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First Person Shooters (Games) Games

Game Preview: Firefall (video) 122

Posted by Soulskill
from the massively-multiple-first-people-shooting-at-each-other-for-fun dept.
With three letters, you can get most gamers' attention: MMO. With three more, you can just as quickly inspire skepticism and doubt: FPS. Ever since the MMORPG craze got underway, players and developers have been looking for ways to meld it with the FPS craze that's been going on since the days of Doom. Unfortunately, it's proven much more difficult than expected. The spectrum ranges only from high profile failures, like Richard Garriott's Tabula Rasa, to minor successes, like the Planetside games. That's why Red 5 Studios, a company built upon industry veterans from studios like Blizzard, has been hesitant to throw around the term 'MMOFPS' to describe its first game: Firefall. They say emphatically that it's 'a shooter first and foremost,' and that it also has MMORPG elements. It's more than an academic distinction; they feel that you can't simply cobble together two different genres. In order for the game to work, it has to do the shooter part well, with the relevant RPG parts (character advancement, a persistent world, crafting, etc.) added only in service to the shooter aspect. As Firefall takes shape in an open beta period, it's clear that this is the proper approach. Red 5's unfinished experiment is promising.

Before I get into the game, let me make one thing clear: Firefall is still in active development, and it is not near release. It's currently in open beta, and it's fully playable, but much of their content is still being implemented. Most beta tests these days are simply stress tests and glorified demos, but the creators of Firefall are testing in earnest. They're actively working on the game and continually asking for feedback from the playerbase.

If you've ever played a shooter before, you'll find Firefall's combat familiar. You can play in first-person mode or third-person mode, though why anyone would choose the latter is a mystery to me. You'll notice early that it does, in fact, feel like a shooter. So many of the failed MMOFPS games have tried to use the sloppy, latency-addled systems of MMORPGs, and it's always been a non-starter. But that's not the case with Firefall; if nothing else, they've successfully built the foundation of a good game. As such, there's not much to say about the basics of combat — movement, aiming, and shooting. The game doesn't trip over itself, and it doesn't get in your way. That's a good thing. I will hasten to point out, though, that if you don't enjoy the gameplay, you won't enjoy the game. If you can't learn to aim (or don't care to), you'll have a tough time. If you're an MMORPG veteran who struggles to deal damage and move at the same time, you'll have a very tough time. Put bluntly: enjoying the gameplay will be key to deriving lasting entertainment from Firefall.

So — how does the game integrate MMORPG elements? Well, let's start with the idea of Battleframes. Firefall is set on Earth, a couple hundred years into the future. Though technology has advanced, humanity's resources are very limited. Thus, you have one human character, and before going off to fight, you must equip a Battleframe. There are many different models, each with different capabilities. They're somewhat analogous to a typical class system. You can switch from one frame to another just by heading to a battleframe garage, and you go out and do fight enemies to gain experience points. Those experience points are effectively a currency — you spend them to upgrade your frame. There are three upgrade paths: Mass, which lets you improve your armor and your movement; Power, which helps you improve your weaponry, and Energy, which helps you boost your special abilities. Each has its own EXP scale, so leveling a frame is less like going from level 1 to 60 as it is going from 1 to 20 three different times. It's an interesting system because you can choose what you want to prioritize. Some frames rely entirely on their primary weapon, so leveling up Power to the exclusion of all else will make you very strong very quickly. Other frames don't care so much about their main gun, and just want their abilities to be strong; for example, the Dragonfly frame is focused on healing, so you'll probably want to increase your healing output before worrying about your damage. The Bastion is an Engineer-type that drops turrets. When you have the capability to throw down upwards of half a dozen auto-firing turrets, you don't care so much what your main gun does. On the third hand, when I'm leveling a new frame, I want to move as quickly as possible, so I spend a bunch of experience on Mass.

