It only took a few matches of the Star Wars: Battlefront beta to learn a fundamental truth of the Star Wars universe: the Rebels always get creamed at the snowy Battle of Hoth. The epic showdown, reborn from The Empire Strikes Back, sees the ragtag Rebel forces try to take on the Empire.
It's far from an even match — the Empire, with its vast resources and evil power, lords over the battlefield with squadrons of TIE fighters, massive AT-AT walkers, and the more nimble AT-STs. The Rebels, meanwhile, have to make due with handheld weaponry and its elite Rogue Squadron of fighter pilots. In the film, the Rebels suffer a great defeat at Hoth. In Battlefront, the result was rarely any different.
The Rebels lost in the movie, and they always lost in the beta
The imbalance in the beta came down to several factors; primarily, it was due to the differing victory conditions. The Empire merely needed to run out the clock to win. The Rebels, meanwhile, had to secure certain points on the map to bring down AT-AT defenses. Once down, the whole team had to unite to destroy the walkers before they blew up the Rebel power generator. Needless to say, a bunch of strangers in a multiplayer match rarely pulled off this feat.
But unlike most multiplayer games, players didn't seem to complain about the imbalance. The Battle of Hoth appeared to be the most popular of the two game types in the beta. Some fans justified the imbalance because it was accurate to the source material. And the challenge made it even more rewarding when the Rebels did turn back the Empire.
"It was fun to see people taking it that way!"
It turns out the Battle of Hoth wasn't supposed to be that way, however. In an interview with Eurogamer, Battlefront designer Jamie Keen said that the team was fascinated that fans grew to accept the imbalance and tie it into the lore of the series. However, he said, "It actually isn't supposed to be unbalanced! It should be 50/50 in terms of success ratio, that's what we're gunning for." He added, "It’s interesting, people’s receptiveness that it would be unbalanced. It was fun to see people taking it that way!"
So, thanks to the beta, the team has gone back and tried to fix the balance on Walker Assault mode. The AT-ATs apparently have weak spots now to make it easier to take them down. Hopefully things won't swing too far in the other direction — we'll find out when Star Wars: Battlefront comes out on November 17th.