Jetpack It All In Come July: Firefall Open Beta

By Jim Rossignol on April 22nd, 2013 at 10:00 am.


I’m hoping that Firefall‘s co-op PvE focus will prove to be the antidote to my months spend exploding dudes in the purely-PvP Planetside 2. I checked out Firefall’s closed beta some months back, and very much liked what I saw, and I also met some of the team last summer and was impressed by Scott “Tribes” Youngblood’s take on it all. I think this game could well be a Rather Big Deal indeed.

Come July 9th, you’ll be able to decide for yourself. That’s when the open beta will commence. I’ve jammed the latest gameplay trailer below, because that’s what I do.

It’s just a shame that Red 5 had to give work to a heinous bigot, when there are so many far more talented sci-fi writers out there who aren’t so openly unpleasant.

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44 Comments »

  1. Premium User Badge

    AlwaysRight says:

    It’s EVE online, not STEVE online #scifibigotry

  2. AngoraFish says:

    I bought in early and have full access.

    FireFall has a huge amount going for it, which is why I bought into the beta, and combat is a joy, but I must say that the amount of content that I’m currently seeing seems exceptionally limited for a July full public release.

    There are more or less only 8-10 random repeating pop-up PVE missions, and the campaign mission stream is clearly still being put together on the fly. If OSC has been contributing, he hasn’t been doing much for his money.

    Effectively, “open beta” makes this the full release date since it’s a FTP game anyhow, so I can only assume that they’re running out of money fast, which is a shame, as first impressions usually stick.

    The game has huge potential for big open world PVE battles, but it’s a long way away from its potential in its current shape.

    The fact that fast travel still isn’t implemented (possibly as a deliberate design decision) is also a worry since running between the relatively sparse random events is a real pain.

    • Didden says:

      Been a while since I tried it, but I found it also really strange when you upgrade to different weapons, there is no visual difference. And the quality of the characters is far to basic, its not even stylistic, its just looks basic.

    • Premium User Badge

      darkChozo says:

      There’s a companion manga authored by OSC, IIRC. I also get the feeling that they’re withholding a lot of story content for a fuller release; I remember that there were “proper” missions when I played a while ago (like, early 2012-ish), those seem to have disappeared in favor of ARES missions now (just started playing again a week or two ago). The Firefall world actually seems like it could be pretty interesting, it’d be good if they could do more with it then they’re doing right now.

      The travel thing is probably going to be made better whenever they get around to making craftable LGVs. I’ve got a friend who sprung for the hilariously-expensive pack with the permanent LGV, and no amount of glider pads lets me keep up with him.

      • Thaewyn says:

        The companion manga is being authored by OSC’s daughter. As I recall, his position was primarily in an advisory role to the rest of their lore team, making sure the fiction of their world was solid, and didn’t contradict itself once they really begin their main storyline.

    • Thaewyn says:

      Hang on a second here. “Full public release”?

      Firefall has been in closed beta for a while now, and they have made a number of sweeping changes to the game. Going into open beta only means that they’re not requiring invites or codes in order to register and play. They’ve been very transparent on this point. The game is nowhere near ‘done’, and the changes will continue to come even after the beta opens up.

      I’ve been playing for a long while as well, and I agree that they definitely still have a good ways to go, but I don’t think this is a sign of them ‘running out of money’ as you say. But then, I tend to take them at their word. They’ve been very transparent in all of their development work, and until they put up the big red sign saying ‘panic’, I’ll continue to assume that they know what they’re doing.

      I might not play as much as I once did, but I still like where the game is going, and I’m looking forward to seeing the new content and mechanics starting up over the next few months.

      • Coriolis says:

        I think people generally view “open beta” for f2p MMO games as “release”. If it already has a cash shop, and there’s a promise of never wiping the characters, then it’s effectively a release.