Of course, the frame upgrades lead into one of the biggest carryovers from an MMORPG: tiered equipment. For the PvE component of this game, you can work on acquiring better gear to improve your performance. However, there are some big differences between Firefall's system and a traditional gear advancement scheme. It's not uncommon in MMORPGs for a maxed-out character to be literally a thousand times as powerful as a brand new one. In Firefall, you gear tops out at around 2-4 times as strong as your starter gear. Red 5's stance is that most of your 'power level' should come from your skill as a player. In practice, this actually works out pretty well. A really skilled player can complete missions and contribute meaningfully to groups even with low level gear. Despite the relatively small spectrum for gear quality, upgrades still feel meaningful because Firefall doesn't constantly and trivially level up your enemies to match your gear. You can jump in and fight to toughest enemies immediately, if you can handle it. Likewise, even your gear is top of the line, you can't afford to ignore the weakest ones.

Now, gear will naturally drop for you from enemies you kill, but your primary source for upgrades will be from crafting. Red 5 has built (or, I should say, is building) a crafting system with actual complexity. It's reminiscent of the crafting from Star Wars Galaxies, which any former player will tell you was probably the best part of the game, and the standard by which MMORPG crafting systems have been judged since. Red 5 has an in-house economist to help design and manage their economy. Instead of inundating you with spider fangs, eyes of newt, and a million other items scattered about the monsters of the realm (seriously, World of Warcraft has about 10 different types of pearls) Firefall has just 16 basic resources.

The complexity arises from the quality of the resources, and in how they are used. Whenever you acquire resources, they come with a quality level, from 1 to 1000. Higher quality resources are more rare, naturally. When you craft an item, you can select which quality to level you want to use, and it directly affects that stats on the finished product. Now, that's not to say you always want to use the highest quality resources you can find; increasing an item's capabilities also increases its power drain on your battleframe. Some components demand specific characteristics as well: for example, the wiring of your new gun requires metal, but favors conductivity. Thus, while you can use Aluminum, it won't match the quality of wiring made with Copper.

It's a very interesting system, with more depth than players have come to expect. It's satisfying to be able to build a piece of equipment exactly the way you want it. That's a goal many MMORPGs have been picking away at from the other side, giving you an item that's moderately useful, then peppering it with enchantments, stat rerolls, sockets, and other modifications.

The crafting system's use of resources is built on another unusual and interesting gathering system. Unlike most games, which just have a vein of minerals or a random flower spawn on the ground for you to pick up, Firefall's resources are underground. Gathering them is a rather active process. It's called Thumping. When you want to gather resources, you find a spot and have your base send over a 'Thumper.' It's an upgradeable device that will pull minerals out of the ground. Doing so, however, is quite a noisy and disruptive process, and it draws the attention of the natural wildlife, who try to destroy it and you.

So: no more idly picking flowers. You have to fight for your raw materials. The Thumper fills up in 5 minutes, and your goal is to protect it for that time. Bigger thumpers draw biggest monsters, and the fights can get quite hectic. They pull minerals from a finite vein underground, and when you're exhausted the vein, it's gone. Red 5 has a complex and dynamic global pool of resources that determines where and when the veins appear. Mission rewards come out of this pool as well. All this makes resource acquisition a complex, unique blend of economics and combat. It's entirely reasonable for anybody to go out with the aim of building the best gear in the game, and accomplishing it by themselves, through cleverness and effort. That's pretty rare.

I mentioned missions; let's talk about those a bit more. Missions are what you'd call quests in other games, but there are several differences. First of all, there aren't really any quest givers, and you don't have to turn a quest in once you've completed. When there's a mission to be done, an icon will appear on your map. When you head over there and complete it, you get your rewards immediately. This is a welcome and much-needed departure from the status quo. It's not perfect; if another group is quicker than you, they might finish the mission before you get there. But it's also very generous in providing rewards for even the most minor contributions.

The placement and nature of the missions is somewhat random. There are dozens of caves and bases scattered throughout the map. You'll end up going to the same location multiple times, but you'll cycle through several different types of mission as well. The mission types are simple -- remember, enjoying Firefall is about enjoying the gameplay. There are only so many times you can defuse a bomb or retrieve a stolen datapad before it loses its novelty. It's certainly less tedious than collecting 20 bear pelts over and over, but you need to like the gameplay for the missions to retain entertainment value. Red 5 is implementing more mission types, so that will help.

