Combat roles play a big part in Battlefield multiplayer, and DICE has given more detail on how it will work in Battlefield 4. The studio recently detailed various multiplayer tweaks, a new system for customizing your class, and the "Field Upgrades" system. All in all, the studio says it's going from seven specializations to more than 25.
In a post on the Battlefield Blog, the team showed off the four classes (Assault, Recon, Engineer, and Support), and said it wants to make each of them more specialized and able to customize sub-roles. The Engineer, for example, has been given more options for anti-vehicle weapons, while Support will be able to equip carbines and DMRs, and is the go-to for suppression. Recon has gotten a mobility boost and rebalanced sniping mechanics, and Assault is remaining mostly untouched aside from some more mobility. Gadgets have also been adjusted to let players use them on the go.
You'll pick a path of four upgrades that will unlock through the course of a match while you perform team-friendly actions. The Field Upgrade Progress Bar will slowly fill up, but will take a slight hit if your team is wiped. Each of the four playable classes have four possible field upgrades. Two of them, specializing in offense and defense, are usable by any class. The other two are reserved for specializations tailored to each kit, like "Combat Medic" or "Grenadier" for the Assault class. You'll also be able to swap combat roles mid-match, and keep your current progress on the bar.
DICE is also holding a poll to select from four possible combat roles; the winner will be included as the third universal career path. So far Shadow, a stealthy specialization that can disappear quickly, is running away with it--presumably, without being seen.