The Empire is without an emperor. Last week, a Star Wars Battlefront II update apparently brought back the evil Emperor Palpatine’s game-breaking ability to shoot lightning through walls. An emergency fix completely removed him from the game, and it’s unclear when he’ll return.
Star Wars Battlefront II allows players to fight as iconic heroes and villains from the films, provided they’ve scored enough points during a match to unlock the character. These characters range from the stalwart Jedi Luke Skywalker to the most famous Star Wars character: Bossk. One of the game’s most powerful villains is Emperor Palpatine, who has the ability to leap around the battlefield and shock enemies with lightning. His Electrocute ability caused issues earlier this year, allowing him to zap players through walls. Palpatine was then nerfed, stripping him of the ability to target enemies through walls. A July 4th hotfix aimed to help Palpatine’s lightning ability work better on enemies in close range, but now he’s being removed from the game altogether.
Some players believe the tweak brought back his previously nerfed lightning. YouTubers and community members on social media are saying that Palpatine’s zapping them through walls, possibly as result of the hotfix’s change to the abilities tracking.
EA Dice hasn’t said what the cause for the removal was. “We plan to execute our Kill Switch (KS) for him,” Dice global manager of community engagement Ben “F8RGE” Walke said in a post on the game’s official forums. “This means he will be removed from the game. He will be disabled until a hotfix can be deployed. We don’t take this decision lightly, but we feel it is in the best interest for everyone until a fix can be deployed.”
Palpatine’s removal snuck up on casual players, though Dice was communicative at major forums. This is not the first time a Battlefront series hero has been turned into a monster. A patch in 2016’s Star Wars Battlefront infamously made Lando Calrissian so powerful that the splash damage from his blaster even killed himself, while tearing other heroes in half. For now, there’s no clear timeline for Palpatine’s return.
Reaction to the Palpatine situation seems caught between appreciation for the quick response and frustration that there was a problem to begin with. “I’ve completely lost count on how many times the game has been broken by updates and patches,” Battlefront YouTuber Star Wars HQ said in a comment on their channel. “A patch is supposed to fix the game, NOT break it. Get better Q&A (sic) please. We love you Emperor Palpatine. You and your beautiful laugh will be missed, if only for a short time. See you again someday!”