bounds are pushed a fair bit more out of direct gameplay areas than vanilla maps, so it definitely opens up for nice flanking opportunities.. or for snipers to find their nice perch far up a mountain ;)

  • FarKim 08.30.12 at 21:01

    You are responsible for the lighting… you are responsible for the sun!
    You sir, should be shot!

  • irishbarFighter 08.30.12 at 20:51

    You sir and your team makes some beautiful maps, keep up the good work :D

  • DeLucaFTW 08.30.12 at 20:46

    Will the frozen lake be breakable?

  • BIRTHDAYFACE046 08.30.12 at 20:45

    i swear this maps remind me some what of star wars… i mean how cool would it be to see a tie fighter and an x wing fly through the alborz mountains

  • oneshotnokillmom 08.30.12 at 20:37

    I can’t wait to explore, I love Caspian and the beauty but this is totally amazing. From what I see this will be worth the price of premium alone.

  • moodii_77 08.30.12 at 20:31

    awesome design, like the big maps, but can I play ‘tank superiority’ mode on all maps or just on Armored shield, cuz I didn’t see any gameplay on other map? … Will the AC-130 be available on Armored shield map ??

    • [DICE] AndyHam 08.31.12 at 10:25

      Tank Superiority and the AC-130 is available on all 4 Armored Kill maps!

  • raptor_i81 08.30.12 at 20:22

    Andrew Hamilton you did an epic and great work, I work on “Vue” program and I know how hard to design such convincing environment like what you and your team did in Armored Kill, very good post.

    • [DICE] AndyHam 08.31.12 at 10:28

      Thanks mate! Vue and GeoControl are other great programs we also looked into, but WorldMachine simply gave us the results we needed to continue the work within FrostEd.

  • marc9600 08.30.12 at 20:21

    Interesting post In fact, I would say much more interesting than the ‘exclusive’ premium content drops that are already all over the internet. Too bad they couldn’t put together something like this for premium users giving us more insight into the making of BF3 or even a history of the BF3 seires.

    Now, I wonder what my Xbox is going to make of all those pretty new graphical features ? Suspect it might just blow up, or perhaps it is only PC users that will benefit from all that fancy processing ?

  • NinjaQuick 08.30.12 at 20:17

    One thought: Are the mountains still tiny? Mountains in BF3 Vanilla are incredibly small…

  • Private UMPalot 08.30.12 at 20:17

    Screw killing anyone on the first day of AK’s release,I will jump on an ATV and explore. ; )

  • CHAINEDDAWG 08.30.12 at 20:13

    Why? are the Xbox/PC customers getting shafted a week, are not “ALL PREMIUM” members suppose to get new expansions “2 WEEK EARLY” ? ….Really though, come on dice, BS content drop, wont fix glitches, and now shafting the 2 most used platforms…I cant wait for the XP3, but your really pissing in my corn flakes with all this BS !!!

    • SoulTerror08 08.30.12 at 20:18

      I agree. WTF!!! Why do all the game manufacturers play favorites with PS3??!! This is BS. Either PS3 is getting the map pack 3 weeks early, or Xbox/PC are only getting it a week early. Either way this is not right.

    • Sifterboy 08.31.12 at 08:13

      its understandible that xbox gets it after ps3….. just saying

  • RubensMacroman 08.30.12 at 20:12

    I love these new maps but I think they could have more forests with dense forest with light vehicles pretty strong rains many more we wait the release 11th September to see how it really going to be and how we will be exploring a really unique experience is undoubtedly more the hint
    forests with dense forest vehicles with light rain tight
    a big hug to all friends of the Dice

    • RubensMacroman 08.30.12 at 20:14

      The graph will be beautiful in my SLI GTX 680 on maximum

  • Verteru 08.30.12 at 20:05

    Map looks amazing. Nice post too.

  • xKILLxFORxPEACEx 08.30.12 at 20:04

    The game is fine without modding

  • Stoonee 08.30.12 at 19:52

    If they release the mod tools fans will make the game 1000% times better and it will be sold much more. They are just making profit out of it. What’s the deal with that?

    • T4zzik 08.30.12 at 20:06

      They’ve said in the past that they can’t because Frostbite 2 licenses some third party components that legally can’t be given to the community. Plus, it’s also a huge amount of work to polish and support game development tools for public release.

