Battlefield Heroes Is Practically Ruined

Illustration for article titled Battlefield Heroes Is Practically Ruined

As a regular player of the game, I've had some kind things to say about Battlefield Heroes. As an online game, however, things can change at the drop of a hat. And EA just dropped the hat.

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The game's economy, which had always walked the tight-rope between allowing people to play for free/very little and encouraging people to spend money, has this week been turned on its head. And the game's rather sizeable player base is upset.

See, many items in the game used to be available in one of two ways: valor points (VP), which you earned in combat and through playtime, and BattleFunds (BF), which were earned by spending real cash. Sure, some superficial things like outfits were BattleFunds-only, but all the important stuff - like better weapons - could be earned solely through consistent play.

Not anymore. EA have made sweeping changes to the game's online store, drastically raising the cost of almost everything bought via VP and lowering the price of almost everything bought via BF. "Rentals" have also been altered, so that important items can only be leased for 1-3 days, not for entire months as was previously possible.

This means that, according to some user calculations posted over on Ars Technica, "the amount of rounds you need to play each day to keep ONE weapon [is] about 60, which is about 5 hours playtime, every day". Obviously, that's not going to happen.

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Which means the game, which by all accounts had been doing just fine allowing people to play for free then charging for the odd outfit or upgrade (example: I'd spent around $20 on it so far), is now for all intents and purposes subscriber-based, with those electing to play the game for free - which was one of the main "selling" points of Heroes in the first place - locked on the outer and stuck with the game's crummy standard weapons.

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Makes you wonder, if EA felt the need to start squeezing players for microtransactions so drastically and so suddenly, whether the game was actually doing as great as we'd been led to believe...

DISCUSSION

OK, all these "LOL guess i'll keep on playing TF2" comments have got to stop.

The game is nothing like TF2.

There are classes, but they're roughly based on the classes that came from Battlefield 1942. TF2 did not invent class-based multiplayer, so you can't just label any class-based FPS a TF2-ripoff. Besides, the classes and their roles have very little in common with the classes in TF2. And unlike TF2, the classes in BFH have just about no characterization or humour to them beyond the basic appearance.

On a similar note, the gameplay has nothing in common with TF2. It's the same Battlefield "capture and hold control points to gain enough points to win the round" gameplay as every other Battlefield game. Essentially, it's just a stripped down version of Battlefield 1942.

Yes, the graphics have a similar style, and go for the same cartoonishly unrealistic theme. But I doubt "imitate TF2" was what they had in mind when they decided on that style. I imagine they chose the style because it means they don't have to focus so much on realism, which in turn means they can mess with the gameplay for the sake of making it a very casual experience that you can jump into easily.

Additionally, BFH is rated T, while TF2 is rated M because it still has blood and gibs despite the cartoony look. So again, I imagine that they chose the cartoonish look to get a lower rating, and open the game up to a wider audience.

I'm not even a huge fanboy of the game. TF2 is actually my game of choice, but I watched a friend play BFH for a couple hours, and I know what it's about.

So fine, people, dislike the game if it's not up to your standards, or whatever other reason.

But if you think it's just a TF2 clone, you're an idiot.