Beyond the basic missions, there are interesting world events, too. The game's main enemy force is called the Chosen, and they continually attack humanity. They'll send strike teams to capture towers, which then go dark and need to be retaken. They even assault two of the major cities, and if you lose, that city is no longer available to you for several hours. The game even randomly tags players as high priority targets, then sends Chosen death squads to kill them. All this goes a long way toward keeping gameplay fresh, and from the plans Red 5 has laid out, this is just the beginning. A side effect of this is that the randomness and lack of direction makes you flounder at times for what you should be doing. I'll say this once more because it bears repeating: you will need to enjoy the gameplay to derive lasting entertainment from Firefall.

Every game needs a hook, and right now Firefall has a lot of little ones. It holds a lot of promise, and it can certainly provide a great deal of entertainment in its current state. But for Firefall to evolve into true success, Red 5 needs to deliver on all of the content plans they've outlined. I'll have another video soon talking about the PvP, the user interface, the story, and the business model, but for now I can say the Firefall is certainly worth trying out. It's free to play, and you should be able to tell very quickly if the combat suits you or not. Thanks for watching.

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Game Preview: Firefall (video)

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    ... Since MMOFPS = DRM fps. FPS games were never meant to be massively multiplayer to begin with. You have to take special care when you get greater then 32 players on a server all at the same time.

    MMO RPG's aren't action oriented to begin with, their combat has been simplified down to click menu buttons to fit latency. FPS games are action games and are latency sensitive. The last thing someone needs is for crap latency/packetloss/flux in their game. Not to mention all the concessions they make in ter

    • by StoneyMahoney (1488261) on Monday September 16, 2013 @05:04PM (#44866775)

      One word for you: Planetside.

      Ignore the slight in the summary, Soulskill is just a jealous revisionist. Planetside is 10+ years old (predating Call of Duty, Battlefield Vietnam, Halo 2, most of Medal of Honor, World of Warcraft and the Source engine) as has happily ticked along with up to 450 players per continent (map) in hectic PvP battles that put pretty much every game released since to shame. Despite Sony proving it's possible to scale an FPS up that far, everyone else has been too scared to even try.

      Firefall's PvP is 5v5. That's just laughable! Is this really what we're supposed to get excited about these days? The last three PvP FPS games I would have recommended to people were, in reverse chronological order, Natural Selection, Planetside and Counterstrike v1.6. Despite a ludicrous increase in the power of computers and the speed of internet connections since these games were released, the ambitions of developers are going backwards at an increasing rate!

      • by StoneyMahoney (1488261) on Monday September 16, 2013 @05:11PM (#44866829)

        Actually, it's even worse than I thought. It's not limited to 5v5, it's limited to no PvP at all because it was so terribly bad:

        http://n4g.com/news/1354614/firefall-pvp-suspended-while-red-5-studios-completely-rethinks-it [n4g.com]

      • Planetside was a great game that was slowly and unrelentingly trashed by idiotic devs. Looking back at its heyday I consider it one of my favorite video games of all time. But the devs didn't understand balance and/or were outright biased, so with every patch (and every nerf to anything that wasn't an NC-specific weapon) they kept losing more players. And rather than fix the balance problems, they tried to keep players interested with "Hey, look at this!"-type big ideas that bore the distinctive scent of

        • It is a shame what happened to Planetside. I played it a few times, the population never really recovered from the BFR exodus. If only Sony would release the source for the server and client... (glances imploringly at Wikileaks)

          Nothing even comes close to the scale of Planetside 2's tech, but I must admit to being severely disappointed about how little progress it's made in 10 years. Given the ambition of the original, the sequel is underwhelming to say the least - maybe my imagination is just too far ahead

          • Sorry, posting from bed with flu, missed the word "since" before that first comma. Forgot to mention the server-consolidation messing up pings for everyone outside the USA as well.

