Let me start by saying that I like Titanfall. The positive, thoughtless stress it induces is clearly amongst the most fun experiences gaming currently available. Unfortunately, as soon as EA caught wind of that players were enjoying themselves in the complete game as it comes in the box, they were hard at work to fix that problem. One thing can be said, they delivered.
Effective immediately, Capture the Flag and Pilot Hunter are removed from the game as playlists. In other words, you can no longer select to play these modes in regular lobbies, though you may still occasionally run into them while on randomiser. In an official statement to try and calm the uproar, they stated: “Players trying to access these modes had overlong wait times to find other users and it was making for a poor experience.” Direct quote, they said that. But fret not, for the modes have been replaced by two new and shiny ones, Expedition Variety and Expedition Attrition!
Okay. All of this is unbelievable on many levels, so let’s take it apart and see if we can make sense of it.
1. Game modes were cut from the released product
Did I miss some headlines recently, or is it now not illegal to lie to the customers who pay more than full price for your game?* Still they boast with how many neat modes the game has, even when it doesn’t. Even if those modes were less popular, what would be the justification for removing them? It cannot be server strain, when the same space will simply be taken by yet another game of “What is defense”: Hardpoint. Well, they give an explanation: They removed it because they think you are dumber than sheeple, unable to recognise your head hurts because you keep banging it against the wall. They think you incapable of the common sense not to queue up for the game mode you are clearly enjoying because queue times are long.
2. Wait, what?
So when EA sees people standing in line for a popular rollercoaster, concludes that they cannot be having a good experience, and thus blows up the rollercoaster. That’s what they have done here. They heard people moaned about how Friday Night Magic only happens once a week, so they burned down all Magic-retailing stores. They read all the letters to Santa wishing he came more often to bring charity to starving children, and fixed that by nuking the North Pole.
Sorry, I get worked up when I am delivered something without any amount of logic in it. Here’s the punchline: They lied to you with all their reasoning. A vast majority of players who had tried everything agreed that CTF was the most fun there was in Titanfall. Not only that, but this change is PC only; Console players still get the game modes normally. People on PC or console aren’t that different. I can even claim to know a console player: I keep him behind glass, just for safety. So basically what they are saying is that two pieces of the same demographic expressed such vastly different interests that it justified mangling one piece’s game. I have done the math, EA, and you are out of my confidence interval.
3. At least they give you a replacement!
Yay, Expedition Attrition and Expedition Variety. Wait, do these sound like they are completely the same as the already existing Attrition and Variety (which, I remind you, is just a randomiser between modes) modes, EA? Oh wait, that’s because they are. The only difference is that they take place on the new DLC maps and thus require that very same 3 map pack which you can acquire for only $9.99.
I could comment on this point further, but everything is already said, isn’t it. Here’s to everybody who thought EA would not have the audacity to make you pay to keep playing the game you bought: You were wrong. (Okay, you can still play Attrition and Hardpoint on the boring old maps. And nothing else.)
*I know the Euro is currently in some hard times, but it is still worth more than the USD. So apparently charging $50 and 60€ (actual USD value: $81) for the exact same product is fair play? Sigh.