With Jedi Revan’s release, Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes proves all it cares about is money

There was a lot of excitement in the Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes since Friday over the news that Jedi Revan is coming to the game!

To their credit, EA/CG at least waited a few days before killing all the hype.  Perhaps that’s an improvement.

Because today, it was revealed in a post on the SWGOH forums that it will require these characters all at seven stars to unlock Jedi Knight Revan: Bastilla Shan, Jolee Bindo, T3-M4, Mission Vao, and Zaalbar.

These are the characters, of course, that pretty much everyone expected to be required for Revan.  They were all released to the game around the same time, and while it was technically to celebrate the anniversary of the Knights of the Old Republic game, most people realized that there was something else coming.  That was especially obvious given the fact that these five characters received the “Old Republic” tag, an indication they’d be needed for an event.

So the main question wasn’t whether Revan was coming, it was when and how.  We got the first part of that answer last Friday, when the announcement meant that Revan’s arrival was imminent.  And we unfortunately got the second part of that answer today, when it was confirmed we’d need those five characters at seven stars.  This is consistent with a Hero’s Journey event.

But here’s the problem: these five characters have all been farmable for less than a month!  Bastilla Shan and Jolee Bindo were released on September 12, each on a single hard node plus ship node.  Mission Vao, T3-M4, and Zaalbar were released on September 26, with Mission and T3 each on a single cantina node and Zaalbar on a single hard node plus ship node.  To have all five characters require panic farms, with a near-impossibility of getting all of them to seven stars by the time the event is over without paying, is unprecedented.

Remember the backlash to the Rey Jedi Training event last December?  It required Scavenger Rey and Finn, two characters that many people had, and BB-8 (a legendary event), which was fine.  But then veteran smugglers Han Solo and Chewbacca became farmable on cantina nodes on November 22, with Rey’s event beginning on December 15.  From the day those two characters became farmable to the day the event ended was thirty days.  So you had thirty days to farm two cantina characters from three to seven stars.  It resulted in many people (myself included) having to wait until Rey came around the second time to unlock her.  But it was at least feasibly attainable; there were rumors of free-to-play characters unlocking her the first time around.

For however much of a cash grab RJT actually was, this is ten times worse.  This is, essentially, telling the player base that the only way to get Revan this first time around is to pay for him.  It’s as simple as that.  Because not only is it just two characters to panic farm; it’s five.  And with Revan releasing next Thursday, it’s the same exact time frame as farming the vets for Rey, it’s just that this time there are five of them to panic farm.  So I’ll say it as simply as I possibly can: this is as much of a pay-to-play, cash-grab, greedy move that EA/CG has ever done, and that’s saying a lot.

And let’s be clear: EA/CG has to make money, and it’s perfectly understandable for people who pay that money to have advantages over free-to-play players.  That’s common sense.  So the question here isn’t whether EA/CG are within their rights to make Revan an exclusively pay-to-unlock character the first time around.  They certainly are.  The question is whether it is smart.  And it certainly isn’t.

Now, it may be smart for their wallets.  They may get a hefty income from Revan panic farming.  I don’t know.  But it seems to be about the dumbest move they could possibly have made in light of recent events.

This entire year, there hasn’t really been a whole lot to get excited about.

