EA commits to changing Star Wars Battlefront 2 progression system in Reddit AMA

Electronic Arts ran face-first into the wall that is gamer anger over Star Wars Battlefront 2 today, as executive producer John Wasilczyk, associate design director Dennis Brannvall, and producer Paul Keslin volunteered as tributes for a Reddit AMA. Full credit to the three of them for stepping into the breach, but the questions, and the answers provided, are pretty much what you'd expect. 

Regarding the obvious point of contention—the many hours of grind required to unlock hero characters—EA has "seen the speculation," but its own figures "based on the Play First trial are much faster than what's out there," Wasilczyk said. "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." 

A similar theme runs through other responses, about "loot crate-based progression," the impact of Star Cards, credit rewards, and more: EA is monitoring the data, listening to feedback, and will adjust the game as necessary. Regarding credits earned in the Arcade, for instance, Keslin said the developers want to let players do that, but need to ensure it's not exploited in a way that impacts multiplayer.   

"Because of that we made the decision to limit the number of Credits earned to stop potential abuse," he said. "We will be looking at data continually and make adjustments to make things as balanced as possible." 

One point EA did commit to is a change to the progression system. "The goal with star card class level requirements, initially, was to make you go wide in the type of cards you get before you go deep in specializing which ones you want to upgrade," Keslin said. "That said, we're hearing loud and clear that you'd prefer a system where playing a class or a character specifically will upgrade its level instead, so we're looking to make that change as soon as possible." 

Some of the vagueness in the responses is unavoidable, since Star Wars Battlefront 2 isn't even out yet—it goes live on Friday. And Keslin said EA is "committed to continuing this dialogue even if we need to face some harsh feedback." (He also said they were warned not to do the AMA at all, because it would inevitably blow up in their faces.) But if you're looking for definitive answers to tough questions—or an about-face on loot boxes—you're probably not going to find much in here that satisfies. 

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.