Star Wars Battlefront 2’s Patch 2.0 addresses many sins

Not quite Pink Vader, but it is pretty

Just last week, Alice reported that the much-maligned (and not without reason) Star Wars Battlefront 2 was seeing a rework coming to its loot crates. Now that the update has landed, it’s clear to see that was a little bit of an understatement.

In short: Loot crates are largely banished, containing only cosmetic items and purchased solely with in-game credits. Every character and unit is unlocked from the start. Star Card progression is level-based, per class/hero/unit. Real money can only be used to buy cosmetic gubbins that can also be earned through in-game currency and more besides.

The appropriately named Version 2.0 (on account of this being The Do-Over) comes with some impressively lengthy patch notes. The biggest change is absolutely the removal of character and vehicle unlocks. Now if you want to play as Darth Vader, all you have to do is prove your worth and kill a bunch of people before someone else on your team does. This seems a pretty appropriate way to become a Sith, come to think of it.

A now-rare loot crate. Likely to only contain clothes, or coupons for clothes

Also coming in this update is a new (small) map returning from the original Battlefront. Bespin (pictured up top) is a scenic and relaxing place to shoot your friends, and is available in the (now far more tempting) Heroes vs Villains mode, as well as Blast and Arcade. As for Arcade mode, while Star Cards and their upgrades are now unlocked through play, the effective level of all cards is automatically maxed when playing solo.

Beyond that, a lot of rebalancing has been done, including tweaks to the objectives of many missions in Galactic Assault mode. This is apparently the start of a series of planned updates to hammer the game into a more publicly palatable state, so expect other major changes in the future as they prepare the game for its next season of actual content.

While these changes obviously won’t please everyone – especially those unhappy with the very concept of the hero system in the game, and the idea of gradually unlocking more powerful perks – this does bring the game far more in line with what people wanted from it at launch.

Accompanying this massive update is a major discount on the game. At 60% off, that brings it down to a quite reasonable £22 on Origin, and keep in mind that any additional map packs or characters are going to be free, with the game moving to a supported-by-cosmetics model.

Not so much a pro tip as a general piece of advice for new players: If you’re having trouble dealing with enemy heroes and vehicles, nothing quite beats a Heavy with the Explosive Rounds card. Those shots are fast, accurate and will take off half of Kylo Ren’s face in one hit, and he’ll often be too surprised by the damage to dodge a second. Go blow up a Yoda for me.

57 Comments

  1. feffrey says:

    Is it worth buying at this point?

    • Dominic Tarason says:

      At full price, I definitely would have been disappointed especially given the progression mechanics, but at under £20 (Origin subscribers get a discount) it’s not a bad Battlefield In Space experience now. Plus there’s a short (but very pretty) single-player campaign to get you up to speed.

      Also, two things to remember:
      You get a 10-hour free trial (access to some SP stuff, and all multiplayer) if you’re an Origin subscriber, and Origin has apparently a quite generous refund policy if you find the game less than suited to your tastes.

    • SaintAn says:

      No, don’t support this crap. It may be worth -not- buying though.

      • GAmbrose says:

        You don’t feel if they saw a sudden uplift in sales having made all these changes, that it sends a message that future games should be like this from the start?

        • Delliardo says:

          The problem there is assuming EA will learn from this. Certainly they won’t tie progression to lootboxes ever again, but they’ll keep finding ways of sucking your wallet dry. I’d prefer that Battlefront 2 go Free to Play if they’re going to have purchasable cosmetics (hi Warframe!)

    • Bull0 says:

      If you like Star Wars the campaign is quite neat if shortlived and the starfighter mode is fun but otherwise there are better games to spend your money on, for sure

  2. Vandelay says:

    Sounds good and that discount makes it tempting. I’ve almost gone and bought it, only to see that Battlefield 1 with all expansions is even cheaper at £18.33.

    Which is the correct one to buy? It seems Battlefield 1 is probably the better game, but it doesn’t have the Star Wars paint over it. There is also the single player of Battlefront 2, which I hear is much better and will be expanded upon with free updates I fear that will just make me long for a proper new Dark Forces/Jedi Knight though.

