Tuesday’s Star Wars Battlefront II update issued in a massive reworking of the game’s progression system, completely removing all game-effecting items from the much-maligned loot box system, in a monumental make-good with players. That update came with a bit more of a surprise to further ingratiate publisher Electronic Arts with its audience: all available heroes in the game were unlocked for all players. Those who have downloaded the update now have access to the likes of Darth Vader, Han Solo and other iconic characters from the Star Wars franchise.
The decision to unlock the special characters was not included in the details of EA’s blog post last week that detailed the overhaul of the player progression system, though the announcement did list them alongside the game’s regular player classes as being upgradable through experience points earned in-game.
The previous progression system forced players to choose between spending earned Credits on loot boxes that awarded upgrades via Star Cards and items at random or saving them in an effort to unlock heroes that were priced exorbitantly when compared to the amount of Credits awarded post-match, even after their prices were reduced prior to launch. The rework makes the game’s loot boxes unpurchasable and effectively blocks them off from player progression, choosing to utilize them only for cosmetic items, such as emotes and costume elements, or Credits.
The update also awards players seven crates containing cosmetic items and 500 Credits. Any player that already owns an item in the collection of crates will instead be awarded 1000 Credits.
Beyond player specific offerings, the update also introduces the beloved Bespin multiplayer map from Star Wars Battlefront to the rotation for the game’s Blast and Heroes vs. Villains modes. The map will also be available for Jetpack Cargo mode for a limited time as developer DICE rolls out a retooled version of the aerial combat-focused mode.
Whether a desperate attempt to reinvigorate a frustrated community or an over-delivering sincere apology, EA and DICE have made a conscious effort to show that they are committed to rehabilitation of a promising game franchise. Let’s just hope that doesn’t succumb to another poorly thought out fiasco similar to Star Wars Battlefront II’s initial launch.