The developers talk back.
The Star Wars Battlefront II controversy rages on, with fans taking to today’s Reddit AMA to converse with developers about the issues that continue to frustrate users. Among the astronomical amount of responses (over 25,000) were several highlights that offer some useful insights into the developers’ thought processes when it comes to sensitive topics that aren’t exactly hitting people the right way.
Of course, with all the hatred being slung the developers’ way and at EA proper, you might have thought you’d see more mudslinging than anything, but as it turns out there were some insightful questions posed and some equally interesting answers, especially regarding systems and mechanics that the team is “considering” going forward.
Most of the commenters were participating in the AMA thread to, understandably, learn more about the progression system that’s been deemed problematic due to the length of time that must be spend in-game to earn certain heroes. Unfortunately, many of the responses from developers John Wasilczyk, Dennis Brannvall, and Paul Keslin (all DICE employees having worked on the game) seemed to result in similar responses: “We’re looking at the data, and we’re working on it.”
With that said, here are some of the big takeaways so you don’t have to click through the massive AMA thread combing for information, though the mods did an excellent job of compiling need-to-know info in one area here and there throughout the page.
- Wasilczyk: “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.”
On offline progression/Arcade credit caps:
- Keslin: “As we want to let players earn Credits offline via a more relaxed game mode, we needed to also find a way to make sure it wouldn’t be exploited in a way that would impact Multiplayer. Because of that we made the decision to limit the number of Credits earned to stop potential abuse. We will be looking at data continually and make adjustments to make things as balanced as possible. As for more Arcade, just like every mode in our game, we want to look for ways to expand it going forward. Unfortunately at this point we don’t have anything to share right now, but know that we care about Offline modes.”
On possible timeline for progression changes:
- Brannvall: “It depends on the type of change, it’s difficult to give you specific dates but as we get closer, we will. The credit based on performance I mentioned in another question (we are changing the percentage of your score factored into your credit reward from 20% and increasing it) is a quicker change, while larger progression overhauls might take a little longer.”
On loot crates:
- Brannvall: “I think crates can be a fun addition as long as you don’t feel forced to engage with them in order to progress. I feel that’s where the issue is with our game right now and that’s where we’ll look to solve as quickly as we can. We’re looking to add additional ways to progress your favorite character or class, while allowing crates to be a fun thing for those who want to engage with them.”
On press reactions to loot crates and progression/reviews
- Wasilcyzk: “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.”
On backlash from the community:
- Keslin: “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.”
On private servers:
- Keslin: “This is something we hear a lot and will continue to consider. We know there are folks out there that want to either run their own competitive events or find a safe space to take screenshots / create crazy videos. Those are things we’re excited to see you all do so it will continue to be on our radar.”
For the rest of the massive amount of questions posed to the developers and their responses, you can check out the entirety of the AMA here.
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