      • One word for you: Planetside.

        Also, though it's not an FPS, and the multiplayer element has been 100% designed and implemented by fans...

        Just Cause 2 Multiplayer [jc-mp.com]

        Fun fact: a bunch of the guys on the JC2:MP dev team are the same people who developed Multi-Theft Auto (GTA multiplayer mod).

        • Makes you wish Planetside or Freelancer would get source releases. Imagine the possibilities when there's that kind of talent out there...

          • Makes you wish Planetside or Freelancer would get source releases. Imagine the possibilities when there's that kind of talent out there...

            Man, that would make one hell of a combo, wouldn't it?

            Like Star Wars: Battlefront II but with even more awesome.

          • by Sabriel (134364)

            Star Citizen [robertsspa...stries.com] is a spiritual sequel to Freelancer, Chris Roberts is the lead dev, and in addition to the official persistent online universe it will allow private servers with modding for your own ships, worlds, etc.

            "Basically" it's Freelancer the way the devs always wanted it to be. They've raised $19 million in player-raised funding so far, allowing stuff like player-owned capital ships and space stations. I'm looking forward to seeing what the post-$20M stretch goals are.

    • FPS games were never meant to be massively multiplayer to begin with.

      What do you mean by "meant to." This game is "meant to" be whatever the people who designed it meant for it to be.

  • This is the game? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by i kan reed (749298) on Monday September 16, 2013 @03:49PM (#44866169) Homepage Journal

    Of all the hundreds of games that come out, a generic, free-to-play money grubbing MMO is the one that gets coverage on slashdot? One that really brings nothing interesting or new? And in spite of that gets an extremely positive summary that addresses no flaws?

    It's like you think we're too damn stupid to see when content is replaced with ads. Can't you stop insulting our intelligence enough to mark sponsored content? Please?

    • by TWiTfan (2887093)

      I guess Rockstar wasn't buying any ads on Slashdot this week.

    • by girlintraining (1395911) on Monday September 16, 2013 @03:58PM (#44866265)

      It's like you think we're too damn stupid to see when content is replaced with ads. Can't you stop insulting our intelligence enough to mark sponsored content? Please?

      But we have to monetize the web 2.0 synergy between IT professionals and the data matrix, in order to actualize the potential of emergent market forces! Telling them would ruin our market capitalization! MOAR ADVERTIZINZZ!!!

      • by echolocate (82673)

        Buzzwords make me cry.

        • Every time a buzzword is uttered, a little child has to put down his puppy. For the sake of the cute children and cuter puppies, it is time to put a stop to this buzzword madness!
    • by Keith111 (1862190)
      Whether or not the poster is being paid to comment or not... I have played Firefall for a few months now and it is quite awesome. It's one of the best MMOFPS since Neocron 2.
      • by Roblimo (357)

        Of course he's not getting paid to post a video about a game he likes. If it was a paid post, it would be marked "advertisement." Like you, Jeff just likes the game.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by poly_pusher (1004145)
        Whoa Whoa Whoa... How dare you post a positive comment free of cynicism. This is Slashdot, we hate everything other people make a living off of...
        • by Sperbels (1008585)
          F2P kills MMOs. It attracts the lowest form of gamer...obnoxious children who like to do nothing more than grief and yell obscenities and clutter up the forums with repetitive complaints about whatever they don't like.
          • by bdwebb (985489)
            I've never understood why people have a problem with griefers. People who spawn-camp repeatedly and the like, sure, but unless the game is shitty enough that you are forced to contend with the same asshole over and over, so-called griefers are easy to get away from. Most commonly I hear people say 'griefer' but what they really mean is 'PK' or 'PVPer'. Personally, I could give 2 shits about PKs or even griefers...IMO they make the game more interesting.

            Some of the best games I've ever played have be
            • by Sperbels (1008585)
              Sorry. I don't mean griefer in the same way. I mean griefer as in someone who deliberately tries to annoy you. I'm not including PKers in that definition... unless they're doing something like resurrecting you and killing you over and over, which is obviously griefing.
      • by Salgak1 (20136)

        I've been playing it since Friday (Sept. 20th). So far ? Fun. And haven't had this much fun since my EQ days. Put my hopes on Hellgate:London, which failed so bad it created a new word: "flagshipped [urbandictionary.com]" .