    Opinions?

    • Dominic Tarason says:

      It all depends on how much Star Warsiness (and how many colours) you want. Oddly enough, WW1 tech and Star Wars gunplay aren’t wildly different, but I do find Battlefield 1 to get a little grey/brown/bleak after a while. It relishes in its No Man’s Lands, wheras Battlefront 2 is just gorgeous at all times.

      Battlefront 1 does have a somewhat beefier campaign though. Can’t deny that.

      • CheeseFarts says:

        If you are implying that Battlefront is a reskinned BF 1, or vice versa, you`re either lazy or clueless. Just saying…..

        • Evan_ says:

          I’d rather say that most modern shooters are reskinned versions of slightly less modern shooters.

        • ColonelFlanders says:

          literally the only thing he compared between the two was the similarity in the gunplay, which is ultimately a matter of opinion. Go sit down.

          • CheeseFarts says:

            One game having bullet physics and the other not is hardly a matter of opinion.

          • CheeseFarts says:

            Also when someone asks wheter to get this or that game and the “gaming journalist” as some kind of authority answers that one is more “Starwarsy” and starts talking about the colours I can only shake my head.

    • CheeseFarts says:

      Are u more interested in single or multiplayer? Singleplayer wise, both have braindead enemies and predictable (stupid?) stories with Battlefront having the Star Wars bonus I guess.(could`nt be arsed to finish SP in battlefront tbh).
      In Multiplayer both games use the gorgeous Frostbite engine with Battlefield having destructable terrain, way more depth and the most whiney, toxic and annoying ingame chat i`ve witnessed in a while. Personally Battlefront bored me pretty fast. Also, if youre already dreaming about doing crazy stuff in Starfighters, get a gamepad at all cost, planes in Bf 1 work just fine with mouse and keyboard.

    • DThor says:

      I snagged B1 at that crazy price and it was definitely worth it. I’m sure it irritated lots of early buyers who ended up playing a lot more money for the same content, plus being a AAA game there’s plenty of corporate hate to go around so it gives the reddit gamers plenty of rage meme material. I’m just enjoying the game.

      At this price point plus the patch, I’ll be enjoying SWB2 tonight as well. Why not get both?

      • Vandelay says:

        Honestly, I think that is what I am going to do. I can always refund one if I much prefer the other.

  3. Phantom_Renegade says:

    Lootboxes in a game that costs money is still a sin too far.

    • Dominic Tarason says:

      If boxes full of character skins is the alternative to absurdly expensive map-packs every few months, I’ll take that any day. I lost count of how many multiplayer games were sunk by each paid release splitting the players, so this is a significant step up.

      • Det. Bullock says:

        Sincerely what really repulses me is the randomness, when I spend 5 Euros for the black friday paintjob in Elite I get just that not some random paintjob that I would never be interested in.

      • Daemoroth says:

        Please stop equating loot boxes with cosmetic purchases. If they want additional funding so they can release map packs for free, great, set up a store and let people buy EXACTLY what they want for an EXACT price.

        Loot boxes dig into gambling, and if I wanted to gamble I’d be in a casino. There is no justification to use random loot boxes without the option to buy what you want directly (Use both methods, why not, let those who like to gamble have a go then).

        Not to mention that using loot boxes gives an incentive to create a pile of junk to fill those loot boxes, whereas directly purchasable cosmetics motivate them to create awesome-looking skins. Seriously, who’s going to buy the common/recolored crap they shove into those loot boxes amongst the one or two nice items?

        • Ergates_Antius says:

          Which is exactly what they’ve done…. So what is your point?

          • Daemoroth says:

            My point was aimed at Dominic using ‘loot boxes’ as a justified method for additional revenue when there’s never reason enough to do it.

            But I have completely misunderstood this update (And so have all my friends). My apologies.

            I stand by what I said but it doesn’t apply to BF2, and now I’m actually tempted to buy this game and some MTs just to reward this change.

      • mitrovarr says:

        The problem with cosmetic lootboxes is how they take advantage of people with gambling issues or addictive personalities. It doesn’t have to affect your personal enjoyment of the game to be bad. I mean, I think the lootboxes in Overwatch do nothing but enhance -my- enjoyment of the game (I’d never buy any, so they’re just a pleasant little meaningless reward for playing) but I know they do real harm to others, and that’s more important.

