Community: How To [Not] Play Battlefront II

This may not be particularly surprising, but poking fun at Battlefront II is what all the cool kids are doing this week.

The news this week is picking up on a story regarding Battlefront II and its AFK (AFC if you’re on Xbox/Playstation) problem, notably surrounding the cause of this shall-we-call-it player behavior anomaly. Polygon has a piece by Ben Kuchera (or Ben Kuchechera) titled “Star Wars Battlefront 2 players are ruining the game with rubber bands,” a headline that is not incorrect but goes into detail about how players have figured out that you can rubber band your controls to keep your character moving and thus farm credits while not actually being at the computer (or television). You can learn how to cook delicious meals with fresh ingredients provided by Blue Apron, or whatever grocery company is sponsoring your favorite podcasts, and come back ready to unlock Darth Vader by the time your delicious Thai Curry Beef is ready to eat.

Right now you can get a minimum amount of credits just for showing up, which is what these farms are after. You can increase the amount you earn by doing well and taking part of each objective — and credits are given for playing the campaign and arcade mode as well — so this is merely the easiest way to get credits without putting any actual work into the process.

Polygon’s piece is half right, focusing on part of the picture being that Battlefront II’s progression system is a slow and arduous grind and any game with such system will encourage AFK grinding. The other part of the issue, of course, is that the game rewards players handsomely enough just for being present and doesn’t reward them all that well for putting effort into your gameplay. You can see this in the Angry Joe review, where the difference between first place and last place was a mere 20 credits, 350 vs 330.

AFK grinding is an issue in numerous games for a variety of reasons, from games where items hold real value to games where progression is slow, and games where players simply aren’t rewarded enough for participating or are rewarded too much for just being present. Regardless, it’s hard to ignore the impact that such negative behavior has on the overall community, especially in game modes like Hero v Hero where one player grinding currency can effectively ruin the game for his team.

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