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Old 11-13-17, 09:52 PM   #151
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Re: Star Wars Battlefront II... it's happening, not that you ever doubted it

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Originally Posted by rocketsauce View Post
so, these characters are only MP playable, correct?

anyway, mediocre reviews thus far. little disappointing, but i liked what i played so that is what matters most...

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Old 11-14-17, 01:07 AM   #152
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Re: Star Wars Battlefront II... it's happening, not that you ever doubted it

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Awesome news. Perhaps I’ll pick it up this week after all.

Really interesting to see how all the players banded together. Well except lopper who was acting like a whore
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Old 11-14-17, 05:35 AM   #153
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Re: Star Wars Battlefront II... it's happening, not that you ever doubted it

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I am reading that they also dropped rewards by 75%.
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Old 11-14-17, 07:22 AM   #154
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Re: Star Wars Battlefront II... it's happening, not that you ever doubted it

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I am reading that they also dropped rewards by 75%.
The only rewards that changed were the campaign awards. When you beat campaign, they give you enough points to buy Iden. Since the price of Iden dropped, so did those campaign awards. This was as of last night though, so I may have old information.
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Old 11-14-17, 08:57 AM   #155
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Re: Star Wars Battlefront II... it's happening, not that you ever doubted it

I hope this won't be an issue when I go to Best Buy today and pick up the Deluxe Pre-order.......but I cannot find my recipe nor any email about the pre-order which I got in the past. The only thing I have is a email giving me the code for the Beta saying thank you for purchasing Star Wars Battlefront II..
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Old 11-14-17, 11:44 AM   #156
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Re: Star Wars Battlefront II... it's happening, not that you ever doubted it

I was going to do a last minute pre order or buy this at release, but after this bullshit I’m going to wait till it’s on mega sale with all the extra content bundled in. Fuck these publishers.
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Old 11-14-17, 11:46 AM   #157
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Re: Star Wars Battlefront II... it's happening, not that you ever doubted it

I really wish people wouldn't support this game at all. In response to players canceling their preorders, EA removed the refund button and made people talk to CS with over hour waits.

Also, it's still estimated it will be 20 hours of play time to unlock both Vader and Luke, and that's assuming you don't buy other rewards. Please look at the currency system as described on Ars. It is a convoluted mess and it absolutely IS now a pay to win title.

https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2017/...t-iis-economy/

Before we deliver a proper verdict for Star Wars: Battlefront II, we want to take a moment to talk about the game's troubling, multilayered economy. The online multiplayer shooter is now officially available for paying EA Access subscribers, which offers a 10-hour trial of the game ahead of its November 16 launch on PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4.

Fans are already biting into that game-economy burrito, and it sure seems like a seven-layer thing, made up of loot boxes, battle points, credits, crystals, crafting parts, and star cards (which themselves come in two types and four tiers). The whole thing already looks confusing and messy, and fans have pointed out major issues with how the economy debuted in the game's paid EA Access launch this weekend.

EA has since responded to fans' most heated complaints, both in ridiculous and seemingly sensible ways. But even EA's best response belies a glaring truth: nothing short of a full rewrite will undo the damage of real money to Battlefront II's gameplay mechanics.

Cards, tiers, credits, boxes, crafting parts...

Before we get to the rage and EA's public response, let's start by making sense of this game's economy. Sit in a comfortable chair and maybe make a nice cup of tea or coffee. This will take a minute.

Pretty much every major online shooter from the past decade has tried to keep players hooked with some sort of "progression" system. This practice was arguably popularized in Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, which rewarded players with new gameplay options the more (and better) they played. BFII has a few progression systems, and the first comes in the form of Star Cards.

The idea: every character, ship, "hero," and machine in the game—35 in all—has three card slots, and players can slap bonuses into each slot so long as they unlock specific Star Cards for that specific unit. Want your assault-class soldier to enjoy reduced recharge times for special abilities or swap out its default grenade for a grenade launcher? Should you get the corresponding card, you can slap that bonus into one of the unit's open slots. (If you get more Star Cards, you can freely switch them around; they aren't permanently spent.)

How do you get Star Cards? The most direct way is to use a particular character or class until you complete a milestone. Kill 50 enemies using grenades, for example, and you'll receive a "thermal detonator crate." This path requires being particularly good with a certain character or maneuver, however, and if you find any requirement difficult, or just plain annoying, Battlefront II offers the alternate, roundabout path of loot boxes (which the game calls "crates").

