Everything you’re about to read is an early preview of changes being worked on by the Firefall development team. All details can, and probably will, change as development continues.
In the months since release, we've received a myriad of feedback about every aspect of Firefall. Recently we've been sharing some of the upcoming upgrades to a handful of systems such as combat and crafting. Today we’d like to share some details on improvements being made to the overall progression system in Firefall. The foundation of the progression system is solid, but there are a number of areas where we know we can make things better.
One of the major points of discussion we've seen over time is the basic implementation of Accord battleframes; the Assault, Biotech, Engineer, Recon, and Dreadnaught. Accord battleframes are meant to introduce players to the different archetypes and their play styles before the player branches off into the various advanced frames such as the Recluse or Mammoth. We've heard a lot of feedback that while players understand the idea, the Accord battleframes just do not feel necessary once you've unlocked an advanced battleframe. Using a real example, if you have all Engineer battleframes at level 40, there is little reason to use your Accord Engineer as your Bastion or Electron battleframes can accomplish the exact same play experience as the Accord Engineer while also having extra options available. With that feedback in mind, we've reevaluated the Accord battleframes and are making adjustments to how they are used.
Accord battleframes will no longer be stand-alone battleframes that can be leveled all the way to 40. Instead, they will be a part of the process of acquiring and leveling an advanced battleframe. Using another example, let’s say that as a new user you start with an Accord Biotech. Upon reaching level 20, you are given the option to become a Recluse or Dragonfly. Once the choice is made, your Biotech becomes either Recluse or Dragonfly and you will continue leveling as normal from 20 to 40. The result of this change is that Accord battleframes will no longer exist above level 20, and advanced battleframes will no longer exist under level 20. At level 40 you continue to have the option to unlock additional battleframes, similar to how progressing and unlocking free battleframes operates currently.
This change accomplishes a few important goals. It allows new players to get a good feeling for how a certain archetype plays and switch to an advanced version without having to start over from level 1. It also removes the need to level an Accord battleframe all the way to 40 just for the perks, even if you never plan on using it again. The Accord perks will still exist; they’ll just be combined into leveling the advanced frames. You’ll unlock a new perk every 5 levels instead of every 10 on your first play through of an archetype.
What does this mean for our existing players? Ultimately this will not be a major change for the veterans. You’ll keep your unlocked perks and your advanced battleframes. If you already have advanced battleframes of every archetype (or just battleframes of every archetype over level 20), you will no longer have access to the Accord battleframes. If you have all battleframes at level 40, this change is really just trimming down your list a little bit (and you get to keep all your items and equipment).
The most noticeable change to the system as you know it will mostly affect new players. In order to help ease new players into Firefall and its systems, they will no longer have all five Accord battleframes unlocked by default. When creating a new character, a new player will select one Accord battleframe, and that will be the only battleframe initially available to them. We will also be adding in the ability to create multiple characters on a single account, allowing new players (or vets) to try out several different basic frames to find the archetype that fits them best. It will still be possible to unlock all of the battleframes on a single character.
Even though we've already begun working on these changes, they will not be making their way to the live servers for a number of months. We’re not done talking about progression yet, either. We still have designs we’re going over that address the question, “what do I do with experience I’m earning at level 40?” The answer to advanced progression is still in its early phases but we’ll be sure to share more information with you as designs are solidified.
We know that you’ll have many questions. Please feel free to ask questions in the forum thread linked below. We will try to answer all questions to the best of our ability. Please keep in mind that, as with any in-progress design, certain aspects may not be finalized yet and others will be subject to change as the progression system is implemented. We look forward to hearing what you think!
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