Posted Wed, Aug 29, 2012 by Ethec
Scott showed off the new interface at the molecular printer, Firefall’s crafting station. “Here are your nanoprints,” Scott said, pointing out a long list of equipment that mostly corresponded to what we’d unlocked on the certification tree. Scott pointed out a base-level Omnidyne assault rifle. “I can use it right now – just build it and slot it onto my battleframe. But the people who really want to start min-maxing their builds will want to look into how better resources affect the quality of their builds.”
“Right now, we have 8 different types of resources, each of which has different quality levels and properties – density, malleability, conductivity, etc. All of these stats affect the quality of items.” Scott showed how greater amounts of mediocre resources can be refined to smaller amounts of higher-quality resources.
Refining the coralite he had in his inventory, Scott could now make a green-level rifle with better DPS (the game uses the WoW color conventions). “In choosing better qualities and rarities of resources, you can build much more specific weaponry or abilities that accentuates how you want to play a different battleframe.”
One constant criticism of Firefall has been the perceived lack of PvE content. Past an early tutorial masquerading as a series of quests, players felt they had little to do besides thump for resources. Scott explained that each content area has a new objective – for the first area, Copacabana, it was to give players their first Thumper (which mines resources even as it attracts enemies).
Later content areas, such as Trans Hub, will let players acquire the first pieces of their LGV (a motorcycle-like mount) as well as other goodies. “During the course of those missions, you’ll actually get to drive the LGV, so you’ll know what you’re working towards.
Scott was interrupted mid-thought by a purplish tornado forming nearby. “This is the first time I’ve been able to show this. – a new dynamic open-world event called a Melding Tornado. This is going to spit pretty nasty creatures out into the world. If we’re successful at popping it, it will dump a mother lode of resources out on the ground. If you get too close, though, it’ll knock you far away.”
“We plan on having a lot more dynamic events in the open world,” Scott noted. One of which involves the Chosen patrols players encounter close to Copacabana. “The Chosen can, and will, take over Copacabana. There’s a whole other event for players to take it back from them. The AI system is governing how the Chosen will attack, but players play a big part in influencing that too.”
One of the concepts we’re talking about for Tier 3 is passive bonuses. Think about our existing trees, but in the mix are little bite size chunks of progression that give you a passive bonus. For example, let’s say you were working with a manufacturer who specialized in capture-the-flag battleframes. Those passive bonuses might be run speed or jet thrust.”
I asked if these passive bonuses are sort of like set bonuses. “I didn’t say that word, but you should keep thinking it,” Scott laughed.
With the extent that players will be working with the battleframe manufacturers, I asked if Red 5 had any plans to add corporate story arcs. “I eventually want to have corporations offer missions so players can go out and build reputation, to the point that players could eventually be sponsored by Omnidyne.” So Firefall players could eventually have their very own Ironman experience.
On the PvP side, Red 5 continues to step up their eSports presences. “Every PvP match is recorded and placed out on the cloud so it’s dissociated from the server. The file can be streamed to however many people want to watch it – thousands, easily – without impacting performance.” Scott explained that any player can watch live or replay PvP matches through the PvP terminals located throughout the game. Live matches are delayed by 30 seconds to prevent cheating, except for registered shoutcasters, who can bring up individual player stats on screen during the broadcast as well.
This system records player actions, not linear single-perspective frames (as in the case of fraps or typical shoutcasts), so the files are a fraction of typical video filesizes. Red 5’s system also allows producers or shoutcasts to show virtually any camera position or perspective anywhere on the map (with smooth, uniquely orienting transitions), and includes an automated instant-replay function. In short, it’s the best toolset we’ve seen, either for watching or broadcasting with commentary.
Lots more PvE and PvP content are on the horizon too. “Once Coral Forest is realized, once all of our PvP game types are realized, we’ll start leap-frogging how we expand the game. We’ll add new PvE areas that add new resources and new technologies. We’ll offer new PvP game types and maps, and new ways to participate. Armies are coming in a big way – our Armies are our version of a community character. Armies will have their own technology tree that all army members can advance. And down the road, open world PvP is going to be very interesting for us.”
Our thanks to Scott Youngblood and the Red 5 crew for their time in showing us how Firefall has evolved since our last preview. With last week’s launch of the item store and this Friday’s introduction of the Founder’s program, Firefall is all but officially launched. Learn more at http://www.firefallthegame.com .