Our first two “Path to Launch” blogs discussed improvements to some of Firefall’s core systems, but this week we’re excited to begin our foray into the topic of brand new content. This week’s subject is only a glimpse at one part of a much larger array of content, but it is arguably the most important part. Anyone who pays attention to zone chat in New Eden knows that the first question asked by most new players who appear in Copa is “so, what do I do now?” Up until this point, there hasn’t been a perfect answer to give them. ARES Missions and dynamic events are fun, but their sporadic nature means they can be hard to predict, and their global availability means they are sometimes finished before you can reach them. Thumping is controllable and personal but can get repetitive after a while if you don’t have any other tasks. To help bridge this gap, we are introducing a new type of mission that we call an ARES Job.
Jobs On Demand
ARES Jobs are, at the most basic level, personalized ARES Missions. They provide on-demand narrative-driven content that is repeatable, but still dynamically generated to keep from getting stale. You obtain them from the aptly named ARES Job Boards which are located near the SIN tower in every major Point of Interest (with a few exceptions).
ARES Job Boards are stocked with many unique jobs, each telling its own story, with some even being one part of a multi-mission epic. When you accept an ARES Job, the job system takes the story and gameplay elements of the job you have selected and then finds available spaces in the world for the mission to take place. This results in a few things. First, even if you and another person accept the same job at the same time and have the same objectives, they won’t necessarily happen in the same place. Even if you do share a space, the creatures and objectives necessary to complete your job are guaranteed for you. That means no running over each other trying to get those ten kills you need. Second, it means that if you accept the same job multiple times, it may not send you to the same places every time. These factors combine to ensure an experience that continues to deliver. ARES Jobs are built to reveal more of the story of Firefall, and to introduce characters that you’ll be interacting with throughout your journey. These jobs help to immerse you in the rich lore and story of Firefall, while providing you with even more of Firefall’s first-rate combat experience.
The most exciting aspect of ARES Jobs is the impact they have on the way you experience the overall world of Firefall and interact with the NPCs and other players who populate it. They give us a way to guide you through the world in an intuitive and unobtrusive way. When you reach a high enough level such that you would be better off in a different zone, a mission will appear in the ARES Job Board that will lead you to that area in your own time. It also provides a tool for organically introducing you to new content such as ARES Missions or thumping, either through creating jobs that specifically lead you to these events, or letting you discover them on your own as you travel to the location of your next objective.
ARES Jobs also help to make the world feel more alive: in the current system, it is rare that you run into another player in the world by random chance. ARES Missions take place in a number of predetermined locations, and dynamic events like tornados or crashed thumpers draw players to them in a predictable manner. ARES Jobs can happen anywhere in the world, and other players are not notified if you are in the area working on one. This means there are a lot more opportunities to stumble upon a player in the world working on their own little mission, helping the world feel less like a large open area with only a few isolated interesting zones, and more like a fully populated world where people live and work.
In addition, the system attempts to place players completing related objectives in the same location, bringing strangers together through the narrative of their jobs. For example, you may be sent to an aranha-infested cave and told to exterminate as many of them as you can, and while you are working on your objective, another player shows up with his own job telling him to collect aranha eggs from their nests to bring back to a researcher. However, once you’ve both completed your objectives and left the area, it becomes empty until another player gets a job that takes place there. The next time you pass that cave, there could be a completely different kind of activity happening there, meaning the world is always changing, and doesn’t become a static map full of areas where a specific thing happens all the time.
Objectives that Grow With You
When you are first dropped off in Copacabana you are an unknown recruit, and the jobs you receive reflect this. You will get tasks such as helping a woman find her lost child or clearing out a skiver colony. However, as you gain experience and progress through the world, you begin to make a name for yourself and gain a reputation as a competent mercenary. As this happens, the missions you have access to get larger and more important, until eventually you have established yourself as a fully-fledged elite soldier and your jobs have you going toe to toe with the Chosen.
ARES Jobs create more content in Firefall than anything you’ve seen up to this point. There are hundreds of unique jobs, and you can progress a battleframe to max level entirely through ARES Jobs, or you can choose to blend your experience with campaign missions, ARES Missions, instances, PvP, and more, providing hundreds of hours of content. They also directly connect you to the story in a way that we haven’t done before, with their multi-step sequential structure introducing you bit by bit to the residents of New Eden and the challenges that they face in their everyday lives.
We hope you enjoyed this first look into some of the new content we have coming with the launch of Firefall. There’s a lot more for us to talk about, so keep an eye out for the next entry in our “Path to Launch” blog series. For now, feel free to discuss or ask any questions about this blog in the forum thread linked below. See you in game!
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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