Hello Firefall fans!
In our first ‘Path to Launch’ blog that we posted last week, we detailed the upcoming updates to our progression and itemization systems. For this week’s blog entry, we’re going to dive into the plans for resources, crafting, and professions. These are the systems that we’ve received more feedback on than anything else, and we’ve been hard at work to improve them for launch. The most common piece of feedback we’ve received over and over again is that the existing systems are too complicated and confusing, so our mission has become to create a system that is much more intuitive, while still being rewarding for the more experienced players.
The first, and most drastic, update that we’re making is to the resource system. We decided, based on both the feedback we’ve received from you and our own observations, that the current system of 16 resources with 1000 qualities each is more complicated than it needs to be. The first thing we’re doing is getting rid of the concept of numerical resource “quality” entirely. This means you won’t have to worry about having 20 different stacks of the same resource taking up space in your inventory. We’re also going to lessen the “random” nature of acquiring different types of resources by giving a specific method of acquisition for each type. There will still be 3 main types of resources, but they will be renamed to metals, biomaterials, and electronics. Metals will be gained by thumping, biomaterials by refining drops from creatures, and electronics by salvaging drops from humanoids. This means that if there is a certain type of resource you need, you’ll be able to easily go and find that resource.
Within each of the three types of resources, there are tiers that correspond to the levels of items. When you are crafting an item it will require resources from the same level range to build. Some high quality items also require rare crafting components (from refining) and sometimes “hybrid” resources; these are resources you can get by combining two different types of resources. For example, Biosteel Frames are a common hybrid resource that you get by combining Iron Bars (common metal) and Chitin Fibers (common biomaterial).
When you refine raw resources, you will not only get the refined material, but also have a chance to earn additional rare crafting components. The best crafted equipment will require the use of these rare resources in the item blueprint. Additionally, there are ways to increase your chance at gaining these rare resources via the professions system, which we’ll talk about later in this blog.
Crafting is another system that became more complicated than we desired, and as a result it was difficult for many players to easily pick up. In addition to the many different types and qualities of resources, there were vast amounts of components and subcomponents of components that you had to gather or craft in order to make the item you wanted. To address this, we’ve done away with required subcomponents. When you craft an item, the recipe will only require resources, streamlining the process and making it much easier to understand. With the removal of permanent item breakage, optional subcomponents that increase the repair pool of your equipment are also no longer required. Additionally, we’ve made a number of improvements to the crafting UI to improve the crafting experience both visually and functionally.
The majority of these updates are minor user experience fixes and adjustments to make crafting easier to understand and use, and we hope that you’ll enjoy them. We are still looking for more feedback and usability data to make additional modifications, so please let us know what you think will make the crafting experience even better.
We’ve heard a lot of feedback about the professions system and it has been the subject of many internal discussions. After taking everything into consideration, we have decided to remove professions from Firefall completely. There will still be several specializations in the research screen, but all players will have unrestricted access to all of them. This means that any player will be able to craft any item in the game, restricted only by what they have researched.
Due to the modifications that we are making to professions and itemization, we are going to be resetting everyone’s research trees to square one. However, don’t worry; you will be compensated in two ways: first, all crystite and research points spent on researching will be refunded, and second, you will get the sum of all time spent researching back in the form of a “time bank.” After the reset, any researching or crafting you do will only take 10 seconds to complete, and the rest of the time will be deducted from your time bank. Once your time bank is empty, it will go back to taking the normal amount of time. The time bank will be filled based on the listed research time for everything you have unlocked, not the amount of time you actually spent waiting, so you will still get the full amount of time back for anything that you used Red Beans to instantly complete.
Trading and Marketplace Improvements
If there is one feature that has been requested more than any other, it’s the ability for players to send items directly to one another, and we’re very excited to announce that any sellable item will be able to be sent through the mail system to your friends or army mates. However, there are a few restrictions: first, only items can be sent, not resources or currency, and second, you can only send items to players who have been on your friends list or in your army for at least three days. These changes ensure that you can make sure your friends are taken care of, while still helping us fight the “gold sellers.”
Finally, the system that ties all of these different pieces together to create our economy, the marketplace, is another aspect that we’ve been hard at work to improve. A feature we’ve added that has been requested since the marketplace was first implemented is the introduction of buy orders. This allows you to set an item that you’re looking for, the quantity you want, and the price per item you want to pay for it. Sellers who have that particular item or resource can then fill the order with the click of a single button. Not only is this good for the buyer who gets exactly the item they want, but also for the seller, as it avoids them having to pay listing fees (though selling fees are still assessed). With the changes made to itemization we mentioned in last week’s blog, it will also be easier for you to quickly identify the items your fellow players will want to buy -- this will also make your crafted and looted items much more marketable.
There are a whole range of other minor functional improvements to the marketplace UI, including: improved sorting/filtering, real time calculation/display of your profit after fees in the listing page, and the ability to easily bulk buy resources from multiple sources at multiple prices at the same time. This is all on top of significant improvements to the overall performance and responsiveness of the interface. We think you’re going to love it.
Resource Migration Event
While we are not wiping crystite or experience, we are going to run an event, complete with awesome unique rewards, to sink the old resources out of the economy in preparation for these changes. Please read this article for important information about our upcoming resource migration event.
We hope you enjoyed this first-hand look at these system updates. Please feel free to discuss this blog or post any questions you have via the forum link below and stay tuned next week as we will continue our "Path to Launch" blog series with another entry. Until then, we'll see you in-game!
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