Firefall beta sunrise in New Eden Video Games

Firefall beta reaches new milestone

Firefall beta sunrise in New Eden

Firefall has just released its milestone patch and the changes are phenomenal. The patch notes claim simply that they have “Changed everything” and “Created fun”. Those are not understatements. I have been following Firefall since I was first introduced to it at PAX Prime 2010. I have been in the beta for several months now and I have loved every minute of my experience. This is not the same game that I played only a week ago and I couldn’t be happier with the new setup.

Some background

Firefall is an ambitious free to play MMOFPS from the creative minds at Red 5 Studios. The storyline centers on a vision of Earth devastated by invasion from an alien race known as the Chosen. The landscape surrounding Fortaleza, Brazil is dangerous to enter because of an energy field called the melding. Players take on the role of a freelance soldier aiding the Accord to defend this bastion of humanity. Using battleframes, a type of power armor originally designed for sport, players battle a host of wild creatures and the occasional Chosen invasion force while gathering resources and completing quests.

The frames

Firefall has five classes of battle frame:

Assault – An all-around and balanced frame well suited for those just getting their feet wet. The signature weapon on this frame is a plasma rifle that shoots an energy ball that explodes on impact and deals splash damage within a good radius. Hitting an enemy directly deals extra damage.

Biotech – This new class replaces the old medic class. While the medic used to rely on weapon based heals and thus doing less damage to opponents in combat, the biotech is full of damage potential. The basic weapon attack damages enemies and heals the biotech through either full auto concentrated shots or short range shotgun-like bursts. Healing is now performed through special abilities, making biotechs more capable combatants.

Dreadnaught – This is the heavy weapon class of the game. Armed with a stylized chaingun, these frames deal medium range damage unlike any other class. However, the weapon requires time to spin up before firing. As such, it will take practice and skill to use effectively without wasting precious ammunition.

Engineer – The closest you would see to a pet class in this game, the engineer is a master of deployables. Engineers set out turrets that target and attack nearby hostile creatures while the engineer either repairs or participates in battle with their tesla cannon. Engineers are also the only class in the game that can repair equipment in the field like the resupply stations that provide health and ammunition refills to other players.

Recon – Sniper class of Firefall. These are the fast moving characters with pinpoint long range capability. This is a class for dedicated and skilled individuals. Switching between weapons to move to a conventional firearm in a pinch is probably going to get you killed in my experience. However, for those that have the knack for it, the recon is one of the more lethal frame options out there.

The new features that I loved

Let’s start with the tossing of the entire leveling mechanic. Red 5 realized that this isn’t an MMORPG and that gaining levels and abilities doesn’t really make sense in the same way as in an RPG. So experience gained through combat and quests is now an asset to be spent on upgrades for your battleframe. This is one of the coolest leveling systems that I’ve seen in a very long time. Not only can you spend time making sure that your frame improves in a way that fits your play style, nothing prevents you from gaining enough experience over time to unlock every ability for it.

Firefall beta engineer in battleframe garage

New garage replaces old loadout.

The new battleframe garage replaces the old loadout interface. A slick new 3D model greets players when they go to customize their frames. On top of the nice look of it, the new interface allows for more customization of individual parts without the previous problem presented by the use of slots and modules. Each piece can be changed out and you no longer lose access to an ability if you change armor but lack another ability module to install in it. More freedom to customize and play with builds always puts a smile on my face.

Crafting takes on a bit more nuance with this newest patch. While I haven’t experienced it yet myself, I am looking forward to the new mechanic that no longer requires specific materials for crafting, but instead rewards players with the ability to enhance stats with rare materials. Again, this falls right into my love of customization. I would be enthralled by this aspect of crafting in an RPG; I’m absolutely floored to find it in an FPS.

Anyone that enjoys multiplayer shooters should be playing Firefall

I can’t say enough good things about Firefall. There’s plenty to explore in the newly expanded map, the landscape is breathtaking, and the mechanics are easy to grasp and fun to master. If you haven’t already, you should be signing up for the beta now. I would expect less than what Red 5 offers up in Firefall in a paid game. To get this as a free to play game is unbelievable. Firefall has had me in its explosive high caliber spell since I first laid eyes on it. The ride is only just beginning.

We here at Dorkadia have a couple of extra beta keys that we are willing to part with. We will give away two keys to randomly chosen readers leaving comments on this article that actually have something to say. Yes, that is subjective, but we do so love having the power around here. So comments of “first” or “I want a beta key” aren’t really going to cut it. You have until 11:59 pm PDT on Friday, August 10th** to comment. Winners will be contacted via email.

**Edit: Thank you all for reading and commenting – congrats to Dwalin and Lucas for grabbing the two Firefall beta keys!  Hope to see you both in the beta this weekend!

  • Nice article, I haven’t played Firefall and only came across it recently reading another article regarding Planetside 2. The guys at Red 5 seem to have come out of nowhere with an amazing game that will knock everyone’s socks off. I only play multiplay games now and this is looking to be an extremely well balanced game.
    Also really good to hear that the beta feedback is making huge changes to the way the game plays.
    Can’t wait to see when the next beta wave goes out, I only signed up last week so no immediate hopes of getting in, so I satiate my appetite with media articles like this 🙂 keep it up.

  • Jacob Denbow


    Red 5 has really done a good job listening to player feedback in firefall. i havent played the beta much but from the patch that made the jetpacks better and this one, ff might take steal the time i would be playing tribes ascend

  • From watching streams from before the latest patch and after, the game has taken a real turn for the better it seems, hopefully another wave of keys will go out soon so that there’s gonna be a more active amount of players online cause I haven’t seen too many during streams ;O

  • Mikael Nensén

    What neverhood said, a really good article! I really appreciated the summary at the top. It contained some lore that I was not aware of since last I went over what’s posted on the official Firefall website.