      • UnderToker 08.30.12 at 22:15

        There isn’t any reason not to sell the editor to the community .
        There are clever people out there that will do clever things with it.
        I for one hope they do eventually, then we will see some fantastic maps appear

  • JaggedSith 08.30.12 at 19:48

    Just wanted to state the fact that I read many articles about the pros and cons of playing on a PC verses a console. I prefer my console simply because I never have to go out and by new hardware or software to keep my console up to date. I also felt the desire to say that I see many more PC players bitching and moaning about console players. I admit that obviously console players complain about the lack of a higher body count in the game, etc, etc. But when playing on a console you have to accept certain setbacks in trade for (like you said) playing on a large screen, or the ability to kick back on our couch and play. But the negativity towards console players that generates from PC players astounds me. It seems that no matter what form of media being used, one can come across a PC player degrading a console. It seems to me that no one will ever win this argument, there will always be console players, there will always be PC players. Why the desire to constantly belittle people who don’t do things “your” way?

  • milosv123 08.30.12 at 19:47

    give us the mod tools you console sellouts

  • TylrD4 08.30.12 at 19:45

    i agree so much… i always have said how cool it would be + great game mechanic for the clouds to have volume. Epic air battles of heli’s / jets swooping out of the clouds… fyf ( thats fix your face from jaw on the floor)

  • milosv123 08.30.12 at 19:44

    Dear god give us the mod tools like you did with battlefield 2. Give us the FrostEd and we will create everything else ourselves. Or save mod tools for when all the DLC has been sold OR for Battlefield 4. We hope you make Battlefield 4 more like BATTLEFIELD rather than Bad Company Codfield…

  • EvilNinjaBob 08.30.12 at 19:43

    I love the idea of interactive clouds. Is the flight ceiling any higher than on previous maps?

    And another thing, does the AC-130 respawn? Or is it a one-time asset?

  • TylrD4 08.30.12 at 19:42

    yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes… wow.. keep it up dice… i can not wait to see this baby 1080p, Ultra , 64 PC … epicawesomesauce here we come… i knew to not wear pants before reading the post

  • nitrammesmer 08.30.12 at 19:39

    I hope they do a great forest/jungle map in End game

  • LORD JUBAKA 08.30.12 at 19:35

    fu** up

  • LuciAssassin 08.30.12 at 19:32

    Why is that ”F U” ?

  • LORD JUBAKA 08.30.12 at 19:27

    i cant wait for armored kill. and it is kinda F U that it comes out on 9-11

  • DanielWW2 08.30.12 at 19:25

    I gotta say that this map looks extraordinary beautiful but the part about how you do this was kinda a huge F U towards modders. Oh and it also sucks that we have to use a FXAA injector to get the colours right. Just saying…

  • LB767 08.30.12 at 19:15

    What’s the point of writing an article about how great it is to create maps with your fantastic engine if you are never going to release it ? You’re just trolling us.

    • ahab217 08.30.12 at 19:23

      Actually they are going to release it. Its one of the 4 maps for the amored kill.

      • Sh1sh1w4k4m4ru 08.30.12 at 19:26

        He wasn’t talking about the map, but the soft used to create it.

    • RussianPenguins 08.30.12 at 19:35

      this is going to be released…

      • LB767 08.30.12 at 19:36

        As Sh1sh1w4k4m4ru just said, I was talking about the soft, FrostEd ;)

    • milosv123 08.30.12 at 19:46

      Agreed mate, they are just being greedy pricks about it.

  • 8oREAPERo8 08.30.12 at 19:09

    wil tere be an ac-130 in Armored Shield and Death Valley to
    pleas anser
    ps wil there to be a ac-130 in the normal classic bf3 maps
    maybe in a appart game mode like : conquest gunship
    i hope so

    • RussianPenguins 08.30.12 at 19:34

      im pretty sure they will put in every armored kill map. i mean, weve seen AC-130 gameplay in all of them.

      • 8oREAPERo8 08.31.12 at 10:21

        no we have only seen in banar desert and alborz Mountain

  • Major268 08.30.12 at 19:08


  • |FuNk| 08.30.12 at 19:07

    DICE, sell FrostED as a standalone program to the community.

  • AmiralPatate 08.30.12 at 18:58

    The picture of FrostEd need a trollface and a “u mad mod makers?” caption.

