Firefall beta reaches new milestone
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.
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.
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.
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!