In early October, Electronic Arts and developer Dice released an open beta for Star Wars Battlefront II, and players didn’t take kindly to the “pay-to-win” mechanics they found shoehorned into the multiplayer. Changes have since been made for the final version of the game, but its progression system continues to draw criticism from fans.
Reddit user TheHotterPotato created a spreadsheet based on the time the user spent with Battlefront II, available early to EA Access subscribers, and estimated that it would take a player nearly 40 hours to acquire enough in-game credits to purchase just one of the top heroes in the game. Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader both cost 60,000 credits to unlock at the moment, and unlocking all of the heroes available for credits is estimated to take more than seven days. The user also calculated the cost to purchase loot crates in the game instead of grinding for them, and found that at the United States’ minimum wage, it would take about 14 hours of gainful employment, making that route more than 1,000 percent more efficient than simply playing the game.
Part of the reason behind these ludicrous unlock times is the way Star Wars Battlefront II awards credits. Aside from completing specific challenges, credits are awarded for simply staying in a match rather than for good performance.
Electronic Arts responded to the Reddit post, saying that “the intent is to provide players with a sense of pride and accomplishment for unlocking different heroes” and that it would be closely monitoring statistics so it could adjust unlock rates accordingly.
The issue, however, is that those who paid for microtransactions in the game remain at an advantage. Though some of the game’s top Star Cards — used for high-level upgrades — are only available after reaching a certain level, most players will easily be able to achieve this level in a day, and those who then put down real money will be able to buy them far earlier than those paying for loot crates through in-game credits alone. We can only hope that major changes are made to the game, and soon, as Battlefront II appears to be the most egregious offender in the current loot box craze.
Star Wars Battlefront II is out for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on November 17.