With the recent closure of Star Wars Battlefront II’s public beta, and the raising of some balance and design issues, EA has announced the first of their proposed changes to the beloved franchise’s newest installment. Their most recent press release detailed changes made to the game’s “Star Cards”, essentially the game’s loadout and ability system. The following changes will supposedly ship with the full game on release date, but its worth noting that nothing is fully set in stone until launch.
In an attempt to make the system more equitable for all players, level caps have been placed upon the crafting of the highest tiers of Star Cards. This eliminates one of the largest loopholes that may have led to “pay to win” mechanics, where players might potentially buy in-game crates to generate crafting materials, and then subsequently craft the most powerful Cards. To a similar end, many of the class-specific weapons and gear have been placed behind level milestones of their own.
While this prevents a player from gaining these advantages unfairly, it presents a new balance conundrum for the development team. Will busy players, who cannot dedicate hours and hours of playtime, be left feeling outmatched against those with the unlockable high-tiered gear? Or will the opposite happen, where unlocking new gear becomes uninteresting due it’s similarities to the base set? As the development team notes, “the magic is in the balance”, and finding ways to ensure tiered unlockables are fair yet rewarding may be one of the most important avenues of focus for DICE going forward.
With the November 17th release date fast approaching, not every fan is happy, despite the fan-focused changes. Some still bemoan the inclusion of the crate and Star Card system, while others worry about the fate of the single-player portion of the game. Promises that all content will be available for free may work to stem the outrage that plagued the first game, but only time will tell if expectations can be met, or even exceeded.