EA made a big decision when it removed the controversial microtransactions from Star Wars Battlefront II hours before its release. We knew they would eventually return in some modified form, and that day is nearly here. Developer DICE has released a major update for Battlefront II on PC, PS4, and Xbox One that paves the way for the revamped microtransactions and, in the meantime, makes significant changes to the game's progression system.
DICE previously detailed all the ways in which progression is changing. You'll only earn Star Cards and items that impact gameplay by playing; they can't be purchased. That means crates no longer have Star Cards in them; instead, they have things like credits and cosmetic items. You'll continue to have access to any items you already unlocked, and all heroes and hero ships have been unlocked for everyone. Additionally, Arcade mode will see all Epic Star Cards and weapons available for use without needing to unlock them first.
In April, Battlefront II will offer skins for purchase with credits or Crystals, the latter of which are purchased with real-world money. DICE makes it clear that these are purely cosmetic, so you won't be able to pay your way to an advantage over other players, which was the concern with Battlefront II's original microtransaction/loot box setup.
Another big addition in this update is a new map. The Bespin map from the previous Battlefront can now be played in certain modes--Blast, Heroes vs. Villains, and "for a limited time" in Jetpack Cargo. You can see it in the screenshot above.
Patch notes for the new update reveal further changes that have been made on the balance side. They're too extensive to outline in full here, but they include a buff for Iden Versio, who gets a health increase. The Droid Shield's active time has been increased, and her Pulse Cannon has been reworked to be more effective and works a bit differently (it does less explosive damage but is more accurate). Other heroes to be changed include Han Solo (who also gets more health), Boba Fett (who loses some forward thrust with Jetpack), and Leia (who now recovers health faster and with less delay).