What’s This? Your Firefall Is Evolving

By Nathan Grayson on July 14th, 2012 at 11:00 am.

Is he dodging, dying, or dancing? You decide.

Soon, the Firefall you know and love/haven’t actually played/have never heard of and know nothing about will be gone. Like a caterpillar entering a cocoon, the high-flying MMOFPS will soon emerge from the “biggest patch in Firefall history” as a sleeker, more graceful butterfly. With a jetpack. Among many other things, that means the Assault battleframe (the separated-at-birth brother of the Warframe) is in for an overhaul. In short, it’s about to become a lot faster and get some cool new toys to boot. Watch it do assault-type things after the break, as is its wont.

Admittedly, I haven’t played Firefall yet, but that all looks quite nice. More speed and precision and less damage-sponge-y AOE. Sounds like a far more enjoyable way to play – at least, to me, anyway. But then, I mostly play Pathfinder in Tribes and have been known to dabble in Bolt Launcher-y goodness, so there may be some slight bias here (SOUND THE JOURNALISM ALARMS).

I am a bit disappointed that we didn’t get to see how it performs in PVE, though. To me, at least, that was always sort of the main conceptual draw of Firefall. I mean, if I want to strap on a jetpack and reduce my fellow man or woman to a simmering pile of ashes, I have Tribes or even Global Agenda for that. But then, the focus here definitely seems to be on classes first and foremost, so hopefully PVE will get more love in the future.

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20 Comments »

  1. AmateurScience says:

    I didn’t even realise this was out of beta yet?

  2. RegisteredUser says:

    Tribes can make you a bit blue in the face.
    -
    Firefall – god I wish they’d finally add a POINT to the game. Because jetpacking and the guns could be fun. There’s kind of a potential sitting there, wanting to come out and be something.
    But collecting stuff while killing autorespawning enemies around thumpers and crystal deposits feels empty and hollow, as all you’ll do is level and build more stuff to do the same thing.
    Maybe I’m missing the Diablo gene or something?

    It all feels like the basic starter stage you get when you have an initial idea, but the project doesn’t feel like its gone anywhere yet(epic quests, bosses, a much more real and tangible enemy faction, claims and fame, RELEVANCE, etc).

    • Vorphalack says:

      Does a game like this really need an over arching purpose though? Planetside 2 is sort of in the same boat here, they want you to cap bases and kill the other two factions because…..well, you can. GW2 WvWvW pvp is another similar prospect, setting up a 300 man brawl, over territory that is ultimately transitory, because it’s there to fight over. At least in WvWvW you can earn some small benefits for your server, but the main focus is on just turning up and getting stuck in. If the game play is fun I think that’s enough to give it purpose.

      • Flappybat says:

        At the moment it’s fine if you like an hour’s worth of content then constant grinding!

        It’s got the least content of any free to play game in beta I have tried, which is concerning as they tend to hop from beta to release in under six months (World of Tanks excluded). I can’t imagine them making enough PVE for a release this year.

      • RegisteredUser says:

        That’s the thing though, it isn’t fun enough to not get eroded by “now what” after a single afternoon.

        If they want the focus on PVE, then they need to put literally some years into thinking that out properly and making it not just better, but really exist in the first place.

        If they want PVP, then they’re just another small arena team deathmatch game(which they do okay-ish, but its no genre king by far) so far, and have no real GAME game factions warring over mining rights and territory and such.

        You COULD do a shitload of stuff, is my point. Aerial assaults, thumper raids, territory wars, etc.
        But nothing, just nothing is there or even hinting at such ideas coming up.

    • Asyne says:

      Well, it is the starting area. It’s already well-known that current beta PvE content is a small part of what will be in the final product. Chosen attacks on bases, building up outposts, more than two thumper types (5+), wandering bosses, cooperative pushing back of the Melding, et’cetra. R5 is using this more limited area to get reliably consistent metrics to check core mechanics for exploits, imbalance, or ‘not what we wanted.’

      Which is what this update is about: overhauling the core player system, changing what equipment means and how you get it. It’s making players less WoW-like (leveling up for objectively better gear) and more TF2-like (designing loadouts from various options), with every “better at” being paired with a “worse at” (Hamium Pistol hits harder but shoots less rapidly compared to Balonium Pistol). Instead of gear being randomly dropped, it’s all crafted, with the materials being different types of ores gained from thumping or PvP, different ore mixes giving different distributions of statistics. Getting gear is easy, but perfecting it is hard; perfection isn’t all-around superiority, rather a more extreme specialization.

      Which I find all very cool stuff. The only beef I have with the design goals is what I feel is an over-the-top focus on “skill shots,” which could make skill-shot-focused classes (assault, recon) objectively outshine others in PvP, and make certain classes (medic, recon) far less useful in PvE. But it’s hard to say anything certain until after the update, as Word Of R5 is that “the internal build is VERY different from the current beta.”

      • Baines says:

        I wish they’d stop focusing on the PVP at all, and put their attention in PVE.

        From a PVP standpoint, this game doesn’t really have a reason to exist. There are plenty of other games doing the same thing. The thing that Firefall has that might stand out is the PVE world, but they seem to be putting most of their effort into being yet another PVP shooter.

  3. sketchseven says:

    As far as I know, it’s still in closed beta – I’m in, and have been enjoying the basic play – the co-op point defence of the mining (or thumping, to use the proper name) is a lot of fun as a group. There’s not a huge amount of narrative content at the moment obviously.

    It’s definitely got some enjoyable stuff in it, and worth checking out if you have the time – I think they’re still accepting sign-ups.

  4. Flappybat says:

    Missile shot… that fires a railgun?

    What

    Next class ability: railgun shot, fires a missile.

  5. Butler says:

    jesus… is it just me finding this a bit over the top for a beta update? :\

  6. Generico says:

    This is perhaps the least buzzword filled Firefall trailer yet. I think they only said “skill ceiling” one time, and they didn’t “plus” anything.

  7. unacomn says:

    I was quite hopeful about this game when it started out and when I was accepted into the Alpha test (they call it Beta, but it’s about as basic as an Alpha could be), but the recent focus on a clumsy PvP system that at best would be a carbon copy of Global Agenda, instead of developing the exciting potential of the dynamic PvE is worrisome.

    I like that they’re changing the battleframe system so that you aren’t as restricted anymore by the normal progression, but going into balancing at this stage is just bizzare. They’re arguing AoE damage for the Assault Class when they have a Recon class that can’t do any actual Recon.

    Get your ducks in a row people, and kick out the chickens.

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