DICE discuss Star Wars Battlefront II controversies and future plans in Reddit AMA

Not only are gamers outraged over the aggressive microtransactions and loot crates, but it seems that the developers aren't doing much to alleviate concerns. For example, after the recent finding that it took dozens of hours to unlock a hero, the game makers lowered the unlock requirements but also lowered the amount of credits earned.

Today, Star Wars: Battlefront 2's Executive Producer John Wasilczyk, Associate Design Director Dennis Brannvall, and Producer Paul Keslin hosted a Reddit AMA (opens in new tab) where they answered a lot of questions about the game. The three discussed future plans as well as issues surrounding the microtransactions. Here's a collection of some of the more memorable comments.

When asked about the game's progression system, Executive Producer John Wasilczyk said the following.

We've seen the speculation about how long it takes players to earn things — but our averages based on the Play First trial are much faster than what's out there. But as more players come in, that could change. We're committed to making progression a fun experience for all of our players. Nothing should feel unattainable and if it does, we'll do what it takes to make sure it's both fun and achievable. As we update and expand Arcade mode, we'll be working towards making sure that players can continue to progress without daily limits.

It's unclear when the daily limits from Arcade mode will be removed but at least DICE promised to remove them eventually. Hopefully, it won't take too long because right now it's a little unfair. The mode is a great way to grind credits without having to worry about losing in multiplayer matches when pitted against players with better Star Cards.

The developers were also asked about the negative reaction due to the aggressive microtransactions. Wasilczyk commented on that as well by saying the following.

I think this concern has come through loud and clear. We're going to continue adjusting the crate systems, content, and progression mechanics to hit a point that gives players a great, balanced experience at all skill levels. We're working on expanding the number of ways that players can progress, putting more control in their hands and providing more options and choice in the way people play. There's not much in the game that we wouldn't revisit to improve the game for as many players as possible… We're constantly looking at the rate that players are unlocking Crates and Star Cards and will continue adjusting values to make sure that players are able to progress towards their goals without it feeling like a grind. We're also going to be adjusting end of match rewards as we revisit the system to reward people differently based on the way they play.

There are easier solution to make it right but there's obviously the issue of balancing turning the most profit with giving players a sense of satisfaction. Hopefully DICE will be able to achieve a better balance soon.

Aside from promising changes, there are cosmetic items coming to the game as well. They'll also be available through microtransactions so keep that in mind. Associate Design Director Dennis Brannvall said the following in regards to that.

Nothing is too late. As you've noticed, we weren't able to get the customization system into the game in time for launch. I'm actually having artists and designers walk up to me today showing me cosmetic stuff they really want to get out there. I think we have probably the best looking Clone Troopers ever made and I know players really want to customize them (I know I do). I can't really commit to a date just yet, but we're working on stuff and I believe it will change the game tremendously on all levels.

Hopefully in the future the microtransactions will be more cosmetic-based than the pay-to-win type they currently are.

While there were numerous other unresolved questions about when players can expect these changes or when we would hear about future updates, Producer Paul Keslin ended by saying that DICE is open to a dialogue with players. This is the first step in repairing their relationship. He added the following.

Jumping into this AMA is just one of the ways we want to start to repair the bridge to our players. Lots of people told us that we shouldn't do this this as it wasn't going to go like we hope it would. That said, we are committed to continuing this dialogue even if we need to face some harsh feedback. We welcome the discussions and criticisms, we're not just here for the praise (although it is nice to hear!). And we'll continue to be here, and on our forums, talking to our community as we strive to work with you to make a Star Wars game you enjoy.

Hopefully the developers will fix the issues soon as they seem to be well aware of the problems. Instead of having endless discussions and promises, DICE need to push out patches immediately. That will do more to repair their relationship and reputation than anything.

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Asher Madan handles gaming news for Windows Central. Before joining Windows Central in 2017, Asher worked for a number of different gaming outlets. He has a background in medical science and is passionate about all forms of entertainment, cooking, and antiquing.

