Players who have been spending time with Star Wars Battlefront II pre-release trial period have already started trying to calculate how long it would take to unlock every hero in the game without paying money and the results aren't pretty.
By some estimates, the likes of Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader could take close to 40 hours each to unlock for the player intent on not spending any money on microtransactions.
Heroes cost credits in Battlefront II. With the average multiplayer match currently netting people somewhere between 250 and 350 for 10-15 minutes of play, the road to buying all of them appears like it will be a long one.
Luke and Vader are two of the most expensive heroes at 60,000 credits each, but even heroes like Leia and Chewbacca still cost 40,000.
Here are some of the calculations one user on Reddit game up with:
- Average Galactic Assault Match Length: 11:09
- Average Credits per Match: 275
- Average Credits per Minute of Gameplay: 25.04
- Gameplay Minutes Required to Earn a Trooper Crate (4000): 159.73
- Gameplay Minutes Required to Unlock One Hero: 2,395.97
If you're a subscriber to EA Access, you can start playing the game right now for up to ten hours before it officially launches on November 17. That's how players have already started getting a feel for the game's dubious economy.
I've played a few hours worth of matches so far and my numbers are in line with most other people's. Even just trying to earn the game's loot crates for new abilities and stat bonuses can be tedious at several thousands a piece.
There are challenges in the game that can help players accrue credits more quickly, but these are limited. Once someone has finished them and cleared out any other remaining milestones, the only credits coming in will be on a per-match basis. Of course, daily crates can occasionally give you credits, and any Star Card duplicates will be broken down into currency as well, but neither of these is going to significantly change your finances.
For Honour had a similar problem when it released earlier this year. The Ubisoft fighting game was full of special skins and extra character classes that all required you to diligently grind in order to obtain them, assuming, that is, you weren't willing to shell out real money. At the time of its release, one player calculated that it would take $US732 ($955) to unlock all of the game's heroes for someone who was willing to actually spend the money. The alternative was earning the 1,098,000 of in-game currency by completing matches and daily challenges, or the equivalent of getting a second job that paid less than minimum wage.
But the problem is more apparent with Battlefront 2 because of how iconic everything in the game is. A big part of the draw is, and always has been, that rush of excitement once you run onto the battlefield as your favourite Jedi or bounty hunter ready to tear shit up.
Especially now that DICE has made it easier to do so by letting you use heroes in matches after reaching a certain point threshold rather than by stumbling upon tokens. Gating those moments behind a gruelling process that all but ensures people will decide to pay a bit extra to speed up the process is disappointing to say the least.
Even dumping real money into the game buy purchasing crystals which can in turn be used to buy loot crates offers only a round-about way at best to finally getting your hands on some of your favourite Star Wars characters.
This calculus could change with the game's final launch, or even in later patches, however, so nothing's written in stone. And following public concern, the EA Community Team took to Reddit to respond to critics about how it takes to earn stuff in the game.
"Our goal involves creating a compelling progression path for all of our players," the comment began.
"There's a lot of content at launch with even more coming via live service, and we'll continuously adjust our progression mechanics to give players a sense of accomplishment as they explore all of Battlefront 2."
The EA Reddit account continued,
"Heroes earned through Credits: The intent is to provide players with a sense of pride and accomplishment for unlocking different heroes. We selected initial values based upon data from the Open Beta and other adjustments made to milestone rewards before launch. Among other things, we're looking at average per-player credit earn rates on a daily basis, and we'll be making constant adjustments to ensure that players have challenges that are compelling, rewarding, and of course attainable via gameplay.
Credits Earned: We're looking at the results daily and will be continuing to tune this to ensure that players feel a meaningful sense of reward for the time they spend with Battlefront 2."