When Star Wars Battlefront 2 was announced, many were excited to hear just how much content would be packed in comparison to its predecessor and even more thrilled in that it would be free. It seems the catch has been revealled in the beta, however, with abilities and weapons being locked behind an unbalanced loot crate system.
Loot crates are the hot topic of the year, having been implemented in every other release, from PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds trialing them despite still being in Early Access and Middle-earth: Shadow of War controversially including them in its single player game. It's no surprise that they are included within one of the most anticipated multiplayer games of the year.
The way Battlefront 2's system works is that players gain new abilities and weapons from opening loot crates, in which are received in various ways such as leveling up, gifting and dailies, but most importantly they can be bought using in-game and/or real currency. Anything received is chosen completely at random, and there's a big chance you won't get an ability or weapon at all, but scrap used to manually craft what it is you want. This seems fair, apart from the amount of scrap received is insidiously low in comparison to the high amount required to craft.
Alongside gameplay-effecting factors, you might receive standard cosmetics we are accustomed to seeing within loot crates, such as emotes and victory poses. While there is still time for developers DICE and publisher EA to tweak the system, as it stands, the way in which loot crates work could impact heavily on the game itself.
With the introduction of Star Cards and their respective bronze, silver and gold tiers, this makes the game all the more pay-to-win. Star Cards affect how each class plays, including the heroes and villains spanning across all three generations. So not only is it a random effort to collect each Star Card out there, but also cross your fingers and hope you'll get the best version of each.
To make matters worse, awarded currency comes in at a flat rate for the team regardless of performance, making it even harder to strategically earn to earn everything the game has to offer. It's safe to say that the randomness prompts grinding and the grinding is there to wear the player down into purchasing into the microtransactions – an unacceptable feature in a full priced game.
KitGuru Says: I am hoping that EA addresses these issues as soon as possible given that the fan response to its new strategy was overwhelming when it was originally announced. The best thing that players can do in the meantime is to voice their opinion on the matter, particularly on the subreddit and social media pages. Did you play the Battlefront 2 beta? How did you feel the grinding was?