I’ve been continuously wondering where Firefall is going for over a year now and the end experience, or at least the finished experience is still an enigma to me. Levelcapped recently had a post titled “Firefall: two steps sideways one step soup” and it is a surprisingly apt analysis of Red 5’s direction for the game.
There doesn’t seem to be much forward momentum towards a unified goal or plan just a lot of ideas, options and mechanics that are pulled in from elsewhere that contribute very little to creating a complete polished product. Or sometimes you’ll see those steps only for them to careen off at the last moment based on something unrelated.
We’ve had features come and go with such regularity now that you really can’t be sure what’s next or what direction the game will end up going for. For all I know they could be starting the transition into turning it into a a dungeon runner.. Or maybe even a tcg.
Even when they do seem to be progressing in a certain specific way it is invariably plagued with a number of crippling bugs and many other minor ones that just kind of ruin the experience. Small team + large scope + varying collection of content = lack of polish. They need to just pick a direction, put on some horse blinders and sprint to the finish line.
Throughout all this I’m just glad they’ve been able to keep up a high level of communication. Whenever there’s a big change or crippling bug it’s all documented on the forums with how it’s progressing and what they are doing. We know the planned updates for the future by listening in to the Firefall live program and they even ask for and take in input throughout the development process. If they weren’t doing this, and we were flying in towards a storm of constant changes blind then I don’t think anyone would last that long.
The whole thing feels like a kickstarter project from an unknown and less experienced team rather than a company being backed with millions of dollars from nervous investors. I’m glad for the things they are doing right, how they do seem so open and how open they are to changes but the really could benefit from the pressure and defined vision of a proper big studio producer.