The booster packs for BF2 fractured the community. Extra unlocks will no doubt bring in an imbalance that can only be rectified by buying the booster, leaving previous unlocks useless and wasted.
As someone who contributes to server rental, this brings bigger issues. I already pay a monthly fee so I can play on a favoured (clan) server, along with non clan regulars and drop ins. Whether we run the booster or not, we'll be alienating part of the community. I expect we will be running the booster, which means all clan members and anyone else who enjoys our server (with it's good admins and strict rules which clan members obey to the letter as to set an example to other players) will have to buy the booster.
After a few months, the BF2 booster maps were rarely seen, what a waste. Also, the Special Forces version introduced weapons that unbalanced the game.
BF2142 is not perfect, far from it, but it does have a good balance of kits and equipment. Since release we've yet to see a dominant weapon emerge (although APM's are popular).
I fear that not only will the booster pack split the community, it will give an unfair edge to those who install it (but hey, I guess that's the hook for buying it).
Of course, releasing it for free by using all the cash generated by advertising revenue and those bloody SIMS expansions, would give BF2142 a future. Otherwise, a few months after release, BF2142 will be a dying game for hardcore fans only.
If our server numbers drop after the booster is released, I'll probably give up myself. No one wants to play on a half empty server, and lots will die off as a result.
Less players = less servers = less players. You can work out the rest. For some reason, EA cannot. You'd think with Armed Assault and ET:WQ on the way, they'd be trying their hardest to keep their fans.
The only thing I can think of that makes sense is that the BF franchise is going the same way as other EA games. Full priced games every 12 months with the last iteration being dropped support wise off the radar. I might buy an EA sports game (or other games that are updated every year like Football Manager which I love, but not enough to upgrade every year) once every two or three years. If BF series goes the same way, I'll lose interest. If support is dropped every 12 months to make way for a new version then I'll give up. It not as if each iteration is better than the last one either.