Firefall has been up and down over its long history of development, but came through to provide a very solid product when it officially launched two summers ago. Since then, the game has steadily continued to improve its revamped gameplay and provide MMO players with a pretty unique experience.
For an MMORPG, it has some very unique elements that set it apart, especially it's Sci-Fi theme and active, vertical combat.
Upcoming Combat Changes
Red 5 Studios is looking to continue building on the strength of the game by making some fairly large changes to combat in the game by greatly reducing cooldowns and also giving each Battleframe a unique movement ability. These changes should improve the overall pacing of combat in the game and make engagements faster and more intense. For a game that doesn't seem to have gotten a wealth of exposure - Firefall appears to be doing as good as ever and each new update feels like a positive improvement.
Here is what the development team had to say about the upcoming combat changes:
"We've taken a look at the core combat experience of Firefall, and will be iterating upon the battleframes themselves, their weapons, and abilities in order to ensure the moment-to-moment gameplay is highly mobile, impactful, and exciting. This iteration to the core combat experience is the first step in a broad plan to improve the combat experience and ensuring each battleframe feels diverse and meaningful. Expect further iteration before these changes make their way to production and continuing on into the future."
Here are some of the upcoming combat changes you can look forward to in 2016:
- Base ability cooldowns will be significantly decreased.
- Each Battleframe Archetype will have its own unique movement ability.
- Battleframe Passives are being replaced with boosts to base statistics that make sense for each individual suit.
- Those former Passives may be reintroduced in the future as Perks to make their attributes more intuitive in terms of frame customization.
Jetball Returns, New and Improved
Players who have been waiting for the return of Jetball won't be waiting long.
Firefall's PvP development team has been working hard to bring the former team-based PvP mode up to par with current gameplay. The general concept remains the same, as players will work together against opposing teams to try and control a game-ball and score points.
For those who are curious, here is an updated overview of the rules:
- Each match lasts 10 minutes.
- Throughout the match, players can change their equipped battleframe at a battleframe station inside their spawn room.
- Activating an ability while carrying the Jetball will cause the player to drop the Jetball, however the ball carrier can make use of the speed boost and jump pads found throughout the map.
- The ball carrier receives a shield that provides 50% damage mitigation.
- While carrying the ball, holding down primary fire (left click) will charge the ball for a shot.
- Alternate fire (right click) while carrying the ball will perform a soft-lock on a friendly to attempt a pass. Be careful, enemies can still intercept passes and shots so be sure to be mindful of your enemies’ positioning and activity. This is a charged alt fire as well.
- The ball spawns at the center of the map at the beginning of the match. Once a team scores, the ball will spawn at the back of the defending team’s goal room.
- Scoring Rules:
- Carrying the ball through the goal is worth 1 point as this is the easiest method to score.
- Shooting the ball through the goal is worth 2 points.
- There is a marked volume in each goal room. Shots taken from that volume and go through the goal are worth 4 points.
- Upon scoring, automatic turrets will deploy in the defending team’s goal room for 30 seconds to deter the scoring team from remaining in the goal room.
Here is what the dev team had to say about reintroduction of the PvP gamemode:
"While playing Jetball or any other arena-style PvP mode, players will have access to PvP variants of the battleframes they have unlocked. These battleframes will have slight variations compared to their PvE counterparts and will have a standardized ability kit and gear set. The major bonus is that we can tune the PvP battleframes independently of their PvE versions to make sure we are providing the most fun experience possible without making sacrifices in favor of PvP versus PvE playstyles."
Sooner than Later
These updates are not far away, as the development team is planning to push the update live sometime in January of next year. So whether you've been playing Firefall for a while, or haven't yet tried it out - early next year looks to be as good a time as any to dive in and explore the new gameplay. More updates and changes are also planned to hit the game's public test server in early January also, as the team strives to continue improving the experience in 2016 and beyond.
I'll see you in there!
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