      • Danarchist says:

        In the last couple weeks I have had 3 coworkers and 2 good friends start playing this. I have been playing since last year and enjoy it, but I think the PVE mechanics are not really ready for prime time.
        Simply put, there is not enough pve to keep the average short attention span gamer interested for more than a short jaunt. And lets face it, lots of us are that gamer.
        This would be the first game I have played where I actually enjoyed the more grindy features, in this case thumping. I find dropping a medium group thumper draws other players from all over and be an absolute blast! But for my friends that just started playing, the idea that half there gaming time or more is going to be spend guarding a throbbing metal phallus from the same 8 types for bugs for hours at a time is not that exciting. Especially with the current resource requirements for upgrading to “Tier 2″ being around 10k resource at the lowest.

        TLDR:
        They need to add some actual campaign style quests and a hell of allot more content and real estate before they toss this out to the wolves of the general public. I’m afraid a great game is going to get shredded in the first week by reviews.

    • porps says:

      i have closed beta access and i would say this game is really good fun, for a week or 2 at least. after that the severe lack of content played a big part in me losing interest. I’ve got high hopes for what it might one day be, but in its current state it gtets old fast.

  3. Don Reba says:

    Were Hemingway alive and hired to write for a game, someone would sure say they would have been better off getting someone more talented and not so openly unpleasant.

  4. AngoraFish says:

    First five interested RPSers get to try the game now:

    [Edit: all gone, happy FireFalling!]

    https://beta.firefallthegame.com/founders/redeem

    Reply below if you’re successful redeeming a key to save others wasting their time.

  5. Ashen says:

    I’d rather have a heinous bigot writer who has a record of knowing what he’s doing than a extremely pleasant hack.

    Not that it matters much in a MMO.

  6. Blackcompany says:

    Firefall has a lot going for it. Excellent art style. Smooth play. A wide open world without the immersion-wrecking leveled zones of so many other MMO’s. And most importantly: fun game play.

    That said, it has a ways to go to get where it needs to be. Right now crafting is a mess. the UI needs work. Its not perfect, but it remains a fun game to play. And having played both I can safely say, it blows Defiance out of the water – and that’s as of now, with Firefall as a Beta against the finished product of Defiance.

    The only thing that troubles me about Firefall is that there exists a very vocal group on the forums demanding more scripted content from what is, essentially, a Sandbox MMO. Or at least an open world one with strong sandbox elements. It is as if this group is basically looking for “WoW with guns” (and pretending that Defiance didn’t just deliver this very thing, which it did). In fact, more than one member of this group has openly stated that Firefall should “be more like WoW. Since the model has been so successful.”

    I strongly encourage fans of open world, sanbox-alikes to look into Firefall. The game needs more people who want to explore and create their own events within a large, open game world. Perhaps if a sufficient number of people rally around this cause, we can keep the game from going the direction of WoWFiance, only with Jetpacks.

    • AngoraFish says:

      I can’t comment on the forum crowd, but “wander wherever you want and kill things if they appear in the vicinity, or not, if you prefer” does not a sandbox make.

      If the game is to be a genuine sandbox (which would be my preference) it needs significantly greater flexibility for emergent storytelling and customisation.

      At this stage of the dev cycle, creating more scripted content would seem an easier and quicker way to pad the game out. This doesn’t have to be map/location-specific missions like GW2 or WOW, random events just need greater variety and to be more densely spaced.

      • j3w3l says:

        Theme park and sandbox is not a dichotomy, it’s more a sliding scale based on gameplay and features and I would have to say Firefall is far more on the sandbox side of things and this really works for the game. I hope they don’t lose this as right now it is the most interesting part of it.

  7. Yargh says:

    Jim, listen to the voice of Vanu, do not be tempted by the allure of other games, You are Better than This!

  8. The_Mess says:

    And for anyone jumping in and looking at PVP wistfully, jumping in unprepared will lead unto countless deaths and few kills as the match maker is still “interesting” sadly. Check Noblesse’s posts on the Firefall forum for why.

    So watch a few replays, learn the ins and outs of the weapons and abilities of your frame(s) and then leap bravely into the fray!

    One other thing, the accord recon frame (if that’s your choice) is best played from short to medium ranges due to lower damage and accuracy at long range with their main weapon.