  • DICE tells gamers to eff off*   Fixed that title for ya.
  • Gamers will adopt the wait and see approach, I know I would as platitudes are one thing but actual actions speak louder than words.
  • My "wait and see" is "stop buying EA games until they can consistently prove they won't abuse their customers." NFS and BF2 this year proved they don't know how to treat their customers with any sense of dignity. As such, these games, along with Titanfall 2, have lost my money. Anthem has lost me as well. Maybe by the end of 2018, hey will have released games without pay-to-win and earn some trust back, but there's nothing they can do to salvage this game, in my mind. They can only do more damage by leaving this system in-place. Of course, Ultimate Team in Madden and FIFA have been doing this for 5 years with no real consumer pushback...
  • I have been waiting for decades for EA to show they care about gamers, they haven't and probably never will.
  • Too bad for you. The campaign alone was worth the game price and no one is twisting your arm to buy anything. I unlocked Palpatine on day 1 before they dropped the unlock amount without spending a dime. I also don't understand the entitled generation's refusal to put time into unlocking content. If everyone unlocks the most powerful gun on day 1, then what's the point? I think they should keep the grind and remove the pay shortcuts. It should be weeks before you see vader running around!
  • Exactly. The pay shortcuts is the biggest problem with this issue in general. They should all be eliminated. Play the game!!!
  • You're missing the point. Grinding is fine, 4,000 of grinding is not when someone can just pay to beat you.
  • But.. That's what he said. "I think they should keep the grind and remove the pay shortcuts"
  • Everyone should be as smart as you. Then, they will finally see clearly. I already stopped buying their games after the disaster of SimCity. It amuses me how people buy their games for so much money despite their horrible practices. And same goes for Ubi. First, there were endless DLCs. Now, IAPs. Just wow.
  • its because in Fifa its not based on fraction time decisions which is win or lose. Pay to win in Fifa is nowhere near as bad. I can beat people who play with Barcelona with a 3 stared team.  with a shooter, Pay to win breaks the game entirely. 
  • "I think this concern has come through loud and clear. We're going to continue adjusting the crate systems, content, and progression mechanics " Loud and clear? How about get rid of crate systems? How about not including microtransactions in a full price game? How about not having pay2win and free2play elements in a game that cost 60-100 bucks?  Free2play games should be FREE.
  • No. Free to play games are never going to be free, as nothing is free in this world. Had Battlefront 2 been a 'free to play' game, this would've been acceptable. But, the problem is, it's not. It costs A LOT of money. 
  • I like Tech Freaks comments. It is unfortunate that an element like this in such a sweet looking and appealing game will also make me do a wait and see approach on other developers.
  • If most ppl would just cancel their preorders or just not pick up the game i guarantee you that the systems that gamers do not like would be removed within the first month or 2. EA invested a ton of money in this game and if they see that they will not make their investment back they will bow out.
  • Cancelled mine. If they fix this mess I'll pick it up. If not...I have a massive backlog of games to catch up on and the switch has been crazy fun so far.
  • Man, EA screwed up SWBF2. I thought they would, but had hoped... EA is my least favorite publisher. Their monetization model just isn't fun for me. Could be fun if you're spending other people's money, but when it's my own... just too painful to play.
  • Hope your ready because take two said they will be adding micro transactions to all future games starting with red dead redemption 2 so it's not just ea doing this
  • If they do that then **** that game too. I'm a huge fan of GTA and love the first red dead redemption but I'm sorry gaming is more important.
  • That's how I feel. I refuse to buy forza 7 because of loot crates and NBA 2k18 because of vc. I would rather play a older game without micro transactions than a new game with micro transactions
  • Forza 7 has no microtransactions. Forza 7 is not real money. i play it, and the crates enhance the game. Makes it alot better. More involved. Now if it was micors pay to win. It would ruin it online. 
  • Back to getting used games!
  • Gamers ***** and moan, but it will sell millions of copies day one. Quit acting like babies and just admit, you're all too weak to resist.
  • Not at all. Skipped EA titles from 2010-2013 entirely over the Online Pass. Canceled plans to buy Shadow of War over its lootboxes. Canceled plans to get NFS Payback. Canceled considerations to get Battlefront 2, and my friend canceled his plans to buy it. Canceled my plan to buy Titanfall 2 during Black Friday. Friend and I have both checked out on Anthem over this as well. We're not all fanboy sheep, though I'll probably get downvoted if I tell people to boycott Microsoft for these practices (which are turning me off to Forza more and more).
