Star Wars Battlefront 2 has a loot crate problem instead of a progression system.
The only way to get new abilities and weapons in Battlefront 2 is from opening loot crates, bought either with in-game currency or real-world currency (price TBD) or gifted to you for various reasons. Either you randomly receive the ability or weapon directly from the loot crate, or you randomly receive an amount of scrap to go towards eventually crafting it - although scrap costs are high and amounts received torturously low.
Emotes and victory poses are in loot crates too, the sort of harmless fodder we're used to seeing in other full-priced multiplayer games like Overwatch. There, loot box content does not affect gameplay; in Battlefront 2 it most certainly does.
Star Card abilities in Battlefront 2 change not only how regular Assault, Heavy, Officer and Specialist soldier classes play - as well as Interceptor, Bomber and Fighter spaceship classes - they also change how Battle Point-unlocked power-up characters play, all the way up to the iconic Heroes and Villains of Star Wars lore.
If you want all the abilities and don't want to spend any more than the £50 you paid for Battlefront 2 which, let's be honest, is probably all of us, then your options are getting lucky when opening a combination of daily loot crates, gifted loot crates and earned loot crates for levelling up, or when opening loot crates bought with in-game currency. But as in-game currency is awarded at a flat rate for a team regardless of performance, this could take a long time.
It gets worse when you consider there are bronze, silver, and gold versions of each Star Card - plus a fourth tier I'm not sure the name of. For instance, Boba Fett has a Star Card ability called Death From Above which grants him damage reduction while jetpacking and using Rocket Barrage. Its lowest tier damage reduction (bronze) is 50 per cent, and it's highest tier 100 per cent. That's a huge difference.
So not only are you now after the full collection of Star Cards, you're after the best versions of them. And again, you can individually upgrade them by spending scrap, but you're given too little and too randomly to make this reliably viable.
Wouldn't it be easier if you had a big pile of money to spend on a stack of loot crates instead? Yes, in other words, Battlefront 2 - a full-priced game - is pay to win.
Note: In terms of unlocking weapons, I received starter crates for each soldier class after playing them. As far as I can recall these crates each contained the unlockable second gun available to that class in the beta, but I don't know how this will carry over into the full game come 17th November release.
Put simply, this is an exploitative and greedy system I'm surprised has made it this far. Question is, will EA let it go the whole way, or will it use a saving throw and alter the system for full release?