Star Wars: Battlefront II – which, contrary to the joke you’re about to make, is still a videogame people play – is about to say goodbye to the Emperor. Palpatine’s getting nixed from the game indefinitely, as it turns out the master of the Dark Side is entirely too powerful to stay in a competitive multiplayer game.
Emperor Palpatine’s lightning ability was able to target enemies through walls, which was by design – though that option proved so OP that the developers changed it to require line of sight. “While we loved the fantasy fulfillment there,” they wrote, “the frustration of not knowing what was damaging you was too high for us not to act on.”
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The chain of nerfs and hotfixes that led to this removal has been collected by Kotaku, but it all ends up with this inevitability – Palpatine’s leaving the game until the developers can get him back into balance.
In the full update, the devs write “We plan to execute our Kill Switch (KS) for him. This means he will be removed from the game. He will be disabled until a hotfix can be deployed. We don’t take this decision lightly, but we feel it is in the best interest for everyone until a fix can be deployed.”
I’m mostly disappointed by the use of “Kill Switch” here. They couldn’t have said “we executed Order 66.” Or “it’s treason, then.” Or “no more UNLIMITED POWER.” Or “ironic, he could save others from nerfs, but not himself.” There are so many missed opportunities, sadly.
Battlefront II’s reputation was irreparably bruised thanks to the loot box debacle, but the folks at DICE are continuing to patch the game and bring out new content. In the near future, that means another season of free content set in the Clone Wars – but it looks like Darth Sidious won’t be pulling the strings this time around.