Open World Adjustments in Firefall

It seems I was a little wrong in my Firefall post the other day. I was excited to get back in and some of it just isn’t apparent if your higher level and running around with a group. It just isn’t as open as it used to be any more and I’m slowly finding more restrictions on play as I go. Things that kind if stop you from going some where or changes to the way things operate. Some of these changes I do think are more of a negative but others I’m a lot more impartial about. I’m still positive about the experience but change.. tis a scary thing.

Areas and Ares

The first big issue I had was not being able to enter the new Devils Tusk zone to join the chosen warrant by myself. To go there involves interacting with the transport ship at the western edge of the new Sertao zone. I’m level 36 at the moment but that was not good enough as the recommended level is 37. I can enter if a group member initiates the transit but not do it myself.

The other restriction I noticed was with the Job Boards. These are in most of the outpost scattered around the world and let you accept a mission to accomplish… They are basically an improvised quest hub. These outposts and areas have level ranges and the quests accepted here take this into account the but unless you at or below you are unable to accept these. Once again if you’re with a higher level player they can accept these and everyone in the group gets it as well so there are ways around it.

*edit* arcporters in major POI’s also take you there at any level

Another noticeable change I’ve seen during release is that the Ares missions scattered around the zones, those dynamic events that are just happening all around have become far less frequent. Before this update there were literally dozens of missions on the map at all time, and that’s just the ares missions within caves and underground facilities. Then there were numerous other missions like the crashed thumpers, LGV’s, Chosen squads, Tornados and a couple more. It was a wonderful thing as it made the map feel more active and with plenty of activities to choose form.Now it’s just the rare missions doted around the maps with considerable distance in between.

Now I understand a little bit about the change, back in beta these became the go to mission for those wanting to farm. There were numerous non-stop groups doing nothing but running between ares missions for the constant crystite rewards. The positive it provided though was having content to lay with at any time and in most spaces for the solo player and groups, it was a space to meet others within and an easy activity when you wanted to play with others… now that’s just about gone. It has been replaced by the job boards I guess but that’s a little more restrictive and isn’t as dynamic.

Thumper Lovin

The other thing that seems to have changed is the way we gather resources. Thumping has always been the go to content form for firefall and it was actually something I kind of enjoyed but a lot has changed about it. With the change to crafting and resources under the guise of “simplification” (another story entirely) many resources, including minerals that you get from thumping are now in tiers: Iron>tungsten>Titanium>Uranium. The next tier of mineral is only available within spaces of the next area but now the thumpers have been changed to suit this system as well.

See, you need a certain tier thumper in order to extract that mineral, A level two thumper will extract everything up to titanium. Before though thumpers would just gather whatever was in that spot and the differences in thumper tiers was related to difficulty. If you wanted to gather quicker or have a more challenging experience you went for the better thumper. It was also a way to tailor the experience to the group you had; more players go for a higher tier, new players maybe play it safer but you could still all gather what you wanted. Now you have a choice of Personal or squad and there seems little differentiation between the tiers of these in regards to difficulty.

All these changes do seem a bit negative, the thumper ones I’m particularly annoyed about but there might be some certain positives as well. Now, when these restrictions on level were created they still made some easier ways around this. Just getting into a group will help you open up far more content, it’s a way of encouraging grouping in a way and maybe setting up new players into groups with the more experienced. It also means that you can have a friend play with you regardless, if they are low level they can just tag along and join in with everything your doing which I think is an important factor. Downlevelling seems to be a growing trend in mmo’s but I think this takes it one step further, not many people want to go backwards after they have already levelled and this lets new or casual players still join in with higher zones and end game content.

It’s also ok for the you to do the lower content as well because you seem to scale for the zone in certain ways and also for the instances. Regardless of that the Ares missions, job board ones, and events seem to reward just as much as the higher level content. You might not get on par materials for crafting as those seem to be within certain spaces and level ranges but the currency and exp rewards are still good. This makes sure the entirety of the world and content is available to each and every player and, is still rewarding… now tell me why this isn’t common practice again?

I understand the draw of creating a progression system more focused on defined levels, it just seems to align with how people tend to think about RPGS. There is no need to get complicated with design around progression like they were before, just adding levels is enough to maintain that feeling of growth and provide consistent accomplishments during play. it’s a widely tested and used facet for a reason but it seems they’ve done there best with it while keeping much of the game still open to play. I’ve talked before about removing levels from mmo’s entirely and while that doesn’t sound likely this seems like a good enough compromise.

#Firefall #Update #Sandbox

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