After a promising reveal earlier this year, Star Wars Battlefront 2 has struggled to maintain its excitement this past week. Most of the issues revolve around the game’s aggressive and arguably predatory microtransaction model, which limits earned currency in favor of pushing players to spend real money on unlocks and loot boxes. Backlash to the game has continued to rise since it went live through EA Access, so to try and defuse the situation, EA held an Ask Me Anything event on Reddit.
Prior to this event, the community had been in an uproar over hero unlock prices, which many saw as outrageously high. EA and DICE adjusted the requirements, slashing them by 75% and likely viewed this AMA as an opportunity to learn more from fans and hopefully reassure everyone over the long haul. Unfortunately for them, things didn’t go quite as planned. Before starting, the moderation team tried to set ground rules, noting that overly perceived hostility would end the session prematurely. Here are a few highlights from the event:
Reddit user AsexualAmeba brought up the recently revealed credit earning cap while playing offline in the single-player Arcade mode, which would force them to max it out for eight straight days just to be able to afford one crate. When asked if there were plans to change these values, Paul Keslin, multiplayer producer at DICE, confirmed that the team instituted that policy to prevent potential abuse of the system that would then negatively impact multiplayer. As a result, the developer plans to continue to monitor data and make adjustments from there.
When asked why DICE decided to utilize gameplay affecting loot boxes rather than just cosmetic based loot Dennis Brännvall, Star Wars Battlefront 2‘s design director, confirmed that the cosmetic gear wasn’t ready in time for launch. The team is working on adding new cosmetic loot that will be added to the game, though no date is available.
Executive producer John Wasilczyk responded to a question about the progression system, saying that the current numbers circulating around the Internet regarding time to unlock new content are higher than what the developer has seen from its Play First trial. Still, the developer remains committed to making progression a fun experience for everyone and has acknowledged that fans would prefer a system where playing a class or a character specifically will upgrade its level.
The_Year_of_Glad currently holds the most upvoted question, though it’s so direct and on the nose, most believe EA and DICE will never answer it. He writes:
Thank you for agreeing to answer questions. 1) Do you believe that DICE’s brand has been damaged by its association with EA, as a result of this controversy? 2) When you yourselves play games, do you prefer to play ones with microtransactions and associated mechanisms like loot crates, or without them? 3) What, in your view, is the most effective method by which gamers could convince a large company to stop including microtransactions and associated mechanisms like loot crates in the games that it sells?
While the developers faced a near-impossible task with this Reddit AMA from the start, most players don’t seem satisfied with the answers being given. Without much in the way of concrete answers, most developer answers were drowned in a sea of downvotes, forcing moderators to collect the answers and repost them above for people to easily find. With the standard version of Star Wars Battlefront 2 finally releasing tomorrow, fans will get to see how all these recent controversies will be impacting the game.
Star Wars Battlefront 2 is available now for deluxe edition owners and launches for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on November 17, 2017.