In Battlefield 4's multiplayer, players will once again be earning new items as they gain experience through matches. DICE has decided to make the grind for BF4's many unlocks different than it was in previous games, though.
Battlefield 3 players generally unlocked weapons and gadgets by hitting a new rank or leveling up their class kit. This time, though, you'll earn new unlocks by using similar items
"So if you’re all about shotgun action, using shotguns (and scoring with them) will unlock more shotguns and shotgun accessories for you to play with," says DICE. "Similarly, if you use a lot of sniper rifles and amass respectable scores with them, you will unlock more varieties of sniper rifles, scopes, and barrels for them. While there is an implied connection between LMGs and Support class or sniper rifles and Recon class, playing a class itself will not bring you new weapons. Killing, assisting and suppressing with a weapon will give you more unlocks from the same weapon class."
You'll still earn weapon and vehicle accessories by gaining experience with that equipment. However, BF4 players will have more accessories to start out with than they did in BF3. The design intent is that you won't be going into battle with a gimped weapon or vehicle. For example, jets can be loaded with flares from day one so you're not just fodder for a player with a Stinger. Support players will have bipods for their light machineguns so they can use the weapons properly in the field.
As they spend time in multiplayer, players will also earn Battlepacks. Battlepacks are randomized collections of unlocks. You'll earn a new pack every few levels, with the first coming at Rank 3.
"Depending on your actual Rank, you’ll be awarded a Battlepack of either Bronze, Silver or Gold Rank. The value of the Battlepack decides the number of items you receive in the pack, as well as the chance to get something really rare. Items in Battlepacks include things like weapon accessories, weapon paints, vehicle paints, soldier camos, dog tags, XP boosts, and unique knife designs."
You can also acquire special Weapon Battlepacks by completing all of the regular unlocks for a weapon. DICE stresses that the accessories available through the Battlepacks are merely cosmetic options. For example, if you unlocked a red dot sight for an American rifle through gameplay, you might gain a Russian red dot sight through a Battlepack.
Battlefield 4's beta wrapped up earlier this week. The game will debut on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC on October 29th. BF4 will also be a launch title for the PS4 and Xbox One when those consoles launch next month.