You may have heard a lot of people talking about how bad the Star Cards are in Star Wars Battlefront 2 (SWBF2), but there appears to be a dearth of information on what the cards actually do. Well, I took some screenshots, and will transcribe a lot of them here before.
Among the four classes, the following two abilities are in all of them:
- Brawler: Melee kill regens 50/65/75/100 HP
- Resourceful: All abilities recharge 10%/15%/20%/28% faster.
I did not experience much melee action in my limited time in the beta, so I’m not entirely sure if there is a special damage bonus for attacking from behind, ala the kill sequences from the Battlefield series. Somehow, I doubt it. Resourceful though, is a particularly impressive bonus. I don’t know the default cooldown for most abilities, but assuming 30 seconds, that results in the cooldown being 27/25.5/24/21.6 seconds. Not that this is a WoW raid or anything, but over the course of 5 minutes that means you can press the button almost 14 times instead of 10.
The other noteworthy Star Cards:
- Officer Presence: Reduce HP Regen Delay by 20%/25%/30%/40%
- Defender: Gain 4/6/7/9 score for each hit you take
I was not able to test Defender, but this seems just a bit insane. Is there an internal cooldown? Otherwise, I can imagine some people rolling out Heavies and soaking up some long-distance fire for a few minutes before suddenly coming back as a Hero and murdering people. For reference, you typically get zero points for dealing damage until and unless the target dies.
- Assault Training: Gain 20/26/30/40 HP on kill
- Vanguard Refresh: Refreshes your abilities on kill 25/23/21/18
The Assault class in general felt extremely weak in the beta, even though it technically has more HP than the Specialist. Getting up to 40 HP on a kill would go a long way in fixing that. Additionally, Vanguard Refresh is just a straight-up upgrade to the default Vanguard ability, which sees you put away the blaster for a shotgun and quicker movement. Not sure what the bonus does exactly though.
- Stealth: Remain hidden when firing, and deal 65/75/100/150 extra melee damage.
- Infiltration: Scrambler: Marks enemies for allies and scrambles scanners in 10/11/12/14 range.
- Trip Mine: (replaces Thermal Binoculars) Laser Tripmine with a 30/26/22/16 cooldown.
The Specialist is really quite absurd all-around, even before the Star Cards IMO. Yeah, they will die to a Heavy in a reasonably fair fight. However, the E ability gives you an infinite-clip burst-firing gun, makes you invisible to radar, shows everyone else on your radar, and causes you to speed around the map. Have I mentioned that getting a kill resets the timer too? Adding the Infiltration: Scrambler to that and/or the Trip Mine is just bonkers.
The biggest Star Card offender from a blogging perspective is Boba Fett. Here are his upgrades:
- Acute Concussion: Concussion lasts 1/1.5/2/4 seconds longer
- Quick Refill: Jetpack refills 20/25/35/40% faster.
- Fuel Efficiency: Jetpack burns 15/18/21/25% slower.
- Death from Above: during Rocket Barrage, take 50/60/75/100% less damage
- Intense Barrage: Rocket Barrage fires 30/40/50/70% faster (more rockets)
As you can see, Death from Above in particular goes from 50% damage reduction while using a very visible ability to complete immunity. Intense Barrage adds more missiles to said attack for free. Or you can combine the two Jetpack cards together to get a much larger Jetpack uptime.
The characters aren’t the only problem either. Here are three cards from Starfighter:
- Bomber has 5/10/20/40% more HP
- Fighter deals 2/4/7/10% more damage with primary fire
- Fighter takes 50/100/150/200% longer to lock onto with missiles.
If you are in a fairly even dogfight, but your opponent has 40% more HP or they deal 10% more damage, or you have to wait 200% longer than normal to get a lock-on… well, that’s not really a fair fight anymore.
Things can always change, of course. I don’t think that the Star Card system itself is going to change, but there will probably be tweaks to the exact percentages. And entirely new options/cards.
That actually might be where most of the concern should be centered. Because as we all know, the payment structure of games inform their ongoing development, which means the designers have incentives to create more powerful Star Cards later on. When they are undoubtedly added into the game “for free,” the average player might be able to craft the first two tiers with regular currency, but whales and competitive gamers alike will have it maxed out as soon as the servers are up.