This week on Firefall Live we had our very first show from our new set! Fadedpez, Phobos, and JBWill gave an overview of the week’s news before diving right in and answering questions from Twitch chat. As always, we rounded off the show by showing off some great Community content in our ever popular Do You Even Art Bro and Caption This segments.
Click here to watch the replay on Youtube.
Click here to watch the videos shown during the breaks.
- Amazon Warzone has been live on PTS for a few weeks now, and we’ve been getting a lot of great feedback. One thing we’ve been hearing a lot lately is that players haven’t been seeing the new Chosen Juggernaught and Siegebreaker units very often, if at all. On PTS right now, it’s basically a chance within a certain difficult tier (the difficulty scales based on how well the players are doing). It looks like that’s been making them a little more rare than we intended, so we’re taking out the chance aspect of it. We haven’t been able to patch PTS recently because of working on the move, but now that we’re more settled in we should be able to get a new patch out soon. We’ll know more about the timeline early next week.
- Another great bit of feedback we’ve heard on the Amazon Warzone is the desire to remove the “ARES Response Requested” markers from appearing in the Warzone. Right now it kind of takes away from there being a sniper roost or a Chosen ambush that hit you unexpectedly, since we’re telegraphing where they’re located.
- A number of players have asked about the Combat Upgrades we showed off. Those won’t go on this round of PTS. After the current patch (with the Amazon Warzone) goes live, the next PTS build will include the combat stuff for testing. It won’t be a global combat change yet, it will be a little testing zone where you can pick one of the new “tuned” battleframes and play through a little space (similar to what Frank streamed on NOT Firefall Live a few weeks ago). Once that’s on PTS and players have had a chance to try it out, we’ll have c0wb0y on Firefall Live to talk about the changes and answer questions.
- Obviously Gortok’s thread about Crafting is still going strong, though Gortok hasn’t posted there in a little while because he’s working on addressing some internal feedback. The cool thing about it is he’s been building out paper designs for the new system where we actually “play” the system via cards and dice and such. So we’ve been able to get good information on how the system actually works which has been letting us iterate very quickly. We’re looking to get the design really solidified before we have to get engineers or programmers to actually spend time putting it into practice. Once we’ve got the design more solidified and signed off by everyone, we’ll be able to start sharing some more specifics about the updates.
- This past weekend, we moved offices! We’ve had a few hiccups this week as we worked on getting everything moved to the new building, but we’re mostly settled in and loving the new space. With all of the new hires we’ve been making, we were running out of space in the old office, and the new one gives us a lot more room to grow.
- On Sunday there was a minor issue with the Glider Challenge in that the free Glider Tokens for the day didn’t get sent out. Since we were in the process of moving to the new office we weren’t able to resolve that right away, and by the time everyone got settled in on Monday, the end of the event was only a few hours away and sending out the tokens wouldn’t have been particularly useful to most people. With that in mind, we decided to turn on the event for an extra week! So the Glider Challenge is still active until this coming Tuesday, February 3rd at 4pm PST. In addition, when we turned the event back on, we sent everyone 10 more free Tokens, and you’ll continue to get 3 more per day, so that’s a lot of potential vouchers!
- We also have our Mammoth Battleframe Weekend starting today. Remember that the Mammoth will be available for free all weekend, and players using the Mammoth will get a 25% XP boost. The Mammoth will also be on sale for 25% off its regular Red Bean price until Wednesday. Check out the blog here for all of the details.
- Last weekend we held a PAX Warpaint giveaway to celebrate PAX South, even though we were unable to attend. Every hour of the show we posted a picture of 30 Warpaint codes on our Twitter. It went pretty well, though we did get a lot of feedback about how we distributed the codes which we’ll definitely take into account the next time we do a promotion like this.
With the new Reputation system, will certain Corporations provide the best rewards for specific frames?
- We don’t know what the rewards are going to be for the Corporations yet, but that’s a situation that we would want to avoid. If certain Corporations are the most desirable for certain frames, that doesn’t really give good choice. Particularly in the system we talked about where some Corporations are against each other, it’s not good to have a situation where a player feels “well I’m playing a Recon so I have to go with Astrek because they have the good Recon stuff.” One way to look at it is maybe I have the Astrek Firecat, but I go to an Omnidyne vendor, maybe they have the “aftermarket” Omnidyne version of Immolate. That kind of stuff. Keep in mind that in this initial update, we aren’t going to be doing stuff with the Corporations yet. The goal of this update is to get the foundation of the system implemented and get rid of most of the Vouchers; that way we know the basics work and can build off of that and expand the system going forward.
