Star Wars: Battlefront 2 players will have to sink some serious time into EA's upcoming shooter if they want to unlock just one of the game's playable heroes and villains, according to data collected from the early EA Access preview.
A week ahead of the game's wider release on 17 November, the game went live with a 10 hour preview available on EA and Origin Access on Xbox One and PC, and it's through this that players are getting a sense of the game's progression systems.
Reddit user TheHotterPotato has been pulling together statistics from his time with the game to judge roughly how long it will take players to accumulate the necessary in-game credits to buy Battlefront 2's most expensive unlockables.
He noted the length of time it took to complete a standard game of Galactic Assault - the game's main multiplayer mode - and how many credits he was rewarded with after each match was completed.
This data was used to work out that on average he received just over 25 credits for every minute of play. That sounds like a lot but the most expensive unlockable playable heroes and villains in the game cost 60,000 credits to unlock.
That means that to save up enough in-game currency to unlock Luke Skywalker or Darth Vader, a player will need to play the game for 2,363.08 minutes, which is 39.38 hours. To unlock all six playable heroes (the aforementioned, plus Emperor Palpatine, Leia Organa, Chewbacca and story mode protagonist Iden Versio) would take just over 170 hours.
Other characters such as Rey, Han Solo and Darth Maul, are unlocked from the start.
Credits can also be used to purchase 'crates'. These are loot boxes that can contain random star cards (equippable abilities), cosmetics, weapons, large quantities of credits and scrap, which can be spent on unlocking specific weapons.
That's a problem in of itself, but crates can also be unlocked with another form of currency - called 'crystals' - that players can purchase with real-world money through microtransactions.
So players who spend money to unlock crates will, through the credits found within them, be able to accumulate enough credits to purchase expensive heroes and more powerful abilities far quicker than someone who does not.
The averages and estimates are taken from the EA/Origin Access version of Star Wars: Battlefront 2, so things may work slightly differently when the game launches fully next week.
The stats also do not include timings or averages based on playing other modes within the game. Other modes could be quicker to complete or yield more credits, but any differences are likely to be negligible.
EA and developer DICE were heavily criticised for their implementation of microtransactions and loot boxes during Battlefront 2's open beta in October, forcing some changes. However, on the evidence of the current Access trial, the game still creates a "pay-to-win" scenario that greatly rewards players who spend real world money in addition to purchasing the game itself.
The current system is a result of EA's decision to get rid of paid expansions after Battlefront 2's initial release. Instead, new content will be released for free and EA will make money through the sale of in-game currency.
Star Wars: Battlefront 2 will be released on 17 November for PS4, Xbox One and PC.
Below is a video from GameSpot explaining the convoluted credits/crystals/crates system.