We had a very informative Firefall Live this week. Our guest was Jonathan Sova, a Content Designer here at Red 5 whose claims to fame include Mission 6: Power Grab and the Orbital Comm Tower Invasion event. He talked about what he does and answered some Community questions on a few hot topics before we went through our weekly Do You Even Art Bro and Caption This segments.
Watch the replay on Youtube here.
Note: We highly recommend at least watching the “News” section of the show for yourself. There was a lot of good discussion between Jon and Frank about the patches this week and some upcoming adjustments to the game that can’t be properly reflected in recap form. As always, we will upload the replay to our Youtube channel as soon as we are able for those who have issues watching replays on Twitch.
- We patched twice this week: one large patch Tuesday and then a small hotfix on Thursday. Make sure to check out the Patch Notes section of the forum for notes for both of those updates.
- Gamescom is coming up! Make sure to stop by the Roccat booth to check out Firefall and meet Frank, Nathan, Torsten, Dave Williams, and more! We’ll also be hosting a meetup for those in the area, but we’re still working out the details. Make sure to keep an eye out here for more information!
- PAX Prime is soon after that as well, and most of the Community Team will be attending. We’ll be hosting a meetup there as well, most likely at Taphouse, so keep an eye out here for more details!
- We just released an “upgrade” pack for those who originally bought a Digital Starter pack but are looking to upgrade to the Digital Deluxe, you now can! Check out this thread for more info.
Unfortunately due to a technical issue that popped up, we were not able to have live callers on the show this week. However, we had some questions from Reddit to ask, and we also had JBWill get questions from callers in Teamspeak and then ask them on the show.
Could you give us some insight into what you think makes a mission fun and what causes players to want to replay them?
- That is an excellent question. The most basic answer is “a constant source of attention.” If you feel like you are always needed somewhere and that there are things to do, generally you’re probably going to be having fun. You could write a 20 page essay on this topic, but generally you want a constant push-pull of the player’s attention; what is pulling you forward? We sometimes will map out what we think the player’s psychological state is going to be before we even start working on the encounter itself. When we sat down to work on it, we started making a heat map of mission “beats,” which basically was a map of what the player’s excitement level was going to be at each particular step of the mission with peaks and valleys representing the exciting moments and the rest spots between them. Generally the goal is to try and make the mission play out how you concept it on that chart, and then you’re in a pretty good place.
Since the Open World PvP zone is geared towards players who are near level 40, what is going to be done that makes that zone more accessible to lower level players? If nothing is being done, what other kinds of PvP options are you looking at adding for lower level players?
- We don’t have a definitive answer we can give for that right now, but it is definitely something that we are looking at. If level 2 players really want to PvP, we are definitely looking at ways to make that happen, even if it isn’t in Broken Peninsula. It’s an ongoing discussion right now, and we will definitely give more information as things get hammered out.
How central will the upcoming Campaign missions be to the game, and will they all be contiguous or at least related? My favorite parts of the missions and quests so far is that they come with continuity. Are those locked Campaign missions currently under development or are those spaces just reserved?
- Chapter 2 of the campaign will definitely continue the storyline from Chapter 1. You’ll see recurring characters and such, it won’t be one of those things where the different episodes are completely unrelated. Chapter 1 was mostly about telling you what an ARES team is and introducing you to the central storyline, and as we move forward with Chapter 2 and beyond we’ll be continuing to look more into what’s going on in the world. The Campaign missions in general are definitely representative of the core storyline of Firefall, and that will continue to be true. Meanwhile ARES Jobs and such are designed to give some insight into the lives of the people living in the world of Firefall who aren’t directly tied to the central storyline.
Are there any plans to make the OCT event scale with the number of players participating?
- Actually it already does, but only to certain point. The response to OCT has been greater than anticipated. When designing the event, I kind of reached a point where I decided “if any more drop pods than this fall, it’s going to be ridiculous.” We’ll definitely continue to look at the meta of that event and make any adjustments that are necessary to make that event more fun and, if necessary, more challenging.
Are there any plans to make consequences for failing the OCT event?
- That is something that we are definitely discussing. We don’t want to make any promises because nothing has been decided, but it’s definitely something we know is desired and we are looking at adding.
Now that Firefall is launched, what are the plans for the future? Will we see new Battleframes, quests, customization, etc?
- For the forseeable future, we are probably going to hold at 16 frames, we’re not looking to add a new one soon. We may look at things like adding new weapons and abilities for the existing frames, but no completely new frames. In general for the short term our biggest goal is to improve what is already there. Things like the ARES Job system, it’s no secret what a lot of people’s feelings are right now and we are working to make sure that those kinds of core systems are as fun as they can be. There are also a lot of bugs we’re still working on squashing to make sure that the existing playing experience is as smooth and rewarding as it can be. That’s what we’re working on for the immediate future, and then on top of that we’re also going to be working on how we can roll out information to you guys about the brand new things that we’re looking at adding. One part of that is many will know that we don’t currently have a PTS server running, but we want to get that back online so we can use it to test new content before it makes it out to production. That means you guys will be able to see what we’re working on before it actually gets added to live.