        Messed with a bunch of other games, and then put my hopes into "The Secret World". Fail again. But Firefall is keeping me entertained WITHOUT spending money: so far, everything CAN be earned, just a lot harder that way. Which isn't really a problem for some of us. I have found that BUYING your way

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      well, at least you can tell right away from the bat that the article is bullshit.

      MMO f2p. with those two acronyms you can make most gamers look away.

    • by aliquis (678370)

      lol @ video starting with advertisement... That is if it starts at all.

      Slashdot 0 - Advertiser 1

      • by reboot246 (623534)
        It was more like
        Slashdot 0 - Advertiser 2

        When the second ad started I said "Fuck it!"
        • It was more like
          Slashdot 0 - Advertiser 2

          When the second ad started I said "Fuck it!"

          I disagree... it's more like
          Slashdot & Advertiers 2 x -1 We the readers

    • by guises (2423402)
      Firefall's been getting attention, from me at least, because it's done by ex-Tribes devs. Granted, there are many many games out there that don't do the free-to-play bullshit and are probably much more deserving of attention, but my love for Tribes doesn't let me ignore this one.
      • Whoa, wait, the PvP is limited to 5v5 but it gets attention because it's ex-Tribes devs? What happened to them, they get hit in the head by a truck or something?

        • Ok, back up, it's not limited to 5v5... it's NOTHING AT ALL right now:

          http://n4g.com/news/1354614/firefall-pvp-suspended-while-red-5-studios-completely-rethinks-it [n4g.com]

          The truck-to-the-head theory still stands.

    • It's, what, 2 months until the release of Watch Dogs?

      Considering the plot [wikipedia.org], I'm surprised that one doesn't get more press 'round these parts.

    • If they're not getting their money from you paying them to provide a great game, how are they getting it?

    • by Toad-san (64810)

      Not just one steenking 45-second ad .. but TWO?! Screw that video, and screw IBM.

  • Two 60 second ads??? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 16, 2013 @03:49PM (#44866171)

    I stopped the video once the 2nd of two 60 second ads came on.

    • What, you don't think it's reasonable to watch two minute-long HD ads to watch a trailer for another product in standard definition?
    • I've seen YouTube put up a forced ad before a movie trailer -- forcing you to watch an ad before you watch an ad.

      Two 60s ads before an ad? Is that Hulu?

  • by Thesis (1983882) on Monday September 16, 2013 @03:51PM (#44866185)
    The video has loud obnoxious ads which you cannot skip.
  • by TWiTfan (2887093) on Monday September 16, 2013 @03:52PM (#44866203)

    I read earlier today on The Escapist that they've basically suspended [escapistmagazine.com] all PvP in the game. So it looks like they've got a lot of kinks to work out.

    • Yes, it's an "open beta" - which means that things may not work correctly or be changed/removed.

      (The other part of the issue is that there just weren't enough people willing to play PvP. But I'm not sure if that due to population or whether people just got tired of PvP in its current shape.)
      • Yes, it's an "open beta" - which means that things may not work correctly or be changed/removed.

        The hype around this game comes from the pedigree and experience of it's dev team and they've made a mess of what should have been THE core feature of the game. Remove the whole game from the Internet already, it'll never live up to it's promise.

    • by pla (258480)
      they've basically suspended all PvP in the game.

      A multiplayer FPS... Without PvP? Wow. Just... Wow.

      I mean, I admittedly hate involuntary PvP in most online games. But I can't really imagine how they plan to attract people to an FPS without PvP as a core game mechanic - "Come play a UT clone against AI opponents, oh and don't forget your freemium upgrades if you want to have any chance at lasting 30 seconds"?
      • Well, it did "work" for Valve's TF2 - Man vs Machine mode. Got a bunch of playing TF2 since it is 6 player co-op that would of never played TF2 otherwise. We now play 8 humans vs 8 bots on the regular TF2 maps.

