This week on Firefall Live, Frank was in Germany so Brandon stepped in to host the show.  He was joined by Sara and our special guest, Scott Youngblood, the Multiplayer Lead for Firefall! Scott answered some questions from the forums about Open World PvP before we covered our weekly Do You Even Art Bro and Caption This segments.

Click here to watch the replay on Twitch.


  • Accord Engineer Weekend is live now! Check out the blog here for more information.
  • Next weekend we’re going to have a global 25% XP boost thanks to the community’s successful completion of our War Effort event. Keep an eye out for more events like this in the future!
  • Mika ran her Thumper Cars event this week, and it was a lot of fun! She runs an event every week, so make sure to keep an eye out for those in the General Discussions Forum section.
  • This week’s Weekly Poll is about your preferred method of travel in Firefall. Make sure to check out the poll here and let us know what you think!
  • We have a new Fanfic Challenge up on the forums. We provide a snippet of backstory and ask the community to create a story based on that story. This challenge is titled “An Unlikely Friend.” Make sure to check out this thread for details.
  • Our second Video Challenge is close to an end! This challenge is called “1.0 in sixty seconds” and the deadline is next week, so make sure to check out the thread here for details!
  • Gamescom is going on this weekend! Frank is in Germany along with our European team and a few others, and they’re going to be hosting a meetup close to the show. Check out this thread for more information about the meetup! We also have a short video that Frank sent to us summarizing day 1, so give it a watch below!

Open World PvP (OWPvP) Q&A

Any plans to improve team awareness in OWPvP? Like being able to see who’s on your team and where they are without having to be in a squad.

  • Yeah, team Identity is one of the things that, if you’re playing a team game, you need to know who’s on your team and where they are. That’s something we definitely had planned for the initial release of OWPvP, but while we were fixing on certain bugs, it’s a feature that we had to put off a little bit to make time to fix these bugs first. What I’m after in terms of improving the ability of you to find your friends and play with your teammate is adding functions that really should have been there. Like, right now when you bring up the map, you can see if a territory is owned by a friend or an enemy, but beyond that you have no real concept of the different teams. What I would like to be able to do is, you should have a name to start, you should be able to create your own team with your friends if you want, and in addition being able to press tab and see a scoreboard where you can sort that by each team and see who is on each team and what they have done. That’s a feature that is in progress but not quite ready for implementation yet, but it will release soon. Also, being able to have icons for your team, so instead of just seeing an Accord icon, you can have an icon on the map so people can look at the map and see “oh, that base is owned by the Stellar Ponies,” and give teams a much stronger team identity so you know who you’re fighting.

Any plans to have a command channel for platoon leaders in order to communicate with other platoons?

  • Possibly, I’d want to know a little more about what exactly you guys want from a feature like that. Right now, teams are limited to 20 players, which is also the max size for platoons, so you can’t really have multiple platoons in one team without making them smaller. We’ll look into that and see if it makes sense, though.

Broken Peninsula feels like it’s too big of a map, so a lot of time is spent travelling. Are there any plans to decrease the size of the zone or enable more modes of transportation?

  • There will be future modes of transportation that are coming, yes. I don’t have any plans to reduce the size of the zone; if anything I’d make it bigger. One of the reasons it feels so large and empty right now is that not all of the content that is supposed to be present in the zone is firing right now. It’s a level 39-40 zone and all of the encounters that you see in Devil’s Tusk, should be also present in Broken Peninsula, but they’re not currently turning on. The next release will have more of these encounters turning on, so you’ll see a lot more stuff to do in the world, and it really gives players a lot more to do instead of just needing to focus on the bases.

Are there any plans to implement better OWPvP rewards?

  • Right now, there are not really a lot of OWPvP rewards at all. With our next patch, you should see new NPCs that appear in the towers and in the bases. If you look at these NPCs, they’ll have a list of items you’ll be able to buy using “PvP Vouchers” which you can earn through capturing bases. So with next week’s patch, you’ll be able to start earning those PvP vouchers and purchase those items (which will all be high-end good gear).

Will Armies in the future have the ability to build and upgrade their own bases (not capture existing ones) and have other armies be able to attack them.

  • That is something that I can’t give a definite answer on right now. I think that sounds pretty cool, and it’s definitely something I would like to see. The way Firefall has been developing, we’ve been trying to continuously build on the previous piece. So we started with the PvE focus, and now we’re starting to get our multiplayer/PvP focus, but right now it’s still sort of player focused. Moving on to an army level focus is more of a future step, but is definitely one of the future things we’re going to be working on in the shorter term. We don’t want to make any specific promises right now because there’s still a lot of iteration that has to done. Armies are definitely important, and I want to give armies lots of cool progression stuff to go after and to make the conflict between armies better than anything you’ve seen in any other game.

Are there any plans to make OWPvP more accessible to players who are under level 40?

  • That’s definitely been something that’s strong on my list. For me, being able to play Firefall the way you want to play it has been one of my major design goals. With the recent refocusing to more of a job based system, we pushed PvP off to the end, but I think that that’s kind of a mistake. We need to pull it in and allow players to play it earlier at different bands and ranges. Like, when you need Iron, I want to be able to have a meaningful PvP experience over you for that Iron. So, we are currently investigating being able to offer more level specific OWPvP things for players.

While not OWPvP specific, can you talk a little bit about how balancing for PvP is done?

