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Battlefront 2 Reddit Rage is in Full Contradiction Mode

UPDATE: 8 Minutes ago as of this writing EA published the following update to hero costs:

“We’re reducing the amount of credits needed to unlock the top heroes by 75%. Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader will now be available for 15,000 credits; Emperor Palpatine, Chewbacca, and Leia Organa for 10,000 credits; and Iden at 5,000 credits. Based on what we’ve seen in the trial, this amount will make earning these heroes an achievement, but one that will be accessible for all players.”

Original Entry follows:

The drama continues as Battlefront 2 once again takes the brunt of the loot box hate. I’m disappointed in the gaming community. I’m disappointed and saddened by how people are responding, as well as how badly this has devolved into a mob-like mentality of senseless groupthink.

Let’s forget the loot box drama for a second. Loot boxes are bad unless they’re for a game from a company people love to slobber all over. We get it. The drama devolves.

The latest drama is over an EA rep posting a response on Reddit to the statement: “Seriously? I paid $80 to have Vader locked?”

“The intent is to provide players with a sense of pride and accomplishment for unlocking different heroes.

As for cost, we selected initial values based upon data from the Open Beta and other adjustments made to milestone rewards before launch. Among other things, we’re looking at average per-player credit earn rates on a daily basis, and we’ll be making constant adjustments to ensure that players have challenges that are compelling, rewarding, and of course attainable via gameplay.

We appreciate the candid feedback, and the passion the community has put forth around the current topics here on Reddit, our forums and across numerous social media outlets.

Our team will continue to make changes and monitor community feedback and update everyone as soon and as often as we can.”

He was downvoted 352,000 times as the time this was published.

That’s incredibly disheartening to see.

People are fixating and hating on the fact that Vader is locked.

Why is it a bad thing to have to unlock something like Vader, and why is it any different than unlocking that last sniper rifle in Battlefield, or that SMG you want in Call of Duty? Many MOBA take 20-40 hours to unlock heroes or skins you want, too.

A lack of accomplishment and achievement is a big problem in games today. We bitch when they’re shallow, and we bitch when they require work.  Why can’t Vader be a milestone?

Battlefront 2 is not even out yet. People had a 10 hour trial window to play if they were Origin Access members, and based on that 10 hours of play you’d think people had cracked the matrix and calculated everything based on playing games against other Origin Access members. Oh how I can’t wait to see the real numbers.

So now we’ve seen this drama devolve into two arguments being woven together:

Argument 1: Loot boxes are bad.

Argument 2: Having to unlock heroes is bad.

The irony here is that people hating on the “buy your way to victory” are also hating on the “earn you way to victory.” WTF do you want? Do you even know what you want?

I really, really enjoyed playing the beta. I sure hope that same level of enjoyment carries over into the full version of the game when I get to play tomorrow. I also hope that EA is true to their word and monitors the credit earn rates, and I believe they will because it’s in their best interest to prove everyone wrong.

Especially this guy:

“This is an outrage! 40 hours to unlock a character!” – Guy who had no plan to buy the game.

  • Danath says:

    You mention MOBA’s… but MOBAs have no entry cost, nobody paid 60, 70, or 80+ dollars just to start playing the game.

    When you have already paid an up front cost to play your game you expect to have access to the primary content. Spent significant time to unlock something you already paid for isn’t rewarding. The MOBA model typically rewards players with free heroes, cheap entry packs and simply the ability to unlock whoever you want with a time investment but without paying any up front cost.

    This doesn’t mean things can’t be gated in some fashion, but from my understanding the way its gated is what people don’t like.

    Also people dismissive about lootboxes are why they have become such a cancer lately.

    • Keen says:

      @Danath: I realize this won’t be apples to apples, but what about MMOs? You pay box price and a monthly subscription but still have to earn everything. In fact, you may NEVER see the primary content in the game if you don’t put in the time and effort to unlock.

      I guess what I’m getting at here is … don’t we pay for the carrot in most games? Why is it suddenly more of an issue with Battlefront? I’m genuinely interested, because I haven’t been able to make sense of it for myself.

      • Danath says:

        You are paying for access to the online access and continual updates and larger servers hosted by the company running it. Notably there are F2P MMO’s that are decent enough, and its STILL the microtransactions after the fact that cause issues.

        Some MMO’s also JUST have the up front sticker price and no monthly subscription cost. You can debate on the quality but there are different paths.