    It seems that Red 5 is indeed bringing a triple-A title to the F2P market and it’ll be interesting to see where they take it from there. More and more franchises are popping up on the F2P market offering players the choice to spend money in order to unlock new features. I wonder what Red 5 will be offering people that are willing to part with some money.

    I have not had any luck with getting into the beta, and going over what they changed in the patch (everything?), I can only hope that i’ll be able to test it out in the future.

  • Ok, FINE I’ll reinstall this thing. DAMN YOU SPURR

  • Maxel

    I’m waiting to get into the beta since 2010 september, that’s when I registered at forum. Mix of RPG and FPS and it’s all online. I think when it will finally come out as F2P ( which is great choice) it will make itself way to the top of e-sport. Update what removed levels from this game should be the best.

    Anyway, great article.
    btw. I think that Dreadnaught is for me 😉

  • Dwalin

    A really fine article. I have been looking forward to the chance to try out the game just for the fact that the game world developes in response to the actions of the collective player base, but it sounds like they have done a really phenomenal job making it fun to play even without the events outside a particular fight. Should help expand the appeal to be rts or fps lovers instead of rts and fps lovers.

  • Firefloo

    Great game mechanisms have been brought to players with this new patch :
    – Battle frame garage,
    – Skill trees !
    – Randomized thumping
    – New “loot” system

    I think it is more a Firefall 2 than a patch as it gained a lot of originality.

  • Deramin

    Good article! I have not yet played the game but this has a lot of info I was looking for!
    Bookmarked and I will be returning to check out the rest of this site!

  • jeff hesser

    I was soooo stoked for this game when i saw it at PAX last year but after being signed up for almost a year now with no invite it has fallen off my radar.. This patch seems full of great new content.. Cant wait to try it out.

  • Brian Toms

    I really like the new changes to the “leveling” system too. It’s definitely trying to separate itself from RPGs. Any more customizability that can be added creates a lot more depth to the game. The new changes kind of remind me of the system used in Borderlands 2. Can’t wait for that game either.

    • Yeah, that’s another game we’re looking forward to getting our hands on here. You can bet we’ll have a review of it up as soon as we can.

  • Troy

    Good write-up, sounds like you had a pretty similar experience so far to myself. One complaint though, calling the battleframes “classes” is fairly a accurate representation of abilities and what-not… But in every other game I’ve played, you can’t change “class”, so it could give the wrong impression. 🙂

    • I suppose that’s fair enough, but I feel they still fit that role since you gain xp only on a particular frame. In that sense, changing frames is similar to changing characters in other games.

    • The biggest example right there is in fact, one of the older MMO’s;
      Final Fantasy XI, where you most likely had one character with all different “classes” (Or “Jobs”, rather) on it along with one or two extra characters used as mules to get more inventory space on your main.

  • Deep90

    The new tier system reminded me kinda about World of tanks lol. Anyways ive seen worse articles from yahoo ,and this one is not bad ;). im really hopeing this recreates what the standard for free 2 play is…Example Nexon thinks anything that limits u to just playing is a good f2p -.-. but yah….Keep up the good work :).

  • Adriano

    Awesome article, the new system looks like a big improvement.
    Can’t wait to play!

  • Aday

    Cant wait for a beta key :p

  • Lucas

    I can’t wait for this game to come out! I’ve tried a couple other MMOFPS games and they felt a bit clunky or just weren’t for me, but from what I’ve read and seen of this game I’m really excited to try it and with how good this games looks I’m kind of surprised it’s going to be free to play.

  • greg

    this new battle tier thing looks interesting…

    btw u might need more than a couple d10’s 🙂

    • If we go over 100 comments, I’m sure I can pull out another die.

  • The more I read about this game, the more it iintrigues me.

    They seem wonderfully passionate about their game (after watching the latest video update for this patch). It seems like with every update the games getting stronger and stronger and they’re not afraid to try new things.

    Looks great, can’t wait to try it out.

  • Travis

    Very interesting, it’s amazing how much a game can change over the short course of a few months.

    Very detailed article, and a good way to compact all the information into an easy to read area.

  • I’m loving RED 5 tweets as well – encouraging people to break and overload things. It’s a refreshing change from beta = 1 week early access.

  • ouronok

    Firefall looks very good, I can’t wait to play it. Red 5 hears the community and that’s good. I hope that I’ll recieve a beta key soon, because I’m searching a game to play a lot of time. Greetings!

  • Benjamin

    I have been following the game loosely since the announcement in PAX. But, after been handed subpar games in the form of SWTOR, latest COD titles and BRINK I have kept my interest and excitement for this title very much muted. That was until I read the information on this new patch. The willingness to redesign and medic class and the tools they have made available for comp play caught me off guard.
    The ability to be able to watch competitive games where the caster can seamlessly switch between each players POV as he wants, unlike the cycling through players in titles such as TF2 is incredible. Having the top down view, similar to League of Legends is also a great asset to all casters and viewers.

    I’m blown away by the way the game looks now.

    This was a cool introductory article. Will you be pre/reviewing Firefall on a regular basis? Or is there a tight NDA which precludes you from releasing information? I would very much be interested in hearing more about PVP systems and the potential for competitive play.

    • The NDA was lifted back in April, which is why I can post the screenshots. As far as future articles, I’m sure that I’ll touch on Firefall again as things progress and as I get some more time in with the new build.

  • Michael J. Jagosz

    I do like your personal review of Firefallas it is so far. Seeing the new milestones from your perspective and from the videos the devs posted on youtube I would have to say this game is looking to be really good so far. I would love to have a chance to help test this game and make it the best it can be. Consider me in your drawing and thanks for the opportunity.