EA just can’t seem to get things right when it comes to their newest and biggest blunder: Star Wars: Battlefront II. It seems that almost daily people are working out how much they are screwed by corporate greed in Battlefront II’s loot box system. The first screw up was that these things even exist, then it was that higher tier characters and unlocks were only available through micro-transaction payments and not in game progression, then the price of more well known characters from the Star Wars franchise like Darth Vader were locked behind a paywall so high that it was near impossible to get him (Which EA did fix… kinda. They lowered the price of the characters, but also lowered the rewards given in game too), and now we have even more evidence thanks to the people over at Star Wars Gaming that there is a huge grind ahead or a huge payout needed to unlock all the content in the game people just paid $60 or more to buy; and also that EA has done another bad idea by restricting the amount of credits you can get from doing daily arcade grinds.
With the Battlefront II arcade mode being available offline, it seems that once you hit 500 credits you are forced to go do something else for a while as the game will lock you out of earning anymore credits in this mode for a seemly random number of hours. This is complete contradiction to allowing a player to have the freedom of choice to play the game they bought in whatever mode they want. EA seems adamant that you should be playing online more than you play offline, stating that the Arcade mode can be exploited and they can’t have that when there is money to be made. When asked about the subject recently in a special Star Wars: Battlefront II Reddit Ask Me Anything event, Producer Paul Keslin said the following:
With Arcade we set out to let players earn Credits offline via a more relaxed game mode, but as a result we needed to make sure it wouldn’t be exploited in a way that would impact Multiplayer.
So to stop this potential for abuse, we decided to place a limit on Credits earned offline. We’ll look to find ways to expand on the options to earn Credits offline as we want to make the experience rewarding, but we don’t have any new news right now.
So basically, since EA can’t control what players do in an offline game mode, they decided to restrict how much you can earn from the offline mode. Want to get more credits? Then you better sign into those EA Origin accounts and play online with all the 12 year olds then… Or just send your paychecks to EA and buy loot boxes.
Speaking of which…
Thanks to the people over at Star Wars Gaming, we have a good estimation of how long you’re going to have to invest, both in hours play or money paid, to Battlefront II in order to unlock all the content that is available at launch. Writer Soeren Kamper used the following method to explain how he came to the numbers needed to unlock all the content in the game:
I’m assuming that all cards are already possessed, are at level 3, and that the player has 0 credits and crafting parts left over. I’m also assuming that all one time rewards (challenges and level rewards) were used while getting the cards to level 3, so they are not factored in.
Cards from loot crates are assumed to be level 1 55% of the time, level 2 40% of the time, and level 3 5% of the time. Duplicate credit values are assumed to be 200 for a level 1, 400 for a level 2, and 600 for a level 3, this makes the average card level 1.5 and makes the average duplicate worth 300 credits. Loot crates are assumed to provide an average of 2 cards. Crafting parts are assumed to average 50. This makes the value of a crate (once you have every card in the game) worth 600 credits and 50 crafting parts. The credits are accounted for by reducing the cost of hero crates from 2,200 to 1,600.
The cost of upgrading a level 3 card to a level 4 card is 480 crafting parts. Only hero crates are bought because they are the cheapest source of crafting parts.
Players earn credits at a rate of 1,100 credits per hour.
Loot crates required are rounded up. All totals for gameplay hours are rounded to the nearest whole number.
This estimate ignores the time required to get all cards to level 3, the time required to unlock all heroes, and daily crates.
From this method, he was able to obtain the following numbers for each class of character in Battlefront II
There are 17 cards for each of the 4 base troopers. This totals 68 cards and will require 32,640 crafting parts. This will require opening 653 loot crates which will require 950 hours of gameplay (238 hours for a single base trooper class).
The enforcer class type has 5 cards. Upgrading these requires 2,400 crafting parts. This will require opening 48 loot crates which will require 70 hours of gameplay.
The aerial class type has 5 cards. Upgrading these requires 2,400 crafting parts. This will require opening 48 loot crates which will require 70 hours of gameplay.
The armor class type has 6 cards. Upgrading these will require 2,880 crafting parts. This will require opening 58 loot crates which will require 84 hours of gameplay.
The speeder class 6 cards. Upgrading these will require 2,880 crafting parts. This will require opening 58 loot crates which will require 84 hours of gameplay.
Each of the three starfighter classes has 9 cards. This totals 27 cards which requires 12,960 crafting parts. This will require opening 260 loot crates which will require 378 hours of gameplay (126 hours for a single starfighter class).
There are 14 infantry heroes with 9 cards and 9 starfighter heroes with 9 cards. This totals 207 cards. Upgrading these will require 99,360 crafting parts. This will require opening 1,988 loot crates and will require 2,892 hours of gameplay (126 hours for a single hero).
This leaves a grand total of 324 cards. Upgrading these will require a total of 155,520 crafting parts. This requires opening a grand total of 3,111 loot crates which will require 4,528 hours of game play. That’s a lot of time invested into Battlefront II. Considering there is 8760 hours in a standard year, meaning it will take about 6 months on non-stop grinding to unlock everything; no breaks, no eating, just game 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. While this doesn’t look too bad on EA’s side, that’s a lot of investment in a video game. However the other option is just as frightening.
Final cost in crystals
The 600 credits received from a hero crate is worth 27% the cost of a hero crate. This is equivalent to 30 crystals. To account for this, I reduced the cost of a hero crate from 110 crystals to 80 crystals. 12,000 crystals can be bought for $100.
Opening the required 3,111 loot crates requires 248,880 crystals. If you only purchase $100 crystal packs, this will cost $2,100.
$2,100!! I don’t know about you, but that’s a lot of money to be investing into a game. Sure, Overwatch does the same thing when it comes to Loot Boxes, but you don’t see characters locked behind paywalls that big, just cosmetic skins which do nothing to the overall game. EA on the other hand has locked a majority of content for it’s $60 retail game behind a $2,100 paywall. That is complete bullshit and someone needs to do something about it… Oh wait, it’s already happening…
Belgium’s gambling authority, the Belgian Gaming Commission, has launched an investigation into Star Wars: Battlefront II and Overwatch to determine if the loot boxes in those games constitute gambling, according to VTM News. Games of chance require a permit from the Gaming Commission in Belgium, and due to the random nature of loot boxes, they could fall into that category.
Belgian Gaming Commission director Peter Naessens said, “If there is a game of chance, it is not possible without a permit from the Gaming Commission.” If the commission determines that the loot crate system is a game of chance, the publishers of the games in question–Electronic Arts and Blizzard–could have to a pay a fine amounting to “hundreds of thousands of Euros.” It’s also reportedly possible that the games could be removed from sale in Belgium.
Battlefront II’s loot boxes can contain items that actually affect gameplay, while Overwatch’s are cosmetic only. It’s unclear if this would impact the ruling, however.
At the time of writing The Outerhaven has not received any copies of Star Wars: Battlefront II from EA to cover as a review and none of the members of staff are planning to buy the game for themselves personally or for review purposes. We here at The Outerhaven do take a stand when it comes to outright corporate greed such as the current one by EA & Dice, and also previous iterations like NBA 2K18 by 2K Games. We hope that people will stand with us to show that gamers are not just walking wallets for companies to rip off time and time again with these predatory practices.