It's officially Friday and you know what that means, it's time for Firefall Live! Just in case you missed it, we have all the latest news and announcements compiled in a mini wall of text just below. We know it can't replace the real deal with ThaCheez, FadedPez, and Phobos, but it'll have to do. (You can catch the video here). )

Red 5 News

This week we released a new patch into PTS with a few notable inclusions. The holiday-themed Wintertide items are now available to purchase, deck your ARES Operator with festive cosmetics like the Santa Hat and Tech Antlers.

New Omnidyne-M vending machine tokens are now available. These grant players the chance to get their hands on cosmetic items such as the Aviator Sunglasses and the coveted Omnidyne-M LGV.

A few new Wandering Encounters were added this week including one mentioned by Dave Lee involving a bird's nest. Even more exciting, players can potentially win a bird pet upon completion.

Wintertide is coming! We have a bunch of contests, activities, and cool Firefall "things" coming up. Keep your eyes peeled for an announcement after the next patch.

With our major milestone quickly approaching, we've officially entered the "Feature Lock" period. All of the new features that we have been working on are locked down in our internal builds. Now, we begin the arduous task of fixing bugs and stabilizing the build so that the final product is polished by the time it reaches the players.

Community News

New Eden Broadcast Hiatus

The ultimate resource for Firefall community news and events, the New Eden Broadcast is going on hiatus from December 17th to December 30th. Expect regular updates after the holidays.

12 Days of Firefall Thread

MadMim is getting us into the holiday mood this week with a mass caroling challenge, Firefall style. Putting a twist on the old holiday classic, The 12 Days of Christmas, users are welcomed to help revamp the song with Firefall lyrics.

Cratefall 2 Sunday at 19:00 GMT

Join the community in the exciting Cratefall event which is happening this Sunday.

Q&A via Chat and Forums

Q: Are research points handled like currency or are they item specific?
A: Research points are earned by salvaging items. Similar to XP, research points can be used for any type of research across the board.

Q: What do you plan on expanding after Diamond Head? Dredge or something else entirely?
A: After Diamond Head, we're planning on taking some time to analyze how the area works within the framework of Firefall. There will be a little gap before we start working on the next area but we have yet to determine if we will be focusing on Antarctica, Sargasso Sea, or something else.

Q: Will perks interact with normal skills and abilities?
A: Absolutely. We have a ton of different perks with a variety of effects. None of them replace abilities, but some support other things like stat bonuses (increasing health or speed), immunity against certain types of damage, and of course melee.

Q: Will there be another survey about player battleframe preferences; which frames are used the most and the least?
A: We haven't been doing a lot of surveys lately. It wouldn't be right to collect battleframe data if we're not planning on working on new battleframes at this time.

Q: The Blackwater Anomaly was a great way to introduce story and new content into Firefall. Will Red 5 be using instances to deliver all the new content in the future?
A: Instances are a great vehicle to deliver content, but we don't want Firefall to become an instance-only game. We have a few other systems in the works and additional ways to present these types of important missions in the future.

Q: When are you going to fix the Melded Muscle Tissue drop rate?
A: We already put in a fix, and they should be dropping more often.

Q: Will Red 5 be addressing bugs in tornado pockets?
A: With our many new features in the works, the bugs in the tornadoes fell through the cracks. But they are being brought back and will be addressed to make sure that Firefall is as polished as possible.

Q: Do the Red 5 Investors, The9 push any features on the studio?
A: They provide feedback, and very importantly, they provide feedback for Asia so we can tune Firefall for different markets. They're not our publisher so they don't really get into the creative side of things.

Q: With the increase in decay rates, are you planning on increasing the blue and purple resource drop rates?
A: We probably won't increase the rates themselves, but as we utilize new systems it could be possible for higher level resources to become more available. Right now the economy is working well and an increase to the resource drop rate is not needed.

Q: Is the Thumper queue here to stay?
A: Probably. The queue came about when large groups of players began to launch thumpers at the same time, causing servers to crash. We might be changing the queue threshold, but it's most likely that there will be some sort of queue in the future.

Q: Can you explain why there are differences in Red Bean Pack prices for Europe and North America?
A: It's impossible to constantly monitor currency conversion rates. So we can't tweak our system to keep up with these changing numbers. Also, there are higher costs associated with different payment providers and the players face these charges. The good news is that we are adjusting. In the near future, we will be readjusting the prices of Red Bean Packages for EUR and GBP to more closely match their USD value.

Q: Are glider wings going to be a skin instead of a calldown?
A: As cool as that would be, it's something that we are not pursuing at this time.

Do You Even Art Bro?

In the DYEAB Tournament of Champions, four warriors have reached the finals: Marmutrakasa, Brojojojohn, AtomicToaster42, and Kaoseater. Vote for your Grand Champion in the forums and next week, we will announce the ultimate winner who will be showered in Firefall swag!

Do You Even Bracket Bro Round 2

Caption Contest

Winner: Joshua Hanna

Caption This! Tony Small