May 18

Speculation Friday: What I Would Like To See In Star Wars Battlefront III


examples: Half-Life 3 or episode 3, Kingdom Hearts 3, etc.

Why is it always 3 games that have trouble coming out?


Star Wars Battlefront 3 is probably one of the more anticipated Star Wars games. Despite being a shallow knockoff of the Battlefield series, it’s Star Wars. The soldiers are iconic, the locations are epic, and everything about fighting in a galaxy far, far away is just made better because it’s Star Wars. The first game was basic enough, choose from a few classes of soldier that had specialty roles. Basic troopers were anti-infantry, heavy troopers were anti-vehicle, engineers were medics and vehicle support, snipers were long range anti-infantry, and the unique class for each faction which included Bothan spies who can turn invisible, Dark troopers who had jump packs, Republic Jet troopers who had jetpacks and could fly around, and Destroy Droids who were unstoppable killing machines (okay, not really.) Battlefront 2 added a whole bunch of new features including commander classes that were powerful and provided buffs and debuffs, space battles, and the ability to play as heroes such as Han Solo, Boba Fett, Darth Vader, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Luke Skywalker. Now aside from the obvious land to space battles which has been pretty much the focus of every Battlefront 3 rumor, what else would a guy like me like to see in this game?


Get Rid of the Engineer Class


Battlefront 2 had a problem, and that problem, in my opinion, was the engineer class. They’re usually equipped with shotguns, det-packs, and resupplies so they basically outshined the standard infantry in everything but range, which didn’t matter in some close quarters levels. Worse of all is that Battlefront 2 and 1 had this dumb friendly fire system, where nothing dropped by your team could ever hurt you, even your own explosives. This meant that heavy troopers and engineers could just walk into a crowded area, drop a mine or det-pack, and rack up kills without even a suicide. All in all, engineers just don’t make any sense, since they are way too well armed to play any kind of support role.


Watch out everyone, it's the maintenance staff!


What should happen is to do what Star Wars games do best, look at other games for inspiration. The Battlefield series, in 3 and 2142 (that I know of), combined the role of medic and anti-infantry into the Assault class, which is equivalent to the basic trooper. Not only does this make the trooper a more viable option since it will be superior to the other classes in terms of range and rate of fire, there will also be an option for players who aren’t great at shooting to play a vital support role, with medpacks and maybe resupplies (although I like that in BF3, health and ammo are replenished by different classes). As for the rest of the engineering equipment, give it to the heavy trooper (and then rename heavy trooper to engineer). Make them all about dealing with vehicles from destroying enemy ones to repairing friendly ones. Both of these classes are probably the most played class anyways because of their explosives, so just make them one class. Which leads into my next point:


Have Options for Classes


When it comes to a game like this, I don’t like build a character options. In Battlefield 3, nearly all my characters classes are the same minus their support functions. Also before the update, I’d see that everyone had the same weapons because it was clearly superior and basically, everyone had anti-infantry roles except for maybe snipers, which made the assault class be even more just a medic.


What I like about Battlefront over Battlefield, is that crippling specialization that makes each class unique and important. A heavy trooper is anti-vehicle, which means they are armed with a rocket launchers and mines as their offensive weapons, and their pistol for dealing with anyone who gets to close. Really, heavy troopers need the other classes to watch their back as they take down vehicles. Snipers are the same way and a lot of the specialty classes often have some horrible weakness either it being range, rate of fire, or being a destroyer droid.


Dark troopers for example had a very specific type of gun that wasn't too great and lighter armor, but were incredibly mobile.


That all being said, this doesn’t mean that there still shouldn’t be options for each of the classes. In Battlefield 2142, the options were simple, you get three or so primary weapons per class that have different attributes to go along with your style. Personally, I liked the light damage extra accuracy one, but it was effective at medium and longer ranges. I got mowed down in close quarters from the opposite gun, that was heavy damage but crappy accuracy. I would like those options to be available for Battlefront 3 as well. Maybe a heavy trooper can be more anti-air than anti-vehicle (or maybe even more repair than destroy) or a jet trooper can be more recon with light weapons and stealth abilities then later can be more destructive with their EMP cannons. Things like that will vary up the battlefield, but still keep classes well defined and probably not screw up balance too much.


Add Squad Mechanics

On second thought, I wouldn't mind a Republic Commando 2 either.


Battlefield is awesome because of the squad mechanics. It could be friends in Battlefield 3 or random people in 2142, squad mechanics made working as a team so much easier, especially when the community realizes that listening to their squad leader really does make the game easier. In Star Wars, squads are always the heroes when dealing with non-Jedi (and sometimes the villains). There’s Delta Squad from Republic Commando, the famous Red and Rogue Squadron, and in Return of the Jedi, Han Solo’s Endor strike team. It only makes sense that squads be added to the Battlefront series. There are even some really interesting squad leader abilities that can be added straight from Star Wars canon. In the Clone Wars animated series (the 2D one), the ARC trooper captain threw a hologram thing into the air and got a sweep of the entire area. While radars will probably never leave the player’s hud, a squad leader’s ability to detect hiding enemies will undoubtedly be useful when taking objectives. Not to mention requesting things like orbital strikes, resupplies…and yeah, just take Battlefield 2142, and put Star Wars in it.


Capital Ship Mode


It's more awesome because it's Star Wars

Speaking of Battle 2142 (it’s probably my favorite Battlefield), just take Titan mode from that game and apply it to the land to space battles with the capital ships. In Battlefront 2, one way to deal with an enemy capital ship was to fly into the hangar and destroy it from the inside. In Battlefield 2142, you can do the same thing, but only after a ground battle took out it’s shields with players capturing missile silos instead of command posts. It was extremely tactical and amazingly awesome, especially when having to abandon ship after it starts blowing up. Basically, do that…but with Star Wars.