      • by Luckyo (1726890)

        Warframe is so popular, that it's advertised as a "major game for PS4".

        It's pure PvE FPS game that's played in 4 man squads. And it's quite fun.

  • more like (Score:5, Insightful)

    by phantomfive (622387) on Monday September 16, 2013 @03:52PM (#44866207) Journal

    With three letters, you can get most gamers' attention: MMO.

    More like you can get every game producer's attention, wondering how he can get a piece of that revenue.

    The three letters that get most gamers' attention: FUN. Who cares if it's MO or not.

    • by TWiTfan (2887093)

      Just remember the phrase "This game is going to do for you what WoW did for Blizzard!!" in your pitch and you'll get funding, no problem.

    • With three letters, you can get most gamers' attention: MMO.

      More like you can get every game producer's attention, wondering how he can get a piece of that revenue.

      Is even that true anymore? Seems like that was at least 5 years ago when everyone was sure that someone could make the next WOW. And THAT was long after it should have been clear that trying to make "The next (insert popular game here)" was a really good way to utterly and totally fail to make a good game or much money, WOW or other title.

      Invest time and energy into being creative, or at least buy people who do, and then invest heavily into marketing it. If you want a formula for success, that seems l

  • Borderlands 2 is an FPS game with heavy RPG elements, and you can play co-op with 4 players, and it is heaps of fun. --- Sure, it isn't an "MMO" at this point. But the idea that RPG and FPS have never been "blended" is false. Borderlands 2 does it, and does it in a package that is great fun (good for 150 hours or so of gameplay if you want to reach Level 70). Maybe Borderlands 3 can have a MMO aspect as well? Who knows? ----- There is also the Just Cause 2 Multiplayer Beta going on. That supports up to 2,00
    • by black3d (1648913)

      Both the Borderlands world and gameplay style would make for a great MMO and I sorely hope to see it done one day. The respawn rates, loot distribution, etc, have already been designed nicely around both a perpetual multiplayer and continuing singleplayer experience. Sure, they'd have to open the world up a bit more, make maps much larger than they already are, etc, but Borderlands seems a great contender for "could be an awesome MMOFPSRPGOMGBBQ"

    • ... the idea that RPG and FPS have never been "blended" is false. Borderlands 2 does it, and does it in a package that is great fun (good for 150 hours or so of gameplay if you want to reach Level 70)

      Also, you know... pretty much every Bethesda game starting with Fallout 3.

      There is also the Just Cause 2 Multiplayer Beta going on. That supports up to 2,000 players per server and is "FPS-like". http://www.jc-mp.com/ [jc-mp.com] [jc-mp.com] What it lacks in RPG elements, it makes up for in terms of a huge map littered with vehicles you can drive, fly or float.

      Well, 'right now' is a bit of a misnomer - there's an open beta once every 4-8 weeks it seems.

      Regardless, I recommend anyone with a copy of JC2 to sign up, as it's fucking spectacular. No, really, you haven't had fun in a game until you've circled a gigantic yacht suspended from balloons with your military jet, while flying through a wall of 300 skydivers [wikia.com] AND engaging in a dogfight with a tuk-tuk [blogspot.com] swinging from your tail section.

      At ni

  • by handshake, doctor (1893802) on Monday September 16, 2013 @03:54PM (#44866227)
    Slashdot - why is the production value of your in-house video content so poor? The cheap headset mic audio quality and low bitrate compression make this kind of content feel hackey and effectively unwatchable. I know video is new-ish for /. but you're not reinventing the wheel, and you've had a minute to sort this stuff out guys ... it's amateur hour.
  • With three letters, you can get most people's attention... YOU. With three more letters, you can piss them all off... ASS

  • by ShaggusMacHaggis (178339) on Monday September 16, 2013 @03:56PM (#44866239) Homepage

