EA execs are waking up to one hell of a community backlash this morning. One that’s been brewing ever since we learned about the game’s loot box/star card feature.
UPDATE: EA’s response was quick and drastic. Hero costs are being reduced by 75%. Instead of 60,000 credits for Luke Skywalker, it’s now 15,000. You can read the rest of the changes over at their blog post. Original article follows.
A popular Reddit post pointed out it takes 40 hours of gameplay to unlock Battlefront 2’s most expensive heroes/villains. It isn’t quite that long when you factor in credit rewards for challenges, but it’s still a long grind.
The post sparked instant outrage as the community weighed in. EA’s community team responded with a comment that reads in part, “the intent is to provide players with a sense of pride and accomplishment for unlocking different heroes.” Yeah, whoever wrote that hated life as soon as they clicked ‘submit.’
Reddit pummeled that comment with hundreds of thousands of downvotes. It’s sitting at -322,000 points as of this morning.
The 40 hour(ish) grind is the headline, but the bigger problem is how star cards work. If you’re saving up credits for heroes, that means you’re not spending them on crates for star cards (and crafting parts). And without them, you’ll be at an instant disadvantage against folks who are grinding for star cards instead of Luke Skywalker.
How Star Cards work
I’m going to do a quick recap of what Star Cards are and how you earn them. Think of Star Cards like perks from Call of Duty. In Battlefront 2, they either augment your character or replace one of three abilities. Let’s take a look at one example.
Assault Training – Gain a small amount of health for each defeated enemy.
Sounds innocent enough right? Now, here are the tiers: 20, 25, 30, and 40. Get a double kill with a thermal detonator? That’s 80 health points earned.
Ultimately, you can equip up to three Star Cards at a time.
You can earn them via purchasable crates or by crafting. Crafting a Star Card cost 40 crafting parts. Another 80 to level it up to tier 2. And 120 for tier three. There are also prerequisites for crafting. Let’s take a look at the Assault Training example.
Right now, I’m at tier 2. To get to tier 3, my Assault Card Level needs to be 15. That’s the number of cards plus the tiers in each one. A Tier 3 card is worth three levels, for example. Basically, you have to craft and upgrade several cards in order to level up the one you really want. You’ll also need to be level 15 to upgrade it.
Or, and this is big, you earn the card via a Crate. Either with real money or in-game currency. I earned a tier 3 Marksman card that I can equip right now. And I’m not level 15. Folks who toss cash at this system will have better cards a lot quicker.
That grind to get Luke Skywalker? It gets even longer when you buy crates. Those crafting parts to make the Star Cards? You earn them via gameplay, challenges, and you guessed it – crates.
Buried beneath all the loot crate garbage is a fantastic game. And that’s the damn shame of it all. I put in about six hours over the weekend and had an absolute blast.
How these Star Cards work needs a total revamp. The values of each ability are way too high. Honestly, just scrap the cards that augment abilities. It’s inherently unbalanced.
EA can’t, and won’t, let this latest community outrage go unanswered. We’ll see how they plan on addressing Battlefront 2’s grind (and hopefully Star Cards) this week.