Firing Up: Firefall Beta Patch Brings Sweeping Changes

By Jim Rossignol on August 9th, 2012 at 8:00 pm.

Yellow armour, as favoured by bees and wasps.
I haven’t dipped into Firefall since my excursion back in April, but I think now might be the time. Yesterday’s patch has radically altered the game, as you can see in the update video below. Movement has been significantly changed, one of the classes has been dropped, a new one added. The biggest change, however, is that they’ve removed the traditional levelling system (one thing I felt sat awkwardly for the game) and instead given you experience points that can be spent on your battleframe specialization as you see fit. As Red 5 had promised at the start of this beta, they are genuinely changing the game based on how players respond to it, and I think they’ve shown some impressive responsiveness and agility. I look forward to seeing where they go next.

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29 Comments »

  1. Torgen says:

    How would one acquire access to said beta?

    • Mohorovicic says:

      You go to the site and click REQUEST BETA ACCESS.

      …do note that this is mostly pointless as they are doing a real closed beta, which means they only let in new people in as they lose players, and getting in is purely luck based.

      The video really does look promising, especially the new XP system. I assume biotech is medic + engineer classes merged together? Not a bad idea. It’s been a while since I followed the game, but it’s good to see that Red 5 is still as player-oriented as ever; I’ve never seen a developer getting so involved with the community, many devs actually post on the official forums daily.

      • TriggerAdept says:

        You also can get an invite from another player, but those are very limited.

        Biotech is NOT engineer + medic, engineer is in the game and is pretty much the same, with better deployables. Biotech is, instead, a mobile class that has minor healing abilities. Their basic weapon is a life-stealing SMG, where the alt-fire shoots 5 slightly less powerful shots simultaneously; their skills are healing wave (the same), poison cloud (which trails a DoT AoE after you), healing ball (launches a ball that heals everyone it touches; you can detonate it for AoE ally only healing) and triage (instant revive/lots of damage).

        They did, however, change the game completely. XP will never be wiped again- what you spend it on might be, but if it is, you will be refunded.

        • EPICTHEFAIL says:

          So, the biotech is basically Singed + standard healer class? Well, I know what to play in live.

          • svenofix says:

            Registered just to comment on this. :D

            Not that I have anything constructive to add. ;)

        • Josh Wanamaker says:

          I’m gonna have to completely disagree with you about the Engineer’s so called “improvements”. While the beam gun is definitely a step up from the old primary weapon the Engineer used to have, the fact that the weapon doesn’t have a homing capability makes it kind of a pain in the ass to use.

          As for the deployables, well, the class went from having one very effective turret with decent dps and health to having 3 exceptionally weaker mini-turrets. This is not an improvement. Being able to stick the things on any surface is nice, but they are completely ineffective unless you’ve got at least 4 engineers all deploying their turrets in the same basic space. They have such low health that to leave them alone for longer than 10 seconds effective results in all of them being destroyed. So basically you need 12 mini turrets to equal the capabilities of 1 of the old turrets. It’s disappointing as hell.

          Not to mention the deployable shield ability exists for all of 10 seconds instead of having its lifespan determined by HP. So yeah. Better weapon, shittier deployables.

    • Unaco says:

      Check the PC Gaming Forum here, on RPS. There was a ‘Share your Firefall Beta Keys’ thread… is where I got mine from. I haven’t been keeping up though, I got in quite early and only played in 2 sessions… they were limited to 2 a week, for 3 or so hours, at US centric times. It’s opened up to 24/7 since.

    • Wret says:

      “Hoping to give more invites after we figure out if everything is stable. No sense in growing beyond our means. If all goes well, that’ll be this week.”

      The Red 5 Community Manager (Phobos) posted that yesterday. Right now they have a problem with the open world mob spawner having a field day, that in turn gives the AI server an aneurysm making them all stupid(Except for those bloody Chosen Outpost turrets) and causing latency problems. When that’s fixed they’ll probably start sending invites out again. They’ve stated they intend to grow invites exponentially both with Red 5 sent and friend invites.

