We’ve all heard that: Battlefront from DICE was a failure, marred by overly expensive DLC, poor content and absence of the story mode. Sure, it wasn’t a glaring success, but it sold well (mostly thanks to the brand) and made a profit. People are still playing it, waiting for the sequel. We already know a lot about the new game, and the upcoming beta will reveal even more. But don't forget that the first Battlefront looked great at first, too. Let's remember everything the first game did wrong and hope these mistakes won’t be repeated.
Here are nine points which worry me and many other current players. DICE created a nice game with Battlefront, but a lot of it can be improved. The game has problems – let’s hope they won’t be repeated in 2017.
DLC hurting the game
We’ve all heard the developers’ promise to get rid of DLCs, but nothing’s that simple. EA didn’t promise us anything, only saying there won’t be any Season Pass. But there will be DLC and microtransactions which can easily ruin the game.
The vanilla Battlefront was very barebones. Not enough modes, a tiny number of maps and so on. There was nothing to do after a while, which meant that players were either buying the DLCs or abandoning the $60 game. There were promises then, too – to release free content for all the players. But what we got were a couple of bonus maps. After a couple of months, DICE stopped releasing free DLCs. It wasn’t a straight lie, but players obviously weren’t happy. Without the DLC the game got stale pretty quick. People wanted to see new maps and new heroes. But the price was hefty.
Those who did pay got their money’s worth, but only to some degree. Every new DLC was getting worse and worse. The filter system was (and still is) broken, forcing players to play random modes and not the one they’ve chosen. The new maps were alright, but not really inspired. Scarif was especially bad: seemingly one map with boring design and awful invisible walls. The new mode, separated into three steps, was fine, but it wasn’t nearly enough considering the price.
Now, Battlefront II can go either way. Cosmetic add-ons are a fine way to make a buck and keep the game fair to all. But we don’t exactly know how it will go. Any way to make yourself stronger will ruin the balance and separate the player base once again. This is EA and there’s no way of knowing what new way of robbing the players they’ll concoct. But they are getting better and I really hope there won’t be any real problems with the way microtransactions are implemented.
Even if Battlefront is a shooter, there still should be a goal. Get more points, buy better gear, open more customization options. Anything will be better than Battlefront’s current system.
In the original Battlefront, players did in fact fight for a lot of things, namely for points and credits to buy skins (and for bragging rights). But after a while, there was nothing left. Right now, the level cap is 100, but it was a lot lower before the DLCs. There’s not a lot of things to buy, and after a while you won’t have any use for credits.
Modes themselves do not motivate. Mostly it’s “kill them” and that’s all. There’s no tension, to real sense of victory. In the latter DLCs (Death Star and Scarif) things got better with new modes, but alas, it was too late. The idea stuck and we’ll see the return of these modes in Battlefront II.
This problem is one of the reasons why the majority of players left. There’s a battle – but for what? There’s no loot, no real sense of progression. You felt like you’re not achieving anything.
I hope that won’t be a problem in the new game. We always have to have to something to play for – even for insignificant things like new emotes or type of helmet. There’s also another way – use these battles to tell a story – like in Battlefield I. Make the fighting seem important, meaningful. Tell a story, make it personal.
At first, everything was great. A lot of players, good connection. But after a while along with the players the developers too began losing interest. We started noticing more and more bags, the connection quality got worse. It was even worse on PC, where cheaters seemed unstoppable. DICE did almost nothing to protect their game from hackers and, in result, the player base shrunk. It was better on consoles, of course – but not thanks to the developers.
Bugs are a different story. Every new DLC brought a lot a set of fresh glitches for everyone – even those playing the vanilla version. What’s even worse, almost every time you had to wait months until the fix, which was embedded into a new DLC, which came along with its own new set of bugs. And so on. For a long time, we had to play the broken game, which is simply unacceptable for a game of this magnitude.
Right now, the problem still exists. Bugs are patched – for the most part. Sometimes, the connection is very janky to the point of game being unplayable. These things won’t get fixed as the game is all but forgotten. I get that the sequel is where it’s at, but still, the players deserve better.
Single player has to mean something
There was no single player mode in the first game, which was sad, but acceptable, as Battlefront has never been known for good storytelling. But there were “missions” to be played offline alone or with a buddy. A neat idea, reminding us of better days, but poorly implemented.
