Player Vs Nobody: Firefall Suspends PvP Element

By Jim Rossignol on September 16th, 2013 at 11:00 am.


The Firefall forums recently updated with the news that the PvP aspect of the game is going to be shut down, pending a rethink. Bossman Mark Kern explained that the PvP aspect was attracting just 3% of the playerbase, and therefore action had to be taken, with a focus on the PvE game: “People want more content, fewer bugs, and more polish on these world systems. For these reasons, we have made the tough decision to suspend PvP and take the system offline so that we can rethink it and relaunch it. PvP is an important part of our game, and we want to get it right.”

Have to admit that, well, I played a bunch of Firefall PvE, and never looked to the PvP. Hopefully they can figure out a way to get it sorted.

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44 Comments »

  1. Hazzard65 says:

    The PVE is great, but can feel repetitive and lacking in substance after extended play times.

    PVP was simply not worth anyone’s time. The great strength of this game are it’s vast vistas and massive combat engagements. PVP forced you into an enclosed, claustrophobic, old school arena… but didn’t offer you anything you hadn’t seen before. I think the only way they will ever attract people to PVP is to offer much, much larger maps with 64+ players per battle. The addition of vehicles would really make a huge difference as well. Huge maps, enormous numbers of players per side and vehicles would really make all the difference.

    • Stevostin says:

      Was PVP limited to Arena ? If so, omg.

      • Hazzard65 says:

        That was the experience I had. I may not have explored it in depth – perhaps there were other pvp options… but I didn’t see them. What I experienced were small, classic style arena pvp matches.

        • alfred says:

          my roomate’s mother makes $74/hour on the computer. She has been out of a job for 9 months but last month her check was $14943 just working on the computer for a few hours. Go Here
          ………………. http://goo.gl/G40gh3

      • BarneyL says:

        They did set up a small chunk of the outside world for PvP during the last big patch but it’s basically empty all the time, there’s no reward for fighting there and a good chance you’ll just end up breaking your equipment.
        The main issue with the PvP for me is that the rewards where not equal to what you’d get from PvE play, if things had been more balanced they might have got more players to drop in to the PvP as an alternative but as it is the one real bottleneck to high level advancement are merit points you can only earn through PvE missions (you can now buy them on the player market but you wouldn’t have the cash to do so it you exclusively played PvP).

        • Hazzard65 says:

          @BarneyL That’s something that really annoys me about MMO games though. IMO players shouldn’t be drawn to an experience purely for the ‘loot’. Why are we rewarding players for “wasting their time” or grinding? I’ve never played Mount and Blade Napoleonic wars because I felt like I was going to get some reward at the end…. the experience itself was reward enough. That’s what PVP needs. People need to feel like they are going to go there and get a fantastic, awesome experience, rather than grind through content (be it PVE or PVP) in order to gain a reward.

          Obviously many players love ‘loot’ and that feeling of progression, but that is an aside to the game itself, or at least it should be. These people should get their loot, along with those that aren’t necessarily that interested in that aspect of the game. But both should be drawn to experience content for the sake of it, not because they will receive some sort of gift at the end… otherwise what’s the point?

          • Danarchist says:

            The last mmo PvP I enjoyed was Dark Age of Camelot. At low levels (I believe 20ish) you could attack enemy owned keeps with siege weapons or sneak over the walls as a rogue. Of course there were usually rogues from the other side on the walls so it turned into a real cat and mouse thing. I honestly do not remember the reward system at all, cause it simply didn’t matter.
            With Firefall the biggest problem was you had this small cluster of super elite PvP’ers that practiced against each other constantly. If you happened to wander in as a noobie and get your beak wet you would last about 10 seconds per spawn. Simply put the people that loved the pvp were too good for their own good. (Man my grammar today!)
            What this game really needs is open world pvp with options for clan wars etc, and some actual payoff for both the master and mouse skill level. As it stood you had no chance to get good so what was the point?

    • Lagwolf says:

      A fair comment on the state of the game. It sort of doesn’t know what it wants to be at times.

    • Stimpack says:

      I cannot believe it has taken them this long. I was in on beta since the very first phase, and I’ve watched it “grow?” for over a year now. They paid little to no attention to PVE, with a major focus on PVP. People on the forums would be chastised for wanting PVP content! It was ridiculous! I personally had no interest in PVP, and the fact that the PVE content was more or less treated as an afterthought is what ultimately made me stop playing. This whole Firefall journey has been one giant mess. I like the guys who are working on it, I think they’re a good group, but god damn. Too much focus on trying to be E-sports, and not enough focus on what people have actually wanted. Sadly for me, and many others, this comes as too little too late. I’m not installing this game for a 9th time, because they changed their minds again.

