Star Wars Battlefront II

Discussion in 'Gaming (Software and Graphics Cards)' started by Atma, Nov 9, 2017.

  1. hmscott

    hmscott Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    After spending $10,000 on microtransactions, a gambling addicted teen speaks out
    http://mashable.com/2017/12/01/19-gaming-gambling-addict
    "In a powerful open letter to the video game industry, a 19-year-old gambling addict gave a first-hand account of how in-game microtransactions and loot boxes can tempt young players into spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars for content.

    Reddit user Kensgold, who asked us not to use his real name, shared his story on Reddit in November.

    The post, aimed at the developers and publishers of Star Wars Battlefront II — and all other companies in the industry — explained how, at the age of 14, he spent well over $10,000 over the course of a few years thanks to microtransactions and, admittedly, his own addiction to gambling.
    He name-dropped the companies involved with Star Wars Battlefront II because of the controversy surrounding the recently released game, the loot boxes for which contribute to at least a portion of the game's progression system.

    Loot boxes can be earned from playing the game over time, or can be purchased with real money to get those helpful upgrades, new abilities, and credits (in-game currency) faster.

    Although he enjoyed playing the game's beta, Kensgold was disappointed to learn that it used a loot box system and microtransactions. He's had to avoid games with these features after he came to terms with his gambling problem.

    "It makes me disappointed to know I wont be able to play those games," he said in an email. "I loved Star Wars as a kid and still do. It sucks to see the passion and sheer man hours the developers put into the game to have it ruined by executive-level choices. Other games too. For example I am worried about the upcoming vanilla servers for World of Warcraft that Blizzard announced."
    ...
    "In the beginning I began playing a game on my phone," he wrote on Reddit. "It was a normal city builder clone. The goal of the game was open ended. It started off fine, but slowly changed to favor those who purchased large quantities of their equivalent to [Star Wars Battlefront II] credits."

    People he played with — adults with full-time jobs — could afford to stay on top by buying hundreds of dollars of helpful content in the game, and Kensgold didn't want to fall behind, he said.

    "I began to spend some of the money I had saved over my early years in an attempt to keep up with my friends," he wrote. "At first it was 10 bucks every other week. Then the game shifted again. They introduced the premium token chest. It had better gear for your heroes, new and better heroes, resources, experience, etc."

    The spending grew out of hand and not only emptied Kensgold's savings but strained the relationship between him and his mother. He worked at near-minimum wage jobs and nearly 100% of his income went toward in-game purchases. He started getting into more and more games that offered loot boxes and other in-game purchasing opportunities."
    ...
    Finally, Kensgold realized he needed help and started seeing a therapist, confronting his addiction. But he wrote that some other young players may not receive the support that he received and end up worse off."
    Star Wars Battlefront II User Forums
    [Megathread] AFK Farming

    https://battlefront-forums.ea.com/discussion/comment/825278/#Comment_825278

    "This game just completely sucks now! I knew I should have waited to buy it! I went through every painful patch of the first battlefront. It just seems amazing that they could screw this up so badly this time around"
    "I've seen it done. A guy a know had 4,000 credits then 7 hours later had 16,000 just from spinning around"

    "Lets be honest. Even if the game gave you 1,000's of credits after each match, people would still do this trick. The credit amount is just an excuse to justify it. Here is what is really funny, people complained about it being pay to win, but won't hesitate to cheat and get the same results as someone who spent money. Paying to win is some big deal, but cheating to win is ok? Lol"

    "Seeing a lot of players (sometimes 5-6 on a team) farming points by setting a jump or shoot macro for their characters and then just spawning and getting killed over and over to farm points. Can we get a fix for this? It sucks when your team is 15-v-20 because some people are trying to circumvent the grind the rest of us are putting up with."

    "We are aware of the AFK farm exploit in SW:BF2 and are working on a fix."

    "It's all because those ****** youtubers, the best way to earn credits is to play HvS and do nothing, they destroyed my favorite game mode, you get sometimes 2 guys, who do nothing, how are you supposed to win a match with those ****? It's a joke, to start a game and not playing it, just because of credits. EA/Dice people who do nothing, should get nothing or be kicked out of the match, the only solution for those ****!"

    "If I may pop in on this, a few things:

    » Killing AFK farmers is assisting them, because each time they die, they are getting 100 Credits. You are literally helping them by killing these AFK farmers, I think that is what duvelsuper was alluding to.

