Tag: Firefall

Firefall is a great addition

Forget what i said. It’s no use to choose to stick to just one game/MMO at a time, when said MMO doesn’t satisfy all your gaming needs. It makes sense to stick to as few MMORPGs as possible, though, because game hopping as a casual player doesn’t really help anybody- not if you like your MMORPGs to have depth, a wide array of activities and longevity- which is, for me, a cornerstone and one of the main reasons i like the genre.

But sometimes, a game comes along, that fits the scenario you’re in very well. For me, this game is Firefall. While Final Fantasy XIV ARR with its truckloads full of content is my main-MMORPG for now, there are times when a change of pace is in order- or when there’s launch- or patch day and i know i won’t be able to play FF14 (i tried, yesterday, but wasn’t able to login, as expected).

Our army continues to grow, i think we are 8 now. With the restriction of 20 characters per army, there’s no reason to go out recruiting or anything. We guess we’ll fill the other 12 seats naturally with time. We went out and did some ARES missions, thumpers and one Tornado in a full squad, which was fun.

Yesterday was a bad day, though, because my main game had launch day issues and Firefall had Patchday issues. We had some fun regardless.

Now, here are the reasons why Firefall is a great addition to my MMO-diet:

Easy to get in and play

You don’t have to prepare very much in this game if you just want to have some fun- log in, join the online guildmates or place a thumper if you are on your own. Or just run around, do ARES missions or invasions or whatever. You can jump right into the action.

Somewhere in New Eden
Somewhere in New Eden

Still deep

While it’s easy to get in, there are a lot of things to grasp in this game- how does crafting work? What do i need to jump into melding pockets or the instanced area? You can upgrade your equipment and so on. There is a lot to do, but you don’t feel forced to do that quickly, because you are not missing out on gameplay features just because you haven’t progressed very far. Sure, crafting the key to the instance or the pockets might take some time, but there’s no hurry.

Don’t powergame your way through it

If you play this game to “reach the end”, beat it or just to progress your character, you will be finished with Firefall in no time- and chances are you’ll be burned out when the game will be in shape for “release” and miss out on something great. Red5 have a plan, but it will take time to implement it. Firefall is a very fun game, and if you’re having fun, play it all you want- there’s enough to explore, beautiful landscapes, great missions and content, but when you set out to “beat” the game, i’ve got a feeling it will be over very quick.

Squad fun

A vision

Red5 has a vision for this game, and they try to stick to it. This is one thing that makes a good MMORPG- and Red5 are willing to hold their position- the durability system is one thing where one can see that- some, or many, players didn’t like the introduction of breaking items because it made the game “grindy”, but Red5 feel it is a good thing to have in their game and i tend to agree- without removing items out of the economy, there will be no economy. And also, this gives players “something to do”, because Red5 won’t be able to provide content at a very quick pace.

All in all, i’m looking forward to Open Beta stage 2 and the future of the game- with this developer, i’m quite optimistic. I don’t know when Red5 will reach a state of the game where they are comfortable to call it “V1.0”, but i think, they will arrive there and the game will be very good by then.

When you add FF14 on top of that, right now, i am one happy gamer (who would be even happier if i could play FF14 or understand Square’s account management system).

Game Time: Firefall and Final Fantasy 14 weekend

Last week i was a MMORPG player without a game. That’s not a new state for me, i’m in that waiting phase for almost 3 years now. Of course i’ve played MMORPGs, but without much dedication. Then, incidentally, a friend of mine started playing Firefall and decided to inject some life into the game and a longstanding, but gamewise inactive guild on friday. And there’s also the early access to Final Fantasy XIV.

Firefall

We created an Army for us and frankly, i didn’t expect others to join us. Part of that has to do with our more recent history of going into and out of games in quite a rapid succession, so many members lost faith in the community being able to form an active guild. While some of the members are close, they started viewing the community as forum-only. Not surprisingly, forum activity is quite low nowadays. Surprisingly, for now we seem to have grown to 5 members, if i counted correctly, with two invites pending. I guess we’ll see a first result in about two weeks- if we are still playing the game, and do so together, we have achieved something.

Firefall is not very beginner friendly, besides there being a tutorial and beginner missions. Once you are in the world, you’ll begin wandering around freely and some things are not self-explanatory. For instance, there’s this type of ARES mission where you have to bring some coloured items with you and it seems to me that the mission fails when you don’t have those items. But i wouldn’t know where to get them. Some other members tried starting a race and had to realize they don’t know how to summon a vehicle yet.

I guess it'd be fun with a vehicle
I guess it’d be fun with a vehicle

Mind you, finding out stuff is part of the fun to be had in this game. I’m looking forward to more of this game. What i like here, is:

  • while it’s not easy to understand the game mechanics, it is an easy game to pick up and have some fun with others. Without level- and gear restrictions, you can play together as you want
  • it seems there is content for almost any group size- even with ARES missions or other singleplayer content, there’s nothing wrong with some other people being around
  • getting to know the mechanics is fun

Final Fantasy XIV

On the other hand, there’s Final Fantasy XIV ARR. With the early access beginning on saturday, i clocked about 6 hours this weekend and my good feelings about this MMORPG are getting deeper. My newest discovery are story missions that take place in an instanced battle area. For now, i’ve met about three of these, and i guess the first one’s just an introduction to the feature while it gets more difficult afterwards. These quests actually consist of more or less just one fight- but i met a group of bandits, had the mission fail on me because i didn’t realize one of the enemies is a healer (the mob’s tag had been the same as the other mobs’ tags- you had to look at the enemy to find out he’s a healer).