  2. Stevostin says:

    They’re is a huge need for an FPS mmo but absolutely not like this one. Halo isn’t strong on PC. If you do an FPS MMO on PC, please look at what are the key references for that specific audience.

    • ViktorBerg says:

      Planetside 2 is not cutting it as an FPS MMO, eh? Or do you mean PvE oriented?

      • Smashington says:

        I think he means with something to do other than PvP. In depth systems like crafting and an actual PVE portion.

        I look at Planetside 2 as a buggy version of BF3 with bigger maps. Progression is bleh. Oh I can have 25% more HP. I can carry 3 grenades now. WOOOOOOOOO. There is still no depth to the game. Go to tower, jump in zerg pile, harvest certs for a few hours, log out.

        The biggest thing keeping me from loving PS2 is the lack of alternative gameplay. MMORPGs have so many options. PvP, PvE, crafting, exploration. Sure you can explore in PS2 but there is really no point. Everything is the same and all the zones are just plugs that are reused multiple times in the same zone so you just see repeating terrain features.

        If they ever add a PVE game or something else to do besides shoot people in the face I may get more in to it. Don’t get me wrong, I love FPS games. I just can’t play them for long periods of time because it’s too repetitive.

  3. Didden says:

    How are they still going at this point? *scratches head* This game seems to have been in development forever.

    • CaBBagE says:

      Because of those miniguns and variants, OMFG the noise they make is just utterly brilliant! You just never want them to stop lol. The PvE is improving (more variety), the world is starting to feel better fleshed out/realised. The PvP as it stood suffered a disconnect from the rest of your game experience with it being arena based. I still have high hopes for this title :)

    • BarneyL says:

      The PvE is good fun, something feels right about the combat, all the classes (the advanced ones anyway) have a valid role to play and the world is brilliantly crafted. Firefall is well worth dropping in to for a bit of an explore even if you don’t stick around for too long due to the lack of an end game.

    • Didden says:

      Well that is good to hear, because when I played it, the PvE was terrible. I did have hopes for this title, so I’ll give it another go.

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      I’ve started to call this ‘long hype syndrome’. When games take so long to release that people are tired of them before they even get to play them.

  4. MeestaNob says:

    Is this game out? Didn’t know.

  5. Forgoroe says:

    This game was out way too early in my opinion. There were loads of server problems that wouldn’t allow you to play properly at all. The PvE was fine, but the way you’d get into actually doing it would be samey and very repetitive. The world Isn’t as big as you’d expect it to be either. The strong point of the game is that you could level up any “battleframe” (class) with the same character. Without needing alts you’d change a lot of the gameplay pretty easily, but still… PvE: way too little and repetitive content.

  6. Tei says:

    I am very surprised with this. The last time I played Firefall was… yesterday. I unlocked the Mammoth frame and had fun doing ARES missions with it. I did not play PvP because the weapons feel is imprecise, the physics of jetpacking around are traitorous. But I did not had a negative opinion about the PvP. The PvP was not bad, just not interesting enough. There are PvP people, PvE people, and hybrids. You are not going to get your PvE people to play PvP even if is very good.

    Firefall is growing, but not in every direction all the time. Is apparent that sometimes the dev team is working on stuff we will not see in years, while other stuff is broken in your face (I am looking at you, unreliable dropship pilots). Some of the content they seems to be adding to the game is kinda hidden in new areas with a huge crafting barrier.

    Soo… probably they needed to focus the people they have in the things people is going to see. Is still weird than in 2013 a game company remove the pvp from a game. But is probably for the better.

    Apparently, they tried to turn the PvP into a e-sport, but in the list of things they did, they actually hurt the PvP turning it into a worse game. I don’t play that part of the game, but If I remember correctly, PvP gamers where angry because the game banned crafted gear, forcing everyone in stock gear. In the Name Of Balance.

    • Heavenfall says:

      That’s exactly the reason I never tried it (note I’m not speaking for anyone else, just me). What’s the point of having such a huge disconnect in character progress between PVE and PVP?