        • Unclepauly says:

          I don’t think childproofing the world is the answer.

          • grimdanfango says:

            Preventing corporations being amoral predatory scum willing to bleed vast sums of money out of vulnerable people using psychological manipulation isn’t really the same thing as “childproofing the world”.

          • Menthalion says:

            Sure, let’s do away with trading standards and consumer law altogether and see how you fare.

            Then ask the Chinese how apt a term your ‘childproofing’ actually is.

          • subedii says:

            Because what baby doesn’t need a nice nutritious dose of melamine in their baby food?

        • Zombiwan Kenobi says:

          Cosmetic microtransactions aren’t legit either especially when they’ve been implemented before game’s launch (and thus not needing additional work). It’s just a new way to grab more cash from naive people – And there are a lot of naive people out there.

          Cosmetic boxes are no better just because they’re not affecting your gameplay, in fact it’s even worse and way more insidious cause most players do care about what their characters looks like.

          This stuff should be free and certainly not that overpriced, and tbh i don’t want to play any game with overpriced content – it’s called theft.

        • Dominic Tarason says:

          Well, the case here is that the loot-boxes are just a regular reward for play. Real-world currency can get you directly-purchased cosmetic items, but you cannot buy additional loot boxes, meaning that the obsessive slot-machine aspect of the business model is excised.

        • ShineDog says:

          The loot boxes can’t be bought, in game credits only. Really just there for a daily login reward. There’s a cash shop coming, but it’s direct purchase of cosmetics.

      • diamondmx says:

        Really – what makes this an either or situation?
        First: It’s a Star Wars game, it’s going to sell well enough to fund map packs for ages anyways, assuming they don’t piss off their entire playerbase.
        Second: Why do you assume they won’t release more content and charge for it? It’s not like they’re showing a whole lot of restraint. The only reason they took out the expensive Pay To Win mechanic is because of MASSIVE community backlash, and only after doubling down on how this is fine.

        You’re giving EA way too much credit if you parrot their excuses that they need to charge for some of this shit.

        What’s more, there’s an assumption that they’ll continue to release more content if this attempt to encourage players back doesn’t work. They’ll only release content as long as the game is still making them money.

        The overton window has been pushed by this content, and we’re seeing people praising companies for only including shitty cosmetic gambling boxes, and for only including crappy microtransactions carved out of the game experience because at least they’re not Battlefront 2.

        RPS really should try to push back a little harder, and not accept the new norm here.

        This game sold more than 8 million copies. Why the fuck is EA getting away with claiming they have to penny pinch all their users on an already full price game just to keep minor content updates coming out for a few months or a year?

        And this game was the apology game for penny pinching us on the last Battlefront game.

      • ColonelFlanders says:

        PLEASE don’t be an apologist for lootboxes. You guys in the press have power to shit on these scummy practices from a great height. They are gambling for kids, don’t let the ‘just cosmetic’ argument fool you into believing otherwise.

        • Ergates_Antius says:

          You Can’t Buy Loot Boxes With Real Money Anymore.

          Which part of that wasnt clear?

          • ColonelFlanders says:

            No but what is clear is that it’s a business practice they are clearly not going to get rid of. Your view of the situation appears to be about an inch in front of your face.

          • Ergates_Antius says:

            Based on what? They tried it, got dagged over the coals and had to back down. The whole thing has been a costly disaster for them. Why is it “clear”?

            There’s being cynical, and there’s just making stuff up to suit your preconceived opinions.

      • SaintAn says:

        Demand the price of expansions to go down to a fair amount rather than demand and support a scam system that is awful for games and gamers. That’s disgusting.

        You’re a writer on a blog, you influence people. Don’t use your power to support scams and spread ignorance.

      • BooleanBob says:

        Yuck.

  4. Premium User Badge

    It's not me it's you says:

    Is it worth it purely for the single player bit? I have less than no interest in shooting randoms in a star wars skin but the early trailers for the SP stuff looked very cool.

