EA's upcoming Star Wars: Battlefront II has come under fire recently after players discovered that the game featured a number of alleged "pay-to-win" elements, unlocked via in-game microtransaction loot boxes called "Crates."
While loot boxes in full-priced games are often the subject of a great deal of controversy, it was the layering of these previously mentioned "pay-to-win" elements on top of Battlefront II's Crates system that has frustrated many players.
These loot boxes, initially discovered by players during the game's recent public beta testing period, contained in-game "Star Cards" that offered direct gameplay bonuses to anyone lucky enough to receive them.
After fielding no small amount of public backlash regarding these mechanics, EA has decided to rein in a few of Battlefront II's more egregious "pay-to-win" elements and rethink the game's progression system.
The first change of note is the removal of Epic Star Cards from Battlefront II's Crates system. EA hopes this will help "keep everyone on a level playing field," further stating that these Star Cards will now be available primarily through in-game crafting. However, it's unclear whether or not players will still be able to obtain regular Star Cards through in-game Crates.
Additionally, players will need to reach certain ranks in order to craft upgraded Star Cards, a decision that should have a positive impact on the new player experience in particular. According to the blog post:
"You won't be able to buy a bunch of Crates, grind everything up into crafting materials, and immediately use them to get super powerful Star Cards. You can only upgrade the ability to craft higher tier Star Cards by ranking up through playing the game."
EA claims that Battlefront II's progression system will be "continually iterated on and improved" as the game gets closer to its November 17 release date. The company also reaffirmed its commitment to offering extensive post-launch content updates free of charge.