  • Early this year, there was a new Sith Raid released that, to put it lightly, caused a lot of problems.  It harmed guilds, was incredibly difficult, and was flat out not fun.  That didn’t create much excitement at all.
  • Accompanying the Sith Raid was a brand new character, Darth Traya.  She, along with the other two members of the Sith Triumvirate (Darth Sion and Darth Nihilus), became meta-defining as soon as people could unlock her.  All three characters are among the best in the game.  It was a long, long grind to unlock her (and many have yet to do so!) because of the raid reward format.  It wasn’t pay-to-unlock, which was nice, but it didn’t generate much excitement.  Even now, Traya isn’t all too exciting because many people are growing tired of facing Traya leads in arena.
  • Marquee fatigue set in big-time this year, with character after character after character falling into the same asinine pattern: marquee release, wait several weeks, and then a single hard node farm.  I don’t think marquee events are a bad idea (in fact, they present a great balance between everyone getting the characters and those who spend money gaining extra).  The horrible idea, however, was two-fold: making every character a marquee release, and releasing every marquee character on a single hard node.  There was no variety.  EA/CG’s strange and crazy stubborn refusal to put any new characters in the stores compounded their mistake of making every character a marquee release.  It grew very old and tiring, and it made it impossible to get excited about any new characters.  Basically, people would resign themselves to the fact that in six months or so they might be getting close to being able to use that character.  It was a crazy system that the player base grew tired of.
  • That came to a head with the release of Jango Fett, a fan-favorite character and one often requested… and he was a marquee release.  That didn’t sit well with people, as you might imagine.  So EA/CG tried to make it a ‘better’ marquee event, and they certainly did: by including mods and gear, it was more well-received than other marquee events.  But the fact remained: one of the fan-favorites had come into the game as a marquee.  And he’s still not farmable.  Hard to get too excited about Jango Fett’s arrival.
  • So EA/CG claimed they heard the player base’s concerns about marquee and were going to change that.  Was that… excitement from the player base again?  There was cautious optimism.  It was announced that Rebel Chewbacca was coming to the game and would be a legendary event (FINALLY!!!!!) that would require bounty hunters.  But once the event arrived, it became very apparent that it was the most difficult legendary event there has ever been yet.  Previously, the main obstacle to unlocking a legendary character was stars: you had to get the required characters to five, and then seven, stars.  Thrawn was the previous hardest legendary event, but it was doable (albeit after many tries and good RNG) at moderate gear level.  With Chewbacca, the main obstacle wasn’t stars, it was gear level.  The event required many hours, attempts, and good RNG to beat it.  To be fair, many free-to-play players did get Chewbacca to seven stars this time, but it was an incredibly frustrating experience to keep starting over and over and over.  While the merits of that strategy by CG/EA can be debated, let’s be clear on what it wasn’t: it wasn’t them throwing the player base a bone after a year of marquee events.  They realized that most players had five bounty hunters ready, so they made it much more difficult than expected.  By the end of the Chewbacca event, I’m not sure if the sentiment amongst players who unlocked him was excitement as much as it was relief, that it was now over and they had managed to do it.
  • And so now we come to Jedi Revan.  The player base has been very much desiring Revan for a long time now, and it could be argued that he is the second-most desired character in the game behind Jedi Luke.  So finally, finally, Revan is coming.  There was an awesome puzzle to unlock on Friday that many enjoyed, and then excitement built over the weekend with news that Revan is coming.  And now?  Excitement killed.  Because here’s what EA/CG has decided to do: take one of the most popular characters, one that many have asked for and many were super excited for, and see how much money they can get from him.  It’s like they sat down in a room, contemplated just how much greed they could get away with, and then took it up a notch or two.

The release of Revan should have been one of the most exciting times in this game’s history.  It should have served to unite the player base around one of the fan favorite characters.  It should have gone a long way as a make-good by EA/CG after a year of frustration and hardship and fatigue and lack of excitement (which I really date back to everything after the BB-8 legendary event, which was the last legendary event prior to Chewbacca and the last major event before JTR).  Instead, it will serve to further the frustration, grow the distrust in the developers, harm the community, and squash any excitement.  EA/CG will try to sell this as, “We gave you Revan!”  That’s nice.  But what it really is is a message loud and clear: “We just want to see how much greed we can get away with.”

I don’t say this lightly, but this might be the most disapointing and frustrating day in the history of Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes.  I’m disappointed, but I guess I shouldn’t have expected any different from them.

And it makes me shudder to think of what will be required to unlock Jedi Luke Skywalker.

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