Over the years, publishers like EA have experimented with microtransactions in Triple A games quite a bit. Over time though, game makers have found more forgivable ways to include them, for instance, most people seem to be willing to accept loot boxes. However, those loot box systems are usually confined to cosmetic items. With Star Wars Battlefront 2, EA will be doing loot boxes differently, by offering gameplay-affecting power-ups in the form of ‘Star Cards’.
Star Cards are similar in some ways to ‘Burn Cards’ in Titanfall. These are cards you can collect and activate during a multiplayer game to give yourself a stat boost. Unfortunately, the similarities seem to stop there. While Burn Cards are one-time use, Star Cards are permanent and come in different rarities. So if you spend enough cash opening loot boxes, you may manage to heavily increase base damage of one of your classes, or have Darth Maul recover a bigger chunk of health every time you get a kill.
In the video above from BattlefrontUpdates, you can see some of these exclusive crates being opened up. Early on in the video, you can see an ‘Epic’ Darth Maul card, which boosts the character’s Spin Attack by 60 percent. Later on you can see a Star Card that boosts the game’s Heavy class, giving you the ability to earn up to 15 score each time you take damage or a shield absorbs damage. Other cards allow you to boost the blast radius of grenades and affect the damage of other weapons.
You will get some of these loot boxes for free just by launching the game daily or earning in-game currency via matches. You will also be able to use ‘Star Parts’ to craft specific power-ups you want. It’s a slippery slope though, depending on how the whole thing is balanced, those with expendable funds may be able to buy their way into a multiplayer advantage. This is certainly enough to spark ‘pay to win’ concerns amongst the player base.
KitGuru Says: This Star Card system doesn’t sound particularly appealing to me, especially since the power-ups are permanent and vary in rarity to encourage you to buy more. That said, I have not played Battlefront 2 yet, perhaps DICE will manage to balance the game in such a way that ‘pay to win’ doesn’t end up becoming an issue. Still, purchasable multiplayer power ups never really sit right with me. How do you guys feel about Battlefront 2’s loot system?