EA announces Star Wars Battlefront 2 loot crate and progression changes
Is it enough?
Here it is. EA has announced how it will change the loot crate and progression system in Star Wars Battlefront 2, following the storm of controversy from the Battlefront 2 open beta multiplayer test.
This is not a fundamental overhaul, but more rewards are now earned through play and fewer simply gifted by getting lucky in a loot crate.
The highest tier of Star Card, epic (the variations are bronze, silver, gold, epic), has been removed from loot crates entirely. It is now only available by crafting. And crafting will be level restricted. "You won't be able to buy a bunch of crates, grind everything up into crafting materials and immediately use them to get super powerful Star Cards," said EA.
The exception to this will be some epic Star Cards available through pre-order, deluxe and starter pack promotions for Battlefront 2.
Weapons have mostly been taken out of loot crates as well, although "a select few" will remain. Weapons will now be unlocked at certain class milestones. "Want to unlock a new weapon for your Heavy? Play as a Heavy and you'll gain access to the class's new weapons," said EA.
It's a similar story for class-specific Star Card items and gear, which will come from class-specific loot crates awarded at milestones.
That's it - this is how the progression system will change for Star Wars Battlefront 2's launch on 17th November. And, said EA, "This system, as well as all of the others, will be continually iterated on and improved."
How much difference will it make? There are still many questions. You will still clearly be at a disadvantage with a bronze variant of a Star Card up against someone with gold, for instance. How long will it take to gather the materials, and reach the required level, to craft one of your own? And will you get more crafting materials from grinding a gold as opposed to grinding a bronze?
Which of the weapons will still be in loot crates and how powerful will they turn out to be? And will any class-specific items and gear still be found in bought loot boxes?
EA CEO Andrew Wilson talked at length about the Star Wars Battlefront 2 loot crate/box controversy during a financial earnings call last night.
"As we think about players playing the game for many years post-launch and the digital ecosystem and the event-driven live services they participate in ... does the digital ecosystem offer the opportunity for an individual player in the community to pay to win?" he asked, transcript via Seeking Alpha.
"Balance and fairness inside of gameplay is very important to our community, and it's very important to us. It's a benchmark by which DICE builds games, and we have seen that in the many DICE games, multiplayer games, we've built over the years.
"When we think about this, it really comes down to: what are the things you can earn, what are the things you can buy, and how do we manage progression through that process?
"While we will be making adjustments based on feedback from the beta, which is great - and we'll continue a daily dialogue with our players to make ongoing adjustments for many years to come, as this event-driven live service continues - we feel very good about the fact that you can earn almost everything in the game.
"More importantly," he added, "key elements that drive progression can only be earned in the game. But there will be an opportunity for players who come in to also enhance and extend their experience through the ongoing digital economy."
Andrew Wilson concluded: "We believe what we've got with a core base game that's three times the size [of Battlefront 1], with what would have previously been gated behind a Season Pass now free for all users ... and an event-driven live service we expect will continue for many years to come ... is the right way to balance this. And so we feel very good about that. And we'll stay connected with our community as we move through the coming weeks, months and years."