  • unidentified73 08.30.12 at 18:56


  • Casannowa 08.30.12 at 18:54

    That is just AMAZING O.O

  • ScottAllan 08.30.12 at 18:47

    The environments are breathtaking! I am really looking forward to these new maps. You guys really put your hearts and souls into your work and we really appreciate it.

    • DICE_AndyHam 08.30.12 at 19:13

      We sure do! Thanks for the appreciation :)

  • Fritz_Fraghof 08.30.12 at 18:45

    There really needs to be a fifth option on the poll!
    – A variety of settings (obviously not all in the same map)
    I fear people are voting snow only because there is none yet in BF3. Variety is best!

  • InzynierKaziu 08.30.12 at 18:41

    A very interesting read! I’m eagerly awaiting September, and my vote definitely goes for the snow maps, which were my favourites in the previous BF titles (just next to the rural settings like in Harvest Day from BC/BC2).
    PS. Love the video.

  • RickRouss 08.30.12 at 18:40

    yeah im interested in seeing how these maps look on the 360. Im not expecting miracles, but from whats being said in this article, im mildly optimistic. :) Also, would be EXTREMELY nice to get the even a 32 player experience for armored kill. I understand the limits consoles put on you guys at DICE, but surely there has to be some way for yall to work your magic since yall are apparently upping the amount of graphical fidelity.

  • FartingPrawn19 08.30.12 at 18:38

    Why Do PS3 get it 7days before?

    • ayeballkid 08.31.12 at 20:55

      Because EA made a special deal with Playstation to get back at Activision Blizzard making a deal with Xbox….the whole movement of exclusive platform content is a huge problem in gaming right now.

  • Wezzy Time Lord 08.30.12 at 18:26

    But how do they play out on consoles? and how much of the map has been cut off for the console versions? and when do we get snow camo for our soldier and his weapons?

    • D0nk3yK0NG 08.30.12 at 18:32

      who cares about console gamers…

      • Teh AlbinoNoob 08.30.12 at 18:39

        Stop flame baiting you stupid bigot.

      • RickRouss 08.30.12 at 18:42

        some of us don’t have a thousand dollars to throw down on a good gaming pc, u pompous SOB.

        • coloneltreavy 08.30.12 at 19:23

          I bought a PC for 500$ including monitor + keyboard and mouse! I can easily play on low to medium settings with 1600*900 resolution and on low at full HD. You don’t have to spend a lot to run BF3 on computer, its just a thing made up by you console fans. Try not to buy a console and a TV next time a new one comes, you will easily be able to afford a new PC!

      • lethal_247 08.30.12 at 18:55

        Well it takes more skill to use a controller than a mouse and keyboard lol real turning speeds in vehicles not just turn in a second like in tanks because your mouse has its sensitivity turned right up and lets not forget we don’t sit right next to the tv screen unlike you spot riddled little kids haha

        • coloneltreavy 08.30.12 at 19:28

          First of all tanks don’t move with mouse, LOL at that. Secondly its way more easier to play with a controller as if you are flying a jet you can easily steer, try doing it with a mouse and then a controller, you will know which is more difficult. Lastly your display screen is like 42-50 inches big, ours at max is 23 inches (I play on 19 inches) I would say try to sit 10 feet away and try spotting someone. Another thing why we can’t sit far is due to out keyboard and mouse, we don’t have wireless like controllers and it creates problems for us. Stop bitching about PC gamers, we don’t bitch about you, try to stop!

          • Sifterboy 08.31.12 at 08:08

            lol….. you can just use a tv as ur monitor, get a wireless keyboard and mouse and if u dont wanna fly with a mouse get a joystick. + it was a pc gamer that started ur wee tiff….

  • Deveshamin7 08.30.12 at 18:25

    I really agree with this guy.. DICE..-> Get a little twist by adding birds, animals and insects that can also hurt a player, if they go deep into the forests….

    • Deveshamin7 08.30.12 at 18:27

      I mean that i really agree with “Guvenor8ball”..

    • klegoftw 08.30.12 at 18:53

      Nice idea. Maybe not getting hurt by them, but just adding them would make it more natural, more vivid.

  • GMGonzaga 08.30.12 at 18:24

    It seems to be a very windy environment. I wonder if it will effectively affect the bullet trajectory. Especially for snipers, since it would be be a very painfull adaptation.