  5. aepervius says:

    I expect RPS to be a shot above other gaming site and be far more informative especially with controversial element. “Real money can only be used to buy cosmetic gubbins that can also be earned through in-game currency and more besides” this is non informative. All F2P game (and this is a B2P !) state the same , you can earn the fake money in game yada yada. The problem is the CONVERSION rate. To give you an example if it takes on average for a normal average player 1h to earn enough for a skin is not the same if it takes 120 hours. Yet in both case one can pretend you can earn skin while playing without paying. And that is why game themselves never show that in advance because it is nearly always very very poor conversion rate (there are a few good exception).

    Be informative. Show us conversion rate. How long does it take to play and earn the equivalent of a basic cosmetic stuff.

  6. elevown says:

    Ok so it is a lot better – but That does not let them off the hook or make them wonderful now. They should NOT have pulled the crap they tried in the place. They only stopped because they HAD to.

    Also, even having cosmetics in random loot boxes is still shitty – even if you can also buy them with in game currency – because it still is there just to make you gamble and waste lots of cash if you really want a given skin. If they were being fair, each would just have a set price to buy it.

    • Unclepauly says:

      This was the alternative to expensive map packs. You rather have the map packs splitting up the community? Or is there a better alternative?

      • diamondmx says:

        Isn’t the alternative that companies who can sell 8+ million copies of a £50 game on a store they control and pay noone to host on, maybe should be able to release content for at least a few months before they run out of cash?
        Like, where does that £400-600 million go? Steam’s not taking a 30% cut. Retail isn’t taking a cut. Can they really not afford to pay for a small amount of ongoing content for the 1-2 years they might support this game?

        • aepervius says:

          To be fair there is probably a 30% Disney cut for the license (at least). Half of the rest is probably marketing.

          • ColonelFlanders says:

            COME ON. As if you have to market fucking Star Wars?! just put an X-Wing on a poster with a price tag and it’ll sell millions. don’t buy the bullshit, they have painted themselves into this corner.

      • emotionengine says:

        Is there a better alternative? You bet there is.

        Titanfall 2 launched with all gameplay and future content for free for all players, zero random lootboxes and 1) optional cosmetics you can buy directly with in-game credits (non-purchasable) or 2) premium cosmetics for real money, also directly. Prices were very reasonable ranging from $2 to $6 for a pack of skins, callsigns, stickers, etc. Too bad EA threw them under the bus with the release sandwiched between CoD 2016 and their own Battlefield One, but apart from that, the game was a critical and, by all accounts, also a commercial success.

        I wish people would stop following the false narrative that this is some kind of inevitable dichotomy of either paid map packs or cosmetic lootboxes. That’s what the publishers and their shareholders are trying to railroad us into believing.

    • Ergates_Antius says:

      You can’t buy them with real money, only (worthless) in game money.

  7. grimdanfango says:

    So, until the next game then… (or the next expansion if the fuss dies down quick enough)

    Don’t make the mistake of thinking this is the end of it… they almost certainly knew there’d be a backlash long before release, and as ever, they made a calculated decision to go ahead anyway… and they probably already had the contingency planned out in advance.
    They’ll keep pushing, and pushing, and pushing, until the backlashes get quieter.
    Then they’ll push for something worse.

    Don’t fall for this big show of “listening to what customers want”. They don’t care what you want, they only care about testing what they can and can’t get away with.

    Enjoy the game if you already bought it, but avoid becoming an “it’s fine, it’s only cosmetics now” apologist… that’s exactly what they want – people to make excuses for them and continue slowly normalizing this crap.

    If you haven’t bought the game already, don’t let this mock-capitulation convince you otherwise.

    • zulnam says:

      Exactly. Do not buy this game. Do not fall into the trap of “short minded consumerism”.

  8. PiiSmith says:

    I am a Star Wars nerd and an active player on PC. I should be the prime audience for Battlefront, but alas I have not even bought it and I will not buy it now.
    What I wanted was at least a Battlefield in a Star Wars skins. So multi crew ships, squads which allow me to coordinate with my friends, objective focused game play with a shiny Star Wars skin.
    What they delivered was severely gimped Battlefield. Ships are always only one person. There are no persistent squads, you just get thrown in with the next 3 people you spawn. This makes playing with a friend nearly impossible. The design of the level (I admit I only tried the one available in the “Beta”) was so linear, with no alternative routes or flanking going on. The only good thing was the shiny, great looking Star Wars skin.

