*Note* This guide was created about a year ago now and while the general DO STUFF attitude should still be the primary concern of the new player there are other elements that have changed. The event types are pretty similar although there is now a job board in each major outpost where you can accept ares missions. There are new events scattered around as well that won’t show up in the map either. The battleframe types are also still pretty similar to the archetypes I explained below.
Have fun and I may put up a new guide in the week to come
And, here it is
A new what to do for a noob like you
Firefall has nearly officially released, the perpetually beta is nearly over and the masses are now able to ascend on the poor suspecting world of New Eden. During my first foray into Firefall many months ago I had no idea what to do and where to go as the general style of play is so different from the restrained leveling and end game of the MMO’s I was used to. I aimlessly wandered around the world, bouncing between events and objectives clawing for some sort of familiar guide. Funnily enough what I was doing is exactly what you should do which leads me to the first point.
Seriously, if you stick with the game for over a few days you’ll have time to delve deep into the other systems but for now just familiarise yourself with the frame you like, the controls and the experience. There are lots of different events types to enjoy straight away and there should even be many people in and around the area of Copacabana doing these. Before any adventurer begins they should always be prepared; follow the tutorial and craft the ammo and health packs.
All I can say to do though is kill All the things. Gaining as much experience and Crystite as possible early on is the most important thing to do as these will be the main currency in progression. Weapon, gear, and ability unlocks for the frame are a start and then unlocking the progression points in your frames use these too. Some events are more rewarding with the rule usually being the bigger the better but whatever you do is still something
I would recommend traveling to each of the points on the map called Sin Towers, these look like a little Wi fi antenna on the map and a massive technical marvel up close. Activating these will reveal a part of the map to you so you’ll be able to track the available events easier although just remember that these won’t show all the events, some only activate when you get close and others require you to start them. They also give accord tokens which are tradable for gear and resonators which allow you to unlock access to new areas (in a roundabout way). If you unlock all of these you also get gifted your own permanent glider pad which makes getting around a little bit easier.
Firefall is a playground more than it is a defined ride, there is no set path to follow for every individual with only slight variations or achievement dings that will guide your play. You are the one in charge of how you play in many ways will be the one making your own goals. Gear, while still slightly important will not be the restriction it usually is as all the content is available to you from the onset. There may be differences in difficulty but you can contribute regardless so when you start just do stuff.
- Crashed Thumper – These involve a thumper that has crashed and needing you to repair it by bringing back certain components scattered around the landscape. These are easily soloable but you need to be quick in order to return all the pieces by yourself otherwise the thumper will be destroyed. Completing these will often reward certain components you will need later on to craft thumpers of your own with more required for the advanced types
- LGV – These can be tough for a new player to complete as the bandits which spawn to defend it can get overwhelming. They really don’t offer any worthwhile rewards right now either, they used to reward some sort of mystery component to craft something that never got implemented (probably an lgv) but this got removed and now they are just a low source of experience and Crystite
- Ares missions – These can be quite easy after you’ve upgraded your frames a little but I imagine even the easier ones to be rather challenging for a new player. They have levels which can range in difficulty and grouping that you can see in map, an easy way of tracking difficulty is the little tabs on the right and the colour on the left. These are very rewarding in terms of resource and experience so if you see them jump right in. Always check the chat for groups forming as these are popular with the older players as well and there are regular groups which roam around completing these. Form up your own group for these as well as there will always be people looking.
- Melding Tornado – These are multi-staged events involving the destruction of certain shards that circle the tornado. Destroying a shard will release more mobs as well as crystals on the ground that when destroyed will release ammo and health packs. Watch your ammo when shooting at these as they have a ton of health and it can leave you defenceless. After killing them all it opens the middle which when destroyed completes the event. Also shoot the tiny things up top for a big chunk of exp. If your lucky you’ll get a portal that opens which can transport you to an area in the melding where you will most probably die. Before you do though destroy the big crystal looking things for a decent amount that of Crystite and resources, and then try and escape by making it up onto the middle platform.
- Thumping – You have a stock personal thumper on you… Why not use it. Find somewhere pretty to spend your time doing it and early on the type or quality really doesn’t matter that much as you can use the low quality stuff into progressing your frame. completing a thumper gives you a decent chunk of experience each time so it is well worth it.
- PvP – yep, completing a match in PvP will also reward you with experience and resources although you should probably read up a little on the strategy and frames before jumping in because it is very fast paced with a lot of skilled players enjoying it. I got hammereed my first few times and was completely overwhelmed but it’s fun once you get used to it.
- LGV Race – These are player created events that involve racing on LGV cycles around a set course. You don’t even need a LGV of your own to try these out.
Chosen play a big part in the events on the map although these events are more dynamic than the others as they spawn more at random.
- Strike force – these involve groups of chosen that will emerge from the melding or controlled points in order to attack certain areas. Where they are heading will usually be the zone that is highlighted with a light red and have an indication on the watchtower. These are easy enough as long as you play smart and avoid groups that have combined.
- Incursion – these are much bigger events where the chosen are trying to establish a staging point on the map. They are a multi-stage event involving both attack and defense phases with chosen spawning in between. After destroying a certain tower without a shield you will need to activate the pillar in the middle.
- Defense and Capture – Chosen often attack certain watchtowers and camp on the map and these will need you to defend, if you fail the chosen will take control of the point and send out more forces to capture surrounding points. Defending these can be easy for everyone as you will also have the help of the npc’s but Capturing points yourself can be tough solo. The main point of combat in these events will be centered around the computer system on the first level, watch to make sure no chosen are using this point and you will only have around 10 seconds to focus on them.
