For our first “Path to Launch” blog, we’d like to talk about the quality of life improvements that are being implemented for the progression and itemization aspects of Firefall. We've received a great amount of feedback on our progression system during our Beta testing, and we’d like to thank everyone in the community who took the time to share their feedback with us. Our goal is to create a system that feels rewarding to you while progressing each battleframe and exploring the world of Firefall. You should feel that you are learning your battleframe and accessing more options, becoming more powerful in the process and having your battleframe visually reflect your progression, without being overly complicated. We are working to deliver on this goal with our next major update.
Simplicity is Key
We've mentioned on the forums in the past that we are working to simplify the progression system, as having a complex system does not necessarily make for a more engaging experience. For launch, you will no longer need to purchase your frame’s Mass, Power, and CPU constraints. Instead, your frames will progress in levels just by earning XP as you play Firefall.
Implementing this progression system removes the existing need for currencies such as AMPs and resources for leveling up battleframes, in addition to providing instant gratification and recognition for your achievements. By earning new levels, your battleframe will automatically become inherently more powerful, dealing more damage and having more health. Better equipment and more customization options also become available to you as you progress – more details on itemization can be found below.
Unlocks Through Level Progression
You'll start each of your battleframes with your primary weapon and first ability. Each battleframe has a unique set of abilities that will unlock as you increase in levels. Once the battleframe gains a new ability through leveling, a common version of the appropriate ability item will automatically be awarded to you, in addition to being automatically equipped for immediate use. As you progress, your battleframe will gain new attachments to visualize that you are becoming more advanced and more powerful. Below are examples of an Accord Assault battleframe changing visually as it progressed (Bumblebee warpaint is not included!):
Accord Assault Beginning Visuals
Accord Assault First Visual Upgrade
Accord Assault Next Visual Upgrade
Accord Assault Final Visual Upgrade
As mentioned, your frames get inherently stronger as they level up. Using the same equipment, when you level, you'll automatically get an increase in health and damage. You can also become stronger by equipping new items – the level of the item, as well as its rarity, determines its statistics. Power can also increase by slotting modules into your gear. Modules can provide secondary bonuses (e.g. rate of fire, clip size, area of effect (AoE) damage increases, etc.), but also give additional "Power Rating," which further increases the damage and healing of abilities and weapons.
"Power Rating" is a stat that increases through leveling and equipping items and modules. Think of this as "STR, DEX, INT" in your typical RPG setting, but combined as one stat. All equipment has a power rating in addition to the power rating of your battleframe. Together, your equipment, modules, and battleframe determine your overall power.
Items and Modules
We mentioned above that as you equip new, higher level items, you will experience an increase in power. Abilities and weapons will also have module slots (based on the item's rarity) available to give you more choice and customization. You can slot in modules such as cooldown reduction, AoE damage, maximum deployable count, etc., or even hybrids of effects (for example, a module that modifies both weapon spin-up rate and rate of fire at the same time). Modules are also available in different rarities – the higher the rarity, the higher the module's effectiveness and power rating.
Rarity of weapons and abilities not only affects the effectiveness of the weapon or ability, but also increases the level of customization you have over the item, allowing you to customize your loadout to your playstyle. For example, a common item will have one socket, while an epic item will have three sockets for modules. You have the choice and control to decide whether you want to focus on, for example, damage and area of effect, or cooldown and duration - it's entirely up to you! But be careful! Placing a module in a socket that is currently occupied will override the slot with the new module and destroy the old module.
As you use your equipment, you will experience some wear and tear, and there will be occasions when you need to repair, but you won't have to worry about your equipment permanently breaking. That’s right! Your weapons and abilities cannot permanently break. Whether you've found your ideal setup, or you'd like to continually tinker and tweak your item builds, you can rely on your equipment always being there for you!
For the rarity of both items and modules, we are using a conventional color scheme: White (common), Green (uncommon), Blue (rare), Purple (epic) and Orange (legendary). Items can be crafted, looted and received as rewards for completing missions. To equip an item or module, a player’s frame must match the level requirement.
As you travel throughout the world of Firefall, you'll come across many different weapons for your battleframe. Weapons can be different by having the innate ability to excel in a certain stat (via a “hidden” or “integrated” module), such as rate of fire, or increased AoE damage. Weapons will also have visual variances based on their level and manufacturer. For example, here is a mid-level uncommon Plasma Cannon, the Scimitar Type C:
The Scimitar Type C has different stats, in addition to different visuals, than the Kisuton Jackal Omega, which is a max-level epic Plasma Cannon shown here:
Battleframe Cores are exciting new items that are replacing servos, jumpjets and plating. Cores give the battleframe bonus health, but also increase another aspect of the battleframe or provide an entirely new effect. For example, a core might increase the total jumpjet energy to the frame by 25%, or could increase their sprint speed by 25%. There are also hybrid cores that can provide multiple effects at once. Battleframe Cores allow you to maintain the choice and customization over your gameplay while allowing for a greater impact to the stats of your jumpjets, servos, and plating all in a single item. It's entirely up to you if you want to be a faster frame, have more health, or focus on something different. There are different cores that affect different stats for you, and finding more rare cores for your battleframe will also have increased effectiveness. Only one core can be equipped at a time, so choose wisely!
At level intervals, each battleframe has a unique perk that will be unlocked for a total of four unique perks per battleframe. Once a perk is unlocked, it is available for use across all battleframes, allowing you to further custom tailor each of your battleframes to suit how you'd like to play. Basic perks cost 1 point (points are earned while leveling up), Intermediate perks cost 2 points, Advanced perks cost 5 points and Master perks cost 8 points. You can mix up your unlocked perks however you wish as long as you have room in your perk pool! At max level you can allocate up to 21 perk points (or 10 total perks) to your battleframe.
We hope you enjoyed this first look at our progression and itemization systems that are coming online with launch. Please feel free to discuss these changes on our official forums or post any questions you have via the forum link below. Stay tuned next week for the next installment of our “Path to Launch” blog series, and until then, we’ll see you in game for our Beta!
Firefall is the much-anticipated free-to-play sci-fi MMO shooter from Red 5 Studios. Click here to register and join us in game NOW for our Open Beta test.
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