    » An exploit is an unfair advantage, one that not everyone can have. This is not the same as "taking advantage of their behaviour", because anyone can outsmart someone else; but taking advantage of someone that is not even at their keyboard (the definition of "AFK") is something not only uncommmon, it is something that is "unfair" (sort of like hitting someone when they cannot defend against it). This makes the killer of someone unable (literally unable to defend themselves), the 'exploiter of exploiters', as it were.

    » Your third conceptual ("another thing") is answered by the second point, above: it is not fair, hence wrong. (Note that there is a difference between an AFK player being a Target/Objective assigned randomly by the game, and an AFK player 'being AFK' and shooting at a wall getting killed repeatedly by someone knowing they are killing an AFK player easily)

    [Note that these three points are merely clarifications on the points I believe the above posters were trying to make. They are not necessarily concepts that I adhere to personally. I am just trying to help by clarifying concepts for those following (and answer your queries, to some extent)]"

    Done with Battlefront

    https://battlefront-forums.ea.com/discussion/87081/done-with-battlefront

    "Whitefly425_ December 2, 2017 6:28AM
    I bought this game for the promise of a great campaign. Instead I got 4.5 hours of story telling that was about as deep as the Battlefront 2015 single player modes. Star Wars is not a difficult concept. Most people love the stories, characters and the adventures in a casual and accessible way. That’s why the movies are successful. All that I was looking forward to was a 40+ hour campaign with a great story, meaningful collectibles and full emersion into the Star Wars universe through the holiday season, plus a great lead up to The Last Jedi.

    So now that the story is over I’m left with multiplayer, which has become a time consuming race to collect meaningless parts and pieces just to compete. Battlefront 2015 multiplayer was great. It was easy to understand and everyone started each match equally. The only thing you could save up for were new skins and emotes, simple and fantastic. This new multiplayer is overly complicated and ridiculous...and it didn’t have to be. I just don’t have the time or energy any more to collect crafting parts and credits to change colors on star cards and “unlock” heroes that are essential to the Star Wars experience and should be open from the beginning.

    Then there’s the arcade mode which feels incomplete and an after thought. It’s like it was thrown in at the last minute with no thought or care. Battlefront 2015 had a skirmish mode. Although it was added late to the game it had walker assault and a star fighter mode which were great to get your Star Wars fix for the day.

    To conclude I wish the game had reached my expectations. The graphics and sound are amazing, but that’s all I can say about it. Beyond that it seems to be yet another shallow, competitive, exploitative and anxiety driven experience. I realize that multiplayer/service based/micro transaction games are the future but this game was the final straw for me. I forgave EA for wrecking Mass Effect, but this is Star Wars. I hope everyone who enjoys the game continues on and has many great experiences, but for me I’m done after only three weeks..."
    Yup, the game looks like a blast :)

    Retailers are already starting to panic, nobody is buying the game:

    Star Wars Battlefront 2 (PS4/XBO) will be $39.99 at Target starting this coming Sunday 12/3
    https://battlefront-forums.ea.com/d...l-be-39-99-starting-this-sunday-at-target-usa
    https://twitter.com/wario64/status/935964167072129024

    "Michael Holiday‏ @formalcloud Nov 29
    Replying to @Wario64
    That's a crazy discount for a game that has been out for two weeks."
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2017
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  2. hmscott

    hmscott Notebook Nobel Laureate

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  3. Atma

    Atma Notebook Evangelist

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    I missed this last week. Maybe the whole industry will take note. https://www.cnbc.com/2017/11/29/video-game-stocks-drop-as-wall-street-debates-industry-future.html

    "Activision Blizzard, Electronic Arts and Take-Two shares all fell 6 percent, 3.6 percent and 4.1 percent, respectively, Wednesday as investor concerns mount on the issue."
     
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  4. hmscott

    hmscott Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    If you look at ATVI and TTWO, they've both had a great 52 week run up in value, so it might also be EOY profit taking per usual. EA as well. PMAE - Pretty much any excuse, to take a profit :)
     
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  5. hmscott

    hmscott Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    EA is gonna have a lot of re-coding and game re-design to fix this before release:

    EA SPORTS UFC 3 - The Single Most Egregious Implementation of Microtransactions to Date
    November 29, 2017
    https://www.astutegaming.com/single-post/EASPORTSUFC3BETA
    "Over the past few days EA opened the floodgates and sent out beta invitations for select players to test out the latest iteration in MMA video games, EA Sports UFC 3. Boasting a plethora of supposed improvements over earlier releases, UFC 3 primarily aims to elevate the sophistication of the animation systems in play, subsequently improving the fluidity and seamlessness of the many aspects of MMA on display. In reality, the many new animations and overhauled gameplay systems feel incredibly detrimental to the fighting experience overall and the unflinching reliability upon microtransactions may be the most absurd and disgraceful implementation in contemporary gaming,
    a new low for EA, hot off the heels of the Battlefront 2 crisis."
    Whilst EA Sports UFC 2 featured many similar microtransaction mechanics, it truly feels as though the online competition has reached a new level of inconsequence. Bear in mind that the microtransactions and all systems in effect, are part of a beta test. Despite this, it is equally significant to consider that the release date of February 2nd is looming ever closer, thus, it may be too late for drastic changes to be effectively implemented.