    They just decided to remove PVP from the game for the time being while they work out the kinks. I have been in the beta since the beginning and I'm not sure what to think. When the game first was unveiled, it seemed like PVP (normal fps multiplayer) was the main focus of the game. Fast forward to today, the CEO claims only 3% of Firefall players are playing PVP (I believe it). PVP definitely needs work, so this is probably a good thing - but I have to wonder how deep The9's pockets are (Red5's Chinese investors)....so far, they have allowed Red5 to completely change gameplay over and over....which can be a good thing, but I worry about how many people are getting burned out due to the game changing every few months. I read somewhere that they have spent more on this game than Blizzard spent on the making of WoW and Diablo3. I don't know if that is true though....if so, it should be worrisome because this game is nowhere near as complete as either of those games.

    It also seems weird that they are spending all this money on marketing (million dollar statues, multiple RED cameras, advertising blasted all over PAX and other conventions) - without generating money.

    • They're taking their investors for a ride. The executives spend money on a marketing campaign, and the marketing company gives them some of the money to keep in their own pockets. Works like a charm.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    It's in "Open Beta" currently. The closed beta was basically the game with no purpose: one PvP mode: TDM; no PvE other than "run around and shoot things". The "Alpha" stages were only available to Red5 employees. IMO it's still in Alpha. It certainly has promise to be a decent game, but it's by no means nearing release. At their rate of development, it probably needs about 1.5-2 more years of "beta" before it's ready.

    And yes, they've recently scrapped much of the PvP game, as it wasn't working like the

    • by WuphonsReach (684551) on Monday September 16, 2013 @04:37PM (#44866507)
      I've been playing it for about 2 weeks:

      - The content that is there, mostly works. There's still some wonky stuff like Tornadoes getting stuck in cliffs, mobs that get stuck in geometry, mobs that spawn in strange places, etc.

      - They've done something intelligent by making the ARES missions dynamically generated. While you may know the terrain of a particular cave / interior, there's half a dozen different missions that can play out in that location.

      - The overworld is seamless and reasonably large (3-4km from end to end, about 1.5km wide). But they've hit the technical limits, so future areas will have to be done like the "melding pockets" where you have some sort of zone transition. (In fact, I believe they are currently going back and reworking the melding pockets to be full-sized or larger zones then they are in the current beta.)

      - Resource acquisition with thumpers is something new. No cliched swinging of picks to tap off a few resources. Instead, you have to defend it against the local wildlife.

      - The locations are very well designed. One cave feels different then another cave, most of the locations feel very unique. Whoever designed the world did a very good job of giving the different outposts a specific feel and then decorating them accordingly. Much better then the cut-n-paste dungeons or outposts from some other games.

      - The chatter from Aero and Oilspill (in-game NPCs who talk to you over the radio) still needs a lot of work. They tend to natter on a bit much and if you complete a mission quickly, they may end up telling you things that happened 2-3 minutes ago or give you information that is not needed. That being said -- their lines are very well done, and you will get different lines in different locations based on the local design. It's a feature that I think is unique to Firefall.

      - The gunplay is reasonably solid and has a decent feel. The enemy AI still needs work, but does okay.

      All-in-all, it's not a bad way to spend 40-60 hours of playtime without having to pay a penny. And I've had enough fun so far that I went and plunked down $75 for the ARES starter pack. Although I'm not sure that I will sign up for a membership package where I pay $15/mo. The content is still a little too thin for that level of commitment.
      • I've been playing on and off for months. I really like it but it doesn't have replay value yet. PvE is fun but limited, and while I've never been a PvP'er, I didn't like the arena matches. They have made massive changes over prior months which is a double edged sword. It means they're changing/fixing things, but if there isn't a fixed direction, when is it going to be "done"? Motorbike races anyone?
  • by war4peace (1628283) on Monday September 16, 2013 @03:58PM (#44866259)

    I love the game, I sank some money in it already, but man, the game's having a crapload of issues. Between lost transaction data and buggy PvE missions, to bugs introduced to the game simply because some sub-team did something with the code right before the patch is released... They have lots to fix there.