    • aircool says:

      Compared to the new Battlefront, the previous Battlefront is a far superior game. I actually enjoyed the first one when I picked it up 12 months after release although the game did have it’s fair share of hackers.

  9. aircool says:

    Sounds promising. I reinstalled it a few weeks ago after hearing about the colourblind fix, but uninstalled it a few hours later due to the huge imbalances of starcards.

    However, the biggest issue which I doubt will ever get fixed is the method of spawning as a hero. You spend your ‘score’ to spawn a hero. This means that uberkillers with a high score get to play as a powerful hero which makes them even better at at killing and, subsequently gaining more ‘score’ to respawn as that hero again when they die.

    The upshot of all this is that a few players dominate the whole game whilst average or lesser players get absolutely hammered far more than they would in any other game.

    As for other imbalances;

    ‘Not so much a pro tip as a general piece of advice for new players: If you’re having trouble dealing with enemy heroes and vehicles, nothing quite beats a Heavy with the Explosive Rounds card.’

    Yep, they hurt heroes, so imagine how much of a fuck-in-the-face they are to average players.

    • Lieutenant_Scrotes says:

      Actually you’re wrong, when you play as a hero the amount of battlepoints you earn is only 10% that of a normal player. So while you can still earn exp to level your character, it’s virtually impossible to earn enough battlepoints to play as a hero again immediately after.

      I’m assuming that in the few hours you played you never managed to play as a hero otherwise you would have known this.

  10. Jernau Gurgeh says:

    I’m so glad I’m completely averse to any kind of multiplayer gaming and therefore get to avoid all this exploitative über-capitalist shenanigans AND toxic 14 year old GamerGraters.

  11. Xelos says:

    …doesnt it still mean that players with more hours into the game are OBJECTIVELY more powerful than new players, which makes for a shitty experience where your skill is secondary?…

    • Delliardo says:

      Unfortunately yes. Also unfortunately there are probably hackers, just like in the first EA Battlefront. I haven’t played it in months, though, so I can’t confirm this, I can only speak with Bubbafront 1 PTSD.

  12. Delliardo says:

    This is definitely a step in the right direction, and I might download EABF2 again to see how the Arcade plays. Still would like all game modes in Arcade (hello original Battlefronts), and if they’re keeping free to play mechanics (the purchasable cosmetics), then make the game free to play (Hi Warframe!). You can separate the campaign and price that on it’s own and leave the multiplayer side F2P, it’s not unheard of (Fortnite’s battle royale is free, but it has a paid version where you defend against AI).

  13. Lieutenant_Scrotes says:

    Your advice for a new players about an ‘explosive rounds card’ is wrong.

    Firstly there is no explosive rounds card for the heavy, it’s a mod for one of the weapons. This mod takes 150 kills with said weapon to unlock, which is not exactly noob friendly. Were you playing on a friends account who already had this mod unlocked?

    Secondly, in a recent patch the developers bugged the cooling/heating mechanic for weapons. This made weapons using explosive rounds hugely overpowered, since explosive rounds should make a weapon build heat much more rapidly and fire more slowly, but this was not happening. It was a blight on the game where 2/3rds of the players were abusing this bug in some matches. Not exactly a positive thing to be encouraging new players to engage in bug abuse. Fortunately this was addressed with the latest patch on the 21st and now explosive shot is balanced again it is back to being used only rarely.

    Now if you actually referring to explosive sentry rather than explosive shot, you can ignore the above two paragraphs. This is enabled by a star card, so I suspect it could be what you meant. I would say though that explosive sentry is only viable from a distance, since it not only makes you immobile but it is also very slow to aim, easy to dodge for a jedi/sith.

    Like most commenters here I too hate loot boxes. But since it is cosmetic only now, I would ask if people have the same issues with cosmetic loot boxes in other full priced games such as Overwatch?