- Invasions – Similar to the small incursions but on a much bigger scale. Occasionally the chosen will engage in a massive invasion aimed at taking over Sunken Harbour, these involve several incursion points that need to be destroyed, many waves of enemies, and some huge canon structures. If you see one of these get there as soon as possible as they give some massive rewards which scale based on your contribution. Lots of exp, crystite and thousands of resources which pretty much set you up for trying to craft your first tier 1 gear pieces.
The last post broke down these in terms of there archetypes and the beginning frames are a good start for the new player as they offer a balanced approach. I’m a bit sad that you no longer have any abilities when you start with a frame as it limits what you can do it its it and how the initial combat is going to feel. Once you get started with the pew pew you should be able to unlock these relatively quickly as the experience needed is probably an hour of gameplay however it still would have been nice to have them straight away but only need to unlock them for crafted items.
Unlocking an advanced frame is actually rather cheap if you want to skip ahead costing 100 red beans or $10, treat it like your buying an awesome DLC pack. There are a couple new starter packs you can purchase as well which enable you to unlock 2 of these for $20 and giving you a few bonuses. You can also unlock an advanced frame by completing all the white frame unlocks at the battleframes garages for around 3 of the basic frames.
The advanced frames are more specialised in the abilities they have and the roles you can fulfill and while the basic frames are all decent in their own way. I would recommend the advanced frames more than a basic one as they offer a more focused playstyle but are also more customisable in that you can fit a variety of abilities to them from the frames archetype.
Assault are your general high damage based class with some very good mobility but there is a little bit of variation in the advanced frames
- Tiger claw has very good single target damage with aoe coming from it’s alternate fire and abilities but requires a certain amount of precision to play well
- Firecat are more focused on AOE as it is intrinsic in many of the abilities. Lots of fire.. Fire is good.
Biotech are your typical healing frame with a focus on biological warfare. They do have some decent survivability once in crafted gear with the passive regeneration and life siphoning.
- Dragonfly has access to many strong healing abilities and a decent hot from the alternate fire.
- Recluse is your aoe pressure through poison but can also get some ridiculously high damage through its primary weapon if your accurate
Dreadnought are your high armor and health class.. the tank. I won’t really go into the difference between the advanced frames and will simply say get the mammoth. One distinction is supposed to be the mammoth being active defense and the rhino passive, the rhino is supposed to be higher damage too but it doesn’t work out like that.
Recon is more your squishy single target sniper kind of class relying on not being focused to an extent
- Nighthawk is the definition of a sniper. remaining hidden from enemies increases your damage and you have a few abilities which focus on misdirection and staying unseen
- Raptor has a much higher rate of fire with abilities that have a bit more of a focus on team support
Engineer are very much your support style class but can pump out a lot of damage as well
- Bastion are pretty much your turret farm, useful for afk thumper farming and defense.
- Electron has some decent tools for aoe pressure with it’s secondary fire and is very versatile in the roles it fills
The commands system for the game can be a little confusing at first but it is a more streamlined system for fast item use. C will be your primary way of using items and there are a few categories at first including rewards (boosts and daily chest), Gathering (resourcce gathering tools), and supplies (consumables). O is your social menu which includes grouping functions, friend and army lists, as well as a lfg system (squad member search). One option that may be important is join squad leader as there are many instances running and you may not be in the same one as your group. Some of these options like inviting a player to your group will require you to be aiming at them when you press it, if it’s easier for you most of these options also have chat commands.
I recommend taking the time to get used to scroll through the system, activating with left click and going back with right so that you can navigate it all quickly as you will sometimes need certain items while in combat. If you find the entire cooldown system annoying there is a new mod you can use called Calldown Hotkeys which, as the name suggests lets you keybind anything in your calldown menu to a specific key.
N is for your notification tab and will be how you accept invitations of a friend, guild, or group and view rewards from completed missions. N brings it up, left click is your accept, and right click dismiss.
One chat command you may need right now is /rui. The servers for Firefall seem like they are under a lot of pressure at the moment with the amount of players trying it out and the first thing to bug out is usually the menu systems. It will seem like the activate with the aim cursor going away but nothing will pop up. This command resets the hud which should make it work once more.
Surprisingly Firefall with its cell shaded graphical style actually has some really beautiful environments which I would recommend taking the time to see. It is a very colourful world with a lot of interesting details to see and a lighting system involving a full day/night with various area specific hues create some amazingly picturesque views. I have many many scenery pictures on the personal Flickr if your interested in the world of New Eden.
There are many things to find out there too. Supply boxes and chests scattered around the landscape, ares recordings involving some rather interesting lore pieces, and certain base camp achievement points perched on the heights. You may also come across the various hidden events in the many hidden cave networks.
Getting around has gotten a lot easier as well recently. Before a few patches ago if you didn’t have an LGV you would be running long distances but now there are transport ships which have distinct paths between the main points on the map. There is no map icon for where these land but you should be able to see the where they are heading and the huge concrete pads where they land.
If, after all that your still feeling the want of enjoying Firefall further than you may want to delve down the rabbit hole of crafting. It is a complex system of components and quality that I don’t have enough time to detail just here as I’ve rambled enough for now but stay tuned.
There are already a pile of guides out there on the Firefall forums and YouTube on many different subjects if you would like to learn about in particular mechanics or strategies. Some good places to start learning about Firefall are the official videos over on the Firefall Website, Rawr Firefall, and a new site called Astrek Association.
Have fun out there