  • Neo2450 08.30.12 at 18:19

    So the poll asks 4 different things. However, I like Snow AND forest/jungle. Can we get a mix of that? lol

    • DICE_AndyHam 08.30.12 at 19:11

      That’s exactly what is on offer in Alborz Mountain! There are capture points in the forest and in the snow areas, with a strong environmental change traveling between the two :)

  • Guvenor8ball 08.30.12 at 18:18

    “KiloStrike11 08.30.12 | 17:48
    Adding REALISM: Wild Life (i.e. bears, deer, snakes). The forementioned has not been done before between BF3 and COD. It would be sweat to traverse through the snowy mountains hunting down the enemy and out of nowhere a bear stands on its back two feet roaring violently against you as it prepares to attack. DICE if possible, let this be an addition to your expansions.”

    This is a really good point and a must for current and future gaming. It would take BF3 to a whole new level, granted it has done that over COD but the more realistic the better. As soon as I read this it reminded me how great the gameplay is on Red Dead Redemption when you are riding through a forest and a jaguar leaps up and attacks you or a load of bears run after you – fucking ace! Perhaps it’s fair to say not everyone is that interested in every twig, grain of sand, leaf blowing in the wind but realistic environments alongside destructive environments. It’s great at the moment you can blow up trees in BF3 but they eventually disappear and on these new maps is it going to be the same deal as they do actually provide cover etc.

    • Neo2450 08.30.12 at 18:23

      A pack of wolves maybe? *howls*
      Scenario is as follows:
      Both teams are engaged in a fire-fight.
      Suddenly a wild pack of wolves appears.
      Truce is struck until the wolves are dealt with.
      Would be hilarious.

  • des-stevenator 08.30.12 at 18:17

    im guna rally race in my buggy up and down that montain if only dice had made them driftable XD

  • Darchize 08.30.12 at 18:15

    About poll: !!!!!
    DICE. I think we (players) have more than enough ”City and Desert” maps. I think it would be better enjoyed if you could walk through the snow and nature like in Armored kill … :) just like in real life. So we need Snow and Forest/Jungle -> nature. I really appreciate your work. Armored kill looks crazy awesome , can’t wait to playyy :). Thanks for everything.

  • Kebukka 08.30.12 at 18:15

    Hahahah avalanches would be a great way to keep people awake for camping instead!

  • Fizif 08.30.12 at 18:09

    Please add avalanches lol

    • itsOneWayUp 08.30.12 at 18:23

      Avalanches would be awesome! Just like falling buildings, it should enable us to get kills!

  • lovbijs 08.30.12 at 18:07

    …Height information we have sculpted in FrostEd is then taken into WorldMachine…
    gief to the modders pls!!!!

  • GaRcHoW 08.30.12 at 18:06

    Man I wish I could afford a good PC. This pack is going to suck on PS3.

    • ayeballkid 08.31.12 at 20:53

      Yeah I’ve essentially dropped playing on Xbox- just a waste when compared to the PC version especially on the big maps. When it takes half your team to arm 3 vehicles you are left with 6 guys running around trying to capture bases or crates, total waste.

  • ClairVoyantFool 08.30.12 at 18:05

    Will FrostED map editor ever be available to the public? more and more games just don’t have any modding options I would love to get into game development but im not in the position to take a $45,000 course just for 1 year of school and then probably not find a job anywhere.

    • CommanderRealWar 08.30.12 at 18:30

      I agree with you. It would be a lot of fun to use FrostEd, but I doubt we will ever get to use it.

  • mono_NAJAS 08.30.12 at 17:58

    DICE, if non-playable terrain will now be actual modelled terrain and not “pictures”, I assume these maps will be heavier to load and require more processing power from our PCs, right? am I in trouble if I don’t have a top-end machine?

    • DICE_AndyHam 08.30.12 at 19:00

      The system specs are exactly the same as Vanilla BF3, we’ve just worked more, and worked smarter with what we have! :)

  • Concussive_Blow 08.30.12 at 17:56

    Beautiful map, but for the size, the player count REALLY needs to be increased. In previous games where the maps were this big, you spend a LOT of time wandering around looking for something to do, and enjoying the (beautiful) environment only lasts so long before you start to get bored because you can’t find a living soul to shoot at.