    With this knowledge in mind, UFC 3 promotes an incredibly unhealthy online culture of expenses, wherein, the more a player invests into their account the better their performance will be in game. Certainly, an argument can be made for individual skill and barriers of entry negating newcomers from dismantling veterans of the series in online battle, these arguments go out the window however, when the game is so overtly littered with microtransactions to the extent that the very core of the experience is hindered. The fundamentals, striking, grappling and submissions, can all be significantly improved with the purchase of rare boosters, acquired solely through loot crates. These loot crates don’t just contain different techniques or abilities, they promote maneuvers that outright boost player statistics in moment to moment competition.

    Every single technique, ability, fighter, and stat roll, is entirely acquired and upgraded through the loot box system. A brand-new player fresh out of the tutorials, can dump $1,000 into the game, acquire the rarest loot drops and immediately jump into online competition with a beastly custom fighter that has an exceedingly large health pool, vastly improved endurance, and substantially stronger strikes than the average player who simply pays the $60 price of admission. The higher the rarity of the item, the more significant the improvement overall. Pressing the square button to throw a punch at an opponent, quite literally the simplest and most obvious mechanic in an MMA game, perfectly exemplifies the absurdity of the microtransactions in question. A base level jab will do minimal damage to online opponents, however a fighter that purchases a loot box and acquires a five-star rarity level jab, will not only have a more efficient and powerful technique in combat, but will also be treated to a host of stat increases in all regards, making their player undeniably better in every scenario.

    Furthermore, UFC 3’s Ultimate Team mode has added the ability for players to unlock real fighters and use them as part of their group online. Yet again this system Is bogged down by the implications of microtransactions as the rarer fighters have the higher base-level statistics and will outright perform better.
    This is yet another example of detestable game design practices on behalf of EA.
    Microtransactions are also the only means of acquiring perks and boosts. Perks are powerful abilities that can be equipped for a small number of fights before expiring. They can range from a low-level stamina improvement during a certain phase, whether that be striking, grappling or ground game, to a significant hit point increase during pivotal health events, wherein your opponent has damaged you enough to potentially end the fight. Boosts on the other hand are similarly temporary enhancements that offer endurance boosts and durability bonuses. It is clear to see that in combination with technique enhancements and overall stat increases, EA has taken every single aspect of genuine competition and buried it.

    Onto the actual gameplay itself, shifting away from the faster pace of previous iterations, UFC 3 feels incredibly clunky and inauthentic. Distance control used to be a key element of battle, however with player movement speeds seemingly doubled it is nearly impossible to land a flurry of consecutive strikes. The blocking system has been changed for the worse as counters are no longer even a function and absorbing strikes consumes a very minor amount of health, recharging to full health in a matter of seconds. This new system severely impacts arguably the primary reason audiences want to engage with UFC 3 in the first place, to knock one another out. The knockout system in this iteration is bogged down by the health regeneration systems at play. In the heat of the moment, landing a one-punch knockout is an unobtainable accomplishment as players must be dropped to the ground numerous times before a knock out blow can be delivered now. Whilst in theory this should limit the annoyance that comes from being knocked out of a fight rather early, it also feels unauthentic and slows down the pace of fights quite drastically, leading to boring exchanges in the pocket with no real payoff.

    On top of this, the input delay is humorously bad this time around, an issue that was all but resolved with UFC 2. Countless times in my few hours of playing did I attempt to strike three or four times to the head, block, then strike two or three times to the body. Whilst this would have been a relatively simple engagement in the past, it now takes an absurd amount of time for these actions to register in game. Players could input their commands, put the controller down for a few seconds whilst they check Twitter, come back to the game and their fighter will still be mid-way through the sequence.
    No hyperbole, it is genuinely that bad. These concerns are only further exaggerated in online play.
    The AI systems appear to be a downgrade from years prior as well. Not that they were anything remarkable in UFC 2, however opponents would at least attempt to play to their strengths, set up various counter-attacks and actually offer some real dilemmas. Unfortunately, the AI in UFC 3 typically stand in front of you and repeatedly engage in the same simple combinations of strikes, barely altering their timing in between sequences. Perhaps just a glitch but during my time I also noticed that it was quite literally impossible to land any form of body kick on an AI opponent. Regardless of their stamina, health, or timing, the opponent would grab my kick and throw a straight right to my dome without fail.