        When I buy an RPG, things are gated behind time, because there is a linear path/story involved.

        That is different with a competitive game, where a level playing field is a higher priority, which is what makes unlocks a bit disingenious.

        And we don’t. You might, I sure don’t. I do not pay for microtransactions in games that have an up front cost, I have never bought a lootbox or microtransaction, I do not buy DLC, I sometimes buy expansions if I feel the value is worthwhile. I loved Nier Automata, but I did not buy its DLC as an example.

        Lootbox and microtransaction cancer has been around a long time and its been pointed out and analyzed in depth by many individuals. Trying to defend it now in battlefront 2 is simply silly, it just happens to be a very big name brand being particularly abusive which is gladly bringing this kind of shitty behavior even more into the limelight along with other such luminaries like Shadow of War.

  • If unlocking was a huge burning issue, Nintendo would be in a lot of trouble. They have long been a leading member of the cult of the locked content. And some people have always complained about it too. There is always somebody who resents it.

    But now that the lockbox/Pay to Win flames have been ignited those people have grabbed pitchforks to weigh in on having to unlock anything at all.

    However, I will say that EA did muddy the waters itself by making the unlock valued in credits versus activities. Also, PvP and the power of the unlock adds to the problem. If it were a Traveller’s Tales LEGO game where it was a million studs to unlock a key character, but you could buy studs, it would just cheapen the achievement. But when it affects the outcome of PvP, then let the rage commence!

  • Azuriel says:

    The fundamental piece you left out is this: you can pay cash to get credits.

    Not directly, mind you. But you can purchase loot boxes and then deconstruct duplicate Star Cards for credits, instead of just grinding credits in-game. That’s the shady part. If the only way to unlock Vader was to specifically spend 40 hours in games, and everyone had to do exactly that, there would be no controversy – as you noted, nobody complained about unlocking that last sniper rifle in Battlefield. Instead, you have the plebs trying to juggle spending credits on necessary upgrades to be competitive (e.g. buying normal loot boxes), and the whales Force-choking them with their wallets (presumably) on Day 1.

    • Keen says:

      That same practice exists in other games, though. I’m not saying it’s all sunshine and roses, but it existed elsewhere first. People are acting like microtransactions never netted a gain in a pay-to-play game.

      What’s really being left out, and what the real complaint should be about, is how absurd it is to unlock a character that you’ll use for maybe a few minutes a DAY, and may see die within 30 seconds of spawning. That’s the crime.

      • Danath says:

        People have been calling it out for a long time now (See Jim Sterling, YongYea, TotalBiscuit and others). Its just starting to hit critical masses as it becomes more greedy, more visible and more obnoxious by the various triple A companies.

        Remember the original defense of microtransactions and lootboxes in these games… it’s only cosmetic.

    • coppertopper says:

      Vader is just a skin so to speak – there are all the other heroes immediately available:Darryl maul, Kylie ren, Yoda.. Guess what Darry Mauls abilities are? Choke and Saber throw. Guess what Darth Vaders abilities are? Choke and saber throw. Azuriel….lol

    • Wilhelm Arcturus says:

      I didn’t leave it out, it was already part of the story, and my LEGO example clearly referenced that as an aspect of this.

  • Topauz says:

    I love Star Wars but I doubt I will buy this game. I saw everyone’s review on how little there was on the first Battlefront so EA has to prove to me otherwise. I don’t buy any microtransactions and I avoid games if there are microtransactions that immediately make someone more powerful than me.

    @Keen, didn’t you just write an article on how AAA games are coming out with less content and in an unfinished state? How is this game any different? Not trying to be argumentative, just looking for someone to convince me to buy this game. The graphics look great.

    • Keen says:

      I get what you’re asking. Great question.

      I was able to play for about 10 hours during the beta periods. I enjoyed my time immensely. As someone who has played all of the past Battlefronts, this reminds me the most of the true original (not the new original that released a few years ago, that one was terrible).

      I haven’t played the full game yet. No one, even those who had a 10 hour trial ahead of everyone else this week, has played it yet. Take what I’m saying with a grain of salt.

      This is different because this is a complete game (again, grain of salt since I’ve only played a bit). There won’t be ANY content sold to you, it’ll all be included free. All expansions are included. No season pass nonsense.

  • SynCaine says:

    Never a good hill to die on when its an EA hill for a game they have already once had to tone down the RMT bs due to outrage, and the game hasn’t fully released yet.