      From what I can tell PvP is working fine and the developers intend to have Play-With-The-Devs on Tier 1 Harvester (15vs15 KOTH/One-Flag-CTF Jungle map) to gather information starting tonight at GMT 00 (Hour and 20 minutes from this post). I’d say it’s the best map but people tend to queue for the smaller maps because they fill up quicker. The new WoT type tech tree and using crafting to fine tune things to your taste makes things much more interesting as well.

      I also have 2 beta invites, someone said they wanted to give one to their friend but they never messaged me so Ready. FIGHT! (or just message Wret on the Firefall forums, I need to get rid of these before they give out more again)

      • misterevilcat says:

        I’d love a key if you still have any…

        • Wret says:

          Send Me(Wret) your email on the Firefall forums (it’s the Inbox>Start New Conversation tab on the top right for PMs), I use the same name there.

          EDIT:And with that they are gone, exactly 2 conveniently

  2. elfbarf says:

    Is there any content now? I keep seeing all of these updates which modify game mechanics but last time I played there was hardly anything to do.

    • RegisteredUser says:

      Wot he said.

    • Spider Jerusalem says:

      tons.

    • Dominic White says:

      Would you rather they made all the content first, then re-designed the underlying gameplay? Because that worked so very well for Star Wars Galaxies.

    • Batolemaeus says:

      They are very slowly building content, but it’s obvious they want to finalize at least basic gameplay first before delving into content.

      There’s not a lot to do right now and not too much to explore, but I guess that after a few balancing and tweaking passes on the current stage they’ll begin deploying more content.

    • Wounder says:

      There’s more content, although nowhere near what anyone would expect from a finished game.

      Honestly, I think at this point, it might be a good idea to just view the game as a really good PvP arena battle (which I don’t usually enjoy, but is quite fun) with some extra stuff thrown in.

      • Herkimer says:

        I think that Wounder has it exactly. When I first got beta access, I tried to play it straight through like a post-launch MMO, got frustrated with the lack of content quickly, and forgot about it. I picked it up again a few weeks ago, jumped in, did a little mining, a little crafting, and a little PVP, and had a lot more fun playing around and looking for bugs than I did previously. Don’t go into it expecting it to be something that you can spend a long weekend doing nothing but.

  3. Killabyte says:

    When will a new set of beta keys be released or how can i get one another way?

    • irongamer says:

      I don’t see you in the forums Killabyte. PM if you are interested in an invite.

      • Rahabib says:

        i would like one if you still have one look for Rahabib or Raha

  4. Jon Tetrino says:

    I’ve not been able to sink much time into it but my first thought was “Holy crap they’ve optimised this!”

    Runs a lot better on my (now old) machine now. Hopefully they’ll keep it up.

  5. j00bie says:

    I’m trying to get my hands on a key. Tried a bunch of giveaways on PCgamer and Facebook, but no luck so far. Is there any other way to get one besides sheer luck?

  6. Greggh says:

    Spin the wheel of fortune on this one!

  7. TheBeefiest says:

    Don’t hold your breath, my email history says I signed up for this beta in Sep 2010, and still have not received an invite.

  8. Corpsious says:

    If anyone has a key lying around, I’m really keen to try this game. Same nick on the Firefall forums.

  9. dlesage says:

    Same. I signed up years ago, and I’m still waiting. If anyone has any extra keys, I would love to give Firefall a shot. My nick is dlesage on the Firefall forums.

  10. Jupiah says:

    Am I going crazy or was the audio and video in that video slightly out of sync?

  11. ekuurh says:

    Just played it.
    It was…. AWESOME!
    I always wanted an MMORPG in which you don’t just press spells around, but actually aim with a sniper rifle and put turrets and stuff :)
    And the jetpacks…. OH the jetpacks!
    In a way, It’s a wonderful combination of Tribes:Ascend and Borderlands in one neat package :)

  12. gallitin says:

    Doesn’t feel like grinding, I love thumping!

    Found a good fan site as well: http://forums.firefallbase.com/