Battlefield 4 won't have bots for you to face in multiplayer matches. Creative director Lars Gustavsson revealed this and other facts during a question-and-answer session with fans this week.
"We have our single player experience, we have our multiplayer experience and we’ve been focusing on delivering those," Gustavsson said on IGN of the decision not to include bots. "If we had to choose, we’d focus on delivering a good experience to the 64 players that we cater for, as well as adding two commanders on top of those 64… so it’s more possibilities than ever. We’ve also learnt that when we try too much we kill ourselves."
Bot matches are a nice, consequence-free way to get acclimated to multiplayer mechanics. Battlefield 1942 and Battlefield 2 both supported battles against A.I. soldiers, though most players went straight to the online matches. Gustavsson says that they'll consider adding them to BF4 if players are very insistent on them.
I'd rather DICE just focuses their post-launch attention on balancing the multiplayer or adding new content, though. It seems like it would be very time-consuming to make A.I. competent enough to play Battlefield 4 matches effectively. In addition to being good gunfighters, they'd have to be able to compete in a variety of modes, navigate the destruction in the environments and drive all the game's vehicles.
Speaking of vehicles, DICE wants to make it easier for players to learn to use them. They're implementing a playground of sorts where you can test out the game's various conveyances.
"We’ve definitely heard that people are afraid of getting in there [and using vehicles like helicopters] and that’s not our intent, so what we’ve done is, we’ve added a test range, which allows you to try out all the hardware ahead of time so that if you want to learn to fly a helicopter you can get in there and you can find the settings that work best for you. And then start doing some stunt flights just to feel safe before you go out and get the responsibility of a bunch of other people sitting in your helicopter, so I truly hope that this will help people feel more safe about trying out the whole battlefield."
These test ranges already existed unofficially in BF3. Players created servers solely for the purposes of test driving the air vehicles. There was nothing to really prevent players from ganking each other, though. Furthermore, crashing over and over hurt your overall multiplayer stats. Presumably the official test ranges won't have these problems.
Battlefield 4 will launch this fall on PC and consoles. DICE will host a public beta before release.