  • Majority of the ppl saying they are canceling their preorder or making a big sjw stink about this, weren't going to get the game anyway
  • *****? Acting like babies? Moan? Weak? You think I care about this game? For me, gaming as a whole is WAY more important than this single game or than EA. I tell them to **** off. It's not "acting like babies" when we gamers fight for gaming.  Now please tell us why microtransactions/ loot box in a $60-100 game a good thing for gaming. If you want to attack gamers and want to defend these companies or these policies please bring proper arguments. I'm all for a mature discussion. If you can't then I guess we know who here is acting like a baby...
  • They barely discussed anything. They basically said "sorry you're mad, we're considering things and looking at them always and could make changes in the future." Their AMA didn't address the problem whatsoever. They think we're mad only at the costs, and dont' realize that the issue is the content behind the paywall. they could charge $14 million in microtransactions for all most peopel care, if they kept it to costmetics. It's that it's pay-to-win, and they showed 0 remorse or willingness to change from that business model now or in the future.  
  • You can get everything without spending money. Don't get carried away with internet pitchfork fever
  • You can grind for hours like on mobile phone games... People defending these companies over gaming LOL
  • Game is fun and I'm not tempted to buy Loot Crates. If you are so damn tempted to buy them I'd say you have a money Problem.
  • Biggest overreaction of 2017
  • It is when you consider that you can just buy it used, but it isn't for the movement as a whole. This is the wrong direction for gaming. You already have rushes titles to meet deadlines, soon you will have a 'the first few levels free' mentality.
  • Thus is the way of the Entitled Generation. The Orville even did an episode on dangers of mob justice. Everything is a big stink without anyone investigating on their own - just read a headline and react.
  • @pdch Funny how none of you "defenders" of these anti-gaming policies can tell everyone here why this stuff is good for gaming. 
  • @Jf.Vigor I've seen you defending this like a true company "fan".  Ok now tell me how is this good for gaming. Tell me because I don't see it. Is your priortiy gaming/gamers or these companies? As usual I don't really expect any reply... 
  • I got my fingers burnt buying BF1. Such poor content in the initial purchase price. Played it for a couple of weeks and its not been out of the box since. As a big Star Wars fan, of course the hype around BFII catches your attention, but as a rule now, I steer clear of micro transaction game models, unless the game is initially free. Not a chance I will buy BFII. Even my 12 year old so is getting fed up with the market. He has Overwatch, but already tells me its ruined by players who wipe the floor with others, and he doesn't want to pay out extra, having spent his birthday money to get the game. He (and many of his friends), don't seem to have been swept up in extra pay becoming the 'norm'. But of course, they all have that one friend who buys all the upgrades. 
  • I'm out on this one.. Will take another look if this changes or when the title reaches the $20-25 range. For those that think people overreact, We are the buyers that make this industry work, if the majority of us speak with our wallet, I guarantee you we will be heard. Go lookup what happened to the Xbox One launch a few years back.
  • Poured in quite a bit of time on this game during my staycation the last few days. I finished the campaign mode which was very fun. Needless to say this is also the best looking title I've seen yet on Xbox One X. However, like everyone I was very disappointed to see how many credits it originally took to unlock heroes. But they resolved that quicker than I expected. The next kick in the ******* was after playing 6 rounds of arcade mode and seeing that I had to wait 13hrs before I could play arcade more. That to me was more annoying than the hero pricing. Which I have to assume will also be addressed very soon. All these problems aside, the game is great and multiplayer is fun. I'm very impressed by the amount of levels included and the attention to detail on the maps. I keep seeing new ones tossed in every here and there. The gameplay feels fairly balanced. I do miss being able to assign my own weapons to the bumper buttons. Instead, cards assign these automatically. Guess it's a way to balance things. While I'm pleased EA is taking accountability for their wrongs and seem to be responding to our complaints quickly I agree with everyone that these types of things should never have existed in the first place. And the fact that they tried to pull a quick one on us just makes them look dumb and greedy (as always). My hopes is that this isnt just a lesson to EA about this game, but that all other game producers are paying attention to how something like this can really can cause a lot of fan hate.