The missions are a set of challenges, created to test the player’s skill. There’s no story, no unlockables – nothing to make you want to play. Missions themselves are hard as hell, to the point of being unbeatable unless you’re cheating a bit.
That has to change in Battlefront II. We know there’s a single player campaign, which is great, but will it matter? Will the story be enough to pull us in? And what about the co-op – will it stay? These are the questions. Battlefront has always been about community and epic battles, but co-op matters too, especially on console.
I still don’t get why there wasn’t any way to play with bots. A lot of players wanted that – and the developers even acknowledged the fact. But still, we can’t visit multiplayer maps without the internet, which is bizarre. Why not let the players enjoy the game with their friends in co-op? Another lazy mistake, which could’ve been easily fixed.
No parity between eras
Star Wars is a huge galaxy with myriads of planets, characters and vehicles. Yet in we’ve seen only a small fraction of that world in Battlefront where only the original trilogy was represented. There was one planet from the sequel era (Jakku) and that’s it. That’s silly for a number of reasons.
The prequel trilogy has a lot of truly iconic locations like Naboo and Coruscant. Why not use them? There are also a lot of heroes and villains which could’ve been a lot more interesting than Bossk and Dengar. I mean, really? What about general Grievous?
Seems that our cries (and there were a lot of them) have been heard: prequels will return to Battlefront along with planets like Kamino and Naboo. But there’s still a question of parity. How well will these eras be represented? For all that we know, the original trilogy will remain as “the main one”. That’s logical, if they’re planning on using the original maps. If not… that’d be a big mistake. The majority of players have been actively asking for Clone Wars era ever since the reveal of the first trailer.
Even better, there should be DLC with characters from the cartoon or even comics. God knows fans will be happy. Just stop deciding which part of the saga is more important. It all matters.
Vehicles have always been a big part of Star Wars – be it AT-STs, X-Wings or different Separatist droid tanks. And we wanted to be able to get into these beasts and cause utter chaos – just like in the originals. But in Battlefront all vehicles were bonuses, available only to select few. And they weren’t that fun. That has to change. Once again – look at the originals. Or better look at Battlefield I with its behemoth armored trains and tanks. That’s what we need in Battlefront!
We need that freedom to choose our method of destruction. Just think of different vehicles from all eras we could use. After all, we have the ability to use heroes (basically tanks) in Battlefront, so nothing will change that much.
And yes, let us control AT-ATs! Playing on rails was no fun in the first game.
Better, not bigger maps
Ok, sometimes bigger is better when it comes to maps, but not when you don’t have enough players to fill them. The first Battlefront has always felt a bit empty while playing the bigger maps like Hoth or Tatooine. Too often have I wandered too far and lost sight of my comrades. Even worse, huge maps are good for campers who love taking down players from miles away, leaving you no hope of surviving.
Instead of big empty maps we need denser and more detailed ones. Stop that nonsense with the nature and make more urban maps with lots of paths and different rooms. Remember Mos Eisley from the originals? Now that’s the stuff.
More melee combat
Star Wars is known not for its blasters, but for iconic lightsabers. And yet, we almost never use them in Battlefront. Why? Mostly because only the Jedi or the Sith can use them. Ok, fair enough. But why not allow other classes use other melee weapons? Just think about: if Battlefield I did it, Battlefront II should surely follow suit.
We’ve seen a lot of melee weapons in films (electrified staffs from Magna Guards, truncheons in The Force Awakens) but there’s more in books. Vibroblades, for example, are known to every fan. Now won’t that be fun if we’d be able to use melee weapons with every class?
DICE has already played with that idea when they released the Bo Rifle. The rifle, right from the Rebels series, was pretty average at distance, but was deadly while in melee. Jyn Erso (a hero) also has her truncheons, which are very good at dispatching those pesky stormstroopers.
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic has already shown us how that’s look. Now make it happen, DICE!
While the vanilla version of Battlefront had a decent variety of blasters, the final version doesn’t have nearly enough. The weapons themselves don’t have any kind of customization, which is also kinda disappointing. When playing Star Wars, I want to have the freedom to choose.
We’ve seen a lot of awesome blasters in films and games, so why not use all of them? Especially from the prequels. Remember those cool chrome blasters Jango Fett used? Or those blasters on Naboo with silly sounds? Now that’s what I want. Don’t you?