  9. Premium User Badge

    Sinomatic says:

    I’ve played a little, and enjoyed what I’ve seen though I’m not sure how it’ll be when there are many more folk playing (even durig quiet server time, it somehow felt busy). I’ve essentially ignored the ‘proper’ way to play the game and only run around taking part in whatever dynamic happening pops up near me and enjoyed that a lot, though I imagine I’d want some more meaty, directed content to play should I really put some more time in there. The ability to watch the pvp matches is pretty nifty too.

    Mostly, it feels sort of like an open borderlands, with a horrible UI but JETPACKS.

    I love jetpacks.

    • AngoraFish says:

      I just logged in and was, as far as I could tell, the only one on the server.

      The game does have a high level of flexibility to expand depending on the number of players, as large numbers of players push back the aliens, creating more combat fronts and more map space in which to roam.

      And… JETPACKS!

      • Premium User Badge

        Sinomatic says:

        Maybe it was just the time I was on then – the general chat was quiet and and the no. of people in the hub area was minimal. I was only jumping onto the nearest dynamic pop-up stuff on the map but even when it was fairly near me, it always seemed like I was crashing in on another group’s party when I got there. But maybe I just hate people (but love jetpacks. Did I mention those? There’s jetpacks. And I love them).

        In any case, perhaps that won’t be the case when there’s more territory to roam. I just liked the feel of it when it was me and a mate roaming out and about the wilderness, together but alone. All in all I had fun though – any place I can be a medic with a jetpack is something I’ll happily jump into every now and again.

  10. Crazy Horse says:

    So all with opposing political views are “henious” villians now and Card is practically Hitler? If you alienate those who are conservative on the issue of marriage then you alienate the vast majority of the Earth’s population as well as a very great majority of the fathers of great English literature.

    Card does not advocate legal measures to be taken against homosexuals. He does think that the institution of marriage would be further undermined by being extended to include those who cannot create children by normal means. Being an atheist I find these sort of views to be quaintly obsolete but I still am able to accord conservatives with the respect that they deserve as useful members of society and will judge authors on their works instead of what side of the political fence they sit on. Better to trust in the democratic process instead of resorting to slander. “Conservophobia” is no less tedious than “homophobia”.

    • SkittleDiddler says:

      “…vast majority of the Earth’s population as well as a very great majority of the fathers of great English literature.”

      As if belonging to a majority or being a famous dead author somehow justifies abhorrent opinions on homosexuality. You can seriously shut the fuck up now.

      • Don Reba says:

        You can seriously shut the fuck up now.

        Proponents of tolerance and freedom are somehow not above discrimination and stifling debate.

      • Crazy Horse says:

        Naturally you would ignore that your zealous predilections are exactly as primitive as the soon to be obsolete marital institutions which you have been instilled to fear.

        • SkittleDiddler says:

          I ignore nothing, and I fear no institution. I only admit to having little patience for people who advocate a bigoted belief system that is becoming an increasing rarity in the civilized world.

          As much as you might be loathe to admit it, homosexuality is an overwhelmingly political subject these days, specifically for those who can’t differentiate between religion and politics (*cough*conservatives*cough*). Those kinds of people don’t deserve my respect or my open mind.

    • sinister agent says:

      How to read and understand words on the internet, step 8:

      DO NOT INVENT THINGS AND ACCREDIT THEM TO SOMEONE ELSE. This is idiotic and wrong. If you are incapable of understanding this point, you are not ready for the internet. Go back and read steps 1-7 again.

    • wu wei says:

      Card does not advocate legal measures to be taken against homosexuals

      He has argued in favour of sodomy laws, and once wrote:

      How long before married people answer the dictators thus: Regardless of law, marriage has only one definition, and any government that attempts to change it is my mortal enemy. I will act to destroy that government and bring it down, so it can be replaced with a government that will respect and support marriage, and help me raise my children in a society where they will expect to marry in their turn.

      Which has since been deleted but the internet never forgets.

