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Letters from the Front

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More and more publishers are chasing microtranscations, and Battlefront II follows that trend and it’s absolutely disgusting and horrendous:

Battlefront II’s entire progression revolves around these stupid lootboxes that include random starcards that not only grant you classes, characters, and vehicles but also game-changing abilities. But to confuse you even more, Battlefront II has a separate leveling up system that attempts to gate progression off to prevent players with more cash on them from simply buying their way to the top. It reduces the “P2W” nature to some degree which is a far cry from the beta but it will be reinstated later.

To progress your preferred class, you need to obtain more cards for that class. To obtain more cards, you have to rely on the hype machine. Trooper crates for the base classes cost 4,000 credits, and each time you finish a match you earn about 200 to 400 credits. It can take well over an hour just to get a stupid lootcrate and 99% of the time, you won’t get the card that you were looking for or need to progress.

The system is softened by the crafting parts, which spawn out of the non-paid lootboxes in okay abundance. In about 5 hours of playtime just to get a feel for the multiplayer, I managed to get enough crafting parts to craft the items I needed for my Assault and Heavy class without spending anything on the lootboxes. And the credit flow can be expedited with challenges, initially this gives you a decent amount of credits and particularly if you finish up the campaign. However, once I wrapped up the challenges and they dried up: My Assault class slowed to a grind which happened to be abysmal and very slow- which I might end with no end in sight, due because of the randomness of the lootboxes, at this point it occurred to me that these systems are aggressive as fuck and it destroys any sort of progression gameplay.

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The ability cards themselves can be upgraded, and some of them provide abilities that change the game like health returned, bigger and longer blast ranges, and reduced cooldown times. Some of these abilites include flat damage bonuses too, and it quickly came to me that these players could gain advantage and will rack up a non- trivial advantage as well which led me to believe there is some sort of caste in this game between players who have cash and don’t have cash to spend on lootboxes.

The upgrade themselves are also gated behind a global rank, which increases just by playing the game similar to Battlefield, I wasn’t able to spend those crafting parts until I reached a global rank of 20.

However, though, you can obtain higher levels directly out of the paid lootboxes, circumventing the ranking system. Once again, this PROVIDES an ADVANTAGE to gamers buying the lootboxes.

Originally, purchasing an additional hero character like Han Solo cost anywhere up to 60,000 credits and considering that you get only 400 credits per game, this was far too high, especially once the challenges dried up. EA and DICE responded by reducing the hero cost down by 75 percent after the backlash, down to 15,000 which is fair and considering on how fast you can acquire credits. People who save their credits by buying crates with real money will be able to obtain heroes like Han Solo and Darth Vader much faster but again this isn’t skewered as it was previously during the beta.

Ultimately, this is disgusting and poisoned with issues stemming from the desire to get people’s money (as if EA didn’t get greedy enough plus bad judgement and they wonder why they were named the worst company in America for 5 years in a row) , it hinders natural progression by asking you to trade money for power, and it leaves you feeling disgusted and gross. As of right now, the system looks and feels like it is designed to abuse and manipulate rather than offer an enjoyable time.

Stay tuned for my first impressions of Star Wars: Battlefront II.

 

 

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