Last week, EA/CG finally released the Road
Behind Ahead post, several weeks late. They promised that there’d be more Old Republic characters, as well as Original Trilogy characters, coming this quarter.
Sure enough, today it was released through the Game Changers that Bastila Shan (Fallen) and Canderous Ordo will be coming to the game. The Game Changers did videos about their kits, but it’s hard to get too excited about them, to be honest – and it has nothing to do with their abilities.
Rather, it’s something that pretty much every Game Changer has noted in their videos: there’s a lot of fear with this update that we’re heading down another Revan road. And that’d just be horribly disapointing.
The release of Jedi Knight Revan last month was as blatant of a cash-grab, pay-to-play event as this game has ever done. Essentially, the only people who unlocked Revan the first time around were those who spent money to do so (and those few who saved tens of thousands of crystals, but it’s such a crazy and unrealistic thing to do that it hardly deserves mention here as having been an option). You’ll find people debating whether the game was right or wrong to have done that, with most arguing that this game has always at least been possible for free-to-play players, but spending money just makes things easier. Others, though, argued that whales should be entitled to something early. Regardless of your opinion on that, here’s the reality: for a large percentage of the playerbase, EA/CG managed to kill most of the hype for Revan and alienate players. But it wasn’t just that: to make matters worse, EA/CG went almost completely silent after the event amidst perhaps the most frustrated playerbase in the game’s history, only re-emerging to post a minor Clone Wars update and then a much-delayed Road Ahead blog (in which they dared to assert that the excitement of the community was noticeable over the Revan event, showing a lack of touch with their own players).
Ok. Fine. At least that Revan event is done with, and the next time it comes around in a few months free-to-play players will have a chance. But… wait. Would EA/CG really do it again? This latest update, more than anything, prompts fears that it may be happening – and there’s no reason to trust EA/CG at this point to do something with the playerbase in mind.
Leading up to the Jedi Knight Revan event, the signs were clear. On July 12 and 13, Bastila Shan and Jolee Bindo were released. A few weeks after that, on July 27, Mission Vao and Zaalbar were released. T3-M4 was released for Android players on July 26, but for IOS players on August 9 (another questionable move by the developers we don’t have time for here). So the pattern was two marquee characters, then a few weeks after that three more marquee characters, and then a few months after that the release of Jedi Knight Revan before anybody could have realistically had time to farm those characters without spending money.
So think of what this latest news signifies: Bastila Shan (Fallen) and Canderous Ordo are presumably going to be released via marquee events on November 15 or 16, meaning two marquee characters. Reading the signs, that means that likely in a couple of weeks, we’ll get some more Old Republic characters. Meaning that probably in early 2019, we’ll get either Darth Revan or Darth Malak as a hero’s journey event. If that were the case, EA/CG would have directly repeated the same thing that the community expressed such displeasure and disapointment over.
Granted, this is only the beginning as we’re just getting two new characters, so it’s possible there’s a different plan. But I’m not alone in these fears: most of the Game Changers have expressed similar sentiments. And here’s the reality: while I’d like to give EA/CG the benefit of the doubt that they’ve heard the criticisms and complaints and tried to do something about it, I don’t see any reason why they deserve the benefit of the doubt. They’ve done nothing to earn it. And essentially repeating the Revan disaster almost immediately after it happened would be such a tone deaf move. But hey, it’s EA/CG, so it’s certainly possible they’ll do so.
All of this to say is that while I love this game, the developers have made it so that it’s really hard to get excited about much anymore. So, when these new characters were announced, my reaction wasn’t excitement or even intrigue but rather fear over the likely next cash-grab. Sigh. This game is great; I just wish its developers were too.