I’ve tried to stay away from the loot box shitstorm after a few articles highlighting their insidious bullshit. Apparently, EA wants everyone to keep talking about it with regards to Star Wars: Battlefront II. So I will. These bastards want the venom? I’ll dispense the venom happily!
EA’s Star Wars: Battlefront II has been fighting negative publicity for a couple of weeks. Their loot box system, which has been rightfully called pay-to-win, has garnered tons of negative press. In response, EA has scaled back the pay-to-win elements somewhat, reducing some of the more insidious aspects while keeping the bigger money-grubbing aspects intact. More recent discoveries, however, have put EA and developer DICE on the offensive again. This time, however, the gaming community had a ready supply of middle fingers in response.
It all came to a head with Reddit user TheHotterPotato, who decided to do the Lord’s work with the power of mathematics. Early Access players noted that certain Heroes like Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader required 60,000 credits to unlock. TheHotterPotato sought to figure out how much grinding it would take to earn enough credits to unlock one of them, devoid of loot boxes. His calculations, mapped out on a spreadsheet (since updated), determined it would take FORTY HOURS OF GAMEPLAY to unlock ONE hero!
And that’s just one hero. If a player wants to unlock all the heroes, it’s estimated that it will take about 176 hours. That’s the equivalent of a full-time job!
This news, of course, set off a firestorm. The conclusion from his research is simple: you can spend all your life grinding to get the credits needed to unlock a hero. Or you can purchase loot boxes to reduce the grind.
EA, in an effort to stem the negative buzz, decided to respond. In another Reddit post, their Community Team chimed in to explain the reason for the excessive grind. Their reasoning, and the response, was truly magical.
I will place the complete post here so any readers can laugh without jumping out of here:
The intent is to provide players with a sense of pride and accomplishment for unlocking different heroes.
As for cost, 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.
We appreciate the candid feedback, and the passion the community has put forth around the current topics here on Reddit, our forums and across numerous social media outlets.
Our team will continue to make changes and monitor community feedback and update everyone as soon and as often as we can.
In response, the entire internet dropped an ocean of dislikes on the post. At -474,000 points as of this writing, it stands as the most disliked post on Reddit EVAH!
Video game distributors can keep touting the merits of their greedy methods until they are blue in the face. All but the most “hardcore” gamers will call them out on their bullshit. And those “hardcore” gamers that defend these exploitative practices will be shouted down.
Every video game developer and publisher deserves to make money from their fruits. None of them deserve to bilk their customer base to make that money.
I love to talk and write about video games. I do not like focusing on bullshit practices like those EA is forcing DICE to engage in. But I will ALWAYS call them down for doing it. Over 40 hours just to unlock ONE Hero? Oh, some Heroes require less time? One Hero should NEVER require that much time to unlock! At least, not one as iconic to the lore as DARTH FUCKING VADER! I mean, next, you’ll be saying that the entire crew of the Nostromo was held back as a money grab for an Alien game!
Grumpy Joe always chastises my love for RPGs. He complains about their mechanics, as well as the time investment. Yes, when I play an RPG, I’ll spend upwards of 40 hours. Guess what I earn at the end of that 40-hour grind: THE END OF THE FUCKING GAME!
If I have to spend 40 hours to unlock ONE hero, the game fucked up!
Of course, I can reduce the grind by buying loot boxes. I can get more credits that way. You know, if I don’t care about throwing my fucking money at a greedy-ass game!
No, I’m not bitter!
UPDATE 11/14: Polygon recently reported that the amount of credits needed to unlock Heroes has been slashed dramatically. The price for Luke and Vader has dropped to 15,000 credits. So instead of 40 hours to unlock one of them, the time needed has dropped to 10 hours each. Of course, this is EA, so they had to balance that with other changes. A GameInformer blog post discussing their upcoming review of Star Wars: Battlefront II mentioned changes to the number of credits earned after a match. Completing a campaign would net players a chest containing 20,000 credits. Now, that chest only contains 5,000 credits. So, you know, the same bullshit with smaller numbers.