BFII's loot boxes contain a variety of contents (including other currencies) and can be purchased in multiple ways. You can purchase loot boxes with "credits," which are primarily earned by playing the game but are also given out if a loot box contains a duplicate card. (This, of course, is in place of EA and DICE simply prohibiting duplicate items from appearing.) You can also purchase loot boxes with "crystals," which can only be purchased with real-world money.

You'll find the following inside of BFII's loot boxes: Star Cards, those Star Cards' higher "tier" upgrades, credits, "crafting parts," weapons, outfits, emotes, and victory poses.

By the way: instead of waiting for your dream Star Card's base version or "tier" upgrade to appear, you can spend the aforementioned crafting parts—which are either awarded via select milestones or given out in loot boxes—to make and upgrade exactly what you want. This partially addresses a major loot box issue of making players rely on random chance to get major in-game options.

However, crafting parts are slow to earn, both in loot boxes and via milestones, and they can't be used to unlock other parts of the game. To unlock new weapons for each class, you must either complete specific milestones or hope the weapons appear in loot crates. For specific, high-level heroes, like Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader, you can only get them by spending credits, not with crystals or crafting parts. Again, you can either earn credits slowly in the course of normal play, or buy so many loot crates with cash that more credits appear in place of duplicate Star Cards.

Buying your way to instant power

Are you still with me? Rather than narrow all of this down to a single currency or unlock model, EA has already created this bonkers schism of multiple currencies and progressions and what each can and cannot do. It only gets worse from here.

Look at how much better that regeneration stat gets as you crank up this Star Card's tier.
Having more slots just makes you more powerful, period.
And those tier-4 Star Cards only compound the sheer strength you can reach very quickly by simply buying a ton of loot boxes with real cash.

Again, you can slot up to three Star Cards on a particular class, but you only get one Star Card slot per class at the outset. To attach more Star Cards to a class, you have to unlock and craft cards to reach a high enough "card level" for each class. Each Star Card counts as a card level point; each card's tier adds another point. So, three tier-1 cards and a tier-3 card count as six points... so long as all of those cards are for the same class. You'll need five points per class to unlock your second card slot and another five points per class for its third card slot.

You'll receive roughly 4.5 cards per loot box, by the way, and not all of these will be Star Cards, since they're sometimes full of credits, crafting parts, outfits, and other cosmetics. If you pre-order the game or buy a "starter" card pack, you can expect some card packs at the outset, but this is still quite the grind to get all three slots unlocked, let alone pack them with valuable, higher-tier cards.

The performance divide between "only one low-tier Star Card" and "three souped-up Star Cards" can be substantial. Star Cards let you do things like speed up health recovery, reduce damage taken, increase damage output, and upgrade special abilities. Plus, each card can be enhanced by jumping up to a new "tier" (represented by blue, green, and purple colors, à la World Of WarCraft item ranks). You can either luck into higher tiers via loot box earnings or craft them with those crafting parts, which exist primarily in loot boxes. There is one incredibly fast way to rack up Star Cards, bump their tiers, and get that all-important number-of-slots upgrade for the class you love, and it's by paying out for loot boxes.

The first problem with this whole system is that it affords more performance bonuses to anybody who either spends time or money. Compare that to series like Call of Duty or Battlefield. In those games, more experienced players can unlock a variety of weapons, items, and perks, but generally, they add gameplay styles, not mathematical advantages. But every single Star Card and every bump in a Star Card's tier only adds boosts to each class' default loadout, with only a few of these fairer, "mathematically equivalent" unlockables. So long as BFII's starting players all suffer with fewer slots and lower-tier cards—and so long as many of the most noticeable boosts can be paid for with nary a minute of gameplay—the performance divide is spoiled.

Let's add another complication. Just like in 2015's Star Wars: Battlefront, you can use in-match "battle points" (BP) to get access to a high-level hero. During a match, you earn BP by killing foes, completing objectives, and doing other mode-specific tasks. These BP must be spent by the end of the match, and you spend them to respawn as a recognizable, super-powered hero—like, say, Darth Maul or Yoda—for one life.

However, some of the most recognizable and powerful "hero" characters, like Darth Vader, Boba Fett, Leia Organa, and Luke Skywalker, cannot be accessed at all without permanently spending a lot of the game's "credits" currency. The game's original ask for Luke and Vader was shelf-clearingly insane: 60,000 credits each. One Reddit user's analysis estimated nearly 40 hours of standard gameplay to earn that many credits—and that count includes milestone-related credits and choosing not to spend credits on loot boxes. Grinding players with Vader on their mind can't even dip their toes into that all-important Star Card system.

