Star Wars Battlefront 2 (opens in new tab) is rethinking its approach to player progression and loot boxes. EA made some quick assurances (opens in new tab) that it had heard the negative fan feedback after the beta ended (opens in new tab) earlier in October, and it followed up on them today with a broad look (opens in new tab) at how the full game's systems will differ compared to what players already tried out.
The TL;DR of the changes is that key items have been removed from loot boxes and made into rewards for playing and gaining ranks; either by simply giving you the item in question, or by requiring you to reach a certain rank before you can craft it. Here's how Battlefront 2 will make that happen.
Loot boxes are no longer your main source for weapons
Battlefront 2 is a shooter, so the guns are a pretty big deal. The beta version of the game saw weapons randomly handed out just like any other kind of loot, prompting concerns about both lack of progression and big advantages for players who spend extra cash. In the full version of the game, you'll earn new weapons for a class in the process of playing that class. However, EA does say "a select few" weapons will still be available in boxes.
You'll get more rewards for playing the classes you like
You're playing an Assault and having a great time, you earn a loot box and open it up, and… it's full of rewards for Specialists. Bummer. This might still happen for general loot box rewards, but you're guaranteed to get gear that's more relevant to your interests via class-specific boxes that are awarded for hitting certain milestones.
The best Star Cards are no longer in boxes
All of Star Wars Battlefront 2's abilities and customizations come in the form of Star Cards. You can see how just handing out the best Star Cards via random chance could lead to some frustration. EA says the only way to get these super-good items in the full version of the game will be to craft them (with the exception of certain reward boxes for pre-orders, special editions, and other stuff like that).
Crafting Star Cards will be rank-limited too
Spend a bunch of money on loot boxes so you're sitting on a hefty pile of crafting materials? Congrats, you'll still need to play for a while to unlock the ability to craft nicer Star Cards. You may get lucky and find a high-quality Star Card in a loot box, of course, but it won't be the best version of that card (as established above).
These changes are coming in kinda hot, since the game is only a few weeks away from release. Hopefully the system doesn't end up feeling compromised in other ways. In any case, EA has pledged to keep supporting the game with free new content after Star Wars Battlefront 2 (opens in new tab) is released on November 17 - no season passes here.