Battlefront II: How Heroes and Microtransactions Do Not go Hand in Hand
Electronic Arts has been no stranger to criticism for its prices and history of paid content, with the latest entry into the Star Wars saga being the target of misconception, mindless repetition of opinion, and the hot topic dirty word in video games: microtransactions. Those with early access to Star Wars Battlefront II noted with considerable outrage that not all heroes would be unlocked as soon as the game boots up. This led to the first and most prominent misconception of screaming about microtransactions to which I will very plainly state; this is not a pay to win, this is not a pay for premium, this is not a pay to unlock anything. While the game does offer microtransactions, this exchange will only net the player a sum of Crystals, a currency used to purchase one of the three crates offered in game. Crates nor Crystal can be used to unlock a hero, only the in-game credits.
EA has been doing what they can to listen to the fans ever since the beta first launched, making significant tweaks to the games various engines to balance gameplay and give the people what they want. Once they saw the cost (cost being time, not any sum of money in any capacity) of unlocking a hero, however, the internet exploded and demanded something be done. EA then responded with an immediate drop in the heroes’ cost by 75% to appease those who felt the game was unfair but yet that was still somehow not enough. There is a significant outcry about the requirement to unlock heroes which honestly boggles the mind. It’s hard to imagine in this day and age we would have such an explosive reaction to unlocking characters, but I am here to set the record straight on just exactly what that means and what it actually takes to unlock heroes.
“Having to work hard and unlock a hero should not be such a detriment that you consider a game unplayable.”
First and foremost, heroes are only restricted in the online multiplayer. The game comes with all hero ships and a handful of notable heroes already unlocked right out of the gate. As you play matches you will accrue battle points which can be spent upon respawn to change your class – and yes – play as heroes relevant to the battle at hand. Maps are designed to feature heroes that come locked and those unlocked, so at no point is your team at a disadvantage by not purchasing the locked heroes. Even someone who finds themselves getting killed every few minutes will manage to rack up the points to play as a hero at least once in a map by killing enemies, working on objectives, getting assists etc. Having to work hard and unlock a hero should not be such a detriment that you consider a game unplayable.
The Arcade mode is a whole other story. Arcade will give you access to the entire roster of heroes, regardless if you have them unlocked. The only difference between a locked and unlocked hero in Arcade mode is the ability to level up and assign Star Cards to said hero. Each hero is unique from each other, meaning no two feel the same. This also applies to their Star Cards, being character specific and applying modest modifiers to combat to alter cooldowns and abilities, but those cards you apply will also have disadvantages, so you’ll want to tailor each hero to your play style. Arcade mode is the perfect place to try every hero and determine who you want to sink your time and effort into.
The largest misconception which is by far the one that makes gamers red in the face is the ability to purchase them with real money. Why is this a misconception? Because you CANNOT buy heroes with real money. Battlefront II offers microtransactions, yes, but these transactions are only to purchase Crystal, a premium currency. Crystal, however, can only be applied to the purchase of Crates, and Crates will only carry cosmetics and Star Cards, not heroes. A hero will have to be unlocked through the use of the in-game currency you rack up through playing the games various modes and completing the extensive number of challenges. While some are estimating that it will take 40 hours to unlock a hero, I easily made enough money to buy the most expensive hero in a few hours simply by playing the game how I wanted to.
“The moment people hear ‘EA’, ‘Battlefront’, and ‘Microtransactions’ our Star Wars fueled imaginations run wild.”
Unlocking a hero should not be this big of an outrage; it has been a staple of video games for years. It supplies a sense of progression as you earn your way towards a goal and the fact gamers are complaining about having to play the game to earn something feels ludicrous. You wouldn’t demand every car in Forza be automatically available, so what makes this non-stop hatred of Battlefront II still somehow feel plausible and justifiable? Because of misconception and mindless repetition. Social media has exploded with gamers waiting for a reason to hate this game because of the mistrust the previous game instilled. The first Battlefront offered DLC content that each cost as much as the game itself and the community was furious, so the moment people hear ‘EA’, ‘Battlefront’, and ‘Microtransactions’ our Star Wars fueled imaginations run wild with thoughts of the dark side and it is seriously hurting a game that simply isn’t broken this way.
If you still have concerns about how the Hero system works, please do a little research and take to heart what I have said. Let’s not destroy Battlefront II before it even launches because of mass panic over quite literally nothing. If you have concerns for Battlefront II’s Star Card and Crate system, stay tuned for our in-depth coverage on how it works, what it means, and why these microtransactions don’t need to be the newest dirty word.