Selectable Heroes


The ability to play as heroes in Battlefront 2 was probably my favorite new feature. In fact, I almost bought the crappy PSP Battlefronts to play on a borrowed PSP just for hero ships like the Millennium Falcon and Slave 1. But alas, heroes were an interesting meta game factor (when allowed), since a level where one faction had an obviously better hero would often rein supreme. Some levels, it was kinda balanced out. Hoth for example. Vader was slow, but the Empire at AT-ATs, so while Luke was faster and able to probably kill more enemies, the empire had better firepower (and yet still not too much of an advantage when heroes were off, which is why I think so many people liked the Hoth level).


Still, I think that Battlefront should be like the Smash Bros of Star Wars, mashing in as much Star Wars history as possible. The game already lets you play as Darth Maul and Jango Fett, characters who weren’t even around during the Clone Wars, so why not just add as many characters as you can. The republic can add Delta Squad (either as four heroes in one game which would be kinda cool or the player just picks one) as well as characters from the animated series’ like Ashoka Tano. Heck, I wouldn’t mind the confederacy gaining Savage Oppress since he’s a badass.


If you don't keep up with Star Wars, can you tell which of the two this is?

And even though I despise the Force Unleashed games, Galen Marek (aka Starkiller) and the Dark Apprentice would make a fine addition to the line up of heroes, especially with their…interesting take on the Force. Also, include the old stand-byes like Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Obi-Wan, General Grevious, Boba Fett, etc. but maybe some additional heroes could include Qui-gon Jinn, Wedge Antilles, Kyle Katarn. I mean if Asajji Ventress and Kit Fisto made it to the Xbox only version, then surely these other characters must be good enough too right?


This also leads to the question of how each of these heroes are going to be chosen. Afterall, if there are a ton of heroes and villains, then there will have to be at least 1/2 the total number of heroes (if there are 30 of them, 15 heroes, 15 villains, then there will need to be 15 levels to have them all). Well, what if the heroes were selectable or random? Like I said earlier, heroes offered a kind of extra level of meta game. Kamino for example, would probably see the Republic win more often than CIS when heroes were on because Obi-Wan is a much better hero than Jango Fett. Fett was no slouch, but seeing as Obi-Wan could block blaster shots, run at like 3 times the normal speed and could push stun people while Fett had a great pistol, a flamethrower, and a jetpack that might not save him (sound familiar?), my money would always be on Obi-wan should they come face to face. By letting which hero is on which level be a bit more flexible, then it becomes a bit less meta and bit more on the fly strategy. The game picks you to be the hero, maybe you want to go with someone your comfortable playing as, but a vehicle is giving your team a lot of trouble. Maybe you should play as a hero who’s better at taking out vehicles then. Or maybe the other hero is mowing down your teak, but they’re not a Jedi/Sith character, so you either snipe them or go close quarters with a Jedi. Maybe they are a Jedi/Sith character, but their force powers include push and saber throw. Really no match for a character who can choke. It’s still meta, but not from the beginning, the good kind of meta.


The CIS Should Be Completely Re-imagined

As of Battlefront 2 the Droid armies of the CIS were pretty much, super battledroid, B1 battledroid, B1, B1, magna guard, and Destroyer Droid. The magna guard (Grevious bodyguards from Episode 3) was unique in that he was the only commander class that had a debuff instead of a buff in the form of neurotoxin (GLaDOS would be so proud) and destroyer droids played completely different than any other class. Heck, even super battldroids were different amongst the basic troopers, with rockets and mini-shotguns instead of grenades and pistols. My point is, the CIS had a slew of different units since they were droids, but then the 3 other classes were just regular engineers, snipers, and heavy troopers.When you can have robots in all these different shapes and sizes, why settle on just having these three guys stand out as being boring.


Only one of these droids is not like the other.


So, taking from everything I’ve said above into consideration, this is how I think the droid army should be done for Battlefront 3. First, is make the basic trooper the B1 skeleton like battledroid, except instead of combining them with medics, make them repair guys. Actually, making them even more versatile and have them be both. Droids taking bacta doesn’t make any sense, have a droid with a repair tool heal vehicles and troopers since they’re all machines.In fact, now that I think of it, since B1’s do almost everything in the CIS army, and I want there to be options. One thing that could set the CIS apart from the other factions is that their standard trooper can have a sniper, or a rifle, or a rocket launcher. I think the cost should be that they only get their repair tool (and even that might be too generous), but the weapon you pick you should really let them go to the extreme sides of specializations.



Super battledroids should be the heavy troopers. If you’ve ever played Republic Commando, you know these guys are tough, so why not make them the kind of guys who specialize in dishing out a lot of damage to infantry and even having some anti-vehicle weapons. When it comes to taking down Republic vehicles, the droids also seem more like going tank against tank, so perhaps having them focus more on that instead of anti-tank infantry would be a nice twist. Then have manga guard with their electro staffs and deal melee damage(but keep the deadly neurotoxin), destroyer droids as they are, and then maybe the droid commandos from the animated series. They can stealthy, even disguising themselves as clone troopers ala TF2 Spy (they did this in the series) or can be equipped with shields and provide cover for other droids. Even if the developers want to go down the more traditional path, I think droids like crab droids would be interesting to play as heavy troopers or something.


Riot shields in Star Wars...who wouldn't love that?


Anyways, that’s all I can really think of. This is also my second Star Wars Speculation Friday, and seeing as how I did two Elder Scrolls ones too, you can probably tell what my interests are. So if you have any ideas for what I should speculate on next, leave a comment. Also, let me know what you want to see in the Star Wars Battlefront 3.

About the author

Erik G

A game designer who graduated with a literature degree. Go figure. Currently hard at work at making games.

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