As a regular player of the game, I've had some kind things to say about Battlefield Heroes. As an online game, however, things can change at the drop of a hat. And EA just dropped the hat.
The game's economy, which had always walked the tight-rope between allowing people to play for free/very little and encouraging people to spend money, has this week been turned on its head. And the game's rather sizeable player base is upset.
See, many items in the game used to be available in one of two ways: valor points (VP), which you earned in combat and through playtime, and BattleFunds (BF), which were earned by spending real cash. Sure, some superficial things like outfits were BattleFunds-only, but all the important stuff - like better weapons - could be earned solely through consistent play.
Not anymore. EA have made sweeping changes to the game's online store, drastically raising the cost of almost everything bought via VP and lowering the price of almost everything bought via BF. "Rentals" have also been altered, so that important items can only be leased for 1-3 days, not for entire months as was previously possible.
This means that, according to some user calculations posted over on Ars Technica, "the amount of rounds you need to play each day to keep ONE weapon [is]about 60, which is about 5 hours playtime, every day". Obviously, that's not going to happen.
Which means the game, which by all accounts had been doing just fine allowing people to play for free then charging for the odd outfit or upgrade (example: I'd spent around $US20 on it so far), is now for all intents and purposes subscriber-based, with those electing to play the game for free - which was one of the main "selling" points of Heroes in the first place - locked on the outer and stuck with the game's crummy standard weapons.
Makes you wonder, if EA felt the need to start squeezing players for microtransactions so drastically and so suddenly, whether the game was actually doing as great as we'd been led to believe...