    But as I said on my blog, supporting BF:SW2 is giving up your pass to later complain about loot boxes that contain power items or buy+cash shop garbage. If you support it here, you support it in gaming. Hopefully enough people pass on this to send a message, but sheep will sheep if the right IP is attached.

    • SynCaine says:

      Bonus bad hill to die on when EA almost instantly slashes the price. But hey, lets keep supporting them because loljedi, right?

    • Keen says:

      I’m not dying on a hill supporting loot boxes, but I’ll die on the hill that says the game is still fun enough to buy despite them.

      I’ll also die on that same hill pointing out the irony I witnessed today of a major streamer playing Call of Duting and saying, “Battlefield 2 is trash. You get blown up way too quickly.” He was dying 3 seconds after he spawned in CoD. Then he went on to play Battlerite and bitched about loot boxes in SWBF2 but said, “I’m getting all kinds of cool shit form these boxes” as he played Battlerite.

      I will be waiting for the first comments to hit reddit saying, “Everyone is running around as Darth Vader and it doesn’t feel special anymore, and there’s no sense of accomplishment.” The same people who have in the past bitched those words are now on Reddit condemning EA — I know them personally and call many my friends (sorry, you know who you are).

      EA said they’d listen. Looks like they’re trying. Tinfoil hat conspiracy theories or not. SWBF2 was fun in beta, and it’ll be fun tomorrow.

      This should all prove to be a very interesting to experience first hand and share on the blog.

      • SynCaine says:

        Not sure you need a reddit post about the unlock being so common when EA themselves said its “an achievement, but one that will be accessible for all players.” Nothing says ‘you achieved something’ like doing something everyone else alive also did. “Congrats on breathing today!” is basically what EA just said, and here you are praising them for listening while still lining up to continue the lockbox trend and buy+pay-more trend in gaming.

        It’s a choice you are making with full knowledge, just don’t post in a month or a year about how game X stinks because of lockboxes, or how you feel robbed by having to buy a box and then pay more for something you feel should be part of the game, or about franchise Y going full ‘show up and support the whale’ pay-4-power cashgrab.

  • Audioshaman says:

    “A lack of accomplishment and achievement is a big problem in games today. We bitch when they’re shallow, and we bitch when they require work. Why can’t Vader be a milestone?”

    The fly in the ointment here is that EA hasn’t really designed unlocking Vader to be a milestone and satisfying long term achievement. They’ve designed the game to incentivize RMT to buy Vader faster. It’s like every dumb time-locked mobile game out there – you can do everything for free, but it takes a deliberately obnoxious amount of time to accomplish anything unless you buy “crystals” or whatever to speed it up. Exactly the same design philosophy, except instead of a F2P mobile game it’s a AAA title that costs $60-$80 depending on where you live.

    Anyway, I don’t really blame EA, despite how clearly the game is designed around micro-transactions. They’re just a business trying to maximize profit like every other business, and apparently consumers are willing to pay despite all the bad PR.

    I wasn’t going to buy this anyway, since I have no interest in competitive multi-player shooters. Maybe I’ll play the original Battlefront II this week instead – I really loved that game.

  • Kahlmodra says:

    Always cherish the conversation here. You guys keep it civil (mostly) and bring good points, even when at odds. Carry on!

    I’m a casualty.
    Was looking forward to the title, followed the development but chose not to pre-order because work schedule would conflict with the beta period pretty heavily and I needed to stay focused on end of year projects.

    Here we are with loot boxes counterfeiting the competition. Content egregiously locked behind pay/time walls. *sigh* I just can’t do it anymore. I can’t gripe and moan and belabor the point in forums and still hand over my money. Is this my line in the sand? Perhaps.

    It may go unnoticed, but I’m voting with my proverbial feet and taking my entertainment dollar elsewhere.

    • Keen says:

      I’m glad to provide a place of civil debate and discussion.

      For me it all boils down to enjoying the game. I made my decision to preorder after knowing the drama. I simply enjoy playing. It’s fun.

      I don’t like loot boxes at all, and I don’t support them, so I’ll not be buying any. But I’ll buy a game I enjoy tocshow then I like the game (and have fun).

      I can certainly appreciate and understand your position, though.

      • SynCaine says:

        You do support lockboxes, so just be honest about that part.

        Not only via wallet vote by giving EA money for a lockbox game, but also because they exist not just for the 10% of all players who buy them, but because those 10% have the other 90% around to show it off to, you included. If you (non-lockbox buyer) don’t show up, the lockbox buy has less incentive to buy as well.

