I’m not sure if the character unlocks will ever need to removed.
The two primary benefits that you get with the character locks are:
1.) The starting characters are nicely balanced across multiple roles to allow a player to start to get a feel for the game.
This game isn’t like Street Fighter, Mortal Combat, Soul Caliber, Smash Brothers, ect. where you have iconic characters that anyone familiar with the franchise would know how to play.
This is a brand new type of game (FPS with MOBA qualities) with brand new characters and brand new ways to play. So because this game can be overwhelming for first-time players it is important to provide them with some ‘basic’ characters that can help better prepare them for this game and the roles that are available.
2.) A lot of people like achievements and unlocking characters is definitely a nice reward for playing the game, especially if you specifically do something to unlock a particular character.
Now the two above items are generic reasons for the character locks, but I’m going to bring my own personal BB experience into play.
When they finally announced all of the characters, the three that I most wanted to play were Caldarius, Kleese, & Ghalt. (Was bummed when I found out that Kleese and Ghalt were two of the hardest to unlock)
I wasn’t really enamoured with any of the starting characters, but once I gave a few of them a spin in the Beta I found myself really enjoying Orendi.
I could be wrong, but I would guess that most gamers, when they find a character they like, will want to get that character up to level 12 to get all of the mutations, and also perhaps complete all the lore to get the character-specific legendary.
So when I started the game, I first focused on Orendi. Getting her to level 12, and getting her lore challenges.
By that time I had unlocked Caldarius a long time ago.
So then I switched over to Caldarius and took him to level 12 and unlocked his lore.
It was while playing Orendi in Meltdown that I decided that I also wanted to get good at a character that could hold a lane better in Meltdown.
So after I finished with Caldarius, I gave Boldur a shot and loved him. So I took him up to Level 12. (Don’t have his last lore challenge to play with an all-Eldrid team)
By that time I had unlocked Kleese. I gave him a spin and loved him, and took him to Level 12.
Once I had Kleese up to level 12, I had long past unlocked Ghalt.
I’ve been running Ghalt (level 10 now) on PVE and not having as much fun with him. I know I’ll enjoy him more in PvP, but if I had jumped straight to Ghalt (if he had been unlocked from the start) I would have been really disappointed in playing him. (Part of the problem is that I had been farming Renegade with Kleese, and Kleese is a monster on that level, and Ghalt doesn’t have any sort of the area control that Kleese does…which made the transition to Ghalt hard)
At this point, out of the 26 Battleborn, there are 16 which I haven’t even played a single time…and I’m currently Command Rank 65.
Anyway, long story short…all you have to do is find a couple of characters that you like to play and level them up to 12 to get their final mutation…and by that time you’ll be hitting the mid-30s for command rank…which will of course have unlocked the majority of the characters.
So if other players do the same thing that I did (focus on a character they like) they’ll find themselves having unlocked all of the characters before even having the time to check them all out.