Should you opt to spend your credits on loot boxes instead of higher-level heroes, by the way, you may very well earn Star Cards for those locked-up heroes, and you can't trade those cards in for other currencies. They'll just be sitting there, taunting you until you pay up for the heroes in question. (You cannot unlock these high-credit heroes themselves with random loot box Star Cards.)

Way to bring “armchair” back

EA responded in a few ways, and the first was mind-bogglingly out of touch: a response from a EA community manager on Sunday that simply read, "The armchair developers on the Internet." The offending tweet has since been deleted, but Reddit's major BFII community now includes a "flair" option that reads "armchair developer." It's already proving pretty popular. One fan in particular outed himself as a developer and developed an auto-playing script as both an eff-you to the line and a commentary on EA's design decision.

The company's longer response on the aforementioned Reddit thread was quite possibly more alarming. After mentioning a goal of adjusting and fine-tuning currency and economy counts based on how the community plays the game, an EA representative added, "The intent is to provide players with a sense of pride and accomplishment for unlocking different heroes." The community almost immediately jumped down EA's throats for this line, and not only by downvoting the comment into negative-number oblivion.

One angry fan bemoaned the insane imbalance between saving credits to spend on a single, popular character and spending them on seemingly required loot boxes. After describing the amount of time he already has to devote to real-life obligations like work and family, he said, "I shouldn't require a sense of pride and accomplishment to play as a hallmark character in my favorite franchise." Another commenter cut right through some currency confusion to make a point: "This is a joke, right? You have the same currency tied to unlocking crates as you do to unlocking heroes."

One day later, EA announced a "credit price" drop for its biggest heroes, particularly Vader and Luke, who each dropped to 15,000 in-game credits. The company did not address whether the average credit-climb would go any faster, however, which may mean they each now require approximately 10 hours of gameplay to unlock. Which, for primary heroes already on the disc and expected by fans, is quite a bit of time to devote solely to those unlocks and not to any other seemingly necessary consumables like loot boxes.

I previously pointed to a change that came as a result of the game's beta-test period. The game's highest-tier Star Cards can no longer be randomly gained in loot boxes, and they aren't available for crafting until a player reaches a certain experience level. What I have since realized is that this change isn't enough. It doesn't take much play to reach the corresponding level, and even before that point, you can still buy your way to a suite of powerful tier-three bonuses.

Can we flatten?

We'll have more on the game's polish and battling in a review. So far, it's running mostly silky smooth on Xbox One X in near-4K resolution.
Enlarge / We'll have more on the game's polish and battling in a review. So far, it's running mostly silky smooth on Xbox One X in near-4K resolution.
What, really, can EA and DICE do at this point? It's hard to say. I feel more confused, not less, having typed this entire explanation out, and I don't look at the progress I've made thus far in the game's EA Access period with any sense of pride or accomplishment. I just have a scant number of Star Cards unlocked, spread fruitlessly along a ton of classes, along with an uneasy feeling that choosing to buy loot boxes means I'm down a bunch of valuable credits, and thus, another few hours away from getting to play as Luke Skywalker.

The only exception is the tier-3 and tier-4 stuff I've unlocked... which I got because my copy of the game included pre-order and special-edition codes. These popped up with zero play with the classes and heroes in question.

Without upending the entire game, the first solution, as far as I'm concerned, is a flattening of the Star Cards' impact. At the moment players boot the game, give them all three Star Card slots for every class, along with a pre-determined Tier-4 Star Card to slap into each of them. This way, like in every other shooter game that doesn't suck, players all start at nearly the top of the mathematical possibilities, and they can dig further to earn, customize, and tweak their favorite classes' and heroes' loadouts. More importantly, this entire tier system, which rewards true mathematical bonuses either for playing or for paying, is a hot, wet fart of an idea and should go right into the toilet.

From there, EA could flatten the currencies so that players earn and spend one thing for every aspect of the game. If you want to nickel and dime players over a long span of time, don't split up their purchase potential. This is a well-known trick to get players stuck on the bean-counting half of a free-to-play game. We don't pay $60 to walk into that mess.

I'm not against having extra hero characters be unlocked by an in-game progression system, and flattening currencies would help with this issue. Fighting games like Street Fighter V and Killer Instinct have experimented with added characters that can either be bought or earned, and so long as the path toward each end of the unlock spectrum is made clear, that's acceptable. You're either paying with money or with keeping the game's servers populated, which are both valuable for an online game. But as other, bigger Star Wars nerds have already pointed out, charging full retail price for a "classic, all-universes" Star Wars battling game and then putting the series' most beloved characters behind a confusing paywall is the Darkest of Dark Side moves.