After continuing this quest chain you come to a fight with “bird-men” – my first try failed here, as well. You go into this fight with a group of rangers and there are many enemies around- i have no idea how to succeed here- i guess there would be two options to try out next: bring the main guy down and hope that the mission will succeed or concentrate on healing the rangers. I’m not very confident one of these approaches will do the trick, though, so i’ll be looking forward to figure out what to do.

Up there
Up there

 

And this is great- first, the mission feels epic in scope- i don’t know why that is, but i guess it comes down to the fact that you’re not supposed to be the “chosen” to free the land from all evil, but just an adventurer lending a hand. The mission and quest texts, not only in this one, support that- there are also NPCs that are annoyed by all those adventurers around. The whole game supports you in immersing yourself in the experience.

I’ll have to change my goals, though, mainly because i learned that you’ll get retainer access only with level 20 (don’t know whether this means doing the Level 20 story mission or getting to the level), so i’ll do as follows:

  • Bring the Conjurer to Level 20 to get retainer access
  • Go to Limsa Lominsa and enter the Arcanist guild
  • Go to Ul’dah and enter the Weaver guild
  • Level Arcanist, Botanic and Weaver to 20

So yes, there’s much to do and it will take some time to reach these goals.

Game time: Firefall

Whoa, now that was interesting. I tried to get into Firefall two or three times before, without success- i think mainly because i didn’t really know what to do. Firefalls PvE is entirely dynamic, in this game you have to go out and seek out the fun yourselves.

But when a member of a german multigaming community where i’m in asked for some people to join him so he can found an Army and show the Army tag ingame, i went in with him. And that made a whole lot of a difference. First, regarding that community: i’m with them since Global Agenda released early 2010- they are a really casual bunch. So casual, in fact, that they didn’t bother building up a guild in any game since SWTOR.

My personal opinion is that this is a pity and they/we should be represented in the games we do play. It’s a guild with some history- they made a name for themselves as a RP-focused guild in Tabula Rasa as well as Vanguard and Fallen Earth, but it’s not easy organizing those who are still active in this community in a single guild. But sometimes i still watch the forums and am in direct contact with the leader- which is the one who asked for support in Firefall.

So in i went. It’s not really easy getting the grip of the user interface and the underlying mechanics in Firefall- it’s quite a special game, but when we went out to do some ARES missions, i had fun immediately. Playing in groups and/or guilds always makes MMORPGs more fun. At first, it was a confusing, because he always saw missions i didn’t see and didn’t know why i didn’t see them on my map. It became clear that one has to find the SIN uplinks to have missions pop up in the corresponding area.

Firefall - Sunken Harbour
Firefall is quite beautiful

I had to leave after we had some fun in the world and while trying to figure out how to spend my XP- in Firefall, you use your experience points directly to progress the battleframe (class) you earned that experience with. When i returned, i changed over to engineer and went out to level the engineer, which i guess is my preferred battleframe. In the course of two hours, i was once again in a pickup group (which makes for 2 times in a week compared to 0 times the rest of the year) and we had some fun with squad thumping and a melding tornado. Both of which were insane action.

Afterwards, i set out to get the SIN uplinks- each one of them grants a generous amount of experience and i think it’s a good way to make a start in this game- by “unlocking” missions of all areas. I logged out having gained 100k XP in the engineer battleframe and after an evening of immense- and intense fun.

There’s quite of a downside, though: i can’t really see them making money. The game is in open beta and free-to-play right now, and of course they sell “starter packs” and sold founder packs before. But the ingame cash store is….well, this game is too free. You can buy some XP boosts, a lot of fun items and two types of transportation for “red beans”, their shop currency. One doesn’t have to buy anything. If i understand correctly, some battleframes are going to be sold, as well, so there might be that.

Another thing that bothered me: with my founder pack i also bought 20$ worth of red beans- 168 of them. The motorcycle you can buy for red beans, as well as what you’d call a “teleport to home”-skill in normal MMORPGs cost 175 red beans, so…yeah. By all means, though, 20$ for this game is a steal, and i shouldn’t be too hesitant to stock up on red beans. Furthermore, you can craft this vehicle in game, as well. It costs about 200k chrystanite- a resource gained by defeating enemies and doing missions- after yesterdays session, i had 3k of them. It would take some time to get the vehicle, or, you know, i could just buy it.

Now, Firefall is not “main MMO” material for me, it somewhat to free and too restricted at the same time for that. But i am sure this hasn’t been the last time i logged in- i’m really looking forward to seeing New Eden again (isn’t that what the EVE “world” is called?).

First of all, though: today’s early access day 🙂 I’ve added a contact page to this blog, so feel free to hit me up in one of the games i’m playing, on steam or via raptr.