Due at least somewhat in part to the firestorm of pay-to-win accusations being thrown at Battlefront 2, EA and DICE have come out with a blog post addressing the concerns many had about the progression system in the game being tied directly to loot boxes. In short, not everything in the game is locked behind a paywall. Just some of it, and it’s “optional”.
Here’s the long version, as DICE explains in their blog post:
We know you have a lot of questions about Crates and progression, so we want to clarify a few things, as the complete system was not in the Beta and will continue to be tuned over time:
- There are many things you can earn in the game, including weapons, attachments, credits, Star Cards, Emotes, Outfits and Victory Poses.
- As a balance goal, we’re working towards having the most powerful items in the game only earnable via in-game achievements.
- Crates will include a mix of of Star Cards, Outfits, Emotes or Victory Poses.
- Players earn crates by completing challenges and other gameplay milestones, or by purchasing them with in-game credits or Crystals, our premium currency.
- If you get a duplicate Star Card in a crate, you will get crafting parts which you can then use to help upgrade the Star Card of your choice.
- And lastly, you have to earn the right to be able to upgrade Star Cards and unlock most Weapons. You can only upgrade or unlock them if you have reached a high enough rank, which is determined by playing the game.
We also have heard some players are looking for a way to play where all players will have the same set of Star Cards with flattened values. Like everything else, we will be continually making necessary changes to ensure the game is fun for everyone. We will work to make sure the system is balanced both for players who want to earn everything, as well as for players who are short on time and would like to move faster in their progress towards various rewards.
What these statements translate to is that EA and DICE didn’t put the full system in, and included no obvious disclaimer that could have avoided the whole kerfuffle. Bitter nitpicking aside, it’s somewhat heartening to see that only some of the issues present in the Beta system still remain.
The issue of having only basic equipment without paying extra cash is gone, as is the concern over incredibly gamebreaking and OP combos being exclusive to those wishing to fork over extra cash. So that’s refreshing at least.
EA and DIC hope to get the balance between classes with their ability and item combinations at least somewhat in line. But it’s all but certain that a few broken combos will surface on launch and have to be nerfed. The fact that Star Cards–and by assumption the different tiers of these cards as well–are still included in the crates makes for some concern regarding game balance overall.
The idea of including a forcibly balanced arena mode with static item and ability loadouts is intriguing, although some will likely view it as cop-out if DICE fail to maintain balance in other modes.
That all being said, the loot boxes are still a randomized and sort-of-gambling cash grab, no matter what the ESRB says.
Last, but not least, the developer promised to keep listening to feedback, and that much more information will be shared before the game launches.