Assuming EA does not take my sage advice in redeeming BFII's economy, this will likely serve as another example of a publisher trying to convince fans that paying $60 for a game isn't enough. Rather than demand up-front price increases or subscription fees, however, EA seems committed to squeezing a few more bucks out of players in unsavory ways: mixed currencies and dopamine-filled, random-item loot boxes. But EA has an uphill battle to climb in terms of convincing anybody that these economies, should they not be flattened to an acceptable degree, are worth anybody's money. Ideally, by paying more than $60 per copy, we're puffing up a game's lifespan. That's money that can go into, say, more levels, characters, and modes. After all, unlike the last Battlefront game, there will be no season pass charge to divide the playerbase (which is one reason that game's primary servers quickly turned into ghost towns).

But what's the guarantee that BFII really lives all that long or delivers so much content? We're only two years out from the last Battlefront entry. It's hard to believe that BFII won't see a successor perfectly timed for the launch of Star Wars Episode IX or, heck, a next-gen gaming console. We also have to trust EA and DICE's word about responding to player feedback and keeping fans busy with fresh content that's worthy of further dives into various economies, both paid and earned.

That's a word that we're already unsure of thanks to this week's total misunderstanding of what gamers and series fans are mad about. There may be a fun and polished game in here, but right now, it sure seems to be breathing heavily through an unattractive, black mask.
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Old 11-14-17, 11:48 AM   #158
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Re: Star Wars Battlefront II... it's happening, not that you ever doubted it

Also concerning was the comment that one poster made:

I was watching a guy play on twitch last night. He was doing missions. After five successful missions, he received the message "You have to wait 3 hours to be able to earn credits again".

In other word, buy crates to be able to continue progression in the game or wait 3 hours you peasant.

This is worse than a free to play mobile game. ROFL
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Old 11-14-17, 11:56 AM   #159
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Re: Star Wars Battlefront II... it's happening, not that you ever doubted it

They are absolutely scrambling right now to save their assess before the review scores start to impact the Metacritic score. So even if they make changes right now, they can always "tweek" them later on in their favor after review scores are finalized so the scores won't change. It's loud and clear they want people to pay for loot boxes or they wouldn't have laid the groundwork to this extreme in the first place. This became an easy rental for me. No way would I pay to support this trash.
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Old 11-14-17, 11:59 AM   #160
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Re: Star Wars Battlefront II... it's happening, not that you ever doubted it

What a clusterfuck. All I wanted was a solid single-player campaign, and being that it's only 5 hours long, I'd pay $30 for it - but now, I won't even bother with that. I think this over-reach of crates and similar bullshit from publishers is finally starting to bite them in the ass.
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Old 11-14-17, 12:13 PM   #161
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Re: Star Wars Battlefront II... it's happening, not that you ever doubted it

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What a clusterfuck. All I wanted was a solid single-player campaign, and being that it's only 5 hours long, I'd pay $30 for it - but now, I won't even bother with that. I think this over-reach of crates and similar bullshit from publishers is finally starting to bite them in the ass.
If it’s only 5 hours can you just play SP from the ten hour demo EA Access?
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Old 11-14-17, 12:20 PM   #162
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Re: Star Wars Battlefront II... it's happening, not that you ever doubted it

Why in the fuck would I want to pay for EA access for one game? (as it would literally be just this one game)
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Old 11-14-17, 12:23 PM   #163
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Re: Star Wars Battlefront II... it's happening, not that you ever doubted it

I feel bad for supporting this game but it is a Christmas present for my son. He doesn't give a shit about unlocking everyone and only plays casually, so I can live with the bullshit. I feel dirty buying it and supporting EA's bullshit, but my kid doesn't know or care about it. Sort of stuck in the middle here.
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Old 11-14-17, 12:27 PM   #164
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Re: Star Wars Battlefront II... it's happening, not that you ever doubted it

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Originally Posted by spainlinx0 View Post
Also concerning was the comment that one poster made:

I was watching a guy play on twitch last night. He was doing missions. After five successful missions, he received the message "You have to wait 3 hours to be able to earn credits again".

In other word, buy crates to be able to continue progression in the game or wait 3 hours you peasant.

This is worse than a free to play mobile game. ROFL
Yeah, Andrew Reiner of Game Informer posted on twitter about that this morning and showed a screencap of his screen. It told him he would have more credits available to earn in 14 hours. So the amount of time you have to wait goes up at some point, apparently.


