It seems the ongoing battle of The People vs. EA has finally come to an end. EA announced that it is completely retooling Star Wars Battlefront II’s progression system and getting rid of loot crates for game-impacting items. Player progression is now tied solely to gameplay, and crates are limited to holding cosmetic items only. No doubt this move will please vocal fans and instill them with a sense of pride and accomplishment.
The news comes from an EA blog post, which gives the general outline of the changes that will begin on March 21st. The gist is that Star Cards will only be unlocked via experience points earned in-game, and crates will only contain things like Credits and emotes. The blog post also teases new appearances, such as Rodians and other playable aliens.
The biggest change of the progression update is of course the new experience point system. The blog post says that “you’ll earn experience points for the classes, hero characters, and ships that you choose to play in multiplayer.” When you earn enough to level up, you’ll gain a Skill Point. These Skill Points will be the sole currency for unlocking and upgrading Star Cards in the future, and cards will no longer be found in crates. EA also stresses that all previous progress players have made to date will be retained.
As for crates, they can no longer be purchased. Players can only unlock crates through daily log-ins, completing Milestones, and timed challenges. Inside crates will be Credits, emotes, victory poses, and other purely cosmetic rewards. Of course, if crates can’t be purchased, what will players use Credits for? That’s where appearances come in. While the game already has a few alternate looks for characters like Luke and Kylo Ren, EA teases that Credits will soon be able to unlock new costumes or even alien races for regular soldiers. These will be available starting in April, with Rodians (think Greedo) being given as an example.
It’s refreshing to see that consumer outrage has had an actual positive effect for once. This debacle with Battlefront loot crates has definitely been a story that the entire gaming industry has watched closely, and players can only hope this outcome has been noted by the many companies behind video games. It’s not that micro-transactions themselves are evil, it’s just that they have no place in a full-priced game. While they still will exist in Battlefront, it’s only cosmetic now. It’s a small victory for gamers, but a victory nonetheless.