Star Wars Battlefront II (the DICE iteration) had an... interesting launch. Regardless of how anyone felt about the loot boxes, it was a pretty shallow experience with very little rewarding gameplay. Mostly, it felt like another tour around the Star Wars world, instead of an interesting gameplay experience, much like DICE's first attempt. A lot of people quickly realized this and left the game.
But my, how things have changed. DICE has been hard at work improving the game immensely, entirely across the board, for free. There are tons of things that have been completely reimagined and reworked, so let's get right into it:
10 THE LOOT
Let's get this right out of the way from the get-go, now: Loot Boxes now only contain cosmetic items, or else materials with which to get cosmetic items. There's no more getting fully upgraded Star Cards out of a loot box, so that whole fiasco where ninety-percent of the internet momentarily lost their minds has been addressed. And as such, the loot box improvement comes with an added benefit:
9 NEW COSMETICS
There are a ton of new cosmetic items in the game compared to the launch. Not only are there some new cosmetic item for the ever-evolving roster of Hero/Villain characters in the game, but you can now customize the look of some of your Rebel Soldiers, Imperial Officers, Clone Troopers, and a few others. It's not an all-encompassing cosmetic system yet, but DICE seems to be adding more and more options as time goes along. (And, likely, as they get skin designs approved by those in charge of the Star Wars side of things.)
8 STUFF TO GRIND FOR
All the changes to the loot box system make the game feel like a much more constantly rewarding experience, instead of just hoping to get the upgrade you want in a random loot box. You're in control of your own destiny now, and it is a massive improvement. Not only is the way you upgrade your class more streamlined, but there are also some really cool cosmetic items to work towards, too. Now, even if you lose the match, it doesn't feel like an entirely punishing experience; usually, you've still unlocked something cool!
7 MORE STREAMLINED
The upgrade system always used to be a very convoluted and drawn-out experience, devoid of any rewarding feeling whatsoever. Now, it's a lot simpler and feels much better to work through. Playing with a class levels that class up (just like before), and each time you level up the class, you get skill points.
These skill points are used to unlock new Star Cards or upgrade ones you already have. Some cards require the class be a higher rank to unlock, as does upgrading the cards past a certain level. It's not a revolutionary system, but it doesn't need to be; it's easy to understand, and it's fun.
To be perfectly honest, the squad system (or lack thereof) in Battlefront II was absolutely terrible when it launched. This is a super-simple system that was somehow in every modern Battlefield release, but was glossed over in Battlefront II.
The problem has since been remedied. Now in the larger-scale modes in Battlefront II feature a squad-spawn system, meaning if you friends can stay out of combat long enough for you to spawn on them, you can play as a team much easier than before.
5 NEW MODE(S)
There are a couple of new modes that have been added to Battlefront II since release, the most recent of which is Capital Supremacy. Veterans of the old-school Battlefront series will be somewhat familiar with this mode, as will those who play Battlefield.
The gist of the mode is this: when on a planet, the goal is to capture and hold control points. There are multiple control points throughout the two maps currently available in the mode, and the team that holds the best map control is the Attacking team in the next phase.
The next phase takes place on a ship. The Attackers need to capture different points on the ship in order to destroy it without running out of reinforcements; the Defenders need to bleed the Attackers of reinforcements before this happens. If the Attackers win, the match is over. If the Defenders win, the battle moves back to the ground, rinse-and-repeat. It's a really fun mode that can last an incredibly long time, making it feel like a true accomplishment to pull off a victory.
4 NEW HEROES/VILLAINS
A few new heroes and villains have been added since launch, as well as some new skins for existing characters. The full list of heroes is now: Rey, Han, Luke, Finn, Chewie, Leia, Lando, Yoda, Obi-Wan, and Anakin.
The full list of villains includes: Vader, Iden Versio, Darth Maul, Palpatine, Bossk, Boba Fett, Kylo Ren, Phasma, Grievous, and Dooku.
3 EASIER ELITE CLASSES
When the game launched, it could be a significant investment to spawn in as a special trooper, and especially so as a hero/villain. The cost for a lot of these has gone down immensely, most of which for the hero/villain.
This means there's a much wider variety of troopers around the battlefront, making for a lot of more interesting fights and more dynamic situations. It also means it's going there's almost always going to be the maximum amount of heroes/villains in play, so make sure to keep an eye on the map to avoid strolling directly into a lightsaber.
2 IT'S A WHOLE NEW GAME
Each of these changes themselves might feel like little quality-of-life improvements, but all together, it makes Battlefront II feel like an entirely new game. Sure, there's still some work to be done, especially when it comes to additional maps for the Capital Supremacy mode. But all-in-all, it's a much better experience than it was when it launched, and it only seems to be getting better.
1 DEVS SHOULD BE REWARDED FOR STICKING WITH IT
And honestly, developers should be rewarded for this kind of work put into a game post-launch. Most devs cut-and-run when they get this much bad feedback; DICE didn't. They stuck it out and worked on (free) updates that improve and expand upon the game for every single player. It's work they should be proud of, and even if the game still isn't your thing, it's work that should be appreciated.