I still can't believe they disabled the online refund option to force people to call. It's insane and just adds to the already large shit storm over this game. Whoever thought that was a good move probably won't have their job for much longer.

EA has a reddit AMA coming up tomorrow. I can't wait to see how that goes, if it doesn't end up cancelled now.


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Old 11-14-17, 12:50 PM   #165
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Re: Star Wars Battlefront II... it's happening, not that you ever doubted it

Wow, I had no idea about the wait to earn credits thing. Fuck this game, fuck EA. I would have bought it down the road but now I’m out entirely. It just sucks that EA has the Star Wars license. I want to play SW games, but I’m done giving EA any money.
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Old 11-14-17, 01:04 PM   #166
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Re: Star Wars Battlefront II... it's happening, not that you ever doubted it

Yeah, I enjoyed the beta and was planning on getting this. I buy full-priced games so rarely that I was even willing to do that.

But this is some next-level fuckery here. Those heroes should not be "locked" at all, but merely available as killstreak rewards when you get to that level.

I am a decent FPS player but I rarely get huge killstreaks so I can never call the fun stuff down in COD and the like. But in the beta I got a few chances to play with the heroes - enough to encourage me to play again to keep getting those chances.

But I guess they aren't getting that extra money from players like me. I'll wait until it's in the bargain bin. Great job EA
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Old 11-14-17, 01:15 PM   #167
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Re: Star Wars Battlefront II... it's happening, not that you ever doubted it

Tomorrow is going to be a reddit AMA. Hoping for some more information to come out then but I doubt it. With all the waiting to earn credits, credit amount not tied to performance and super high cost of a trooper crate (seriously 4k credits for one crate?), I'm skipping this release for now. There are too many other great games out there to have to put up with this free to play bullshit.
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Old 11-14-17, 01:20 PM   #168
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Re: Star Wars Battlefront II... it's happening, not that you ever doubted it

Any new information is damage control. This has been building for a long time. It all started with GTA Online and their shark card bullshit. That's how they make the majority of their money. The only way to turn this back is to boycott these games completely, but it's unlikely to have any effect. All they need is a few whales to make it worth it.
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Old 11-14-17, 01:21 PM   #169
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Re: Star Wars Battlefront II... it's happening, not that you ever doubted it

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It just sucks that EA has the Star Wars license. I want to play SW games, but I’m done giving EA any money.
And on top of that knowing that the Amy Hennig SW game is gone now too

I know that game sounded like it had it's own issues to overcome, but I think it reflects the direction they are going.
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Old 11-14-17, 01:26 PM   #170
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Re: Star Wars Battlefront II... it's happening, not that you ever doubted it

So I'm pretty pissed. Best Buy (actually UPS) delivered by deluxe edition to somebody about 20 minutes away. UPS isn't allowed to do their job and "make a claim" so I had to work thru Best Buy. BB is taking the high road and shipping me a new game, but I'm still pretty frustrated. I'll opt for in store pick-up next time.
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Old 11-14-17, 01:31 PM   #171
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Re: Star Wars Battlefront II... it's happening, not that you ever doubted it

Was deluxe edition released earlier? Thought release date wasn't until the 17th.
Edit: Just saw deluxe does come out today with standard on Friday. Man that is fucked up.
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Old 11-14-17, 01:32 PM   #172
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Re: Star Wars Battlefront II... it's happening, not that you ever doubted it

Yeah, the deluxe went live yesterday. Another attempt to money grab from EA; making people up-buy to play "early".
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Old 11-14-17, 01:46 PM   #173
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Re: Star Wars Battlefront II... it's happening, not that you ever doubted it

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Originally Posted by mhg83 View Post
If it’s only 5 hours can you just play SP from the ten hour demo EA Access?
They probably limit to two levels or something. Haven't tried yet.
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Old 11-14-17, 01:52 PM   #174
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Re: Star Wars Battlefront II... it's happening, not that you ever doubted it

I guess other companies do the same thing via digital early access, but seems crazy to have physical copies with different release dates.
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Old 11-14-17, 01:52 PM   #175
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Re: Star Wars Battlefront II... it's happening, not that you ever doubted it

I'm still playing the trial and love the game, but the shenanigans behind the scenes definitely made this a a must buy to "pick up for $20 or less later" title. I ended up buying LA Noire Remastered last night and definitely don't feel bad about my decision to pass on this for now.
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