      • Keen says:

        I simply don’t see it that way. This reminds me of people accusing people who shop at Walmart of hating small business and destroying it. Well, I shop at Walmart too. Maybe I’m just an overall bad person.

      • SynCaine says:

        Not sure choosing self over a greater good directly makes you an overall bad person, but the Walmart-lockbox comparison isn’t far off. Your actions show what you support. If you shop primarily at Walmart over your local store, then yea, you do send that message, just like if you pay money for a lockbox game you are also sending a message, regardless of what you say to the contrary.

        That’s what standing for something is about; sometimes you have to take a short-term hit (you miss out on a game you find fun for the moment, or pay more at a local store) to get a long-term result (gaming isn’t plagued by lockbox garbage and EA isn’t rewarding for exploiting it to the fullest, local economies are stronger vs the lucky sperm Walmart kids getting another billion).

        As I said earlier, it’s a choice you make. Just be honest and say “sorry, I’d rather have my fun now than do something about lockboxes when given the chance”.

      • Keen says:

        Given those options, I guess I choose fun.

      • Drathmar says:

        So I wasn’t going to jump into this conversation as most of what I was going to say has been said. However I am just going to point out why the Walmart comparison is bad.

        I personally shop at Walmart. Is it because I hate small business and want to see them shut down? Not at all, I personally think small businesses are great and we have way to many corporations. Why do I shop there then?

        The main reason is lack of other options. For groceries especially, there are no small businesses around us that sell them, with the only exception being one that specializes in fresh fruits and vegetables which we use that for. In my area we don’t have local butcher shops, or bakeries, etc. to go to get this stuff.

        So I personally, don’t have the option of buying at a local store for a higher price. So by your argument that means I should just not buy groceries, or at least that is what it sounds like.

        So that is why it is generally a bad comparison. Walmart sells what in this day and age are necessities, while EA does not.

        However it can still be applied. I still personally think that buying the game itself but never buying a lock box is a fine way to show you do not support lock boxes. If everyone who bought the game itself never touched the lock boxes, then that means the money they invested into making them part of the game is wasted. That means they won’t bother putting them in another game unless the lock boxes themselves show it turns a profit.

      • SynCaine says:

        Sure, if the ONLY option for food is Walmart, then that’s what you have to do. But in the vast majority of cases, people have options. Plus like you yourself said, when you DO have the option, you support local (and in turn, don’t support Walmart). So the comparison still applies, and you are on the side of local when possible.

        It’s an even easier choice here, because there are not only a near-countless number of games out, there are also plenty of other options for an online shooter that don’t contain power lockboxes.

        The topic of just being a witness in a lockbox game has already been addressed; only 10% buy them anyway, but they need the 90% to feel good about the showoff purchase. You aren’t making a statement not buying lockboxes (especially not after already paying for the game), you are in fact supporting the practice by being one of the 90% that are also needed.

  • Silvertemplar says:

    As i gather people pointed out, it is not the unlocking bit, it is the fact that you can bypass all of that with money which nullifies the “achievement” factor. It just ain’t as prideful knowing you don’t actually have to grind for it. There is also the notion that because you can buy yourself out of it, that they intentionally make it unrealistically hard to grind (as opposed to a design that expects everyone to grind it).

    It is like the olden WoW days of grinding for that flying mount, there was level of achievement when you got it, no one complained about that because there were no legal shortcut for that (gold farming was still pretty illegal back then).

    • Keen says:

      I do get that. And I actually agree too. What I haven’t done here is provide a good enough explanation of my point.

      I don’t like lockboxes. I don’t like microtransactions to get around achievement ingames (I don’t like WoW tokens or Clash Royale boxes, or Hearthstone card packs either).

      What I do like is the gameplay. A lot.

      What I don’t like is that people will drop hundreds of dollars on a game like WoW, Battlefield, Call of Duty, Hearthstone or Clash Royale for an advantage, but then balk at EA. That’s all. And the difficulty is many of these people don’t see it that way, so it’s not an argument either side can win. It boils down to what one believes.

  • Carl says:

    One “fun” thing missing from your post or the comments is that EA followed their reduced heroes’ price announcement with a bottom-of-the-contract-small-print-style announcement that upon completing the campain, you’re now getting 5000 credits instead of 20 000.

    This pretty much nullifies their initial announcement, but it’s ok for them if people only talk of the former.

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