Hello Firefall Fans,

Last week we began our new series of development updates in order to keep you informed and in the loop as to what is happening at Red 5 Studios. This week we wanted to give some more updates, but also dive a little bit deeper into some of the things you can expect to see over the next few months. First, we’ll give a quick update on where we’re at with some of the bigger systems and content.

Story-based Content

The design team is now working on the first set of missions that will help tell the story of Act I. Right now they have paper designs of all the missions finalized and are working on implementing first passes of these missions into the game. We’re very excited to see some of these come online and start play-testing them internally. As mentioned last week, we don’t expect to see these come out until January and we’ll be keeping the details on the story elements secret until then so that you all have a great big reveal when they do get released.

User Interface

We’ve finished the 2D concepts of the manufacturing, refining, blending, and new research tree user interfaces. These are now being implemented into the game along with the new player HUD that is done in 3D to give it a real sci-fi feel. 

We’ve tried to simplify the new crafting screen to help direct players where to go. The following is a 2d concept of what we’re building. It is not a prototype so there are missing components, but it should give you an idea of where we’re going. A player picks a recipe to craft, the recipe panel slides out displaying if they have components or need to craft components, the user selects the component she wants to build, then selects the resources she wants to use. The resources are now split between “Ideal Resources” (resources that are capable of the highest stat possible) and “Substitute Resources” (resources that you can use, but won’t be using their primary stat).

All of these panels leave a breadcrumb so that the player never gets confused as to what they were crafting.

Click Here for Full Size 

Dynamic Encounters

Broken LGVs and Thumpers have always been meant as a proof of concept for spawning random missions around the world to give players something to do while on their way between two locations. Part of this next push is generating more missions and more engaging missions that will utilize this same system to push content out to players to provide short and satisfying experiences. We are also making the system even better by spawning these missions near players to make sure there is always something for you to see and engage with. We’ve been working on various encounters and are working towards implementing some of these as early as the next patch (bugs and fun factor permitting). 

For instance, you are driving your LGV along a road towards Sunken Harbor… What’s that? It’s a mine in the middle of the road. Before you can swerve, it explodes; knocking you off your bike as Tanken raiders swoop in to claim their prize. You’re able to turn the tables though as they never expected an ARES operator of your caliber. The Tanken fall to your plasma fire, dropping the goodies they’ve stolen from other passing motorists. Or maybe you are able to stop in time and you decide you’d rather disarm the mine and gain a few sonic detonators on top of whatever the Tanken had on them.

That’s just an example of what we’re working on. We hope to have a good number of these encounters so that they feel fresh each time you experience them. And due to the fact that our system already supports spawning them in random locations, it should provide a lot of fun content that brings the fun to you.

Progression Changes

It has long been a desire of ours to provide meaningful progression milestones to chase. As a player, you should be striving to reach the next level, the next unlock, the next thing that will make your character just the way you wanted it to be. One of the things we’d like to get out with this update is what we’re currently calling Battleframe Perks (name not final). The idea behind Battleframe Perks is that by unlocking constraints on your battleframe, you are also unlocking perk points that can be used to buy and equip things that change the way your battleframe is played. Each battleframe would have special perks that are unlocked once that battleframe has progressed to a certain stage and those perks would then go into the global pool to be used on other battleframes.

As an example, I might choose a few generic perks for my Tigerclaw… Let’s say a melee attack, 5% run bonus, and 3% damage bonus. By unlocking a certain number of constraints on my Dragonfly, I also unlock a new perk that does a 2% of all damage as self-healing. I can then go back to my Tigerclaw and buy that self-healing perk to make sure that I’m always healing while in combat.

Perks will cost a variable amount of perk points and the number of perk points earned per battleframe is still being debated; as are the actual perks themselves. We’ll talk more about this system with specific examples in a future update.

That’s just a small sample of some of the things we’re working on right now. By no means is this update a complete list of everything the team is working on, nor should you see this as a promise of new content. Things are always liable to change. Thanks for reading. We look forward to getting these changes out as quickly as we can, but our focus remains on quality content that is as bug-free as possible.