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Hello everyone, and welcome to Deadlystream On November 17 EA released the perfectly named fourth installment in the Battlefront Series “Star Wars: Battlefront 2”. The game itself was met with mixed results from critics, and was a considered by many to be an improvement over the series previous title: “Star Wars: Battlefront” (the third title in the series). What many people may not know is that there has been some level of controversy around this title… Okay, I think everyone knows about the drama by now. But on the off chance that you are out of the loop I will give a quick summary. The controversy The developers of the second Battlefront 2 introduced a Loot Box system into the game where players could spend real money for a chance to win in game prizes. Now this is not uncommon, many games like Overwatch feature lootboxs players can either win via in game tasks or pay for with money, although these games are often offered at a lower cost or are free to play. In BF2 these boxes had items that contained gameplay advantages. A good example of this is the “Assault class” Survivalist Star Card that decreases health regeneration delays up to 40%. Notice the words “Real money” and “chance” in that last statement? Well that is because, like most loot box systems stuff their boxes full of fairly useless filler items that are low value. Since the items in this game had gameplay effects and were random, it wasn’t just pay to win, but pay for a chance to win.While these rewards are available in game, they were locked behind a long grind and took credits away from the player that most wanted to save to unlock the expensive heroes. While this might not be out of place in a free to play game, you need to keep in mind this was a full price title that retailed for CAN$79.99. This price does not include the various deluxe editions of the game that could cause the price of the base game to reach nearly CAD$100. This obviously led to much internet drama, including Fake death threats , Boycotts , and even a big old discussion here on deadlystream. Eventually people began a campaign targeted at Disney linking Star Wars and gambling. These posts were then picked up by mainstream media organisations and this all lead to the removal of the loot boxes in Battlefront for now. It also lead to several government organisations to begin to look into regulation regarding in game lootboxes. You can read a bit more about that HERE. The whole thing has been discussed to death at this point so I am not going to go into any more detail on what happened. My Thoughts Normally I don’t put my opinion on things like that in these posts, I want to just list the facts and let people make up their minds. But in this case I have to say that I see no reason to buy this game, and I hope that you don’t either. The sheer audacity of EA to nickel and dime their consumers shows a clear disregard for the consumer. Yes, the micro transactions have been removed for now, but it is only likely to be the case until the internet outrage dies down and the Christmas season is over. Anyone who has seen how EA treats its customers shouldn’t really be naïve enough to fall for their blatant ass covering. Before I get to this next part I should mention that these opinions are those of me (Xuul) alone and not the website as a whole. In my opinion the developers burned any credibility and goodwill a long time ago and anyone still willing to put up with it are the reason they keep doing it, because YOU make them buckets of money. The only way to win is to vote with your wallet and not play. Still really want to play battlefront? I understand that, I too have great memories battling it out in galactic conquest with my friends and slaughtering rebel scum on the Death Star. But just like the last EA battlefront, the one that was not a lovingly crafted game, but a hollowed out husk of something many people were very passionate about, this game too disappoints. This game is a dead eyed corpse wearing the name Star Wars as a sort of macabre skin suit; that preys on your nostalgia and your fantasies in order to suck the money from your wallet in the same way a predator would suck the marrow from your very bones. Okay, I’ll admit that was a bit melodramatic. But I still don’t think you should buy the game. Supporting this game, supports more development in this direction and that is something I do not want. If the scummy business model is not enough to convince you not to purchase this game then I should also mention that Battlefront 2 has been plagued with various technical problems. A new hope? So far, all I have done is spread doom and gloom about the latest Star Wars title. Is there any hope at all for those of us who really just want there to be more Battlefront in the world? Maybe. The way I see it there are few avenues you can take at this point. 1) Wait until 2023 No, I am not talking about a game called 2023, but the year. The real year in the real world. While not a fun solution it is something you are probably planning on doing anyways. Why is this year important? Becuase contracts. That's right. Start checking off days on your calendar because in a few short years EA's exclusive development contract with EA expires. At least in theory. There is still a good chance the mouse renews the relationship with EA and then we can add another decade to that list. So call upon a higher power, sacrifice to the gods and pray that we eventually get developers who care just a little bit more about what we want eventually. Or sign this petition I guess, but in all honestly no one is breaking a multi-million dollar goldmine of a contract over a petition. 