firefall

March 8, 2013

MMORPG Update: Getting to grips with Firefall

TK MMORPG Update Picture“Earth was torn apart by the destruction of both the Firefall event and the coming of the Melding. The only animal life that remains are left-overs from the Alpha Prime missions or mutated creatures that emerged from inside the Melding. Some are peaceful, most are not. Knowing which one you face will determine your survival.” http://www.firefallthegame.com/.

Finally I’ve had time to sit down and get into Firefall (currently in closed beta testing), I’m currently downloading the beta game client as we speak and I’m pretty excited to be starting a brand new game which aims to mix the best of MMORPG and MMOFPS. Therefore, this is likely to be a part 1 of 2 update where we can delve a little into the Firefall back story and set the scene, we can also look forward to what the gameplay might be like.

Firefall battleframes graphic

The story so far

Firefall is a catastrophic world event that takes place approximately 200 years in the future, it is a direct result of an asteroid collision with the Earth and the impact throws humanity into a new dark age known as ‘the nine year winter’. Many governments fell which left a space for new alliance to form. At the asteroid crash site the Japanese found a new and powerful element called crystite, this element had almost unlimited potential and became the primary power source used on Earth – but humanity wanted more. To achieve this aim they built space ships and travelled to the source of the asteroid which had impacted the Earth, on that remote planet they found an abundance of crystite and founded a colony known as Alpha Prime. But the 8-year round trip required to source the new element was too long and in time a method of travel between Earth and Alpha Prime was established known as Arclight. Arclight folded the fabric of space in order to create a wormhole capable of transporting matter large distances in a short time. Although tests on Earth were successful, the first Earth-Alpha Prime test was not, the act of creating an arcfold tore a hole in the fabric of space causing the emergence of a giant energy storm which became known as The Melding. The Melding mutated and transformed all life that it encountered and even the planet itself. Humanity came under attack by a new race calling themselves The Chosen and now struggles in an attempt to push them back and rid the Earth of The Melding once and for all.

Classes

Classes in Firefall are called Battleframes and there are currently five available:

Recon
A ranged light class focused on using sniper rifles, it has the lowest health but makes up in speed and agility.

Biotech
A medium healing class that uses a bio-needler gun as its main weapon, ability to heal is tied with damage primary through poison.

Engineer
A medium technology class that uses equipment to deal damage and support allies, with the ability to repair equipment.

Assault
A close range heavy class that uses the plasma cannon as its main weapon, slow dispersal but high damage.

Dreadnaught
A heavy class that has the highest health of all the available battleframes, this is the tank and uses an immense chain gun.

Gameplay

As well as the PvE game there are also 3 PvP arenas: Sunken Harbor (a simple team deathmatch map), Orbital Comm Tower (a capture/defend style of gameplay) and Blackwater Harvester (a capture and hold type gameplay), with a fourth announced which will be Moisture Farm which is a team death match, similar to that of Sunken harbor.

I haven’t heard of any free beta keys being still available, but if you want access to the beta environment you can still get in by becoming a founding member. There are three packages available, Ensign ($20), Lieutenant ($50) and Commander ($100) – any of these will get you immediate access into the game.

Looking forward to playing and I’ll be back soon with the next installment of my Firefall adventure.

November 26, 2012

Copacabana beckons as Firefall Beta is unveiled

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Red 5 Studio unveils a future Earth where it’s up to you to reclaim what’s yours.

Firefall Screenshot

There is a new MMO on the horizon, although it’s probably not like any MMO you’ve seen before. Described by Red 5’s Vice President, James Macualey and lead designer, Scott Youngblood as an “MMO Shooter”, this game is part shooter, part MMO, part RPG and part RTS. Firefall aims to improve upon the traditional questing models followed by other development companies such as Blizzard. The game is set on a future Earth where most of the population have been wiped out in a disaster which has created a ravenous race of creatures called The Chosen, it’s up to you to reclaim what’s yours and take back the Earth.

For much of 2012 Firefall has been in beta testing and this has allowed the development team to refine the game mechanics on a much larger scale than is conventionally seen with games like this, and it sounds like they are going to need this extra testing time because there is so much going on with this game, it’s ambitious to say the least. As I read about Firefall I notice more and more that Red 5 are mimicking the dynamic questing that we saw so prominently in Guild Wars 2, released this year, where players become part of world events that can happen anywhere and you instinctively form groups and alliances – and who can blame them, this dynamic questing is definitely proving a refreshing change from the norm and is definitely a hit with this player. It’s also going to be free-to-play, which no longer casts aspersions on the viability of the game, the free-to-play model is now a popular choice for both existing and new games to the market, e.g., swtor and GW2.

Firefall screenshot

What’s even more interesting about this game is that you can actually lose it, and when I say lose I mean that you can get kicked off the server! That’s something that I have never seen done in any MMO before, of course that really is the last straw, the aim is to work together to fight back The Chosen and keep hold of precious resources that give you the tactical advantage.

The release date for Firefall is set for Summer 2013, but you can sign up right now to join thousands of other players for the public beta weekends, where you can check out the first major city, Copacabana. The weekends are as follows:

Population Control: November 30th, 2012 until December 2nd, 2012
Chosen Invasion: December 7th, 2012 until December 9th, 2012

Or, to get free beta access you can get a beta code by picking up the Christmas edition of PC Gamer. Whatever method you choose you can find out more information on the beta weekends page of the Firefall website.

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