Maps that can only be accessed by players who have purchased DLC have long been a problem, as they make it difficult to play with friends who are unable or unwilling to fork over the cash for extra content. That's been true of the Battlefield series for years, but a possible solution is on the way.
Developer DICE today announced Premium Friends, a new feature that changes the way Battlefield 1's DLC maps are handled. Essentially, they allow players to access all DLC maps as long as at least one party member owns the game's $50 Premium Pass.
This sounds almost too good to be true, as a group of friends who always play together could in theory pool their money and have only one person buy the DLC. And indeed, there is a major caveat: Only the person who owns the Premium Pass--or anyone who owns the expansion pack containing the current map--will receive experience. Everyone else will bank that XP, retroactively receiving it if they choose to buy that content in the future.
Additionally, any weapons or vehicles added in a given expansion will only be available to those who own the Premium Pass or that expansion. The same is true of any medals or codexes related to an expansion.
This obviously isn't completely ideal, as many won't want to play on maps that won't provide them with any progression. Id Software's Doom operates similarly but without the restriction on things like XP, which is obviously preferable. Still, this is a step in the right direciton.
The Premium Friends feature will be enabled for a "test run" during the upcoming Battlefest event, which begins on March 30. In a blog post, DICE said, "We will pay close attention to your feedback on Premium Friends. It's our goal to work towards molding this feature into something that embodies our commitment to you, our amazing community."