Yes Firefall, the mmo that everyone thought would never become anything more is in fact going to release..officially anyway. The date for open beta has been put down as expected for July 9th, originally the date was discovered in the recent earnings call but now red 5 have released an official FAQ.
There seems to be a lot planned for the updates in between then and now, with some large additions to the pve content including a mechanics of pushing back the melding by reinforcing the towns and such, through fortifying you will also get the chance to fight the chosen fortifications in some sort of instanced area, and a lot of the story content as well. Some of these mechanics have been seen before but most of this will be very new. It is good to see they are not only adding new content and events for people to enjoy but also improving on many of the mechanics already there. It sounds like it will be a kind of mini rps game of players vs the chosen in regards to controlling and defending points which if done well could be very fun.
A lot of the story elements getting added will also add some much needed structure to the game, many new players have expressed the lack of guidance for them in this little mini sandbox so hopefully this is it.
I also can’t believe I want to say this but I wish the game didn’t have PvP, the mechanics of the classes are interesting and make for fun and fast paced combat I just don’t think it adds anything special or overly unique. There are a lot of shooty shooty multiplayer games out there and Firefall has this weird hybrid pvp that does a many things well but has nothing spectacular. If It didn’t I just get the feeling the PvE side could have been so much more then it is. Greater area, more events and enemies, new interesting mechanics, and just generally a lot more polish. What is there is great and they have some amazing ideas that are really something unique in the genre they just lack either the time or manpower to make this happen due to the PvP.
Although maybe not. I came across this little site detailing some reviews of the company from anonymous employees in the comments section of a game site and can’t help but feel a little concerned. It details a few issues that if you had been following the game in any way were already kind of aware of. There is just no long term vision within the game and due to this there has been a lot of wasted development. It’s great that they like to iterate systems in order to polish them but when your completing scrapping and redoing systems and mechanics constantly you know there is an issue.
To think what this game could have been like with a working management system, long term and consistent goals, and without all the wasted resources and development time is mind boggling. It could have amazing in it’s brevity.
Anyway for some odd reason I still kind of like what Firefall stands, the base mechanics are interesting and getting better, and the group style combat is fun with some strategy involved. There always seem to be beta keys going around somewhere if your looking to try the game before then, so if you are, or just plan to give it a go on release here are some handy links you may like.
http://scanhammer.info/ includes up to date information on the current resource types and quality available
http://brontodon.com/ for your pvp needs
http://banebusters.com/ is a site that regularly host a big pve event for tackling Baneclaw, an epic large scale piece of PvE combat you should see
http://www.rawr4firefall.com/ which contains lots of crafting info although it is all still very much a work in progress since the last build
oh and don’t forget to use up all you beta crystite as some of the items look rather spiffy, I kinda like the angelic glider wings because… PUUUURRRTTYY