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With Star Wars Battlefront 2 set to launch Friday, Nov. 17, the biggest buzz surrounding the game concerns things like microtransactions, loot crates and reward loops. One dedicated gamer actually decided to dig into the math to determine how long it will take to unlock in-game Heroes, and it's not looking too pretty.
Over on the Battlefront II reddit, user TheHotterPotato has created a spreadsheet breaking down their time spent with the game during recent EA Access sessions. Before we get too far into these figures, we want to point out that this is just one person's findings and it's not exactly the most accurate way of breaking things down.
However, based on what they have discovered, it looks like unlocking Heroes in Battlefront II is going to take a long, long time. More than 2,395 minutes each, in fact. That's about 40 hours per character.
I'll get into how TheHotterPotato made their findings in just a moment, but I feel it's necessary to point out that the research was done during a testing period, so EA and DICE may have adjusted things by the time Battlefront II actually launches. Also, the guy points out that his findings are only from playing rounds of Galactic Assault and don't include extra points earned through Challenges and the like. Finally, we have to remember that this was not the full version of the game, so we can't assume players won't be getting in-game currency thrown at them from a variety of other sources.
Still, the findings are frustrating and go to show how games are being developed and/or balanced with microtransactions in mind. Sure, you can unlock stuff the old-fashioned way. But according to these findings, that way will take a super long time in Battlefront II.
As the original post points out, EA has shifted the currency distribution to time played rather than, say, skill-based. So if you have a really good round online, you won't be making extra credits off of that effort. Keep playing, though, and you'll continue to pull in a steady stream. Again, that feels like a decision geared directly toward encouraging players to just fork over extra cash for more in-game funding.
For their research, the poster only ran a timer while they were in a match; so no menu time, loading, etc. is included. In short, the average match only lasted 11:09, with the average number of credits earned being 275 per match, or about 25 per minute.
While Battlefront II will likely toss plenty of Trooper Crates at players in the early goings, that progression will likely level out to earnings only from playing the online modes. When that happens, you'll need to play for 159.73 minutes to earn the 4,000 credits needed for a single crate, which is about three hours. Since Heroes cost 60,000 credits to unlock, you'll need to spend a hell of a lot of time playing the game to complete your roster.
We're not against games having long loot tails or encouraging players to keep playing but, with numbers like these, it's pretty clear Battlefront II is gunning for your bank account.
But again, I feel it's necessary to reiterate that this is based on early play of an incomplete game. We'll see how things shake out once the game is actually out in the wild. For now, though, it isn't looking too promising.