    Few days ago they announced they will completely drop the PvP part of the game (until further notice). I just hope this means more focus on the PvE part, which is nice... until you do that for 20 days and realize there's not much else to do.

  • by JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) on Monday September 16, 2013 @04:25PM (#44866407)
    I've been playing this game here and there since I saw their booth at AX...2...3 years ago? I can't remember.
    It's an interesting game, and it is fun for a while, but the biggest problem is that there's not much to do.
    The world is fun to explore, especially when equipped with jetpack/boots/whatever, but there's only so much of it.
    Beyond that, it quickly becomes a grind, and as such quickly gets boring.
    They introduced a good deal of dynamic events and such to try to keep it interesting, but they don't change much.
    The end/world boss seems interesting, but every time I've attempted it the game lags so bad, seemingly due to the lack of optimization on the server end to deal with so many players in a compact space. I usually die long before I know what even hit me.

    TL;DR: It's a good way to kill a little bit of time if you're bored, but if you're looking for a serious game to sink your teeth into, look elsewhere.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    When I first caught wind of this game in spring 2012 I tried to get into the Beta, it took FOREVER to gain access through their system, i was jonesing hard for this game when I first saw videos posted. By the time I got in a lot of stuff had changed and it wasn't bad but... it wasn't great either.

    I mean it was okay, even had a few friends playing but things would get buggy or the servers couldn't handle the load on weekends and eventually it was just not something I wanted to mess with any more. I realize i

  • "the FPS craze that's been going on since the days of Doom"

    A 20 year "craze"?

  • I came across the trailer for Superhot http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JYAUlPMqnKk [youtube.com] the other day - a FPS where time only passes when you move. Sort of a Braid/Max Payne mashup.

  • What the fuck did I just spend 2 minutes watching? Two advertisements for some sort of IBM social engineering pep talk about hiring employees. FFS, Slashdot. Now I don't feel the slightest inclination to watch this stupid video. Too bad I already gave them the ad view on their stupid un-skippable advertisement video.

    And they wonder why we rebel and bypass their artificial restrictions? One ad would have been enough, thank you, but they just had to push it.
  • anyone have a link to the video? When I hit play it was just a series of ads strung together.

  • Yeah, MMO does get my attention, and while owning a few hundred games, I refuse to play an MMO.

    The in town multiplayer cheat in diablo was the only time I tried to play with random assholes. That game lasted all of 30 seconds and of course, I lost when hit by the wall of fire.

    So when you hear "Pc Gaming is dying" and "Holy shit, there's a new MMO" , You might want to fire up a brain cell or two and think about that..

  • 60 second Ad's before the trailer plays. Be warned
  • Is there a reason I had to watch TWO ads, both containing the same thing, each 60 fucking seconds, before I got to see the piece?
  • FPS is First Person Shooter. If you see your character on the screen it's a TPS, Third Person Shooter.

  • For those who care about such things, the story for Firefall was at least partially written by Orson Scott Card. For the record, i am planning on going to see Ender's Game because i want to encourage the production of more serious SF movies, but i'll be donating some amount of money to a pro-LGBT group to assuage my sense of guilt. However Firefall isn't really doing anything unique in the video game arena that would cause me to overcome my distaste for supporting projects OSC is involved with.
    • by Salgak1 (20136)
      Really beginning to get tired of all the OSC Hate. OK, so he's not politically correct, and holds an opinion that many find offensive. He also writes well. I'm sure the officers of many companies that make products I regularly use and enjoy are utter bastards, but there's no organized hate of THEM (Why am I suddenly flashing on "Dogma" and the scene in the "Mooby's" Office. . .). . .
      • by Daetrin (576516)
        "I'm sure the officers of many companies that make products I regularly use and enjoy are utter bastards, but there's no organized hate of THEM"

        Uh, did you miss the whole thing with Chick-Fila last year? And i guess you weren't in California when the list of companies supporting Prop 8 was going around? (And i know the same kind of thing goes on with conservative groups on the other side of the aisle, but i try not to pay too much attention to that for the sake of my blood pressure.)

        No one really cared

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