In the days leading up to the release of Star Wars Battlefront II, it was clear EA wasn’t going to have a smooth launch. On paper, Battlefront II looked like the right sequel to the divisive DICE reboot, but that was quickly forgotten in the face of the microtransaction controversy surrounding loot crates.
While EA turned-off the microtransactions just before the game launched, progression is still very much tied to loot crates. Still, you can’t buy those loot crates anymore, so it’s not pay-to-win, right? Well, that’s not technically true. If you own the standard edition of Star Wars Battlefront II, you can pay an extra $29.99 to bump it up to the deluxe edition. If you’ve yet to buy the game, you can buy the deluxe edition outright for $109.99, instead of $89.99 for the standard edition.
By the way, the deluxe edition is listed as the “most popular” on the Origin store. This is likely because of the more traditional pay-to-win advantages you get in the deluxe edition compared to the muddied RNG waters of the pay-to-loot system (which was temporarily active prior to launch). When I was reviewing the game for PC PowerPlay magazine (check out the next issue for my full thoughts), I couldn’t get my head around why almost every death was accompanied by a killcam view of an enemy player that had purple cards (especially when I was playing just before release). It didn’t make any sense, given the purple Star Cards are the ones that are supposed to be the hardest to get.
On top of this, I was being smoked by certain blasters that are supposed to be hidden behind a 200-kill gate, per class. When I investigated into why this was happening, I discovered the fixed perks (no luck required!) of the deluxe edition. Check this out. Even though they come in the form of loot crates, you’re guaranteed unlocks for the four trooper classes: Officer, Heavy, Assault, and Specialist.
These include the second unlockable blaster for each class—the one that otherwise takes 200 kills, per class, to score—and a single attachment for those blasters, which normally takes additional kills with that specific blaster to unlock. You also get a purple card per class, which is the highest rarity, and also puts you closer to unlocking your second Star Card customisation slot (class rank is determined by Star Card unlocks and their rarity).
I could take or leave the Officer and Specialist blaster unlocks, but that’s likely because I’m not a big fan of those classes. That said, the epic Trip Mine for the Specialist really adds to the class’s utility in a way you don’t have access to at launch. In my experience, though, Assault and Heavy are, by far, the most popular classes, and that’s certainly true of my preferences, too.
Assault has a Vanguard Replenish Star Card that’s OP out of the gate (on PC, even more so), let alone when it’s upgraded, but by combining that with the deluxe edition-unlocked CR-2—which is one of the best (if not the best) blasters in Battlefront II—you have a distinct gameplay advantage that takes other Assault players hours of class-specific play to unlock. Basically, it puts you at a distinct advantage when running up against deluxe edition players.
Considering that, at the time of writing, the game still rewards kill farming with more Battle Points than playing the objective or supporting your team, the player that frags the fastest has the best chance of playing with some of the cooler things like vehicles, starfighters, special units, heroes, and villains.
Given that the microtransactions are only temporarily disabled in Star Wars Battlefront II, in response to the massive outcry against their gameplay-impacting inclusion, it’s surprising that this deluxe edition oversight snuck beneath the radar. Like with the loot crates, if the deluxe edition offered cosmetic unlocks (perhaps even exclusive ones), as well as the Rey and Chewie version of the Falcon (which it also offers, so you don’t have to spend precious in-game credits to nab it), it’d be less controversial. As it stands, a noticeable multi-class advantage exists for the cost of a $29.99 upgrade.