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24th of November 2017

Gadgets



In response to backlash, EA revises costs of ‘Star Wars Battlefront II’ heroes

In early October, Electronic Arts and developer Dice released an open beta for Star Wars Battlefront II, and players didn’t take kindly to the “pay-to-win” mechanics they found shoehorned into the multiplayer. Changes were made after the beta, but its progression system has continued to draw criticism from fans. Loot crates and Star Cards, which let players customize their loadouts, have been looked at skeptically to say the least, but the extremely questionable process for earning in-game credits (rather than spending real cash) has prompted EA to make significant changes ahead of launch.

In an email to Digital Trends, EA stated that it is reducing the number of credits to purchase the game’s top heroes by 75 percent. That means that Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader will now be available for 15,000 credits, Emperor Palpatine, Chewbacca and Princess Leia will go for 10,000 credits, and Iden Versio, the campaign’s protagonist, will be 5,000 credits. “Based on what we’ve seen in the trial, this amount will make earning these heroes an achievement, but one that will be accessible for all players,” EA said.

EA claimed that the reduced prices will go live on Monday, November 13, and we can already confirm that hero prices have gone down. While Battlefront II doesn’t technically launch until Friday, November 17, EA Access subscribers have been able to play the game early.

Make no mistake, those who have been playing the game early prompted this dramatic change. With the game out in the wild, the dubious and daunting nature of the in-game credits system further solidified those pay-to-win worries. Credits are earned from completing specific challenges, but they are also largely tied into how much time you put into the game.

Reddit user TheHotterPotato created a spreadsheet based on the time the user spent with Battlefront II, which is already available to EA Access subscribers. Based on the user’s estimates, a player would have needed to spend nearly 40 hours to earn enough in-game credits to purchase just a single one of the highest valued heroes in multiplayer. With Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker being reduced from 60,000 to 15,000 credits, it would appear that the necessary time commitment to unlock those heroes without spending real money is down to approximately 10 hours.

EA had initially responded to the Reddit post, saying that “the intent is to provide players with a sense of pride and accomplishment for unlocking different heroes” and that it would be closely monitoring statistics so it could adjust unlock rates accordingly. That comment quickly became the most downvoted post in Reddit history. The backlash to that comment obviously contributed to the follow-up response and radical adjustments.

A lingering issue still looms, though. Those who pay for microtransactions in the game remain at an advantage. Though some of the game’s top Star Cards — used for high-level upgrades — are only available after reaching a certain level, most players will easily be able to achieve this level in a day, and those who then put down real money will be able to buy them far earlier than those paying for loot crates through in-game credits alone.

In more positive Battlefront II news, EA also relayed new information on the entirely free campaign DLC. Titled Resurrection, the DLC serves as an epilogue and includes three new story chapters. The premise is that Iden goes out to find her missing husband and winds up in a First Order conspiracy that entwines players in the timelines of The Force Awakens and the upcoming The Last Jedi. The epilogue will add roughly one hour to the length of the campaign. No word yet on when the DLC lands.

Star Wars Battlefront II is out for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on Friday, November 17.

Update: Added EA’s response and revised hero payment model.

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