16 November 2017 - 13:56

The Star Wars Battlefront II devs take on a Reddit AMA session

Progression, Galactic Conquest, and more.
Gaming writer
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Image via Electronic Arts

The Star Wars Battlefront II Q&A session that took place on Reddit today was an interesting gamble from three DICE developers looking to answer fans’ questions. Following the disastrous Reddit comment thread where developers responded to fan concerns over progression details and exorbitantly expensive characters, this expanded open forum was an opportunity to glean more information from the developers. 

Executive producer John Wasilczyk, associate design director Dennis Brannvall, and producer Paul Keslin were on hand to field the questions out of the more than 26,000 comments posted during the session. With every response posted, Redditors took to downvoting the answers, making it so that the r/StarWarsBattlefront mod team ended up having to create a stickied comment thread to keep the answers straight. 

The three developers commented on the many, many questions regarding how long the in-game progression system can take to unlock. When asked if the team was “aware” that it would take a gamer who plays two hours a day over the span of six years, Wasilcyzk stated that the team’s averages based on the Play First trail were “much faster” than the estimates on Reddit. Other users chimed in that their own estimates were closer to those on Reddit. “Nothing should feel unattainable,” Wasicyzk concluded, “and if it does, we’ll do what it takes to make sure it’s both fun and achievable. As we update and expand Arcade mode, we’ll be working towards making sure that players can continue to progress without daily limits.” 

Much of the devs’ responses to these types of questions, including direct challenges that loot crates are a form of “gambling” and that they “shouldn’t be in the game at all,” revolved around a common thread: “We’re constantly looking.” This referred to the rate players unlock Crates and Star Cards, as well as pretty much every other question posed to the team that users practically begged for specifics on. The team, particularly Dennis Brannvall, didn’t agree, of course, that loot crates have no place in the game, noting that they’re fun when you don’t feel as though you’re forced into using them — a sentiment that, understandably, was not shared by the populace in the comments. 

On the topic of capping Arcade credits, a complaint that’s been popping up ever since players got their first go at the game, one user lamented the fact that they couldn’t come home and play against AI to grind out enough credits to purchase loot crates. Paul Keslin took this question, saying that the credit cap was actually a decision made in an effort to cut down on potential abuse, again noting that the team is “looking at data” but has nothing to share at the moment. 

Unfortunately, many of the questions posed to the developers seemed to end up with similar responses, many of them revolving around PR-friendly spiels that sound a lot like what we’ve already heard from EA before about these fan frustrations. On the positive side, the team is looking into modes like Galactic Conquest, something Brannvall would “love to take a stab at delivering at some point.” 

While the customization system wasn’t something ready for launch, Wasilcyzk did confirm to a user inquiring about why loot crates affect gameplay instead of cosmetics that the team is currently working on “stuff” that will “change the game tremendously on all levels.” 

The entire Reddit AMA can be viewed here, and while there’s a wide breadth of different questions and answers to comb through, ultimately they all boil down to the same thing: looking at data, and making adjustments.

It’s puzzling that the developers themselves, despite reducing the cost of several heroes already after fan feedback, haven’t taken more into account just yet, but perhaps we should have seen these answers coming, after all. 

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