Open Beta yaaaalll Pew Pew.
I actually had a lot of fun last night in Firefall, I have only recently overcome my antisocial ways and joined an aussie Firefall group and last night involved getting to know them while being wrapped up in the excitement of release. There didn’t seem to be that many more people on though unless of course they were on a different shard. The chat channels were the same sort of conversations of discussing mechanics and joking around, there were a few newbie questions but this has been a regular occurrence over the months. I expected more.. I know it isn’t a game with a huge media buzz but usually there is always a large population of mmo grazers trying new products. The servers were getting hammered though and a few issues were popping up, it also wasn’t NA time… which is probably has a bit to do with the level of action too.
We checked out the new colour scheme that everyone was gifted and wow is that red. I finally got around to sinking some money into the game since it is an official one now. Talked a little about the game and its mechanics which was funny this time being about to contribute to the conversation as I usually know very little about a game come release. I’m still behind most of them in terms in terms of progression but not enough to be overwhelmed. It doesn’t feel like that inadequacy you get when you comparing yourself to others who have achieved more than you. Gear just isn’t as important, it’s enough to motivate but not to big a difference to feel left behind.
I had a few runs of the new Blackwater instance with them and wow is it intense. Long running and insanely chaotic firefights against numerous chosen that really tested us as a group. I don’t think we had a complete wipe during it (hmm maybe one) but there were a lot of close fights were near everyone was having a dirt nap and hanging in for the last couple people to beat the chosen back and bring our bleeding corpses back to life. I’m actually surprised at just how much team work was required to survive. Another team-mate and I were constantly jumping back and forth using heal skills, firing off shorts and coordinating cooldowns. It was all so frantic but in a fun way and each time we did it it didn’t feel like the same static instance. Combat was more unpredictable than that as there were less prescribed mechanics to memorise and avoid. Kind of reminds me of the chaotic nature of Borderlands 2 co-op, just a bit more team orientated due to the holy trinity.
Unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures of the encounter as I was having to much fun to slow down and it really required your full attention, that and I think my dodgy graphics card would explode if I turned up the settings with all those flashy splodey effects that occur during combat. I did take a nice picture of my new purrty purple glowing colour scheme though.
It’s kind of funny with my penchant for PvP and a temperament that is just not suited to repetitive actions that I actually don’t mind grinding out resources and experience in Firefall, and to be honest there is a lot of this. Crafting entails a lot of resources as does leveling your frames and with increasing tiers it gets to ridiculous levels yet I don’t mind and am slowly working towards these certain personal goals of mine. I think it is that key distinction Mark brought up in his recent Firefall sales pitch (I’m just as bad it seems) between wanting to and needing to, I want to progress but I really don’t need to at the moment. I think the pressure inherent in other systems was a big part of my dislike for grinding but here I don’t feel the pressure to progress or complete content and can be comfortable going at my own pace. All the content is accessible as a new player in stock gear, I know they are looking at creating hard mode instances so it might change later but right now it is remarkably inclusive.
I also think it’s because I’m not stuck doing the same activity, instance, daily or quest in order to progress, any of the content can be valuable in it’s own way. Ares missions and chosen invasions are a good source of just about everything, the rewards might be a little bit more random than you would like but in the earlier stages where you need sheer resource numbers it’s just as good. Even with thumping being the predominate way of gaining set resources there is a lot of variability in how you do it. I can relax with a stock thumper with a few turrets and forget about it while watching tv or i can bump it up and challenge myself, I’m also not limited in the size of the group either. and some of the locations you find tthump are rather beautiful as well.
I now know I’m not averse to the grind as this is kind of what I needed, diversity in the grind rather than rote gameplay is the difference. I’m not going to kill the same mobs in the same setting for you over and over but I will if the experience varies enough and the ding of achievements, gear, or whatever else means less in the decision than you would think.
Enough bias marketing material fo now so just go play it already
Oh and here’s a few awesome pictures in the Flickr of some of the new areas I found while out in the world that were developed while I was on hiatus from the game YET ARE STILL THERE.. revolutionary. There is also a few night shots because night time is soooo pretty.