Community Transmission: Year in Review
Over the last few months, the Community Transmissions have talked about future updates, but for this one, we’re doing things a bit differently.
We want to take a step back in time and reflect upon the first year of Star Wars™ Battlefront II, before finishing up with a look ahead to 2019.
We weren’t expecting special forces
The journey began on April 15th, 2017 in Orlando Florida at Star Wars Celebration where Star Wars Battlefront II was officially unveiled to the world. The reveal trailer set the tone and all eyes were now fixed upon EA Play in Los Angeles, where the first look at gameplay would be shown.
Let’s give it everything we’ve got
As we approached launch, the beta saw conversation around progression start to emerge, a conversation which would come to a head at launch.
A lesson learned, is a lesson earned
It is no secret that launch didn’t go as planned, but we learned a lot during that time as we listened to fans, taking in all the feedback and utilizing it to evolve the game in the right direction.
A complete re-design of the in-game progression system
Throughout the weeks after launch, the team would begin work on a brand-new progression system. A change of this size would, in and of itself, be an incredible undertaking during core development of a game, but we were in a different situation; we were already live.
On March 21st, 2018 the Progression Update was launched and as we closed the launch chapter of our journey. Another one was just starting.
The work going into the Progression Update came at a cost. Time we originally planned to be spent making new content was now being used to re-align one of the game’s key systems.
Such was the complexity of the Progression re-design, our content plans would have to be revisited.
Choose a side
On December 5th 2017 you aligned yourself with either the First Order or the Resistance, taking part in challenges granting you faction specific rewards.
The Last Jedi Season brought with it the first new heroes into the game, in the form of Finn and Captain Phasma. This was also the time when we would add Crait into the game, a planet which has since gone on to become a real fan favorite.
D’Qar joined our roster of Starfighter Assault maps and with the new hero ship – Tallie Lintra’s RZ-2 A-wing also arrived.
Iden Versio also returned in the new chapter “Resurrection”. You got to play as Commander Versio during the early days of the First Order’s rise to power.
A Stormtrooper was lost to the forest
We were now in April and at this time, we were working towards a regular cadence of monthly updates.
The first content update since the new Progression System launch arrived in April of this year, and it was one that not many would have been expecting.
When we announced the Night on Endor update, we watched as our Community wasn’t as thrilled as we hoped. But as people got into the update to play Ewok Hunt mode, things started to change in a more positive direction.
To date, Ewok Hunt has gained a generous following amongst our Community. Who knew that the forest of Endor could be such a terrifying place?
A good blaster, the right crew…
The next two months were focused around the Han Solo Season and saw a number of new additions to the game, including the very first Legendary appearances. It was Leia who received the first legendary and it wasn’t just her looks that were changed. While dressed in her Boushh appearance, Leia would use speech scrambler, allowing her to speak Ubese.
One thing was clearly on the mind of our Community, and it was a topic that we’d been hearing for some time now…the Clone Wars.
The Clone Wars Begin
The weeks leading up to EA Play were a roller coaster for the team. We knew we wanted to talk about the Clone Wars, but we weren’t sure how much detail we could provide. We’ve talked about how development can often change, things move around, and designs evolve over time. This all had to be considered before we could get up on stage and announce it to the world.
Multiple variations of our press conference segment were created, and eventually we aligned on what you saw on June 9th, 2018.
To date, this remains one of our favorite days of the year as we delighted fans with the news that the Clone Wars was coming to Battlefront II.
The passion from our community energized the team here at DICE and we eagerly awaited the arrival of some of the most requested content to date.
In the process building a new screenshot, the team unwittingly added an unused model of a Droideka to the background.
When the community began to pick up on this, our initial reaction was that it couldn’t be true. We knew we had no Droideka in our active development branches (the version of the game we work on). It had to be a crashed speeder or environmental clutter, right? Wrong.
To further investigate, we loaded up the scene in which the screenshot was created and there it was, a Droideka.
One of our biggest regrets coming out of that incident is that it instilled a sense of excitement for our players that we then had to dash.
The balance of the Force has been shaken
October and November were big months for us and our community. The excitement levels were high and the introduction of both General Grievous and Obi-Wan Kenobi were met with a lot of positivity.
At EA Play, we announced more Clone Wars content was coming, and it was great to see it start to be released. Whether it was the screenshots of General Grievous we watched being shared across the internet — looking increasingly menacing — or the excitement of our community hearing “Hello there,” for the first time. The team couldn’t help but get excited alongside you.
Geonosis was a key release for us. Not only was it a brand-new Galactic Assault map, but it was one that had a new design philosophy applied to it. With fewer choke points and vehicles being an integral point to the map, it certainly plays a lot different to our other Galactic Assault maps.
It’s been great watching players take their first steps onto Geonosis and we’re looking forward to seeing the planet in action for our new game mode in 2019.
In April we really re-committed to improving communication. At the heart of this was the very first Community Transmission, something which would later go on to become our platform for sharing information and acting as one of the direct links between ourselves and you, our Community.
The first 5 months saw us deploying a total of 6 Transmissions. In September, we began the process of increasing the rate in which they were deployed and over the next three months, we’d release 12 more Transmissions.
Starting in October, we began to implement work in progress assets, to help visualize what we were talking about. We also expanded our communications to include Community Calendars: a monthly look ahead at what you can expect both in-game and outside of it.
As we move forward, we’ll continue to evolve the platform with the goal of branching out into Live Streams firmly at the top of our list for 2019.
Earlier this year, we also began the process of releasing roadmaps that detail upcoming content we are working on. We’re committed to releasing more of these roadmaps and will be doing so as we move into the New Year and into 2019.
Our website has also increased its activity over the last few months with game news, tips and tricks and behind the scenes interviews with the likes of James Arnold Taylor and Matthew Wood.
As we look into 2019, we’re incredibly excited about how the Star Wars Battlefront II journey will continue. In January and February, we’ve got the arrival of Count Dooku and Anakin Skywalker on the way and we’ll be going into detail on these, and more within the New Year, so keep on the lookout for that info.
We can’t thank you all enough for being a part of the Star Wars Battlefront II journey, and we look forward to deploying alongside you onto the battlefront in a galaxy far, far away.
Punch It Thank You
Post edited by F8RGE on
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