    Another gripe arises when focusing on UFC 3’s commentary systems. Jon Anik is introduced here for the first time and for the most part, his delivery is unrivaled. Detailing a character’s backstory and recent performances as they make the walk to the octagon feels just as dynamic and genuine as when Anik is cage side for the biggest spectacles of them all. The same can not be said for Joe Rogan this time around however. In all honesty it appears as though EA thought they could get away with not recording fresh voice lines with Rogan. He rarely interjects during moment to moment combat, his delivery is incredibly robotic and the audio is of a noticeably different recording quality to that of Anik, something that is truly off-putting during a fight.
    Ultimately, UFC 3 feels like an embarrassing step back for EA Sports as nearly every mechanic has been subject to alteration so that microtransactions can slide in. In lieu of recent controversy surrounding EA’s Star Wars Battlefront 2, one can only hope that the MMA gaming community rallies their efforts in a similar fashion to change UFC 3 for the better.

    I was excited for the beta and considered UFC 3 to be an obvious purchase for any die-hard MMA fan. After having played for only a few hours however, I can safely say that UFC 3 is not worth the price of admission, let alone the considerable amount more that players will need to spend to be competitive online.
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2017
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  6. HTWingNut

    HTWingNut Potato

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  7. Atma

    Atma Notebook Evangelist

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    Was watching the awards stream on steam last night. That was pretty funny.
     
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  8. thegh0sts

    thegh0sts Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    after 3-4 games of galatic assault I pretty much just uninstalled the game and I am not even going to bother finishing the single player campaign.
     
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  9. hmscott

    hmscott Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    EA May Permanently Dump Battlefront II Microtransactions
    December 8, 2017 at 10:47 am
    https://www.extremetech.com/gaming/...ont-ii-microtransactions-loot-box-legislation

    "EA’s entire corporate response to the Battlefront II controversy should be taught in future marketing and corporate communication classes as an example of how to never handle a problem.

    The company ignored increasingly angry player feedback, poor reviews, and mathematical analysis of its own microtransaction-fueled, pay-to-win progression system.

    Even to remove MTX just hours before the game launched was reportedly driven by a phone call from Disney, as opposed to EA CFO Blake Jorgensen realizing the Death Star’s shields were still up.

    But now, at last, an inkling of self-awareness has penetrated the corporate mothership."

    "Meanwhile, At the Hall of Justice in Hawaii
    During the fracas, Hawaii state legislator Chris Lee made waves when he declared that loot crate mechanics constituted gambling and used predatory practices. In the video below, Lee lays out his ideas for limiting the proliferation of loot crate mechanics, which use exactly the same reward system (variable ratio reward) as roulette, slot machines, and the lottery.

    Lee proposes that the sale of these games be limited to individuals 21 years of age or older, that qualifying titles would be games that sold a percentage chance to acquire an item rather than simply buying the item for a set amount of money, and that the rules would apply to games sold both in stores and online. (Games sold digitally don’t have to concern themselves with an ESRB rating.) Lee also proposes that game publishers be prohibited from adjusting your chance of winning a particular item invisibly without telling you about it (this is sometimes called a “pity timer,”) and wants to force game publishers to disclose what the chances of winning a given item or items from a loot crate actually are.As PCGamer , China began requiring precisely this type of disclosure earlier this year."

    Next steps: What you can do to fix the gaming industry

    Published on Dec 5, 2017
    Chris Lee

    "If you want predatory gaming practices to change, join us and spend a few minutes to take action:

    1. Take 5 minutes to write to one or more of your elected officials: Governor, State Legislators, Mayor, and City Council members. Their email addresses can be found online.

    2. Ask them to consider taking action to protect local families and particularly underage youth from predatory gaming practices. Tell your story in your own words or feel free to use or build on this example letter to get going: http://textuploader.com/dqn4s

    3. Connect a link to a news article about this issue to add an additional perspective, and thank them for listening. That's it!

    Predatory gaming companies are waiting for people to quiet down. Don’t let that happen. Speak out and help us change the gaming industry for the better."

    Star Wars Battlefront 2 - Loot Crate Update! Microtransactions NOT Coming Back?
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2017
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  10. JRE84

    JRE84 Notebook Consultant

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    You do realize it's a stinking game. It's a game nothing more nothing less
     
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