In terms of Thumping after this week’s patch, is its current state intended? Resource veins aren’t spawning above like 40 or 50% anymore and it’s much harder to get resources.
- With Tuesday’s patch, we fixed a bug that was causing veins to spawn on top of each other, causing way more resources in one spot than was intended. In terms of the current peak rates, it’s hard to say something permanent. We always have to keep in mind “how does this feel,” and if the answer is “not good,” then it’s something we have to look at. It’s a complicated situation because we have to keep in mind the rate of influx of resources versus the costs of crafting and things like that. It’s definitely something that we will continue to look at, but we can’t make any promises one way or the other.
What’s the timeframe for loot coming back to Black Water Anomaly Hardcore?
- We don’t have a specific update for that right now, but it is currently being worked on as a high priorities. We will definitely give updates as soon as we have more information to give.
ARES Jobs right now are kind of a love/hate thing; some people like the direction and the story, while others prefer to be able to run around and do whatever they want. Right now it feels like ARES Jobs are kind of required to progress. Are there any plans to add things to make it easier for people to progress without doing Jobs?
- Definitely. We’ve had a lot of feedback about the feeling of emptiness of the world and how dynamic events don’t feel like they’re spawning enough, and as a result it feels like Job Boards are required because they are THE stable source of content when there isn’t enough dynamic stuff around. That is absolutely not intended. We want you to be able to choose how to level up. If you want to just level 1-40 just doing ARES Missions, you should be able to. In that regard, what we’re doing in a future patch is to boost the spawn rate of dynamic events considerably in addition to doubling the spawn rate of ARES Missions in Coral Forest, and if it turns out that it still isn’t enough, we will continue to look at adjusting those rates. We don’t have an exact timeframe for when that patch will make it in, but it’s something that we’re already working on and testing internally. On top of that, we’re going to be continuing to create brand new stuff for the open world instead of only turning up the spawn rate of existing things. Also, many will remember that we’ve mentioned a few times recently that specifically in Sertao, there’s been a bug preventing dynamic content from spawning at the proper rates that we’ve been working on diagnosing and fixing for a couple weeks. We’re happy to report that as of yesterday we finally found and fixed the pesky bug that was causing that issue and squashed it internally, meaning we are seeing a TON more dynamic content spawning. That fix will also get pushed in a future patch, so you should see Sertao become significantly more populated when we’re able to get that onto the live servers.
A note on Raid loot and lockouts:
- This is something else that’s high on our list right now as we know that it’s not where we want it to be. We are currently looking at improvements to the lockout timer (like making it reset at a specific time for everyone as opposed to per-player so that it’s easier for groups to coordinate) as well as looking at the loot awarded for those raids.
A note on Army UI:
- Army UI is something we unfortunately had to punt on for this patch simply because of not having enough developers and time to work on it. What we’re working on now is moving the army UI away from web and onto LUA, and then our UI people are looking at creating a whole social panel which will include army UI improvements. We’ve been talking with a lot of army leaders and making a list of things we and they want to see added, and we’re going to be working on implementing those kinds of changes.
Do You Even Art Bro?
"A Fitting End" by Onishisyndrome
I'm a heartless, empty soldier.
I have taken many lives.
What a fitting way to end,
But a horrid way to die.
My foes, they once were nothing.
Through their corpses, I would stride.
I don't want to play these games.
Do I have to pick a side?
The Chosen take our brethren
Away until they find
That they wake again tomorrow
On their enemy's front lines.
We covet the whole world
Even as life fades;
'Till we find out that our blood
Stains another human's blades.
We think that our gods
Will protect us from our sin
Yet on edge of extinction,
We're at war with our own kin.
If there's something to be learned
As the product of this pain,
Mankind should stand together
Or we all shall die in vain.
Sadly the Siegebaker never came to work today so they had to make waffles themselves.
I don't remember Molecular Printers being this small.
Prelude to yet another Arclight engine jam.
Step right up! 3-Waffle Monte, only 1 token per play!
Yeah, um if you could um, go ahead and um not take my picture, that would be great.
But I wanted cupcakes...
Where is my venti chai latte half-caf with a bottle of Jack on the side?
That's it for this week everyone! Thanks for joining us for another fun episode of Firefall Live. Next week Frank will be in Germany at Gamescom, so Brandon and Sara will have to find a guest to replace him. Until then, we'll see you in game!
Firefall is the newly-released free-to-play sci-fi MMO shooter from Red 5 Studios. Play for FREE on Steam!
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