Star Wars: Battlefront II’s progression system has been a point of contention and major hindrance to players since the game’s release four months ago, but the minds at Electronic Arts are hoping to rectify both points with an upcoming overhaul of the offending system.
In a blog post, EA announced major changes to the game’s progression system that minimizes the utilization of their controversial loot box system. The new plan makes progression completely linear, removing Star Cards and other gameplay-affecting items from loot boxes and having players earn them through experience points earned in-game. Players will earn experience points for their chosen classes, ships and heroes that can be redeemed for a skill points. Those skill points will be used to unlock or upgrade eligible Star Cards for the players’ chosen character or class.
The loot boxes are not going away completely, though they will have a greatly diminished role. When the new update goes live, all loot boxes will no longer be available for purchase and will be awarded to players as daily login bonuses and rewards for completing milestones and timed challenges. Instead of housing Star Cards and in-game items, they will contain in-game Credits and cosmetic items, such as emotes or victory poses. It’s a smart move to pivot away from the randomized unlock system for all in-game content, and even smarter to remove them as a purchasable item, as its system has been the poster child of the greater anti-loot box backlash and proposed regulatory legislation.
Emotes and victory poses aren’t the only cosmetic items coming to Battlefront II. Beginning in April, players will be able to purchase new appearances for their heroes and troopers of various classes. Players will be able to buy the new player skins with either Credits earned in-game or Crystals, the game’s real money currency.
“These changes are a major step as we continue to improve the core of the game and add new content,” said the company.
The changes should do well to ingratiate the game to a community whose intense loyalty to the Star Wars franchise was insulted by the original progression path on both a gameplay and presentation level. It remains to be seen if this will entice new players to the game, which underperformed against EA’s expectations at launch. While some will still be upset at the inclusion of any form of microtransaction, EA’s efforts to greatly minimize their importance and presence is a step in the right direction.
The update will go live on March 21.