After the Beta backlash, EA made sure to be very vocal about making changes to how players can earn certain gameplay modifiers within the game. Pre Beta, it appeared that somebody with the cash to spend could make Boba Fett invincible for thirty seconds with the highest tier variety of starcard. A worrying notion for the many who died at his hand in the first Battlefront (many people agreed he was a gamebreaker without fancy perks). Now, in the case of Battlefront 2, EA have now said this highest tier can only be unlocked for heroes through player progression, placing the card behind a grind wall instead of a pay wall. Here’s a quick list of other changes they have promised to make.
Notice how none of those points state “can only be unlocked”. It begs the question yet further just how much can be accessed as the result of having a fatter wallet than your competition. For the full rundown of what EA are going to do, check out the official update for yourself.
Initially, all of this seemed like a good, fair idea. EA was finally listening to fans (for real this time). But today, a PR disasterpiece went down on Reddit, surrounding yet further controversy within the game. A player has discovered (presumably through a review code) that gamers will have to grind out forty hours just to unlock a single hero. His comment “Seriously, I paid $80 to have Vader locked?!” sparked an immediate response from EA. The full response is now hidden on Reddit which politely reminds us “EDIT – Thread has been locked. Harrassing and spamming others is not okay”. Which denotes quite an explosive response. The good news is, in the name of journalism, we have the full and original response right here, for your eyeballs to scrutinise.
"The intent is to provide players with a sense of pride and accomplishment for unlocking different heroes.
"As for cost, we selected initial values based upon data from the open beta and other adjustments made to milestone rewards before launch. Among other things, we're looking at average per-player credit earn rates on a daily bases, and we'll be making constant adjustments to ensure that players have challenges that are compelling, rewarding and of course attainable via gameplay."
"We appreciate the candid feedback, and the passion the community has put forth around the current topics here on Reddit, our forums and across numerous social media outlets."
"Our team will continue to make changes and monitor community feedback and update everyone as soon and as often as we can."
The rest of the ensuing fallout from Star Wars fans remains perfectly visible on Reddit. To get an idea of the backlash this statement received, it's worth checking out. Sources suggest it was one of the most down voted comments Reddit has ever seen.
EA’s public relations continue to take an awful slap in the face in the wake of this incident. Whether it was in relation to the Reddit debacle or not, it does not look good for EA when their Community Manager, Chris Everett tweets “The armchair developers on this internet”. This would insinuate he’s tired of fans making demands of developers when they don’t understand the industry. It may be true in some parts but statements like this remain unprofessional.
Everett has since removed the tweet and stated it was not in relation to Star Wars Battlefront 2. How much of say should gamers have in the mechanics of game development? That, my friends, is a debate for another post. In the meantime, feel free to vent how you feel the comments below.