  • PTFOholland 08.30.12 at 17:56

    Will you visit to answer some more questions, we would really like some level designers to come and talk to us, since we’re getting our veteran hopes back from Armoued Kill!

    • tWiSteD-OuTCasT- 08.30.12 at 18:01

      lol holland what u doing here? they wont listen. ps im not really here itz a ghost…

  • russ_XD 08.30.12 at 17:54

    Hey I was wondering for like Alborz Mountain map just for the base of the level how many different tile able textures are used compared to decals to create that stunningly detailed ground terrain?

    • DICE_AndyHam 08.30.12 at 19:04

      It’s a combination of various Frosted masking (between layers) tools and techniques to give it a unique and non-tiling surface across the terrain. Decals are very limited on the actual terrain surface in the case of Alborz Mountain. Off the top of my head, I think there is around 12 or so different tiling textures in any one location, including normal maps.

      • russ_XD 08.30.12 at 19:38

        Oh nice. I’ve never really tried landscape modelling its something i’m hoping to get into this year at uni. Would it be possible to do some videos or screens of stages of the development to making a level like this some time?

  • RemDiablo 08.30.12 at 17:53

    Please get back sniper kit from BF 2 + white out Uniform. would be awesome.

  • xXSupaBadXx 08.30.12 at 17:49

    that’s bad that dice put that amount of effort into the game after 1 year… This game could have been a master piece but its stayed a the “good” level… Anyway fuking nice map!!!

    • SOOPERGOOMAN187 08.30.12 at 17:52

      the games not even a year old yet. I dont see YOU putting out games.

      • xXSupaBadXx 08.30.12 at 21:44

        such a retard you are…. Dice is allready annoncing BF4 trough medal of honnor warfitgher… do you really think that this game is what most bf fan wanted… for myself its a big fuking NO!!!!

  • KiloStrike11 08.30.12 at 17:48

    Adding REALISM: Wild Life (i.e. bears, deer, snakes). The forementioned has not been done before between BF3 and COD. It would be sweat to traverse through the snowy mountains hunting down the enemy and out of nowhere a bear stands on its back two feet roaring violently against you as it prepares to attack. DICE if possible, let this be an addition to your expansions.

    • xXSupaBadXx 08.30.12 at 17:50

      that could be really great to see!!!

    • Abamabre 08.30.12 at 18:00

      Yea, bear hunting with M16 ond SAW would be awsome

    • Guvenor8ball 08.30.12 at 18:16

      This is a really good point and a must for current and future gaming. It would take BF3 to a whole new level, granted it has done that over COD but the more realistic the better. As soon as I read this it reminded me how great the gameplay is on Red Dead Redemption when you are riding through a forest and a jaguar leaps up and attacks you or a load of bears run after you – fucking ace! Perhaps it’s fair to say not everyone is that interested in every twig, grain of sand, leaf blowing in the wind but realistic environments alongside destructive environments. It’s great at the moment you can blow up trees in BF3 but they eventually disappear and on these new maps is it going to be the same deal as they do actually provide cover etc.

    • Guvenor8ball 08.30.12 at 18:17

      This is a really good point and a must for current and future gaming. It would take BF3 to a whole new level, granted it has done that over COD but the more realistic the better. As soon as I read this it reminded me how great the gameplay is on Red Dead Redemption when you are riding through a forest and a jaguar leaps up and attacks you or a load of bears run after you – fucking ace! Perhaps it’s fair to say not everyone is that interested in every twig, grain of sand, leaf blowing in the wind but realistic environments alongside destructive environments. It’s great at the moment you can blow up trees in BF3 but they eventually disappear and on these new maps is it going to be the same deal as they do actually provide cover etc.

    • Indefragable 08.30.12 at 22:30

      That would be cool, but it is actually more realistic for them not to be around. I open my back door and all the wildlife in hearing range scatter. They would not be found for miles around the cacophony of jeeps, tank treads, and gunfire, not to mention HE raining from the sky!

    • ayeballkid 08.31.12 at 20:47

      I like this idea a lot, weather would be my first choice (white out blizzard rolls through at some point), sand storm in the desert etc… animals would be cool so long as they are few and far between- deer to tend to hang around when the ground is being ravaged by helis and jets…

  • mono_NAJAS 08.30.12 at 17:48

    This is breathtaking! I am REALLY looking foward to play this map, and after reading the blog it’s hard to imagine Armored Kill won’t be as good to play as it looks.