2) Play Battlefront 2 That's right, you can just play Battlefront 2... wait no not THAT Battlefront 2. You should play the FIRST Battlefront 2. The one that came out before the second Battlefront game.... The second one in the series overall... In all honest, they should fire whoever came this naming scheme. Let's try that again. That's right play the 2005 classic Battlefront 2, the one not made by EA. This game is available now, has 0 micro transactions, is only a fraction of the cost and even has a small but dedicated modding community. In the past I made a few videos on how to set up these mods but they are old, out of date and poorly done. If I have time I will try to remake them so everyone can enjoy the wonderful new features available in the BF2 modding scene. Yes, the graphics are not beautiful, but the game play still holds up and is a blast to play with friends. If enough people are interested we might even be able to get a group together and crush the rebel scum under our collective imperial boots. (or you can play as the terrorist rebels but w/e) 3) Galaxy in Turmoil. Way back in the ancient times (2016) a group of Star Wars fans at Frontwire Studios began to show off footage of their WIP fan game “Star Wars Battlefront 3: Galaxy in Turmoil”. It was based off the "99%" finished Battlefront 3 prototype that leaked back in 2016. This was around the same time that other Battlefront 3 was released. Unlike the game that no one really remembers, GIT had many features that many dedicated Battlefront fans were looking forward to. This includes things like ground to space combat maps, and other features from the 99% finished Battlefront 3 that was cancelled to make way for EA & DICE. Sound too good to be true? Correct. To the surprise of no one who was even vaguely familiar with how the law works, the rights-holders quickly shut the project down. It also begs the question: Xuul, why are you mentioning a project that died? The answer: that the project is only dead from a certain point of view. While the Star Wars aspect of the game has become one with the force, the Battlefront style game play is still alive and well in the now standalone original IP Galaxy in Turmoil. This is obviously a disappointment to anyone who cares more about the Star Wars than the Battlefront but if you don’t particularly care about that aspect then this may be the game for you. This new Galaxy in Turmoil (GiT) is still in devlopment but from what has been shown so far it looks promising. In preparation for this news post I got in contact with Tony Romanelli, President of Frontwire Studios, who was kind enough to answer a few of my questions. The interview Xuul: Thanks for taking the time to chat. I'll start off with the low hanging fruit. Lootboxes and microtransactions. What are your team's plans to provide players with a sense of pride and accomplishment? Frontwire: Loot boxes and micro transactions are not our thing at all. Anything Pay2Win is just wrong in my opinion. However players will have the ability to purchase cosmetic items such as outfits and upgrades that don’t provide any sort of upper hand over others. Likewise we have an extensive statistics system in place that rewards players for actually completing objectives and overall teamwork rather than just running around and being a Rambo solo player. We’re also working on a method to provide a way for players to earn in-game credits that can be used to purchase cosmetics in the event they don’t want to spend cash. X: What aspects from the old Battlefront series are you most excited to emulate? What areas are you planning on diverging from the past? FW: As you know, our roots are in battlefront. We’re developing game modes that anyone that has played the original battlefront games will be able to recognize and adapt too. While they’re not exact copies of game modes, they’re similar and inspired by battlefront game modes. However as far as breaking away, we want players to have more control of their games both in Singleplayer and Multiplayer. So we’re building an extensive single player campaign and an extensive multiplayer system that allows players to experience the game how they want. We’re harping on team roles in MP. Each class actually serves a purpose and while you can play certain maps with any classes you want, it will be more inclusive and fun if you use some specific classes to handle certain objectives. X: You mentioned classes. Does your team have any rough idea on the number of classes or anything like that at this stage in the development? FW: Totally. Currently we have four classes to chose from. However we plan to add a few more specifically classes specific to certain game modes and maps. For example, we have a certain game mode that allows players to be able to play a specialty class after the team achieves certain objectives. However how that class is assigned is via a round robin system based on the specific team members that helped to accomplish said special objective. So if you don’t help out with the side objective to unlock the specialty class, then you don’t get out into the pool to potentially get the class offered to you. X: Sounds fair to me. Mentioning multiplayer. Does your team have a plan for any dedicated multiplayer servers or anything like that? FW: Totally. We are going to be hosting 15 official dedicated servers for the community to play on located around the USA and Europe. Players are also free to host their own dedicated servers using our dedicated server client for up to 64 players. Likewise they can host smaller matches without a dedicated server locally on their PC via the game itself, however those are restricted to 16 players for performance reasons. We actually just signed a deal with one of Europe’s largest server hosting companies to provide discount servers to our community. X: That sounds awesome. More than I expected honestly. FW: Haha thanks. Our ultimate goal is to provide the community with as much free content as possible to show people you can make a great game without bleeding the community by charging $60 and then requiring another $40 worth of DLC to make it playable. X: I wish you and the rest of the team all the best with it. Thanks for taking the time to talk.** ** During this talk I did ask about the demo version that has been delayed but the developers chose not to comment on any timetable. Final thoughts Overall whatever path you take I wish you luck. Now I want to pass the question off to you. What are you going to do in regards to this Battlefront Turmoil? Will you take one of my suggestions or do you have a better idea? I would love to hear about it in the comments below. Until next time... I have been Xuul and I hope that you have an excellent day!