The concern over loot boxes in Star Wars: Battlefront 2 has been surpassed by a new issue in the community. Star Wars: Battlefront 2 isn't actually out until November 14, but players on EA Access on Xbox One and Origin Access on PC have been playing since last Tuesday. Player reports from this early launch period are fueling the anger.
If you want to play as Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader, they cost 60,000 in-game credits to unlock each, while other heroes are either unlocked at launch or cost less. One Reddit user crunched the numbers in a spreadsheet, with an estimated 40 hours to unlock just one 60k hero. Another user went on Reddit to note that they were angry at having to unlock Darth Vader, despite paying $80 for the game. (Presumably, they purchased the Elite Trooper Deluxe Edition.) It became the most upvoted post on the Battlefront subreddit.
"The intent is to provide players with a sense of pride and accomplishment for unlocking different heroes," said the EACommunityTeam account in response. "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 basis, 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," added the community team.
It's a solid response, but unfortunately, a tweet around this period from EA community manager Mat Everett started a firestorm. "The armchair developers on this internet," Everett wrote in a now deleted tweet. Fans took that to be about the response to Battlefront 2, despite Everett saying that's not the case and later deleting the tweet. Everett says he has received death threats since then.
My tweets earlier had nothing to do with community remarks or topics within or around SWBFII. I made a tweet about a general thing and people claim I am speaking about my games community complaints. #disheartning #Frustrated Sorry to those who think it was about Star Wars.— Mat Everett (@sledgehammer70) November 12, 2017
The EA Community Team response eventually became the most downvoted post in Reddit history, with 282,136 downvotes as of this writing. The mod team locked the post to comments and later released a State of the Subreddit post, addressing the "hatred and vitriol" that has taken over the subreddit.
Eventually, DICE developer and Battlefront 2 associate design director Dennis Brännvall offered up his own explanation for the unlock system on the subreddit. He provided some clarity about matchmaking before addressing credit earning rates and the hero unlocks. Brännvall noted that DICE sees Vader and Skywalker as sidegrade characters, equal to already-unlocked heroes like Darth Maul and Rey.
"Heroes that are locked at launch will only be unlocked with credits, not crystals. The heroes, similar to the locked weapons for Troopers, are sidegrades instead of upgrades (Darth Vader should be on similar power level as Darth Maul, etc). The goal is to keep you playing for a long time and have something cool to look forward to as you earn credits," said Brännvall.
"Speaking of earning credits, we're constantly evaluating and tweaking the earn rates versus the cost of crates and heroes. The current rates were based on open beta data, but you should expect us to constantly evolve these numbers as we hit launch and onwards," he added. "Working on a game with a live economy and without a premium content lineup is a new challenge for us at DICE. We had one progression system in the closed alpha and heard your feedback back then. We made another iteration for the open beta and heard your feedback then too. For launch, we're having another iteration and there will definitely be more iterations as we evolve this game post launch."
We'll see how DICE tweaks the numbers heading into the game's full launch this week. Star Wars: Battlefront 2 launches November 17th on PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. Battlefront 2 will have improved resolution, improved frame rate, additional graphical effects, and HDR support on Xbox One X and improved resolution, improved frame rate, and additional graphical effects on PlayStation 4 Pro.
Edit: This story formerly noted that Star Wars: Battlefront 2 is out tomorrow, November 14th when it's actually out this Friday, November 17th. This story has been edited to reflect this and we regret the error.