  • halfsquelch 08.30.12 at 17:42

    1) Can I climb that mountain?
    2) You need to add white out blizzards to the inclement weather on this map. A white out would completely change the way the game is played.

    • DICE_AndyHam 08.30.12 at 19:08

      Yes, there’s certainly some nice sniper positions up in the mountains ;)

  • stephontiger 08.30.12 at 17:40

    could you guys up the player count on the bigger maps. i play recon and this map seems like its gonna have alot of wide open places i can bust heads. i like shooting and very long range :) hook me up dice!!!!

    • tWiSteD-OuTCasT- 08.30.12 at 18:04

      potential bush wookie spotted. analyzing target… comfirmed target… memorizing name….

    • ayeballkid 08.31.12 at 20:51

      It’s recon not sniper- you are meant to move forward and play aggressively, hence all the gadgets they give you. Sniping is fairly worthless unless protecting the crate, offensive snipers- I’ve never understood that.

  • Ang3lize 08.30.12 at 17:39

    According to a official schedule posted on game’s website the new Battlefield 3 DLC will release as follows, PlayStation 3 players who subscribed to the game’s Premium package will get it first on Sept. 4, followed by launch for PC and Xbox 360 Premium members on Sept. 11.
    Non-premium subscribing owner will be able to get the DLC as follows, PlayStation 3 owners will have access to the download Sept. 18, followed by PC and Xbox 360 Sept. 25.

  • Ang3lize 08.30.12 at 17:38

    “According to a official schedule posted on game’s website the new Battlefield 3 DLC will release as follows, PlayStation 3 players who subscribed to the game’s Premium package will get it first on Sept. 4, followed by launch for PC and Xbox 360 Premium members on Sept. 11.

    Non-premium subscribing owner will be able to get the DLC as follows, PlayStation 3 owners will have access to the download Sept. 18, followed by PC and Xbox 360 Sept. 25.”

  • Choriodea 08.30.12 at 17:36

    Amazing how many details there is in this game. I’m really looking forward for the new big maps. Will there be an snow camo?

    • pmassive 09.02.12 at 07:38

      I’m excited about flying through clouds! Been hoping for this since details of the volumetric clouds were given in the lead up to release :)

  • SOOPERGOOMAN187 08.30.12 at 17:30

    Is this available today to play? Im buying premium within the hour and it would be awesome if I could jump in today and start tearing people a new one. LOL

    • SOOPERGOOMAN187 08.30.12 at 17:31

      also, tel GVD he’s a very very funny guy.(he knows me as thatsonyguy)

    • [DICE] H Brun 08.30.12 at 17:32

      PS3 Premium: Sep 4
      X360+PC Premium: Sep 11
      More on Armored Kill:

      • PTFOholland 08.30.12 at 17:55

        Seeing your avatar I remember you ;)
        I tried knifing you a couple of times and you played in the Mordor games with Daniel matros too i believe.
        Will you visit to answer some more questions, we would really like some level designers to come and talk to us, since we’re getting our veteran hopes back from Armoued Kill!

      • 8oREAPERo8 08.31.12 at 10:24

        wil tere be an ac-130 in Armored Shield and Death Valley to
        pleas anser
        ps wil there to be a ac-130 in the normal classic bf3 maps
        maybe in a appart game mode like : conquest gunship
        i hope so

  • SavvyFozFoz 08.30.12 at 17:27

    So how many players per side on these new levels?? Will there be more or the same.

  • TeamColourz 08.30.12 at 17:27

    whats whiterun???

  • MojoTheElder69 08.30.12 at 17:26

    I was explaining Battlefield to someone who hadn’t seen it and said, sometimes, in the middle of a game, you’re tempted to just stop & look out over the ocean because the scenery is breathtaking… Nice work!

  • needfx 08.30.12 at 17:25

    Dice, I love those posts. Really interesting ! I also think that it allows us to understand some choices made. Keep up the good and hard work !

    • [DICE] H Brun 08.30.12 at 17:27

      Thanks a lot. Andrew did a great job putting this post and assets together.

  • EssaHAlshammri 08.30.12 at 17:24

    great 2

  • eROkKs 08.30.12 at 17:14

    I swear i could see whiterun at 00.47!