      Card also believes no one ever consents to their first gay sex encounter, and that homosexuality is pretty much due to cognitive dissonance over having been raped.

      “Heinous” doesn’t even begin to cover it.

  11. Hazzard65 says:

    Played the beta, really enjoyed it actually. The world feels really rich and interesting and all in all it feels quite unique.

    The PVP Combat arena however didn’t tickle me in the slightest.

  12. SkittleDiddler says:

    “…vast majority of the Earth’s population as well as a very great majority of the fathers of great English literature.”

    As if belonging to a majority or being a famous author somehow justifies their abhorrent opinions on homosexuality. You can seriously shut the fuck up now.

  13. Felixader says:

    Female Armor Design. I kind of think at this point i have an unreasonable problem with those that are like this bare asscheek design.

    I wished they wouldn’t do that, or i wished that it would be at least optional for female character players to have actual pants on their characters.

    I know it is silly, but seeing designs like this somehow makes my heart go heavy.

    • Don Reba says:

      Most women in the video have pants on, take heart.

    • j3w3l says:

      If your talking about the engi frame I believe there’s a mod to change it. Definitely ridiculous design though

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    strangeloup says:

    Despite the game having been in development for what seems like about a bajillion years now, I’m still not entirely clear what sort of game it is. Initially it seemed like Tribes: Ascend with a different art style, the early part of the video made me think of the sadly pretty-much-dead Super Monday Night Combat TPS/MOBA hybrid, and then various comments make it sound more like Global Agenda, a sort of MMOTPS.

    Mind you, with OSC on board and the “oops I forgot any trousers” armour design for female characters, I’m fairly sure I can live without.

  15. Megakoresh says:

    Yeah I hope they don’t turn from shooter MMO into power-based MMORPG with aiming with that new progression. It’s just been implemented and the first iteration really points to the usual grind MMOs, though Red5 are known for terrible balancing and they usually do figure it all out after some community uproar.

    Dunno what is up with their writer though, he appeared on Firefall Fest and seemed a very smart and reasonable, and, more importantly, honest guy. he didn’t seem like he was talking political bullshit about the tough questions he was asked, but gave his honest opinions on things. The world needs more people like that, I don’t see what are the issues with being honest.

  16. Sardukar says:

    I keep trying this – different Beta weekends pop-up – and it hasn’t been meaty enough to keep my interest. A kind-of Tribes MMO. With not great, arena-style PvP. Perhaps it’s time to try again, but so far, nothing magical has happened when I’ve played it.

  17. Rahabib says:

    PvE is fun for about an hour or two, when you finish everything and find out its nothing more than the same repeating “raids” over and over again. I hope they add an actual story to the game at some point. The big story they showed off at e3 several years ago, I havent found it.

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    Chaz says:

    Scott Youngblood; seriously? Is that a real name or one he borrowed from an eighties movie?

  19. Snoken says:

    I started playing the game myself and I must say I had quite some fun so far “BUT” the game has no endgame content, it is insanely repetitive and after about two days you will probably have done every possible ARES mission in the game. Also it gets very tedious and grindy when it comes to leveling your classes past lvl8. Tier 2 and 3 gear already require so much resources (DNA samples of some monsters) that you can only farm from thumping or running around in the open for hours and for what? To craft items that are far better than what you used previously sure “BUT” all of them lose durability and break after a while. Sorry but that is a big no go for me in the long run. Please don’t make me wait for hours to research some equipment, then make me kill 300 mosquitoes just to craft an item that will break after a week of usage. The further you progress, the more complicated these crafting recipes become and the stupider the grind becomes along with that. I guess the game is in beta so I hope for more interesting stuff to be added, also I hope they increase the drop rate of some crafting mats so that you don’t end up killing a million of the same creatures a day to finally upgrade your gear. I mean come on if it breaks anyway then at least make it a little more pleasant to get the stuff you need. The map also needs to be at least four to five times bigger, you can run around the whole world in less than an hour, is that it? I have a strong feeling that in case they leave the game in this state, they will go from hot to flop in less than a couple weeks…