The worst thing about the Star Wars: Battlefront beta was Hoth's astonishingly chaotic spawning system, and people were rightly concerned that a similarly broken system might make it through to the game's full release this week.
But in a post on their website, DICE has announced that the sheer weight of community feedback has — thankfully — been heard. A change has been made.
Over the weekend, DICE finally announced the changes they would be making to Star Wars: Battlefront as a result of the feedback from the millions who enjoyed the beta on PC, PS4 and Xbox One.
The main one, you'll be pleased to know, is a tweak to the spawning system. It doesn't appear as though any changes have been made to the spawning algorithms more broadly, but DICE have announced that Hoth has been rebalanced to improve the experience.
"[On Hoth] we’ve added combat areas that are different for Rebels and Imperials to mitigate spawn camping, and the spawn distances for the two teams have been adjusted on the first uplink," community manager Mathew Everett wrote.
DICE also announced, in a curious fashion, a change to the partner and party system that appears to only impact Xbox One users.
"Joining and playing a game of Star Wars Battlefront with friends should be as easy and smooth as possible, and we’ve done several tweaks in this area," Everett wrote. "For instance, it will be possible to join a friend via the Xbox Friends app, and you’ll also be able to see your party friends in-game (look for green dots on the map) - but you cannot spawn on them."
Since the PS4 and PC aren't mentioned, it seems safe to presume that no changes have been made that could impact either platform there.
From the way it reads — and it's worded pretty poorly — it sounds like DICE have added the ability to join the game your friend is in through Xbox Friends, much in the same way you can join a friend's game on Steam.
What DICE appear to be saying, however, is that joining a friend's game in this way just gets you into the game — it doesn't pair you up as partners. That makes an awful lot of sense, because your friend could already be blasting away with a partner.
So if you want to partner up with someone so you can spawn on them, you'll have to do that before joining the server like you did in the beta. I've reached out to EA just to make sure that's the case, but Xbox One users should take note.
Another change is the decision to "remove ... the automatic damage done to heroes over time". I hadn't even noticed that part; it just felt like it was on a timer. To balance that out, heroes won't get health back when they kill enemies now either. "Ultimately, we think this will perfect the power fantasy of playing as these characters," DICE's community manager explained.
AT-AT and AT-ST walkers have weak spots now as well, and the cycler rifle — perhaps the most popular card during the beta given its utility and respawn rate on Hoth — has been nerfed with slower projectile speed and a heavier bullet drop.
It's an interesting change considering that, from the footage I saw over the weekend, the cycler rifle is one of the last star cards you'll be able to access. It's right at the end along with the jump pack and the Sharpshooter trait, which some players might find a tad frustrating considering how much fun the jump pack was.
But that's how DICE has decided it's going to be. If you're picking up the game tomorrow, or later this week thanks to the glory of how retailers work, the above info might be helpful.