EA Tunes Up Need For Speed: Payback Progression, But Doesn't Outrun The Problem
On the Need for Speed subreddit, developer Ghost Games has announced that they're changing some of the progression problems that plagued the game's design at release.
The improvements are mostly value changes, increasing the rewards in terms of experience, bank, and rep. Here's the list of changes posted.
- Increased the amount of REP awarded by taking part in events.
- Increased the amount of Bank awarded by taking part in events.
- Bait crates now reward increased REP.
- Bait crates now reward increased Bank.
- Competing against a Roaming Racer will reward you with increased REP.
- Competing against a Roaming Racer will reward you with increased Bank.
- Air Suspension will now appear more frequently within Shipments.
- Slightly increased REP and Bank for finishing an event outside of first place.
While the changes do make the grind a bit faster, they don't really address the central problem of the grind in the first place. Just playing through the story will still not get you everything you need even with the progression. The core gameplay loop still wants you to randomly hope you get the parts you need or just pay money to get them. The real-money transactions are still centrally placed in the game and more in-your-face than they should be.
It is worth noting that EA is being reactionary to the criticism, however, and it comes immediately after EA repeatedly making concessions (whether to satisfactory extents or not) on Star Wars: Battlefront II. Whether or not it goes far enough, it is definitely heartening to see EA and Ghost Games react to the community's requests.
You can check out our review of Need for Speed: Payback here, which Matt Miller said feels "catered to other priorities besides fun."
While there's only so much that can be done to the game on a fundamental level after release, hopefully EA is committed to providing the best experience they can.