      I remember back when I played WoW, we farmed the living hell out of some dungeon, I got my gear. Then we went into PVP arena and I won a special dragon mount that PVP season. I used a little PVE gear in PVP, and a little PVP gear in PVE. That, imho, is the point to which they should aspire for. Some place where PVP progress and PVE progress intertwine, instead of being completely separate.

      Also, E-sport out of an MMORPG? Never been successful. Why was that even a goal?

      • Reefpirate says:

        They had some really really cool observing features for the PvP. I remember just playing around with those and watching arena matches… But then just watching Team Deathmatch over and over with the same simple loadouts over and over got old really fast.

        I kept waiting for them to do the Global Agenda style objective maps but they never seemed to arrive.

  7. Strutter says:

    This game is going nowhere.

  8. malkav11 says:

    To me, if only 3% of your playerbase is even touching the PvP, that means it’s -not- an important part of your game. But nevermind. Everyone knows that MMOs have to have both PvE and PvP content, even if no one uses the latter, right?

    • Urthman says:

      That kind of thinking doesn’t necessarily apply to a free-to-play game. They may be making half their money from 0.5% of the player base. It could be that PvP pays the bills, but that those players won’t stay if the game isn’t attracting enough total PvP players.

      • Baines says:

        If PvP was making them the most money, they wouldn’t shut it down for a rethink.

        The Firefall guys have always seemed more interested in PvP rather than PvE to me. However, PvE is the only thing that makes the game interesting. There are a ton of PvP shooters out there, but not much in the way of Firefall’s PvE (or at least the promise of the PvE).

    • Reefpirate says:

      I knew a whole bunch of PvPers who were totally thrilled by Firefall before it was released to the public. They had a great opportunity to attract a lot of PvP players, but what was on offer was really lacklustre. If they had better PvP, with more objective oriented maps, and some sort of leaderboards/clan ladder type thing I think they would be a lot more successful.

  9. PoulWrist says:

    I read in the thread comments that said “pvp was the only good part of this game, I’m qutting” , made me wonder wtf they weren’t playing Tribes or Quake Live…

  10. DarkeSword says:

    This actually boggles my mind. I never played this game but I thought it was actually ALL PvP. That’s the impression I got when seeing this game at PAX East so many years in a row. They always had some kind of arena fight going on. I didn’t even know that the game HAD a PvE aspect!

  11. pupsikaso says:

    Dafaq? There’s nothing to do in Firefall’s PvE. It’s incredibly boring and not a drop of challenge. Nevermind that they’ve been making it more and more grindy with every patch.
    PvP with my buddies was the only thing why I would occasionally sign on to play, and they just went and removed it? This is the dumbest thing these guys have ever done.

    You know, I’ve always thought that Firefall just might make it, but after this I can clearly see these guys have no clue wtf they are doing, have completely lost their original vision for the game, and the best that could possibly happen is they’ll release a bug-ridden unfinished game as F2P and then quietly disappear.

  12. po says:

    If I think back through my 27 years of gaming to the first truly multiplayer FPS games, there’s two striking differences between the likes of Doom and Quake, and modern FPS shooters.

    1. You didn’t have classes, you didn’t have loot, you didn’t have anything to be unbalanced, because with pickups that you lose when you die, even someone playing for the first time could be the guy with the BFG.

    2. You never got bored playing the same old maps, because anyone could make new ones, instead of having to wait for the developers to get around to releasing a mere half dozen as (paid) DLC. When I was playing Unreal Tournament, I downloaded all the maps from Nali City rated 7 and up. That’s nearly 400 maps! You don’t need loot, classes or levelling to give the game diversity, when you can play it for an entire week and never be in the same level twice.

    On top of that, the map designer’s choice of powerups and weapon spawns to put in their map could change the way the game played drastically, to the point you could have 2 maps with the same terrain, that played completely differently from each other. And the modifiers for UT took things to a completely new level.

    After Unreal Tournament I played Medal of Honor, CoD and then Battlefield. They brought in classes, but at least the effort was put in to keep them relatively balanced. What had slipped though was the ease of making maps, as the tools weren’t up to the same standard as UnrealEd, or any of the huge number of Quake editors, meaning a lot fewer people were able to make maps for those newer games.