  • Iteratively. You do your best job to try and balance things on paper with your spreadsheets and your math, but ultimately you have to watch what the players do. There’s so many different permutations that you can do with the gear that you have, we can’t possibly have tried every single one of those combinations. So you have to push it out to the masses, watch, see what happens, look for the things that are broken that you didn’t expect, and then go in and try to tune those things to a level that doesn’t break the original intention of whatever that feature was, but balances it with respect to how that particular frame should be performing. Now, not every frame is going to be completely balanced, we prefer more of a rock-paper-scissors style of design when it comes to our frames, so a one to one confrontation isn’t always going to be balanced. For example, a mammoth vs a recon frame at close range, well the Recon’s not going to have much of a chance, but maybe at a distance, the Recon will have the advantage. You have to take all of those things into account; the stats of the characters, what the characters can and can’t do, but then you have to sort of plan for what you can’t plan for. What is the player going to do with these things that you didn’t expect. Sometimes you have to observe them doing it before you even knew it was possible. For example, “Rocket Jumping” is something that the Quake developers even thought was a possibility until they saw Thresh doing it in game. That’s just one example of a mechanic that was used in a completely different way, and it changed that game entirely. Every time I hop on, there are a lot of players who will message me and say “when are you going to fix this particular problem with this particular feature.” It’s good that they do that to me, because it lets me know the problem is still out there and I need to keep looking at this, like “go out and fix the Recon problem,” or whatever the particular hot bed for discussion is at the time. And of course it’s usually the other guy that’s out of whack, it’s never your guy that’s out of whack.

Have separate PvP skills or weapons been considered as a way to balance out the PvP experience?

  • Probably not creating completely separate PvP skills, but there’s things that we’ve looked at turning off or on specific things for specific environments. I don’t want to ever force players to a place where you have to choose whether to build your PvP gear or PvE gear. For me it’s like, if you have a Battleframe that has jump jets and lets you shoot stuff, why do you need a different one to go out and shoot other players? We just need to make sure what we’ve given you isn’t broken for a PvP environment, and if it is broken for PvP but not PvE, for example may a “root” where if you hit someone with a plasma cannon it immobilizes them for a short time. That may be fine for PvE, but that sucks for PvP, so what we could do would be to turn off the root for PvP but let the ability work with its other impacts unchanged.

What do you guys plan on changing or improving in the current OWPvP system?

  • Right now, the current PvP system is a barebones minimum foundation in terms of what I was looking for in a capture a location and fight for resources game. You can capture a base, you can throw a thumper down, you can kill other players, collect those resources, put it in the base and then defend all comers until it goes out. But that’s only part of the game I was after. Movement and mobility is also a very important part of Firefall; vehicles is something that we haven’t explored a lot of yet. The addition of the MGV is just a first look at where we can potentially be going with vehicles. I’ll throw something out that was part of the original shipping feature but will be coming in, and that’s convoys. Right now, once there’s a big treasure pile of resources in a base, the only way for you to get those resources is to take that base from that team. There needs to be more options for players to be creative about getting their resources. So being able to drive a convoy vehicle into the base, loading it up with the resources that are waiting to be arcfolded, then driving it back to your base and depositing them there is an upcoming feature that will make the flow around Broken Peninsula a lot more dynamic, since you won’t need to actually take their base to take their resources. That’s just one example of one feature that’s coming in. Also base upgrading will allow players to cycle nodes much faster. So, if you’ve got a node of Iron next to your base, you’ll be able to throw down that thumper, eat that node to upgrade your base, and then maybe you’ll get that purple Uranium to spawn. In addition we’ve got a ton of bugfixes coming. It’s a very complicated game, and it takes a lot of players to pound on things and break them, so I’ve been very thankful for the bugs that have been written up in the forums, it’s enabled me to go in and fix the bugs and put fixes out as fast as we can. New features will continue to push OWPvP further and further in the future until it’s something that all of you armies can really go nuts for. As always we’re listening to you guys too, so if you’ve got ideas for what you want to see, please let us know and if we like it and it fits our goals for PvP (or even if it doesn’t but is totally awesome sounding), we’ll look at working on those things.

Anything to add?

  • Well, right now players get into PvP and are often like “what do I do?” It’s like, well, you can thump, or take bases, but there hasn’t been a lot of player direction in OWPvP. There is more player direction coming to where players will be part of the directed play. That’s all I kind of want to say about that right now, but that should give you some ideas of what could happen.

Do You Even Art Bro?

"Holmgang Hero" by Owlkin
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"Fight Like A Brontodon" by Legend57
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"Astrek Boltlynx" by TeaCrusader (WINNER)
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Caption This!

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Stephanie: "The players want more dynamic events, Dave, what are we going to do?"
Dave: "Dynamice events everywhere, Stephanie, everywhere!  Hahahahaha!"

What if all the melding tornados became sharknados for shark week?  Eh?  Eh?

Dude!  Don't look to your right, but Princess Leia is totally checking you out!

What happens in the Tiki Bar.... Stays in the Tiki Bar!

After all this work I'll need a drink.... Thiiiis big!

So a Tigerclaw, a Firecat, and a Recluse all walk into a bar...

Naaah... I'm just not feeling the banana-houseplant hybrid for the next big dynamic event.


That's it for this week!  Make sure to tune in again next Friday at 10am PDT for some more news, Q&A, and maybe even some giveaways of something we've never given away before...  Until then, see you in game!

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