Will gaining rep with Kanaloa Station cause Reputation with another faction to diminish?
- None of the POIs will hate each other, so doing things with one POI won’t affect your standing with others. The things that hate each other right now are pretty much the Accord and the Chosen, or the Accord and the Bandits, etc. Later on, we’ll get more advanced with the Bandits and split them up into the various Bandit factions instead of just lumping them under “Bandits”. The cool stuff with this system isn’t necessarily what we’re implementing right now, the coolest stuff is what implementing this system will allow us to do going forward.
When can we expect some Army love?
- Well the original “army love” that we mentioned was that we mentioned we wanted to up our army limit to 500 players. The problem is that our chat system doesn’t support that right now. But, we are working on replacing that chat system right now, so once that happens we will be able to do bigger group sizes and bigger channels, so that immediate army love will happen soon. Post-that, there are definitely plans for army progression. What exactly that means is still being designed right now, so we don’t want to get into to many details of the design, but it is something that’s being worked on. That’s probably not something that will happen in the next 3-6 months, it will probably be beyond that timeframe.
Since Vouchers are going away and we’ll have to use Crystite to purchase items, will we be getting any sort of increase to Crystite rewards to compensate?
- That’s a conversation we’ve been having internally. Right now we’re waiting on some economy reports to come in because we want to make sure that we have the right sinks and faucets in place. We don’t want to make that decision and then find out people have way too much Crystite, particularly at different level bands (high level players may have way too much Crystite while low level players don’t have enough, in which case we need to make adjustments). Right now it doesn’t feel like it’s too crazy, but we’re pulling data on it so we can be sure. Another thing is that a lot of people are trying to play everything all at once, which is not the goal of the system. You should be making a choice “am I going to use my Crystite to research and craft gear, or am I going to use it to just buy gear?” So the idea is you make choices. But, we still need to get the data, we want to make sure we’re making a data-driven decision, not just something based on gut feelings. We have some time before this is going to hit public, and we can tweak those numbers pretty quickly, so once we have the data we’ll see.
Can you make Bandit Caches disappear faster when people don’t open the reward crates?
- It actually does time out pretty quickly, but since people are farming them so quickly there may still be a bunch out there. We think that they despawn in under 5 minutes right now. We know that that’s a problem, that people are farming these things, and that’s really the issue; do we want to let people farm these things, or do we want to make it a more challenging encounter, is it too easy, does it reward too much, are the rewards in the box not good enough compared to the XP? So those are the questions we’re asking internally.
You mentioned a new chat system, what does that mean for voice chat?
- A while ago, we made a change to turn off voice chat by default. There were some hitching issues that were popping up, and the suggested fix was to turn off voice chat. Voice chat used our chat system to do a peer to peer connection and do the voice chat that way, and it was causing all sorts of different issues for different people. The new chat system that we’re working on doesn’t support that type of VOIP, so it’s going to go away in that sense, so that’s why we chose to disable it or not. Whether VOIP comes back is still a question. Not a lot of people used it; most groups just use Vent or Teamspeak or some other third party system. It is still useful for pick up groups and such, but not a lot of people were using it. For now we’ll replace the chat system, and then we’ll come back later and decide whether or not integrated VOIP is something we need to rebuild, or if there are other solutions that would be better.
When are you going to make thumping better?
- That’s actually something we’ve been talking about both with Gortok’s crafting updates as well as c0wb0y’s combat updates: how to make thumping not only more rewarding, but also more fun at the same time. Frank was just talking to Bryan about that, and that’s something that he’s working on right now; making thumping more engaging. He was asking questions and prodding about things like “when was thumping fun,” or “what is the experience you expect,” etc. There are different parts of thumping. There’s “why am I thumping,” which needs to be answered from a systems standpoint, which is why Gortok is involved, so things like “why do I need these resources, what am I getting when I thump, why do I need to continue to do this thing.” There’s the encounter of thumping, which is what Bryan is working on, like how can we make the encounter more interesting, and we have some ideas there that we’re passing back and forth. And then there’s the combat aspect of thumping, making it more interesting when it’s a horde mode or anything like that, and how we make that combat interesting, and that’s where c0wb0y comes in. So, all of those people are coming together and working to try and create a more engaging thumping experience.