    And now we have modern FPS games, that take a lot of MMO elements: the classes, leveling and gear unlocks. The problem is you can’t balance that at all, because you’ve made the system too complex, to the point that changing any one thing can throw something else out of balance. Add in having to balance the same stuff to take into account a completely different kind of use in PvE, and your PvP is going to be people favoring the most overpowered flavor of the month classes, robbing the game of the diversity you were trying to put into it, and seriously disappointing people who find out there isn’t really any choice in what to play. In fact making such a complex system only ensures that your players will find more ways to exploit that complexity, finding all the imbalances before the developers have a chance to try to fix them (in the process providing something new to exploit).

    And as for gear unlocks? No-one wants to be beaten by someone who has less skill, just better gear, and you’re putting new players off playing your game, if they are at the double disadvantage of not having either the gear, or the skill at that particular game. It makes learning to play that much harder when you spend far more time running back from a respawn than in actual combat, and adding a gear imbalance on top of any skill imbalance just makes that stage of the game last longer.

    Going back to UT and its modifiers, there were a couple that removed even that last source of imbalance, the player’s skill, by introducing handicaps to the game. The better players would have gradually decreasing damage or health, while the poorer ones would have theirs increased, until at the end of the game the scoreboard was pretty even, and everyone was able to take an equal part in combat. What set you apart as the better player was how high you could get your handicap value. The Big Head modifier even made it obvious throughout the game, as the better player’s head would grow (along with the size of the hitbox), the handicap being that they were easier targets.

    With that system the good players don’t have a frustratingly boring faceroll every game, instead they actually get to make use of any skill they have in increasing their handicap (an epeen value that correlates to skill far more than OP loot), while the poorer players aren’t on the recieving end of an equally frustrating faceroll, and can instead work on improving their skills.

    I think what has gone seriously wrong with PvP games is developers looking at successful PvE games (MMOs in particular), and then trying to put elements of those into their PvP games, without realising that PvP always had it’s own elements that could have been worked on instead, improving the quality of the actual PvP, instead of diminishing it so much in favor of things that really add nothing to it.

    • RavenGlenn says:

      Except most of your points can be easily proven wrong by invoking the following: “Team Fortress 2″.

      They have classes, weapon unlocks, etc and have done VERY well. One of the greatest multiplayer FPS games of all time.

      In a lot of cases though, yes, developers try to put too much into a simple thing. But the games of yore weren’t without classes, leveling, unlocks, gear, etc because they knew better. They were without all that stuff because they were created in a time when all of that was too complex. We’ve moved beyond the days of a game like DOOM(or DOOM 2) where you couldn’t even actually aim your own gun(for those that don’t know, the game automatically shot up or down if an enemy was above or below you because the mouse wasn’t used).

      Personally, I’d always rather play a game with unlocks, classes, etc over one without. They keep me motivated to keep playing so that I can get access to some new stuff.

      • pupsikaso says:

        Personally, I’d always rather play a game with unlocks, classes, etc over one without. They keep me motivated to keep playing so that I can get access to some new stuff.

        You’re weird. You would rather play a game that locks stuff behind timewalls/paywalls, instead of a game where all weapons are right there available at the start?

      • po says:

        And how exactly is TF2 an argument against what I said? If anything it’s an argument for it, because:

        * It limits the number of classes, instead of regularly adding new ones (needing yet another full rebalancing pass).
        * It limits the number of usable abilities available to each class, making balancing easier.
        * It limits the number of possible unlocks, making it much easier to balance them compared to base gear, and they have both benefits and trade-offs to them, so they are options, not straight-up improvements.
        * It doesn’t have a large PvE side requiring balancing to take into account 2 separate playstyles at once.
        * It has a huge amount of player generated maps and mods.

        Valve did things right, which is why their game is so successful. They added just enough of the MMO elements for some variety, while also sticking to the core PvP simplicity, and being able to rely on their community for a lot of the variety.

        And in case you’ve forgotten, the original Team Fortress was a player made mod for Quake, so you can hardly say that the concept was too complex for that era.

    • Sian says:

      Two things I really disagree with, and one of them is the core of your post.

      1) The noob with the BFG – that was only ever possible if the experienced players didn’t bother or all killed each other trying to get there. BFGs are usually well hidden and experienced players know the respawn timers, so the chance of a noob getting one was always rather slim.

      2) Firefall isn’t a PvP game, it’s a PvE MMOFPS with PvP tacked on, so there’s not really a point to comparing it with Shooters Of Yore. Developers of a PvE MMOFPS naturally look what other PvE MMOs did and try to emulate what they think worked.

