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Battlefield 4 is suffering from a new game-breaking bug. This latest glitch, dubbed "death shield," is funny as long as you don't encounter it yourself.
The "death shield" bug causes friendly corpses to block projectiles. I don't mean that the corpse absorbs bullets. Going prone behind your friend's dead body to avoid gunfire sounds plausible. That's not what happens here, though.
Instead, the dead corpse acts as a large shield against projectiles. It's like the dead player's hitbox exists even though they don't. This barrier persists until the revive window for the characters passes and they're fully dead. This barrier applies whether the person behind the corpse is on foot or in a vehicle.
A new video from JackFrags (via Blue) shows the bug in action. The tank gunner takes out a soldier with a shell to the face, and then levels his cannon at the next soldier ten feet behind him. Much to the gunner's surprise, the second shell doesn't even touch the enemy soldier. He's safe behind an invisible force field.
There is one limit to this sorcery: it doesn't work with players killed by friendly fire. In that case, projectiles pass over their corpse without incident. I guess I'll be sticking to Hardcore matches until the bug is fixed, then. That'll at least reduce my chances of encountering it.
This glitch can even harm the attacker. If you throw a grenade or fire a rocket at one of these death shields, you'll get hurt and possibly killed. The splash damage won't even hit the enemy.
The death shield bug may not be very noticeable in massive outdoor maps like Altai Range or Nansha Strike. You're not going to be hindered much by human-sized barriers when you're zooming along a massive desert in a tank. However, the bug can severely disrupt infantry-focused maps like Operation Locker with a lot of bottlenecks. If someone dies in a doorway - which happens every five seconds in Locker, by the way - grenades and explosives can't pass through it.
There's no official word from DICE yet on a fix. The studio's QA lead Jaqub Ajmal says that they're looking into the bug, though:
Battlefield 4's been suffering from various bugs since launch, ranging from server issues to one-hit kills. DICE put the game's DLC on hold for a period of time so they could focus on fixing bugs. They've since ended that hiatus, though.