When are we going to get a development roadmap of the things you are working on going forward?
- That’s something we’ve been discussing internally for a while now, and really you guys know just about everything we’re working on in the coming months, even if we can’t give details yet because they’re still being designed (such as Gortok’s crafting update). Even the “combat update,” that encompasses thousands of things that are being touched with that, so saying “combat update” is kind of underselling it. Every single weapon and ability is being touched, how creatures spawn, creature families, how they interact with the world, AI behaviors, tons and tons of things. We really can’t wait for that to get on PTS so that we can talk more in depth about it. So, you have an idea what’s going on, but not in an organized way, and that’s what we’re trying to figure out is “how can we share all of this in a more organized way, in a way that gets people interested but doesn’t overhype what’s coming.” We prefer to err on the side of underhyping and overdelivering rather than overhyping and underdelivering. We have to walk a fine line because if we don’t hype it enough, then people aren’t interested in it, and if we hype it too much then we can never live up to the expectations that players build up. So that’s why Phobos asked the question on the forums of “how do you guys see this happening, who do you think is doing it right?” A lot of the examples we’ve seen so far are companies that are still in base development of their product rather than in a live environment, so they’ve already got their roadmap of what they want the game to be, versus making changes based on community feedback and other things. So that’s what we’re trying to figure out is how to communicate that in a good way. There are some good ideas out there, and we’ll continue to talk about it. As an aside, something that Frank is really excited about is the new way we’re spawning creatures. If you saw the stream Frank did of the combat changes, he went through the same encounter with 5 different frames, and each time he went through, he was facing different groups of creatures. We’re going to basically a point system, so it will be like “for this group I need 1000 points,” and it will grab 1000 points worth of units and spawn them. So each time you go through, you’ll get a group that has a different composition and therefore requires different gameplay, but is approximately the same difficulty.
- OK! We hired a new PvP lead, and right now he’s working on Arena PvP, and what he thinks that should be. We want to have good PvP progression, but not have Arena PvP with PvE gear, so right now we’re looking at a separated regulation gear type system (just for the Arena PvP). So he’s working on getting those designs done, but that’s not being worked on for the next 2 months at least, because we have other priorities, but he’s working on getting the design documents written and approved so that once we start working on it we can hit the ground running. The plan is to at least take a couple of our existing maps and do some improvements to them, get some feedback on that, put them in, have a couple of gametypes, and put those in. More information from him when we actually start developing on that, because we don’t want to talk too much about that stuff while it’s still in the design document stage. So when that starts to happen, we want to look at doing something similar to what we did with Derek the other week, streaming using our internal tools and whiteboxing out a new mission. We want to maybe do some streaming with our new PvP lead to talk about the Arena stuff, and maybe even stream some internal playtests when those start happening. To answer the questions: we still like Jetball. We want to make some changes to it to make it a little easier to get into for non-pre-built teams. You would notice with Jetball before, when you had just randoms playing, it became very much just a deathmatch in the middle. So we want to make it a little easier for players to get into and enjoy while also allowing for high-skill play. So we’re making some tweaks to that, but the idea of throwing a ball around and putting it through goals, that’s definitely something our new lead PvP designer wants to do.
Do You Even Art Bro?
"Firefall Weapon Symphony" by Reddeyfish (WINNER!)
JB upset by the move. No more room to play Duck Duck Goose.
It is with great sadness that I have to announce to you all that the Brontodon King has died.
Move JB! We need teh drinks behind you!
Ok... So no one, I mean no one is to get anything from this fridge until we find Mika's other stuffed animals. So far we have found 2 kangaroos now that's 2/9001 animals. Let's get a move on people, lunch was 2 hours ago!
I just want to clarify there is not and never will be a pool on the roof, so stop selling 'passes' to new employees.
Meetings: where sanity goes to die.
Well, time to wait for the job to load its checkpoint again.
That's it for this week! Make sure to tune in again next Friday for another exciting episode of Firefall Live!
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