      • po says:

        Regarding the BFG, you’re missing the point. The example is that the biggest gun in the game is accessable from the start, not put behind an artifical wall, requiring a certain amount of play. Once you know where it is, and how often it respawns, you can start making use of it. Good luck making use of the top unlock that soon, just because you know how many points you need to get it.

        And FireFall was a purely PvP game at the start of its beta. There was no PvE content at all. Why has the PvP failed? A pitiful number of maps, and far too much messing around with the abilities, classes, gear, tiers, etc. constantly breaking the balance and making that side of the game utterly unplayable long term.

      • Jack Mack says:

        The gate to “unlocking” the BFG is knowledge, not time/money spent.

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      So what you’re saying is, it’s time for a new (hopefully good this time) UT. Agreed!

  13. Freud says:

    We are the 97%.

  14. Megakoresh says:

    There are many things that the veteran players of this game have been telling the devs over the course of recent years, which the devs didn’t listen to. As a result here we are. It was 1.2 years ago when I said “This game looks like a sack of gold with rusty nails mixed in. It needs to have it’s features tied together.” They didn’t listen and look what we have now. It was about 6 or 7 months ago that I said “The PvP has huge pace mismatch, the movement is fast and vertical, yet the combat is slow, MOBA-like and focused on clusterfucks instead of Tribe’s like quick and deadly shootouts”. And there we go.

    Now I am not the only “prophet” here. Veteran players, who know this game inside out, but also have a perspective of players instead of devs, have been telling these things to devs for ages. it’s a result of these people being ignored in favour of their “data gathering” and crowd screams, that we have a game that is, as a whole, in the same state as 1.5 years ago.

    Now we are talking very loudly and aggressively about their stubborn decision to pursue “more content” when their gameplay, their AI, their enemy design and scaling are all MMORPG-like with NO depth whatsoever, resulting in gameplay being a boring tedious spam which feels the same all the time. And we are saying: you don’t have enough money to compensate for that with content, focus on gameplay, add depth, make it a better shooter, and the game will be better for it. And if they won’t listen: just watch them say the exact same thing a year after, and do the exact same things we are suggesting a year after, assuming they won’t go bankrupt by then. It’s really sad that it has so far been happening in this exact way all the time.

  15. Carlos Danger says:

    Sounds like a good idea. Focus on what you can do and then proceed to do it well. I am not sure why every online game has to have a PvP stitched onto it. It has killed gameplay in PvE games and honestly the PvP they slap on never really works out either. Remember the old school concept of crowd control? That died on the altar of PvP due to it being OP against players.

    I am not against PvP games, I just would rather play PvP games that are only PvP games and have PvE games that are only PvE. It allows for a much more well balanced game instead of some half baked Frankenstein’s monster that many turn into.

  16. Glentoran says:

    I’ve only played about 50 hours or so of Firefall (all within the last 3 months) but I’ve already found myself growing quickly bored by the lack of real substance behind the main gameplay. I really appreciate the whole levelling, looting and crafting side of this game, but at the end of the day, it all comes to nothing if you’ve grown weary of the shooting.

    And that is underlying issue here. Yes, this game is fun for an hour of mindless shooting once you’ve got over the initially exciting first 10 hours, but the shooting element is only average and every action and mission revolves around exactly the same theme. There is simply not enough depth to the shooty portion to warrant my attention for long enough.

    Now I’ve taken the time to read through the forums from some posters who have vastly more experience than me at the game, and the ideas to flesh out the primary gameplay and its mechanics are there (so I won’t go listing them all again here). Why there hasn’t been an implementation of many of these ideas- especially given how long the beta has been running for- is baffling.

    There is real potential here, but something needs to happen quickly before more people end up wearied like me, looking forward to pastures new. There are many other games seeking our attention and doing a better job of progressing…

  17. fish99 says:

    I view all the time and effort (and money) they’ve put into PVP and e-sports for this game as wasted effort which should have gone into putting some depth and variety into the PVE. The PVE was always going to be the main attraction of Firefall, it’s a shame the devs didn’t get that.

    SOE has done the same thing with Planetside 2, focusing on a non-existant e-sports scene rather than fixing the big things wrong with the game – like the terrible performance on anything but the latest hardware, the lack of any real tutorial and the lack of depth to the meta game.